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Tuesday, January 11, 2000

  • Clubs, exercise, co-op documents
  • Caller finds $600,000 for UW
  • Big things coming this term
  • Local volunteers are wanted

Clubs, exercise, co-op documents

It's the second Tuesday of the term, and some things are happening just as they generally do on the second Tuesday:

Clubs Days begin today in the Student Life Centre -- an opportunity for dozens of student organizations, longstanding or brand-new, to make themselves known through displays and activities.

One of those clubs -- Konnichiwa Japan, UW's Japanese culture club, will be holding its first general meeting tonight at 5 p.m. in Physics room 150. The club is open to anyone in the K-W community interested in Japanese culture or language.

Registration for campus recreation instructional programs, from power skating to "women on bikes", starts this morning. In brief: pick up registration tickets at the Physical Activities Complex (red north) between 8:15 and 11 a.m., then register at the indicated time today or Wednesday. Full information is available on the campus rec web site or in the printed "Incredible Guidebook".

Co-op students who are taking part in this term's interview process, for spring term jobs, should pick up their "master co-op record" documents in Needles Hall after 10:00 today. The first job posting will go up tomorrow, interviews start January 31, and job ranking day will be Tuesday, February 29. Most students who are job-hunting now, except those in first year, were away on work term during the fall, and should note that work reports are due at 4 p.m. today (in most cases -- "check with your undergrad office" for exceptions, the co-op department says).

Also today: the family of James Church, who died Saturday, will receive friends at the Edward R. Good Funeral Home from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. The funeral will be held there Wednesday at 1 p.m. Church was an early faculty member at UW, coming in 1962 to the department of mechanical engineering and later serving in the "department of design" -- forerunner of systems design engineering. He played a role in the development of the co-op programs, and in the creation of the engineering graphics lab with its closed-circuit television teaching. He left UW in 1967 to become the first president of Conestoga College of Applied Arts and Technology.

Caller finds $600,000 for UW -- by Barbara Elve

Jennifer Kieffer's parents were appalled to learn their daughter was working as a telemarketer to help finance her studies at UW. "I remember my dad saying, 'Why on earth would you do that?'," Kieffer recalls.

[Kieffer] That was nearly four years ago when she arrived from Walkerton as a first-year math student. Now in the home stretch of her degree in combinatorics and optimization -- with a minor in chemistry -- Kieffer (pictured at left) has become "the most successful caller ever" in the development and alumni affairs call centre.

She achieved that "lofty benchmark" in November, says call centre manager Brent Charette, by raising a total of $594,000 for the university. Her total is now past $600,000.

How did she do it? Kieffer thinks for a moment. "Persistence," she laughs. But there's more. "I have become very familiar with the university," she adds, noting that she can answer most questions or find someone who can. Heads of faculties, schools and colleges at UW visit the call centre every fall to update staff and entertain questions about priorities and needs.

Unlike call centres at other universities, UW does not give its callers a script, says Charette. "They're bright enough to be here -- they don't need someone to tell them what to say." Instead, callers receive guidelines, plus "hours and hours of training". With 22 callers each night, Sunday through Thursday, the centre raises about $1 million from some 25,000 alumni each term.

"We don't necessarily look for extroverted people who are 'good talkers'," he adds. "The best callers are those who are genuine people." The aim is to make each contact individual, rather than a formula call. Says Kieffer: "I've worked on building relationships with alumni. Even if they are only a year or two out of school and don't have a job, if you talk to them, them might consider helping out in the future."

Some alumni take the opportunity to reminisce about their days at UW with callers, comparing notes about courses and profs. Kieffer views such moments as an opportunity. "If they start talking to you as a person, then you've made a connection and have a much better chance of getting a donation."

Her call centre experience has done more than help pay for texts, says Kieffer. "It's made me more articulate and improved my presentation skills. I've even had job offers from alumni in sales after our conversations."

As for rejection, she's developed a thicker skin and learned not to take a negative response personally. "People reject an appeal for a variety of reasons. You just do the job as best you can and present the case as honestly and straightforwardly as possible. You don't try to coerce people; it's just a friendly conversation."

Kieffer is graduating in June, and will probably be leaving the area to pursue a career in her field, preferably in scheduling and management for a manufacturing company. But she won't lose touch with the university. "I really enjoyed my time here; I will definitely be a donor," Kieffer promises.

Big things coming this term

Worth marking on the calendar, for the weeks that lie ahead:

Saturday, January 15: "The Big Chill", three-floor party in the Student Life Centre, offering "music for all tastes" and sponsored by the Federation of Students.

Sunday, January 16: Founders Day for Renison College, with convocation and evensong at the Church of St. John the Evangelist, 3 p.m.

Wednesday, January 19: Fraser Mustard, founder of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, gives the first in a series of three lectures on "2020: Building the Future" (Humanities Theatre, 7 p.m.).

Friday, January 21: Nancy Nason-Clark, University of New Brunswick, speaks at St. Jerome's University on "Betrayed Trust: Sex, Violence and the Christian Churches".

Tuesday, January 25: The Jewish studies lecture series presents Allan Nadler, Drew University, on "From Elisha to Spinoza: A Brief History of Heresy in Jewish Thought" (Needles Hall room 3001, 8 p.m.).

Wednesday, February 2: Job fair at Bingemans Conference Centre, Kitchener.

Thursday, February 3 (8 p.m.), Friday, February 4 (7 and 10 p.m.), and Saturday, February 5 (8 p.m.): FASS 2000, "The ProFASSy", Humanities Theatre.

February 9-12: The drama department presents two short plays from George F. Walker's "Suburban Motel" cycle, Studio 180, Humanities building.

Saturday, February 12: UW Athletics Hall of Fame annual dinner and induction.

Saturday, February 26: The 30th annual Hagey Bonspiel, at the Ayr Curling Club.

Tuesday, March 14: Campus Day open house for high school students.

March 15-18: The drama department's production of "Spring Awakening", Theatre of the Arts.

Thursday, March 23: Dalton Camp, author, former president of the Progressive Conservative Party, speaks on "Neo-Conservatism: How to Wreck a Country Without a Hammer", as part of the Stanley Knowles visiting professorship in Canadian Studies (Humanities Theatre, 7:30).

Local volunteers are wanted

Listings this week from the Volunteer Action Centre of Kitchener-Waterloo:

Interested in social justice? "Global Community Centre is looking for motivated individuals to help fulfill their mandate to educate people about global social justice issues: poverty, human rights and the environment. Volunteers with presentation skills are needed to coordinate and deliver educational presentations to schools, churches and other community groups. Those more interested in behind the scenes volunteering can help implement innovative plans to raise funds to support the important work of the organization."

Can you help Block Parents? "Waterloo Region Block Parent Program is inviting volunteers to join their Board of Directors. Individuals with good communication skills and an ability to work as part of a team are needed to develop on-going relationships with current Block Parents. Also needed is a Secretary for the Board to record and process minutes and deal with correspondence. Previous Board experience would be an asset but not necessary. Board Members must become a Block Parent."

Help finish the job and find a cure for Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis. "The Kitchener/Waterloo Chapter of Crohn's and Colitis Foundation has many exciting volunteer opportunities. If coordinating special events or education/awareness events, media relations or even being vice-president are your areas of expertise, they would love to hear from you. Other opportunities include helping at special events, distributing educational material or working with a planning team for chapter activities."


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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