Tuesday, January 22, 2008

  • Staff get a letter about the union
  • Feds leader for 2008-09 acclaimed
  • ECE students to showcase projects
  • Words of wisdom and inspiration
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

Link of the day

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

When and where

Volunteer/Internship Fair with information about opportunities with local agencies, 11:00 to 2:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

'Under-represented students' panel discussion about participation in post-secondary education, 1:00 to 3:00, Paul Martin Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University, information lmcniven@wlu.ca.

Career workshops: "Exploring Your Personality Type" (Part I) 2:00, Tatham Centre room 1112; "Starting Your Own Business, the Basics" 4:30, Tatham room 1208, registration online.

Federation of Students referendum on CKMS fee: meeting to form "Yes" and "No" committees 3:00, Student Life Centre room 2134.

Women’s Centre open house 5:30 to 7:00, Student Life Centre room 2102.

German film showings, public welcome, Tuesdays 6:30, Rod Coutts Hall room 301. This week: "Die Ehe der Maria Braun" (Fassbinder 1979), information ext. 33687.

Electrical and computer engineering fourth-year design project symposium, Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Davis Centre.

Blood donor clinic Wednesday-Friday, Student Life Centre, make appointments at turnkey desk.

Cognos Cubes training for users of statistical data from Institutional Analysis and Planning office: beginner sessions January 23 and 25 (10:00), March 19, May 21, September 24; advanced sessions February 13, April 23, June 11, October 15, details online.

Free noon concert: Michael Wood Trio (percussion, tenor sax and string bass), Wednesday 12:30, Conrad Grebel University College chapel.

Philosophy colloquium: Vincent Bergeron, University of British Columbia, "Cognitive Architecture and the Brain", Wednesday 3:30, Humanities room 373.

Author Tamas Dobozy reads at St. Jerome's University, Wednesday 4:00, SJU room 3012, admission free.

Term abroad in Haifa, Israel, through UW school of computer science, information session Wednesday 4:00, Math and Computer room 5158, all undergraduates welcome.

Centre for International Governance Innovation presents Andrew Hunt, UW department of history, "A Resilient People: Living with the Legacy of the Vietnam War" Thursday 11:45 a.m., 57 Erb Street West.

Alice Pelkman, manager of financial aid, farewell lunch Thursday as she leaves UW to be assistant registrar at Trent University; for information contact jwade@uwaterloo.ca by Wednesday morning.

'Software development on Mac OS Leopard' briefing by Steve Hayman, Apple Canada, Thursday 2:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

Arriscraft Lecture: Kay Bea Jones, Ohio State University, "Suspending Modernity: The Architecture of Franco Albini", Thursday 7:00, Architecture lecture hall, Cambridge campus.

'Alice (Experiments) in Wonderland' drama department multi-point telematic performance for children and adults, January 25 and February 1 (10:30 a.m.), January 24-26 and 31 plus February 2 (8 p.m.), January 26-27 and February 2-3 (2:00), Theatre of the Arts, tickets $12 general, $10 students, $5 children, details online.

Rose Cousins, folk musician, live at the Princess Café, 46 King Street North, Thursday, doors open 9 p.m., benefit concert for Alternatives Journal, tickets $15 at the café.

Dropping courses: deadline with no penalty and a 100 per cent tuition fee refund, January 25.

Centre for Family Business, based at Conrad Grebel University College, presents Tim Jackson, Tech Capital Partners, "An Entrepreneur's Journey", Friday 7:00 a.m., Waterloo Inn, details online.

CD release concert: "Every 3 Children", Carol Ann Weaver and other performers from Conrad Grebel University College, Saturday 8:00 p.m., Grebel chapel, tickets $10, call ext. 24226.

Fall term marks for undergraduate courses on Quest become official January 28.

Residence applications for fall 2008 from upper-year students due January 28; information sessions continue through Wednesday.

Centre for Teaching Excellence workshop: "Getting the Most out of Multiple-Choice Questions" led by David DiBattista, Brock University, January 28, 9:30 a.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library, registration online.

Montréal alumni networking event January 30, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Ecomusée du fier monde, register online by January 25.

Ottawa alumni networking event Thursday, January 31, 6:30 to 8:30, Canada Aviation Museum, guest speaker Peter Harder (BA 1975), former federal deputy minister, details online.

Gradfest 2008 presentations and exhibitors about services offered to soon-to-be UW graduates, February 4, 10:00 to 7:00, Student Life Centre; reception from 4:30 p.m., Bombshelter pub, details online.

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

Class enrolment for spring term courses: appointments on Quest February 11-16, open enrolment begins February 19.

Family Day holiday Monday, February 18, UW offices and services closed (Monday of reading week).

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.

