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Friday, March 21, 2003

  • Renison opens residence tomorrow
  • Programming team ready to compete
  • Lecture tonight on 'Irish troubles'
  • The first weekend of the spring
Chris Redmond

K-W Cottage, Home and Leisure Show

[Grainy black-and-white]

Who is he? Police are looking for this man after surveillance cameras in Zellers recorded him using what turned out to be stolen credit cards. "It is believed," says a bulletin issued by the university police yesterday, "that the cards used were stolen from students while attending the university libraries." Any information? Call Constable Jason Harth of the Waterloo Regional Police, 653-7700 ext. 750, or UW police at ext. 4911.

Renison opens residence tomorrow

Renison College will officially open its new residence, dining room and food servery on Saturday. A grand opening complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony begins at 11:30 a.m.

Waterloo mayor Lynne Woolstencroft will be among those attending, along with the Bishop of Huron, the Right Rev. Bruce Howe, who will perform the blessing of the $3.7-million building.

Lunch will be served at noon, courtesy of Chartwells Educational Dining Services, which is marking 40 years of food service at Renison College under a succession of company names. Tours of the college and the new residence begin at 12:30 p.m. and end at 2 p.m. People wishing to attend the opening can contact Kourtney Parker at 884-4404, ext. 620.

"The new facilities will allow us to offer more residential spaces to an increased number of first-year applicants and better meet the needs of the double-cohort applicants," said John Crossley, who became principal of Renison last summer.

The 50-bed residence expands the college's accommodation to a total of 220 available spaces for male and female students. The residences offer single and double accommodation rooms, including interconnecting bathrooms.

An expanded food servery is also part of the project, promising "a varied assortment of nutritional hot meals, display cooking, every-day soup, salad and delicatessen bars as well as a large selection of beverages and desserts".

Programming team ready to compete -- from the UW media relations office

A University of Waterloo student team is seeking to uphold the university's lofty reputation at the 27th annual world finals of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest to be held Saturday through Tuesday in Beverly Hills, California.

UW's three-member team qualified last November in a regional competition for its berth at the world finals to be staged at Merv Griffin's Beverly Hilton during Academy Awards week. The team leaves Saturday for California.

A total of 70 teams representing 25 countries will compete in the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) contest, sponsored by IBM. Last year, a UW team placed third in the world finals. UW has advanced through the qualifying round each season from 1993-94 through to 2002-2003, winning the world finals in 1994-95 and 1998-99.

Team members are Gordon Chiu (undergraduate, electrical and computer engineering), Denis Dmitriev (undergraduate, computer science), and Lars Hellsten (graduate, computer science). The team coach, CS professor Gordon Cormack, is also accompanying the group.

"This is the 11th consecutive year that Waterloo has been one of the teams to qualify for the finals," said Cormack. "Expectations and pressures therefore run very high for our three standard bearers."

On Tuesday (March 25), the contest begins at 11:15 a.m. EST (8:15 a.m. California time). The finalists -- three-member student teams -- will rely on their programming skills and creativity during a five-hour battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance. They will attempt to solve complex problems using both traditional and new programming languages.

Some 23,000 of the world's top computer science and engineering students and faculty from 3,850 universities around the world competed last fall in regional contests to qualify for the finals.

Lecture tonight on 'Irish troubles' -- a news release from St. Jerome's University

The images are unforgettable. September 2001, Belfast: Catholic schoolgirls as young as four, their faces streaked with tears, cowering away from screaming Protestant demonstrators.

The news photos reinforced what most people believe, that Ireland's centuries-old and still-simmering Troubles are all about religion. But are they? Danine Farquharson, professor of English at St. Jerome's University, says the truth is much more complicated.

Farquharson will deliver a Joint Waterloo Catholic District School Board-St. Jerome's University Lecture, "God and the Gun: Religion and Violence in Ireland", tonight at St. Jerome's. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. in Siegfried Hall, free of charge. All are welcome.

