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Monday, December 12, 2011

  • Make fee arrangements for winter term
  • X marks the spot for BufferBox
  • Monday notes
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

A ZENN urban electric vehicle sits in a meditative state in the Aecon Atrium Lobby in the Student Design Centre in Engineering 5. The car is open during the day for visitors to sit inside and poke around under the hood. The display will be in place until the end of January, after which the vehicle will be dissected by Professor Mehrdad Kazerani and his research team.

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Make fee arrangements for winter term

As if exams weren't enough to worry about this week, there's also the matter of becoming "fees arranged" for the Winter 2012 term by the December 19 deadline.

Fees for the Winter 2012 term have been posted to individual student accounts on Quest. Students wishing to view charges for Winter 2012 should log onto Quest, go to Finances>Account Inquiry and then click on Winter 2012. The fee schedules for undergraduates and graduates are also available online.

Student Accounts recommends using one of the following methods: paying in full by certified cheque, money order, or bank draft (originating from a Canadian or U.S. bank), paying in full by bank payment or international wire transfer, or by Promissory Note, including completed payment of remaining balance.

The various methods for becoming "Fees Arranged" are outlined in full on Finance's web site.

Becoming "Fees Arranged" is a prerequisite for accessing the new LEARN system.

The Student Accounts office is located in room 1110 of Needles Hall, open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Questions not covered by information on the Finance website can be sent to sfaccnts@

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X marks the spot for BufferBox

with material from Mike McCauley

The bufferbox.A company that grew from a fourth-year design project has set up shop in the Student Life Centre with a bright green box.

This box is the solution to a problem that many of us can relate to - ordering an item online and somehow missing its delivery, or worse, having the item stolen off our front porch.

BufferBox’s first parcel kiosk, launched on campus exclusively for Waterloo students and staff, allows users to ship parcels directly to the kiosk as an alternative mailing address, rather than their residence or home address, where parcels run the risk of being stolen off a doorstep or diverted to a depot for pick up.

Users of the service buy credits in advance that allow them to ship parcels via BufferBox. When a parcel arrives at the kiosk, users receive an email notification with a one-time PIN code that is entered in order to release the parcel. The procedure is demonstrated in a handy video.

“With online shopping on the rise, and the holiday season just around the corner, BufferBox provides students and staff with a secure and easy to use delivery method,” says BufferBox co-founder, Mike McCauley.

BufferBox began life as a Fourth Year Design Project for Mechatronics Engineering grads Aditya Bali, Mike McCauley, and Jay Shah. Since winning an Innovation Award at the Queen's Entrepreneurs' Competition in January and presenting their project in March, the students have graduated, launched their company, and taken up residence in the Accelerator Centre.

"It's only fitting that the University of Waterloo is our first customer," says McCauley.

BufferBox can be followed on Twitter.

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Monday notes

According to the monthly report from the University of Waterloo Weather Station, this November was the 5th warmest on record, and wetter than average. The numbers are stark: It was 3.6 degrees higher than average, an "incredible" number according to the Weather Station, and "you have to go back to October of 2007 to find a month that was this much above average." It was the warmest November since 2001, and the 5th warmest since records began in the region. The record is still held by November 1931 at 4.3 degrees above average. As for how soggy it was, it was shaping up to be a dry months until an "amazing" 51mm deluge put November over the top. "The final total was 106.6 mm of precipitation this year, well over the average of 932.9 mm and the third most ever recorded for the end of November." Waterloo Region will need to get over 140 mm in December to beat the all-time annual record.

All Retail Services stores will close for the holidays on December 24, 2011. The Book Store, Waterloo Store, and Write Stuff, all in South Campus Hall, and Campus Tech in the Student Life Centre will reopen on Monday, January 2, 2012 from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. A full listing of extended store hours in January and regular store hours for the Winter 2012 term is also available. Online stores are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Members of the University of Waterloo Nordic ski team have been recognized for their community-building efforts by the Waterloo Region Nordic Sports Club. Earlier this fall, members of the Nordic team participated in a "wood chipping" of trails in Bechtel Park alongside club volunteers, enhancing both the function and safety of the trails. "Their annual presence adds a great deal of energy to the group of volunteers," writes Nordic sports club director Stephan Latour. "Their help, role-modeling and leadership is exemplary."

And a note from the Library: on Monday, December 12, the term loan date changes from January 15, 2012 to May 15, 2010. Library users can start renewing their books after December 12 for the winter term.

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Link of the day

Poinsettia Day

When and where

Christmas luncheon buffet at University Club, Monday-Friday, November 28 through December 23, 11:30 to 2:00.

Kinesiology Lab Days, December 7 to 16. Student visits begin at 10:15 a.m. each day in LHI and BMH.

Fall term examinations December 8-22 (online courses, December 9-10). Unofficial grades begin to appear in Quest December 23; official grades available January 23.

Getting Started in Desire2Learn workshop for instructors, organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Tuesday, December 13 at 1:30, Wednesday, December 14, at 9:30, and other dates, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Undergraduate Council meeting, Tuesday, December 13, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., NH 3004.

Getting Started in Desire2Learn workshop for instructors, organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Tuesday, December 13 at 1:30, Wednesday, December 14, at 9:30, and other dates, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

University Club Christmas dinner buffet, Wednesday, December 14, 5 to 8 p.m.

Digital Media Series: Gamification. Public lecture by Games Institute director Neil Randall on what gamification is and how it is affecting the world in terms of marketing, buying decisions and just plain fun. Stratford Campus, Wednesday 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Free admission. Details.

Getting Started in Desire2Learn workshop for instructors, organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Thursday 1:30, and other dates, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Retirement reception for Susan Sykes, office of research, Thursday, December 15, 3:30 p.m. at the University Club. RSVP ASAP to ccyee@

St. Jerome’s University president’s Christmas gala, Thursday, December 15, 6 p.m., by invitation.

Pension and benefits committee Friday, December 16, 8:30, Needles Hall room 3004.

International spouses potluck event, Friday, December 16, 12:45, CLV community centre.

Getting Started in Desire2Learn workshop for instructors, organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Monday, December 19, 10:30, and other dates, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

UWRC Book Club: The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, Wednesday, December 21, 12:00, Dana Porter Library room 407.

Christmas and New Year’s break Saturday, December 24, through Monday, January 2, university closed, reopening January 3, 2012.

Winter term classes begin Tuesday, January 3.

Friday's Daily Bulletin