[UW shield]

Daily Bulletin

University of Waterloo -- Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Yesterday's Bulletin | Previous days | UWevents | UWinfo home page

Wednesday, March 20, 1996

Snow, at times heavy

For a "miserable" day (that's the official word from the department of the environment), it sure is a pretty one on this tree-rich campus. Snow like icing sugar whitens every twig -- get the cameras out! Better get the snowshoes out, too, with some 15 centimetres (that's 6 inches) of snow expected and much of it already dumped on the parking lots.

Local school buses have been cancelled, and a radio report speaks of snowplows stuck in the white stuff along Fischer-Hallman Road at the far corner of the north campus. But schools are open, so UW is open for business. Enjoy the spring weather. (Yes, spring began officially about 3 this morning, shortly after the storm began.)

News from British Columbia

Tuition fees are going up in most provinces across Canada -- and at UW the hike for undergraduates will be 19.8 per cent this year -- but in British Columbia the increase this year will be zero.

The province's new premier, Glen Clark of the New Democrats, announced the freeze Monday. "My government is committed to protecting affordable, accessible education for B.C. youth, despite recent federal budget cuts of $435 million for social program funding," Clark said.

The freeze leaves the annual fee for general undergraduates at the University of British Columbia at $2,295 for an academic year. At UW, the equivalent fee for two terms is $2,452 this year and will be $2,936 in 1996-97.

Clark, heading into a provincial election, is maintaining a balanced budget, and is expected to announce operating grants for British Columbia's four provincially-supported universities that will make sure they don't cut accessibility this year.

The April 19 strike

The Ontario Federation of Labour, keeping up the pressure on Ontario's Progressive Conservative government, has set Friday, April 19, as the date for its third general strike, and Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge as the place. This morning's Gazette has some words about the event from Hernan Crespo, president of the union local (Canadian Union of Public Employees local 793) that represents hourly-paid staff in UW's food services and plant operations departments.

An announcement is expected from UW management soon about whether exams set for April 19 will be rescheduled. That's what the University of Western Ontario did when the first OFL day of protest hit London during the December exam season. There may also be announcements about other ways in which the strike could affect the university and its staff, faculty and students.

Race ruling in the United States

A federal district court in Texas has ruled against the use of affirmative action in university admissions: specifically, that the University of Texas law school may not give "substantial" preference to blacks to increase the presence of minorities in the student body. The ruling, handed down yesterday, contradicts the principle that courts have maintained since the "Bakke" case involving the University of California medical school in 1978. In that case, the Supreme Court said there could not be racial quotas, but race could be considered a "plus" when applicants were being judged.

Said yesterday's Texas ruling:

With the best of intentions, in order to increase the enrollment of certain favored classes of minority students, the University of Texas School of Law ("the law school") discriminates in favor of those applicants by giving substantial racial preferences in its admissions program. The beneficiaries of this system are blacks and Mexican Americans, to the detriment of whites and non-preferred minorities. The question we decide today in No. 94-50664 is whether the Fourteenth Amendment permits the school to discriminate in this way. We hold that it does not.

Notes on this snowy day

And on the lighter side

Lake Superior State University today holds its annual Snowman Burning to celebrate the end of winter. (Hah!)

Back in Waterloo, Sharon Lamont has lunch today with Sharon Lamont. The past president of the staff association, who is Sharon L. J. Lamont if you want to be formal about it, occasionally gets confused with history student Sharon M. M. Lamont, and they thought they'd better meet face to face.

(Sharon L. J. Lamont, in her capacity as chair of the staff association's nominating committee, is still looking for staff members to take seats on the grievance committee, the staff training and development committee, the joint health and safety committee, and the advisory committee on traffic and parking. There's information available on UWinfo under "Staff Association".)

Chris Redmond -- credmond@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
(519) 888-4567 ext. 3004

Comments to the editor | About the Bulletin | Yesterday's Bulletin