Tuesday, May 5, 2009

  • Extra sanitizer helps UW ward off the flu
  • Digital forum in Stratford next month
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

[Unfinished building against dramatic clouds]

A third crane showed up at the Engineering 5 construction site on the east side of campus last week. Ben Stegner, of the electrical section in the plant operations department, caught the scene with his camera during a lunch-hour walk, as the new crane delivered air handling equipment to the building's rooftop.

Back to top

Extra sanitizer helps UW ward off the flu

Hygiene is in, and staff in UW’s food services have been ransacking the city for extra supplies of hand sanitizer, as people across campus take precautions against the H1N1 influenza, popularly known as swine flu.

“We were over-prepared, which is always good,” university housing officer Chris Read said after some 1,500 students checked into their residence rooms on Sunday, the day before spring term classes began. He said all the students were screened with a questionnaire, and a health services representative was on hand to look at anyone who reported positive for flu symptoms such as fever, headache and cough.

As a result, three students have been temporarily moved to rooms in Columbia Lake Village, either because they were feeling unwell or because they're just back from Mexico, the epicentre of the H1N1 outbreak. "Persons who have symptoms are instructed not to go onto campus or to class and to stay in their rooms," says Barbara Schumacher, medical director of UW's health services. "We are referring to this as self-isolation. The students from Mexico are provided a private room in CLV rather than the traditional residence living arrangement while they monitor their health. They are able to attend classes."

So far there have been no cases of the new flu in Waterloo Region, according to the regional public health department. “There are 51 confirmed cases of human swine influenza in Canada,” its latest bulletin says.

The health unit says that “key messages remain the same. The public should keep doing what they normally do. People can lower their risk by practicing the usual, preventative practices against a range of illnesses; that is, follow proper cough etiquette, wash hands frequently, and stay away from work or school if ill.”

Lee Elkas, director of UW’s food services, said his staff have introduced special precautions in Mudie’s cafeteria in Village I and anywhere there are buffets or salad bars where customers will be handling serving utensils. “We have mandatory hand sanitizing stations,” he said, meaning that either a staff member will pass out dollops of liquid sanitizer, or a dispenser will be available along with a warning sign.

Even if food services is dropping off a catered lunch somewhere on campus, it’ll be accompanied by a bottle of sanitizer (alcohol mixed with glycerin and other additives) to fight the flu viruses that could be lurking.

He said staff visited a number of stores Friday to round up extra supplies of the sanitizer, which is in short supply across North America because of concern about the flu outbreak.

With conference season under way at Ron Eydt Village, everybody from teenage soccer players to participants in a Perimeter Institute advanced workshop will be arriving over the next few days, and they too will face a flu screening when they move in, said Elkas, whose department manages the UW conference centre.

A memo is going out ahead of time to conference organizers and as many participants as possible, he said, so “they’ll know our policy: that if they’re showing signs of illness, they should just stay home!” Someone who does arrive and seems to be a potential flu risk, but can’t immediately head home, can be put into isolation in a Columbia Lake Village unit temporarily, he said. “We’ve got an inventory of rooms at CLV, just in case.”

UW’s athletics department posted signs in the Physical Activities Complex and Columbia Icefield at week’s end, warning about the flu and asking gym users to take precautions: “The risk of infection is very high and the possibility exists that someone returning from Mexico could spread the infection to our students and employees. We ask for your cooperation and understanding that these steps are being taken in the best interests of our community at UW.

“When you have finished using a piece of equipment, follow the Athletics Department Policies and wipe down your equipment with the spray and cloths provided.

“If you have travelled to Mexico, please wait seven days to monitor for continued wellness before using facilities or programs. If you are feeling sick with flu symptoms, have vomited or have had diarrhea, please do not use the PAC or CIF facilities until seven days from the first day of onset of symptoms or 24 hours after the resolution of symptoms, whichever is later.

