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Tuesday, April 29, 2003

  • Mediator will address pubs issue
  • Student killed; other notes today
  • When the buzzer sounds, get out
  • Science simplifies admission choices
  • Province names 15 grant winners
Chris Redmond

Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom haShoah)

[Eyes closed in concentration]

The lady singing the blues today is Elaine Brown, of the residences office in Village I. She'll be the star performer at a noon-hour event in the multipurpose room of the Student Life Centre, sponsored by the staff association. The music starts at 12:00, and it's free.

On sale at the event will be tickets for some of the staff association's future events, including the "Super 70s Bash" on May 10, a Niagara area wine tour on May 31, "Discovering Elvis" at the Waterloo Stage Theatre, also May 31, and a southwestern Ontario wine tour on June 7.

Mediator will address pubs issue

The university, through the media relations office, issued a brief statement yesterday afternoon after a court hearing in Toronto about the controversial closing of the student pubs -- the Bombshelter and Federation Hall.

Said the statement: "Representatives of the University of Waterloo and the Federation of Students met with Justice John Macdonald this morning in Superior Court at Osgoode Hall.

As reported by 'uwstudent.org'
"Rather than proceed with a motion for an injunction at this time, the parties agreed with Justice Macdonald's suggestion to enter into mediation in the hope of resolving the matter out of court. As a result the parties will be meeting with a mediator shortly.

"The University of Waterloo welcomes this opportunity to meet with our student representatives to move toward a resolution."

Student killed; other notes today

The man killed in a spectacular crash on Kitchener's Homer Watson Boulevard on Sunday afternoon has been identified as Anis Mirzaagha, a first-year computer science student at UW and a car enthusiast. Waterloo Regional Police say he apparently lost control of his Firebird as he was driving east towards Manitou Drive; the car crossed the median and hit two westbound vehicles. Several people in the other cars were injured, and two are in critical condition in hospital. Police say another car, "a beige Corvette or Camaro", was racing with Mirzaagha on Homer Watson; they are looking for that car and its driver.

The Waterloo Advisory Council continues its spring meeting on campus today. WAC -- originally the Industrial Advisory Council -- is a longstanding UW organization, representing employers of co-op students, and meets twice a year to advise the administration, the faculties and the co-op and career services department. A highlight this time round, of course, is seeing the new CECS building, which will have its official opening celebrations a week from today.

Here's a reminder that a Weight Watchers group will meet on campus this summer, starting May 5, if there's enough interest, so anyone who is interested should get in touch with Melissa Latour at mmlatour@uwaterloo.ca as soon as possible. . . . Health services will be closed tomorrow (Wednesday) until 1 p.m., for staff in-service training. . . .

Thursday will bring the annual Graduate Student Leisure Research Symposium, a chance for grad students in the department of recreation and leisure studies to show off what they've been doing. The symposium runs all day, with presentations touching on human behaviour, tourism, parks and recreation, and leisure and community. Keynote speaker for the day will be Robert Stebbins of the University of Calgary, an authority on what he calls "serious leisure". The event is being held in the Clarica Auditorium in the Lyle Hallman Institute, Matthews Hall.

At its monthly meeting March 21, the UW senate gave approval to a new "tourism option" in the faculty of environmental studies. "This option parallels the one provided by the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences," senate was reminded -- the study of tourism is split between ES and AHS. "Although designed for students specializing in tourism impacts, planning, marketing, and heritage and outdoor recreation," the report to senate also said, "the Option is open to any University of Waterloo student who meets the prerequisites." Required and elective courses come from the recreation, geography, economics and English departments ("Travel Literature") and the school of planning.

And . . . there's something on campus that's marking its 100th birthday today.

When the buzzer sounds, get out

Here's a reminder that annual fire drills in most campus buildings will be held today.

Drills are scheduled in the morning (between 8:30 and noon) in Optometry, the PAC, the SLC, Modern Languages, Humanities, Environmental Studies I and II, PAS, the new Co-op and Career Services building, Needles Hall, the Dana Porter Library, and the General Services and Commissary complex.

After lunch (between 1:00 and 4:00) fire drills will take place in Engineering II and III, the Doug Wright building, Carl Pollock Hall, South Campus Hall, ESC, Biology I and II, Chemistry II, Physics, Math and Computer, the Davis Centre, and 195 Columbia Street (BFG).

East Campus Hall won't get its drill until Wednesday morning, and a drill in Matthews Hall is scheduled for May 21.

Science simplifies admission choices

Starting next year, high schoolers applying to study science at Waterloo will have six choices to consider -- more options than are typically offered at other universities, but fewer than the 12 choices UW has been offering until now.

The move from a dozen "entry points" to six should make things easier both for students and for admissions staff and faculty members at UW, says Andraya Gillen, recruitment officer and academic advisor for the faculty of science. The change was approved by UW's senate in March, and Gillen and her colleagues are using the new list of six programs as they give advice to today's grade 11 students who will be applying for university entrance in 2004 and are already asking questions.

"There's going to be a little more flexibility for students," says Gillen, pointing out that (for example) an 18-year-old currently has to make a choice between biology and biochemistry in order to apply for Waterloo admission. Under the new arrangement, a student won't have to "declare a major" until the end of first year at UW. It's a similar plan to the one used for honours students in the faculty of arts.

These are the six "entry points" that will be offered by the science faculty starting next year:

Some of those programs are very small, and "honours science" and "life sciences" between them attract four out of five new students, Gillen said. Would-be science students are also told about some choices that will be open to them within their field of study, such as the science teaching option and computing option.

The admission change doesn't affect the optometry program, which is part of the faculty of science but does not admit students directly from high school.

She says the proposal was worked out by "a small team" including herself, Mario Coniglio and Pam Van Allen from science plus assistant registrar Mark Walker. "The team collected and analyzed data, spoke with program advisors, and met with Peter Burroughs (director of admissions) and Rick Roach (co-operative education and career services). The proposal was widely circulated and presented in a number of forums for input from faculty of science members."

It drew widespread support, she said, with staff and faculty in science feeling relieved that things will get simpler -- "it's going to be easier administratively, for sure."

The next possible step, she added, will be changes in curriculum requirements. Under the new system, students who are admitted to "life sciences", for example, will choose first-year courses based on the exact discipline they're interested in. "There's a desire in the faculty," says Gillen, "to go to a more common first year," but that may take a while.

Province names 15 grant winners

The Ontario government has announced Premier's Research Excellence Awards for 15 more Waterloo faculty members -- "some of the best and brightest", according to a news release.

Each PREA winner gets $100,000 from the province, as well as $50,000 from the university or corporate co-sponsors, to pay for graduate students, research assistants and other expenses of future research projects.

Altogether the province announced 131 winners in "round seven" and "round eight" of the PREA program, which has been going since 1998. "We are committed to increasing the development of scientific and technological research and innovation," said enterprise minister Jim Flaherty in making the announcement.

These are the UW winners in the latest two rounds of PREA grants:


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