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Tuesday, January 14, 2003

  • Double cohort, double Campus Day
  • Deadline nears for 18s and 19s
  • Travel agency still operating
  • Flakes in the daily drift
Chris Redmond

Sixty years ago today

Double cohort, double Campus Day

UW's Campus Day open house this spring will stretch over two days, partly because of the large numbers of visitors expected in the "double cohort" year.

"Making this change will allow us to better accommodate the growing number of people that visit the UW campus for this event," explains Heather MacKenzie, manager of the visitors' centre and one of the key people in making Campus Day happen. It's always held during the schools' March break -- traditionally on Tuesday, but this year both Tuesday and Wednesday, March 11 and 12.

[Guys in high spirits]

Enthusiastic high schoolers at the Canadian Universities Fair in Toronto last fall

"Campus Day has existed in basically the same format for over 20 years," MacKenzie adds, "and this is a good opportunity to take a look at it and make some changes so that we're better servicing the students and meeting their needs. Last year at Campus Day we were filled to capacity at the various sessions that we offered to visitors and had to turn people away, which isn't at all what we want to do."

Organizers are expecting an even bigger turnout this year. The Universities Fair in Toronto in September was so crowded, she says, that UW's booth was constantly full: "It was difficult for us to feel like we had good opportunities to meet with prospective students and their families." And attendance was also up at the fall open house, You @ Waterloo Day, in October. "So we are fairly certain that there will be more people attending this Campus Day than ever before."

Says MacKenzie: "It's important that we provide outstanding service to our visitors, which we hope to do by having Campus Day on two days. We will be able to provide excellent customer service to our visitors the students will get more personal attention, and as we are able to spend more time with our visitors we will be able to better qualify the top quality students, helping us to recruit the 'best of the best'.

"Students will be able to get information on more than one program or faculty (research shows that more students will be applying to more than one program/faculty at universities this year), and we will be able to showcase the UW campus for a longer period of time, which will hopefully generate more interest in our campus."

Deadline nears for 18s and 19s

Although there are several reasons for the growing demand, the main reason more students are applying to Ontario universities this year is the much-publicized double cohort.

"It is still too early to predict the numbers of applicants overall," said Mary Thompson, UW's representative to the Council of Ontario Universities, in her December report. "Early indications are that there will be many more applicants than available places, and that applicants are applying to many more programs than in previous years. Discussions and negotiations continue around strategies to deal with the now-expected larger numbers, while continuing to reassure the public in what could well be an election year."

Certainly the total will be way beyond last year's figure of 70,934 students from Ontario high schools (and another 28,000 from other sources) applying to one or more universities.

Double cohort pages

  • Council of Ontario Universities
  • Application Centre
  • Ontario government
  • Ontario School Counsellors Association
  • What's a 'cohort' anyway?
  • The reason: while one "cohort" of students, mostly born in 1984, is finishing the traditional five-year Ontario high school program this spring, a second "cohort", born in 1985, is finishing the new four-year program. The two groups are applying for university or college admission at the same time.

    One estimate from the Ontario Universities Application Centre is that 105,000 high school students will have applied by tomorrow's deadline. Most youngsters are using an electronic application form this year, and the applications are arriving "at a rate of 1,700 to 2,000 a day", OUAC officials told the Star a few days ago.

    "One night alone," OUAC director Gregory Marcotte told the newspaper, "more than 600 applications came in after midnight, which shows kids really do have a completely different schedule than adults."

    The question now is how many of those applicants will meet the admission requirements, and how many will find spaces in universities. The National Post reported on December 18 that judging from a sample of applications received, "between 68,250 and 71,400" students will be qualified for university, but that campuses have room for just 61,284 of them.

    As of October, UW was planning to take a record 5,400 first-year students next fall, although the provost said it might be possible to increase that number if government funding were provided.

    Travel agency still operating

    The on-campus branch of Thomas Cook Travel is off campus now, but the relationship with UW remains the same as ever, manager Kathy Schonenberger promises.

    It's "business as usual", she says, and the campus phone number -- ext. 4054, or 888-4054 -- will still reach the four members of the travel agency's staff, who are working from their homes. (Regular customers have also been provided with a list of direct phone and fax numbers for the individual staff.)

    The Thomas Cook outlet was in South Campus Hall until December, when its space was taken over for the UW bookstore. Clients were invited to a farewell wine-and-cheese party a few days before Christmas.

    "Please be assured," says a letter from the agency's staff to its clients, "that this change will not cause any interruption to our service. Our team of travel professionals remains committed to providing you with expert, personalized service and unbeatable vacation values."

    Schonenberger notes that documents for Thomas Cook can still be sent by campus mail. "We will collect the mail, and also deliver documents for on-campus distribution. Otherwise, the mailing address is our Fairview Park Mall office, 2960 Kingsway Drive, Kitchener N2C 1X1."

