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Daily Bulletin

University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, April 21, 1998

  • Staff association seeks to grow
  • Ready for Earth Day tomorrow
  • Finance committee is meeting
  • Uncovered: today's shorts and briefs
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Staff association seeks to grow

Increasing the membership is a high priority for UW's staff association, as only about half the eligible staff now are association members, the latest issue of Staff News says.

The front-page comment comes in a report from Karen LeDrew, the association's 1997 president, as given at the association's annual meeting on March 2. "A committee has redesigned a snappy new brochure," she writes, "to explain the benefits of membership in the Staff Association, which will be used to recruit new members. With its 'Stand Up and Be Counted!' philosophy, the Executive Committee hopes to raise the membership well above the 50% position which it has fallen to since the 1996 Special Early Retirement Package."

Elsewhere in the same issue of Staff News, Gail Clarke of the housing office, who chairs the association's membership committee, writes that the committee is calling for a new effort: "UWSA's current passive recruitment procedures should be changed to active recruitment. Focus on departments where membership numbers are low. . . . UWSA's approach to marketing should be more formalized and proactive."

Among the marketing efforts are an electronic mailing list, recently set up by the association's communications committee, and a planned overhaul of the association web site. LeDrew expresses special thanks to Marj Kohli of information systems and technology, who has been looking after the web site on a volunteer basis for several years.

The March-April issue of Staff News includes year-end reports from many of the association's committees and representatives. Among the points raised:

The issue also includes a summary of responses to the staff survey on compensation that was distributed last fall.

Ready for Earth Day tomorrow

"Plan to bike or walk tomorrow," says Patti Cook, UW's waste management coordinator, reminding the world that April 22 is, as it is every year, Earth Day. There are no specific Earth Day activities at UW, seeing as it's exam season, Cook says, "so my efforts are directed mostly at staff and faculty, to encourage them to perhaps do something on Earth Day."

[Globe] She writes that "In 1995, the 20th anniversary, Earth Day was celebrated by more than 200 million people in 141 countries. It is an opportunity to remember the earth, to celebrate the earth, to care for the earth." And she has these suggestions of things to do, either tomorrow or some time soon:

Cook quotes from The Ecology of Commerce by Paul Hawken: "One statistic makes clear the demand placed on the earth by our economic system: every day the worldwide economy burns an amount of energy the planet required 10,000 days to create. Or, put another way, 27 years worth of stored solar energy is burned and released by utilities, cars, houses, factories, and farms every 24 hours."

Also happening tomorrow: "Learning from the Landscape", sponsored by the city of Waterloo and running from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Waterloo Park. Elementary school students will help clean up the park and also take part in environmental workshops and join in making an Earth Day quilt.

Finance committee is meeting

The senate finance committee meets this morning -- 10:30 a.m., Needles Hall room 3001 -- and the movers and shakers will be there to talk about the remaining gap between UW's expected income for 1998-99 ($183.0 million) and the projected spending for the coming year. The budget is showing expenditures right now at $183.9 million, which includes $3.1 million to help eliminate the deficit that's been carried forward since the big spending on the early retirement program in 1996.

It would take a 0.7 per cent cut in departments' budgets to make things balance, but officials are hoping to avoid that. Among the tactics not tried yet: increasing next fall's first-year enrolment to bring in extra tuition fee revenue.

UW spends about 80 per cent of its money on salaries and benefits. The remaining 20 per cent includes scholarships and bursaries ($5.3 million in the coming year), library materials ($5.1 million), utilities and sanitation ($6.0 million), and other miscellaneous costs that range from chalk to auditors' fees.

Uncovered: today's shorts and briefs

The Touring Players are back in the Humanities Theatre today with the kids' show "The Velveteen Rabbit", a tearjerker if ever there was one, at 10:00, 11:45 and 1:30.

A display of proposals for South Campus Hall renovations begins in the Dana Porter Library today and continues through Thursday. Work is expected to be done in July and August on the first phase: covering the stairs, improving landscaping and making the campus entrance wheelchair accessible.

A workshop on mouse syndrome, those pains that come from long hours in front of the computer, will start at 12 noon today in Matthews Hall room 1633 (with a repeat on Thursday). Rhonda Kirkwood, chiropractic resident in the Matthews Hall chiropractic clinic, will offer "spinal health techniques to reduce stress and counteract repetitive strain injury . . . strategies and tips to make working at your computer more comfortable".

An information session about the University of Calgary faculty of education will be held tomorrow for students who see teaching in their future. It starts at 10 a.m. in Arts Lecture Hall room 202.

A letter has gone out to graduate students from Peter Wood, corporate secretary of the Graduate Student Association: "At the last GSA General Meeting, a $10 per term Grad House fee was approved by our members. This fee should appear on the fee statement of all Grad Students. Please note that this fee is strikable. If you do not wish to pay this fee, please cross it off and your total fees payable will be reduced by $10. The payment of this fee is not a requirement of registration. The money raised from the fee will be used for much needed capital and operational improvements at the Grad House. It is our hope that the fee will last only one year -- at which time the House will be better suited to operate on a cost recovery basis. On behalf of the Board I urge all members to help us support the Grad House, and not strike the fee."

It looks as though nobody from UW took part in yesterday's Boston Marathon -- at least, all the inquiries we've been able to make led nowhere. If there was a UW runner involved, I'd be very glad to hear about it.


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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Copyright © 1998 University of Waterloo