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University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, May 26, 1998

  • UW gets a piece of a rock
  • New photo services are coming
  • Americans fear tuition costs
  • A couple of other notes
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UW gets a piece of a rock

Four tons of sodalite come to campus today, and the first thing to establish is that sodalite is not what happens to pop when you take the sugar out of it. Sodalite is a rock, specifically a blue mineral that's found in, among other places, the Bancroft area of eastern Ontario. A sizeable chunk of it will be delivered this afternoon to the UW rock garden between Math and Computer and the Biology building.

Peter Russell, curator (albeit retired) of the earth sciences museum, explains how it came to happen:

Last September when the second year mineralogy field trip visited Bancroft we stopped at the Princess Sodalite Mine, just 4 km east of Bancroft on highway 28. Andy Christie had taken possession of the quarry since our last visit and he invited our party to check out the specimens in his "rock farm". The rock farm consists of rocks and minerals collected from a variety of locations. They can be collected by visitors and paid for by weight.

Peter Russell asked Andy Christie if he would be interested in donating a large rock with blue sodalite suitable for our rock garden. "Yes," Andy said, "I have just the piece you are looking for, out back next to the rock farm." Peter checked the large grey syenite rock with a royal-blue stripe of sodalite. Peter explained to Andy that a specimen of sodalite syenite was originally planned for the UW Geological Garden when it was first started in 1986.

The garden, situated between the Biology and Mathematics buildings on campus. It was originally devised to show the geology and mineral resources of Ontario. Twenty tons of specimens were gathered during a two week collecting trip with truck and trailer. Bronze plaques are attached to the rocks giving the name of the rock type, location, time period of rock formation and donor's name. The garden continues to gather half to four ton specimen donations and now has over 50 tons of specimens.

UW's newest rock was loaded onto a truck yesterday for the trip from Bancroft, and is to be "planted" in the garden at 1:00 this afternoon, Russell says.

The sodalite syenite will be dedicated to the memory of Elizabeth (Liz) Edwards, who died of breast cancer last June. Wife of faculty member Tom Edwards, she was a staff member since 1987, and died June 14, 1997.

New photo services are coming

A photo service "anyone can access and everyone can use" is scheduled to be phased in this summer on the lower level of the Student Life Centre, says photo-imaging supervisor Chris Hughes, who describes the new outlet as "a digital imaging centre with some traditional processes".

Old-fashioned film services, offered by the graphics department's photo/imaging service on the second floor of the General Services Complex, will be morphed into a retail outlet offering mini-lab, digital imaging facilities and PhotoCD services at the SLC. The remaining services will relocate to a lab on the first floor of GSC during the coming year, handling not only traditional portrait and product studio work, but also a variety of digital and multi-media applications, including what Hughes calls the "higher-end digital work" required for posters and publications.

The world of graphics is changing, he says: "With traditional boundaries between photography and graphics blurring, most projects now use a team approach involving designers, photographers and writers. It's more efficient and cost-effective for the client."

He says the revamped services in the yet-unnamed SLC outlet "will give clients more choices", including conventional colour printing using "a lot of high-end equipment with fast turn around time", as well as networked digitized image bank products and services. Copy centre functions previously offered by Feds Copy Plus will continue to be available from this centre.

"There are little bits and pieces of digital equipment around campus," he said, "but they're usually in restricted locations and often not integrated efficiently with other on-campus printing facilities." Clients at the new SLC outlet will be able to bring in film for processing, pictures or flat artwork for scanning, or digitized images for printing. Later, digital camera rentals will be offered.

The choices, however, will not include black-and-white film printing. "We're sacrificing custom black-and-white work for high-quality, high-volume colour printing and providing these services at lower cost for our customers than previously available on campus," he said.

Two staff members from photo/imaging at GSC will move to the SLC location, supplemented by part-time student assistants. Hughes will remain at GSC and hire a photographer/imaging specialist to help with studio and new media work at the main photo/imaging location. A small studio for head-and-shoulders portraits will be incorporated in the SLC site, and a new expanded studio constructed at GSC, where digital camera equipment will allow clients to select images previewed on a computer monitor. Images will be available immediately for printing to the mini-lab, press, Web or CD archives.

Americans fear tuition costs

People in the United States believe that investing in post-secondary education is worth the money, but don't believe college is affordable and don't know where to go to get reliable information about financial aid, according to the findings of an extensive research study released yesterday by the American Council on Education.

Says a summary issued by ACE:

The findings show that the cost of a college education is among Americans' top five list of worries about their children. Sixty-five percent of survey respondents said that "the cost of a college education" was among their list of worries, second only to their children using illegal drugs (71 percent). Americans worry about financing a college education for their children more than they worry about their children being a victim of a crime (64 percent), health care for their children (55 percent) and the quality of public schools (55 percent). . . .

Fifty-eight percent of the public believes that higher education is vitally important, they want it for their children, and despite the high cost, it represents a "good value" for the money. . . . The public has no idea why college prices increase.

Asked how much a university education would cost, most people answering the survey quoted numbers much higher than the reality -- perhaps suggesting that they think the much-publicized fees of a Harvard or Stanford are typical of all America's 3,000 colleges and universities.

ACE says it "will launch a national education campaign this fall to address the public's concerns about college costs".

A couple of other notes

The local Volunteer Action Centre is looking this week for a fund-raising coordinator to help the Canadian Diabetes Association; volunteers to work four hours a week with individual young people at the Ray of Hope custodial facility; volunteers with an interest in rehabilitation to help brain injury patients in a physical exercise program at a pool. The VAC also wants to draw attention to a Volunteer Fair at Conestoga Mall this Friday (9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and Saturday (9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.) with information about 37 charitable agencies who offer hundreds of volunteer opportunities.

The career development seminar program continues. Tomorrow, there are no fewer than three events, all in Needles Hall room 1020: "Networking" at 10:30, "Job-Work Search Strategies" at 11:30, and "Interview Skills: Selling Your Skills" at 2:30.

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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