Wednesday, February 13, 2008

  • Survey asks about campus child care
  • Immigration plan announced at UW
  • And a few other cold, cold facts
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

What time is it?

When and where

Federation of Students election and referendum voting continues online until Thursday 8 p.m.

Class enrolment appointments for spring term undergraduate courses through Saturday; open enrolment begins February 19.

Clothing drive in support of local youth shelter, sponsored by Sociology Society, Wednesday-Friday, Student Life Centre.

Blood donor clinic Wednesday-Thursday (10:00 to 4:00) and Friday (9:00 to 3:00), Student Life Centre, book appointments at Student Life Centre.

Astro lunch talk: Paul Weigert, University of Western Ontario, "Meteorites and the Danger from Impacts", 11:30, Physics room 308.

Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology workshop "How to Write a Winning Business Plan" 4:30, 295 Hagey Boulevard, information online.

Warrior sports: Basketball vs. Laurier, women 6:00, men 8:00, PAC. • Men's hockey vs. Laurier (playoffs) 7:30, Icefield. • Men's volleyball at Western (playoffs) tonight.

Lunarfest 2008 sponsored by UW Alliance of Asian Clubs: Fashion show 7:00, Humanities Theatre, followed by after-party, tickets $15 advance, $18 at the door.

Gays and Lesbians of Waterloo weekly discussion group, Wednesdays 7:15 to 8:30, PAS building room 3005, information online.

'In the Key of Oscar' film about pianist Oscar Peterson, sponsored by UW diversity program and Waterloo Public Interest Research Group, 7:30, Arts Lecture Hall room 116, free admission.

[Heart] Fair trade rose sale for Valentine’s Day: “show your sweetheart how fair you really are” with organic roses and fair-trade chocolate, offered by Engineers Without Borders. Pre-order by e-mail ( or first-come, first-served on Thursday, Carl Pollock Hall foyer.

Surplus sale of UW furnishings, computers, appliances and other items, Thursday 12:30 to 2:00, central stores, East Campus Hall.

Healthy foods presentation: local enthusiast Jackie McMillan, “Bucking Buckley’s: How to Get Ordinary People Interested in Healthy Foods” Thursday 2:00, Environmental Studies I room 221.

'Differ/End: The Caledonia Project' researched and relived by UW drama department students, continues Thursday-Saturday at 7:00, and Saturday 2:00 matinee, Studio 180, Humanities building, tickets $12 (students $10) at Humanities box office.

K-W Symphony Intersections series concert: “21st Century Violin with Gilles Apap” Thursday 7:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre, tickets 519-578-1570.

Loving to Learn Day, "an opportunity for everyone and anyone to share their reflections about their love of learning", Friday, details online.

Piano concert by undergraduate student Frank Jessop (Chopin, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Schubert), Friday 7:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College chapel, admission free.

Mandarin Lunarfest including hip-hop and Chinese fashion show, Friday 7:00, Humanities Theatre.

[Fantastic Day logo]
Fantastic Alumni, Faculty and Staff Day at Warrior men’s basketball game vs. Windsor Lancers, Saturday 3:00, Physical Activities Complex, prizes, admission free with preregistration.

Texas Hold ‘em Poker tournament, fund-raiser for Food Bank, February 19 at 7:00, TechTown, cash bar available, tickets $50 at Columbia Lake Health Club, 340 Hagey Boulevard.

International Women’s Day dinner: “Celebrate women mentoring women,” Thursday, March 6, 5:00, University Club. Speakers are Emerance Baker (aboriginal services coordinator) and Susan Tighe (civil and environmental engineering); tickets $30 at Humanities box office.

QPR suicide prevention training available March 7 (12:00), April 11 (11:30), call ext. 33528 to register.

March break open house for future students (formerly Campus Day) Tuesday, March 11, details online.

Positions available

On this week’s list from the human resources department:

• Informatics instructional coordinator, Mapping, Analysis and Design, USG 9
• Director of advancement, development and alumni affairs and faculty of science, USG 14
• Professional practice laboratory senior demonstrator, pharmacy, USG 9/10
• Database administrator, information systems and technology, USG 10-12
• Information systems specialist, IST, USG 9-12
• Technology transfer officer, office of research, USG 14
• Faculty alumni officer, dean of mathematics, USG 9/10
• Faculty financial officer, dean of engineering, USG 10
• Fitness consultant, applied health sciences, USG 8 (two positions, one half-time)
• Contracts coordinator, office of research, USG 8
• Administrative coordinator, undergraduate studies, biology, USG 6 (internal secondment or external contract, 14 months)

Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

Survey asks about campus child care

“I have used child care in the past, but no longer use it . . . I currently have a child (or children) in child care . . . I am waiting for child care ...I will need child care in the next year.” Or maybe none of the above. Whatever their situation, everybody at UW is being invited to answer a survey and, as the organizers say, “Share with us your thoughts and feelings about childcare.”

The survey comes from the UW Child Care Committee, which was formed a year and a half ago to advocate for non-profit child care on campus. Kirsten Müller of the department of biology, who is chair of the committee (and a new mother), says the group has prepared its online survey “to assess the UW community’s current and future needs for childcare on campus. The results of the survey will assist the Committee in assessing the level of need for childcare for the UW community and in communicating this to the UW administration.

The survey “is directed to all groups on campus: undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, staff and faculty. The committee welcomes the opinions of individuals who require childcare and those who do not. As a participant in this survey you will have the opportunity to share with us your thoughts and feelings about childcare. Participants with children will be asked about their current childcare arrangements and their satisfaction with those arrangements. The questionnaire is anonymous and will take approximately 10-20 minutes depending on whether or not you have children and what your current childcare situation is.”

