Thursday, February 4, 2010

  • “Watershed” year for tuition fee increases
  • Haiti relief efforts on campus
  • Briefs: Loving to Learn, Laflamme speaks, Winning athletes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

“Watershed” year for tuition fee increases

by Brandon Sweet, CPA

The Board of Governors met at the Waterloo Research Advancement Centre in the Waterloo Research and Technology Park on Groundhog Day to discuss, among other things, the setting of tuition fees for the coming year.

On the advice of Dennis Huber, vice-president administration and finance, the board approved the following framework:

Undergraduate students (domestic)

  • “Regulated” programs newly admitted students – 4.5%
  • “Regulated” programs continuing students – 4%
  • “Deregulated” programs newly admitted students – 8%
  • “Deregulated” programs continuing students – 4%

Graduate students (domestic) – 3%

International students

  • Undergraduate programs – 3%
  • Graduate programs – 3%

Determining the degree to which tuition fees should increase this year is a tricky proposition, given that the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities’ tuition framework expires at the end of the current academic term, and the ministry is not expected to announce a new framework until well into the year.

Students’ objections

Sam Andrey, undergrad rep on BoGSeveral student governors voted against the increases. Governor Sam Andrey (right) quoted from a recent Maclean’s article by W. D. Smith  as he made the argument that undergraduate tuition increases have not resulted in improved conditions for undergraduates and instead have gone toward core administrative expenses, expanding graduate studies and shoring up annual staff salary increases.

“All one has to do is look at the metrics to see we are in decline,” Andrey said. “We need to improve the undergraduate experience.” Andrey called the fee increase a “watershed” since, for the first time in recent memory, the revenue for student fees is greater than the revenue provided by government operating grants.

In fact, the watershed was crossed in the current year, as confirmed later on in the meeting by Feridun Hamdullahpur, vice-president academic and provost, who revealed that for 2009-2010, tuition fees, at $195 million, accounts for 45 per cent of the university’s revenue, compared to $191 million in government grants, or 44 per cent.

Allan Babor, also a student governor, echoed Andrey’s comments. “Many students feel that they are not seeing the value for their dollar at this institution,” he said. In response, Dennis Huber noted that the University of Waterloo’s core administrative costs are some of the lowest in the province.

According to the University Act, the Board of Governors has the power to set tuition fees; however, this power is constrained by the provincial government. In March 2006, after a two-year tuition freeze, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities announced that tuition rates for graduate programs and deregulated professional programs would be capped at eight per cent annually, and other undergraduate programs would be limited to a 4.5 per cent annual increase. Overall, the annual average rate increase at each institution must be capped at five per cent.

The undergraduate co-op fee is also going to increase from $587 to $609, a four per cent increase, effective the spring term of 2010. The graduate co-op fee will increase by four per cent to $584 per term.

…and residence fees too

 Huber also brought forward a motion to increase the 2010-2011 residence fees by three per cent across the board, except for the townhouses in Columbia Lake Village, which will see a 2.1 per cent increase effective October 1, 2010. When asked if the three per cent increase was common for an annual increase, Huber called on Chris Read, university housing officer, to provide context. Read said that it was identical to the increase asked for last year, and in previous years the rates had risen by as much as five per cent.

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Haiti relief efforts on campus

MCC Operation Cooperation logoThe Faculty of Engineering and others at the university are taking part in “Operation Cooperation Waterloo Region” to help the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) provide emergency assistance to Haiti following the devastating earthquake of January 12. Operation Cooperation is made up of public- and private-sector organizations in Waterloo Region that are working together to provide relief kits of personal hygiene items such as soap, toothpaste, and bandages.

From now through February 28, MCC is asking for people to donate relief kits — either complete kits or items for the kits — that will provide much-needed personal supplies to families traumatized by the earthquake. MCC is asking for specific items: the list is on the project’s website:

On campus, donations can be dropped off in the marked collection boxes during work hours at the following locations:

  • Engineering Research Office, CPH 3606 (Marg Johnston, ext. 32060)
  • Civil Engineering Undergrad Office, E2 – 2337 (Lisa Schneider, ext. 33464)
  • UW Graphics, Commissary Building (Jan Weber, ext. 35169)

In the UW Research and Technology Park, donations may be dropped off at the Education Credit Union, TechTown Building, 340 Hagey Blvd.

