Friday, September 14, 2007

  • 'Fewer will die' after suicide training
  • Installation recalls St. Jerome's roots
  • UW solar car in Maclean's; other notes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

Royal Medieval Faire • Uptown Dining

When and where

Imaginus poster sale, final day, 9:00 to 5:00, Student Life Centre.

Graduate Student Association welcome week at the Grad House for new grad students: "Welly Buffet" 5 p.m., Fireball Friday with music by Knock Knock Ginger and Spymachine Sixteen from 9 p.m., details online.

Warrior sports: Men’s rugby at Laurier today; vs. Highland RC Saturday 1 p.m., Columbia Field. • Women’s hockey vs. Hamilton Int. AA, 7:30 tonight, vs. Jr. Aeros Saturday 7:30, Icefield. • Field hockey vs. Toronto Saturday 10 a.m., vs. Western Saturday 5 p.m., vs. Guelph Sunday 12:30, Columbia Fields. • Soccer (men and women) at Laurier Saturday; vs. York Sunday (women 1:00, men 3:15), Columbia Field. • Cross-country, Saturday at Guelph Open. • Women’s tennis at Western, Saturday. • Men’s tennis at McMaster, Saturday. • Football, Saturday evening at Windsor. • Baseball, two games at Western Sunday. • Men’s golf, Sunday at Queen’s Invitational. • Women’s rugby at Brock, Sunday.

'Project Salvador Gomez' Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Car wash in support of men's and women's Warrior swim teams, Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., between South Campus Hall and Doug Wright Engineering.

Car wash in support of Warrior track and field teams, Sunday 10:00 to 3:00, South Campus Hall.

Co-op work reports from spring term jobs due Monday, Tatham Centre.

Exploring Cultural Differences workshop for faculty, staff and students, Monday 9:00 to 12:00, Davis Centre room 1302, organized by graduate studies office, no registration required.

International Opportunities Fair organized by the international programs office and Work Study Abroad Network, with information on study-abroad and volunteer opportunities, Monday 11:00 to 3:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

Introduction to ArcMap workshop in University Map Library, Monday 2 p.m. or September 28 at 10 a.m., registration online.

Accounting Students Endowment Contribution presents Paul Langill, TD Bank Financial Group, "Create the Career You Want", Monday 4:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre, reception follows.

Auditions for "Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge", presented by K-W LIttle Theatre (starting November 29), Monday-Wednesday 7 to 10 p.m., Humanities room 334, inquiries e-mail

Volunteer and Internship Fair organized by career services, Tuesday 11:00 to 2:30, Student Life Centre great hall.

Canadian Federation of University Women local chapter general meeting Tuesday 6:30, First United Church, King and William Streets.

Physics and astronomy department presents Costas Efthimiou, University of Central Florida, "Science and Pseudoscience in Hollywood Movies", September 18, 7:00 p.m., Festival Room, South Campus Hall, tickets $2 in advance (phone ext. 32256) or at the door.

Research and Technology Park announcement event, by invitation only, September 19, 9:00 a.m., TechTown atrium.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council information session on scholarships and fellowships Wednesday 9:00 to 11:00, Humanities Theatre.

'Welcome back 50th anniversary luncheon buffet' Wednesday 11:00 to 2:00, University Club, $17.50 per person, reservations ext. 33801.

Women in mathematics pasta party Wednesday 5:00 to 6:30, Math and Computer room 5158, all women math undergrads, grads and faculty welcome, RSVP by Monday to

Waterloo Region technology firms joint information session on co-op jobs Wednesday 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., Federation Hall, RSVP on Jobmine.

Engineers Without Borders 4th annual Waterloo Gala, introducing returning volunteers, Wednesday 7:00 p.m., Centre for International Governance Innovation, information and tickets online.

'Collaborating Between Faculties' workshop organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Thursday 3:30 p.m., Flex lab, Dana Porter Library, details and registration online.

Club, Service and Society Days organized by Federation of Students, September 20-21, 10:00 to 3:00, Student Life Centre.

Math Fall Gala organized by mathematics business and accountancy students, dinner, dancing, casino games, Friday, September 21, 6 p.m., Federation Hall, tickets $45, information ext. 33638.

St. Jerome's University presents former president Michael Higgins, "It's Tough Being God These Days", Friday, September 21, 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall, admission free.

Ontario Engineering Graduate Studies Fair involving 12 universities, Saturday, September 22, 11:00 to 4:00, Centre for Environmental and Information Technology, details online.

Career Fair sponsored by UW and three other post-secondary institutions, September 26, 10:00 to 3:30, RIM Park, Waterloo, transportation available from campus, details online.

