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Daily Bulletin

Thursday, January 22, 1998

University of Waterloo • Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Students to help high schoolers

The idea of forming a volunteer organization to pair UW students with area high school students in difficulty will be explored at an information meeting today at 5 p.m. in Davis Centre room 1304.

Initiated by fourth-year math student Sarah Kamal, BUDS is based on the Big Brothers model. "In a sense," says Kamal, "this pairing gives a chance for high school students to find out what university is all about and to discover an academic/social role model, a friend, and a confidant in their Big Buddy. This is especially important now that budget cutbacks and phase-outs of specialized programs have left Ontario teachers with less time to spend on students who need extra attention in secondary school."

Kamal is hoping to find students to serve as directors on the organizational team that will be planning a pilot project for the fall, and so far is encouraged by the response to BUDS. "Students like the idea that it's student driven," she said. Anyone who would like to learn more and can't attend the meeting can contact Kamal at skamal@descartes or ext. 5757.

Four seek to head Federation

A total of eighteen candidates are seeking positions on the Federation of Students executive for 1998-99, including four students who want to be Federation president. Avvey Peters of the Fed staff, acting as chief returning officer for the election, provided the list of candidates yesterday.
For president For vice-president, administration and finance For vice-president, internal For vice-president, education For vice-president, student issues
Peters said five "forums" for the candidates have been scheduled so far, and more are expected. The schedule: January 30, 12:30 p.m., Matthews Hall room 1039; February 4, 12:30, Student Life Centre great hall, sponsored by Imprint; February 4, SLC room 235, 9:15 p.m., sponsored by GLLOW; February 5, Carl Pollock Hall foyer, 12:30 p.m.; February 9, Math and Computer comfy lounge, 12:30 p.m.

Campaigning runs January 30 through February 9, and balloting is February 10-11.

Staff prepare to talk salaries

Dates haven't been set yet for compensation talks between the UW staff association and the administration, with an eye to a May 1 pay increase. "I would expect some news in the next week or two," says Mark Walker, past president of the association. But first, he's looking for an additional member for the committee that works out the annual pay package:
The Staff Association is constantly looking for ways to obtain and implement the ideas and suggestions of staff on campus. Compensation surveys, email and personal interactions suggest that a member-at-large position should exist on the Provost's Advisory Committee on Staff Compensation. This opportunity is now available to Staff Association members. We know that the expertise exists on campus but there appears to be a reluctance by people to actually get involved in the process. Take advantage of this opportunity. We need sharp, clear thinkers with a vision of the whole University to put their ideas on the table.
Applications for the position are due by January 30 -- a week from tomorrow -- and should be directed to Walker (mwalker@sciborg), who chairs the staff association nominating committee. See the notice on page 2 of yesterday's Gazette for more information.

Rock group climbs walls

The UW Outers Club has announced "a bouldering wall" in the Physical Activities Complex, and will hold an open house tonight to show it off. It's in court #1 in the PAC; tonight's event runs from 7 to 9 p.m.

Karsten Berbeurgt of the club explains:

A bouldering wall is a low climbing wall, used to practice climbing moves while close to the ground. Since the wall is short, ropes and harnesses are unnecessary. So to use the bouldering wall, the only gear you need is either a pair of climbing shoes, or a clean pair of court shoes. In order to use the wall, you need to get an Outers Club membership ($12 for the year, or $7 per term), and then get a Bouldering Card, which is $15 per term. You then have unlimited access to the bouldering wall during PAC hours.

The talk of the campus

My apologies to anyone who was confused when yesterday's Bulletin said the open meeting would be in Needles Hall room 1001. It was of course in the board and senate room, NH 3001. (My apologies also to the rightful occupants of room 1001.)
There was only a modest turnout yesterday for an open meeting about the proposed policy statement on the use of computing and communications facilities from the University Committee on Information Systems and Technology. One participant later called the session "bland". But various suggestions emerged, including a rewrite of the section on "unacceptable behaviour" to include general principles and some more specific examples of what is and isn't allowed in web pages, e-mail messages and newsgroups. Jay Black, associate provost (IST), said at the end of the meeting that UCIST will prepare a new draft of the document "in short order" after the second open meeting about it, scheduled for next Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in Needles Hall room 3004.

The senate finance committee is meeting this morning in Needles Hall room 3001 to review "general information" about UW finances, hear an update on the current year's budget, and get ready for a discussion of 1998-99 finances next month.

Today at 12:15, in the board room of Conrad Grebel College, Carolyn Musgrove speaks on native issues based on her experience working at the Weejeendimin Native Resource Centre.

Jeffrey King of the University of California at Davis speaks on "What Is a Philosophical Analysis?", at 4 p.m. in Humanities room 334.

The career development seminar series continues tomorrow with a session on "The Work Finding Package", at 1:30 p.m. in Davis Centre room 1351.

Over the next two weeks -- starting Monday and running through February 6 -- the Students Advising Co-op group is running what it calls a "Crack the Ice" campaign, to raise money for the Canadian Red Cross fund aiding ice storm victims in eastern Ontario and southern Québec. "Donations can be made by cheque," says SAC, "at the Federation of Students office, the turnkey desk, and at some society offices. You may request a tax receipt for any amount over $10. Cash donations (loose change) can also be made at the locations above, and at most C&Ds." More information -- or to get involved in collecting -- is available from fedsac@watserv1.

The cost of education

In the United States, the National Commission on the Cost of Higher Education released its long-awaited report yesterday, under the title Straight Talk about College Cost and Prices. Some excerpts, starting with statistics about public (government-supported) four-year colleges and universities:
Between 1987 and 1996, the instructional cost per student increased from $7,922, on average, to $12,416, an increase of 57 percent. During this same period, the sticker price increased considerably faster, 132 percent, from an average of $1,688 to $3,918. The general subsidy, which averaged $6,234 in 1987, increased 36 percent, to approximately $8,500 in 1996. Thus, the sticker price, or tuition, increased much faster than either instructional costs or the subsidy. During part of this period between fiscal years 1990-91 and 1992-93 state appropriations in 16 states declined and tuitions in many of these states increased much higher than in previous years. In most of these states, appropriations began to increase again in 1994. . . . The percentage of total student costs covered by the general subsidy declined from 79 percent to 68 percent. . . .

Between 1987 and 1996, median family income rose 37 percent and disposable per-capita income rose 52 percent. During this same period, both measures of net price rose considerably faster. Specifically, the price of attendance minus grants rose 114 percent at public four-year institutions. . . .

Although technology holds promise for making educational operations more efficient and less costly, there is no evidence to date to indicate that the use of technology in higher education has resulted in widespread cost savings to colleges and universities. . . .

The Commission recommends that academic institutions intensify their efforts to control costs and increase institutional productivity. . . . The Commission calls on the higher education community to take the lead in organizing a major public-awareness campaign to inform the public about the actual price of a postsecondary education, the returns on this investment, and family preparation for college.


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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