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Monday, May 31, 2004

  • 19,038 offers to come to Waterloo
  • Staff seek to overhaul policy
  • National conference about conflict
Chris Redmond

Holiday in the US and in the UK

[Construction ladders, exposed ceiling]

Hundreds of visitors checked out UW's new architecture building, on Melville Street in Cambridge, at a construction site open house Saturday afternoon. The building -- a century-old factory being renovated to provide high-ceilinged studios and a modern library -- is scheduled to open in September. Rick Haldenby, director of the architecture school, explained his pride-and-joy to guests who included Lois Claxton, secretary of the university, at right.

19,038 offers to come to Waterloo

Admissions staff and faculty members worked hard this year reviewing the applications of would-be students, says the director of admissions, following a drop in the number of applications from Ontario high schools.

The drop from last year's level was only to be expected, says admissions director Peter Burroughs, since applications were artificially high in the "double cohort" year of 2003.

This year there will likely be more students from "non-OSS" sources, he says. (OSS stands for Ontario Secondary Schools.) "A relatively large number of non-OSS applicants," says Burroughs, "include former OSS applicants who were part of the double cohort but who stepped out for a year or two."

Here's how Burroughs reported the situation in a memo late last week:

"As of May 27, a total of 19,038 offer decisions have been made for year one fall 2004. All of the remaining offers of admission packages will be mailed by early next week.

"The University has made considerably fewer offers to OSS applicants this year compared to last year at this time (16,678 vs. 19,528) but substantially more offers to non-OSS applicants (2,360 vs. 1,210). Both OSS and non-OSS data include visa students which total 1,356 to date. Last year, a total of 851 visa applicants were admitted.

"In view of the significant decrease in OSS applications this year compared to 2003, the decrease in the proportion of 1st choice OSS applications and the inclusion of non-OSS domestic students in the Ministry's definition of 'ETA eligible', the consideration and admission of non-OSS applicants has been very aggressive and thorough this year compared to any previous years.

"Although we will not know how successful this strategy and hard work has been until the week of June 14, the tremendous efforts of the Faculty and Registrar's Office admissions personnel should be recognized. If we are going to approach our admission targets this year, it will be due to the significant increase in early and on-going non-OSS decisions and related recruitment and marketing strategies.

"Further details regarding offer and confirmation data by program within admission categories will be forthcoming."

Staff seek to overhaul policy

As UW's staff association approaches its annual general meeting tomorrow, the association executive has called for "a full of review" of UW's Policy 18, the document dealing with staff employment -- hiring, promotion, termination and everything in between.

The review would be done by the staff relations committee, which has equal representation from the staff association and UW management.

"Policy 18 governs most of what happens to each staff member from the time they begin their work life here through to the time they leave or retire," says a message from the association executive, published in the latest issue of the group's newsletter.

"The Policy was originally written in 1966, and over the years, has been modified numerous times. It is our feeling that for such a far-reaching policy, it has lost its cohesiveness, and has become hard to follow.

"It is also apparent that since the workplace has changed so much, the Policy needs to change. Changing technology, changing workloads, changing skill sets, all make our working environment a much more fluid atmosphere than ever before. The Policy needs to reflect this.

[With exercise equipment]

In the gym at the Ontario Police College is Steve Radoja, a second-year recreation and business student who spent the winter term on a co-op job there as assistant director of recreation. The co-op student newsletter Inside sCo-op reports that he co-ordinated and supervised an evening intramural program -- scheduling games, finding referees, setting up gym equipment, and sometimes personally filling in for teams that were short members. He also organized tournaments and handled facility bookings. While the job's biggest perks were the free room and board, as well as the unlimited access to the school's gym, pool, and weight room, he also found it "neat" to work with police officers in training. "It was very interesting to step a little into the world of a police officer and get a first-hand glimpse of the training our police go through. . . . This job is definitely the best job I have ever had."

"It is also apparent that many of the policies to which 18 refers, may need to either be incorporated into 18 or the interconnections made more clear. This is going to be a challenging and complex task."

The message adds that staff members' input is "invited and encouraged", and promises "an open discussion" at tomorrow's general meeting.

Also on the agenda are reports from the association's executive members and many committees, and an announcement about executive membership for the coming year.

Tomorrow's general meeting of the staff association starts at 11:45 in Davis Centre room 1302. "Light refreshments will be available beginning at 11:30," the meeting notice adds.

Commuter Challenge today through Saturday: find alternative ways of getting to work, and (for employees) register online.

Employer rankings for teaching option students close today 9 a.m.

Federal election "awareness campaign", sponsored by Federation of Students, organizational meeting 4:30, Student Life Centre multi-purpose room.

'Academe and the three C's': "Collaboration, Copyright and Commerce", workshop by Petra Cooper of McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Wednesday 11 a.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library.

National conference about conflict -- from the UW media relations office

With daily reports in the media about how people typically mishandle conflict, we may become cynical about whether it's possible for us to deal with conflict without damaging relationships or inflicting violence.

Conflict resolution, which promotes qualities such as respect and empathy, will be explored at a national conference to be held in Kitchener on June 2-5. The event is called "Interaction 2004 National Conference -- Come Back to the Core, and includes workshops, free lectures, concerts and special events.

"Some think of conflict resolution as soft," said Kathleen Cleland Moyer, co-executive director of Conflict Resolution Network Canada, which is organizing the conference. "But building better conflict solving in ourselves and in our world is hard work."

She added: "It is easy to become overwhelmed, but we are committed to action -- that's why we hold national conflict resolution conferences in communities across Canada."

The network is an affiliate of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies at Conrad Grebel University College.

At the conference, police officers, teachers, students, mediators, social workers, academics, clergy, parents, lawyers and many others from Waterloo Region and across the country will gather to address the tough lessons learned about working through conflict.

"We welcome everyone to this conference," says Cleland Moyer. "Some of our courses offer advanced skills training but many of our sessions are geared to participants who simply want to find better ways to handle destructive conflict at home, at work and in the community."


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