Monday, March 26, 2007

  • Opinion web site awaits your views
  • ES proposes 'broad' degree program
  • Environment and business conference
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Books, keyboard, and human]

The job is finished: Ann Naese, manager of collections in the UW library, got the honour of applying the final RFID tag last week. More than 965,000 books received tags at the Dana Porter Library, and approximately 1,410,000 books will have received tags altogether. Installation of the security gates in Porter, similar to the ones that arrived in the Davis Centre library last fall, is expected next month.

Link of the day

Québec election — 13 years ago

When and where

International Celebrations Week things to eat: "European" cuisine today at Festival Fare, South Campus Hall; coffee break at Renison College, 2 to 3 p.m.

Graduate student information session on bus pass referendum, 10:30 a.m., Graduate House.

UW and Petro-Canada celebration and program announcement, 11:30 a.m., CEIT building foyer.

Stephen Bennett, department of English, "Words, Images and Canadian Identity", 12 noon, Kitchener Public Library main branch.

Music student recitals 12:30 today and tomorrow, Conrad Grebel University College chapel.

Render/UW Art Gallery presents Gerald McMaster, Art Gallery of Ontario, "Rethinking Canadian Culture and History", about the reopening of the AGO's Canadian galleries, 4 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

UW senate 4:30 p.m., Needles Hall room 3001.

Accountancy building ground-breaking ceremony Tuesday 11:00 a.m., northeast corner of Hagey Hall.

Germanic and Slavic studies 2007 book awards reception, Tuesday 3:30 p.m., Tatham Centre room 2218, list of recipients online.

Hallman Lectures in aging, health and well-being: Clinton Rubin, State University of New York at Stony Brook, "Osteoporosis: Can It Be Prevented Without the Use of Drugs?" Tuesday 3:30 p.m., Lyle Hallman Institute room 1621.

Classical studies department presents Laura Gawlinski, Wilfrid Laurier University, "Inscriptions, Travellers' Accounts, and Muddy Walks through the Countryside", Tuesday 4 p.m., Arts Lecture Hall room 208.

K-W Academy of Medicine, McMaster University school of medicine, UW school of pharmacy and school of optometry, reception and dinner "to celebrate new opportunities in interprofessional health education", Tuesday, Waterloo Inn, by invitation.

Author Guy Gavriel Kay reads from his work Tuesday 7 p.m., Festival Room, South Campus Hall, free, sponsored by UW bookstore.

Senator Larry Campbell, former coroner and Vancouver mayor, speaks on safe-injection drug centre, Wednesday 4:30, Clarica Auditorium, Lyle Hallman Institute.

Bus pass referendum for undergraduate and graduate students regarding Grand River Transit bus pass and fee, March 28-29.

'Footsteps of Death' walk for Darfur relief, Wednesday 2 p.m. until evening, around ring road from Student Life Centre, information

EMK-Waterloo Nanotechnology workshop: "Why Small Will Be Bigger Than Ever", Thursday, Davis Centre, free registration e-mail

Judy Charie, undergraduate office, faculty of arts, retirement reception Thursday 3:30 to 5:30, University Club, RSVP ext. 3–5782.

Aftab Patla Memorial Hockey Game featuring kinesiology undergraduates vs. grad students and faculty, March 29, 5 p.m., Columbia Icefield. Admission $2, proceeds to UW Well-Fit. Outing to Bombshelter pub follows. Sponsored by Kinesiology Grad Students Association.

Application deadline for September admission is March 30 (deadlines for some programs and groups already past).

Environmental studies presents Mark Jaccard, Simon Fraser University, "Fossil Fuels: Friends or Foes?" Friday 12:30, Davis Centre room 1351.

Varsity Athletic Banquet Friday, Columbia Icefield, tickets on sale in athletics office, Physical Activities Complex.

St. Jerome's University John Sweeney Lecture: Katherine Rouleau, University of Toronto, "HIV/AIDS from a Canadian Catholic Perspective", Friday 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall, free.

UW board of governors spring meeting April 3, 2:30, Needles Hall room 3001.

Faculty association council of representatives 2:00, annual general meeting 2:30, Wednesday, April 4, Math and Computer room 4020.

'Single and Sexy' 2007 auditions Wednesday, April 4, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre, all welcome. Paid roles for 3 women, 4 men, "and 1 male improvisational keyboard player". Rehearsal and show run August 13 to September 7.

One click away

1989 Bill Gates talk online from Computer Science Club
Student survey of ACE beginning
Dispute over bus pass referendum campaign
'Smart mirror' designed by UW students
Iron Ring incursion into Davis library (video)
St. Jerome's prof comments on Irish peace
Ontario budget documents
WLU president given post in northwestern Ontario
A rundown on tools for Web 2.0
U of T Mississauga keen to offer transfer credits
Fired over e-mail use at U of Virginia

Opinion web site awaits your views

The long-awaited “UW Opinion” website is open for business today, waiting to hear what faculty, students and staff members think about “post-secondary affairs and campus issues”, from the big topics of academic and campus planning to the little ones of parking, food and litter.

The site has an easy-to-remember URL — — and there will be a link from near the top of the Daily Bulletin every day.

Ever since we had to end publication of the Gazette three years ago, people have been murmuring that they miss the opportunity to let their voices be heard through the “Letters” column. Business wasn’t always brisk there, but it did provide an opportunity for faculty, staff and students to speak out. And the format of this Daily Bulletin, which has replaced the Gazette in some ways, doesn’t make it a good channel for opinion and debate, although there’s much in its content that could be debated and commented upon.

That led to the idea of an electronic opinion site, something that leaders of the faculty association and staff association, among others, have been urging us to create. After long delays, thanks to technical challenges and shortage of resources, we’re finally ready to go.