Elsewhere on campus:

The Waterboys, Grebel Coffeehouse Jan 30, 2010Conrad Grebel University College students held an “In Harmony With Haiti” coffee house on January 30, with donations from the event going to the Mennonite Central Committee. “The event was a huge success, with standing-room only for the last several performances,” says organizer Eric Kennedy. “Great performances were offered by several students as well as acapella groups from UW." The acts included the Waterboys (pictured, photo by Rebekah Hudson), Acabellas and Unaccompanied Minors. "In total, we raised well over $4,000 — a fantastic number for only a few hours.”Renison social work students with moose mascot

Heather O’Leary, coordinator of recruitment at Renison University College, reports that as of February 2, Renison people had raised close to $2,000 ($1997.48). Of that amount, more than $700 was raised in a bake sale, a board member donated $500, and some $360 was gathered by Bachelor of Social Work students who canvassed the campus in company with Renison’s mascot, Renni (pictured). The total will be higher, O’Leary says, once Renison’s parking revenue of February 1, donated by the administration, is figured in.

Coming up: On Wednesday, February 10, “Donate and Play” — a video game tournament/Haiti relief fundraiser — takes place in the Great Hall of the Student Life Centre, organized by the Turnkey Desk. “The first six hours, up to 4 p.m., is for general video game play with the option to donate what you can,” says organizer Amanda Ferguson. “The last hour is reserved for Dr. Mario and Tetris tournaments, with prizes for the winners.” Proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders.

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Briefs: Loving to Learn, Laflamme speaks, Winning athletes

Loving to Learn Day, 2010

Loving to Learn logoLoving to Learn Day celebrates the love of learning. Established at the University of Waterloo in 2006, the event has spread to other universities and colleges across Canada.  This year, Loving to Learn Day falls on Monday, February 15.

At the heart of the day is a contest with prizes. This year's contest is all about mentors. Mark Morton, senior instructional developer at the Centre for Teaching Excellence, puts it this way: “You love to learn, right? Well, then undoubtedly you’ve had, or still have, a mentor: someone who encouraged you or guided you as you made your way along a learning journey. . . .  Who was (or is) your most memorable mentor? Why? What did your mentor teach you? What impact did your mentor have on your life? Where would you be if you had never met him or her?

“Email us a paragraph telling about one of your mentors, and you could win a prize. Even if you don’t win, we’ll publish your paragraph on the Loving to Learn Day website. . . . The contest has four categories: Students, staff, and faculty at the University of Waterloo; Students in grades 1 to 8; Students in grades 9 to 12; and everyone else. Email your entry, which should be between 100 and 500 words in length, to by 7 p.m. on Sunday, February 14.” More details here.

Laflamme to speak at first TEDx Waterloo

Raymond Laflamme, director of UW’s Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC), will join a high-profile group of speakers at the inaugural TEDx Waterloo, a symposium about big ideas that are shaping the future. The event takes place on February 25, 1 to 8 p.m., at the Gig Music Hall in downtown Kitchener.

Laflamme will speak on "Sparked by Curiosity: The Quantum Frontier." He will trace the path of scientific inquiry from the distant past to the paradigm shift now underway as researchers harness the power of quantum physics.

“It is really exciting to have this opportunity to share my passion about the great changes that lie ahead as we tame the quantum world,” says Laflamme.

Laflamme, who became founding director of IQC in 2001, has a worldwide reputation as a pioneer in the field of quantum computing. As a doctoral student of renowned physicist Stephen Hawking at the University of Cambridge, Laflamme convinced Hawking to change his mind about the direction of time in a contracting universe — which earned Laflamme a nod in Hawking’s bestseller A Brief History of Time.

Also taking the podium at TEDx Waterloo will be Waterloo architecture professor Philip Beesley, and other speakers.  More information is at

They curl, they golf, they score

Waterloo students Jake Walker, skip, and Geoff Chambers, second, and their Westmount Golf and Country Club curling team, representing Ontario, won the Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Sorel-Tracey, Quebec, on January 24. The team will represent Canada at the 2010 world junior curling championships in Flims, Switzerland, March 6-14. Details.

University of Waterloo golfers Tiffany Terrier and Garrett Rank are preparing for the International University Sports Federation (FISU) world championships in Antequera, Spain, June 7-11. The two students, with coaches Dave Hollinger and Carla Munch, are UW's contingent to Team Canada. Waterloo Region Record story

The Waterloo Warriors Hockey team have been named the male Pizza Pizza OUA Team of the Month for January, 2010. Details.

