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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

  • Waterloo takes top spots in biz competition
  • Staying safe while travelling on campus
  • Volunteer fair, math awards and so on
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Waterloo takes top spots in biz competition

with material from a Waterloo Banking Project media release

An electronic reward card program and student-run banking initiative took first and second place at the Enterprize Canada central region business plan competition in Guelph on Saturday, January 14.

The top three teams advance to compete at the 12-team Enterprize Canada national finals, to be held on February 10 and 11 in Vancouver.

Rewardcard, a mobile reward card and customer loyalty system provider, came in first place. One of VeloCity's workspace and residence teams, Rewardcard started as a project to replace loyalty stamp cards with a smartphone using a digital stamp that activates the phone's touchscreen. This method of collecting stamps and reward points is difficult to forge when compared to paper loyalty cards, and companies receive metrics that summarize the effectiveness of their reward programs.

Team member and business plan presenter Ilia Baranov likened the competition to an episode of the CBC's Dragon's Den. "A lot of teams had put effort into metrics and flashy presentations, but the judges were asking them about specific segments. It was a lot of fun."

Baranov says his team's greatest asset was the proven data backing up Rewardcard's business plan. "Last term we ran a pilot program at the Grill," Baranov says. "We were able to tell the judges that we ran a test and could show them the prototype."

The Waterloo Banking Project placed second and qualified to compete at the national finals in Vancouver next month.

Helena Cao, Ryan Chen-Wing, and Mark Haley of the Waterloo Banking Project.Ryan Chen-Wing, Helena Cao, and Mark Haley (right) delivered a 15-minute presentation on their team’s business plan to a panel of judges, students, and competitors from the other six teams in the Macdonald Institute building at the University of Guelph.

Judges offered feedback and advice on improving the team’s performance for the finals. They also were impressed by how much the team had achieved so far in developing plans for and student-run financial services.

“The fact that we are a social enterprise and that we have actually begun implementing our plan really set us apart from the other teams,” said Ryan Chen-Wing, 4th year UW student in economics & history and project leader for the organization.

"The judges gave us some pointers for clarifying our financial model and financial statements," said Mark Haley, 4th year WLU BBA student and director of finance for the project.

The Waterloo Banking Project is an initiative of Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Waterloo students working to establish not-for-profit, co-operative, and student-run financial services to help students graduate with more money, less debt, and better financial skills.

Photo by Tian Lei.

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Staying safe while travelling on campus

The days may be getting longer, even as winter finally decides to show up, but matters of personal safety are always in season for members of the campus community.

There are many safety services available for students, faculty, and staff, outlined on the Safety Office's Personal Safety Guide and the University of Waterloo Police's Safety Resources.

Among them, there is a Shuttle Service available to students, faculty, and staff, running from the first day of registration to the last day of exams. The on-campus shuttles, which replaced the Walk Safe service, have a route with designated stops, circling Ring Road before departing to either UW Place or Columbia Lake Village. The shuttles run nightly from 7:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Women have first priority for rides. Information is available at the Turnkey Desk. The off-campus shuttle departs from the Student Life Centre hourly from 7:15 p.m. to 1:15 a.m.

Emergency Help Line.Additionally, the Campus Help Line provides a direct connection to the university police with the touch of a button. The emergency phone button, when pressed, alerts police and transmits the sound of any activity around the phone. The on-campus phone system can be used to contact on or off campus shuttle, to report if an accident has occurred, to alert police if you are being followed, threatened, or attacked, and if you see or hear anything suspicious.

Personal safety alarms can also be borrowed from the Turnkey Desk in the Student Life Centre and the libraries, in exchange for your student ID card.

"The most important tips are to use common sense, trust your instincts, and be informed," says the safety guide. "If a situation feels wrong, it probably is. Do not feel foolish or embarrassed asking for help if you feel you need it. Any situation that causes you concern or fear is a legitimate reason for seeking help."

As always, the university police can be contacted at extension 22222.

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Volunteer fair, math awards, and so on

The Centre for Career Action has organized a Volunteer/Internship Fair, which takes place today in the Student Life Centre's Great Hall. Members of the university community are invited to visit with representatives from a wide variety of agencies to find out about volunteer opportunities in fields such as children and youth, health issues, seniors, the arts, and more. The fair gets underway at 11:00 a.m. and will run until 2:30 p.m.