The site is operated by the UW Communications & Public Affairs office as a companion to the Daily Bulletin. The initial rules of engagement are set out for all to see, though we’re well aware that they may have to be clarified or modified in the light of experience. The most important criterion is that postings to UW Opinion are supposed to be, in some way, about UW: it isn’t the place for comments about Iraq, global warming, federal and local politics, or hockey violence.

You need to use your UW password to submit, although anyone can read what’s been posted, and your name (as it appears in UWdir) will appear as the author of your submission. Maximum length for UW Opinion entries is 2,000 characters (approximately 350 words).

As with the letters-to-the-editor page in the Gazette, submissions will be reviewed before being posted. An important filter is that submissions will be vetted for libel. No personal attacks are welcome.

As editor of the Daily Bulletin, I’ve been asked to take the lead in editing UW Opinion, which means perusing and approving each letter that arrives. (Other CPA staff will share in that duty as well, if the volume grows heavy and when I’m not available.) Please bear with me and my colleagues as we learn how things work, but we think we’re ready. All that’s missing now is your opinion.

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ES proposes 'broad' degree program

A new “Bachelor of Knowledge Integration” program, to be based in the faculty of environmental studies, is coming to UW’s senate today for approval.

“The goal of the BKI,” says the proposal on the senate agenda, “is to equip students of high potential and broad interests for thoughtful citizenship, ethical leadership, and innovative scholarship. . . . The program has a foundation of breadth and rigour in the humanities and sciences. This foundation is coupled with meaningful practice in the skills that students will need to bridge disciplinary boundaries, lead inter-disciplinary teams, and integrate concerns for the economic, social and environmental context and consequences of their work.

“The BKI program will produce students who are comfortable with numeracy and with hands-on experience of investigative science. The BKI will also produce students of physical, social and applied sciences with a meaningful literacy in the humanities. BKI students will understand the criteria of evidence and inquiry in different disciplines, and the global socio-cultural context in which they study and live.”

The program grows out of the Waterloo Unlimited program for promising high school students, also based in ES, and will, says the proposal, “attract students of high potential who might not otherwise consider UW. This program will appeal to the outstanding generalists and undecideds, especially those who value UW's strengths such as computer science and environmental studies. These students may not be particularly attracted to any one discipline or any particular emerging area of interdisciplinary research.”

BKI will be, says the program, “an applied program that integrates disciplines and uses teams to identify, study and solve ambitious problems . . . In their upper years, BKI students will identify a specialty — a single discipline or a unique topic at the intersection of two or more disciplines — and pursue individual capstone research projects.

“Throughout the BKI degree, the integrative projects and themes will reflect the emerging high-profile role of things environmental at the local, regional, national and global levels.”

First-year students — 80 to 90 of them each year — will take courses in English, public speaking, critical thinking, ethics, computer science, math, “at least one investigative Science”, and “the BKI core course, Introduction to the Academy.” Third-year students will all take a new “Museum Course” that moves from researching a topic to presenting it publicly.

The BKI “will be administered by a new administrative unit in ES, the Centre for Advanced Integrative Learning,” the proposal says.

Also on the agenda for today’s senate meeting is a proposed “international development” stream in the Bachelor of Environmental Studies program. Senate will also see the annual report of the University Committee on Student Appeals, hear the names of this year’s Distinguished Teacher Award and Exceptional Teaching by a Student award winners, and discuss the 2007-08 budget. The meeting starts at 4:30 in Needles Hall room 3001.

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[Half a dozen players in the sunshine]

Howzat? "It was warm enough for a game on campus!" says Giles Malet in some amazement. He had his camera along when he spotted an improvised cricket match near the Student Life Centre in Friday's sunshine. The pitch may not be World Cup standard — note the plastic chair serving as wicket — but interest in cricket at Waterloo is picking up: Imprint had a story Friday about an active cricket team organized by the Pakistani Students Association.

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Environment and business conference

If you are wondering "How to Change a Dinosaur", an expression that could be taken in several different ways, then you'll want to check out the student-run UW Environment and Business Conference tomorrow. The conference will run Tuesday from 8:30 to 4:00, mostly in the Environmental Studies I building.

The dinosaur issue is the subject of a workshop to be led by Jennifer Lynes, of the environment and resource studies department, and Geoff Malleck of economics. Other workshop topics include "Energy Efficiency for Home & Business", featuring experts from the Residential Energy Efficiency Program, now independent after years of association with UW; "Environmental Management Systems and Standards"; and "Greening Your Business".

In general, the conference deals with "environmental issues regarding sustainability and corporate social responsibility", organizers say, citing their slogan: "Making the Environment Your Business — It Just Makes Cents!"

Says a news release: "This unique all-day event will host politicians, professionals, faculty and students discussing environmental issues integral to business success. The planning committee is expecting a large turnout from across the Region of Waterloo. The four Environment and Business students planning the event have received strong support from the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, the University of Waterloo’s Federation of Students, Faculty of Environmental Studies Dean’s Office, Waterloo Environmental Students Endowment Fund and QMI, a division of the Canadian Standards Association."

Keynote speaker, at 1:30 in the Humanities Theatre, will be Bob Willard, known as an expert on the business value of corporate sustainability strategies. He's the author of The Sustainability Advantage and The Next Sustainability Wave, and will be available to sign books after his talk.

The day includes a panel discussion on "Politics and the Environment" at 9:30 a.m., featuring people from both inside and outside UW, including Jeff Leal, parliamentary assistant to the Ontario minister of the environment. At 3:00 there's a panel on renewable energies involving representatives of three companies that work in that growing field.

Exhibitors include renewable energy companies, professional agencies, and such UW units as the co-op and career services department and the Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology. Details of the program are online, and so is registration, which starts at a $5 fee for students and goes up as high as $25.


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