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Friday, February 18, 2011

  • Noon 'hate speech' event; other notes
  • Reading week starts with Monday holiday
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Unbroken blue balloon amid a sea of same]

Balloons descended from the upper level of the Student Life Centre atrium to the lower level on Wednesday afternoon, in an eye-catching promotion for Colour Me Educated. (The photo is by Eric Van Halteren.) The program is designed to raise awareness — and cash — for the fight against poverty, while lowering the high school dropout rate and increasing access to post-secondary education for disadvantaged youth. "This campaign brings awareness to the issue of access," said Nick Soave, vice-president (education) for the Federation of Students. “Feds is very proud to be a part of it.” Money raised by Colour Me Educated, which runs through March 30 and aims to collect $7,000, benefits Pathways to Education Kitchener.

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Noon 'hate speech' event; other notes

In response to the controversial anti-feminist posters that made news this week, followed by fraudulent e-mail messages, a noontime event is scheduled for today. Here’s the official announcement: “Recently on campus there have been numerous acts of hate speech in the form of sexism and misogyny. These acts have appeared on campus through the form of posters, fraudulent emails, and use of social media sites. The Federation of Students and the UW Women’s Centre are organizing a discussion panel with internal and external stakeholders across campus and in the Waterloo community to address this issue in its entirety. As per UW Policy 33, ‘all members of the University of Waterloo community have the right to an environment of tolerance and respect’ which clearly has not been displayed through these acts. This discussion will aim to shed some light on the current status of the police investigation of these acts and will encourage discussion on plans of action for various groups on and off campus. You are invited to attend this discussion from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. in the Student Life Centre Multi-Purpose room. We are looking for feedback in regards to the crimes on campus, and encourage all interested parties to attend to engage in this opportunity.”

Sixteen undergraduate teams are pitching new ideas as part of the Nicol Entrepreneurial Award, in an event scheduled for this afternoon at the Conrad Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology. The top three finalist teams will receive cash prizes — $5,000, $2,000 and $1,000 — and a winner "will progress to the Ottawa round and compete against 14 universities from Canada", says Jenn Zehr, marketing manager for CBET.

E-mail has arrived from somebody who attended Tuesday's panel discussion on retirement life, organized by the UW Recreation Committee. "Panel members," she writes, "included recent and long-time retirees: Jane Buyers (Fine Arts), Gail Cuthbert Brandt (Renison), Elise Devitt (Applied Math), Bruce Logan (Plant Operations), Paul Henderson (IST) and Ian McGee (Applied Math). The discussion ranged from volunteering to saving money to exercising, but I was especially struck by one of the closing comments. Moderator Kenton Needham (Human Resources) asked everyone to complete the sentence, 'Before I retired, I wish I'd known . . .'. Bruce Logan was first and immediately said, 'How great it could be!' And everyone else agreed!" UWRC is holding a follow-up event at noontime on March 2, under the title "The University, Retirement and You — Making Sense of My Retirement Options".

The new issue of Arts and Letters, the newsletter for alumni of the arts faculty, is all-electronic for the first time, and includes plenty of content about the faculty's 50th anniversary celebrations as they took place through 2010. As well as photos of events and tributes to arts in general, there are a series of alumni recollections — including this memorable one from Peggy Hagan, who received her BA in 1966: “When I was on campus in the 1960s, sod and topsoil had been scratched off the farm fields, not the 1,000 acres we own now, but many many acres of mud! Construction on 20 new buildings began in that decade and earth-movers were everywhere, and noisy! Huge foundations had been dug and the builders laid down boardwalks for us to cross the mud to get to the six or seven buildings that were finished. I don’t remember there being a foot patrol, and I never feared stalkers when I walked around the campus at all times of the day and night, so much as I feared falling into a deep hole and becoming part of some foundation.”

[White hats]

And . . . a group of chemistry faculty, students and staff went Tuesday for a tour of Apotex Pharmachem Inc. in Brantford, hosted by Stephen Horne, an Apotex vice-president who was honoured as 2010 Distinguished Alumni for the Faculty of Science. He's seen at far left in the photo below — the only person in the group not yet topped with the requisite hard hat for a tour of the manufacturing facility, which was led by Martin Ehlert, another Apotex executive (far right). The group included chemistry professors John Honek and Guy Guillemette.

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Reading week starts with Monday holiday

It’s just about here: reading week, the big break in the middle of the winter term, means there will be no classes all next week. (“The one thing that stands between me and lovely, glorious Reading Week,” a student who will remain unnamed tweeted yesterday, is “this horrid, horrid virology report.”) How students will use the break is up to them, of course, with the traditional choices of sleeping, studying or skiing.

