[University of Waterloo]

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About the DB

Thursday, December 23, 2004

  • Winding down for the holidays
  • Life in the Student Life Centre
  • On campus over the holidays
  • Looking ahead to the winter term
Chris Redmond

Christmas | Yule | Yalda | Kwanzaa | Boxing Day | Stephen | Hogmanay | New Year

Emergency services

UW police will be on duty 24 hours a day throughout the Christmas and New Year's period. The emergency phone number is 888-4911 (on campus, that's ext. 4911).

Staff will be on duty in the central plant as always, and emergency maintenance requests can be called in to ext. 3793.

Winding down for the holidays

In a few hours the university will close for its longest holiday of the year, and apart from a few staff providing round-the-clock essential services, the institution will be quiet under its blanket of snow until the new year. (And that's quite the blanket that has fallen already this morning, with more snow on the way. There was talk last night that UW might need to close today, but the winter storm didn't quite reach that intensity.)

However, today (Thursday) is the last working day of 2004, and even without the storm difficulties, things would be slowing down. The Physical Activities Complex and Columbia Icefield are offering "very, very limited" service, says athletics director Judy McCrae. There's life at only two food services outlets today, Tim Horton's in the Student Life Centre and Bookends in South Campus Hall, and they'll both close at 2 p.m. The Computing Help and Information Place will be open from 8:30 to noon and then 2 to 3 p.m. Central stores will make the final mail run at 1 p.m., and advises that items to be sent out by courier today must be at the shipping dock in East Campus Hall by 1 p.m. Many offices will likely close early today.

Today is payday for faculty and staff members (both the monthly and the biweekly payrolls). Employees can check their payroll information by logging on to myHRinfo through the human resources web site, which also now lists information about 2005 pay dates. The payroll office will be open until 4:30 today for employees who need assistance, says Sandie Hurlburt of HR.

The Dana Porter Library and Davis Centre library will be open until 6:00 tonight. The University Map and Design Library closes at 3 p.m., the Musagetes Library in the Architecture building at 12 noon. Retail stores (the bookstore, TechWorx, the UW Shop and the Campus Techshop) are open regular hours today (to 5 p.m.). Custodial staff will start today's evening shift early, at 4 p.m.

And then the long break begins. "The university will be officially closed," says Rick Zalagenas, director of maintenance and utilities. "Building heat will be set back to night and weekend temperatures, and most ventilation will be turned off." He invites everybody's help with conservation: "We could potentially avoid in the area of $70,000 in utility costs." He particularly urges people to turn off computers if they won't be needed for the next couple of weeks. "Many people," says Zalagenas, "have the mistaken impression they have to be left on." Plant operations also calls on staff and faculty to turn off coffee-makers, office equipment and unused fumehoods. "And please make very sure all windows are closed before you leave."

He said there's no one temperature that will be reached in all buildings -- it depends on their size, the heating system, the difficulty of raising the temperature back to normal levels in January, and so on -- but in general, anyone coming to campus during the holiday can expect to find a cool environment, and it might be worth bringing a sweater along.

And the UW police advise: "Do not leave any personal valuables or smaller 'attractive' items, such as laptop computers, radios and cameras, in the office or workplaces. These items should be secured in a cabinet or removed to home for safekeeping over the holidays."

Religious services

Christmas Eve: Mass at St. Jerome's University at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and midnight. Old-fashioned candle-light service at 7 p.m. at Grace Mennonite Brethren Church, meeting at Conrad Grebel University College great hall. Anglican service at Renison College, 11 p.m.

Christmas Day: Mass at St. Jerome's, 10:30 only.

December 26 and January 2: Mass at St. Jerome's, 9:30 and 11:30; Grace Mennonite Brethren service at Grebel, 10:30.

New Year's Day: Mass at St. Jerome's, 10:30 only.

Life in the Student Life Centre

Yet there will still be people on campus -- some who live here year-round, some who drop in to take care of research priorities, some international students who can't easily go home -- and one facility will be staying open to look after their needs: the Student Life Centre.

"It's quite a homey scene," says Nancy O'Neil, assistant director of the SLC, describing life over the holidays, as her building will remain open and the turnkey desk (phone 888-4434) will be staffed 24 hours a day as always. "It's like their second home here," she says of some of the long-time turnkeys who will be taking Christmas shifts.

The desk offers coffee, hot chocolate, muffins, hot pretzels, candy and "healthy snacks", O'Neil notes -- but SLC services go far beyond that. Games are available on loan, as well as recent issues of some 40 magazines; turnkeys sell tickets for Grand River Transit buses and Greyhound coaches, not to mention discount tickets for movies and the Chicopee ski centre.

The SLC also has Internet access, a piano is available, the prayer room can be booked, and there's a TV set that can be rolled out into the great hall if anybody wants to watch. Turnkeys can even lend a pillow and blanket to somebody who wants to nap. On a darker note, "the Food Bank will be accessible, through the turnkey desk," in case of need.

On the lower level of the SLC, the CIBC outlet will be open during standard banking hours, and Student Health Pharmacy will open from 9 to 3 on December 27 and 28. Bank machines are available at all times.

