Wednesday, September 30, 2009

  • Students propose a building on H lot
  • . . . and expansion of health services
  • Other notes on September's last day
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Students propose a building on H lot

UW student leaders are inviting comments on a proposed plan to erect a $47 million student services building on the site of the present parking lot H, at the south end of the main campus, and expand the Health Services building beside Laurel Creek at a cost of another $8 million.

Both projects would be paid for through student fees, with an addition of $49.50 per term for the student services building and $10.00 for the Health Services addition. Subject to final approval by students’ council, a referendum will likely be held in mid-November, with undergraduate and graduate students voting separately on the plans and the new fees.

The university administration hasn’t said anything publicly about the plans, but Federation of Students leaders explain that the university will pay the operating costs for the student services building, estimated at $1 million a year, if students themselves cover most of the construction cost.

The Health Services addition could be ready in 2010-11 and the student services building a year later, if the vote this fall gives the go-ahead.

“After more than a year of planning,” says Feds president Allan Babor, “the Federation of Students has established a framework agreement with the University of Waterloo to better serve student needs for health, social, study, and spiritual support services. Student leaders are asking for feedback about the proposed project and would like students to submit their comments. Following consultations early this Fall, Students’ Council will consider calling a referendum.”

A web site that went public this week discusses both the financial arrangements and the perceived need for the two projects. Here’s some of what it says about the proposed student services building:

“The new building will have a different emphasis on student life than the Student Life Centre. This building will focus on the support services for students to succeed academically while the Student Life Centre will remain the social centre for students on campus.

“The proposed three to four storey, approximately 135,000 square foot centre will house most of the main student services departments, in addition to increased study space, study, social, and meeting space for students. Where possible, some of the space vacated by the Student Services departments will be used to enhance student service e.g. more space in Needles Hall devoted to OSAP support.”

Counselling services, the writing clinic, study space, the UW visitors centre, the student life office, a prayer room and offices for the GSA and Federation are among the facilities the new building — slightly larger than the present SLC — would include.

Students would cover 80 per cent of the cost through a fee that would begin when the building is “substantially complete” and continue until it’s paid for. UW itself would provide about $5 million, with another $4 million coming from the self-supporting food services and retail services departments, which would both have facilities in the new structure.

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. . . and expansion of health services

“University of Waterloo students have consistently indicated their desire for enhanced space on campus,” the web site says. “In the 2008 National Survey of Student Engagement, the top response for what needs to be addressed outside the classroom was more study space, while the expansion of support services and a better social environment ranked in the top five.

“Understanding that these concerns would only become greater as the student population grows over the coming years, the developers of the updated Campus Master Plan recommended that a new campus life centre is required on the South Campus to meet the growing demand for facilities.

“Representatives from the Federation of Students and the Graduate Student Association approached the University administration in 2008 about collaborating on and sharing the financial costs to make this project a reality. This specific proposal was developed over the past year by these representatives and tried to address current space limitations and enhance areas of student concern.”

It says the location on parking lot H “was deemed ideal for many reasons. Its prominent location at the front of campus near several major bus routes, the primary student parking lot, and the probable location of a rail station for the Region of Waterloo's new rapid-transit line are obvious advantages. The location is also at a central position between multiple faculties and near many existing campus life functions. More functionally, the location allows for the preservation of current green space, is one of the few available locations on campus with easy road access for delivery of food and retail supplies, and can be constructed with little disruption to current campus functions. Locating the Student Service Complex at the entrance to the University also demonstrates to everyone coming on campus that students are the highest priority at UW.”

The Student Life Centre “will continue to be the 'living room' of campus and the hub of student life,” the site notes. As for the Schweitzer farmhouse, currently the Graduate House, it will continue to be available to the GSA at least until the lease expires in 2017.

Meanwhile, the Health Services project is designed to expand a 1968 structure built when UW had a third of its present enrolment. “An addition to the building and renovations are necessary,” says the web site, “to create the physical environment needed for modern health care delivery within the Canadian health care system, which is very different than it was 40 years ago. To efficiently and effectively provide the services our students need the Health Services building must be significantly larger and structured to work well with electronic medical records and spaces to utilize a broader spectrum of health care professionals.

“Additionally, UW has a growing number of students with children and families that cannot be treated in Health Services because of the size of the facility, lack of equipment and spaces suitable for children and Health Services' primary mandate to focus on adolescent/young adult medical issues of registered students. UW doctors and nurses simply do not have what they need to provide paediatric and obstetrical services.”

