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Thursday, June 21, 2001

  • We'll see Midnight Sun VI today
  • The first fund appeal by e-mail
  • Daily events and other notes

[Team on the grass in front of red car]

Team members pose in front of the car at a sneak preview of today's unveiling. They can boast that Midnight Sun was "the only Canadian team to show up with a working vehicle and to qualify" at last month's preliminary event in Topeka.

We'll see Midnight Sun VI today

The official "unveiling" of Midnight Sun VI, UW's competitor in the American Solar Challenge in mid-July, is scheduled for 4:30 this afternoon at the Student Life Centre.

The American Solar Challenge, a solar-powered car race to be held July 15-25, will follow storied Route 66 from Chicago to golden California, with stops along the way in Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The challenge will be the longest solar car race in the world at 2,300 miles (3,703 km), and will feature as many as 45 solar-powered cars built by a variety of organizations: university teams, companies, clubs and individuals worldwide.

The challenge's mission is "to advance renewable energy and electric vehicle technologies, promote educational and engineering excellence, encourage environmental consciousness and teach teamwork". It also provides hands-on experience for engineering students -- and UW's team includes students from other faculties as well -- enabling them to build their technical skills for the 21st century.

"It's thrilling to see the Midnight Sun VI come together," says Greg Thompson, project manager for the team. "Strategy, vehicle design and teamwork will determine the winner of this race. It's all about handling your car efficiently and conserving energy."

Team members made a presentation to UW's board of governors a few weeks ago, shortly after the May event in which the car officially qualified to enter next month's race.

Sponsors for the race include the U.S. Department of Energy, its National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, and Terion in Melbourne, Florida.

The first fund appeal by e-mail

UW, which currently raises $100,000 a week from its alumni and "friends" through mail and phone calls, will try a new tactic for the first time next week: e-mail.

Bob Copeland, who heads the annual fund in the alumni affairs and development office, says about 800 alumni living outside North America will be targeted in "the first e-mail appeal we've ever done". They're among some 20,000 alumni whose e-mail addresses are on file in the office, which opened a popular E-Community program for alumni last year.

A second e-mail program is planned starting in August: electronic means will be used along with phone calls to target some "young" alumni closer to home. If these two experiments go well, Copeland can see a steady increase in the use of e-mail for UW fund-raising. He says many Waterloo alumni already prefer to communicate with the university electronically, and there has been pressure for quick and easy use of the web as a way of making donations and even getting tax receipts in return.

However, letters and phone calls are the main tools used in the annual fund for now. Copeland arrived in the development office just at the beginning of this year, when things were already on track for a record year, raising $4.5 million in gifts of anywhere from a few dollars up to $25,000. More than the $25,000 figure, and a UW supporter is moved to the "major gifts" category and doesn't count toward the annual fund, which brings in funds for scholarships, teaching equipment, library materials and other activities in all parts of campus.

"Most of our success comes through the calling," says Copeland. Each term he provides jobs for 40 to 60 students, who can be found in the South Campus Hall "calling centre" five evenings a week getting in touch with alumni, students' parents and other groups of supporters.

There are about 76,000 UW whose addresses are known in the alumni office, and 36,000 other past and present supporters of various kinds. Last year calls or letters went to about two-thirds of those, and total givings of $4.5 million were the result. Copeland is hoping to raise the number of contacts to three-quarters of the "prospects" in the current year, and to bring in $5.2 million.

There are always new projects starting in the annual fund, such as the e-mail experiment. Towards the end of this year, Copeland says, he's hoping to send out an appeal to patients of UW's optometry clinic, some 8,000 of them. "Fund-raising in the medical area is huge and well-accepted," he says. "A lot of people appreciate the opportunity to give back."

The commuter challenge

The Green Commuter Challenge earlier this month was a success, says Patti Cook, UW's waste management coordinator, writing with multiple exclamation marks. She says 1,074 people signed up to say they were commuting to work by some means that didn't involve internal combustion engines, with the result that over three days, people saved "a total of 2,503.69 kg of pollutants".

She adds that the Region of Waterloo apparently came seventh nationally, based on the population and how many people signed up for the challenge.

There were a number of draw prizes on campus in the course of the event, and I can't list them all, but they include lunch for two at the University Club (Kim Gingerich of math), a cooler (Linda Chapman of the dean of engineering office), mugs, books, and another lunch at the Club (Laurie Strome of the library).

