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Wednesday, January 31, 2001

  • Degrees in sex, marriage and family
  • Feds election campaign begins
  • E&CE students show off projects
  • Two major lectures; other events

Degrees in sex, marriage and family-- from today's Gazette

[Vanin] After 30 years as a faculty of arts interdisciplinary program -- providing students with a diploma, minor or options -- the "studies in sexuality, marriage and the family" program is offering full degrees for the first time. Approval was granted last fall for three-year and four-year general majors, and students are already signing on for the new degrees, says SMF director Cristina Vanin (left), a religious studies professor at St. Jerome's University, which administers the SMF program.

"Students already working on one of the SMF options can shift into the major, instead," says Vanin, who expects the first degree graduate some time this year. The minor, options and diploma will still be offered, as well.

Vanin initiated a reexamination of the direction of the SMF program when she became director a year ago, and found sufficient numbers of faculty and interest among students to sustain a degree program. Research about similar programs across the country found that the St. Jerome's program is unique in combining studies in sexuality with those of marriage and the family.

Founded by Leo Lafreniere, a priest and "European-trained sexologist," the SMF program was first offered at St. Jerome's in 1972 as a summer institute designed primarily for teachers in Roman Catholic school boards. The program became popular among public school teachers as well, and in the mid-1980s began to be offered as a regular on-campus program.

While the approach to the subject "may not be in the same way as in the 70s," says Vanin, sexuality, marriage and the family are still "integral dimensions of human life faced in the context in which we are living. In our day, marriage means exploring questions about different family forms, gay and lesbian issues, permanence, or even the decision not to marry."

Guest speakers in today's SMF courses may include a person in the process of changing genders or a social worker from a sexual assault centre. Recent seminar topics have dealt with prostitution, pornography, and the issues surrounding female genital mutilation.

And despite the origins of the program, SMF "is not founded on the basis of teaching from a Roman Catholic perspective. It's not about indoctrination," says Vanin, pointing to the interdisciplinary nature of the program, which includes courses from anthropology, English, history, philosophy, psychology and sociology, as well as religious studies and other areas.

Student completing the degree program could pursue graduate degrees in related disciplines, or follow careers in counselling, health, social services, law, psychology, or other fields. Whatever their goals, students can gain a better understanding of their own sexuality, "a critical perspective on the way our culture portrays sex, gender, marriage and the family," or even explore the social and ethical issues related to new reproductive technologies.

Candidates for senate

Elections for four undergraduate senate seats are being held at the same time as the Federation election. The candidates:

Applied health sciences -- Rohit Ramchandani, health studies; Robert Robson, recreation and business.

Arts -- Katherine Schwass, English; Brenda Slomka, speech communications and drama.

Mathematics -- Michael Morgan, math and business (economics); Stephen Skrzydlo, computer science and information systems.

At-large -- Stephen Lockwood, engineering (non-degree); Tanya Morose, kinesiology.

Acclaimed to senate seats without an election were Alex Matan, electrical engineering, for an engineering seat, and Jesse Waltman, accountancy, for an at-large seat.

No nominations were received for the environmental studies and independent studies seat on senate.

Full information, with brief statements from the candidates, can be found on the secretariat web site and will be published in next week's Gazette.

Feds election campaign begins

Candidates and their volunteers began blanketing the campus with posters, banners and other election material this morning, marking the start of this year's Federation of Students executive elections. Eight candidates are vying for three open seats on the Feds' executive board for 2001-02.

Fourth-year engineering student Ryan Stammers was acclaimed to the fourth spot -- he'll serve next year as vice-president (education).

Seeking to lead the Federation as president are Chris DiLullo (fourth-year environmental studies), Yaacov Iland (fourth-year mathematics), and Albert Nazareth (fourth-year science).

Candidates for vice-president (administration & finance) are André Cousineau (fourth-year arts) and Dawn Phillips (third-year arts). Candidates for vice-president (student issues) are Brenda Beatty (third-year arts), YiFan Chua (fourth-year arts), and Jessica Gross (fourth-year engineering).

Two more races will fill open seats on the Feds students' council. Third-year student Mike Kerrigan and first-year student Jesse Waltman seek to represent co-op students in arts. Third-year student Stephen Skryzdlo and first-year student Mir Ahmed Ali Tariq hope to represent math students in the regular stream. Those are the only seats on the 30-member council currently up for election; some positions have been filled by acclamation and others will wait for by-elections during the spring term.