The expanded building would provide a “new state-of-the-art medical clinic”, the capacity to add other health care professionals, an expansion of mental health services and other features. “Without the expansion, this is what we can begin to expect: doctors working in suboptimal conditions; unable to serve the current registered students in a timely way; waiting list becomes progressively longer; students are to seek care off campus, urgent cases referred to other community clinics.”

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Other notes on September's last day

A memo on Monday from the organizational and human development office announced the launch of a new Business Communications Certificate as part of the Fall 2009 E.D.G.E. brochure and staff training program. "The new six-part certificate," the e-mail memo said, "provides the campus business professional with the best practices, strategies, and disciplines in both written and oral communication. These courses explore the process of communication, allowing attendees to understand how to make better choices in their daily communication in the University of Waterloo environment. The program, facilitated by Ron Champion and Tim Paci of The Business of Writing, launches this fall with Guerrilla Grammar, Report and Proposal Writing, and Writing Matters I and II. In the winter term, the program will continue with Effective Presentations, and Proofreading and Editing to complete the certificate. Please look for it, and our Leadership for Results series, in the Fall 2009 E.D.G.E. brochure on our website."

Announcements have gone out for WatITis 2009 — this year’s one-day conference for information technology staff from across the university. It’s scheduled for Tuesday, December 8, the day after fall term classes' end. The theme is “Strengthening Collaboration,” says Marko Dumancic of MAD, Faculty of Environment, co-chair of the conference along with Mary Burden, MAD, also of ENV. Registration for the conference will open November 4. The seventh annual event brings IT professionals from across campus, face-to-face to exchange knowledge and experience. Says the announcement: “We would like to invite you to actively participate as a speaker, presenter or panelist for one or more of our sessions in the areas of Teaching, Research, Institutional Support, Green initiatives or General Interest. From last year's survey, we heard a strong desire to see presentations about tools and techniques that some of you have developed that may not have had wider campus exposure and may be of use to the rest of us.”

Here's a reminder to students that in case of a campus emergency, information is sometimes sent by text message to cellphones, and you can register your cell number through Quest for that purpose. • TVOntario reports that more than 400 faculty members from some 30 colleges and universities have been nominated for this year's Best Lecturer competition, and nominations will be received for just another few days. • David Howe, a custodian in UW's plant operations department since 1981, will officially retire on October 1.

CMS stands for Content Management System (not "conversational monitor system", as some of us old-timers might think), and UW is getting a new one: essentially, a software tool for maintaining web sites and their content. The project was announced in July and is now under way, and the person coordinating it, Eva Grabinski of the client services unit in information systems and technology, [CMS logo]sends a brief progress report: " The Project Charter was finalized on September 4 and is available online. The goal of the project is to implement Open Text Web Solutions, previously RedDot, as the centrally supported website creation and maintenance tool at the university. The currently supported tools, Dreamweaver and Contribute, will eventually be phased out and replaced with OTWS. The main tasks of the Waterloo CMS Project right now include project management planning; establishing a project team; training project team members in OTWS; and preparing a university communications plan to keep the community informed."

The UW School of Planning is teaming up with Waterloo Region Public Health, the Community Garden Council of Waterloo Region and Opportunities Waterloo Region to hold a day-long design charrette Saturday to explore ideas for community gardens. “A design charrette is a collaborative session in which a group of designers articulate, through design drawings, the needs of participants and create model design solutions,” explains Luna Khirfan, a faculty member in planning. “Local gardeners will present students with some of the daily challenges that they face as they use community gardens. Students from the urban design specialization will then offer new design solutions for four community gardens that cater for physical and cultural accessibility. Physically accessible designs are inviting for users with various levels of physical challenges resulting from disability or old age while culturally accessible gardens are welcoming to users from a diversity of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Inspired by gardens in communities like Seattle, this will be an opportunity to make community gardens fully accessible public places that bring communities together. With an aging population, increasing unemployment and immigration to the area design strives to ensure that community gardens become accessible spaces that provide the public with low-cost, fresh, healthy and local produce.” The charrette will run from 9 to 5 on Saturday in the Environment I courtyard.

Renison College's English Language Institute is offering a new course this term, "ESL Writing for the Workplace", and is repeating the previously offered course in Arabic for beginners. • The student newspaper Imprint reported Friday that the Mathematics Society "C+D" (coffee and doughnut) stand "is in financial difficulty" thanks to competition from Tim Hortons, but MathSoc hasn't yet decided what action to take. • The September 23 Daily Bulletin referred to retired faculty members being granted the title of "professor emeritus" (or emerita) at Convocation, a phrase that should have been "distinguished professor emeritus".