Waterloo Warriors Athletes of the Week are Reanne Holden, basketball, and Keaton Hartigan, hockey. Details.

CPA staff

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Link of the day

Today in The Daily Bleed

When and where

Federation of Students annual elections campaign period, through February 8. Polls open February 9 at 10 a.m., close February 11 at 8 p.m.

Imaginus poster sale February 3-5, Student Life Centre.

‘Masks on Meds’ Commedia dell’Arte plays presented by UW department of drama, February 3-6, 8 p.m., and Saturday, February 6 at 2 p.m., Studio 180, Hagey Hall of the Humanities, tickets $12 (students $10). Details.

Certificate in University Teaching Research Projects Workshop, Thursday 9:30 to noon, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

On climate change and water. UW student chapters of the Ontario Water Works Association and the Water Environment Association of Ontario present Omar Alshikh, Walkerton Clean Water Centre, speaking on the impacts of climate change on water quality and treatment. Noon in E2 room 2348. Event is free; refreshments.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council national announcement of funding through Community-University Research Alliances, guests include UW vice-president (university research) George Dixon, Thursday 1:00, Village of Winston Park, Kitchener, by invitation, information ext. 33580.

Book launch by members of the English language and literature department. Thursday 3 - 4:30 p.m., Bookstore, South Campus Hall.

Career workshop: “Interview Skills, Preparing for Questions” Thursday 3:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

UW International Development Health Association and WPIRG present Samantha Nutt of War Child Canada, Thursday 5:30 p.m., Federation Hall, tickets $5 at Federation of Students office or at door.

FASS 2010 (“Final Fassity MMX”) performances Thursday, February 4, 8:00; Friday, 7:00 and 10:00; Saturday 8:00, Humanities Theatre. Details.

Access road closed from Ring Road to ML at EV2, beginning February 5 and continuing during construction of EV3.

Winter Carnival trip to Ottawa organized by International Student Connection, February 5-7, bus travel and two nights stay from $109 per person, tickets at Federation of Students office.

Centre for Knowledge Integration Speaker Series. Carla Fehr, Iowa State University. "Integrating Expertise: Improving the Advancement of Women and Minority Scientists." Friday, February 5, 1:30 - 3 p.m., Math & Computer Building room 4061

Career workshop: “Interview Skills, Selling Your Skills” Friday, February 5, 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Women's Studies Student Society. Meeting to form a student society: all welcome. Friday, February 5, 3 p.m., Hagey Hall room 119.

Philosophy colloquium: Carla Fehr, Iowa State University, “What's in it for me? The benefits of diversity in scientific communities." Friday, February 5, 4:00, Humanities room 373.

Author reading at St. Jerome’s University: novelist Austin Clarke, Friday, February 5, 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall.

Bombshelter Pub, Student Life Centre, presents Mudmen, Friday, February 5, doors open 9 p.m., advance tickets $5 at Federation of Students office.

Chapel Choir takes part in worship service Sunday, February 7, 10:45 a.m., St. Jacobs Mennonite Church.

UW Recreation Committee outing to see Kitchener Rangers vs. Saginaw Spirit, Sunday, February 7, 2:00, Kitchener Auditorium. Details.

Super Bowl party sponsored by Warrior football, Sunday, February 7, Bombshelter pub, doors open 4:00, $5 in advance, $7 at door.

Class enrolment appointments for spring term courses, February 8-13 on Quest. Open enrolment begins February 15.

Graduate Student Research Conference proposal deadline February 8. Details.

Federation of Students executive candidates’ debate Monday, February 8, 3:00 p.m., Student Life Centre.

Book reading and signing: Meg Westley, professor of speech communication, author of fantasy thriller Goddess Fire, Monday, February 8, 3:00, bookstore, South Campus Hall.

Graduating students’ information session and lunch sponsored by student life office and alumni affairs office, Wednesday, February 10, 11:30, Needles Hall room 1116. Repeated February 23. Details.

Reading and book signing: Yan Li, Lily in the Snow, Thursday, February 11, 4:30 to 6:30, Renison UC chapel lounge.

Bojangles dance showcase: “Dance for Haiti” Thursday, February 25, 7:00, Humanities Theatre.

Student Climate Change Colloquium (second annual) sponsored by Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change, March 3-4, South Campus Hall, deadline for submission of abstracts February 8. Details.

38th annual Hagey Bonspiel for staff, faculty and friends, Saturday, March 6, 10:00 to 6:00, Ayr Curling Club. Register by February 19. Details.

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