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Thursday, June 10, 2004

  • Fees and phishing and other notes
  • Social whirl for literary magazine
  • Days in the life of a dean
Chris Redmond

Alcoholics Anonymous founded, 1935

[On stage with rings] [David Johnston with torch]
[Health studies prof on trike]

The Keystone Campaign summer event was moved inside the Student Life Centre yesterday when thunderstorms threatened (but didn't actually arrive). With a "Ulympics" theme, the day featured a token torch-lighting, as well as a guest appearance from one possible real-life Olympian, UW swimmer Matt Mains. The event -- celebrating the on-campus segment of Campaign Waterloo -- was echoed by a late-night coffee break for evening shift staff, held in the Davis Centre.

[Trumpet trio]

Fees and phishing and other notes

UW's board of governors met yesterday, and mostly listened to briefings -- from UW's president about government actions past and future, from the provost about budgets and priorities, from the leaders of the church colleges ("the federated university and affiliated colleges") about their manifold activities.


Tree-planting and service today

A memorial service will be held today for Rob Macdonald, the faculty member in mechanical engineering who died April 29, a week after he was shot during a street robbery in Trinidad. Proceedings today start at 2:30 with a tree-planting in the quad between Engineering II and Rod Coutts Hall. The service begins at 3:00 in the Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages building, with refreshments following.
Provost Amit Chakma noted that while UW's admission target for this September is 5,600 students, there's looking to be a shortfall across Ontario: universities have spaces for some 5,000 students more than the expected number of qualified applicants. "Our share is about 7 per cent," he noted. However, UW is expecting to admit more students from outside the province than it did in 2003, the high-demand "double cohort" year. Preliminary numbers will be watched with interest over the next few weeks.

The board gave approval, as requested by the Federation of Students, to an increase in the Fed fee paid by full-time undergraduates. It goes up from $29.64 a term to $30.46, effective in September. Also going up is the "student-coordinated plan" fee, which is paying off the 1992 expansion of the Student Life Centre and Columbia Icefield; that one goes up from $29.94 a term to $30.27. (In addition, students pay a $13.80 fee for last year's expansion of the same two recreational buildings.)

On other topics: Information systems and technology is warning about the latest spam e-mail, which started appearing in campus mailboxes yesterday. It comes labelled as "Official information from RBC Royal Bank", which was in the news after a major software problem crippled its account records across the country all last week. Of course the message isn't really from RBC -- it's an attempt (technically called "phishing") to get people to provide their bank account numbers and passwords or PIN numbers. "A bank employee would never ask for password information," says RBC spokesman Chris Pepper.

Several staff members in UW's library retired as of May 1. They are Yulerette Gordon, a librarian in the Dana Porter Library who had been at UW since 1966; Drahomira Zima, a library clerk who came to the university in 1976; and Maureen Kama, a cataloguing associate whose UW career began in 1975.

Here's a reminder that tonight's Arriscraft Lecture in the school of architecture has been cancelled. . . . The bookstore's summer book sale in the South Campus Hall concourse winds up today. . . . Waterloo mathematics alumni have light rain for their annual alumni golf tournament at the Grey Silo Golf Course in the east end of the city. . . .

Social whirl for literary magazine

An awards banquet tomorrow night, a pub crawl on Tuesday -- it's the busy season, clearly, for the editors and fans of UW's literary magazine, The New Quarterly.

The social whirl starts with what TNQ is calling "The Case of the Unlikely Shortlist", as the magazine finds itself competing with "Moose on the Make," "Winter Camping 101," "13 Resolutions For Your Business," "Building With Stone," and "Inside the Mind of the Muskie" in the how-to category for this year's National Magazine Awards. Prizes will be presented tomorrow night in Toronto.

How does a literary magazine get in there with the moose and the muskie? A news release explains: "Sticking out from that lineup like a short-story collection on the Giller List is Douglas Glover's 'A Short Course in Narrative Structure,' a pair of sharp, sassy, and eminently useful articles on writing fiction published in The New Quarterly. One article was on short stories, the other on novels. Glover won the most recent Governor General's Award for his novel Elle."

Elections Canada additions to the voters' list, 11:30 to 3:30, Student Life Centre or Carl Pollock Hall; 4:30 to 7:30, Village I great hall.

Informatics seminar, "Clinical and Objective Measurement of Aspects of Ocular Appearance", Trefford Simpson, optometry, 11:30, Math and Computer room 5158.