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Annie Bélanger is introduced in the latest issue of the UW library's e-newsletter as the recently arrived head of information services and resources in the Dana Porter Library. Most recently she was head of public services development at the New Brunswick Public Library Service.

Link of the day

Feast of St. Jerome

When and where

Impact 09 theatre festival productions including “Edna’s Archive” at UW Critical Media Lab, nightly through Saturday. Details.

Last day to make fall term fee arrangements, September 30. Drop (no penalty) period ends October 2.

University-College Career Fair 10:00 to 3:00, RIM Park, Waterloo. Details.

Centre for Teaching Excellence workshop on quantitative research design, 10:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Free noon concert: Sonia Lee, baroque harpsichord, 12:30, Conrad Grebel UC chapel.

‘Better Searching, Better Marks’ library workshop today 12:30, Monday 1:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Ontario Water Works Association student chapter webcast: “Distribution System Integrity” 1:00, Rod Coutts Hall room 106.

Café-rencontre du département d’études françaises: Sylvain Menant, Université de Paris Sorbonne, “Poétique des châteaux dans la littérature française”, 14h30, Hagey Hall salle 334.

Career workshops today: “Are You Thinking About Pharmacy?” 3:00, Tatham Centre room 2218; “Basics of Starting a Business” 4:30, Tatham 1208. Details.

‘Downside Up’ documentary about homelessness, showing by Waterloo Public Interest Research Group, 5:30 p.m., Rod Coutts Hall room 302.

Students for Palestinian Rights meets 6:30, Student LIfe Centre room 2134.

UW Farm Market Thursdays through October 8, 9:00 to 1:00, Environment I courtyard.

Blood donor clinic Thursday 10:00 to 4:00, Student Life Centre multipurpose room, appointments call 1-888-236-6283.

Logo discussion in town hall meeting for students with UW vice-president (external relations) Meg Beckel, Thursday 12:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation presents Dawn Parker, school of planning, “Exploring Complex Relationships Between Land Market Activity, Landscaping Behaviour, and Carbon Sequestration in Ex-Urban Landscapes” Thursday 12:00, University Club, RSVP e-mail cmombour@

Career workshops Thursday: “Law School Bound” 12:30; “Preparing for the LSAT” 1:30; “Teaching English Abroad” 2:30; “Interview Skills, Preparing for Questions”, all in Tatham Centre room 1208; “Basics of Starting a Business” 4:30, Tatham 1112. Details.

Engineering alumni affairs presents Kevin Salvadori speaking on his career since graduating (systems design 1993) and careers at Telus, Thursday 3:30, Engineering II room 1303.

Author reading at St. Jerome’s University: novelist Helen Humphreys, Thursday 4:30, StJ room 3027.

Lifestyle Learning at Columbia Lake Health Club: “What to Eat Before and After a Workout” Thursday 5:30 p.m., boardroom, 340 Hagey Boulevard.

Employer interviews for winter term co-op jobs (main group) October 2-29; ranking opens October 30, 1:00 p.m. Details.

Athlete Academic Honour Roll reception hosted by president of UW, Friday 4:30 p.m., Laurel Room, South Campus Hall.

Centre for International Governance Innovation annual conference, “Towards a Global New Deal”, Friday-Sunday, 57 Erb Street West. Details.

‘The Great Race for Space’ walk and run, fund-raiser for UW clubs, Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Student Life Centre parking lot and ring road. Details.

Opera Kitchener presents Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte” Saturday 7:30 p.m., and Sunday 3:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre. Details.

Faculty of Education Talks by representatives of eight Ontario institutions Monday, sessions at 10:30, 12:30 and 2:00, Tatham Centre room 2218. Details.

Keystone Campaign Run/Walk for Excellence October 7, 11:45, around ring road starting at Davis Centre. Details.

Thanksgiving Day holiday Monday, October 12, UW offices and most services closed, classes cancelled.

‘Mini-Pharmacy School’ series of six public lectures, Tuesday evenings beginning October 13, 6:30, Pharmacy building, fee $100. Details.

Town Hall meeting for faculty and staff with UW president and vice-presidents, Tuesday, October 20, 3:00 to 4:30, Humanities Theatre; e-mail questions to townhall@

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department:

• Telecommunications services coordinator, information systems and technology, USG 6
• Manager, technical services, co-operative education and career services, USG 11
• Associate vice-president (public affairs and marketing), external relations, USG 18

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin