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University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Friday, April 3, 1998

  • Today marks the end of it all
  • Banff development put to a vote
  • Computing folks discuss security
  • A medley of extemporanea
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Today marks the end of it all

In two faculties -- engineering and mathematics -- today is the last day of classes for the winter term. (In the other four faculties, classes continue Monday and Tuesday.)

"Being the last day of classes ever for our undergraduate careers," one electrical engineering student was writing on a newsgroup earlier this week, "I was wondering if anyone would be interested in gathering at POETS." (That would be the Engineering Society pub on the main floor of Carl Pollock Hall.) "I know that this is a very busy day for everyone because of assignment due dates, but it would be great if we could spare at least one hour." He called for fellow-sufferers "to celebrate and drown in our sorrows", a program that it seems to me would take a considerable flow of legal beverages.

Anyway, assignments have to be gotten out of the way, and then final exams loom. Exams begin April 13, after the Easter holiday weekend, and continue through April 25. It's said that soon-to-be engineers have not yet witnessed the ultimate breaking strength, but keep a close eye on them over the next three weeks.

Banff development put to a vote

Proposals for more commercial development in Banff National Park are "a national issue" on which people at UW have been asked to give their views, says Heather Black of the Heritage Resources Centre. Ballot boxes are now waiting for votes from UW, as well as from Calgary and Ottawa.

The Globe and Mail said Saturday that residents of Banff "have voted overwhelmingly against a dead halt to commercial development here in defiance of international fears about the health of the surrounding national park". A plebiscite found that a majority of residents would like to see between 650,000 and 850,000 square feet more commercial development in the Town of Banff. Opponents say 850,000 square feet is equivalent to 24 new motels, a regional shopping mall or a 30-storey office tower. Large developments, including a convention centre, are also proposed for Lake Louise.

The Globe continues: "The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) has launched its own campaign, urging people to express their views . . . on development of the park." It mentions UW as one site of balloting on the issue.

Black says CPAWS asked the Heritage Resources Centre to arrange voting at Waterloo. Says a brief from CPAWS:

There is a very widespread misconception . . . that Canadian Heritage Minister Sheila Copps has acted decisively to "save" Banff National Park from rampant commercialism and over-development. There is a belief that commercial development has come to a full stop. This appears to be the result of an impression that was created when the Minister travelled to Banff in October, 1996 to release the final report of the Banff Bow Valley Study. She subsequently returned to Banff in September, 1997 to address issues related to the Town of Banff's Community (Municipal Development) Plan.

Unfortunately, this impression is a false one. While some undeniably good things have occurred in response to the Banff Bow Valley Study, and while there are some indications that the decision-making process will be more rigorous and open, the roll-call of potential new or expanded commercial development is longer and more disturbing than most people realize.

Black says a ballot box has been set up just outside the coffee shop in the basement of Environmental Studies I. People can vote there on weekdays from 9:30 to 3:30, now through next Wednesday. There will be another ballot box in the main foyer of the Davis Centre all day today, and in the Grad House today after 4:00. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, people can also vote at the turnkey desk in the Student Life Centre.

"There will be people to provide information some of the time," she says. "If no one is there, you can read the information provided and fill out one of the ballots and put it into the ballot box yourself." She notes that letters "giving your views one way or the other" can also be sent to Sheila Copps, the minister of Canadian heritage, or Andy Mitchell, secretary of state for parks.

Computing folks discuss security

The Faculty Computing User Support Group, or FACCUS, will hold a session Monday afternoon on "Computer Security Issues" -- something about which I think we're going to be hearing a lot in the next year or two. The seminar will be broken into two parts, says Bob Hicks, one of the organizers of FACCUS.

Part I will deal with "Library Public Access Security", with Bill Oldfield of the UW library staff as the speaker. Summary provided: "With the goal of providing barrier-free public access to electronic information resources, yet maintaining a level of security necessary for anonymous access to the Internet, the Library and IST have implemented a multi-tiered security system for all public terminals. The presentation will outline the security method used by the Library to provide public access."

And Part II will be an introduction of Reg Quinton, new at UW (from the University of Western Ontario) as "senior technologist, security" in the information systems and technology department. That's a position that was recommended in the "computing directions statement" in 1996. Quinton "is very interested in meeting with FACCUS members," says Hicks, "as this is a position without precedent -- be prepared for more questions than answers!" His web page indicates the range of things he's worked on in the past: disaster planning, "acceptable use" policies, passwords, network design, and (best of all) "dealing with spammers".

Everyone is welcome to attend Monday's event, which starts at 1:30 in Math and Computer room 2009.

A medley of extemporanea

The big headlines this morning are about a Supreme Court ruling in the case of Delwin Vriend, who filed suit against the Alberta government after he was fired from a job teaching chemistry at King's University College because he is gay. (He's now working at the University of Alberta.) He said the human rights code in Alberta should include sexual orientation as a forbidden ground of discrimination, and the court agreed yesterday, calling the omission "cruel". Alberta premier Ralph Klein said his government would change the law.

Two academic talks are happening at 3:30 this afternoon, so you'll have to choose which interests you more, logic or babies:

Logic and babies: now there's an antithesis!

"A Classical Night of Opera" comes to Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's University, tonight at 7:30. The performer is Anne Rose Morrone, a fourth-year vocal performance student at York University, and the event is a fund-raiser to help a UW student who's off to volunteer in Italy for the Missionaries of Charity. Tickets are $10, students $8, and refreshments will be available.

The Canadian National Dance Competition runs all weekend in the Humanities Theatre.

SF novelist James Alan Gardner, long of the UW staff and now with the spinoff company Thinkage Inc., will launch a new novel tomorrow, Commitment Hour, and read from his previous book, Expendable. The event starts at 2:00 at the Waterloo Public Library (admission $4).

The tenth annual Kitchener-Waterloo Arts Awards will be given out on Saturday night at the Walper Terrace Hotel, and on the list of nominees I see a few names with UW connections -- including that of my colleague Pat Bow, author of (inter alia) The Spiral Maze.

The UW chamber choir gives its end-of-term concert Saturday night: "The Spirit of Spring", which starts at 8:00 at St. John's Lutheran Church in central Waterloo. Tickets are $8, students $5. Then on Sunday evening, the chapel choir gives its big performance as a benefit concert for the Ontario Mennonite Music Camp, which is based, like the choirs themselves, at Conrad Grebel College. That concert will start at 8 p.m. Sunday at Waterloo North Mennonite Church, and tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door.


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