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Thursday, January 20, 2000

  • Planning for high school visitors
  • 'Action plan' on smoking urged
  • Early talk about the budget
  • St. Agnes' Eve: ah, bitter chill
[Two eager faces] Checking their fall term marks -- after waiting in line for half an hour to get them yesterday -- are Lisa White of arts, left, and Heather Thompson, honours psychology. Photo by Barbara Elve.

Planning for high school visitors

The Campus Day open house for this year is eight weeks away -- on Tuesday, March 14 -- and the organizing committee will hold its first full meeting today to talk about the tours, displays, information sessions and face-to-face conversations that the day will bring.

Campus Day is aimed at high school students and their parents, to let potential UW students see first-hand what the day is like. Invitations have been sent out with the "acknowledgement package" that goes to everyone who inquires about admission to Waterloo, and several thousand visitors are expected that day.

[Web page]
UW's undergraduate recruitment and publications staff are glowing this week: their web site for prospective students has won a silver medal from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. The site was created by a team led by Julie Hummel of the registrar's office.
"The faculties and departments have been doing planning on their own," says Barb Trotter of the undergraduate recruitment and publications section in the registrar's office, who will play a key role in pulling it all together.

"So much of it is what's gone on in previous years," she points out. Campus Day is always held on the Tuesday of the high schools' March break, and it always brings nervous parents and eager young people who want to know much the same thing: what's it like to study at university? can I get in? how are the residences, the athletic facilities, the social life? will I like Waterloo? and can I afford it?

As well as the faculties, academic departments and church colleges, Campus Day participants include various non-academic departments of interest to students.

Making the day happen also depends on the UW police and parking services to get the visitors onto campus and out of their cars quickly. Driving directions have been revised for this year's Campus Day, says Trotter: visitors interested in applied health studies, math and science are being told to enter the campus by Columbia Street, while those for the other faculties and the church colleges are being directed up University Avenue.

'Action plan' on smoking urged -- from a UW news release

Just in time for National Non-Smoking Week comes a call from UW-based researchers for "a comprehensive smoking cessation strategy". Without it, says a new appeal, many Ontario smokers will continue to fail in their attempts to quit.

The message comes from the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, based at the University of Toronto; UW is a co-sponsor. The report, "Smoking Cessation in Ontario 1998/1999: Current Trends, Interventions and Initiatives", draws on provincial surveys about smokers' reasons for quitting, smoking cessation programs, reasons for relapse and other issues to make its recommendations.

"Smoking is an epidemic, and we need to have something comparable to the massive vaccination programs against smallpox to help solve it -- we have to deal with it from a public health perspective with a well-funded, province-wide action plan," says Roberta Ferrence, director of the research unit at U of T and senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

"One-third of current smokers in Ontario make a serious attempt to quit each year, yet only four per cent ultimately succeed. Eighty-five per cent of people relapse in the first year after quitting, and most people have to try several times to quit." Part of the problem, she says, is a lack of regulatory restrictions on smoking in the province. Studies have shown many people relapse because they find themselves in smoking environments where there is no support or motivation to quit, so the report recommends a province-wide ban on smoking in all work and public places and the promotion of smoke-free homes. (Waterloo Region introduced a ban on smoking in public places, including bars and restaurants, as of January 1, 2000.)

The report also advocates a substantial increase in tobacco taxes as an incentive to quit. And it says smokers also need a network of clinics and counselling programs.

Existing smoking intervention programs vary widely in their accessibility and accountability, says report co-author Paul McDonald of UW. "Right now, if somebody wants to quit, it's not really clear where they can go for help, and few doctors come up with plans to help their patients quit smoking," he says. The report says all health care professionals should receive training on smoking cessation and recommends that a free telephone helpline be established for people to call for advice and information on quitting smoking.

"The ministry of health and long-term care has started some important initiatives on smoking cessation through the Ontario Tobacco Strategy, but we want to encourage a stronger and more organized commitment to a provincial framework that will encourage and support smokers who want to quit," says McDonald.

