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Saturnalia: A Winter Solstice Ritual

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Monday, December 18, 2000

  • 'Promising' winter for jobless students
  • Architecture students show their work
  • Discount offered on FASS tickets
  • The talk of the campus

'Promising' winter for jobless students

Efforts are still going on to find jobs for co-op students who are scheduled for a January-to-April work term but who haven't yet found employment, the co-op department says.

As of Thursday, said Olaf Naese of the co-op staff, some 93 per cent of students scheduled for winter term jobs actually had them -- 4,112 out of 4,419. "Of course, these figures are changing by the minute, so by the time these are mentioned anywhere, there will be actually be fewer students still without jobs for the winter term."

Said Naese: "The prospects for the remaining 307 students are promising. Although on-campus interviews have ended for the term, CECS staff is continuing its efforts to locate job possibilities for these students. Traditionally these efforts continue well into the next term.

"Last year around the same time, 84 per cent of the January-to-April students had found co-op employment. There were 4,303 students scheduled to be on a work term, 120 fewer than this year. At that time 680 students still required employment."

Co-op and grad employers conducted a total of 16,353 interviews on campus from September to December this term, compared to 15,488 last year (an increase of 5.6 per cent). In addition, says Naese, employers conducted 2,037 telephone interviews this term (a 10.7 per cent increase over the 1,840 telephone interviews in last year's fall term).

Architecture students show their work

A glimpse of what Toronto will look like if it wins the right to stage the 2008 Olympic Games -- and build new sports facilities and housing as a result -- is offered by UW architecture students in an exhibition that opens tomorrow.

"Olympian Speculations 2020: Alternative Visions for Toronto's Waterfront", at Queen's Quay Terminal on the edge of the lake, is an exhibition of the work from the urban design studio in the architecture school. It shows the city as it might be in the year 2020, when "the Olympian legacy has become a catalyst for reconnecting Toronto to the waters of its foundation."

"This is a very interesting little event that came up quickly out of work that the 3B architecture class has been doing," says Eric Haldenby, director of the architecture school. "Each of the more than 50 projects began with the design of a venue for one of the Olympic sports. Spread across the Toronto waterfront, these sites represent the armature for the future development of the city towards the lake."

In a second stage of the speculative design process, each student produced an image of his or her site as it would appear a dozen years after the Olympics.

Haldenby said the exhibition brings to the fore exactly what is at stake for the city in staging the Olympics. It poses the question: "Can the momentary spectacle and the great single event be the provocation for a radical improvement in the quality of urban space and metropolitan life?"

The show contains hundreds of models, drawings and computer-generated images exploring Toronto's future. The work was completed over the fall term by groups and individual third-year students. The urban design studio is coordinated by architecture professor Dereck Revington with the assistance of John McMinn, Andrew Levitt and Natasha Krickhan.

The design exhibition, located at Queen's Quay Terminal, Level 2, 207 Queen's Quay West, will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily until December 29 (except December 24-26). An opening reception will be held tomorrow evening at 7:30.

Discount offered on FASS tickets

[FASS logo] Ticket sales are starting now for the not-to-be-missed show of the winter term: "2001: A FASS Oddity", which is, if my calculations are right, the 39th annual FASS night at Waterloo.

There may be those who aren't familiar with FASS and its corny annual show of comedy, variety and satire. They can get familiar with it -- boy, can they get familiar with it -- February 1, 2 and 3 this year, says the show's producer, John Milne. In fact, they can get familiar with it at reduced prices if they act now.

Says Milne: "A block of tickets is available at special early bird prices. This offer only lasts until the New Year, so get yours now!" Tickets for opening night (Thursday, February 1, at 8 p.m.) are $4; tickets for later performances (Friday at 7 and 10 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m.) are $5. How to order: e-mail john.milne@canada.com, or phone 894-0657.

Milne also notes that anybody interested, with or without talent, is welcome to be part of the show. "FASS stands for Faculty, Alumni, Staff, and Students and symbolizes the four groups we like to get involved in the show each year. So, if you've ever wanted to be on-stage, or miss the good old days when you got to be on-stage (or even if you want to do some back-stage work), come on out to FASS auditions. Auditions will be held January 3, 4, 5 at 7:00 in Humanities room 378. You don't need to have anything prepared -- just come ready to have a little fun."

