Friday, January 25, 2008

  • Blood, Buddhism, and other highlights
  • Refugee program asks for $1 fee
  • 'Social entrepreneurship' centre opens
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Album cover is a red collage]

A CD release concert is scheduled for Saturday night at 8:00 in the Conrad Grebel University College chapel. The music: "Every 3 Children" by Grebel faculty member Carol Ann Weaver, with Rebecca Campbell on vocals, other colleagues on flute, cello and drums, and the Grebel chapel choir. "We hope," says Weaver, "to bring pictures of life in a compelling, joyful musical language which connects deeply with our listeners in this crazy world." Admission to the concert is $10; the CD itself goes for $22.

Link of the day

The immortal memory

When and where

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

'Alice (Experiments) in Wonderland' drama department multi-point telematic performance for children and adults: morning (10:30) today and February 1; matinee (2:00) January 26 and 27, February 2 and 3; evening (8:00) tonight and Saturday, January 31, February 1-2, Theatre of the Arts, tickets $12 general, $10 students, $5 children, details online.

Campus Crusade for Cheese first meeting of the term 4:30, Math and Computer room 4059.

Warrior sports: Men’s hockey vs. Lakehead, Friday and Saturday 7:30, Icefield. • Men’s volleyball at Laurier, 8:00 tonight. • Track and field at McGill today. • Women’s hockey at Queen’s Saturday, at UOIT in Oshawa Sunday. • Women’s volleyball at Ottawa Saturday. • Basketball, men and women, at McMaster Saturday. • Swimming at Western, Saturday night; at McMaster, Sunday.

Career workshop: “Are You Thinking about Med School?” Saturday 1:00, Tatham Centre room 2218, details online.

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

Residence applications for upper-year students for fall term close January 28.

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

Kitchener Public Library presents Ken McLaughlin, UW history professor, speaking on his book about UW, Out of the Shadow of Orthodoxy, Monday 12:00, KPL main branch.

Joint health and safety committee Monday 2:00, Commissary room 112D.

Students for Development briefing by students who interned last fall in developing countries, Monday 4:00 at Waterloo International, Needles Hall room 1116.

Career workshop: “Networking 101” Monday 4:30, Tatham Centre room 1208, details online.

‘Students today, alumni tomorrow’ career session for arts students (“how to market yourself”) Tuesday 12 noon, Tatham Centre room 1208, registration phone ext. 32012.

Women’s Centre discussion night: “What Is Ecofeminism?” Tuesday 5:30, Student Life Centre room 2102.

Arriscraft Lecture: Julia Czerniak, Syracuse University, “Legibility and Resistance”, Tuesday 7:00, Architecture lecture hall, Cambridge.

Graduate studies in mathematics information session aimed at third and fourth-year undergraduates, Wednesday 4:30, Math and Computer room 5158.

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

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.

Blood, Buddhism, and other highlights

The vote on union certification of a large group of UW staff is over — the poll closed at 6:00 last night — and now we wait for results. Unless something unexpected happens, the outcome won't be known at least until a meeting of lawyers for the union and the employer with a labour relations officer in Toronto on February 13. Meanwhile, much else is happening on a winter campus . . .

A three-day blood donor clinic in the Student Life Centre winds up today — must resist vampire jokes — with staff on hand to collect blood donations between 9:00 and 3:00. “Many students say they are willing to donate blood but haven’t had the time or are afraid to try it for the first time,” says a memo from Canadian Blood Services. “Currently, the largest percentage of blood donors in Canada is over the age of 50. As this group ages, there is a growing need for more young Canadians to step up, give blood, and ensure a safe and secure blood supply for their generation.”

Voting is under way (and closes Tuesday) in a by-election for an at-large faculty representative on the UW senate. • The professional development seminar in information systems and technology this morning has a guest speaker, Andrzej Gadomski of Wilfrid Laurier University, talking about "the IT Infrastructure Library". • Today's payday for faculty and the majority of staff members, and individuals can scrutinize their pay slips to see whether they've gained more through changes in federal income tax deductions than they're losing through adjustments to Canada Pension.

St. Jerome’s University will present the 2007-2008 Scarboro Foreign Missions Lecture tonight, with Ruben Habito of Southern Methodist University speaking on “Awakening to Compassion: Buddhist Wisdom for a Wounded World”. Says Habito: “Our twenty-first century global society is characterized by woundedness on many levels, and we are called more than ever to recover the wellsprings of wisdom that will enable us to carry us through the challenges we face as a global community. The spiritual treasures of the world's religions can offer us valuable resources in this regard. The Buddhist tradition in particular invites us to a form of contemplative practice that cultivates wisdom and unleashes the powers of compassion lying deep in our being.” A native of the Philippines, he is professor of world religions and spirituality at the Perkins School of Theology at SMU. He was one of the first Catholics to have kensho confirmed by a Japanese master, went on to complete koan training under Koun Yamada, and is now a Zen Teacher (Roshi) at the Maria Kannon Zen Center. He holds a doctorate in Buddhist philosophy from Tokyo University. He is the author of books including Healing Breath: Zen for Christians and Buddhists in a Wounded World. The lecture starts at 7:30 in Siegfried Hall at St. Jerome’s.