O'Neil says "everybody and anybody" drops in at the SLC at Christmas time, but a particularly interesting group of visitors are future UW students -- plenty of high schoolers swing by the campus with their parents over the holidays and get their first sense of UW from what they find at the Student Life Centre. And she adds: "The SLC is a safe place to be at night, a safe environment."

On campus over the holidays

Snow removal over the coming days will be limited. "Grounds staff will respond to serious snow issues," says plant ops, especially to clear priority areas such as the ring road. (Grand River Transit buses will continue to make their rounds, with holiday schedules in effect some days. And the Airporter will make its usual stops at the SLC.) Construction work will continue here and there on campus, from the third floor of Needles Hall, where minor renovations are in progress, to elevator work at Ron Eydt Village.

Health services will be closed like other UW departments. "Students with medical problems over the holidays," says supervising nurse Ruth Kropf, "should call Telehealth Ontario, 1-866-797-0000, for medical advice. There is also a physician on call for health services, who can be reached by following the telephone instructions on the health services line, 888-4096."

Lab safety advice

The safety office has told managers of UW labs that there are precautions they should take before they lock the doors and head out for a holiday break.

A web page dealing with the Christmas and New Year's shutdown warns that, among other things, labs have to be prepared for the power going off during the holidays: "Due to winter weather conditions utilities, especially electricity, may be affected. It is a general rule that all laboratory processes be designed to safely survive a service failure. During the holiday shutdown this is particularly important."

Emergencies can be reported to ext. 3793.

Says a note from information systems and technology: "If you notice an outage of the campus network or any major IST-maintained computing facility, you can leave a voice message with the help desk at 888-4357 or submit a request online. Both will be checked daily." The Quest student information system and the library's Trellis catalogue and database will be available all through the holidays. So will the JobMine co-op job system, and new jobs will be added to the system as employers submit them. The Math Faculty Computing Facility and Computer Science Computing Facility warn that many computing systems in math will be shut down for maintenance for several hours on December 30.

All parking lots will be open and free throughout the holidays, except for lot D under Needles Hall and the ECEC lot at the PAS building. There's no need to put money into any pay-and-display machines.

Recreational facilities will be closed, but a number of Warrior teams will be active. There's a women's hockey game -- an exhibition vs. Aurora -- on Sunday, January 2, at 2 p.m. at the Columbia Icefield. The men's hockey team takes part in a tournament at Western on December 30 and 31, and the men's basketball Warriors are in a tournament at Bishop's January 1 and 2. And then there are the swimmers: "Over the years," writes Chris Gilbert of the athletics department, "the swim team has travelled to warmer climates to make sure that they stay in shape over the holiday period. This year the swimmers are spending their savings on a training camp on Margarita Island, Venezuela. In addition to the warm weather and cultural experience, coach Brian Cartlidge will make sure that the swimmers put in solid twice-a-day workouts and come back prepared for the OUA championships at Brock University on February 11-13."

The Melville Café in the Architecture building will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday next week, as well as January 3. The Design at Riverside gallery there will be open December 23, 28-31, and January 2. The Waterloo County Education Credit Union office in East Campus Hall will have office hours December 24, 29-31 and January 3.

Looking ahead to the winter term

Winter classes begin on Tuesday, January 4, which is also the first working day of the year for UW staff. Offices, libraries, athletic facilities, and services across campus will reopen that day, and classrooms will suddenly be full.

Just a few things will be in operation Monday, January 3, as students arrive back in the Village and UW Place residences, including some 800 returning to campus from co-op work terms. Mudie's cafeteria in Village I and REVelation in Ron Eydt Village will both reopen that day. Retail services stores (the bookstore, the UW Shop, TechWorx and the Campus TechShop) will be open from noon to 4 p.m. on January 3, and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on January 4, 5 and 6. The Federation's used book store will also be open on Monday, the 3rd.

Students are reminded that fee payments for the winter are due by December 30, with late fees calculated starting December 31. "Please use Quest as your primary source of account information," writes Karen Hamilton of financial services. "Do not wait for a fee bill, as due dates apply regardless."

The "fully graded date" for fall term courses -- when official marks are available on Quest -- will be January 4 for graduate students and January 21 for undergraduates.

Instructors interested in using UW-ACE (UW Angel Course Environment) for their winter term courses can request the creation of their courses by going to the ACE web site and selecting Faculty: Create a Course. Angel version 6.1 is a web-based course management system that enables instructors to manage course materials and interact easily and efficiently with their students. Angel can function both as a complement to traditional on-campus courses and as a site for distance learning. On January 4, student access will be switched from fall 2004 to winter 2005 UW-ACE courses. For further information, e-mail uwacehelp@ist.uwaterloo.ca.

This Daily Bulletin will return Tuesday, January 4. Any emergency announcements before that date will be made through a headline on the UW home page.

[Evergreen by CPH] So some of us go now to church,
and some to feast, and some to skis,
and some to bed -- and most of us
to loving friends and families --

though some must study or must work:
a dozen faiths, a thousand ways
to live in harmony with truth
through cold and dark December days.

We pause from labours, when we can,
and hear the season's whispered call
to burn the candles of our lives
for Peace on earth, good will to all.


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