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University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, January 19, 1999

  • UW offers trauma counselling
  • Senate hears expansion plans
  • Co-op focuses on job development
  • Elsewhere on campus
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UW offers trauma counselling

UW students, faculty or staff who are still reeling from the stabbing of a woman on campus last Friday afternoon are being offered counselling to deal with the traumatic event.

The victim, Name and age temporarily deleted by court order remains in hospital in Hamilton with multiple stab wounds. Lihua Wang, 35, taken into custody at the scene in Engineering 2, appears in court today to face charges.

According to Jack Williams, director of UW counselling services, not only those who know the people involved, but witnesses of the assault or those who have to take care of the situation -- from police offers to custodians -- may be affected by the event. Symptoms of distress may appear immediately, or not for several days, he added.

Among those symptoms, which are "normal reactions to an aberrant circumstance" are emotions such as numbness, fear, guilt, depression or anger; physical reactions including fatigue, tremors or nausea; behaviour such as crying, hyperactivity or inability to sleep; or excessive worrying, inability to concentrate, or confusion.

Counsellors at counselling services, health services, or the counsellor on staff afternoons at the engineering undergraduate office are available to help. As well, said Williams, a crisis incidence stress debriefing team can meet with groups, if necessary.

Sharing feelings with family and friends, writing in a journal, walking or exercising, and keeping up routines can also be helpful coping strategies, he noted. Others can help by listening, offering reassurance that such reactions to stressful events are normal, and encouraging professional help if needed.

Senate hears expansion plans --from the UW News Bureau

Construction of the proposed Centre for Environmental and Information Technologies building plays a big part in UW's participation in the Ontario government's Access to Opportunities Program (ATOP), Jim Kalbfleisch, vice-president, academic and provost, told UW senate at the meeting Monday night.

He outlined UW's proposal being considered for submission to the government that projects the number of computer science students admitted growing by 559 to 2,090 in 2003-04. There would be 469 additional electrical and computer engineering students to total 1,410 and 128 more grad students with enrolment reaching 310.

Challenges include raising matching funds for $9.6 million in start-up costs for "space, equipment and people," and the construction or renovation of about 50,000 square feet for classrooms, laboratories and offices.

UW expects to accommodate "a major part of this" in the proposed building for which capital funding was deferred by the provincial government in 1996 until this year, Kalbfleisch said.

Other challenges include faculty, undergraduate and graduate recruitment to maintain the existing high-quality programs, and the need for an additional 1,500 co-op jobs a year by 2003-04.

Co-op focuses on job development

With an influx of ATOP students at UW expected next fall, the co-operative education and career services department has set job development as its top priority for the coming year. Co-op director Bruce Lumsden expects the first ATOP expansion group of some 200 students to be looking for co-op placements for the winter 2000 term, and he plans to be ready.

In addition to working with co-op coordinators "to maintain and grow the existing base, as well as develop new jobs," the department will be targeting trade shows, working with alumni contacts, and "developing a more formalized marketing strategy to attract and maintain employers," says Lumsden. The new marketing plan is expected to be implemented by next fall.

Although co-op job placements are up this month from a year ago, some 250 of nearly 4,000 co-op students scheduled to work this term are still without jobs. The overall placement rate this term stands at 93.30 per cent, up from 90.07 per cent last January. Those who have not yet been placed will be contacted by a co-op coordinator "to ensure everything is being done to secure employment for the winter term," he added.

The faculty experiencing most marked improvement this year is science, which jumped from a placement rate of 68.16 per cent in January, 1998, to a rate of 91.38 per cent this term. The improvement, says Lumsden, can be attributed to a number of factors, including ongoing job development efforts by the faculty and co-op, as well as the introduction of a number of new programs in science and improved computer literacy among science students. However, the biggest factor may be a decision to start co-op placements in the second year, rather than in first, giving students an opportunity to gain skills and knowledge that improve their chances for employment.

Accounting students have the highest placement rate this term, with 99.20 per cent finding work, followed by environment and resource studies, geography, and planning students at 97.98 per cent, arts at 97.35 per cent, and engineering at 96.54.

The co-op department has just completed its number crunching for the fall term, and forwards the following statistics:

So far this term, some 500 co-op students have had their resumes critiqued, reports Olaf Naese, co-op communications and public relations administrator. "These students will be among the approximately 3,000 who will be taking part in this term's co-op interview process," he adds.

Elsewhere on campus

And elsewhere in the co-op department, job posting number three goes up by noon today and expires at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. Topics of today's Career Development Seminars (Co-op 101) from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in EL room 101 are work report writing and interview skills: an overview. From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Ground Zero, Camp Winadu will hold an employer information session for students in arts and applied health sciences (recreation and leisure).

"Some estimation problems for linear stochastic differential equations" will be discussed at a department of statistics and actuarial science seminar today at 1:30 p.m. in Math and Computer room 5158. The speaker will be Rafail Khasminskii of Wayne State University.

"How many times have you walked by a Unix lab and longed to be amidst the light-hearted community of users...? Now you can join them," the computer science club promises. Today at 4:30 p.m., it's presenting a Unix tutorial (part 1) designed for users with little or no experience with Unix. Held in Math and Computer 3006, an X-terminal lab, the session will offer hands-on experience to enable novices to log on, edit, text files, send mail and read news.

Members of the computer science club are invited to the SIGGraph video night in Davis Centre room 1302. Curtain time for the presentation of computer graphics and state-of-the-art animation is 7 p.m. Memberships ($2) will be sold at the door.

"It's not all bad news -- your eyes throughout your life" is the topic of a talk at a meeting of the Canadian Federation of University Women tonight at 7:30 at the school of optometry, room 347. Speakers are optometry professor David Williams and optometrist Debbie Cipp.

High pressure air will be shut down tomorrow morning between 9 and noon to a number of rooms in the Earth Sciences and Chemistry building to allow for renovations in laboratories.

Due to a "severe backlog in the workload" the student awards office will be closed for the next three Wednesdays: January 20, January 27 and February 3. The closures will allow staff "to deliver financial aid programs to students accurately and on time."

Tomorrow is the deadline for applications to spend reading week at L'Arche community in Richmond Hill. Part of a network of communities founded in 1964 by Jean Vanier and Father Thomas Philippe, L'Arche provides an opportunity for people with mental handicaps and others to experience "a common humanity". Places for six people are available; the cost is $30 plus transportation. Ann Snider at Conrad Grebel (885-0220, ext. 236) has applications.

And finally, a note from Wat Times, an "occasional newsletter for retirees" published by the UW Retirees' Association: "The insurers have been advised that the University program will continue to cover prescription drugs for erectile dysfunction, including Viagra -- when approved for use in Canada.... The cost of all drugs and usage which may be considered excessive is monitored on an ongoing basis."

Barbara Elve

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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