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Tuesday, May 18, 1999

  • Plans for a third 'Village'
  • Universities flaunt job figures
  • Holocaust survivor speaks tonight
  • Meetings and announcements

Plans for a third 'Village'

A new 300-bed residence to be located between Village I and Ron Eydt Village, and finished by the fall of 2001, is part of plans for expanding UW's residence space, being presented today to the board of governors executive committee.

Election season

As the Ontario election campaign continues, an all-candidates forum will be held at noon on Wednesday, May 26, at the Student Life Centre. The event is being sponsored by the UW Faculty Association and the Federation of Students. On Wednesday, June 2, a free concert, "Rock the Vote", will be held at the SLC. Organized by the Feds, the event will help students learn how to vote, and "get excited about voting", says Federation vice-president Veronica Chau.
The project that's being presented to the executive committee today (and will go to the board of governors itself next month) is described as "a major renewal of the University of Waterloo student residences". Altogether the plans involve $24 million worth of construction -- about half for the new building, and half for converting most of the present UW Apartments complex into "suites" for single students. The Apartments were originally built for "married students" but are now rented to a mixture of families, singles and non-students.

Says a report from the board's building and properties committee: "Compared to an apartment setting, a student residence (incorporating a residence life program, in-room inspections and maintenance management, codes of conduct, individual contracts, safety regulations, etc.) is a more appropriate way to manage single student accommodation. Student residence infrastructure maintains the quality of the building, improves cleaning and maintenance, manages occupancy, prevents overcrowding, enhances safety, and provides a positive academic and student life environment.

"Plans are to convert the number of units currently occupied by single students and by non-students into suites for single student accommodation. This will not only increase the single student room inventory by over 500 but will enhance the general facilities of the building. It will also retain 270 apartments (the current allocation) for family use."

Work will start by creating "community life space" in the East Tower of the Apartment complex, in time for September 1999. Construction of suites in place of apartments in the East Tower would follow for September 2000. Then comes the North Court of the complex, in September 2001, and then the West Tower, in September 2002. "Offices and community space (between the Towers) will be considered as an addition" to that final phase, the proposal says.

A drawing shows that the existing one-bedroom apartments would be converted to two-bedroom student suites; most of the existing living room would be eliminated, but kitchen facilities would remain.

Elsewhere on campus, the new residence building is proposed for the present site of parking lot F between the existing Villages. According to surveys, the proposal says, students prefer "a suite of bedrooms with shared cooking, living and washroom facilities", and that's what the new building would offer, typically in clusters of four bedrooms around the kitchen, eating and bath areas. "Suites can be configured," the proposal says, "for either a walk-up or low-rise apartment type building."

The proposal says UW is desperately short of residence space for first-year students, and notes that according to surveys done last year and this year, the unavailability of residence rooms was a major reason why "first year students who wished to come to Waterloo" went to other institutions instead. So the plan is to make the Villages, the new building and the Columbia Lake Townhouses exclusively for first-year students, providing a total of 3,450 beds on campus. Housing on campus for upper-year students would include the renovated UW Apartment complex, the Minota Hagey Residence and some space in the church colleges.

Today's meeting of the board executive begins at 2:30 in Needles Hall room 3004. Besides residence space, the agenda includes UW's 1999-2000 budget, the revised "ethical behaviour" policy, and an increase in the Federation of Students fee, from $24.50 a term to $24.75.

Universities flaunt job figures

Figures on the employment rate for university graduates in Ontario are being publicized this week, just in time to influence students as they consider making a commitment to starting university in the fall.

"University graduates are doing exceptionally well in today's job market," says a news release from the Council of Ontario Universities, making the most of the findings of a recent survey. It was reported in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record Saturday under the front-page headline "University grads get jobs".

"The overall employment rate was 96.7% for 1996 graduates of undergraduate degree programs, two years after graduation," says COU. On the orders of the Ontario government, each university made its own employment rates public last week; the figure for UW was 96.4 per cent.

