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University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Thursday, April 1, 1999

  • Enrolment surge requires investment
  • Faculty salaries go to arbitrator
  • Year 2000 nine months from today
  • Rave gets mixed reviews
  • No joke: here's what's happening
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Enrolment surge requires investment

A study released Wednesday by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) which predicts a surge in university enrolment over the next decade "is the kind of information governments and political parties can't possibly ignore," said UW president James Downey.

The management consulting and accounting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers conducted an analysis of enrolment projections and the capacity of Ontario universities to meet the projected demand. Results suggest an influx of 88,900 students -- an increase of nearly 40 per cent -- over the next 10 years as a result of demographic changes in the 18- to 24-year-old population, the bulge known as the double cohort resulting from secondary school reforms, growth in post-secondary participation rates, and increased workplace demands for education upgrades.

A separate study by the opinion research firm Angus Reid shows that Ontario residents expect all qualified students to have access to education. "Of the 1,000 Ontarians surveyed, 96 per cent agreed that it is a priority for government to ensure access for every qualified student," the COU stated in a press release.

Downey commended the efforts of the COU in commissioning the studies, which he termed "a major step forward for us in terms of advocacy, in getting the situation through to the government and the public.

"For the first time in a long time, we have a comprehensive picture of what the demand will be over the next 10 years and what will be needed to meet that demand, both in terms of teaching and research."

He predicts the findings of the studies will "carry more credibility" since they were conducted by reputable third parties, and will "put tremendous pressure on universities" to meet the demands. They will also require "significant investments in universities, fairly quickly," since it will take time to recruit the faculty and find the space required for the increased enrolment.

Faculty salaries go to arbitrator

Final offers from the university and the UW faculty association have been submitted to an external arbitrator after months of negotiations have failed to reach a wage settlement for the coming year.

The arbitrator, Don Carter, a law professor at Queen's University, was called in accordance with the terms of the memorandum of agreement between the two parties. Carter will visit UW next week to hear oral arguments from both negotiating teams, and is expected to choose between the two positions within a couple of weeks, says Jim Kalbfleisch, UW vice president (academic) and provost.

The university and faculty association have been meeting since mid-December, he said, and the main stumbling block in negotiations has been monetary issues. The university reached a salary agreement with staff in March, which will be taken to the April 6 board of governors meeting for final approval.

Year 2000 nine months from today --from Chris Redmond

The University of Waterloo will have to change its name by December 31, 1999, as the result of a little-known bug in the plan for solving the Year 2000 crisis, it was revealed this morning.

Two programmers, who asked not to be identified, have explained the new problem in an on-line demonstration which shows that if nothing is done, the university will show up as WATERL99 after the new millennium begins.

"It's only logical," say these geeks bearing gifs. "When we fix the software to make room for zeroes in the name of the year 2000, the 99's we take out have to go somewhere, and they're ending up on character strings with the same ending, like WATERLOO."

The same difficulty is expected at the University College of the Cariboo, in British Columbia, as well as Nauvoo, Baraboo, Timbuctoo, the famous archaeological site at Sutton Hoo, and the Metropolitan Toronto Zoo.

Finding a new name for UW on short notice will be a challenge experts say, though Simon the Troll confirms that there was a serious move in 1965 to rename the place "Winston Churchill University". One highly-placed source, speaking on condition that nobody listen, said the hope is to find a new name that would let the institution keep its existing "UW" abbreviation. (Waterloo Lutheran University made a similar condition when it changed its name in 1973, and ended up being called Willy Loman University to honour a great businessman.)

Names that may be considered include University of Wright, University of Westmount, University of the World Wide Web, and University of Westhues.

Rave gets mixed reviews

A mini-rave on the lawn outside the office of the university president this week failed to convince UW administrators that such events should be allowed on campus.

Bud Walker, director of university business operations, who made the decision to cancel the March 27 rave planned by the Federation of Students, noted the party on the lawn this week was "not a rave".

"It was a bunch of people dancing on the grass and drawing on the sidewalk at high noon, not 4 a.m. A rave without drugs is no rave," he added. Despite being advertised as a "no drugs" event, the March 27 party slated for Fed Hall would have attracted Ecstacy users, said Walker.

