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Wednesday, March 13, 2002

  • Number of staff edges upwards
  • Prof gets grant from anxiety group
  • 'Queers wrapped in celluloid'
  • Notes in the last week of winter
Editor:
Chris Redmond
credmond@uwaterloo.ca

Uranus discovered on this date | Poem


World news today

  • Ontario public service strike

  • 2001 census of Canada
  • [Orange graph]

    Number of staff edges upwards

    UW now has almost as many staff as it had before the Special Early Retirement Program of 1996, according to figures accompanying the operating budget for the coming year.

    The number of staff has crept up year by year, and in the fall of 2001 it hit 1,545.4, the budget papers show. That compares with 1,555.2 in the fall of 1995, just before the wave of early retirements. The number fell to 1,457.4 in the fall of 1996, as only about half of the staff who retired were replaced.

    The graph at left shows the steady rise in the number of "academic support staff" since then. The count only includes staff paid from the operating budget, so staff members in ancillary operations, such as food services, are not included. The figures from 1997 to date are taken from the current budget; figures for 1994 through 1996 are from the 1998 budget. (There may be small discrepancies caused by changes in how positions are counted.)

    From 2000 to 2001, the number of staff positions rose from 1,525.1 to 1,545.4, a growth of 1.3 per cent.

    More than a quarter of staff (this year 449.6 positions) work in the faculties. The rest are spread across non-academic departments, including plant operations (333.0 positions), the library (140.0), information systems and technology (117.0) and co-op education and career services (82.3).

    Growth in the past year included 9 positions in development and alumni affairs (from 39 to 48), 2.5 in electrical and computer engineering, 2 in co-op and 2 in the library. The figures include positions that were vacant at the time the count was taken.

    [Fingers and copper piping]

    Campus Day visitors watch a demonstration in the concrete testing laboratory in Engineering III. The campus was full of future students and their parents yesterday -- I haven't heard estimates of the attendance yet, but it should have been pretty good, because for once there was gorgeous weather for the annual event.

    Prof gets grant from anxiety group

    A UW psychology professor is one of five winners of this year's Career Development Travel Awards presented by the Anxiety Disorders Association of America.

    Christine Purdon, who came to UW in 1997, is an expert on obsessional intrusive thoughts, obsessive compulsive disorders, as well as pathological and non-pathological worry. She also studies human sexual anxiety and sexual fantasy.

    The awards will be presented at the ADAA's annual national conference March 21-24 in Austin, Texas. The winners have the opportunity to present their research at the meetings, and Purdon said she will discuss her work on thought suppression in the persistence of obsessions in individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    The Career Development Travel Award is granted to PhD-level scientists or physicians involved in anxiety disorders research. Winners receive a stipend to attend the ADAA's national conference and invitation-only satellite research symposium, as well as the conference of either the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology or the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy.

    Proposals for the award must be relevant to the ADAA's mission to promote diagnosis, treatment and awareness of anxiety disorders. This is the fourth year the ADAA is presenting these awards.

    The ADAA, based in Rockville, Maryland, is a national, non-profit organization of researchers, health care professionals and individuals with anxiety disorders. The ADAA is dedicated to the early diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of anxiety disorders. Its goal is to promote professional and public awareness and understanding of anxiety disorders. As well, it seeks to increase the availability of effective treatment, reduce the stigma surrounding anxiety disorders, and stimulate research.

    The other award winners this year come from American institutions: the Massachusetts General Hospital, Temple University, Columbia University, and the University of Michigan. In addition to the stipend, awardees receive a one-year ADAA membership.

    'Queers wrapped in celluloid'

    That's how organizers are describing the Rainbow Reels film festival, which runs tomorrow through Saturday, partly in UW's Davis Centre.

    Says a news release about the event: "On March 14-17 the screens of the Princess and the Davis Centre may not be screening films that found mainstream success. However, they will be showing a diverse set of films which found accolades at Sundance, the Toronto International Film Festival and the San Francisco Gay Film Festival. [Rainbow Reels] The second annual Rainbow Reels queer film festival will be presenting seven internationally-acclaimed films over the course of those four days. Panning a wide range of issues and genres, the festival will attempt to engage in dialogue around the variety of experiences faced by the queer community."