The COU release said Robert Prichard, president of the University of Toronto and chair of COU, "was delighted by the results". Said Prichard: "It's great to have yet another confirmation that our graduates are doing so well in the job market. We've known from other statistical reports that university graduates have the highest rates of employment across any category of educational attainment. These results show that the success rate is distributed across the full range of disciplines taught at our universities."

COU said the release of employment data "is timely given that prospective students will soon be making choices about schools for next fall". Today's the day that UW, for example, will send offers of admission to thousands of young people who have applied for the September first-year class. They have until June 1 to say yes or no.

Ian Clark, president of COU, said the survey is also "an accountability tool that will be of benefit to students and their families in making admission choices. Students and their families should be confident that Ontario universities are providing a high quality of education to their students."

The survey asked 1996 graduates about their employment status six months after they left university and again two years after graduation. The survey was done last winter through mailed forms and follow-up telephone contact. More than 25,000 surveys were completed, which represents 54 per cent of the class of 1996, COU said.

[COU graph] Also from the Council of Ontario Universities: this graph showing the expected growth in demand for spaces in university classrooms over the next decade. Some of the growth comes from rising population, some from the "double cohort" expected in 2003 as two years' classes graduate from high school at the same time.

Holocaust survivor speaks tonight

Joseph Polak was one of nearly 100 children who survived the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. He was also one of 2,500 prisoners who boarded a train for Theresienstadt in April, 1945, just a week before liberation.

It was one of three trainloads of prisoners the Nazis intended to use as a bargaining chip for the return of German nationals at the end of the war. Two of the trains were liberated. The third disappeared, and has become known to historians as the Lost Transport.

Polak, a former UW student and now a rabbi and director of the B'Nai Brith Hillel Foundation at Boston University, will visit UW on May 18 to speak about that episode in history, both as a passenger on the Lost Transport, and as a scholar. The talk, sponsored by the Kitchener-Waterloo Holocaust education committee and the Jewish Students Association of UW and Wilfrid Laurier University, will be held at 8 p.m. in Needles Hall room 3001. Everyone is welcome.

Born in 1942 in The Hague, Netherlands, Polak spent most of the first three years of his life in Bergen-Belsen, where he credits his survival to his mother's tenacity and resourcefulness.

As an educator, he has written and spoken extensively of the destructive impact of racism. He has been scholar-in-residence at more than 100 institutions in Canada and the United States, and has been an instructor at Ohio University, Boston University -- from which he received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree -- and Hebrew College of Boston.

Meetings and announcements

The joint health and safety committee will meet at 1:30 this afternoon in Modern Languages room 212.

The career development seminar series continues today with "Career Research Package" at 2:30, and tomorrow with "Interview Skills: Preparing for Questions", also at 2:30. Both seminars will take place in Needles Hall room 1020. More information about the free seminars is available from the career resource centre.

The department of statistics and actuarial science presents a talk today by Boxin Tang of the University of Tennessee at Memphis. Topic: "Generalized Resolution and Minimum Aberration for Plackett-Burman and Other Nonregular Factorial Designs". Time and place: 3 p.m., Math and Computer room 5136.

Tomorrow brings the next in the series of brown bag workshops for teaching assistants, sponsored by the teaching resource office (TRACE). Tomorrow's topic is "Question Strategies":

When you direct questions to the students in your class, are you often met with blank stares and no response? How can you use questions effectively to elicit responses and facilitate learning?
The workshop will run from 12:00 to 1:30 in Math and Computer room 5158. TRACE asks for registration in advance from graduate students who want to attend: call ext. 3132.

Here's a reminder that winter term final mark reports for undergraduate students are scheduled to be run this Friday and mailed next week to students' home addresses.

A circular from the staff association notes that discount tickets to various attractions are available to its members this summer. Included are Canada's Wonderland, African Lion Safari, Marineland, SportsWorld and Bingemans. For more information: the staff association office in the Davis Centre, phone ext. 3566.


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
Copyright © 1999 University of Waterloo