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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

  • Students to vote on WPIRG fee
  • Architecture director is profiled
  • DJs all day, and other notes
Chris Redmond

World Water Day

[Him and her and dog in the garden]

Environmental studies alumni Cathy and David Giesbrecht are featured in UW's annual "donor report" thanks to a bequest they have made to support UW's department of geography. "David's eyes still sparkle when he thinks of his first exposure to cartography," the report says, "and his love of maps continues to this day." And Cathy Giesbrecht is quoted: "With this contribution, we can help the program continue to provide the excellent level of education that we had." They met during their first year of UW study.

Students to vote on WPIRG fee

Vote yes if you're against it, and no if you're in favour -- that's pretty much how things will work in next week's referendum about the Waterloo Public Interest Research Group.

Undergraduate students are being asked: "Currently each full time undergraduate University of Waterloo student pays $9.50 for every 8 month academic year to Waterloo Public Interest Group (WPIRG). Do you support the termination of the WPIRG levy?"

So a yes vote means ending the $4.25-per-term WPIRG fee, and a no vote means keeping the fee, which is what the organization's leadership wants students to do. The WPIRG web site says the fee "provides irreplaceable resources that student volunteers use in helping to improve the campus, give something back to the local and global community, and develop valuable life and career skills".

The referendum was called by the Federation of Students as the result of a student petition asking for it. Imprint reports that the petition process was "set in motion last November by Nic Weber, a 2B arts and business student", who eventually collected signatures (or the electronic equivalent) from the required 10 per cent of students. Weber says the intent of the referendum is "to further democracy at the University of Waterloo. . . . Currently students cannot opt out of the WPIRG levy. You must go to their office every term to get a refund."

Much of the argument in the current referendum campaign is over the fairness of such "refundable" fees, which are also used to fund Imprint itself as well as other student organizations. A secondary issue is whether WPIRG's activities -- involving environmental and social causes, frequently those identified as left-of-centre -- are something UW students want to support.

Students' council, the Federation governing body, has gone on record as favouring a "no" vote, that is, keeping the WPIRG fee.

Open meetings about the issue started yesterday; there's a forum in the Student Life Centre great hall today from 12:30 to 1:30, and a similar forum tomorrow from 1 to 2 p.m. Online voting will run from Monday morning (March 28) at 8:00 to Tuesday at 8 p.m., and there will also be on-campus voting stations during the day Monday and Tuesday.


Architecture director is profiled -- from the Keystone Campaign web site

Some people might say that Rick Haldenby (right) is following in the footsteps of his paternal grandfather and father, both prominent Toronto architects. But people who know this Haldenby would be more likely to say that the architecture school's director is charting a new path, one that is having an exceptional impact on current and future architecture students. His career has taken him down many roads -- teacher, project manager, fundraiser, service to the profession, government and community relations, and most recently the champion for the new building in Cambridge.

How did you get hired at UW? "After graduating from UW's architecture program in 1975, I was invited to teach a third-year design course when a regular faculty member fell ill. That term, I saved my money and, in the first week in January, I flew to London, bought a bike, and took the train to Greece. Just before leaving Athens, the director of the school of architecture sent me a telegram inviting me to apply for one of three faculty positions. Putting together a CV was a challenge -- Latin letters did not exist on Greek typewriters -- but I sent it off anyway and then continued on my journey through Italy and France. Six months later, I arrived in Cannes and picked up a telegram that had been sitting at the American Express Office for four months -- it was a job offer."

What do you personally value about UW? "UW's willingness to take a chance and the faith it has in people who have ideas and are willing to make things happen."

To what project(s) have you designated your gift? "For years, I contributed toward scholarships. But after a group of Cambridge business people and friends formed the Cambridge Consortium in 2000 to raise the necessary $27 million for the new School, I shifted my donation to support the new building and endowment project."

When did you decide to become an architect? "I was seven when I designed and built my first building in the backyard of my family home. But it was an actual visit with my Dad in the late '50s to the collapsed frame of the Union Carbide tower under construction in Toronto that cemented my decision. Seeing the crumbled structure was an unforgettable experience and I decided then that I wanted to become an architect so that I could build things right."

Will the Haldenby family legacy of architects continue? "It's possible. I have two sons. Adrian is 16 and at the moment -- he's interested in business. Julian's 14 and he has some inkling toward architecture but it's his decision what he wants to pursue."

If you could become another person for a day, who would you be? "It would definitely be Clint Eastwood. As a kid, I loved Rawhide and the spaghetti westerns -- the scores, written by an Italian composer Enio Morricone, entranced me. I am still a fan, and I use examples from Eastwood's movies in a lecture on justice that is part of my Cultural History course."

'Molecular Electronics' nanotechnology talk by Charles Bauschllicher, NASA Ames Research Center, California, 10:00, Chemistry II room 361.

Credit Union mortgages presentation 12:15, Davis Centre room 1302.

Negotiating workshop sponsored by Centre for Family Business, Conrad Grebel University College, all day Wednesday in St. Jacobs.

LT3 workshop: Katherine Acheson, department of English, describes the online modules she is creating, Wednesday 10 a.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library.

