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University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Tuesday, March 13, 2001

  • Visitors come and mailings go
  • Meetings discuss possible fee increase
  • Co-op job rate 'substantial improvement'
  • Other notes and events

Visitors come and mailings go

Many of UW's future students are on campus this morning, and so are some of their parents and sisters and brothers. It's Campus Day, the annual open house at which potential students see what Waterloo is like and get some of their questions answered.

Answers to some questions are also arriving in their mailboxes back home, as two mailings have been sent this month to students who have applied to enter the university in September. One deals with residence -- being guaranteed to all first-year students who want it this year, for the first time -- and one provides information about scholarships and other financial issues.

"Two new web sites are being developed to complement the printed pieces," adds Tina Roberts, director of undergraduate student recruitment. They're rez.uwaterloo.ca for information about residences, and powerup.uwaterloo.ca for the word on scholarships. Both web sites greet visitors with high-tech animated commercials before getting into the nitty-gritty.

[Power Up logo] The financial site (left) says it's aimed at "increasing your financial power base with tips, quizzes, and links to online financial information sources". The rez site describes and promotes UW's Villages and townhouses, the church colleges and other possible places to live and eat. (Among the tidbits of advice: Columbia Lake Townhouse residents may want a bike to get to campus.)

The main web site for potential UW students is findoutmore.uwaterloo.ca.

Checking the mail and the web will have to wait a few hours for the future students who are here today, dashing between the chilly raindrops to visit academic buildings, residences and the Student Life Centre, where more than a dozen service departments have displays to tell students and parents about what UW does to look after students and help them succeed.

Meetings discuss possible fee increase

An open letter from the president of the Federation of Students, to be published in the Gazette tomorrow, announces several open meetings at which he'll ask for comments about whether students support a $25-a-term fee boost to help pay for the proposed new co-op building at UW.

The letter from Chris Farley, whose term as Fed president will end next month, is an update of a letter from him that was published in Friday's Imprint. Farley gave a progress report to students' council on Sunday, saying that more consultation was needed, and has now postponed the March 19 deadline that he announced in Imprint.

[Architect's drawing] His letter gives some background to the planned construction of the co-op building. "There have been extensive public consultations with students, architects have been hired, a site (between South Campus Hall and Hagey Hall) has been selected (right), and students are sitting on the Building Committee. . . .

"Co-Operative Education is UW's flagship, and the reason many students select UW over other universities. Despite that, CECS staff, whose role it is to ensure that our students get the best possible jobs, are often unable to work, as they must surrender their offices to employers due to the interview facility shortage. . . .

"The University of Waterloo applied for and received funding from the province to build a new facility to house CECS. This new building is under design, and is scheduled to be fully open and operational September 2002, in time to meet the double cohort.

"Of course, problems with this building have emerged. Provincial funding does not cover all of the costs related to construction. In fact, the province only committed 50% of the total costs, with the remainder to be developed through private sources. Million of dollars must be raised to bridge this shortfall. The University is continuing in its efforts to solicit funds to support the construction of this building, but needs some guarantee of funding now. The worst-case scenario, which both the University and the Federation of Students seek to prevent, is for construction to begin on the Co-Op building, and then halt indefinitely due to insufficient funds.

"It was in this context that I was approached by the University administration. In a nutshell, they want to determine student opinion, concerning increasing the co-operative education fee by $25 to bridge this shortfall. This shortfall is approximately $4.35 million. . . .

"I have been working with various committees and members of the administration to explore all possible options short of asking students for money. . . . Due to other decisions of the provincial government, the university is not in a position to float these costs out of its general operating expenditures without seriously compromising the integrity of other academic programs. Corporate donations are difficult to solicit successfully right now, due to the high-tech meltdown, and fear of an upcoming recession. Further, many of our traditional donors have recently made large donations, and UW does not yet fit into their philanthropic plans again. . . .

"If you agree to make up the shortfall, it would amount to $25 increase in the Co-op fee for the next twenty-five years. The fee will not be collected until it constructed and occupied. Any donations the University solicits in the interim will be used to shorten the payback period."

To get student comment, Farley says, three public meetings are scheduled: Thursday at 11:30 in Arts Lecture Hall room 113, Thursday at 2:30 in Engineering Lecture room 101, and Friday at 1 p.m. in Davis Centre room 1351.