There are separate online starting points for individuals who currently have children and those who don’t.

The child care committee (e-mail was formed in September 2006, says Müller, “and is comprised of interested members of the UW community including undergraduate and graduate students, staff, faculty and campus childcare centre representatives. The mandate of the committee is advocacy for non-profit childcare on campus including increasing the number of childcare spots on campus.”

Currently there are four non-profit, licensed child care centres operating on the UW campus, she notes. They provide programs for children 3 months to 6 years of age. Some have just full-day programs, and others offer half-day or part-time spots. Each centre sets its own program philosophy, policies and hours of operation.

Three centres are operated independently from the university, each with its own board of directors. The fourth is a research facility for the department of psychology and is operated by UW staff. “These child care centres,” says Müller, “are funded by parent fees, government grants and fundraising efforts. These four centres maintain lengthy wait lists of families seeking spots for their children and there are only ten non-profit infant child care spaces on campus.” A for-profit day care centre operates in TechTown in the north campus research park.

Back to top

Immigration plan announced at UW

Two provincial cabinet ministers visited UW yesterday to announce a change in the rules that will allow more international students to stay in the province, and thus in Canada, after they graduate.

[A lineup to speak to Chan]The province is after the “best and brightest”, a news release explained: “Attracting international students to Ontario and keeping them here in high-value jobs is a benefit to the provincial economy.” And that’s what Michael Chan, the Ontario minister of citizenship and immigration, and John Milloy, the minister of training, colleges and universities, told guests who crowded into the Waterloo International conference room on the first floor of Needles Hall to hear what they had to say. (Left, Chan talks with students after the announcement.)

More international students will have a chance to become permanent Ontario residents as a result of changes to the province’s Pilot Provincial Nominee Program, the government says. Previously, only graduates of Ontario post-secondary institutions could be considered. Now the program is open to international students Canada-wide. The students have to be graduates of a publicly funded Canadian college or university and have a job offer in Ontario.

“There’s a global competition for talent,” said Chan. “International students are highly skilled, have Canadian credentials and are familiar with Canadian society. Our province will benefit from their talents for years to come.”

Under Ontario’s Pilot Provincial Nominee Program, employers can hire skilled workers, including international students, to fill jobs where labour is in short supply. Currently that includes 20 specific occupations in the health, education, manufacturing and construction sectors. And multinational investors can bring in key employees who will contribute to the long-term success of their investment.

Successful nominees — more of them, under the new rules —receive permission to work in Ontario and will be nominated by the provincial government to have their application for permanent residency fast-tracked by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Other changes to the program make it easier for small employers outside the Greater Toronto Area to attract skilled workers in a number of occupations in the health, education, manufacturing and construction sectors.

The province says more than 35,000 international students are currently enrolled in post-secondary institutions in Ontario — 28,500 in universities and 6,700 in colleges. UW was chosen as the site for yesterday’s announcement because of the large number of international students on this campus. One of them Eman Al Abadleh, a graduate student in management sciences, spoke briefly at the event.

Back to top

And a few other cold, cold facts

How the term flies . . . next week will be the winter reading break, with no classes held February 18-22. Monday is the new Family Day holiday in Ontario, so that UW offices and most services will be closed (the Dana Porter and Davis Centre libraries will be open noon to 6:00 only). A few things will be happening on campus next week, including the much-publicized visit by Bill Gates of Microsoft on February 21, but a lot of things will not be happening; the majority of food outlets, for instance, will be closed all next week. Students will, of course, be studying hard all week — no doubt about that — and when they come back to class, final exams will be just about in sight. The registrar's office reports that the exam schedule is now posted online, just in case any more incentive was needed.

Speaking of the Bill Gates lecture, people have been asking about the availability of tickets. Pat Duguay of the public affairs office has the lowdown: "Mr. Gates is coming to speak specifically to area high school students and to students currently enrolled. Existing tickets have been distributed to student federations for distribution and also to high schools in the area. In other words, the Humanities Theatre will be chock full of students in all shapes and sizes. We are, however, planning to run a live feed of the keynote to the Davis Centre for overflowing student interest and also for staff and faculty who wish to attend." I'll pass along details when they're available.

[Heart in motion]"Why do you love the Library?" This is the question that the UW library will be asking students, faculty, and staff to answer in a video contest that's about to begin. Says the web site: "With many great prizes available to win, including cash and gift certificates, the contest will be launched on the Library's home page just in time for Valentine's Day. So stay tuned! In the meantime, why not get into the "love" frame of mind and prepare to tell us what you love about the Library?" More information: ext. 32446.

UW officials and lawyers are in Toronto today before the Ontario Labour Relations Board, meeting with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation to discuss disputed ballots and other issues from the January 24 staff unionization vote. • The staff association has set the date for its special general meeting to vote on proposed organizational change and fee increases: Tuesday, March 4, starting at 8:40 a.m. in Math and Computer room 1085. • And the association reports in its latest newsletter that it "is looking at how secondments are managed on campus with the aim of ensuring they are used as a tool for staff progression and do not result in contract employees being brought in from outside".

The drama department's current major production, "Differ/End: The Caledonia Project", is so popular that a Saturday afternoon matinee performance has been added to the schedule. • Oleg Chernukhin of the Warrior swimming team has been named male athlete of the week for Ontario University Athletics after taking five medals at last weekend's OUA championship meet in Toronto. •  Civil and environmental engineering professor Peter Huck is the first Canadian (and the first researcher outside the United States) to be honoured with the American Water Works Association's A. P. Black Research Award.


Back to top

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin