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University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Thursday, January 11, 2001

  • It's an emergency: call 9-911
  • Gun incident on ring road confirmed
  • Notes on Sir John A's birthday
  • Ontario ranks last, think tank says
  • Optimizing web pages for search engines

[Emergency light]

Grievance about math marks

Hearings started in Needles Hall yesterday in two related cases under the faculty grievance procedure that was approved last year. The grievances stem from an incident at the end of the winter term last year. Alan George, dean of mathematics (and now UW's acting provost), raised the marks of 19 students in an "enriched" calculus class to match the level those students would likely have reached in the "core" version of the same course. The faculty member who taught the enriched course is charging that the dean's action, taken without his consent, violated academic freedom. The faculty association, with support from the Canadian Association of University Teachers, has filed a separate, collective grievance, asking for a clear ruling against an administrator's right to change marks.

It's an emergency: call 9-911

There's a fire, or somebody needs an ambulance. Who you gonna call?

Call 9-911, says a note from UW's safety director, Kevin Stewart, who adds that this crucial number is somehow missing from the emergency list on the inside front cover of the new campus phone book.

Says Stewart: "I encourage people with campus extension phones to write in, on the inside of the phone directory cover, Ambulance/Fire 9-911.

"This number rather than 4911 should be used for Ambulance to facilitate the emergency response. Normally the Fire Department is notified through a building's fire alarm system; however, in some cases such as a vehicle fire, 9-911 should be used."

Dialing those four digits from an on-campus phone reaches the Waterloo Region emergency dispatch centre -- the same people who answer calls to plain "911" from phones in residence rooms, pay phones and phones off campus.

As the phone book does note, 4911 is the extension number for the UW police, who should be called in other kinds of emergencies. (From off campus, the university police can be reached at 888-4911.)

Another suggestion, says Stewart, is to check your extension phone to see if it has an orange 9-911 sticker. If not, you can contact Sheila Hurley in the safety office at ext. 3587 to have a sticker sent to you.

Gun incident on ring road confirmed

UW police have confirmed that a student was robbed in an incident involving a gun at about 2:10 on Tuesday morning.

The male student was heading home from Carl Pollock Hall towards the University Avenue plaza when he was flagged down by a car coming along the ring road, and went over to the car thinking he was giving directions. The driver pulled a gun and demanded money. The victim started to run away, but slipped, and one or more men from the car grabbed him and took his wallet. The victim then went home and called UW police.

It's standard procedure for the UW police to involve Waterloo Regional Police when an incident involves a gun, said sergeant Wayne Shortt. The Regionals are now investigating.

Notes on Sir John A's birthday

The Warrior men's basketball team pleased a home crowd last night with an upset win, 84-69, over the Western Ontario Mustangs, ranked #2 in Canada. Waterloo's scoring was led by veteran guards John Quinlan with 22 points (and 8 rebounds) and Shane Cooney with 20 points. Veteran centre Dan Schipper contributed 14 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocked shots, and rookie Bryan Nichol had 7 points, 7 assists and 4 steals. The next home game for the Warriors is at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 20, against their cross-town rivals from Laurier.

In yesterday's Bulletin I made mention of the due date for term loan books from the libraries, and suggested that there would be last-minute crowds at the circulation desks renewing books. "We don't have crowds any more," says user services supervisor Alex McCulloch in the Dana Porter Library. "Most people renew over the web now." Which they could do yesterday -- but today's too late: overdue books can't be renewed electronically.

A note from the local Volunteer Action Centre: "Your good listening skills and ability to be supportive and non-judgmental are needed by Safe Haven Shelter, a shelter for 12-15-year-olds. You will receive orientation and ongoing training as you work with a staff member to provide crisis intervention and emotional support to youth in crisis. Volunteers are especially needed weekend evenings and overnight." For more information, the VAC can be reached at 742-8610.

Events today, briefly:

And it'll be seafood night at Mudie's cafeteria in Village I.

Tomorrow brings a "résumé blitz" in the co-op and career services department. Olaf Naese of CECS explains:

The blitz is specifically targeted to pre first work term co-op students. A combination of 25-30 people from CECS, including field co-ordinators, advisors, administrative staff, co-op students on work term with CECS and trained student volunteers, will offer 15 minute individual meetings with students who need additional assistance putting their résumés together. The "blitz" runs Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Help is offered on a first come, first served basis. Students can put their name on a list at the Paging Desk in Needles Hall (beginning at 9:00 on Friday) and they will be paged when their name comes up.
The blitz is usually very popular, he says: "Last term over 500 students had their résumés reviewed."

And here's a reminder that the "At Work" program from Weight Watchers will be running on campus again this term. An information session will be held Monday at 12 noon in Math and Computer room 5158A.

Ontario ranks last, think tank says

"A patchwork quilt of provincial policies is creating massive imbalances in educational opportunity across Canada," says a report released yesterday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a think tank usually described as "left-wing".

In its second year, Missing Pieces II: An Alternative Guide to Canadian Post-Secondary Education ranks provinces according to "their overall commitment" to higher education. The ranking is the product of sub-rankings of provincial performance in four categories; equity, accessibility, quality, and public accountability. Each category has four or five component indicators.

British Columbia, Quebec and Manitoba performed best overall, says the CCPA. "Notable were their efforts to keep higher education affordable." Ontario was at the bottom of the ranking, as it was in the 1999 survey, falling even further behind. "Notable in Ontario's deteriorating performance," the CCPA charges, "were further tuition fee increases and the abdication of provincial responsibility for higher education to private interests."

Manitoba showed the biggest improvement in its ranking compared to last year -- from 6th to 3rd, mainly because of a tuition fee rollback, an increase in provincial spending, and an increase in the participation rate. Alberta and New Brunswick saw their rankings fall (from 5th to 8th and 3rd to 6th, respectively). "Striking in both provinces' performances were steep declines in public accountability, reflecting the ceding of provincial responsibility for public education to private sources or individuals," the CCPA says. "Nova Scotia's sagging performance this year (3rd to 4th) reflected the declining number of college faculty and declining provincial expenditures on post-secondary education per capita."

The report's authors, Erika Shaker and Denise Doherty-Delorme, say that "as federal and many provincial governments continue to move toward cost-recovery-based funding, and as post-secondary education budgets are slashed, inequities among provinces, among institutions, among departments, among communities and among citizens are widening.

"Depending on the provincial government's level of commitment, higher education in many provinces is moving backward from being a basic right of citizenship toward being a privilege available mainly to those in the upper income groups," the authors conclude.

Optimizing web pages for search engines -- by Carol Vogt, information systems and technology

You have spent a lot of time creating your web pages, and now you would like to know that readers who might be interested in your pages can find them using search engines. These searchers include those using the search page pointed to by the UWinfo home page, which searches only University of Waterloo pages, as well as those using any of a number of web search engines that index all the sites on the world wide web. Note that the search box that searches the University of Waterloo web site uses the Google search engine.

There are three steps that must happen before a search engine presents your page to an interested reader.