Wednesday, April 16, 2003
|The thermometer hit 25.1 Celsius yesterday, enticing these Renison College students out onto the college lawn. (Caroline Woerns of the Renison staff took the picture.) It was the warmest day of the year so far, says Frank Seglenieks, coordinator of the UW weather station. "After getting close a few times (19.7 on March 28) we finally went over 20 degrees at the weather station at noon. With the cold winter we had, I guess it is not surprising that it was the latest 20 degree day in the five year history of the weather station." It's an important milestone for the 569 people who entered the station's contest, guessing the date and time the 20-degree level would first be reached. Seglenieks reports: "In first place we had Bill Allwright who guessed the exact time, second place goes to Lib Cooper and third was Philip Nash. They are currently in the process of choosing their prizes." Don't expect sunbathing opportunities today, as the mercury is heading straight downward.|
SARS -- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, also known as "atypical pneumonia" -- is now endemic in parts of Asia, including Hong Kong, where UW has a number of academic links and a small but growing number of co-op jobs. With the spring term about to begin, health services is issuing a bulletin today about the problem.
From health services: who's considered at riskIf you have severe tiredness or feeling unwell, muscle aches, headache (worse than usual), fever, cough or shortness of breath, AND
Some advice from the health services bulletin:
"Students, staff, or faculty returning from an endemic area identified by Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade -- parts of Asia including China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Taiwan or Singapore -- are being contacted and asked to phone Health Services (888-4567, ext. 3544) immediately so that the university can provide advice, assistance regarding SARS.
"Individuals who have contracted to reside in UW residence and are returning from an endemic area will be given individual accommodation in Columbia Lake Townhouses for 10 days from the time they left the endemic area; during this time students are expected to attend classes after which they can enter the contracted residence community. While at Columbia Townhouses, Health Services nursing staff can offer daily telephone monitoring, advice and support for the incubation period.
"Any students with co-op terms arranged for endemic parts of Asia . . . are being told they should not go; rather, they should arrange for other jobs with the help of the Co-operative Education and Career Services Department.
"UW will not grant credit for any work terms in the above locations during this work term," says the latest in a series of updated web pages on the SARS outbreak. "If you are in the above situation, please contact your co-op advisor . . . as soon as possible. You will receive further instructions and be registered for the 'continuous phase' of the co-op process since you will need another job in order to receive work term credit.
"Whether or not you go to your work term in an affected area in Canada is up to you. CECS cannot make this decision for you. Due to the nature of the SARS situation, you are not obliged to take employment in an affected workplace. If you choose not to go, you may enter the 'continuous phase' of the co-op process, since you will need another job in order to receive work term credit.
"You may wish to contact your employer to request a postponement of the start date until the risks subside. If your employer is unable to keep your job open, you may enter the 'continuous phase' of the co-op process.
"Be sure to contact your CECS field coordinator before making any decisions as to what you will be doing."
"While most Ontarians view elementary and secondary schools as taking the highest funding priority for improvements in quality, a sizeable minority say universities should take the highest priority."
COU's conclusion: "The study's overall findings provide strong support for COU's quality agenda. According to most Ontarians, ensuring the availability of sufficient classroom space is not enough to meet the enrolment challenge. A high-quality university system must be maintained and, in the view of the vast majority, increased public funding will be required to do so."
This afternoon the smarter health seminar series presents a talk by Martin Sumner-Smith of Open Text Corp., speaking on -- take a big breath -- "Two Heads (and a Computer) Are Healthier Than One: Knowledge and Collaboration Tools from Drug Discovery to Patient Treatment". Location: Davis Centre room 1302.
The senate scholarships and student aid committee will meet at 1:30 today in Needles Hall room 3004. . . . Fund-raisers collecting for Red Cross humanitarian work in Iraq, including people based at UW, will be in position at Kitchener's Fairview Park Mall again today from 2 to 9 p.m. . . . Another open meeting about the design of UW's web home page is scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday) at 9 a.m. in Davis Centre room 1302. . . .
The staff association social committee, which seems a lot like the Energizer bunny, has announced several more events. On April 29 it's "The Lady Sings the Blues", a noon-hour event at which you can "come and relax and listen to a Staff Association member perform some of her favourite blues tunes. the first two members to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the correct name of the singer will win a prize." Then there's "Discovering Elvis" at the Waterloo Stage Theatre on May 31 (tickets on sale until May 1). Wine tours are planned to the Niagara area on May 31 (presumably for those who don't like Elvis) and to the St. Thomas and Sparta area on June 7. And there's talk of a team in the dragon boat competition scheduled for Laurel Creek Conservation Area on July 19. Information about all these things and more is on the social committee web site.