The first Retail Services concourse sale of the year gets underway today at 9:30 a.m. in South Campus Hall with the "Jump Into Bed With a Book!" book sale. The sale ends this afternoon at 4:30 and runs on January 25 as well from 9:30 to 4:30 p.m.

The deadline for registration at the ICPF Conference on Environment and Peace is Wednesday, January 25. The conference, held at Conrad Grebel University College and hosted by the Inter-Collegiate Peace Fellowship, promises to be "a weekend of creative collaboration for social and environmental change." The keynote speaker is Dr. Paul Fieguth, a professor in Systems Design. The conference runs from Friday, February 3 to Sunday, February 5.

The 25th annual Faculty of Mathematics Awards Ceremony will be held on Thursday, January 26 at 5:30 p.m., in the Festival Room, South Campus Hall. A cocktail reception gets underway at 6:00 p.m. Some 200 award and scholarship recipients will be honoured at the event.

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Link of the day

Belly Laugh Day

When and where

Retail Services Concourse Sale, January 24 and 25, 9"30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., South Campus Hall.

Volunteer/Internship Fair Tuesday, January 24, 11:00 a.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

WISE seminar series presents "Climate Change: the Corporate and Collective Response Lecture" with Michael Gerbis, CEO, the Delphi Group, Tuesday, January 24, 1:00 p.m., CPH 4333.

Modeling Complex Healthcare Environments using Discrete-Event Simulation: A Case Study of Mass Immunization Clinics, Tuesday, January 24, 2:00 p.m., EV3 3412.

uWaterloo NYC alumni event, Tuesday, January 24, 7:00 p.m., The Hurricane Club, 360 Park Avenue, New York, New York. Register online.

Cambridge Galleries' Contemporary Canadian Textile-Based Collection opens Tuesday, January 24, with a reception at 6:30 p.m. at Design at Riverside, School of Architecture. Exhibition runs until February 19.

Knowledge Integration Pancake Fundraiser, Wednesday, January 25, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Environment 1 courtyard.

Noon hour concert, Ben Bolt-Martin, acoustic and electronic solo cello, Wednesday, January 25, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel. Free admission.

Colour Me Educated campaign event - A Day in a Dumpster, Wednesday, January 25, 11:00 a.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

Centre for Career Action Webinar: Perfecting your interview skills, Wednesday, January 25, 4:30 p.m. Details.

Maintaining Mental Fitness for Life, Thursday, January 26, 12:00 p.m., DC 1304.

Surplus sale of furniture and equipment, Thursday, January 26, 12:30 to 2:00, East Campus Hall.

VeloCity Venture Fund finals, Thursday, January 26, 3:00 p.m., Davis Centre foyer.

uWaterloo alumni networking event in Bermuda, Thursday, January 26, 6:00 p.m., Fairmont Hamilton Princess, Bermuda.

Benjamin Eby lecture with Professor Jim Pankratz "Gandhi and Mennonites in India" Friday, January 27, 7:30 p.m.  Details.

Knowledge Integration Seminar: John Baker, founder, president, and CEO, Desire2Learn, Friday, January 27 2:30 p.m., St. Paul's University College room 105.

AIDS Awareness Fundraiser, Race for Dignity, Saturday, January 28, 9:30 a.m., SLC Great Hall, hosted by UW Dignitas Youth Club.

Petition to the Registrar to Register Late form required after January 31 to become fees arranged.

Federation of Students election campaign period begins Tuesday, January 31.

Dr. Edward Breuer lecture: "Can Jews and Christians be friends?" Tuesday, January 31, 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's University, free and open to all.

Upstart 2012 “festival of innovative Canadian theatre” February 2-4 and 9-11, Studio 180, Hagey Hall, organized by department of drama, details to be announced.

Philosophy Colloquium, featuring Alice MacLachlan of York University, "Practices of Public Apologies," Friday, February 3, 3:30 p.m., HH 373.

Intercollegiate Peace Fellowship Conference, February 3-5, Conrad Grebel University. Details.

Warrior W.Warrior sports

Weekly report, January 23.

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