[University of Waterloo]


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About the DB

Thursday, May 19, 2005

  • Dig it, stitch it, dance to it
  • Campaign celebrations: mark the calendar
  • Automation firm is a co-op partner
Chris Redmond

What happened at the volcano 90 years ago?

[With flowers]

Residents of campus come in many species. This fine groundhog makes its home in front of the Environmental Studies buildings, but was hanging around the back entrance to Needles Hall yesterday, probably trying to figure out how to get in on the government's increased funding for universities. Photo by Alex Frakking.

Dig it, stitch it, dance to it

Dig we must! The season of road work is upon us, and this year's major project is going to be improvements along University Avenue done by the Region of Waterloo. The project has already started west of Erb Street (that is west, right?) and will move closer to campus as the summer wears on -- watch for details.

Meanwhile, right on campus, work is expected to start on Tuesday on improvements to parking lot D and the driveway beside Needles Hall. The result: the lot will be closed to visitors after the long weekend, for about a month. "Please direct guests to the kiosk at parking lot H," suggests parking manager Elaine Carpenter. She says access to the area under NH, and up the roadway past the Dana Porter Library to the arts quad, will be maintained for service and emergency vehicles, those who park in that area because of medical or disabled permits, and the few staff who pay (at premium rates) for reserved spaces in lot D. "There may be short periods of time when access is delayed due to heavy machinery."

The annual Waterloo County and Area Quilt Festival is under way at various locations, including UW. The university's art gallery in East Campus Hall has been taken over by a quilt exhibition, opening today and running through May 29. Specifically it's the Ontario Juried Quilt Show, a province-wide competition: "The goal is to encourage high standards of quilting, recognize the evolving nature of quilting, and celebrate the social function that quilting played and continues to play in our Ontario communities today." Admission to the gallery, usually free, will be $6 during the festival, and gallery hours are extended: daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., extended to 9 p.m. on May 26 and 27.

[Africa] The student-organized UW International Health Development Association is sending eight students to Tanzania this summer, as announced some months ago. They'll be working "to implement an AIDS awareness program for youth in rural villages, says Rohini Mathur of UWIHDA. As a fund-raiser for the project, UWIHDA is sponsoring a concert tonight in the Bombshelter pub in the Student Life Centre, featuring five local bands -- Vacuity, Asher, And Everything After, Something Useless, and Forever Means Never. Sounds like a mixed bag: "If you love hair metal and Hilary Duff, you will love Asher," says the publicity -- but And Everythng After promises "emotionally driven, complex song structures". Tickets for the evening are $6 in advance, $8 at the door, which opens at 8:00.

Patti Cook, UW's waste management coordinator, has a warning about "electronic waste" -- old computers, cellphones, GameBoys and other devices. "The Region of Waterloo is introducing an electronic waste ban at the landfill, effective June 6," she writes. "This should not affect us at the university, as all equipment should be disposed of using the Asset Disposal form #89-2180, whether the item is reusable or not. At home, you have two more weeks to dispose of your computer or electronic waste either in the garbage or by taking it to the landfill for recycling at no charge. After that, it will cost $10 per item!" There's more information online.

And . . . the UW stage band "still needs more players this term," writes Claudia Van Decker from the music office at Conrad Grebel University College. "All are welcome -- you don't need to be a student to come out. Rehearsals are Mondays, 7 to 10 p.m., at Conrad Grebel great hall. If interested, please contact the director, Michael Wood, at 271-1488 or percwood@orc.ca. A special welcome to trumpet, trombone, baritone and tenor players!"

Campaign celebrations: mark the calendar

Events next month will offer a chance to celebrate the Keystone Campaign as well as the $260 million Campaign Waterloo of which Keystone is the on-campus part.

The annual early-summer Keystone event is set for June 9 with a pair of events, one at midday and one in late evening. The Keystone Campaign has already reached its $4.5 million goal, as the umbrella for gifts to the university by staff, faculty and retirees. A campus-wide Keystone event each June has become a tradition.

Invitations will be out very soon for this year's version, the "Happy U Year Masquerade", says Shelley Rudd of the UW development office. We'll be hearing lots more about this event, scheduled for June 9 from 11:30 to 1:30 on the Matthews Hall green.

"Come and help us launch the Campaign's exciting new focus," says the draft invitation. "And as always, enjoy good food and drink, games, music, entertainment, and camaraderie!" A ring road parade will precede the get-together.

A smaller event will come that evening as staff who work the night shift are invited to a Keystone party starting at 10:00 in South Campus Hall.

Meanwhile, invitations went out this week to a gathering June 14 that will "celebrate the achievements of Campaign Waterloo: Building a Talent Trust". The party will start at 3:30 in the great hall of the Davis Centre.

Automation firm is a co-op partner

"It's best to try to keep up the volume of jobs, even in slow times to stay prepared for the good times," says a key recruiter for the Canada-wide firm of Rockwell Automation, talking about hiring UW co-op students.

[Roberts at desk] Jacqueline Roberts (right) of Rockwell is interviewed in the spring issue of the UW Recruiter, a newsletter published for employers by the co-op and career services department. She was asked what attracted Rockwell to hiring co-op students in the first place.

"Years ago," comes the answer, "we had a real concern over where to get new people since we realized that we were the only type of manufacturing company like this in the country. After looking at our options, we saw we would have to home grow and train our own people. UW co-op was the route we decided might work for us as a pipeline to help us do this. We have been hiring UW co-ops for 20 years. We stick with Waterloo because of the high quality of students combined with the well-known and highly respected program. We have a good relationship and really like the way the school ties the work into their academia."

Roberts is asked about the system that matches jobs with students. "The process is streamlined and efficient," she says, "and the on-campus staff responsiveness level is very high. We do all our prescreening online via the JobMine tool, which is very efficient. After that, the school sets everything up for us to come and interview. Waterloo has always led the way and their on-campus facility is an exceptional example of the school's commitment to co-op.

Air quality conference: "Policy Analysis Tools for Air Quality and Health", sponsored by UW Institute for Risk Research, in Toronto.

Society of International Students general meeting, 6:00, location to be announced.

Carousel Dance Company spring recital, final night, 6:30, Humanities Theatre.

Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith special screening for Graduate Student Association, Friday 9:30 a.m., Conestoga Mall cinemas, tickets $10 at the Graduate House.

"Even when we make the decision to hire on the fly it still works. We recently had a hire that was entirely last minute -- literally days before the term was to end. We posted our job and interviewed within days. The student we hired was wonderful and fit the company so well we wanted to bring him back."

She says: "We prefer our student to make a two work term commitment, which we let them know about during the interview process. The first term to try each other out. If the fit is right, they come back for a second term with all the experience and skills they learned on the job. They jump right back into things in no time. We believe that we are the perfect place for a co-op student. We treat our students as a part of our culture and give them increasing levels of responsibility. . . .

"We made a conscious decision to hire co-ops and we have stuck to this. Management supports this effort and as a result, we reserve 'co-op only' jobs instead of making them full-time regular positions. As time goes on, we keep track of former co-ops who have long since graduated and we don't hesitate to contact them for full-time needs."

And you keep hiring even when the economy takes a downturn? "In the past, we've lowered the volume of students and realized it hurt us in the long run. By not hiring co-ops now, we deplete our future pipeline of students we can call back later and decrease our potential for full-time hires."


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