Monday, January 28, 2008

  • 'Outstanding' status for 75 profs
  • 326 ballots set aside, to be discussed
  • Grand news on a Monday morning
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Fed Xpress logo]

The new convenience store operated by the Federation of Students — a replacement for the now closed Aussies — opens today on the main level of the Student Life Centre. A ribbon-cutting ceremony, to be followed by free cake and coffee, is planned at 10 a.m., says Melissa Onn of the Feds office. The store will be open 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays, with shorter hours Saturdays and Sundays.

Link of the day

Bubble wrap

When and where

Fall term marks for undergraduate courses on Quest become official today.

Residence applications for upper-year students for fall term close today.

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

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

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

Atheists, Agnostics and Freethinkers group: Tim Kenyon, department of philosophy, "Myths about Atheism", 4;30, Arts Lecture Hall room 124.

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

Islam Awareness Week sponsored by Muslim Students Association, Tuesday-Thursday with activities in the Student Life Centre great hall.

‘Less Than Par book sale’ for UW bookstore (30 per cent off already reduced prices on selected titles), Tuesday-Thursday, South Campus Hall concourse.

‘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 Wednesday 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Ecomusée du fier monde, register online.

Ottawa alumni networking event Thursday 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.

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

Graduate Student Research Conference April 21-24; submissions welcome now for oral or poster presentations, deadline for abstracts February 8, details online.

PhD oral defences

Psychology. Kerry Smith, “What You Don’t Know Can Help You: Intuitive Processing of Incomplete Visual Stimuli.” Supervisor, Erik Woody. On display in the faculty of arts, HH 317. Oral defence Monday, February 4, 10:30 a.m., PAS building room 3026.

Biology. Sairah Malkin, “The Ecology of the Nuisance Macroalga, Cladophora glomerata, and Its Resurgence in Lake Ontario.” Supervisors, R. E. Hecky and S. J. Guildford. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Friday, February 8, 1:00 p.m., Biology I room 266.

Biology. Julie Elinor Schroeder, “Development of Models for the Prediction of Short-Term and Long-Term Toxicity of Hyalella azteca from Separate Exposures to Nickel and Cadmium.” Supervisors, D. G. Dixon and U. Borgmann. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Thursday, February 7, 10:30 a.m., Biology I room 266.

Biology. Rebecca North, “Phytoplankton Dynamics in Nearshore and Offshore Regions of the Great Lakes Erie, Malawi, Tanganyika and Victoria.” Supervisors, S. J. Guildford and R. E. H. Smith. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Monday, February 11, 1:30 p.m., Chemistry II room 361.

'Outstanding' status for 75 profs

"Outstanding performance awards" have been given to 75 professors in the fourth year of the program, which was first announced as part of the 2004-06 faculty salary settlement.

"I am very pleased to announce the award recipients," provost Amit Chakma says in a memo listing them, "and would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them for their outstanding contributions to the University of Waterloo."

The awards involve "special permanent salary increases" based on performance ratings for 2007.

Award winners include 5 faculty in applied health sciences, 18 in arts, 19 in engineering, 4 in environmental studies, 15 in mathematics and 14 in science. Last year a total of 69 faculty members received the awards.

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[Co-author reading over his shoulder]

UW history professor Ken McLaughlin and co-author Sharon Jaeger, of Wilfrid Laurier University, admire their book, published last fall to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the city of Waterloo. McLaughlin will be speaking at the Kitchener Public Library today about another of his local history works: Out of the Shadow of Orthodoxy, the story of UW's first 50 years, published last spring. His talk starts at 12 noon at KPL's main branch on Queen Street. Photo courtesy of the Waterloo Chronicle.

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326 ballots set aside, to be discussed

More than 1,000 people cast ballots Thursday as UW staff in the lower USG ranks voted on whether to unionize through the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation. Their decision isn't known yet, and the ballot box has been sealed.

The Ontario Labour Relations Board says 1,054 people voted during seven hours of polling in the Physical Activities Complex and one hour at the continuing education office on Gage Street. That's almost as many as the number of names on the original voters' list, which totalled 1,062 based on individuals the OSSTF or UW management said should be included.

But it's not as simple as that. The labour board says the 1,054 who voted break down like this:
• 728 people whose names were on the list, who voted and whose ballots are in the sealed box waiting to be counted.
• 170 people whose names were on the list and who voted, but whose votes were challenged by either the union or the employer, so that their ballots have been set aside ("segregated") for now.
• 156 people who were not on the list but who came and voted anyway, and whose ballots have also been segregated.

A memo from UW's human resources department on Friday said officials and lawyers from the university will meet with OSSTF and the labour board in a few days "to deal with the segregated votes and try to come to some agreement about what votes should be counted. . . . Our understanding is that either side can challenge a vote for any reason and rather than try to solve it at the polling booth, the Labour Board prefers to segregate the challenged votes and deal with them when the vote is completed."