Until the campaign wraps up at 4 p.m. on February 9, candidates will be pitching their qualifications and answering students' questions in cafeterias, lounges and classrooms. As well, a forum is scheduled for Monday, February 5, in the Student Life Centre great hall from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. There, candidates will be answering the questions posed by a panel of reporters from Imprint and uwstudent.org.

Details about candidates' platforms and about this year's electronic voting process are available on the Federation website. Full-time undergraduate students may cast their ballots online between February 9 at 6 p.m. and February 16 at 4 p.m.

E&CE students show off projects

More than 250 students graduating from the electrical and computer engineering program this year will present 62 group design projects at the inaugural fourth-year design project symposium to be held today and tomorrow.

Student groups will display their design project posters for the public in the Davis Centre, as well as being available to discuss the projects. Each group will also present its project in seminar format to invited guests from industry, academe and the media. Seminars are scheduled throughout both days in various Davis Centre rooms.

Design project topics include multimedia transmission and data handling, low-power circuit design, RF (Radio Frequency) technology and communication systems, encryption, web-delivered tutorials, robotic control and visual tracking, e-commerce applications, wireless receiver design and applications. Some projects also have societal impact, such as vision and hearing aid advances.

Sujeet Chaudhuri, the dean of engineering, describes the depth and breadth of this year's projects as an "indisputable testimonial to the quality of engineers graduating from the department this year." He acknowledged the work of faculty members, technologists and industry partners who have provided "essential support" to the students.

The student groups participating in the symposium are the first graduates to complete the intensive fourth-year design project course sequence, which challenges students in their final year of study to work in groups to identify and address a specific design problem. It gives these students the opportunity to showcase their projects in poster and prototype format and present them as seminars to external audiences.

Students will be graded on their presentations, says Jim Barby, coordinator of the E&CE fourth-year design project. "Being able to present your ideas to an investor or a client or a boss is essential in our field. These seminars and poster presentations -- in front of an external audience -- help our students develop the skills they'll need to do that successfully."

"We are extremely proud of the first-rate efforts made by our students to make their projects a success," says Tony Vannelli, chair of the electrical and computer engineering department. "The future leaders in the emerging high-tech areas will be showcased at this symposium." Opening ceremonies are at 9:30 this morning.

[Seated woman]

Two major lectures; other events

Time to fish or cut bait: today's the last day to pay fees for the winter term. "Tuition fees or arrangements [are] not accepted after this date," a calendar from the registrar's office says. And these folks mean business: "The winter academic record of students who have not paid will be deleted."

Ann Roberts, award-winning artist and faculty member in UW's department of fine arts, will speak this afternoon under the title "The Art of Ceramics: A Muddy Field". Says the poster for the event: "Ann Roberts uses images of animate and inanimate forms in her sculptures to portray the interdependence of life. Her 'Phoebe' is portrayed as a woman in control of her life." (That's "Phoebe" pictured at right.) Roberts's talk is the 20th annual Faculty of Arts Lecture, and will start at 3:30 this afternoon in the Theatre of the Arts. Admission is free.

[Behind huge pads]
Ken Dryden played in goal from early days.
Also in the Theatre of the Arts, and also free, legendary goalie Ken Dryden, now president of the Toronto Maple Leafs, will speak at 7:00 tonight. He's brought to campus by the student-run "2020: Building the Future" lecture series, and will be talking about "the relationship between hockey and the essence of being Canadian". (Dryden comments on a similar topic in a nostalgic article in the current Imperial Oil Review.)

Another significant talk on campus is scheduled for tomorrow: Mike Lazaridis, president of Research In Motion, will speak at 5:30 (Davis Centre room 1302). His talk is sponsored by the Entrepreneurs' Association.

And tomorrow night, dare I remind you, brings the opening of this year's nonpareil show: A FASS Oddity. It's the 39th (I think) annual "FASS Night"; performances are scheduled for Thursday and Saturday at 8, Friday at 7 and 10, in the Humanities Theatre.


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 Yesterday's Bulletin
Copyright © 2001 University of Waterloo