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University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Wednesday, March 25, 1998

  • Feds hold their annual meeting
  • New phone books are here
  • Chemistry students collect prizes
  • The talk of the campus
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Feds hold their annual meeting

The annual meeting of the Federation of Students will be held at 7:30 tonight in the multipurpose room of the Student Life Centre. "All fee-paying members of the Feds are invited to attend and are eligible to vote," the meeting notice says; that would include pretty much all undergraduate students.

The agenda includes annual reports from Federation leaders; a by-law change concerning the meetings of students' council, the Federation governing body; election of the 1998-99 directors; and a proposed increase in the Fed fee, currently $24.10 a term, to $24.65.

Grads also meet today

The annual general meeting of the Graduate Student Association will be held at 6:00 this evening in Needles Hall room 3001. Among agenda items: filling the position of vice-president (internal) for the coming year. Other executive positions have been filled by acclamation, including that of president. The GSA will be headed in 1998-99 by Peter Wood of pure mathematics.
"It's been a year of serious overhaul for the Federation," says Mario Bellabarba, coming towards the end of his second year as the president of the student government. There's been reorganization; there's been difficult work around the tuition fee and student financial aid issues; there's been something close to a haemorrhage of money from the Feds' businesses, including a $100,000 loss from the new Ground Zero restaurant in the Student Life Centre. Nobody expected Ground Zero to make a profit in its first year, but that big a loss was something of a shock, more than wiping out profits from other businesses, including Federation Hall. Also shaky this year was Copy Plus, which the Feds have now said they intend to close.

Fed activities for the winter term are by no means ending with the annual general meeting. In particular, a tuition fee forum has been announced for tomorrow at noontime. "Students will get the chance," a news release says, "to ask tough tuition questions of President James Downey and Vice-President Academic and Provost Jim Kalbfleisch. . . .

"The Federation of Students is sponsoring the forum on tuition levels and the prospect of differential fees at UW. Both Downey and Kalbfleisch will take the podium to answer students' questions, including: How high will tuition levels get? Why is the cost of a Waterloo education going up? How much will I have to borrow to get a degree and how will I pay it back?"

Tomorrow's forum runs from 11:30 to 1:30 in the great hall of the Student Life Centre.

On another front, the Federation is helping to sponsor events this week for Learning Disabilities Week, with displays offered in the SLC.

New phone books are here

That's the Bell Canada directories for "Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Guelph and surrounding area". (UW's own on-campus phone book is still, well, pending.) The new Bell volume, with its odd nearly-blank cover, arrived on campus on nine skids -- some 3,500 copies altogether, says Patti Cook, the university's waste management coordinator.

"Please," she writes, "let people know to put their old phone books beside the white boxes (they can use a cardboard box if they wish) for the custodial staff to take to the loading docks. Central stores will be picking up the phone books from the loading docks about three days after the new ones have been delivered."

So I turn to page 628 of the new book, where the University of Waterloo takes up about half a column, starting with the basic switchboard number, 885-1211, and moving on to a catholic selection of departments that have direct-dial lines and presumably get lots of calls from off campus. Most of them are predictable enough -- distance education, the University Club, the police -- although there are one or two oddities. The IST helpdesk, where you call if you've got computer problems, is listed as the Computer Network Service Centre (and with its older phone number, 4839, rather than 4357, better known as 888-HELP). And I have to confess I have no idea what "Electro Diagnostic Services" is, though I bet somebody will tell me within the next hour.

At the bottom of the listing come the four church colleges, listed with their traditional numbers rather than the "automated attendant" that lets the caller key in an extension number immediately. For the record, then, here are the faster numbers to use for the colleges:

And UW's own automated attendant number: 888-4567.

Chemistry students collect prizes

It's not just engineers and mathematicians who have been bringing home awards for Waterloo, John Hepburn of the chemistry department reports:
This past Saturday, a brave Waterloo contingent from Chemistry drove through the blizzard to attend the 26th annual Southwestern Ontario Undergraduate Student Chemistry Conference (at least I think that's what SOUSCC means). This year's meeting at York University attracted more than 100 students from as far away as Ottawa and Sudbury, and Waterloo had a significant contingent of Chemistry and Biochemistry students there, as always.

This year, of the 18 prizes awarded, Waterloo won 8, meaning that about half the Waterloo students who spoke at the meeting won cash prizes of up to $300. The large number of prizes is a result of the large number of papers, which were presented in 6 parallel session, divided by subject area. In each session, three prizes were awarded. All of the talks that I heard were of better quality than one would expect from faculty speaking at professional association meetings, so the competition for prizes was fierce.

Prize winners from UW included Corey Stephenson, Jason Field, Margaret DeSchiffart, David Powell, Mark Reimer, Lori Ziolkowski, Stephane Parent, and Jillian Drage.

The talk of the campus

It was a long and exciting evening of political thought, not to mention a vocabulary lesson, as Stephen Lewis spoke to a near-capacity crowd in the Humanities Theatre last night. People across campus are talking this morning about what Lewis had to say. One excerpt from a review posted to a newsgroup:
Mr. Lewis is right when he said that Parliament used to be a different place; where people debated and yet had respect and understanding for each other. The current circus that masquerades as government makes me sick. It seems that every political is scrambling for the spotlight; everyone is trying to make everyone else appear the devil. They spent their time and energy posing for the camera. The problem is that it has given us a sense of helplessness and it also proves it. How much longer can we give power to the multinationals without responsibility? . . .

One of the better parts of the night was when he reminded us that so many people were trembling in anticipation. So much of the fabric of our society has been destroyed in the past 15 years that people are salivating at the thought of all that must now be done to restore it. There is good work to do and a place where we can all help.

Interesting coincidence that while Lewis, a former Ontario NDP leader, was speaking, they were counting the ballots in Nova Scotia, in the election that brought the NDP so very close to power there.

The mathematics faculty has a new associate dean (graduate studies and research). Fahiem Bacchus of the computer science department took on that post as of March 16; it had been vacant since Kirti Shah finished his term on December 31.

The Hagey Bonspiel on Saturday was a success, according to organizer Steve Cook of the purchasing department. "The weather delayed things only a short while," he reports, "and all 64 participants seemed to have a great day hurling rocks and sweeping. Although a non-competitive event, we do need to select four curlers whose names appear on the trophy. This year's winners are skip John Carr, vice Dave Geoffros, second Mary Dooley, and lead Ellen Hale."

[ACE logo] A publicity flyer has arrived from Arts Computer Experience, one of UW's summer day camps for kids, and the other such camps surely won't be far behind. ACE will be in its 16th season, says Susan Andrews in the arts applied studies office, and welcomes children aged 7 to 12 in four sessions: July 6-17, July 20-31, August 4-14 and August 17-28, for art, computing, drama, music, outdoor games, activities and swimming.

Happening today at Waterloo:

And tomorrow, the last scheduled career development seminar of the season: "Job/Work Search Strategies", at 3:30 p.m. in Needles hall room 1020.

CAR


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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