The memo says the university asked to have votes set aside when the individuals were "clearly managers or staff whose jobs require confidentiality and those who were temporary, contract, casual, terminated, retired, grant funded or not within the USG 1 to 8 grades".

Meanwhile, it says, "The union challenged a great many people. We do not agree and will work hard to have this resolved since these people appear to be the staff members that they described in their application."

Friday's memo says that "we have also heard that some members felt intimidated at the polling booth. If you feel that this was the case with you, please consider raising the matter with the Labour Board." A memo from the labour board has also been posted for UW employees — on bulletin boards and online — indicating the procedure for filing any complaints.

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[House on the side of a hill]Grand news on a Monday morning

The Grand House Co-op, organized by a group of UW architecture students, is rising on a hillside in central Cambridge (left), and reached a milestone earlier this month. On January 12 a crew craned the pre- fabricated roofs onto the building, “representing the halfway point for construction”, according to the student organizers. The 12-bedroom, 4,500-square-foot sustainable residence seeks to provide affordable, cooperative and sustainable housing for students. When completed in May, it “will set a precedent for green-building construction in the region, featuring solar thermal heating system, straw-bale construction, passive solar design, reclaimed materials, greywater and blackwater treatment, renewable energy, and earthen construction.” The project is being financed through a combination of mortgages, grants, donated materials and services and a fundraising campaign that’s on the way to finding $180,000. “Drawing on the educational spirit of the project, the Grand House has already engaged a large number of students, apprentices, volunteers and community members in helping with design and construction,” a news release says. The student co-op has received funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to host “Going Green”, a series of fifteen free public workshops and lectures for the public that will start next month.

As the campaign period for Federation of Students annual elections begins tomorrow morning, it turns out that only two of the three vice-presidencies are actually in play. Math student Aly Sivji, who had filed as a candidate for VP (administration and finance), withdrew from the race on Friday, leaving the incumbent, Del Pereira, unopposed; he'll serve for a second one-year term, which starts May 1. Earlier, Justin Williams (of environment and resource studies) had been acclaimed as Fed president for the coming year. There are two candidates for VP (internal) — Andrew Falcao (earth sciences) and Steven Hayle (sociology) — and two for VP (education), namely Fatima Ahmed (peace and conflict studies) and Andres Agustin Fuentes Martinez (political science).

Several positions on students' council, the Federation's governing body, have also been filled by acclamation. Representing arts will be Sarah Cook, Veronica Fredericks, Ralon Nazareth, Lu Jiang and Bronwen Morris. Representing engineering: Jeffrey Aho, Abhilash Jayakumar and Han Xu. Representing environmental studies: Dan DesRosiers. Competing for three mathematics seats are Keith Chan, Ian Kasper, Dmitry Pyatin, Sumaiya Tasneem and Xin Yuan. Computing for four science seats are Sam Andrey, Rosalyn Chiu, Matthew Colphon, Yuwei Liang and Humerto Vigil-Gutierrez. Competing for a St. Jerome's University seat are Sebastien Kundra and Christopher Neal.

A note from the Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology announces that CBET "is in the process of developing a new publication titled Catalyst in collaboration with the Record. This full-colour, 24-page publication will be distributed three times a year (first issue to be delivered March 17) and its focus is on entrepreneurship and fuelling the passion for innovation at UW. The target audiences are students, aspiring entrepreneurs as well as top level executives in entrepreneurially oriented firms. The Catalyst is actively searching for student/staff and faculty involvement for all aspects of the magazine — copy, editing, photography, partnerships and circulation." There's more about the magazine, including its guidelines for articles, online.

“Visitors to the Grad House may have noticed that the quality of the Grad Burgers has increased recently,” says a note in the Graduate Student Association’s newsletter. “This is a result of a recent decision by manager Rose Vogt to stop using pre-made frozen burgers and instead use burgers made fresh from locally-raised 100% certified Black Angus beef, a decision which is the latest in a history of socially responsible purchasing choices made by the Grad House. All beef products sold at the Grad House now come from Well Fed Food, which is located in nearby Ayr, Ontario. The cattle sold by Well Fed Food are free-range , grass-fed, and drug-free. The proximity of the farm to UW substantially reduces the carbon emissions caused by transportation, providing additional benefit to the environment. Socially responsible purchasing is not a new practice for the Grad House , which has long been known for its selection of beers which are almost exclusively locally-produced. The Grad House was among the first locations on campus to move to fairly traded Coffee , and has recently added fairly traded teas to its menu as well.”

The Keystone Campaign's "treat-a-grams" — a tasteful package of two chocolate brownie cupcakes, selling for $3 — will be ready for delivery on Valentine's Day, but the ordering deadline is noon this Friday. • As announced earlier this month, work is under way to set up a nominating committee to find UW's next president, and nominations for nine of the seats on the nominating committee will close Wednesday afternoon. • The housing and residences department is looking for residence dons for next fall, next winter and spring 2009, and applications are due no later than this Thursday.


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