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University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Monday, March 22, 1999

  • Co-op plans for expansion
  • Co-op students honoured by CECS
  • Sikh students share traditions
  • On a snowy spring Monday
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Co-op plans for expansion

At UW this year, National Co-op Education Week -- March 22 to 28 -- means more than celebrating co-op accomplishments. With the university gearing up for the ATOP expansion, co-op staff are looking ahead to the role they will play in the process.

For the co-op department, says director Bruce Lumsden, enrolment expansion in computer science and electrical and computer engineering departments will result in some 1,000 more co-op students over the next five years -- an increase of about 10 per cent. Starting next September, "a couple hundred additional students" are expected in the co-op program.

"Infrastructure needs are crucial. We can't afford to crumble."

To cope, co-op will need to recruit more employers and hire more co-op and career services staff, says Lumsden. As well, the department currently occupies much of the first floor of Needles Hall, facilities which date back to 1972. Then, there were some 5,000 co-op students. Today, that number has doubled, and there are at least 2,500 employers, many of whom conduct interviews on site. The space, Lumsden concedes, is "inadequate and inappropriate for the way we do business now.

"We need to have facilities that can handle that, for employers to interview, to do their work..., for general information sessions for students and graduating students. It's an ongoing problem that will be exacerbated by the expansion," he adds, noting that "various ideas" are being considered to alleviate the space pressures.

In addition to hiring more staff -- an estimated seven to nine full-time equivalent positions by the end of the five-year period -- Lumsden plans to upgrade the department's marketing to attract new employers. While engineering and computer science are the areas which will require the most growth, "it's also an opportunity to expand the general employer base," he says. A multi-pronged approach, including a more effective use of publicity, publications, alumni, co-op coordinators and senior administration is envisioned.

In conjunction with the expansion, the co-op department's new computer system "will also affect how we do business," says Lumsden. Dubbed CECS.online, the system will allow employers to post job descriptions on line, and students to submit resumes electronically to employers. Co-op officials hope the system will reduce crowds of students in Needles Hall. Testing is proceeding this spring, with implementation of the student component scheduled for September, with employers having access by January 2000.

Lumsden is confident the co-op program will give UW ATOP students a significant advantage in having some two years of work experience by the time they graduate. "We will produce very employable students for ATOP who can hit the work force running.

"The gap between academia and industry, between education and training is much more blurred at UW than it was 15 to 20 years ago," says Lumsden. "We're more aware of each other's needs and responding much better than in the past."

Co-op students honoured by CECS

In conjunction with National Co-op Week, UW co-operative education and career services (CECS) has recognized the dedication and hard work involved in being a co-op student by honouring two students for their exceptional achievements on the job, in school and through extra-curricular involvement.

The department nominated dean's honours list students Jennifer Candlish and Angie Koch for the annual Canadian Association for Co-operative Education Student of the Year Award. The two were selected from nominations by employers and co-op co-ordinators. Although they weren't chosen for the national award, each received $100 from CECS.

Candlish, a third-year applied health sciences student who entered university with the intention to apply to medical school, has developed new goals through her co-op and course experiences. Having completed three work terms, she has decided to pursue a career in health education and health promotion. This spring she is heading to Ghana as a health services volunteer for Canadian Crossroads International. Candlish also volunteers for the Canadian Red Cross Society, is president of UW's association for Baha'i studies, works part-time at the Bombshelter and spends her free time playing the violin and doing aerobics.

Koch will graduate this spring from applied studies and social development studies with five work terms to her credit. She received the Community and World Services Award from the faculty of arts in 1998 for her volunteer work at St. John's Soup Kitchen. She is a founding member of a co-operative housing venture, sings in a local chamber choir, and enjoys hiking and gardening.

Sikh students share traditions

The Sikh Students Association invites students, faculty and staff to share in Langar today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Student Life Centre multipurpose room. Held every term by the SSA, the free lunch provides an opportunity for the campus community to learn more about Sikhism, as well as participate in a tradition at the core of the religion, explains Amandeep Kaur, a third-year communications studies student and president of the SSA executive.

Langar, or community kitchen, is an important part of the religious practice of Sikhs, incorporated into worship at the Gurduaaraa, or temple. A description of Langar provided by Kaur explains: "This community kitchen is meant for providing food to all devotees, and visitors. It is a symbol of equality, fraternity and brotherhood. It is here that the high and the low, the rich and the poor, the learned and the ignorant, the kings and the beggars, all share the same food sitting together in one row. This kitchen is run by the common contributions of the Sikhs. The institution of Langar (Common Kitchen) is instrumental in creating social equality among the whole of mankind.... It is a sin for a Sikh to question a man's faith and creed before offering him a seat in the community kitchen."

At UW, the food for Langar is prepared by students and their families, who invite participants outside the religion to enjoy the meal and learn about Sikhs, such as why they remove their shoes and socks and cover their hair at Langar, says Kaur.

This year, Sikhs at UW are joining in the worldwide celebration of the 300th anniversary of the introduction of Khalsa as a central Sikh practice. Khalsa, the name given to someone who has been baptized, says Kaur, means "the pure one". This practice of initiating Sikh infants into the faith when they are 13 days old was introduced 300 years ago by the tenth prophet, Guru Gobind Singh, she adds.

Sikh students who do not have exam conflicts are planning to participate in the celebratory Khalsa marches on March 25 at the Skydome in Toronto, and on April 10 in Washington, D.C.

On a snowy spring Monday

It may look like a war zone in health services, but regular office hours continue this week (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) despite the ongoing renovations. "All services to the university community will be as usual."

In co-op today, continuous phase job posting #6 and job posting #2 for architecture students will both be available by noon. Successfully Negotiating Job Offers is the focus of a workshop from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in Needles Hall room 1020.

Harold Hugel of Manulife Financial will speak on Guaranteed Investment Funds: A catastrophe waiting to happen? at 4:30 p.m. in Davis Centre room 1302. The talk is sponsored by the department of statistics and actuarial science and the Institute of Insurance and Pension Research. All are welcome.

Tickets are available in advance only for the UW Spanish Club's spring semi-formal dinner and dance on Friday, March 26, at Golf's Steak House. Everyone is welcome. For tickets ($25 per person or $45 per couple), phone 884-5392.

"In case anyone is interested," says Susan Schaefer, production coordinator for graphics, 1999-2000 vacation schedules formerly available through central stores (part number 00-89-2235 in the central stores stock catalogue) are now available free from graphics in the General Services Complex. Due to declining requests, central stores is no longer offering them; however, graphics has printed a limited supply available on a first come first served 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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