Brubakers cafeteria, Student Life Centre, 10th birthday celebration, Wednesday, lunch and dinner specials, "totally kickin' 80s karaoke and trivia games" 11:00 to 2:00.

Stress Relaxation Series continues: "Expanding Focus", Wednesday 12 noon, Math and Computer room 5158, sponsored by Employee Assistance Program.

Smarter Health seminar: Sarah Friesen, Shared Healthcare Supply Services, "The Opportunity of Supply Chain Management in Healthcare", Wednesday 3:00, Davis Centre room 1302.

Water rights: Frank Schwartz, Ohio State University, speaks on "Whisky's for Drinking, Water's for Fighting Over", as this year's TD Canada Trust Walter Bean Visiting Professor in the Environment, Wednesday 3:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Novelist Lewis DeSoto reads, Wednesday 4:00, St. Jerome's University room 3014.

Genius Bowl trivia competition among engineering classes, Wednesday 4:30, Coutts Hall room 101, details online.

AIDS in Africa: Anurita Bains, assistant to United Nations envoy Stephen Lewis, speaks Wednesday 4:30, Biology I room 271, sponsored by UW International Health Development Association.

German exchange programs information session about Braunschweig and Hamburg-Harburg, Wednesday 4:30, Davis Centre room 1304.

'A Night of Stars': Campus Recreation Recognition Night, Wednesday 5 p.m., dinner in South Campus Hall, ticket information ext. 7126.

'From Intrapreneurship to Entrepreneurship', talk by Ray Simonson of Software Innovation, Thursday 12 noon, Needles Hall room 1101, reservations today to ext. 7167.

DJs all day, and other notes

Today is "CKMS Day" in the Student Life Centre, drawing attention to UW's student radio station and the people who play music over the airwaves at 100.3 FM. "From 9 to 6, DJs will be spinning tunes for you in the Great Hall," the station's site says, and I understand they include Arda Ocal, who puts together the Wednesday night program "AOK: The Pre-Bomber Show", among others. "The CKMS sound is so diverse," one of the on-air personalities told Imprint last week. "Whether you like French experimental techno jazz or drum and bass, hip-hop, blues, rock, or just hate Creed, you are going to enjoy listening." The day of recorded music will be followed by a concert in the multipurpose room, starting at 7:00 and "featuring Knock Knock Ginger and others" -- tickets are $5. And all day, CKMS people will be keen to talk to visitors about how they can get involved with the station.

Howard Armitage, who heads UW's Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, is beaming, there on page 55 of the current issue of Canadian Business magazine and probably in real life too. He's bound to be happy at the exposure CB gave this week to Waterloo's Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology program, which was frozen out of the magazine's recent annual rankings of MBA programs (presumably because an MBET is not exactly an MBA). The article, by Laura Bogomolny, starts with student Ryan Nickelchok as an example of the people-with-ideas who go into the MBET program, and goes on to talk about the workload, the involvement of outside entrepreneurs in the twelve-month program, and CBET's future home in the north campus research and technology park. Also covered in the article is McMaster University's innovative Master of Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation program.

Three thousand new Waterloo Region telephone directories arrived on campus a few days ago, which adds up to, golly, a whole wagonload of old books heading for the recycling mill or, worse, the landfill. "To recycle old phone books," says Patti Cook, the university's waste management coordinator, "just place them beside the white box, and the custodial staff will remove them, or put them directly in the newsprint carts." (At home, old phone books go in the blue box for curbside collection.)

"Have you heard about the recently released 'New Common Look and Feel' for UW websites?" writes Chris Read, director of UW Graphics. "The UW Common Look and Feel guidelines are aimed at University units which present web sites to the outside world, including the main UW site, Academic Support, Faculty and Academic Department, Centre, School, and Institute sites. The new standard has an updated look that provides increased accessibility for people with disabilities. If you don't have the necessary time, skills, or staff to adapt your web site to the new format, UW Graphics can help you!" Today at 1:30, Graphics is offering a free information session on some of the services available to help adapt UW web sites to the "New Common Look and Feel". Topics will include the free title generator, website package options and custom features like forms and Flash. Registration is online through the web operations site.

Tomorrow will bring the next TD Canada Trust/Walter Bean Visiting Professorship in the Environment public lecture, to be given by Frank Schwartz, geological sciences professor at the Ohio State University. His topic is a line borrowed from Mark Twain: "Whisky's for Drinking. Water's for Fighting Over." A researcher in contaminant hydrogeology and groundwater geochemistry, Schwartz will go from there to discuss issues contributing to conflicts in water resources in North America and elsewhere, as people fight over water resources because of the problems of drought, population growth, profits and politics. He'll speak at 3:30 tomorrow in the Humanities Theatre, and admission is free.

The bookstore holds its spring book sale today through Thursday in the South Campus Hall concourse, while spring does look as though it's sprung outside. . . . Electrical power will be shut down in the main wing of the Davis Centre tomorrow morning from 5:30 to 7:00. . . . It's just two days until students taking part in the FIRST Robotics regional competition will be arriving at UW, uncrating their robots at the Physical Activities Complex and preparing for the weekend's competition. . . .


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