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Wednesday, May 7, 2003

  • Trudeau's faith and spirituality explored
  • About students' e-mail addresses
  • Wednesday notes
Chris Redmond

Beethoven's Ninth first played on this date

Trudeau's faith and spirituality explored -- a news release from St. Jerome's University

[Trudeau] Pierre Elliot Trudeau, one of Canada's most controversial and celebrated prime ministers, was known for everything from his formidable intelligence to his sex appeal. Yet one of the most profound influences on his life -- his Roman Catholic education, faith and spirituality -- remained a near secret until his death. That intensely personal side of Trudeau's life will be the subject of a conference at St. Jerome's University May 9-10.

Co-chairs for the conference are Richard Gwyn, journalist and chancellor of St. Jerome's, and John English, UW history professor and former Liberal Member of Parliament.

Thirty speakers, including colleagues, friends, journalists, scholars and biographers of Trudeau will explore the manner in which his faith and spirituality influenced his personal and political life. As well, the political, social and religious context in which Trudeau grew up and exercised power during a political career that included 14 years as prime minister will be examined.

In his autobiography, Trudeau wrote about his faith with uncharacteristic brevity: "Let's say that I remained -- I remain -- a believer." Yet throughout his life he was a practicing Catholic who took his faith very seriously -- a fact that surprises those familiar only with his jet-setting lifestyle and the delight he took in challenging conventional social norms. His famous dictum, "the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation," is often cited, both by those who support and revile this change, as a harbinger of Canada's embrace of the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Yet, at the same time as he liberalized Canadian laws on divorce and abortion, he was also a keen advocate of human rights and justice for the oppressed, a stance shaped by Catholic social teachings and expressed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Keynote speakers at the conference will include former prime minister John Turner and Allan MacEachen, who will reflect on faith and politics during their years as cabinet colleagues of Trudeau. Topics will include "Religion and Politics in Québec", "Trudeau and the Bedrooms of the Nation", "Faith and Personal Experience" and "The Spiritual Pilgrimage of Pierre Trudeau."

The conference is jointly sponsored by St. Jerome's University, the University of Waterloo, the Donner Foundation, the Canadian Heritage Department and the Catholic Register.

About students' e-mail addresses

A policy statement about student e-mail addresses has been posted on the web site of the University Committee on Information Systems and Technology, following approval in mid-April by UW's executive council.

The document notes that "E-mail is an important tool for both academic and administrative communications at the University of Waterloo. This statement applies to all correspondence conducted via e-mail that would be considered an official communication between the institution and its student body."

[Smiling at cafeteria table]

'A satisfying open-concept kitchen': that's the new great hall at Renison College, following renovations last year. The facelift of the college's buildings, including construction of 50 new residence rooms, is featured this month in UW's electronic newsletter for alumni.

It gives examples -- "mass general notificatons" such as graduation information, "mass individual mailings" such as library notices or word of co-op interviews, and individual correspondence such as messages from an instructor.

These are the key points of the policy:

It adds that "Students may verify or change the account to which their UW e-mail is sent through the UWdir facilities. . . . Students should configure their email client programs to include their preferred given name and surname."

Wednesday notes

Human resources representatives from Ontario universities are gathering on campus this week, as part of the annual conference of the Association of Ontario University Human Resource Professionals. UW and WLU are co-hosting the three-day event, which begins today and runs through Friday. The conference theme is "Breaking the mold: are we the best we can be?" Conference details are available on the human resources website.

A new e-mail consultation list invites undergraduate students, graduate students, and alumni to raise issues for consideration by UW's student senators. Subscribers are directed to the senate-consult email list for more information. Arts undergraduate senator Jesse Helmer writes: "Subscribers will receive between one and four e-mails per month. You may also receive invitations to irregular informal gatherings to discuss Senate issues."

The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics hosts a public lecture this evening at the Waterloo Recreation Complex on Father David Bauer Drive. Tonight's guest speaker is John Schwarz, professor of physics with the California Institute of Technology. His topic is "Superstring Theory: Past, Present, and Future." The lecture begins at 7 p.m. Attendance is free, but tickets are required and can be reserved by telephone at 886-2375 or by e-mail at tickets@city.waterloo.on.ca. A small number of tickets will be held at the door.

Looking ahead to tomorrow, there will be a reception for new students held between 4 and 6 p.m. in the Ground Zero restaurant in the Student Life Centre. Says Erin Moore, orientation and special events coordinator with the Federation of Students: "If you are new to UW this term, please drop in . . . You will have the opportunity to meet your Federation of Students executive, gather information on UW, and ask current UW students and staff any questions you have." Moore can be reached at ext. 3426 for more information.

And finally, a correction: yesterday's Bulletin incorrectly referred to Frank Tompa as the director of the School of Computer Science. That post is, in fact, held by Johnny Wong, who succeeded Tompa on March 1 of this year.

Avvey Peters

Communications and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
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(519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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