“Staff will be monitoring the facility for members and participants who appear ill and will be suggesting they obtain medical advice prior to resuming use of the Athletics facilities. These measures will help ensure the safety of all PAC and CIF users.”

Back to top

Digital forum in Stratford next month

a release from the UW media relations office

Industry, government, and education leaders will gather June 8 and 9 in Stratford, Ontario, at a “Canada 3.0 forum” to map Canada’s digital future and create opportunities for new business and jobs. Hosted by UW’s Stratford Institute and the Canadian Digital Media Network, the forum is the must-attend event for anyone interested in Canada’s place in the world’s digital economy.

“The advent of social media, the explosion of the Web as a forum for a wide range of rich content, and the growth in high-tech handheld devices to access this content anytime, anywhere are creating new demands and opportunities,” said David Johnston, president of UW and a speaker at the conference. “Educators, those that set public policy pertaining to digital media, and content developers all have a vested interest in ensuring Canada takes its place as a leader in digital media.”

The forum addresses four themes — content and entertainment, technology and business, government, and research and education — and will provide participants with opportunities to actively engage industry leaders and speakers. Some of the featured speakers are Arlene Dickinson, CEO Venture Communications Ltd. and entrepreneur from CBC’s Dragons’ Den; Lisa de Wilde, CEO of TV Ontario; John Cassaday, president and CEO of Corus Entertainment Inc.; Gerry Remers, president and COO of Christie Digital Systems; Paul Salvini, chief technology officer and VP for Canadian operations at Side Effects Software; Peter Bruce, deputy chief information officer, Government of Canada; Ron McKerlie, deputy minister, Ontario ministry of government services; Chad Gaffield, president, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; Sara Diamond, president of the Ontario College of Art and Design.

“Anyone who wants to be part of Canada’s digital future has a vested interest in being at this forum,” said Tom Jenkins, executive chairman and chief strategy officer at Open Text and also a speaker at the event. “Canada has the opportunity to lead by enabling a groundswell of entrepreneurial businesses in the digital media space. Next-generation content and technology will claim Canada’s stake in the competitive digital economy.”

The Council of Canadian Academies has identified new media as having the greatest momentum and the highest growth prospects for Canada, second only to the oilsands. Worldwide, the digital media sector is one of the fastest-growing industries in the knowledge economy, projected to be valued at US$2.2 trillion over the next five years.

“Canada has the talent, expertise, and business environment to ensure that we lead in the digital economy,” said Gary Goodyear, federal minister of state for science and technology, who is participating in the forum. “There’s a digital revolution afoot, and with the current economic shifts we’re seeing, it’s imperative that we support this growth that holds the promise of increased business opportunity and more jobs for Canadians.”

The federal government recently recognized this huge economic opportunity by investing $10.7-million in the CDMN, in part to establish UW’s Stratford Institute and to host critical opportunities like Canada 3.0.

"Innovative thinking is key to overcoming a challenging economy today and emerging as a successful player on the global digital media stage tomorrow," said Ontario minister of research and innovation John Wilkinson, who will speak at the conference. "Bringing together leaders from diverse backgrounds will help jump-start the innovation process, and both help to grow existing companies faster while creating successful new ones. That's why a key part of Ontario's economic plan is supporting the ideas that will shape our future."

Canada’s digerati are invited to learn more and register for the conference online.

The Canadian Digital Media Network network was established earlier this year with $10.7 million in federal funding to link Canada's digital media clusters from coast to coast, creating a digital convergence corridor and enabling collaboration between researchers, implementers and entrepreneurs. UW's Stratford Institute is a think-tank, integrator and training institute devoted to collaboration between digital media, international commerce and culture. The Stratford Institute was established with a $10 million investment from the Government of Ontario and a $10 million investment from the City of Stratford.


Back to top

Spring OSAP arrangements

The Student Awards and Financial Aid Office will be releasing OSAP funding (by appointment only) from the Tatham Centre. Appointments will be available between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. each day May 4-15. Representatives from the National Student Loan Service Centre will also be on site at Tatham.