He concludes: "There is a tight schedule and we plan on giving the administration our official response by April, so please do not delay in contacting us for more information or share your opinions."

[Name tag identifies Talbot-Allan]

New vice-president meets her Waterloo

Laura Talbot-Allan, soon to be vice-president (university relations) of UW, arrived on campus yesterday for a get-to-know-you visit and to start house-hunting. She had lunch in South Campus Hall (right) with most of the staff of the two departments that will report to her, development and alumni affairs and information and public affairs, and met with senior staff.

"I was found out of the blue," she said about the search process that led to an offer of the UW job. (Most recently head of her own Ottawa consulting firm, she was previously a bank executive, and before that an assistant deputy minister in the federal government.) Why come to Waterloo? Among the attractions, she said in a brief interview, were the co-op program, UW's reputation in software development and technology transfer, and the reputation of president David Johnston, though she hadn't known him personally.

Her goal as the VP in charge of external funding and government relations: "to keep Waterloo a front-running institution and have it recognized internationally and nationally". Said Talbot-Allan: "There should be a certain number of first-rank institutions across Canada, and Waterloo should be one of them." And that doesn't just require cheques, she said; it will take awareness and political support from UW's friends and alumni too.

She starts work as VP on April 2.

Co-op job rate 'substantial improvement'

There are 4,340 co-op students with jobs this winter term, and just 26 without them, says a final report from Bruce Lumsden, director of the co-op education and career services department.

"These figures are a substantial improvement compared to previous winter terms," says Lumsden. Last year as the winter term neared its end, there were 4,163 co-op students with jobs and 88 without. That's still a 97.9 per cent employment rate, but this year the figure has risen to 99.4 per cent.

"This is the result of a tremendous effort on everyone's part," says Lumsden, "and one we need to maintain over the succeeding terms."

In several faculties there are no unemployed students at all this term: applied health sciences (180 in jobs), accounting (416 in jobs), architecture (155 in jobs), environmental studies (122 in jobs), and the teaching options (25 in jobs).

The figures for other faculties: arts, 305 with jobs, 2 without; engineering, 1,536 with jobs, 4 without; mathematics, 1,244 with jobs, 14 without; science, 355 with jobs, 6 without.

Other notes and events

Lovely day, if you don't mind the ice. I understand there was an early-morning accident near the Chemistry-Biology link, in which someone slipped and fell, and was badly enough hurt to be taken away by ambulance. Things are melting rapidly now; there's a forecast high of 5 degrees today.

And let me just drop in a word of thanks to my tolerant readers -- only one person, of all the thousands who read the Daily Bulletin, bothered to comment on the typographical error I made yesterday, saying that UW's student programmers were "one of four teams that received told medals". Told medals, eh? "Couldn't possibly be related to a gold medal, could it?" my correspondent asked.

The water is turned off in most of Carl Pollock Hall this morning (8 a.m. to noon). A memo from plant operations says both hot and cold water will be off in "all washrooms and custodial rooms". The reason: "Create offices" -- presumably not in the washrooms and custodial rooms, of course.

The second of this year's St. Bede Lectures will be given at Renison College tonight: Donna Bomberry of the national Anglican Church will "explain the implications" of a planned "act of healing and reconciliation" between the church and Canadian aboriginal people. The lecture starts at 7:30 in the chapel at Renison; all are welcome.

Guelph's Gryphons and Laurier's Golden Hawks face off tonight in the first game of a hockey "mini-tournament" to determine who acts as host team in the national championship tournament in Kitchener later this month. UW's Warriors face the loser of tonight's game on Wednesday night and the winner on Thursday night. All games will be played at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.

Tomorrow brings a special lecture on "Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust", sponsored by the Jewish studies program. The speaker is Stephen Katz of Boston University; the event is scheduled for 7:30 Wednesday night at Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's University.

Thursday evening will bring the signing of a formal agreement between UW and the City of Cambridge for arrangements to move the school of architecture to Cambridge. The signing and a reception are scheduled for 6:00 Thursday in the council chambers at Cambridge City Hall. The school is planning a move -- if all the financing comes through -- to a 3.5-acre site on the banks of the Grand River, just north of the Riverbank Steak House on Water Street in the Galt core area of Cambridge.


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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Copyright © 2001 University of Waterloo