[Orion logo]UW’s Internet connection with the world will be out of operation from midnight tonight until 6 a.m. Saturday, the information systems and technology department warns. “This is a pretty big outage, but thankfully after midnight,” says Paul Snyder of IST, adding that “it will affect some people, including students attempting to use ACE.” The on-campus computer network isn’t affected, but Orion, which provides off-campus connectivity for Ontario’s universities and many other agencies, is taking its network down for “large-scale configuration changes”. That means computer users inside UW can’t make outside connections with e-mail, browsers or other tools, and users outside UW won’t be able to reach the university, including its web sites.

The staff association says its members advisory committee has “voted to cease pursuing the issue” of a possible change from monthly to biweekly pay cheques for staff. • The association’s planned general meeting has been postponed for about ten days “to give time to hear the results” of this week’s vote on unionization of some staff members. • President-elect Martin Wonta, a staff member in mathematics, “has resigned from the UWSA Executive for personal reasons”, the newsletter says, and “this means a new President will be elected” to take over later this year from current president Jesse Rodgers.

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Refugee program asks for $1 fee

Undergraduate students will be asked to vote next month on a $1-a-term fee to support a refugee on campus, the Federation of Students has confirmed.

A news release says the Feds have received a valid petition calling for a vote on this question: "Do you support the implementation of a refundable fee to support the University of Waterloo World University Service of Canada Student Refugee Program at the University of Waterloo, at a cost of $1.00, to be paid by every full-time undergraduate student as part of the Federation of Students’ Administered Fees each academic term that they are enrolled in classes on the University of Waterloo campus, to be implemented through a system designed at the discretion of the Federation of Students, and to begin in the Fall 2008 term?"

To be valid, the news release notes, the Feds’ bylaws require that a petition for referendum be signed by at least 10 per cent of full-time undergraduate students, which means approximately 2240 people. “The University of Waterloo World University Service of Canada Student Refugee Program (UW WUSC SRP) petition contained more than 3,500 signatures.”

Says Feds president Kevin Royal: “Given the number of signatures received by UW WUSC, clearly there is a desire from the student body to have their voice heard on the issue. I look forward to hearing the relative merits of the program as argued by the Yes and No committees on the issue, and the Federation of Students will use the students' voice via the outcome of this referendum as its mandate in this matter."

A meeting to form "Yes" and "No" committees for the vote will be held Monday at 4:00 in Student Life Centre room 3103.

The referendum question will be put to undergraduate students February 12-14 along with the election for the Federation’s 2008-09 leaders, and an already-approved referendum on whether to wipe out the $5.50-per-term fee that students pay for radio station CKMS. The CKMS referendum was called by a vote of students’ council rather than by petition.

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[Speaking to a group of laughing faces]
'Social entrepreneurship' centre opens

A student-led group to be called the Laurel Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, founded after last fall’s Waterloo Conference on Social Entrepreneurship, will offer its first public program next week with the launch of a public lecture series.

Laurel will present a January 31 talk by Paul Born (above left), founder and director of Tamarack, an institute for community engagement. He’ll speak at 4:30 that day in Arts Lecture Hall room 116.

[Laurel Centre logo]Suzanne Gardner, who graduated with an arts degree last year, is communications coordinator for the new centre. She says the lectures, which are all open to the public and free of charge, “will bring innovators in entrepreneurship and social change to the enjoyment and education of the local community”.

Born’s lecture next Thursday, titled “Fewer Poor, Not Better Poor,” will focus on the cases of social entrepreneurs working to end poverty. Born’s work, says Gardner, was influenced by his own life, as he and his family came to Canada as refugees when he was a child. Since that time, he served as a leader in the creation of Poverty 2000, a Canadian anti-poverty program recognized as one of the 40 best practices by the United Nations, which was later turned into the national campaign of Vibrant Communities Canada.

More background: “The Vibrant Communities program, one of Tamarack’s current major projects, works toward vibrant and engaged communities across Canada by inspiring citizens to work together in order to solve major community challenges. The program tests ideas about community building, poverty reduction, collaboration and engagement, and generates knowledge based on what works best in the 15 cities across Canada currently participating in the program, including Edmonton, Montréal, St. John’s, and Waterloo. Born, a founder of the Vibrant Communities program, will be speaking on the program’s successes and challenges.”

The Laurel Centre for Social Entrepreneurship was founded “in late 2007”, Gardner says, after the success of the Waterloo Conference on Social Entrepreneurship. That event in November saw more than 200 people come together from around the world “to collaborate on the bridging of the passion for social change together with a business-minded discipline”. (Pictured: Paul Born speaking during that conference.)

Laurel’s leadership team — including chair Andrew Dilts, a graduate student in management sciences — is organizing several other initiatives for later this year, including a mentorship program, a social entrepreneurship “bootcamp”, a research conference, and a second annual conference.


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