Daily events and other notes

The joint health and safety committee will meet at 1:30 this afternoon in Needles Hall room 3001. The committee has new co-chairs, elected (or volunteered) at its May 24 meeting: John Debrone of the school of architecture and Stu McGill of the kinesiology department.

Even before co-op students get their job matches for the fall term, the continuous phase of interviews is beginning -- the first posting will go up at noon today. Students who aren't expecting to get jobs from the first phase of the process will be scanning bulletin boards and the Access computer system eagerly.

That CBC radio report on the proposed move of UW's school of architecture didn't make it to air yesterday, but word is that it's likely to be on "Radio Noon" (on the Radio One frequency) between 12:00 and 1:00 today.

Students from UW's Sai group will be "making sandwiches for the homeless shelters in K-W" from 1 to 3 this afternoon in the multipurpose room of the Student Life Centre, and would welcome people to drop in and lend a hand. (The Sai group follows the teachings of Indian spiritual leader Sai Baba.) "This is our third term in a row that we've done this," says organizer Amit Bakshi. "We are a spiritual group on campus, but one does not have to be spiritual to help out with this worthy cause."

[Scoins] As math professor Ron Scoins (right) prepares to retire, a reception in his honour will be held this afternoon. Scoins is the long-time organizer of UW's Canadian Mathematics Competition, and winner of teaching awards at both local and provincial levels. I understand that some people who should have been invited to today's event didn't receive their invitations, but the math faculty has been doing its best to get the word out at the last minute. The reception will run from 3:30 to 5:30 today at the University Club. Information: ext. 6508.

A campaign with the slogan "Question Abortion" is getting rolling on campus -- in fact I've noticed flyers along those lines on some bulletin boards in the last few days -- and the official kickoff for the campaign is scheduled for tonight at 7:00, in Biology II room 350. "There will be a discussion," says organizer Alex Cassar, an arts student, "of the arguments and issues surrounding abortion. All are welcome." The Question Abortion campaign is sponsored by UW Students for Life.

The local Engineers Without Borders group has an occasion for special pride tonight. "Matt Phillips, a civil engineering student at UW, has recently returned from the very first internship offered by EWB," a notice says. Phillips worked with ProPoor, a non-governmental organization in India. "While there," says Ellen Kaye-Cheveldayoff of the UW EWB chapter, "he did everything from set up LANs to distribute supplies for earthquake relief." Phillips will talk about his experiences tonight at 6:00 in Davis Centre room 1302.

Being Thursday, it's Math Society movie night -- also in Davis Centre room 1302, which should make things a little confused just before the show starts at 7:00. The early show is "The Man Who Knew Too Little", followed at 9:00 by "The Jackal". Admission is $2.

The faculty of applied health sciences sends word of a PhD oral defence that's been rescheduled once or twice and is now going to be held tomorrow morning at 10:00 (in Matthews Hall room 3119). The candidate is Glenn Ferguson of the department of health studies and gerontology; his thesis is titled "Characterization of Environment Health Risk Assessment Models Based on the Releases from a PCB Incinerator Facility". Steve McColl of the health studies department supervised the thesis work.

Also tomorrow comes another opportunity to take the one-hour training session in the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS). The video and quiz, which people working on campus are supposed to pass if they haven't yet done so, are scheduled for 10 a.m. tomorrow in Davis Centre room 1304.

Running through the Positions Available yesterday, I managed to omit a job that's coming open at St. Jerome's University:

Assistant to the Registrar and Coordinator of Recruitment, St. Jerome's University, USG 7: Reporting to the Registrar, this person will assist with recruitment, admissions, and publications. Responsibilities include planning and implementation of recruitment events and initiatives, scheduling and coordination of liaison visits, travelling to high schools to present information to prospective applicants, processing application and admissions documents, advising prospective applicants, and assisting with production of recruitment and academic publications (brochures, posters, calendars). Candidates should possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills, organizational skills, a proven ability to work independently and as a group member, ability to manage multiple priorities and tasks, and experience with wordprocessing, desktop publishing and database management. Knowledge of recruitment and admissions policies, practices and procedures would be an asset. Interested candidates should submit a resume to the St. Jerome's Registrar by July 3, 2001.
Sorry 'bout that.

CAR


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Copyright © 2001 University of Waterloo