Ecstacy, commonly associated with raves, is an illegal drug with both stimulant and hallucinogenic qualities, said UW police Sgt. Wayne Shortt. "It produces a relaxed but energetic euphoric state, with the peak lasting two to six hours." Users feel less inhibited, more confident, he added, but side effects include spikes in heart rate and blood pressure, sweating and unsteadiness. Anyone convicted of possession of the drug could be handed a prison sentence of up to seven years.

Walker said he obtained his information about raves from speaking with students. He was not sure if any of those students had ever attended a rave. As well, he conducted research on the Internet.

Aside from the drug concerns, Walker objected to plans to open the rave to off-campus people of all ages. That would have meant high school students attending a licensed event where alcohol is available, he said.

While the outgoing Feds executive has put aside its plans to host a rave on campus this spring, Keanin Loomis, vice president (administration and finance) is convinced the organization took all necessary precautions in planning the event. "We're also worried about liability," he said.

Stereotypes are a problem, he admits, and the solution is a process of education. "There are varying degrees of permissiveness in raves, and attendees know what's going to be allowed." Loomis noted the rave culture tends to be "very benevolent, compared to hip hop, for example".

The decision to pull the plug on the rave "is part of a larger issue," he added. "We're talking about autonomy here." The new Federation executive takes office May 1, and Loomis said he will recommend to his successors that they "continue to try to exercise their autonomy."

Tuesday's rave -- billed as "a celebration of students at the University of Waterloo" -- featured a portable sound system, a crowd of dancers and impromptu sidewalk artists equipped with coloured chalk. Within an hour after the party ended, grounds crews had washed the sidewalks clean of any sign of the event.

No joke: here's what's happening

The Easter weekend begins tomorrow with the university closed for Good Friday. The term is winding down, as well, with lectures ending today for students in engineering and math faculties. For students in all other faculties, lectures finish on Tuesday, with winter term exams beginning next Friday and continuing through April 23.

The UW Womyn's Centre debate this week to determine the future spelling of its name -- WomYn or WomEn -- ended in a draw. Following presentations of arguments for both spellings, the audience voted 22 for Y and 22 for E. For now, the status quo will remain, reports Christine Cheng, a coordinator for the centre.

An end of term celebration runs all day today at the Grad House, with an open mike in the evening. A legal aid clinic begins at 1 p.m. To make an appointment, contact Bob Sproule at ext. 3634 or grad-mgr@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca.

The Canadian Blood Services blood donor clinic continues from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, completing its four-day visit to campus. Appointments can be booked at the turnkey desk in the Student Life Centre.

Chamber ensembles -- "small groups, big sound" -- take the stage at the Conrad Grebel Chapel at 12:30 p.m. today. Admission is free.

An awards presentation and end of term reception for religious studies majors will be held at 4:15 p.m. at the Renison College Chapel lounge.

Religious services scheduled over the weekend at St. Jerome's University include Holy Thursday Mass at 8 p.m. today, Good Friday Masses at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., Holy Saturday Easter Vigil Mass at 8 p.m., and Easter Sunday Masses at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. All services are in Siegfried Hall.

At the Chapel of St. Bede, Renison College, the Maundy Thursday service with Holy Eucharist and foot washing will be held at 7 p.m. today, the Good Friday service at 10:30 a.m., the Holy Saturday Easter Vigil service at 7 p.m., and the Easter Sunday service at 10:30 a.m.

The Volunteer Action Centre is seeking help complete a four-hour special project for a local charity on Community Project Day, May 8. Transportation is provided, and a free barbecue tops off the day. As well, volunteers are needed to assist with a new program being offered by Community Justice Initiatives, and a receptionist is required for the Waterloo Community Arts Centre. For more information on any of these opportunities, phone the centre at 742-8610.

UW offices will shut down, and most services will be closed or reduced over the next three days. UW police and the turnkeys at the Student Life Centre will be on duty 24 hours a day over the holidays, and the Village 1 grill will serve students Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. All other food services outlets will be closed for the holidays. Library hours on Friday are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Dana Porter and Davis Centre (circulation desks open 1:15 to 4:45 p.m.), and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Map and Design library. All three libraries will have regular hours on Saturday and Sunday. For maintenance emergencies during the long weekend, phone ext. 3793, 24 hours a day; for major outages of computer networks, phone the IST helpdesk at 888-4357. The Bookstore, UW Shop, and other business and graphics outlets will be closed for the weekend.

Barbara Elve
bmelve@uwaterloo.ca


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 © 1999 University of Waterloo