    Of interest on the web

  • Another review of No Place to Learn
  • 'Low-tech learning often works best'
  • Students with autism and Asperger's syndrome
  • UK white papers: Excellence and Opportunity | Opportunity for All
  • University Affairs reports on visually impaired students
  • A step backward for Québec research?
  • Reading Rozanski (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)
  • Admission standards up across Canada (Post)
  • Dalhousie is a hit with Ontarians (Globe)
  • TA negotiations go to conciliation at McMaster
  • Flakes in the daily drift

    Here's a note from Heather Fitzgerald, UW's student life coordinator: "The Federation Orientation Committee 2003 meets for the first time this weekend. The committee is composed of 41 student volunteers who represent every faculty and residence, including Software Engineering, and the Off Campus Dons. There are also representatives who over see the planning of Orientation Week's feature cross campus events, Monte Carlo night, Toga and Black & Gold Day. After completing the three-day training this weekend the volunteers will meet once a week and spend in excess of 500 hours over the next nine months planning and implementing Orientation Week."

    The lead story in Friday's Imprint was about a petition that's under way aimed at calling a student referendum on refundable fees. Such fees are collected now for a number of organizations, including Imprint itself and the Waterloo Public Interest Research Group; students have to pay them each term, but can get the money back on request. The petition, sponsored by members of the campus Progressive Conservative club, is aimed at making payment optional in the first place. "So far," Friday's paper reported, "the association has gathered approximately 200 to 300 signatures." The issues involved were discussed at Sunday's meeting of the Federation of Students council and have been the subject of lively debate on the 'uwstudent.org' web site.

    A memo from Colin Campbell in information systems and technology: "Scientific WorkPlace is a WYSIWYG word processor designed for technical documents. SWP saves its files in the widely-used LaTeX document markup language. Scientific WorkPlace is now available to grad students at no charge for use on UW-owned computers. SWP is a friendly alternative to using Word (or LaTeX directly) for theses. Note to faculty and staff: SWP is available for $225 in the CHIP." There's more information on the web.

    Chris Gilbert of UW's athletics department issues a weekly sports report, and yesterday's included these words about women's basketball: "On Friday, the Warriors endured a treacherous 2.5 hour bus trip in nasty weather to take on the York Yeowomen. The conditions inside the gym weren't much friendlier. York jumped out to a sizeable early lead but Waterloo regained its composure and battled back to take a 26-23 half-time lead. In the second half, though, York dominated the boards and emerged with a 63-56 victory. Rookie guard Katie Tucker led the Warriors with 19 points. . . . On Saturday evening, Waterloo ventured into the home of the OUA East-leading Laurentian Lady Vees, the #9-ranked team in Canada. UW produced a much better effort than against York but it would not be enough against the athletic, talented hosts. The Warriors trailed 43-30 at half and narrowed the gap to 5 points with under 10 minutes to go but Laurentian pulled away for a comfortable 76-55 decision."

    The Federation of Students has designated yesterday and today as student housing awareness days. . . . A volunteer fair aimed at students will run in the great hall of the Student Life Centre from 10:00 to 3:00 today. . . . Co-op students should pick up the master copy co-op record document today (after 10 a.m.) in the new CEC building, if they're planning on going through the job interview process this term. . . . It's leather jacket day in the UW Shop in South Campus Hall, with a 15 per cent discount available on orders placed today. . . .

    The career services workshop series for this term is under way. There are three sessions scheduled today: "Letter Writing" at 10:30, "Thinking About Graduate Studies and Researching Scholarships" at 2:30, and "Resumé Writing" at 5:30. Registration is through the career services web site.

    The senate undergraduate council will meet at 12 noon in Needles Hall room 3004. . . . A session on "Your RRSP -- Questions and Answers", sponsored by the on-campus credit union, starts at 12:15 in Davis Centre room 1304. . . . The arts faculty council will meet at 3:30 in Humanities room 373. . . .

    A series of seminars about women's health, aimed at newcomers to Canada, gets under way today, and will run each Tuesday at 1 p.m. in the community life centre in Beck Hall at UW Place. "At every session," organizers say, "we will review the English words women need to know to talk about their health. There will also be a nurse at every session. She will talk about how to get health service in Waterloo and she will answer your questions. These sessions are for women only." The series begins with a session on "General Women's Health" this afternoon.

    A meeting for people interested in the student food bank and Meal Exchange program is scheduled for 4:30 today in Student Life Centre room 2125. . . . Tomorrow afternoon at 3:00, the Smarter Health seminar series presents Moe Kermani of Bycast Inc. talking about "Reliable Medical Image Communication, Storage and Archiving". . . . The LT3 technology centre will hold a pair of workshops Friday about Universal Instructional Design, a topic about which I'll be saying more tomorrow. . . .


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