Electrical and computer engineering brown-bag seminar, Manoj Sachdev, on current challenges in VLSI technology, noon, CEIT room 3142.

Career workshops: "Letter Writing" 3:30, "Resumé Writing" 4:30, Tatham Centre room 1208.

Swing and Social Dance Club, "Swingin' at the Loo", 8 p.m. to midnight, Bombshelter pub, "no partner or experience necessary," $5.

Campus recreation garage sale, Friday 11:00 to 2:00, Physical Activities Complex "Red North", used sports equipment and clothing.

The New Quarterly is no stranger to the National Magazine Awards. Just last year the literary magazine swept the literary categories, taking home the gold medal in both fiction and poetry. This year's shortlist, though, has caught literary magazine off guard. "We're stunned," says editor Kim Jernigan, according to the TNQ news release, whose author's initials are, I think, K.J. "We're up for poetry, too, for some gorgeous stuff by Steven Heighton, and that's a thrill, but not a surprise. We're good at poetry, good at fiction. But 'How To' is so practical!" She looks thoughtful (again, according to the news release). "It's very strange to be on the same shortlist as the hormonal moose."

TNQ, based at St. Jerome's University, describes itself as publishing "a lively mix of fiction, poetry, interviews, and talk about writing." The National Magazine Awards are considered the top awards for work published in Canadian magazines.

Once the moose thrills are over, TNQ editors turn their attention to four events that they will host over the summer as part of this year's Waterloo Region One Book, One Community program. The selection this year, the book everybody in town is supposed to read, is Nino Ricci's novel Lives of the Saints.

The first event, "One Book, Three Pubs", takes place on Tuesday, June 15, and will give local fans of the book a chance to share passages over a brew and some hearty pub fare. This literary pub-crawl will begin at the Huether Hotel's Malt room in Waterloo at 6:30; from there, participants will go to Jersey Lilly's before rounding out the night at the Duke of Wellington.

At each stop a different reader will share a passage from Lives of the Saints and talk about why it compels them. Readers are Gabriel Niccoli, professor of Italian at St. Jerome's; Bianca Spence, publicity and marketing coordinator for Cormorant Books (the book's publisher); and Angela Caretta, head of the Preston branch of the Cambridge libraries. The night will end with a live auction. Tickets are $10 each (for admission, not refreshments) -- call The New Quarterly at 884-8111 ext. 290.

TNQ-sponsored events later this summer:

Again, tickets are available through the TNQ office at St. Jerome's.

Days in the life of a dean

"Four flights, four receptions, numerous meetings with alumni and prospective sponsors, and a few thousand kilometres" kept the dean of engineering busy in the last week of May, says a minute-by-minute report published in the latest Eng-e-News electronic newsletter.

An intensive trip took dean Adel Sedra to Vancouver and Calgary for meetings on topics that ranged from alumni programming in Alberta to corporate funding for fire safety research. Locations included corporate offices, the Vancouver Rowing Club, and Calgary's Odyssium science museum.

Sedra was joined on the trip by Jon Sykes, civil engineering professor, who spoke to alumni groups in both cities about "Environmental Contamination, Health Impacts and Corporate Liability".

Gosia Brestovacki, the alumni and communications officer in engineering, who edits the newsletter, gives highlights of the trip, not omitting a 7 a.m. "breakfast meeting with a prominent alumnus about a gift to Campaign Waterloo" and an early-morning delay at the Vancouver airport, spent revising a speech for later in the day.

[One in pink hat, one in gray suit]

Smith and Sedra at the Vancouver reception

"A very keen group of engineering alumni and some co-op students came to meet the dean," says Brestovacki about the Calgary get-together, at the Telus Convention Centre. His remarks in both cities focused on "the importance of our engineering alumni staying connected to the Faculty of Engineering", and suggested various ways of doing that -- "hiring co-op students and grads, promoting the UW name, making a financial gift, sending their children to UW, and attending events and reunions."

Sedra began the trip in Vancouver at the annual International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, the major convention in his academic specialty. A reception during ISCAS, at the Hyatt Regency hotel, honoured Sedra and co-author K. C. Smith (of the University of Toronto and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology). Their popular textbook Microelectronic Circuits is in its fifth edition.

"The turnout was great," Brestovacki reports, "with many former students of both Sedra and Smith coming to speak to the famous two writers and to get their autographs in their old or new editions of the textbook. The textbook has sold several hundred thousand copies and has been translated into nine languages."


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