Friday, February 15, 2008

  • Everybody ready for a reading week
  • A week's pause in co-op job interviews
  • Engineers take their obligation today
  • Other notes before the long weekend
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

Birthday of Canada's flag

When and where

Class enrolment appointments for spring term undergraduate courses through February 16; open enrolment begins February 19.

Blood donor clinic 9:00 to 3:00, Student Life Centre.

Campus Crusade for Cheese meeting 4:30 to 5:30, Math and Computer 2017, $2.

[Yellow Warrior uniform dominates]
Warrior sports:
Women’s volleyball vs. Laurier (playoffs) 7:00 tonight, PAC. • Men’s hockey at Laurier (playoffs), 7:30 tonight (Waterloo Memorial Rec Centre); final game if necessary Sunday 7:30, Icefield. • Men’s basketball vs. Windsor, Saturday 3:00; vs. McMaster Sunday 2:00, PAC. • Women's basketball (photo) vs. Brock (playoffs) Saturday 6:00, PAC. • Track and field, Hal Brown Meet, Toronto, today. • Curling, OUA championships in Windsor, Saturday and Sunday.

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

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

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

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.

Benefit concert in support of Great Lakes Christian College, Beamsville, featuring Acappella, Saturday 8 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Re-Fridgee-Eighter 8-mile, 8-km or 3-km run, Sunday 10:00 a.m., RIM Park.

Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing Pascal, Cayley and Fermat contests for students in grades 9-11, Tuesday, details online.

PAS (Psychology) building utilities shutdown: no chilled water from Tuesday (February 19) 8 a.m. to Friday 4 p.m.

Education Credit Union presents Alan Wintrip speaking on “Tax Saving Strategies”, Tuesday 12:15, Davis Centre room 1302.

Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology workshop: "Pitch Your Idea" in 60 seconds, Tuesday 1:00 to 4:30, 295 Hagey Boulevard, details online.

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

Canadian Federation of University Women presents UW historian Ken McLaughlin speaking on his book about UW’s 50-year history, Out of the Shadow of Orthodoxy, Tuesday 7:30 p.m., First United Church, William Street, all welcome.

Last day for 50 per cent tuition refund for winter term is February 20.

Tom Brzustowski, former UW faculty member and provost, book launch for The Way Ahead: Meeting Canada’s Productivity Challenge, Wednesday 5:30 to 7:00, Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Boulevard, information ext. 36889.

Alumni career planning workshop offered by Career Services, Saturday, March 1, 9:30 to 4:00, cost $75, registration online.

Staff association special general meeting Tuesday, March 4, 8:40 to 9:30 a.m., Math and Computer room 1085, agenda online.

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

[NIU Huskie with black ribbon]One click away

Today's issue of the Northern Star covering NIU shootings
Results of the physics department's photo competition
Renovated Federation of Students office is open
What does the Federation do anyway? Pros and cons
No institutional memory among student leaders
University politics in Turkey: the headscarf issue
'Canada works on a brand for postsecondary education'
Ryerson welcomes 'major boost' from provincial government
World Bank urges reform of education in Middle East and north Africa
Three-hour BlackBerry outage on Monday
'The role of academic colleagues' in the Council of Ontario Universities
University enrolment in 2005-06 (Statistics Canada)
Slow growth for security and intelligence studies on Canadian campuses
U of Manitoba awaits arrival of new president
US universities rush to set up outposts abroad (NY Times)
Richard Florida on 'the town-and-gown barrier' (Globe)
Fraudulent call for academic papers
Harvard support for 'open access' research papers
Kinesiology prof studies role of chiropractors in sports medicine
'Appropriate citation is the foundation of science'
Ontario football schedule for next fall is ready
Guelph executive named to head U of Windsor

Everybody ready for a reading week

To begin with: no, the university is not going to be closed next week — that's not what "reading week" means. Yes, classes are cancelled across campus, but offices and services will be in operation (including the libraries, for those who take "reading" literally); staff will be at work as usual; many faculty aren't taking the week off.

That’s except for Monday, of course. February 18 is “Family Day”, the new holiday sprung on a waiting world by the Ontario government, and UW is among employers that will be honouring it. So Monday is a day off for staff, with offices and most other things on campus closed. The Davis Centre and Dana Porter libraries will be open from 12 noon to 6 p.m. on Monday, following a weekend of regular operation.

As always, and even on Monday, the UW police (519-888-4911) will be at work, the Student Life Centre (519–888-4434) will be open, and the central plant will monitor UW's buildings (maintenance emergencies, ext. 33793).

The Physical Activities Complex will be open pretty much as usual next week, apart from Monday, but the Columbia Icefield will have reduced hours (8:00 to 7:30). The bookstore, UW Shop, TechWorx and Campus TechShop will be open their regular hours Tuesday to Friday, but the stores in South Campus Hall, which are usually open on Saturdays, will be closed tomorrow and also next Saturday.

A number of food services outlets will be closed, but there will still be victuals at Brubakers in the Student Life Centre, Pastry Plus in Needles Hall, Bon Appetit and Tim Hortons in the Davis Centre, Browsers in the Dana Porter Library (but not on the weekends), Tim Hortons in South Campus Hall, and Mudie's cafeteria in Village I.

Doubtless some students will be hitting the books (or the digital equivalent) or working hard on lab and studio projects over the days ahead. Doubtless, too, others will slope off to, well, the slopes, or be drawn to warmer climes. I've heard little this year about academic field trips and volunteer expeditions during the week, but presumably there will be a number of those as well.

And then everybody will be back in place a week from Monday. At that point there will be just six weeks (plus a day) of classes left in the term. Winter term exams begin April 10, and the registrar's office says the final examination schedule is now available online.

