Tuesday, September 24, 2002
Figures for the fall termA total of 3,412 students have co-op jobs this term, out of 3,661 who were looking for work, the co-op department reports.
"These figures are quite different from previous Fall term reports," says CECS director Bruce Lumsden. "The obvious difference is that the total figure of 249 students without employment is substantially higher than previous fall terms where traditionally numbers are quite low due too the fact that there are no first year students scheduled for employment in the Fall term. The second observation is that the unemployed students are concentrated in two areas -- Engineering and Mathematics."
The employment rate is listed as 94.31 per cent in engineering (where 93 students are jobless) and 88.21 per cent in math (150 students jobless). Arts has a 97.46 per cent rate (6 students jobless), while placement is 100 per cent in applied health sciences, architecture, the rest of environmental studies, science and teaching.
"Over the past year," it says, "CECS has experienced a decline in the number of jobs offered to our co-op students. For example, students taking part in the employer interview process this past summer (for a fall work term) found fewer jobs to apply to than at any time in recent history. As of Sept. 6, 93% of the students looking for a fall, 2002 work term had employment. This represents the lowest percentage of employed students since the fall of 1993.
"Students in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Computer Science continue to be most affected by the job situation, but we believe students in other disciplines will also experience difficulty in the upcoming interview period."
It goes on: "The Canadian economy in general appears to be relatively healthy. The specific sector where many of our work term positions have traditionally come from however, has experienced financial setbacks which translates into fewer co-op jobs. At this point in time CECS cannot predict whether there will be any change in the scenario for those of you looking for winter 2003 work term employment."
The prediction from CECS: "There will likely be significantly fewer jobs to choose from than in the past. The competition for those jobs will be greater. There will likely be more students taking part in the continuous interview phase. It could take longer for many students to secure employment than before: some students may still be looking for a job past the beginning of the work term."
And, in fact, "Some students may not be able to find employment that qualifies for official work term credit."
The memo advises students to "be flexible . . . be open to any job location . . . don't let salary be your only criteria . . . practise your interview techniques. You may be able to open your own doors to the job you want by using who you know and who they know. If attempts to find a job through CECS have not been successful, consider looking for a job on your own."
It also suggests the career development workshops offered by the department, and notes that staff in CECS are available to give individual advice.
"We've had an online inquiry service in the past," says Charbonneau, "but it was not very user-friendly, and students found it very difficult to find what they were looking for. The landlords could not post and manage their listings themselves, but now they can with their own accounts."
Among the features of the new system is an online "board" that lets students list apartments and rooms they want to sublet. Charbonneau lists some of the other new features:
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and is open to students and alumni from the four post-secondary institutions. Students will have the opportunity to meet with a variety of employers and gather important information on careers. Employers can take advantage of the opportunity to interview potential candidates for current and future needs.
"While the economy has had its ups and downs in the past year, we are pleased by the number and variety of employers who have registered so far," says Carol Ann Olheiser, UW's graduating student and alumni employment advisor. "To date, there are over 155 organizations," she said late last week, adding that more registrations were expected by tomorrow.
Olheiser said the high employer turnout "attests to the quality of our grads and the academic programs at the local post-secondary institutions".
Here's a sampling of the participating companies at the fair: 3M Canada, BMO Financial Group, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, Canadian Pacific Railway, Conestoga Rovers & Associates, Deloitte & Touche, Mitra Inc, Texas Instruments and Waterloo Region Community Health Department.
Buses will leave Needles Hall for RIM Park every half-hour starting at 9:30 tomorrow morning.
"The north campus is not empty. The obvious: The north campus houses the Optometry building, the radio station, the Columbia Icefield, the greenhouses, a groundskeeping summer office, the Columbia Lake Townhouses and my home, Brubacher House. There are soccer, baseball, rugby and football fields that surround part of Columbia Lake. It is also currently home to several dozen pieces of large construction equipment which fill the air with their working rumblings and (depending on rainfall) lots of dust.
"The less obvious: You might be saying, 'Yes, but the rest of the North Campus is empty.' No, the rest of it is filled with food. Yes, food -- mostly corn and soybeans: corn that could end up in our corn flakes cereal, or in cornmeal muffins or cornbread, and soybeans that may end up in cooking oil, tofu, or roasted and seasoned in a yummy style (just to name a few options).
"Why is it that we feel the need to call a place empty when it has no concrete structures on it? Why are agricultural lands within sight of the city viewed as 'empty'? Those fields are full! The average person on the UW campus will come in contact with agriculture at least three times a day -- usually more.
"Our very lives depend on those fields being full. The more we pave under, the less is available to feed us. Please don't refer to farm lands as 'empty'.
"I come from a farming background and am right now working to save enough money to buy a farm of my own. I'm a farmer at heart, if not fully in practice yet, and issues surrounding agriculture are near and dear to me."
Introducing Fed FlicksThere will be movies on the screen at Federation Hall starting at 7:00 tonight -- "Men in Black" I and II -- as the weekly Fed Flicks program continues. It's a new activity this year, and I asked why. Chris Di Lullo, vice-president (administration and finance) of the Federation of Students, says there were several reasons:
"The most pressing was to address the need for activities for students that did not include the pressure or presence of alcohol. The night itself is convenient as it helps add another night to the Fed Hall schedule. This helps with another initiative: having more student events at Fed Hall.
"Though the target demographic is underage students, anyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. The cost is also very student friendly: $5 for two movies, a pop and bag of popcorn. The movies will generally be new releases, although most nights one movie will be a premiere video (has not been released to video yet). I would point out that the cost of two movies and refreshments is still less expensive than renting a video from Rogers or Blockbuster."
The Interdisciplinary Coffee Talk Society, which got going over the summer, will hold its first fall gathering tonight, at 5 p.m. at the Graduate House. The speaker is Larissa Fast of peace and conflict studies, talking about "Conflict Resolution Strategies".
A "kickoff session" for this year's Putnam math contest will be held at 6:00 tonight in Math and Computer room 5136, says Ian VanderBurgh, math lecturer and organizer of UW's entries in the Putnam. Pizza and pop will be served. Says VanderBurgh: "You'll hear about the important contest-related dates this term, and have some say as to when our weekly training sessions will be held."
The Waterloo Public Interest Research Group will hold its fall volunteer meeting today at 5;30 in the multipurpose room of the Student Life Centre. Says Narina Negra of WPIRG: "Once every term, volunteers gather to talk about what issues they're passionate about, what's been done, what's on, and what there is to do! Come on out if you are interested in getting involved with WPIRG. Food and refreshments."
Ken Hull of the music department at Conrad Grebel University College is making plans to lead students and tourists on a tour of "Music and Culture in London" next spring, for credit or just for fun. The tour, running for 15 days starting May 22, promises "concerts, museums and other sites and events of cultural and historical significance", mostly in London but with Cambridge, Salisbury and Stonehenge thrown in. People who would like to know more can attend an information night starting at 7:00 this evening in Grebel room 150, or reach Hull at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also at Grebel, the fall season of noon-hour concerts begins tomorrow with "Piano Music of Austria and Hungary" played by Minna Re Shin (12:30 in the Grebel chapel, admission free).
And a third item from Conrad Grebel University College: desk chairs are available for purchase on Thursday from 11:30 to 1:30, price $5 apiece.
"Mature students", those older than the usual just-out-of-high-school are, are invited to lunch at the Mongolian Grill on Thursday; the mature student services office in the Modern Languages building has details.
An appropriately green flyer went out to staff and faculty a few days ago announcing a noon-hour session next Monday on "Getting Your Garden Ready for Winter". Word is that the room is already full, and no more reservations are being accepted.
TODAY IN UW HISTORYSeptember 24, 1973: The price of milk and juice in UW vending machines is increased to 15 cents.