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Monday, May 3, 1999

  • Everything's open for the new term
  • $14 million in grants from NSERC
  • UW helps produce 'Godspell'
  • Just a few other things


Everything's open for the new term

The sun shone all weekend, and it'll outdo itself today to welcome the first day of the spring term. (The forecast high for Kitchener-Waterloo is 24.) I understand there were traffic jams as early as Saturday, with students arriving at the residences and moving into other accommodation near campus. And on Monday morning, well, here we all are.

When I say everything is open, that's not quite true. The Festival Room cafeteria in South Campus Hall, for example, will be closed all summer, reopening in September. But many of the food outlets are open today, the libraries are back on normal hours, graphics outlets are doing their thing, Key Control will be open over the noon hour to deal with the beginning-of-term rush, and so on.

Classes began at 8:30 this morning as they always ruthlessly do. The load on the Waterloo Polaris computing system will jump sharply. The bookstore will have lineups before the day is over. Here are the business hours for various services on campus during the spring term:

And, no doubt, there's going to be a little crowd of students registering for this term, even though, by waiting past the April 26 deadline, they've put themselves in line for paying late fees.

More on registration: "If you are a full-time student," says the registrar's office, "and your payment is received by April 26, 1999, we will guarantee that your fee receipt and validation sticker will be available for pickup in the Registrar's Office beginning May 3, 1999. If you are a part-time student, your fee receipt and sticker will be mailed to you. If you are a Renison College or St. Jerome's University student, go to the Business Office at Renison or St. Jerome's. Health insurance stickers will no longer be issued."

The student awards office on the second floor of Needles Hall is "releasing" Ontario Student Assistance Program funds starting today, for those who applied on time for OSAP.

$14 million in grants from NSERC

For the first time, a "major facilities access program grant" has been awarded to UW researchers by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. It comes as part of UW's annual research support from NSERC, this year some $14 million for 122 projects.

The "major facilities" grant of $45,000 was awarded to earth sciences professor Shaun Frape and a group of co-applicants in biology, geography and earth sciences for operation of the environmental isotope laboratory. Wilfrid Laurier University geography professor Michael English was also one of the applicants for the grant, which is part of a relatively new program offered by NSERC.

The grant will support the lab by funding a portion of salaries for technicians and assisting with costs of service contracts. The facility, the largest in Canada, performs environmental analysis of samples -- from rainfall to food by-products -- from around the world.

NSERC equipment grants for 1999 will provide UW faculty with $2.3 million worth of research tools ranging from fermentation equipment for the chemistry department to a fiber-optic probe upgrade to the laser Doppler velocimetry system in mechanical engineering. Last year, $1.8 million worth of equipment grants were awarded to UW researchers.

Among the largest 1999 equipment grants:

NSERC 1999 research grants to UW faculty totalled $11.7 million, up from initial grants of $10.4 million last year. The grants fund research ranging from one year to five years, providing an annual award for the duration. Among the larger research grants: Any faculty member with an academic appointment of at least three years is eligible to apply for a research or equipment grant, said Elizabeth Vinnicombe, manager of research ethics and grants in the UW research office. She noted that new faculty members tend to have a higher success rate in applications for equipment grants.

UW helps produce 'Godspell'

UW drama students will be performing on a different stage for a new audience this month in a premier collaboration between the drama department and a professional theatre.

The Waterloo Stage Theatre and the university will be combining their talents and resources to produce the musical "Godspell", with the Waterloo Stage Theatre providing the venue and financing, and UW contributing "in kind" -- with actors, technical crews, set and costume design, stage management and other physical resources -- said drama chair Joel Greenberg, who'll be directing the play.

It's the first time the drama department has teamed up for a community production, and Greenberg expects benefits for both parties.

"It's a good experience for students to work off campus in a different venue," he said, noting that students have the option of earning a credit for their efforts as part of a stagecraft course offered this spring. Not only will students be exposed to a professional production schedule, with intensive day-long rehearsals leading to a five-week run, they'll be working in a more intimate venue with seating for 250, "and with physical resources that are really modest," said Greenberg. "It's good for students to develop the versatility to work in such an environment."

Although UW drama productions are open to everyone, plays primarily attract a university audience. "Godspell" will allow students "to take the work we do into the community," he added. "It's fabulous to have a chance to work with a Waterloo-based company in their space." The co-production will also allow Waterloo Stage Theatre to expand its audience. For the first time, it will offer a series of school matinees -- which are already sold out. Steve Roth, general manager of the theatre, sees great potential for the theatre in working with the drama department.

"I'm excited that a drama program of such high calibre is going to be part of this production," he said. "It's a good way for the campus to find out about us, and it opens a lot of doors."

While the drama department is receiving financial assistance from the dean of arts and from the associate provost (academic and student affairs) to participate in the collaboration, "the production is an add-on for UW," explained Greenberg. "It's not part of our regular season, and the department isn't investing in the show, committing resources we don't have, or depleting resources for the season ahead."

Greenberg directed a production of "Godspell" for the drama department in 1992, and sees the musical as a perfect vehicle for the venture. "It's high energy, upbeat, and it's accessible." The "light pop folk rock" music works for almost any audience, he added, and creates "an unrelenting wholesomeness that is quite disarming."

The production runs May 13 through June 12, Thursday to Saturday at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Reserved seating tickets are available from the Waterloo Stage Theatre box office at 888-0000, with rush seating open to students an hour before each performance.

Just a few other things

The executive committee of the UW senate will meet today at 3:30 in Needles Hall room 3004, to set the agenda for the May 17 meeting of the full senate. Among the agenda items: a proposed joint BMath and MMath program for students who want to move through the two degrees fast and smoothly; a report on Waterloo County Entrance Scholarships for first-year students; lists of faculty appointments and changes, including the retirements of several prominent professors.

A panel discussion on "Public Investment in University Research" is scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, at 2:30 in Needles Hall room 3001. The panel will focus on "Reaping the Benefits", a federal draft report which the Canadian Association of University Teachers has called "shocking". Two deans, four other faculty members, the vice-president (university research) and the director of the technology transfer and licensing office will all speak, and moderator of the panel will be John Wilson of political science, the vice-president of the faculty association.

The big cultural event of the spring term is scheduled for Wednesday of next week, May 12, when the Friends of the Library present their annual "celebration of UW Authors, Composers and Artists". The speaker this year will be Leonard Enns of Conrad Grebel College, under the title "Dressing Old Words New: Exploring a Composer's Wardrobe". His talk is scheduled for 12 noon on the 12th, in the Theatre of the Arts; all are welcome.

The department of information systems and technology is offering no fewer than fifteen short computing courses in May and June to UW faculty, staff and students. There is no charge for these courses. The following courses are being offered:

More information about the courses is available on the web, along with the course registration form. There will not be any IST courses (those advertised on the Web) offered in July and August. The Skills for the Electronic Workplace (SEW) brochure for July and August will be mailed on June 21, and will contain a selection of courses from the SEW program. Special request courses in July and August can be arranged by calling Bob Hicks of IST at ext. 2194.

The university secretariat sends word that nominations for three seats on the university senate closed April 22, with the following results:

CAR


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
http://www.bulletin.uwaterloo.ca | Friday's Bulletin
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