Violence, politics, and religion are inseparable in Ireland -- at least, that's the perception. Farquharson will look at the historical roots of armed rebellion in Ireland in order to show that the popular media portrayal of the Troubles as simply Catholics against Protestants is far from the truth.

She will also discuss such stereotypes as the Irish rebel and the Ulster paramilitary. Using images ranging from political cartoons to contemporary film, Farquharson will examine how, over the years, perceptions of Irish rebellion have, in some ways, changed, and in other ways, stayed the same.

A specialist in Irish literature, Farquharson is an assistant editor of the Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, a contributor to the Hutchinson Encyclopedia of Ireland (2000), and secretary-treasurer of the Canadian Association for Irish Studies.

The annual Joint Waterloo Catholic District School Board-St. Jerome's University Lectures are part of the 2002-2003 season of the St. Jerome's Centre for Catholic Experience. The last guest in this season's SJCCE lineup will be Miriam Martin speaking on women and worship on April 4.

The first weekend of the spring

The pension and benefits committee is meeting this morning (the gathering started at 8:30 in Needles Hall room 3004), with an agenda that's expected to include a report on how the pension fund investments were doing at the end of 2002. The state of the investments could affect how much UW, as the employer, has to put into the fund over the next few years. What it does not affect, as committee members are always keen to explain, is the level of people's pensions. UW has a "defined benefit" pension plan, by which a retiree's income is based on final salary and years of employment (more accurately, years of contributing to the pension fund). If the investments sag, the employer has to put more into the fund, but the size of a staff or faculty member's pension is not threatened.

UW's Nortel Networks Institute presents a seminar this morning on "Trends and Opportunities in Networking and Telecommunications", by Alberto Leon-Garcia and Tony Yuen of the University of Toronto (10:00, Davis Centre room 1302).

The annual Financial Econometrics Conference takes place today in the Davis Centre, and I've been asked to make clear that the sponsor is the Centre for Advanced Studies in Finance, based in the school of accountancy. . . .

It'll be getting loud in the Student Life Centre tonight. From 4 p.m. onwards -- until 3 in the morning, in fact -- ElectrOnica, the fourth installment in what's become a series of electronic music events, "is bringing hardcore tunes to the SLC", organizers say. "What better way to celebrate the first day of spring than dancing your pants off to the best in house, trance, drum and bass, breaks, hardcore and techno? . . . ElectrOnica is a unique campus event where Dj's and live performers of electronic music from various faculties show off their talent to fans of the genre. This term, 15 performers will be tearing it up on a selection from 4 turntables, 2 mixers and a variety of synth machines and keyboards. A 4000-watt sound system with dual 18" subs and powerful tops will be in effect along side some very cool lighting. You can be sure the music will be sweet and the times will be good and the decor will be funky." Everybody's welcome.

Alternatively, or not-so-alternatively, Jazz-fest 2003 continues tonight in the Graduate House, starting at 5:00. "We will pick up this day on the streets of New Orleans," a news release promises, "with the Dixieland jazz sounds of the Sharp Five." Later: Fillet o Funk, poet and artist Scott Wicken, Passenger ("a psychedelic soul stew") and work by several DJs. "A dance floor will be available for the enlightened." Cover charge is $5.

Elsewhere on campus, the annual athletic awards banquet will be taking place at Federation Hall -- watch for announcements of this year's award winners. . . . And off campus, at Kitchener's Registry Theatre, a much-acclaimed production of "Godspell" by students from Conrad Grebel University College has its final performances tonight and tomorrow at 8:00. . . .

Starmaker Dance Competition has the Humanities Theatre booked for the weekend. . . . Representatives from the faculty of arts will hold an information session in Ottawa on Saturday (11 a.m. at the Ottawa Public Library) about arts programs at Waterloo. . . . A group from the retirees' association are off to London's Grand Theatre on Sunday to see -- and I am not making this up -- "Wang Dang Doodle". . . . International students from UW, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Guelph have scheduled a joint party Sunday evening at Johnny Fiasco's pub on University Avenue, starting at 8 p.m. . . .


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