Smokers who quit at any age will see improvements in their health, the report says. The risk of having a heart attack, for example, is cut in half compared to continuing smokers after just one year of abstinence. And smoking cessation programs are among the most cost-effective medical treatments. "Successful, but inexpensive interventions can significantly increase workplace productivity and reduce insurance costs, among other things," says McDonald.

Early talk about the budget

The senate finance committee meets this afternoon to hear about how UW's budget is working in the current year and talk about the "outlook" for the year to come.

For 2000-01 things are mostly question marks, as universities wait to hear about government grants and approved tuition fee levels, but the picture is fairly clear for 1999-2000, says provost Jim Kalbfleisch in a report distributed with the agenda for today's meeting.

"The estimated operating deficit has been reduced," he said in October. He'll confirm that at today's meeting: the deficit this year will be about $525,000, "or 0.25% of total income. There are still areas of uncertainty, such as Winter 2000 enrolments. However, it appears that no general budget cut will be needed."

UW's total operating income for the current year, which ends April 30, is estimated at $201,315,000.

The operating fund is the biggest part of UW's finances, with the money coming from government grants ($107 million this year), tuition fees ($71.9 million), co-op and student services fees ($10.0 million), and miscellaneous sources. About three-quarters of that money goes for salaries and benefits to staff, faculty and teaching assistants; the rest includes scholarships, computers, heating bills and library books.

Outside the operating budget are other categories of university funds, including research (about $60 million a year), ancillary operations ($40 million a year, including residences, food services, parking and the bookstore), trust and endowment funds (about $50 million, with only the interest available to be spent), and capital funds (construction money, mostly from the government).

Today's meeting of the senate finance committee starts at 2:30 p.m. in Needles Hall room 3001.

St. Agnes' Eve: ah, bitter chill (Keats)

There has been big demand for today's workshop on "From Presenting to Lecturing: Moving from Telling to Teaching", the teaching resource office advises. "We have had an overwhelming response . . . registration is now closed, and we will take registrants on a waiting list." (Call TRACE at ext. 3132.) The workshop has been moved to a bigger room, Math and Computer room 2038; it starts at 12 noon.

Fine arts professor Joan Coutu will give a public lecture today on "Empire and Propaganda" (1:30 p.m., East Campus Hall room 1219) in connection with the current exhibition in the UW art gallery in the Modern Languages building. The show consists of works by ten fine arts faculty members; it continues through February 20.

At 3:30 p.m., in Physics room 145, Juergen Eckert of the Los Alamos National Laboratory will give a physics colloquium on "Interactions of Molecular Hydrogen from Weak Binding to Chemical Bonding, or from Physics to Chemistry".

"The Federation of Students," a memo tells me, "will be hosting a forum on 'The Future of CECS Online and How Students Can Be a Part of It'. The purpose of this forum is to bring together everyone and anyone who is interested in this issue. There are currently a number of student groups out there who are working on developing solutions to replace the original CECS Online system. There are also a number of students who are interested in finding out more about what's going on." The groups can talk to one another at today's event, which will start at 5:30 in the multi-purpose room of the Student Life Centre.

The urban living and environmental change seminar series continues tonight at the Adult Recreation Centre in downtown Waterloo (185 King Street South, 7 p.m.). Tonight's topic is water; panelists include Bruce Mitchell of UW's geography department.

Tonight at 7:30 in the Theatre of the Arts:

Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
Broadway actor Bruce Kuhn will tell the story of Jesus from the gospel of Luke. Tomorrow night, in a sequel, he'll tell the story of the early Christian church from the Biblical book of Acts. "In a compelling 90 minutes," says a news release, "without props, sets or special effects, the actor tells the story of one of the most influential men in history: a story of politics, love, betrayal and hope. On Thursday, the performance is about the life of Jesus from the King James Version of the Bible. On Friday, Kuhn tells the story from Acts in The Message paraphrase of the Bible. Neither presentation preaches. And both have been described by critics with words like 'riveting', 'striking', and 'a hope and a delight'." The performances are sponsored by Waterloo Christian Fellowship. Tickets are $10, students $7.

Looking ahead to tomorrow night . . . the St. Jerome's Centre for Catholic Experience presents Nancy Nason-Clark of the University of New Brunswick, speaking on "Betrayed Trust: Sex, Violence and the Christian Church".

CAR


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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