    It continues: "Highlighting the diversity both within mainstream society and the queer community itself, the festival's selections raise serious questions around race, gender, pedophilia, the holocaust and the apocalypse." Organizing committee member (and UW political science student) Mark Schaan stresses that "the diversity within the festival will have something for everyone and will allow for a panoramic snapshot of queer issues to encourage dialogue and commentary in our community."

    The festival will open with the Canadian premiere of "L.I.E." on Thursday night at the Princess Cinema in uptown Waterloo and will be followed by a Friday night opening gala featuring celebrated Canadian gay author Shyam Selvadurai (Cinnamon Gardens, Funny Boy) presented by the UW bookstore. Films continue Friday through Sunday in Davis Centre 1302.

    The festival is free (supported by the Waterloo Public Interest Research Group and the Federation of Students), "and attendance from both the queer community and the community-at-large is encouraged."

    Notes in the last week of winter

    A funeral service will be held today for Stephanie Chisholm-Nelson, who died on campus March 5. Visitation is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the service beginning at 1:00, at the Arthur Funeral Home, 492 Wellington Street East, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario (705-759-2522).

    The Yume Project comes to the Student Life Centre for two days. "Our goal," organizers say, "is to send a thousand paper cranes to Hiroshima's Peace Park." Opening ceremonies are at noon today and closing ceremonies are at 5 p.m. Thursday, and there will be special events through both days, including origami lessons, book displays, and storytelling with the tale of Sadako, the Hiroshima girl who made crane-folding a symbol of peace. At 1:30 today, the film "Hotaru no Haka" ("Grave of the Fireflies") will be shown.

    I said yesterday that it was Ring Day in the UW Shop, and it wasn't; sorry. Today is the day you can visit the shop, in the South Campus Hall concourse, and get a 15 per cent discount on UW rings.

    And I wrote that the history department was going to "prevent" a talk yesterday on "How the Empire Struck Back", a typographical error that led to several smart remarks in my e-mail. Uh, that should be "presents", I think.

    Conrad Grebel University College today presents -- not prevents -- several performances based on "Awakenings", a work of music and poetry involving Carol Ann Weaver of the music department. At 12:30, there's a free concert in the Grebel chapel, with a full performance of "Awakenings". Weaver will provide piano and vocals, and collaborator Rebecca Campbell provides vocals, guitar and "soundscapes". Then at 4:30, there's a Grebel chapel service, with an inter-faith meditation by Weaver entitled "Awakening into Trust", with performances of selected pieces from "Awakenings". And at 5:30, Campbell and Weaver will attend Grebel's community supper and perform, along with Canadian poet Di Brandt, who's also part of the "Awakenings" collaboration.

    In a change from the original schedule, the "Lunch and Learn" session sponsored by the computer store will feature Acer Notebook Computers tomorrow (12 noon, Davis Centre room 1302). Reservations and more information: Noemia Fernandes, n2fernan@uwaterloo.ca.

    A career development seminar on "The Career Research Package" is scheduled for today at 2:30 -- the career resource centre in Needles Hall can provide details.

    Math students who have been on exchange programs, and visiting exchange students from other universities, will talk about their experiences and their home countries, in a session tomorrow from 3 to 4 p.m. in Math and Computer room 5158.

    And an information session about the engineering student exchange with ITESM, at Monterey, Mexico, will be held at 4:30 in Doug Wright Engineering building room 1501.

    Ian Storey of Trent University will speak on "Chasing Aristophanes' Victims" today, sponsored by the classical studies department and its student society. The talk begins at 4 p.m. in Arts Lecture Hall room 211.

    A general meeting of the Federation of Students -- meaning that all fee-paying undergraduate students are eligible to be there, speak and vote -- begins at 6:00 this evening in the great hall of the Student Life Centre. On the agenda: ratification of the 2002-03 executive, organizational amendments, the annual Feds fee increase (based on the rise in the consumer price index), and a new title for what's now the vice-president (student issues): "vice-president (internal)".

    Looking ahead to Friday: UW will host its fourth annual Financial Econometrics Conference. I'll say a little more about that tomorrow.

    Saturday night should be lively at the Waterloo Community Arts Centre on Regina Street: UW's Swing and Social Dance Club is holding its end-of-term dance there. Tickets will be $7 at the door.

    CAR

    TODAY IN UW HISTORY

    March 13, 1985: Astronauts Marc Garneau and Roberta Bondar visit campus.

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