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Thursday, December 9, 2004

  • Visitors praise clean campus, article says
  • Holocaust story; world leaders
  • Notes on the first day of exams
Chris Redmond

Milton, thou shouldst be living

[Hands raised in the audience]

About 80 grade 11 students from Rockway Mennonite Collegiate in Kitchener and United Mennonite Educational Institute in Leamington attended a peacebuilding event at Conrad Grebel University College on Tuesday. "Entitled Peacebuilding: Involved in the World but Not Overwhelmed by the World", the event gave students a chance to concretely examine peace and to look at the theory of peacebuilding with peace and conflict studies professors Lowell Ewert and Nathan Funk. In an effort to "Prevent, Resolve, and Contain", practical examples were presented by Joel Klassen (a 1990 UW grad) of Christian Peacemaker Teams and several students from UW's Engineers Without Borders group (pictured).

Visitors praise clean campus, article says

"Neat is sweet and woe to those who dismiss its impact," writes Bud Walker, UW's director of business operations, in an article published in the latest newsletter from the Keystone Campaign.

He talks about tidiness (and how Yankee Stadium has banned Crackerjack because it makes such a mess) and segues into a tribute to the people who help keep UW's campus clean: "In the classrooms, offices, dorms, and facilities at UW the commitment to cleanliness is a standard for others to envy. Our custodians, groundskeepers, and housekeepers keep Waterloo at the head of the pack.

"And it is good that they do -- appearance of the campus is one of the top four reasons why students choose a particular university. According to the research, campus appearance is right up there next to academic reputation, success in job placement, and the provision of a 'university environment'.

[Dusting a keyboard]

Maria Sousa of the custodial staff is one of the people pictured with Walker's article in the Keystone newsletter. Also included are David Thrower, Sherry Bell and Gabriel Moreira of the grounds section, Elizabeth Breen, Christine Moraueski, Alexandra Oros and Anna Gomes of housekeeping, and Joe Pereira of the custodial section.

"Parents on tours are profuse in their praise of the appearance and cleanliness of our many facilities. We all enjoy the quality workplace that comes from that 'more than extra' attention given by devoted cleaning staff.

"There are countless examples. There is the groundskeeper who gingerly clears a safe path amidst an obstacle course of students, cars, and drifting snow in the dead of winter. There is the Village housekeeper who brings some home-made cookies and personal encouragement for a homesick teen. She knows; she has kids of her own. There is the custodian who empathizes as he cleans around birthday or sympathy cards on an office shelf, dusts between cherished pictures of family and friends, or vacuums around various evidentiary objects of someone's frazzled day at work.

"Unbeknownst to many, cleaning staff do sense the stresses of their daytime co-workers, their trials and tribulations, their ups and downs -- and the cleaning staff strive to do the things that make the workplace work well for their fellow employees.

"There are so many to single out, but with 150 custodians, 50 housekeepers, and 25 groundskeepers, where does one start? Well, how about this -- the next time you see a custodian, housekeeper, or groundskeeper, single them out, say how grateful you are for what they do, and see if they have a picture of their kids that you can look at!"

Holocaust story; world leaders

Brought to the world's attention through Karen Levine's award-winning CBC documentary and children's book, the story behind "Hana's Suitcase" will take centre stage today at the Humanities Theatre.

Hana's story first came to light in 2000 when the Tokyo Holocaust Education and Resource Centre acquired her empty suitcase from the Auschwitz Museum. Motivated by her students' interest in the owner of the suitcase, the centre's director, Fumiko Ishioka, found her way to Hana's brother, a Toronto resident, George Brady.

US visas: meeting for students going to the United States for the winter term on co-op job or exchange and applying for J-1 visa for the first time, today at 9:30 (CDS sponsorship) or 4:30 (other sponsorship), Tatham Centre room 2218, repeat of yesterday's session.

Pre-departure session for students going overseas in the winter term, 2:3, Tatham Centre 2218.

Accelerator Centre in the Research and Technology Park, kickoff celebration, by invitation, Friday 3 p.m., Sybase, 445 Wes Graham Way, north campus.

Carousel Dance Centre youth performing company, "The Nutcracker and Seasonal Images", Saturday 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Humanities Theatre, tickets 888-4908.

Winterfest staff association family celebration, Sunday 2 p.m. Columbia Icefield (reservations were due in November).