'Fewer will die' after suicide training

"Ask a question, save a life" — that's the central teaching of a suicide prevention program that's being introduced on campus today. Its title: QPR, short for the three steps of Question, Persuade, and Refer.

"All of us are aware that our students can experience significant stresses and events, both socially and academically while at university," says UW president David Johnston in a letter that's being sent today to faculty and staff members across the university. "These situations can sometimes result in tragedy and are particularly distressing within our community. When this happens the tangential effects on other students, staff and faculty are particularly stressful. Suicide is not solely a student issue and it is important that we learn to recognize and help any member of our community who is in distress.

"QPR will be offered to everyone on campus. I encourage you to take the training, which lasts about an hour."

The training provides some basic skills: "recognize a student or employee in trouble, ask a potentially suicidal person clear and respectful questions about their intentions, persuade a potentially suicidal person to get help, connect people to the mental health resources both on and off campus." The president notes that he and the other members of Executive Council, including UW's vice-presidents and deans, went through the training during their monthly meeting this Wednesday. "I encourage all of you to do the same. The course will be delivered by several UW staff and faculty and can easily be arranged for presentation in groups, faculty councils, departments, etc."

Tom Ruttan, director of counselling services, says UW has had "great response" to past cases of suicide or attempted suicide, with police, residence life, and counselling all helping. But he says there's been a gap that could be filled by people being more proactive: "What could we be doing?" to talk about this social issue, to staff, faculty and students alike.

Counselling staff found a program offered by the Spokane-based QPR Institute that's already in use at some other universities. He compares it to CPR when a heart attack happens. The idea is to know how to identify someone in distress — knowing the signs — and what to say or ask. Many people would normally find this very awkward to do, but QPR can provide the right questions and a way of offering help.

Ruttan noted that UW's statistics on suicide on campus are comparable to those at other North American universities. He stressed that QPR isn't coming because there's an epidemic of suicide — it's a proactive attempt to improve the campus's general way of dealing with the issue.

Some staff in counselling and other key areas, such as police and the student life office, will take a full-scale QPR course, involving 12 to 14 hours of instruction and an exam, and can then offer the brief one-hour course to everyone on campus who wants it. "The more people know what to ask, that it's okay to ask — actually encouraged — the better it will be and the fewer people will die."

The person to call to make arrangements about QPR training is Lorraine Nesbitt in Counselling Services, phone ext. 33528.

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Installation recalls St. Jerome's roots

St. Jerome’s University will install its new president and chancellor tomorrow at a ceremony a short distance from the spot where Resurrectionist priests created it as a tiny college in 1865.

The event will start at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Roman Catholic Church in the village of St. Agatha, west of Waterloo. St. Jerome’s is installing David Perrin, who arrived from Ottawa this summer, as its 17th president, while former faculty member Peter Naus is installed as chancellor.

[Statue, priest with boy]St. Agatha “was the cradle of Catholicism in Waterloo County”, according to Dana Woito of St. Jerome’s. “The choice of St. Agatha Church for today's celebration honours the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Congregation of the Resurrection in Waterloo County and pays homage to SJU's roots and the ongoing legacy of our founding order.”

She notes that the first priest came to St. Agatha in 1834. In 1857 came Rev. Eugene Funcken of the Congregation of the Resurrection, whose accomplishments included the establishment of an orphanage and, with his brother, Louis (statue pictured), the founding of a Catholic college. “The administration of the orphanage was taken over by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1871, and the College buildings were constructed in Kitchener in 1866, evolving through the intervening years into St. Jerome's University.”

The present brick church dates from 1899, but was extensively rebuilt after a fire in 1959. The current parish priest of St. Agatha Church is Charles Fedy, C.R.

The new president of St. Jerome’s was born in 1956 in Chilliwack, British Columbia, but grew up in the Petawawa, Ontario, area. Perrin received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Western Ontario in 1978. He went on to studies in philosophy and theology at the University of Ottawa and St. Paul University, earning a Baccalaureate in Theology (STB) in 1985, followed by a Licentiate in Theology (STL) in 1987, from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and his doctorate in theology from Ottawa and St. Paul in 1995. His area of academic expertise is Christian spirituality.

“With a strong desire to live a life of service,” a news release from the college says, “Perrin found himself attracted to religious life. He saw in the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate a spirit of hospitality and a model of service to the disenfranchised which was attractive to him. He was ordained to the priesthood as an Oblate in 1987. After serving three years in parish ministry following his ordination, Perrin continued his studies, beginning his career in scholarship, academia, and university administration.