One click away

UW news release about this year's jump in applications
Imprint lead story about CKMS referendum
Grad student researching west coast biosphere reserves
The genesis of a virtual Silicon Valley
A new life for ancient Nalanda University
An argument that patents stifle research, not promote it
'A real student's life unveiled online
New York governor isn't moving to let university raise fees
Big growth seen for tiny U of Greenland
Official wants WLU campus 'looking beautiful'
NCAA lets Canadian institutions apply for membership
Industry feels the pinch of fewer CS grads

Staff get a letter about the union

An announcement is expected any time now with the details of a vote on whether a prominent union should become the representative for about 1,000 UW staff members. The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation has applied to represent staff in grades USG 1-8. All those staff members will be eligible to vote yes or no on unionization, in a process that will likely take place Thursday.

Legal information about the union application is being posted on campus. "As part of the certification process initiated by OSSTF under the Ontario Labour Relations Act," says a memo yesterday from the human resources department, "UW is legally obligated to ensure that copies of information, identified by the Ontario Labour Relations Board as Form C-2 and A-1, are posted for your view in various areas of campus where they are likely to come to the attention of all employees who may be affected by the application. They must remain posted for 30 days."

The memo said the two forms will be posted on bulletin boards in the reception area of the HR department, General Services Complex room 130; at the main floor entrance of the Dana Porter Library; in the main staff mailroom, room 2102, in the School of Architecture in Cambridge; and in the main employee lunch room in the Distance Education department at 335 Gage Avenue in Kitchener.

The documents are also on the HR web site. Form C-2 is a summary of rules and rights, and A-1 is OSSTF's actual application, including its proposed statement of which staff members would and wouldn't be in the bargaining unit.

A letter commenting on the union application is being sent to all staff this morning from Catharine Scott, associate provost (human resources and student services), the senior UW official responsible for staff relations. All staff will receive it by e-mail, staff who would be part of the OSSTF group will also get it in paper form, and it's available online.

Scott writes in part: “When compared to unionized universities in Ontario, UW’s salaries and benefits are generally comparable and in many ways superior. . . .

“A union comprising only USG 1 to 8 presents challenges to what has been a fluid and open career path through which many staff members have progressed to more senior positions. Movement out of the union could be affected by different policies and procedures, pay groups, performance expectations and work expectations which may separate the work and the working environment of the two groups over time.

“UW believes that its staff are excellent and proficient and that their work and commitment to UW and its students should be recognized by merit increases. The Teachers’ Federation did not support merit based pay at Brock and bargained to have all merit increases removed so that everyone, no matter what their level of performance, experience or skill would be paid the same in each job grade.

“No guarantees can be given by the union that any collective agreement will maintain or enhance the current terms and conditions. Once bargaining begins, all terms and conditions of employment in University of Waterloo Policies and Procedures will become subject to negotiation between the union and the University. . . .

“Please vote. No matter whether you signed a card or not, you can make your choice now as to whether you wish to join the Teachers’ Federation. Given the importance of this issue, it would be very unfortunate if the outcome was determined by less than the full staff group affected.”

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Feds leader for 2008-09 acclaimed

[Williams]The Federation of Students announced last night that Justin Williams (right), a student in environment and resource studies, has been acclaimed to be Feds president for 2008-09. It's the first time in many years that only one candidate for president has filed nomination papers. Williams will succeed the current president, Kevin Royal, on May 1.

Rick Theis, chief returning officer for the Federation, reported that there will be contests for all three vice-presidential positions. Details on "tickets" of candidates aren't immediately available, but here are the individual names:

• For VP (administration and finance), Aly Sivji and the incumbent, Del Pereira.
• For VP (internal), Andrew Falcao and Steven Hayle.
• For VP (education), Fatima Ahmed and Andres Agustin Fuentes Martinez.

The election, to be held February 12-14, will also see students elect members of the Federation's governing body, students' council, as well as several representatives to the UW senate.

They'll be voting on a referendum that could repeal the $5.50-a-term fee that undergraduate students currently pay to support radio station CKMS. And the campus chapter of World University Service of Canada says it has collected enough signatures on a petition to force a referendum on introducing a new fee providing student support for a refugee to come to UW each year. Details on that proposal aren't official yet.

The Federation is holding meetings today to organize yes and no committees on referendum questions and get the election rolling. The campaign period will begin a week from today.

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ECE students to showcase projects

from the UW media relations office

Students from the electrical and computer engineering program will exhibit innovative projects, such as an automatic transmission for bicycles and an energy storage system for home use, at the eighth annual design project symposium tomorrow.

They will present design projects covering technological developments in such diverse areas as computing, communications, entertainment, information technology and robotics, as well as in medical, power and transportation systems. The design symposium will be held Wednesday in the Davis Centre, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visitors are welcome to browse the interactive displays and meet with students.

"This is an exceptional opportunity for people to see these exciting projects first-hand and to speak with our students," says Bill Bishop, fourth-year design project coordinator. "The symposium showcases the talent and innovation of our outstanding students in the electrical and computer engineering program."

