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Friday, April 12, 2002

  • Lunch bug not salmonella
  • Grebel fills one vacant post
  • Leftover books will be 25 cents
  • Just a few other notes today
Chris Redmond

Baisakhi, Vaisakhi, new year festival

Lunch bug not salmonella

Food poisoning has been ruled out as the source of an illness that struck some 22 engineering students and faculty following an end-of-term lunch on April 2.

The group dined at Johnny Fiasco's, a nearby restaurant on University Avenue, and about a dozen appeared over the next few days at UW health services with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills, muscle aches and pains.

Ten other restaurant patrons not linked to the university reported similar illnesses, said Cathy Egan, manager of food safety and infection control for the Waterloo region community health department.

A stool sample from one of the victims has tested negative for food poisoning such as salmonella, Ruth Kropf, clinic supervisor at health services on campus, reported yesterday. Laboratory tests to identify a possible virus are still being conducted.

An inspection of the restaurant by regional staff has uncovered no signs of salmonella poisoning, said Egan on Thursday. "The restaurant's practices are good," in terms of the way in which food is stored, handled and refrigerated. "We may be dealing with an intestinal virus," she added, which could have been spread by a food handler at the restaurant who didn't follow proper hygiene procedures.

Unlike a typical case of food poisoning where symptoms appear quickly and are often violent, this illness took about 48 hours to appear and was less severe, said Kropf. Victims were sick for 30 to 35 hours, and she is aware of no impact on exams as a result of the incident.

Grebel fills one vacant post

[Epp] With the announcement that Marlene Epp (right) will become academic dean on July 1, Conrad Grebel University College has taken a big step towards the "changing of the guard" described in the latest issue of its alumni newsletter.

Change has been in line for the two top jobs at Grebel, as dean Conrad Brunk left for the University of Victoria at the end of 2001 and president John Toews announced that he will retire at the end of this year.

Epp has been acting dean at Grebel since January 1, and "is doing a superb job", says a statement from Toews. "The college very naturally and easily turned to her for a longer-term appointment as academic dean. Marlene has earned the trust and confidence of the faculty in her two years of service." She joined the college's faculty in the fall of 2000 after several years as an adjunct faculty member.

She's also been editor of the Conrad Grebel Review since 1998. Epp received her PhD in history from the University of Toronto in 1996. Before that she earned her BA from the University of Manitoba and an MA from UW. She is the author of Women without Men: Mennonite Refugees of the Second World War and Mennonites in Ontario: An Introduction. She also is one of the editors of a forthcoming volume, Sisters or Strangers? Immigrant Women, Minority Women and the Racialized Other, in Canadian History. In addition, she is writing a book commissioned by the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada, A Historical Survey of Women, Gender, and Family in Canadian Mennonite Communities.

The Grebel newsletter makes it clear that Brunk, "known to every Gebelite over the past 25 years and beyond", will be greatly missed. "Brunk has been a model teacher and scholar, a first-rate administrator, and a wonderful colleague," Toews said.

And Toews himself, as he comes to the end of his term, has big shoes to be filled, the newsletter said, noting that Grebel's board has already formally "commended Toews for his many accomplishments" during seven years as president.

A search committee is at work finding his successor, it said. "A very strong staff, faculty and student leadership, not to mention the excellent financial position of the College, ensure stability in the midst of these changes."

Leftover books will be 25 cents

When "the big book sale" finishes tomorrow, any leftover books will be an even bigger bargain, right on campus.

The sale -- 11:00 to 9:00 today and 9:00 to 1:00 tomorrow -- is an annual fund-raiser sponsored by the local chapter of the Canadian Federation of University Women. An estimated 100,000 books will be on sale, mostly for about $1 apiece, at First United Church in central Waterloo, and many a student, professor and staff member will be there to rummage through the junk in search of the gold.

And afterwards, the Used Book Store, run by the Federation of Students, will be taking all the unsold books and offering them for sale in the lower concourse of the Student Life Centre. The sale starts "around 5 p.m." tomorrow. Each book sells for 23 cents plus 2 cents for GST -- total, a quarter.

John Jongerius, the store's manager, co-ordinates the project, which involves staff from central stores, the Federation of Students and the Student Life Centre. Says a memo from the Federation: "John personally loads the books, unloads and sets out the thousands and thousands of books that are left over from the sale. This is a great opportunity for students, staff and faculty to take advantage of great books at great prices and help save space in the landfill. These books are on display 24 hours a day in the lower foyer of the Student Life Centre until April 26. Payment is made on an honour system."

And, the memo adds, any books that don't sell even at the 25-cent price still have a future. With support from the African Students Society, the store will send leftovers to Africa. In addition, "The Used Bookstore will also be donating hundreds of top quality used textbooks to the Africian Students Society."

Just a few other notes today

The Humanities Theatre in Hagey Hall is the site of the Canadian National Dance Competition this weekend with dancers from ages five to late teens performing. Organizers are setting the stage today for the annual contest which runs on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The public is welcome to drop in for the show.

The Waterloo Concert Band presents "Sunday Afternnoon at the Show" -- music from movies, musicals, TV and "some big band stuff as well" -- on Sunday, April 14, at 3 p.m. in Hilliard Hall, First United Church, Waterloo. Tickets are $5 at the door. While not affiliated with UW, the band has "many members who fall into the alumni, staff and student categories," says chemistry grad student James Harynuk, the "Waterloo Band publicity guy."

Barbara Elve


April 12, 1962: Engineering II is officially opened by Ontario premier John Robarts.

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