“Perrin has spent the past 16 years teaching and serving in administrative positions, including that of Dean, in the Faculty of Theology at Saint Paul University in Ottawa. He has also served as Provincial of St. Peter's Province of the Oblates, as President of the Board of Directors of the Galilee Mission Centre of Arnprior, and as President of the International Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality. Perrin also spent two years living and teaching in a rural school in Haiti.” Perrin's new book, Studying Christian Spirituality, was released in July by Routledge.

Naus, the new chancellor, was born in 1937 in the Netherlands and attended the Bisschoppelijk College in Roermond, the same high school attended by Louis Funcken, the priest who founded what was to become St. Jerome's. In 1962, Naus graduated from the Catholic University of Nijmegen with a degree in psychology; he went on to a doctorate in 1970.

Naus taught at Nijmegen and then at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, until in 1973 he was appointed assistant professor of psychology at St. Jerome's, beginning a 23-year career as a faculty member and administrator. Until his retirement in 1996, he served in such roles as director of the Studies in Family Life program and Academic Dean and Vice-President. In recognition of Naus's service to both institutions, he was made an Honorary Member of the University of Waterloo in 1997.

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UW solar car in Maclean's; other notes

UW get the lion's share of the space as Maclean's magazine addresses engineering schools in its September 24 issue, published yesterday. The five-page article,"Engineer, teach thyself," is part of a special issue on "Canada's Best Professional Schools", although the magazine tries to rank the "best" only in one field of study, law (placing Toronto at the top). Other major articles address MBA programs and medical schools. As for the engineering piece, it's almost entirely about student projects, which the magazine classifies as "clubs", and mostly that means UW's Midnight Sun solar car. "All the members have other commitments," Maclean's notes, listing "part-time jobs, involvement in other student groups and the like." Classwork is also mentioned briefly. The article quotes (and pictures) several members of the Midnight Sun team, and Wayne Loucks, associate dean of engineering, speaks about the educational benefits of design projects. Sidebars to the article list fields of study in engineering, average entering marks (85.5 is the figure given for Waterloo), and the percentage of each Canadian university's student body who are in engineering.

You can discover “the reason why Waterloo Region is one of the leading environmental communities in Ontario” by visiting some of the 33 sites that will welcome the community this Saturday for the annual Doors Open event, organizers say. "At 12 sites, the order of the day will be energy efficiency, power generation and environmental sustainability. Of course, don’t forget the 21 sites that highlight the architectural heritage of Waterloo Region that have made Doors Open events a success across Ontario." Most of the locations are open from 10:00 to 4:00 tomorrow as part of the annual, free opportunity to tour sites that may not be open to visitors at other times. Among the locations is the Accelerator Centre on Hagey Boulevard on UW's north campus, featuring "Canada’s second-largest green roof, a unique treatment of each exterior facing to maximize heating/cooling, landscaping treatments, and a demountable wall system". Also part of Doors Open: the Environmental Studies buildings with their more modest green wall, and the Grand House student co-op currently under construction in Cambridge, with "sustainable, healthy materials including straw bale, low VOC finishes, passive solar design, and alternative systems". Photos and details of all of the Doors Open Waterloo Region sites can be viewed online.

[Polai]Ginny Polai (right), "communications analyst" for UW's telephone services, is retiring after 28 years at UW, and colleagues in Information Systems and Technology will honour her with a cake break this afternoon from 3:00 to 4:00 on the second floor of the Math and Computer building. • A three-session course under the title "Networking 101", designed to show "how to apply successful networking strategies in your daily life to enhance your career opportunities", will start Monday afternoon in the Tatham Centre. • Frances Manning, who worked at UW as a food services assistant from 1972 until her 1986 retirement, died September 10.

Today is the last day for the display of historical maps that's been starting off the fall term in the University Map Library, Environmental Studies I building. • The "Smart Start Spin-off Contest", sponsored by the Accelerator Centre and UW's research office, is continuing until October 9, offering prizes up to $50,000 to help with commercialization of a UW invention. • "Come and enjoy your food and drinks on our clean-air patio," writes Craig Sloss, a vice-president of the Graduate Student Association, noting that the Grad House has gone smoke-free along with the rest of the university.

And . . . yesterday's Daily Bulletin gave us (well, me anyway) the opportunity for lessons in a couple of languages. First, I used the word inukshuks, and e-mail quickly arrived from a reader: "Ooo! I get to be pedantic! The plural is inuksuit." Second, I referred to halal food, loosely explaining it as clean in Muslim teaching. "People do use it that way, but halal doesn't mean clean," a posting on the newsgroup uw.general explained. "It means legal or permitted, as opposed to haraam, which means illegal or forbidden."


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