The more than 250 students will present 60 interactive projects in seminar format to guests from industry and the academic community. They will also display design project prototypes at a poster presentation session running the entire day. The Infusion Cup will be awarded for the best overall design project. The prize is sponsored by Infusion Angels, a company located at the Research and Technology Park. Among the projects:

• A prototype automatic transmission system for a bicycle. Riders input various parameters describing their bicycle and cycling style into the system. The design results in increased simplicity for riders, as well as improved customization, precision and performance.

• A machine that would solve garbage pickup problems by automatically detecting and collecting garbage. The designed system involves a movable mini robot with a video camera. It features a control system that processes the incoming image to identify garbage and sends a signal for the robot to collect the trash.

• A prototype energy storage system for homes. It will draw and store energy from the electricity grid during off-peak hours and supply a house with power during the day. The device will include the power electronics necessary to supply the house with electricity of acceptable quality.

• A prototype combining existing avalanche transceiver technology with a new system that allows rescuers to locate an avalanche victim faster, more reliably and with less product-specific training. Each device will utilize GPS and continuous inter-device communication to provide information on the victim's whereabouts.

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Words of wisdom and inspiration

If you don’t know your affect from your effect, you’re like a lot of other folks on campus, says Katherine MacLean of UW’s English Language Proficiency Program, who has chosen the affect/effect conflict to feature in her first “Wednesday Word of the Week” highlight. “Each Wednesday,” she says, “I will place on the website a word that often gets misused and offer a brief explanation of its use.” It’s an easily accessible lesson, of interest to general users and, especially, to students who might need to clean up some common errors on their way to passing the English Language Proficiency Exam. Next offering of the ELPE is on April 9, with several “strategy sessions” offered the previous day to affect students’ achievement in an upward direction.

The Post Secondary Education Caucus of the Liberal Party of Canada will tour UW's Institute for Quantum Computing, as well as the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, today, says local MP Andrew Telegdi. The tour for about a dozen politicians will end at the Centre for International Governance Innovation for "a roundtable discussion with prominent people from the post-secondary community", he said. Telegdi is co-hosting the event with PSE Caucus chair Mike Savage, a Nova Scotia MP. “The Waterloo Region is the ideal location to look at some of the successful results of investments in innovation, research and development,” says Telegdi. The caucus meeting — a follow-up to the gathering of the entire Liberal caucus that's been taking place over the past two days — will start at 1:00 p.m. at IQC headquarters on Columbia Street.

Coming next week from UW’s continuing education department is a three-day course (January 30 through February 1) on “Business Analysis Essentials”. “This course,” a flyer says, “will equip you with the basic skills for performing effective analysis. You will learn valuable approaches to determine the business problem, root cause identification, solution definition strategy, business case preparation, requirements gathering and documentation, quality management and developing implementation timelines.” Coming in its wake are courses, anywhere from one day to six days long, on such topics as “Project Management, Applied Tools and Techniques”, “Proof Reading and Editing”, “Delivering Dynamite Presentations”, and “Enhancing Your Business Writing Skills”. Full-time UW staff are eligible for a 50 per cent discount on the fees for classroom courses, which run from 9:00 to 4:30 on the designated days in the CE training room at 335 Gage Avenue in Kitchener. More information, of course, is on the CE web site.

An athlete from each of the province's universities will be honoured tomorrow as Ontario University Athletics holds its fifth annual Women of Influence Luncheon. The event is scheduled for noon at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. "The even honours female student-athletes who have excelled in their chosen sports and fields of study," says OUA, and from UW that means Amanda Verhoeve, Warrior volleyball co-captain and fourth-year kinesiology student. "As the 2006-07 President’s Scholar Athlete at Waterloo," says a biography issued by OUA, "she is highly motivated by her field of study. She volunteered 3 hours per week at a physiotherapy clinic in Thorold, Ontario over the summer, 3.5 hours per week in two physiotherapy clinics on campus over the fall and taught high school students exercise physiology. Amanda also enjoys working with kids at UW volleyball camps and coached a 12U girls' volleyball team." Speaker at tomorrow's lunch in Toronto is professional golfer Lorie Kane.,

Agnes Janzen, who has been working in the cataloguing department of the UW library since September 1979, will officially retire as of February 1. • The Waterloo Judo Club is offering training sessions on Tuesdays, 5:00 to 7:00, in the studio at the Columbia Icefield (and complete beginners are welcome). • Here’s a reminder that January 31 is the deadline for nominations as UW seeks its next chancellor, someone to succeed Mike Lazaridis when his term ends next spring.

And . . . I'm going to be telling some tall tales this afternoon in an informal lecture sponsored by the Arts Student Union and the arts faculty's student life office. They've invited me to talk about "Legends & Lore of UW", and that's what I'll try to do, starting at 4:30 today at the Graduate House. The flyer announcing the event promises "the full uncensored truth" about such issues as the ever-popular sinking-library rumour. There's also the claim that once upon a time there were ostriches on this campus — which, if true, would make the current red-tailed hawk look pretty puny. Organizers have been asking for RSVPs, but I would think that last-minute arrivals ought to be able to squeeze in someplace.


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