But there are other options. Conrad Grebel University College "will empty out a little over the next week," says one of its residents, knowledge integration student Eric Kennedy. "Forty-three students depart Friday morning for reading week in New Orleans and Pass Christian, Mississippi, contributing to the ongoing relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina. Another half dozen are heading to Bluffton, Ohio, for a Mennonite peace conference."

As for faculty members, a lot of work is likely to get done in laboratories — and somebody’s got to mark that virology report, of course. Academic life continues, and a number of seminars and other events are set for the campus during reading week, including a talk by Junsai Zhang, China’s recently appointed ambassador to Canada. (He’ll speak on Canada-China relations, Thursday at 11:00 in Rod Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall room 307.)

Waterloo's offices and services will be open, more or less as usual, Tuesday through Friday, which are regular working days for university employees. Retail services notes that its stores will be open the usual 9-to-5 hours. Most food services outlets will be open during reading week, some with modified hours of operation.

But here’s a reminder that Monday, February 21, is the Family Day holiday in Ontario, and thus the university will be closed that day. The Physical Activities Complex and Columbia Icefield will be closed Monday. (They’re open from 11 to 4 on Saturday and Sunday, and regular hours from Tuesday on.) The Dana Porter and Davis Centre libraries will be open normal hours on Saturday and Sunday, and from noon to 6 p.m. on Monday.

As always, even on holidays, the university police (519-888-4911) will be at work, the Student Life Centre (519–888-4434) will be open, and the central plant will monitor campus buildings (maintenance emergencies, ext. 33793).

And a heads-up for those arriving at the university on Monday, February 28, whether it's after a reading week away or just an ordinary weekend: the web site will look different. A transitional "static" version of the university's new home page will make its first appearance that day, as a step towards the overhaul of the entire central web site that's on its way.


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Link of the day

Perigean spring tides

When and where

CMS pilot website demonstration 9 a.m., Davis Centre room 1302. Details.

Dragons’ Den auditions for CBC television program, 11:00 to 6:00, CBET, 295 Hagey Boulevard. Details.

Water Institute seminar: Jack Imhof, Trout Unlimited Canada, “Evolution of the Science and Practice of Managing Stream Corridors” 11:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

Warrior sports this weekend: Figure skating championships continue today, RIM Park. • Curling championships continue through Monday, hosted by Waterloo at Guelph Curling Club. • Track and field at meet in Toronto, today. • Men’s hockey at Lakehead, game 2 of playoffs, tonight; game 3 if necessary,  Saturday. • Basketball (men and women) at McMaster, Saturday. • Men’s volleyball at Queen’s (OUA quarter-finals) Saturday.

Senate finance committee 1:30, Needles Hall room 3004. Agenda.

Employer rankings for spring term co-op jobs (“main” group of students) close 2 p.m., results available 4 p.m.

Philosophy colloquium: Jennifer Lackey, Northwestern University, “A Deflationary Account of Group Testimony”, 3:30, Humanities room 373.

Kitchener Rangers vs. Mississauga Ice Dogs, Kitchener Auditorium, outing organized by UW Recreation Committee, 7 p.m.

Niagara Falls bus trip and winery tour organized by Federation of Students, Saturday, buses leave 9:00, tickets $18 from Federation office, Student Life Centre.

Let’s Dance Showcase Sunday 1:30, Humanities Theatre.

Deadline for 50 per cent tuition fee refund for winter courses, February 21.

Summer Camp Fair for children’s camps and programs, Tuesday 5 to 8 p.m., Wilfrid Laurier University science building courtyard.

Library workshop: “Find Books and More” February 23 and March 1 at 10:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

LinkedIn workshop sponsored by staff association, Wednesday-Thursday 12 noon, Carl Pollock Hall room 1346. Details.

Digital media series: Doug Mulholland, Computer Systems Group, “User-Driven Online Mapping” Wednesday 7:00, Stratford campus. Details.

Institute for Computer Research and Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology present Mario Tokoro, Sony Computer Science Laboratories, “Open Systems Science: A New Research Methodology” Thursday 4:00, Davis Centre room 1302.

Bojangles Dance Showcase Thursday 7:00, Humanities Theatre.

Centre for Family Business, based at Conrad Grebel U College, breakfast seminar, “Resolving Disputes in Business and in Life” February 25, 7 a.m., Bingemans Conference Centre.

University senate February 28, 4:00, Needles Hall room 3001.

Application deadline for spring term admission to the university: March 1. Details.

Demonstration for staff of new myCareer@ UWaterloo system, March 1, 2:00, Davis Centre room 1302. Register.

Volunteer Appreciation Extravaganza organized by Federation of Students, March 2, 7 to 9 p.m., Federation Hall. Details.

Climate Change Awareness Week with events sponsored by Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change, March 7-11.

‘An Experiment with an Air Pump’ by Shelagh Stephenson, production by department of drama, March 10-12 and 17-19 at 8 p.m., Theatre of the Arts.

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