Friday, November 16, 2001
Muslims mark holy monthRamadan begins tonight -- the "blessed month" of fasting for Muslims around the world. During this season, the devout abstain from food, drink and other indulgences during daylight hours, and look for purification of body, mind and spirit.
For the convenience of Muslims living in UW's residences, who have to do their eating before dawn or after sunset, Mudie's cafeteria in Village I will open at 5 a.m. from tomorrow through December 16. A continental breakfast will be served from 5 to 7 a.m.
Merriment dominates Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night", being staged by UW's drama department this week. The final performances are this afternoon (for a high school audience) and tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m. in the Theatre of the Arts.
They'll be displacing about 40 Village residents who have been together for the fall term and had expected to continue living together in the "East E" block for the winter term as well. And some of them are thoroughly unhappy about the move.
Bud Walker, UW's director of business operations, said the residents whose rooms are being taken over are being given all the help they need to move into new rooms in REV or Village I, just before the Christmas holiday or just after. They've also been promised that they can stay with their current roommates if they want to.
But they're unhappy not just at the inconvenience but at having an existing social group broken up, says Sujeet Chaudhuri, dean of engineering. He's received dozens of e-mail messages and phone calls of complaint, he said yesterday: "I'm very surprised at the raw emotion I have received . . . e-mails making judgements on my character!"
Said the dean: "I understand the inconvenience, uprooting people's lifestyle. But it's not crisis. It's not that we didn't look at other alternatives."
What he did, the dean said, was ask the vice-president (administration and finance), Dennis Huber, if space was available anywhere for the graduate students to use. It turned out that about the only available space was in the residences, where at least 250 rooms are typically empty in the winter term because of students leaving for co-op jobs. To get a block of space together meant moving students from one part of residence into empty rooms elsewhere, and East E got the nod. (The Village space is only available until September, when it'll be needed again as residence rooms, since the Villages are full in the fall term.)
Chaudhuri said the number of graduate students in his faculty has increased by about 40 per cent in the past three years, largely as the result of efforts to build up research funding and graduate enrolment. "And we haven't got any space," he said. "We've packed students into rooms to the point that there's a hazard in air quality."
Even with that done, 19 students in electrical and computer engineering are without desks of any kind, and as the winter term begins, he expects the count to rise to 70 grads without space to call their own. "Buildings take time to be built," he said, noting that the new Centre for Environmental and Information Technologies and other construction projects will help a great deal. Officials have also managed to liberate two classrooms in Engineering II that will be turned into office space.
Ron Eydt Village offers "extremely inconvenient space", far from the Davis Centre where the E&CE department is based -- but it's better than the alternative, "people wandering in the streets!"
The team knows its car works, and knows it can travel fast. "Slow down to 100!" teammates had to tell driver Kumi Yamamoto at one point during tests on Tuesday. "We did 0-100 km/h in 37 seconds," says a report by e-mail from Darwin, "not as fast as a Ferrari, but pretty good for a solar car." Next day there was a scare as the motor controller failed and the car lost power, but by yesterday the team had it fixed. (About 20 team members, from the roughly 100 people who have contributed to creating Midnight Sun VI, are in Australia for the race, some of them pictured at left.)
The question is, will UW's entry -- which placed third among 28 entries in the American Solar Challenge last summer -- be able to outrace and outlast some 40 other cars across 3,000 kilometres of Australian outback? Besides UW, teams from Queen's University and the University of Toronto are expected at the challenge.
Since 1989, UW has created a series of solar cars to promote renewable energy resources in transportation. The Midnight Sun Solar Car Project has helped in testing existing ideas while introducing improvements and new concepts in the hopes of bringing solar energy into everyday use.
The car is propelled by electricity generated using solar cells to convert sunlight. Aerodynamically designed, the one-person vehicle resembles a spaceship rather than a conventional passenger vehicle. Midnight Sun VI is low, sleek and colourful, with solar cells covering much of the body and maple leaf decorations festooning the rest. This year's car follows an evolutionary design process with improvements in aerodynamics, electrical and mechanical systems.
Weighing in at less than 500 pounds plus the driver, the 5.1-metre long, two-metre wide, and 1.2-metre high car has a cruising speed of 75 to 80 kilometres per hour. It uses dual leading shoe drum brakes with control cable actuation, treadless Bridgestone Ecopia tires, 30 kilograms of lithium ion batteries in 648 individual cells, a steel push-rod steering design with a tank-tiller-like interface and an aluminum tube frame with an embedded kevlar battery box. The car is also fitted with special fairings, or wheel coverings, which are designed to create a sailing effect in crosswinds.
St. Jerome's University celebrates that shared conviction tonight when Grundy receives the Father Norm Choate Distinguished Graduate Award and Naus delivers the annual Graduate Association Lecture. The event takes place in Siegfried Hall at 7:30 p.m.