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A week's pause in co-op job interviews

Another thing that won’t be happening during reading week is employer interviews for spring term co-op jobs. The main interview cycle began January 30, but takes a break this week before finishing with five final days, February 25-29. Students will get their match results, if they’re lucky, on March 3.

“February 2001 was the last year that we scheduled co-op employer interviews during reading week,” recalls Olaf Naese, communications administrator in the co-op and career services department. “From February of 2002 until February 2006, we ended the first cycle of employer interviews ended before reading week started. Last year was the first time that the first cycle interviews were halted for reading week, then restarted the week after.

“From the CECS perspective, reading week is a problem because it interrupts our cycle and causes us to lose a very valuable week of job finding for co-op students. The lost interview week can't be made up later.

“We can't schedule interviews during reading week because, very simply, we can't rely on students to be available and many are not.” In the days when interviews carried on regardless — and students in two of the big co-op faculties, engineering and math, had a two-day break rather than a full week — “the result,” says Naese, “was that employers had lots of no shows. We faced angry employers, some of whom cancelled their jobs and went to the competition or over time simply refused to come during the reading week. On the other hand we also had to deal with dozens of students who, because they had a family vacation to Mexico, wanted us to either allow them to miss interviews that came up during reading week or somehow get the employer to change their date. When we told them we could not change an interview date, many simply chose to miss the interview.

“All in all, it was a big headache.

“When the job market cooled down in the early 2000s we found a natural solution. With a lower number of jobs we could cut back the number of days in the first interview cycle to the point where we could finish by the time reading week started. The next cycle could simply begin after reading week. This worked well logistically and students were happy because they could go about their business without having to worry about missing interviews when they wanted to be away.

“Last year, we found that the number of jobs had increased. We decided that an interruption in the first interview cycle was the best way to go. So we have a few weeks of first cycle interviews, skip a week and continue for a final week, then hold the computer match.

“Of course, we still have one less week in the winter term for co-op students to find a job so that remains an issue.”

[Regular annual pattern]

Ups and downs over the past four years, as shown in a presentation to UW's board of governors last month by Peggy Jarvie, director of co-op education and career services.

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Engineers take their obligation today

There will be 700 more Canadian engineers before today is over, as graduating students from UW's faculty of engineering will take part in the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer and put on the Iron Ring for the first time.

“The Ritual has done great service to the Engineering profession and is uniquely Canadian,” explains Dwight Aplevich, associate dean (co-operative education and professional affairs) in the engineering faculty.Once again this year, the Faculty of Engineering is happy to cooperate with Camp 15 of the Corporation of the Seven Wardens, which will be conducting the Ritual in three ceremonies beginning late Friday afternoon.”

The ring, worn on "the little finger of the working hand", is a token by which to recognize an engineer who has deliberately taken an "obligation" to his or her new profession. The first Iron Ring ceremony at UW was held in the spring of 1963. As in the past, ceremonies will be held in the Theatre of the Arts and are not open to the public.

Also as in the past, today's solemnities will be preceded by a day of not-so-solemn celebration. Says Aplevich: “Although the ceremony is solemn and formal, in recent years the graduating class have been celebrating the day by dressing up in fancy costumes and parading in the halls before changing into business attire for the ceremony. This year, engineering professors are invited to the Carl Pollock Hall foyer just before noon, to celebrate with the students as an electronic clock counts down the seconds to Iron Ring day noon.”

After the ceremonies tonight comes the Iron Ring Stag, the engineering party to end all parties. Amid the merriment, there will come the Tool, mascot of UW engineers — and the newly ringed ones will be permitted to touch its metal for the first time ever.

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Other notes before the long weekend

The ballot box from the January 24 vote on staff unionization is to be opened some time next week — date not yet set — and the votes counted, says Catharine Scott, UW associate provost (human resources and student services). She said yesterday that "an agreement" has been reached by UW, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation and the Ontario Labour Relations Board, which includes a decision on which disputed ballots will be counted. Scott said she couldn't say anything at this point about the details of the agreement.

The big event is less than a week away: on Thursday some 475 UW students from all faculties and 200 students from area high schools will help fill the Humanities Theatre as Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates visits the university. Demand for the free tickets continues — phone calls are coming in steadily, organizers say — though all were spoken for almost immediately, mostly through student organizations that were given quotas. “It comes as no surprise that everyone wants to come hear Bill Gates speak, even if the event does fall during reading week, when so many of our students are away,” said mathematics dean Tom Coleman. “People were eager to get tickets when he visited in 2005, and we continue to field requests for what is already a sold-out event.” The lucky few must remember to bring their WatCard or they will not be admitted to the 9:45 a.m. event. Other rules: no backpacks; limit any picture-taking to the first five minutes. The talk will be shown live on a big screen in the Davis Centre great hall, and details of a webcast are pending.

[Loving to Learn logo]Today is Loving to Learn Day, sponsored by the Centre for Teaching Excellence as "an opportunity for everyone and anyone to share their reflections about their love of learning" Some of this year's contributions are to appear online today, along with names of the winners of four prizes donated by the UW bookstore.

Results of the Federation of Students election and referendums should be announced about noontime. • Nominations are due today for the annual election of Graduate Student Association executive members. • Nominations in a by-election to a student seat on the UW senate are scheduled to close February 22.

The "Branded" exhibition in Render, the UW art gallery, will be closing as of tomorrow. • The clothing drive operated by the Sociology Society in support of a local youth shelter is scheduled to wind up today in the Student Life Centre. • Yesterday's Daily Bulletin said that the Festival Fare cafeteria is in the Davis Centre, when in fact it's in South Campus Hall.


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Yesterday's Daily Bulletin