To pick up OSAP funding, students should review the OSAP pick-up information on the Student Awards and Financial Aid web site and book an appointment. Students who are on OSAP academic probation and were enrolled in courses in the winter term are unable to pick up OSAP funding until official grades are released on May 25.

Architecture students have the option of booking an appointment at Tatham Centre or picking up their funding between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on May 22 when SAFA representatives will be onsite in Cambridge. Pharmacy students have the option of booking an appointment at Tatham Centre or picking up their funding on May 19 between 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. when SAFA representatives will be onsite in Kitchener.

Link of the day

Cinco de Mayo

When and where

Faculty workshops on teaching with Gary Poole, University of British Columbia: “Using Door-Opening Concepts in Our Teaching” 9:00, “We Can Promote Deeper Learning” 2:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

New student orientation: campus tours 3:00 and 5:00, leaving from Student Life Centre great hall. Services fair 4:00 to 6:00, SLC lower atrium. Undergraduate and graduate students welcome. Details.

Graduate House welcome-back wine and cheese party for graduate students, 6:00 to 8:00.

A Research Conference on Teaching and Learning, sponsored by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Wednesday. Details.

Music and Culture in London: Music 355 study trip, May 6-20. Details.

Library books due: books borrowed on term loan before the beginning of April are due May 6; renewals online.

Library workshop: “Smart Searching” Wednesday 1:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

David Johnston Run for Health (fourth annual) around the ring road, walk or run, Wednesday 4:15 p.m., starts at Needles Hall, participation free, register ext. 84830.

Summer Camp Fair with more than 40 children’s camps represented, Wednesday 5:00 to 7:00, University Stadium, Wilfrid Laurier University. Details.

Columbia Lake Health Club “lifestyle learning” session: “Yoga History”, Wednesday5:30 p.m., 340 Hagey Boulevard.

Recreation and Leisure Studies 40th anniversary leisure studies research forum, Thursday 8:45 to 4:30, Lyle Hallman Institute. Details.

International student orientation for new students from outside Canada, organized by Waterloo International, Thursday 12:30 to 4:00, Needles Hall room 1116. Details.

Surplus sale of UW furnishings and equipment Thursday 12:30 to 2:00, East Campus Hall.

Warriors Band practice Thursday 5:30, Physical Activities Complex room 2012. Details.

Formula SAE race car unveiling and open house, Thursday 5:30 to 6:30, Student Life Centre. Details.

Wilfrid Laurier University “Development Day” with personal and professional development speakers, Friday. Details.

Graduate Student Association welcome back pub night, Friday 5:00 to 9:00, Grad House.

E-waste Green Day sponsored by UW central stores and Greentec Recycling Services: drop off electronic items (on approved list) for free recycling, Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., East Campus Hall.

OUA women’s basketball all-star game, east vs. west, Saturday 7:00 p.m., RIM Park, Waterloo, admission free.

UW Blooms annual exchange of seeds, seedlings and garden supplies, May 11, multipurpose room, Student Life Centre.

Herschel Space Observatory launch event with live video and remarks about UW’s involvement, May 14, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., Humanities Theatre.

One click away

'Different angles' on campus drug use (Imprint)
Arts student life photo contest carries a $200 prize
Latest issue of Inside Scoop newsletter for UW co-op students
'A case study in hate crime: Lessons from GLOW' (Imprint)
Ontario cutting textbook and travel grants for students
Slogans from 3,500 campuses
Major budget cuts at the other UW
Rotary Clubs honour Balsillie with event at CIGI
Ontario 'investing heavily in higher education', minister says
Western plans layoffs and other job cuts
Partners find funds to repair WLU's pool
'A stigma of self-victimization among students'
Anonymous multi-million-dollar gifts come to US universities
'Wake-up call': Montréal prof moves his lab to Florida
TVO features York U tomorrow night

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin