University of Waterloo

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Friday, June 30, 1995

Ready for the holiday weekend

The big party comes tomorrow, as UW helps Canada mark its 128th birthday. Up beside Columbia Lake, the tasteful row of portable toilets is already in place, and all that's needed now will be sunny weather and a few thousand people.

The annual celebrations at UW start at 3:00 tomorrow, with a parade that starts at King Street and runs up University Avenue and along Albert Street to Columbia. (Watch for street closures; Columbia Street itself will be closed from 3 p.m. to midnight.)

Music, kids' activities, an "environmental fair", sports demonstrations, puppetry and food sales will run through the afternoon and early evening. Candlelight closing ceremonies are set for 10 p.m., and "musically enhanced fireworks" for 10:15.

The biology and earth sciences museum, the games museum and the Brubacher House will be open for visitors from 2 to 8 p.m. The Canada Day activities are organized by a committee that includes staff, faculty and students (UW and the Federation of Students are co-sponsors) and carried off by an army of volunteers, many of whom are starting work today to get things set up.

And then it's a long weekend

While Canada Day is officially tomorrow (stores closed), Monday, July 3, will be a university holiday. Offices and most services will be closed, most staff and faculty have the day off, and classes will not be held.

The libraries will be open for limited hours Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Dana Porter, 11 7 p.m. in the Davis Centre. Circulation services are available 1:15 to 5 p.m. only. On Monday, both libraries will be entirely closed.

The Student Life Centre (formerly the Campus Centre) will be open 24 hours a day as usual. UW police will be on duty around the clock -- call 888-4911 in an emergency (that's ext. 4911 from a university extension phone). Maintenance emergencies can be reported to the plant operations department at ext. 3793, 24 hours a day.

Graphics Express will be closed on Saturday -- but today you can take advantage of a Canada Day T-shirt special ("bring your own photo").

The solar race is over

Final results aren't on hand, but the Massachusetts Institute of Technology car was comfortably in the lead Wednesday night as Sunrayce 95 entered Colorado. The solar cars had only about 52 miles to travel yesterday to the finish line at Golden. UW's car, Midnight Sun III, was still in 21st position among the 38 entries on Wednesday night, reporting an average speed of 17.64 miles per hour, well behind MIT's 39.39 mph. The Waterloo car was running just 12 minutes behind the 20th-place University of Western Ontario car.

A progress report on planning

The senate long-range planning committee met yesterday and heard a progress report from the Commission on Institutional Planning. The text of the report is available on UWinfo and will be excerpted in next week's Gazette.

Much of the report is in question-and-answer form. For example:

Q:Are you going to recommend severe cutbacks to my unit?

A:We're not wielding a budget axe. Even if the budgetary situation were less uncertain than it is, we don't have the mandate to do that. Through the normal process, budgets are being developed by Executive Council and the Senate Finance Committee.

Q:How can you plan without looking at the budget?

A:What we're trying to do, among other things, is come up with a framework within which planning and future budget decisions can be placed. As well, there are many things that can be done with little cost or even at a net savings: reduction of duplication and inefficiency, improvements in communications and morale. It makes sense to attempt innovative approaches even in the face of possible cutbacks. We may discover that some of our desirable initiatives have to be implemented slowly, or we may be surprised at what we can achieve.

Q:Are you going to recommend really radical changes?

A:Whatever we recommend has to be broadly acceptable to the UW community. Radical change is likely to be accepted only if the internal situation is intolerable or in the face of massive external threat. Our impression, which seems to be confirmed by what we're hearing from the working groups, is that things around here are good for the most part, but could be better. If government cuts force radical changes, we hope that our work will help in the transitions that have to be made.

The Commission says it expects to come up with "a draft plan" in "mid-fall 1995".

Personal milestones this weekend

Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
(519) 888-4567 ext. 3004

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