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Friday, June 25, 1999

  • World's students come to Renison
  • Grad students write to Chrétien
  • Dragon boat ready to race
  • As we approach a hot weekend


[Student with solar panel]
On the road: Rob Wood, electrical manager of UW's Midnight Sun V solar car project, checks the electrical array on the car on Wednesday as Sunrayce 99 continued southward through the Carolinas.

World's students come to Renison -- from the UW news bureau

Students from around the world are making a world of difference locally. Living and studying at Renison College from this Saturday to August 20, they are engaged in an intensive course of study on community organization, while volunteering 20 hours a week to local charitable agencies.

These field-level community workers will return to their home university with an academic credit and insight into Canadian social work practices. Sponsored by Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion (CUAC), in co-operation with the International Partnership for Service-Learning (IPSL), this year's program welcomes participants from Canada, England, Hong Kong, India, the Philippines and the United States.

"Although the students are from different cultures and religions, the common denominator is a desire to help and minister to people in need," says Gail Cuthbert Brandt, Renison College principal.

Locally, the students are assigned to Sunnyside Home, Breithaupt Senior Centre, House of Friendship, the Working Centre, Adult Development Services, Sunbeam Residential Centre and the Food Bank of Waterloo Region. Janice Tuling, a social development studies student at Renison and this year's Canadian ambassador to the program, recalls her service-learning experience at Whitelands College in England last year. "The volunteer service placement was an intense and phenomenal experience. I worked for Age Concern as a respite provider for elderly people. I would go into the homes of five people and relieve their caregivers for half a day so they could rejuvenate."

Housed on campus, the participants will learn about Canadian culture while they expand their conception of social work. Sightseeing trips and a field trip to the CUAC international conference at Trinity College in Toronto (August 6-9) are included in their itinerary.

Founded in 1982, the IPSL is an international organization, coupling community service with academic study. Its membership includes colleges, universities, service agencies and related organizations. The organization's mandate is: "To provide a broadening and reflective opportunity for the participants -- to see the local people and specific problems as a microcosm of larger social issues and to examine their role, values and the contribution they might make now and in the future."

A worldwide association, CUAC members strive to better serve students, societies and the world-at-large through the exchange of ideas and development of programs. Renison College, affiliated with UW, is the ideal host institute for this special program. Programs that prepare students for work in the helping professions, in particular Social Development Studies and the relatively new Bachelor of Social Work, are the backbone of the curriculum.

Grad students write to Chrétien

Waterloo graduate students "have expressed concerns" about a federal report on the ownership of new ideas and the purposes of universities, says Jason McLean, president of the Graduate Student Association. And he's written to prime minister Jean Chrétien to tell him so.

The letter deals with the report of the Expert Panel on the Commercialization of University Research, published under the title Public Investments in University Research: Reaping the Benefits. Faculty associations have been loud in their opposition to the report, and McLean is critical too: "If all of the recommendations of the report are eventually implemented, graduate students believe there will be a detrimental effect on federally-funded research at our universities.

"More specifically, we believe the proposed changes will cause more of our graduate students to seek academic careers outside of Canada."

The letter says that grad students "understand the need for the commercialization of university research by the private sector", and sometimes are involved in bringing inventions and discoveries to market themselves. "I believe that it is the private sector that creates the economic wealth necessary for our nation to grow and prosper," the letter adds.

However, "The report seems to favour further regulation of university research. . . . Despite the lure of higher wages and benefits in the private sector, many graduate students still dedicate themselves to a life of research and teaching. It is their passion for research that motivates these graduate students to pursue a career in academia. It is quite obvious that further restrictions on intellectual property rights could cause graduate students to reconsider a career in academia. . . . Some graduate students have already expressed that should the changes be implemented, they will consider academic positions south of the border. Clearly, this is undesirable."

The Reaping the Benefits report says that intellectual property -- such as inventions -- developed through federally-funded research should be made available, as a condition of the funding, for commercial development, and that "innovation" should be a specifically stated goal of Canadian universities.

"There is merit," says McLean, "in the argument that business should have more access to publicly funded research for the benefit of society. However, I believe the recommended course of action will potentially cause a long-term degradation of our university system." He urges the prime minister to arrange more discussion of the proposals with "a panel of representatives from both the private sector and universities", including professors and graduate students.

Dragon boat ready to race

UW Golden Dragons take their paddles to Toronto Centre Islands this weekend where they will board a dragon boat and compete with craft from around the world in the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival.

The team, made up of 23 science and business students, is facing only its second year of competition as it heads into the biggest dragon boat races in North America.

"We're very excited about competing in the Toronto races," said Aneil Gokhale, coordinator of the Golden Dragons. "Last year we competed in the London festival, and that was great, but the Toronto festival really raises the bar a notch for us."

The team has been preparing for the event for nine months, traveling to Toronto to practice on weekends with the five-ton boats that will be used for the 640-meter course. Each crew includes a coxman and a drummer to keep the 20 paddlers synchronized.

Funding for the team is provided by the science and business students -- in an effort to raise the public profile of their program -- and the Faculty of Science Foundation.

To cheer on the team, take the ferry from the Harbourfront docks.

As we approach a hot weekend

Today is decision-making day for co-op students looking for fall term jobs. Ranking forms will be available at 10 a.m. in Needles Hall, and are due back by 4:00. Then the waiting begins; job matches will be posted on Monday, July 5.

"We are holding a Ranking Relief Event," writes Amber Christie of the Co-op Student Advisory Group. "We want to help reduce the anxiety most students feel. We will therefore be giving away freezies, and we will be playing music with live dance demos in the pit and outside Needles Hall." The event runs from 10:00 to noon today.

An open meeting about UW's plans for residence expansion, aimed at people in departments across campus who need to know more about what's planned, starts at 10:00 this morning in Needles Hall room 3001.

"We're off to Peterborough!" says a note from the food services department. "Several Food Services members are off to the annual conference held by Canadian College and University Food Services Association, June 22-27, 1999. ne of the highlights of our conference is the Chef's Competition scheduled for Thursday, June 24. Representing UW Food Services will be Ron Koelewijn, Senior Chef , and Herman Guttensohn, Cook. Each team will be assigned an area to create a display and present their regional specialties to delegates. We'll let you know the results when we return."

Soccer and hockey will overlap in the Ron Eydt Village conference centre this weekend. Friday through Sunday, it's the Waterloo International Soccer Tournament, hosted by the local children's soccer program. Saturday through next Wednesday, it's a referee school sponsored by the Ontario Hockey Association.

An "East Indian Dance Event" is scheduled for the Humanities Theatre on Sunday at 4 p.m.

Away from campus, there are major events in two city parks this weekend. In Waterloo Park, from 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday it's the Mutual Music Festival, a much scaled down replacement for the now-defunct Sounds of Summer; admission is free.

And in Kitchener's Victoria Park, it's the K-W Multicultural Festival, also both Saturday and Sunday. "This festival is a celebration of Canada's birthday and of the diversity of this community," says a note from the sponsor, the K-W Multicultural Centre. "Food is a big part of the festival, with booths serving delicacies from many countries. A whole island dedicated to crafts awaits you. Enjoy dance groups from many parts of the world. Children's games, music, and community displays, an international coffee shop -- so many things to do!"

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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Copyright © 1999 University of Waterloo