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University of Waterloo -- Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Thursday, April 17, 1997

Internet comes to the Village

Village I will get wired this summer to provide Internet access for nearly half its residents. Rooms in the north and east quadrants, housing some 600 students, will be linked to the UW campus network starting in September. The new facility will put an end to the use of phone lines and modems to connect to UW computers from the Village -- residents can surf the Web and talk on the phone at the same time, still in their pyjamas.

Housing director Gail Clarke told an audience at the information systems and technology open house last Friday that information on the new service is being sent to returning students. A flyer says that students will be able to "research assignments, search for a job, surf the net, (and) keep in touch with family directly from your room". Renovations to the Village this summer will also allow Internet access from a cafe and two study rooms.

To hook up from their rooms, students using either PCs or Macs will pay $50 per term, or $100 per academic year. They'll also need an Ethernet card, which costs $85 ($150 for a laptop), plus installation, from the UW Computer Store.

Internet hookups are expected to be available to the rest of Village I and to Ron Eydt Village by September 1998, said Clarke. Future links to Married Students Apartments are being considered, and to Columbia Lake Townhouses and Minota Hagey Residence, which do not have fibre connections to the main campus. As well, discussions are underway to negotiate Internet links with the church colleges on the periphery of the main campus.

Progress on the north campus

Two companies are under consideration to act as developers in creating UW's long-awaited North Campus Technology Park, says provost Jim Kalbfleisch. They are Euromart International Bancorp Ltd. and Manulife Financial. The choice -- made by the board of governors building and properties committee -- was reported to the board in a confidential session at the board meeting two weeks ago, he said.

The provost said a total of twelve submissions were received in response to an ad for "expressions of interest" for development of the technology park, which would provide office, laboratory and small-scale production space for high-tech companies north of Columbia Street. The idea has been a dream at UW for the past two decades.

Euromart and Manulife were chosen from among the interested firms, and each is to provide a second submission for evaluation "in the near future".

Latest figures on applications

As of April 9, a total of 11,476 Ontario high school students have applied to enter UW next fall, including 5,005 who are making Waterloo their first choice. That's a drop of 6.5 per cent overall, and 8.0 per cent among first-choice applicants, from numbers at the same time a year ago.

Application figures are down across Ontario, but not by that much. The system-wide drop is 2.4 per cent according to the latest charts from the Ontario Universities Application Centre.

There's also a drop in the number of other students seeking admission to UW (those from other provinces, or coming from the workforce or community colleges rather than from high school). UW has received a total of 3,388 applications from such students, including 1,300 first-choice applications -- a drop of 5.9 per cent and 8.8 per cent, respectively, from the 1996 figures.

UW will be aiming to admit about 3,700 full-time first-year students next fall. As announced a few weeks ago, new steps are being taken to improve UW's recruitment activities, including a study of printed marketing material, and appointment of a new director of undergraduate recruitment and publications.

Working through the budget

The senate finance committee is meeting this morning to look at the draft budget presented by UW provost Jim Kalbfleisch. The 1997-98 fiscal year starts in exactly two weeks, and clearly there won't be a budget in place before that; the hope is to bring it to the board of governors for approval on June 3.

Tuition fees are going up, as all the world knows, to the point that they'll provide about 30 per cent of UW's operating revenue in the coming year. At the same time, as all the world also knows, government grants are dropping, to about 58 per cent. Says the memo introducing Kalbfleisch's budget:

The provincial government announced in December that total operating grants were to be frozen in 1997-98, but we did not receive information about UW's grant until early April. Although UW gained about $22K because of a shift of funds from the basic grant to the research infrastructure envelope, our overall operating grant is down by $404K from last year. This appears to be due to the handling of AQ's and Graduate Visa Waivers, and we are trying to obtain clarification from the Ministry.
Total revenue expected in the coming year: $176,139,000.

As Muslims mark Eid-al-Adha

The Chinese film series conducted by the UW fine arts film society winds up this evening, with a showing of "In a Distant Land", a 1993 film by Teng Wenji. The lights go down at 7 p.m. in East Campus Hall room 1219.

The war of words at York University gets steadily more complicated, as the strike by faculty and librarians is now four weeks old. Besides arguing over salaries, the pension plan, and the general principles by which York is managed, administration and faculty association are now disagreeing over what assurances are being given to students whose winter term has been interrupted by the strike. "You will receive credit for your academic work," a York statement said on Monday. "The term will not be cancelled." The senate executive committee issued a set of procedures about assignments and exams, which the faculty association promptly said it had no authority to approve.


April 17, 1996: Voting begins on union certification for faculty members and librarians.

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