Entitled "Transforming Taboos: Reflections on the Teaching of Sexuality", the lecture presents Naus's reflections back over twenty years of teaching on the subject of sexuality-twenty years in which established taboos were challenged and new taboos arose.
Naus came to teach psychology at St. Jerome's in 1973 after receiving his PhD from the University of Nijmegan, the Netherlands, and teaching at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. During his career, he brought a spirit of open inquiry to his students, examining issues of sexuality, aging, and death in ways that challenged taboos and encouraged understanding. He retired from the faculty in 1997 and is Professor Emeritus and an honorary member of the University.
One of the students imprinted by his influence was Joan Grundy, who requested that Naus deliver the 2001 Graduates' Association Lecture as part of the 2001 Father Norm Choate Distinguished Graduate Award presentation. She is also an educator, and currently serves as the Religion and Faith Formation Consultant for the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. Of her career, Grundy says, "I really believe that being a Catholic educator is a vocation and that teaching, in any capacity, is ministry." She has committed herself to re-focussing all elementary and secondary religious education and adult faith formation programs in the Waterloo Catholic school system, and dedicated herself to providing spiritual development programs for her colleagues. She has also ensured that taboo topics, like AIDS, are given a human dimension and understood in that compassionate light.
In recognition of her achievement, Grundy will be given an award named in honour of Father Norm Choate, the former President of St. Jerome's. The St. Jerome's University Graduates' Association began awarding the Award in 1986 to alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their church, community, or field of endeavour.
Admission to tonight's event is free, but pre-registration is appreciated: call Harry Froklage, Director of Development and Graduate Affairs, at 884-8111, ext. 255.
Some events in the middle distanceNovember 22: "2020: Building the Future" lecture by Karen Mock of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, 7 p.m.
November 23-24: "Office Hours", a comedy, produced by the Engineering Society
November 26: Double Cohort Night for future students, Theatre of the Arts, 8 p.m.
November 27: Fine arts "miniature show and sale" opens
November 28: Cultural Caravan in the Student Life Centre
November 29-30: staff association craft sale
December 4: Town hall meeting for faculty and staff with the president and provost, 2:30 p.m.
December 5: Inaugural lecture for the Munich Re Chair in insurance, by chairholder Gordon Willmot, 4 p.m. in Toronto
December 5: Noon-hour choir concert in the Davis Centre great hall
The senate research council will meet at 9 a.m. today in Needles Hall room 3004.
The craft, gift and toy fair sponsored by the Hildegard Marsden day care centre continues today (and tomorrow) all day in the Davis Centre lounge.
And the Early Childhood Education Centre in the PAS (Psychology) building holds its annual Scholastic book fair today and the first three days of next week.
Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) training is offered again today, in the form of a one-hour session with a video and brief quit, starting at 2 p.m. in Davis Centre room 1304. A final opportunity for this term to meet the WHMIS requirement is scheduled for 2 p.m. on November 27.
The Touring Players return to the Humanities Theatre today with shows for school audiences: "A Whimsical Day with the Stories of Marie-Louise Gay", 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
A reception is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. today at St. Jerome's University, to celebrate the installation of a wireless computer network in the two residences. I hope to have more information about that project to pass along soon.
"Immateriality Matters," says Joseph Novak of the philosophy department, who will give a colloquium under that title at 2:30 in Humanities room 334.
The tourism research lecture series continues with a talk at 2:30 by Gordon Nelson of the faculty of environmental studies: "Sacred Places, Nature Conservation and Tourism". Location: Environmental Studies I room 132.
Tomorrow brings a "Mass CPR" training session at the Columbia Icefield, sponsored by the campus recreation program. "Learn to save a life!" says the advertising. The session runs from 9:30 to 2:00 and costs $18; the campus rec office in the Physical Activities Complex should have more information.
Away from campus, the Waterloo Potters' Workshop, which involves more than a few UW people, will hold its annual fall sale at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex, tonight from 5:30 to 9:30, tomorrow from 10 to 5 and Sunday from noon to 4.
And even further away from campus, but worth mentioning, is the annual meeting of the Canadian Bureau for International Education annual conference, being held at the Banff Centre. One of the keynote speakers is UW president David Johnston, who will deliver his remarks (on "Information and Communication Technology and International Education") over a video link on Sunday morning.
Sports this weekend: The basketball teams will host York tonight and Laurentian tomorrow night. Both evenings, the women's teams will play at 6 p.m. and the men's at 8 p.m., in the PAC main gym. Tomorrow, the volleyball teams host Windsor (women at 1 p.m., men at 3 p.m., again in the PAC). The hockey Warriors host Queen's at 2:00 Saturday afternoon and Royal Military College at 2:00 Sunday, in the Columbia Icefield. Away from campus, the swim teams are at Toronto for a meet tomorrow afternoon.