The talk of the campus

It's the last week before Christmas, and there can be no doubt by now that winter has arrived with tenacity and teeth. The freezing rain that was in Saturday's forecast didn't arrive in any major way, so the university was spared the possibility of coping with another exam cancellation day -- but it's plenty slippery out there this morning. Exams run through Friday, now, while elsewhere on the campus there will be more than a few holiday parties.

Before 2000 has quite come to an end, the 2000 edition of the campus phone book reached people's desks last week. Sporting a black cover this time, the vital book has smaller pages than the previous yellow edition, but slightly more of them. Any phone book is out of date as soon as it appears, of course, and this one emphasizes on its back cover that up-to-date campus phone listings can be found on the web.

Also being published, as a memo from university secretariat Lois Claxton explains: "In response to demand, the Secretariat has produced a tabloid version of all UW policies, and selected procedures and guidelines, for use as a handy reference guide; policies appear in the form which was current at the time of printing. Although departments are notified when policies are revised or new policies approved, members of the campus community are asked to refer to the web for the most recent and official version. We expect the tabloid will be distributed to the campus community before Christmas. Individuals who prefer to use the web version are encouraged to return the tabloid to the Secretariat."

UW's computer connection to the outside world increased its bandwidth last week -- that is, the amount of data per second that can come in and go out as e-mail, Web pages and such. Doug Payne of the information systems and technology department gave some details on the newsgroup uw.network: "On Monday around noon our general Internet circuit was upgraded, as planned and previously announced, from 10Mbps to 15Mbps. Note that that's ATM speed -- it results in IP throughput of about 13.2Mbps (formerly 8.8Mbps). The CA*net3 circuit speed remains unchanged at 5Mbps ATM/4.4Mbps IP. For those who are interested, graphs and other stats can be found in the Campus Networks Webspace."

The city of Waterloo produced its twice-a-year "Leisure Guide" booklet the other day, sporting a wintry cover photograph that was taken by second-year drama student Amanda Clancy. The location is just described as "the University of Waterloo campus" -- might be up near St. Jerome's, with a picturesque stand of evergreens, I think. Most of the booklet describes skating times at local rinks, children's art classes, the services of the public library, and that sort of thing, but there's also an interesting summary of Waterloo's noise by-laws and what to do about complaints. Says one paragraph: "Complaints pertaining to noise generated from a university campus specifically should be directed to the appropriate campus security departments," and it gives the phone number for the UW police, 888-4911.

The plant operations department has been without a full complement of leadership since technical director David Churchill retired at the end of September. Still in place are the other two directors, Tom Galloway (custodial and grounds) and Gene Starchuk (business operations). Plant ops reports to Dennis Huber, who's getting ready to be vice-president (administration and finance) as of January 1 -- he's currently associate provost (general services and finance). Huber said on Friday he doesn't yet have an announcement about a replacement or reorganization in the department; that'll come in the new year.

There will be no inquest into the death of engineering student Aileen Proudfoot last May, the regional coroner announced last week. "This was a tragic accident," said coroner Karen Acheson after a preliminary look at Proudfoot's drowning in a gully on UW's north campus.

The UW Shop in South Campus Hall is holding an "early Boxing Day sale" this week, with 25 per cent off the price of all Christmas items.

The UW senate will not meet tonight. Today would have been the scheduled date for the senate's monthly meeting, but the December meeting was cancelled, as has often happened in past years, when the executive committee concluded there was nothing on the agenda that couldn't wait for January.

Instead, many of the campus's movers and shakers will be shaking (or skidding) over to St. Jerome's University tonight, for a highlight in Waterloo's social calendar. The annual "informal Christmas reception and dinner" hosted by the president of St. Jerome's has been a UW tradition since very early years on campus; the college entertains guests from the other church colleges and the university itself, and there will be words of wit as well as "gastronomical delicacies from the Ontario North and divers other parts".

And tomorrow morning at 9:00, the joint health and safety committee will hold its monthly meeting (location changed to General Services Complex room 203).


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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