Brady, a Holocaust survivor, has become an international speaker dedicated to preserving the memory of his sister by sharing the story behind Hana's Suitcase. He and Karen Levine will share the spotlight at today's event, with school performances at 9:45 and 1:15 and a main evening performance at 7:30. Admission is free. The event is sponsored by the Waterloo Region Holocaust Education Committee, with support from Gary Levine and Debbie Eisenberg.

Earlier today, the Centre for International Governance Innovation -- independent of UW but with close ties -- has something special going on. A news release gives some background:

"Prime Minister Paul Martin has been very vocal about his support for the Leaders 20 initiative and its importance to the development of an effective and efficient system of international governance. CIGI is launching the manuscript of the forthcoming publication from the United Nations University Press, A Leaders 20 Summit: Why, How, Who, and When? This book is a collection of papers from various conferences around the world, and is the first publication exploring Martin's concept of a Leaders 20 Summit.

"The conferences, sponsored by CIGI and the Centre for Global Studies, are part of a project designed to establish the relevancy of L-20 Summit meetings." The book is edited by John English, CIGI director and a UW history professor, as well as Ramesh Thakur of the United Nations University in Tokyo and Andy Cooper of CIGI.

More from the news release: "L-20 meetings would serve as a forum for leaders from approximately 20 developed and developing countries to discuss select global challenges and problems including, but not limited to, infectious diseases, global warming and climate change, terrorism and political violence, WMDs, UN reform, global poverty, and access to safe drinking water. CIGI is presently running a conference series to examine the future composition of the L-20, the impact on existing international institutions, the best means to engage the major powers, and the future role for civil society in the L-20.

"As part of the launch, CIGI has invited Dr. Colin Bradford, Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C., to deliver a public lecture." Bradford will speak today on "Global Governance and the G-20 in an Age of Cultural 'Difference'," starting at 5:30 at 57 Erb Street West. Everyone is welcome.

Notes on the first day of exams

Fall term exams are under way (they'll run through December 22) and then comes the Christmas and New Year's break, for everybody except faculty members who might still have exams to mark. Fall term grades will start appearing on Quest, "unofficially", as soon as exam season is over, and official grades will be posted January 21, the registrar's office says. (That's for undergraduate students; for grad students, the date is January 4.) By that time, many of this term's students will be away on co-op jobs, but others will be back on campus -- and here's a reminder that winter term fees are due by December 17 if paid by cheque, December 30 if paid by bank transfer.

Two optometry faculty members are being honoured at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry, being held this week in Tampa. John Flanagan will deliver the Glenn A. Fry Lecture and Tony Cullen will receive the William Feinbloom Award. The honour of delivering the Fry Lecture is awarded annually to a distinguished scientist or clinician, in recognition of research contributions. Flanagan will deliver a lecture entitled "My Life Under Pressure and other Facets of Glaucoma". The William Feinbloom Award is presented annually to an individual who has contributed to the enhancement of public eye care through clinical excellence and the clinical advancement of visual and optometric service.

The first annual UW International Development Student Conference will be held on Saturday, February 26, organizers have announced. The conference was created by students and professors in the faculty of environmental studies and the department of political science. The organizing group now includes students from across the university who have an interest in international development. It's the first year for the conference, but the organizing committee says it will become an annual event. "The growing number of student organizations with a focus on international development supports the need for this conference at UW. These organizations include Alternative Work Experience, Engineers Without Borders, University of Waterloo International Health Development Association, and Waterloo Model United Nations." Steffanie Scott of the geography department (sdscott@fes) has more information.

Here's a note of some interest from the engineering newsletter, signed by Rishi Anand, electrical and computer engineering student and chair of this year's Graduation Committee: "The 2005 Engineering Graduation Committee is trying to put together a cookbook which we hope to sell as a fundraising item in the coming winter 2005 term. And we need help from all you engineering alumni and faculty out there! If you could please send any interesting recipes you have so that we can put them in this book to ranand@uwaterloo.ca that would be great! I'm sure as former UW engineers or current faculty members you've spent a lot of time 'trying' to cook excellent dishes so we'd really appreciate your recipes! The more recipes we have, the more cookbooks we'll sell, and the more money we'll raise; which will make our graduation that much better!"

An Arriscraft lecture in the architecture school, originally announced for this evening, has been cancelled. . . . The joint health and safety committee recently elected Gail Clarke of housing as its "management co-chair" and Paula Zahra of graphics as the "worker co-chair" for the next half-year. . . . In addition to its daily Christmas buffet lunch, the University Club had a dinner buffet last night and will repeat the event next Wednesday. . . .


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