Tuesday, June 1, 2010

  • Board considers Health Services expansion
  • Survey says: danger lurks in cigarillos
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

[Truman with glass, Hamdullahpur with microphone]

Today's board of governors meeting will be a last hurrah for Bob Truman (left), the university's director of institutional analysis and planning, who officially retires June 1. He's been the go-to man for statistical and financial insight since he became director of "operations analysis" (now IAP) in 1984. Provost Feridun Hamdullahpur, seen paying tribute at a retirement party last week, is just the latest Waterloo leader to lean on Truman for interpretations of data, projections of how government funding will affect this university, and the historical perspective that comes from spending 43 years on this campus.

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Board considers Health Services expansion

A $7.75 million project to expand the landmark Health Services building beside Laurel Creek will come to the university's board of governors for approval this afternoon.

The project has already had an okay from students in separate undergraduate and graduate referendums during the fall and winter. Students agreed to pay for the project through a $10-a-term fee for 20 years starting when the construction is finished.

"Undergraduate and graduate students, together with professional staff from Health Services, will participate during the design phase," says a report to the board from its building and properties committee.

[Building by the water]The existing building (left), designed by renowned Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama, was constructed in 1968, "when UW had only one-third of the students it has in 2010," the committee's report says. "Each year, Health Services provides over 50,000 scheduled student appointments.

"Since the building expansion will be located in the flood fringe along Laurel Creek, UW previously engaged Stantec Engineering to work with the Grand River Conservation Authority to confirm the acceptability of the location and preliminary flood-proofing requirements."

Among other items coming to today's board of governors meeting for approval:

• The 2010-11 operating budget, which calls for the university to spend $482,000 over twelve months, with a 2 per cent cut to most departmental spending.

• A staff salary settlement retroactive to May 1, involving no change in salary ranges (as required by Ontario law) but the usual merit increase calculation.

• An increase in the "Federation of Students Administered Fee", covering health and dental insurance and the transit U-Pass, from $135.14 per term for regular students ($208.98 for co-op students) to $148.13 ($226.84), effective in September.

• The annual valuation report on the faculty and staff pension fund.

• A list of "specific priorities" for the president, and "executive council priorities" as drafted at the recent Kempenfelt Bay planning retreat.

• A report on 2009-10 research funding received.

The board meeting starts at 2:30 p.m. and will be held in room 3142 of the Centre for Environmental and Information Technology.

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Survey says: danger lurks in cigarillos

based on a news release from the media relations office

The results of the latest national Youth Smoking Survey indicate that young people don’t consider cigarillos to be as harmful as cigarettes — and that demonstrates the need for a federal law that’s going into effect this summer, according to researchers at Waterloo’s Propel Centre for Population Health Impact.

Passed in October 2009, Bill C-32 contained an immediate ban on tobacco advertising in newspapers and magazines. A ban on flavoured cigarettes, little cigars and blunt wraps at the manufacturer/import level followed on April 6, and by July 5 — five weeks from now — these flavoured tobacco products will be banned at the retail level.

The 2008-09 version of the survey, released in conjunction with World No Tobacco Day, found that 9 per cent of students in Grades 6 to 12 smoked cigarillos or little cigars in the last month. Yet 85 per cent of youth who smoked just cigarillos or little cigars considered themselves "non-smokers," versus 33 per cent of who smoked just cigarettes.

"Tobacco is tobacco,” says Steve Manske of Propel, who headed the survey. “It’s addictive and has health risks that appear no matter what form it comes in.” Manske says he’s concerned about the large group of youth who are slipping through the cracks because they don’t consider themselves at risk.

"If a kid doesn’t perceive himself to be a smoker because he is 'only' smoking cigarillos, a prevention program will not be effective. Similarly, efforts to help kids quit smoking won’t reach the cigarillo smokers, because they don’t consider themselves smokers," Manske said. He also warns about modelling behaviour, where youth who haven’t yet tried this form of tobacco may be more inclined to because their friends perceive it as less harmful.

The Canadian Cancer Society reports lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer death in Canada. It is estimated that 85 per cent of lung cancer cases are related to using tobacco products.

Currently, nearly all cigarillos are flavoured — strawberry, mint, vanilla, chocolate, cherry. Their packaging may seem harmless, mimicking those of candy wrappers, and until April’s change in the law, they could be sold individually, making them more affordable.

The latest YSS reports that 33 per cent of cigarillo or little cigar smokers bought them from retail sources, 37 per cent bought them from social sources, and 30 per cent had them without buying them — presumably thanks to sharing by other youth.

Manske, who coordinates the study for Health Canada, says he’ heartened by Bill C-32, but concerned that cigarillo-smoking youth who define themselves as non-smokers will be left out of audience groups targeted for smoking cessation and intervention programs. He also believes that the new legislation will not entirely eliminate the problem, as companies that market cigarillos may redesign their products to get around the “little cigar” definition in Bill C-32.

"We’re making inroads, but there is still a long road ahead," said Manske. "As a starting point, our efforts to prevent youth from smoking, and encourage those who are to quit, must be expanded beyond a traditional focus on cigarettes in order to help kids stay tobacco-free." 

The survey found that 10 per cent of students in Grades 6-9 had tried smoking cigarillos or little cigars. As with cigarettes, the higher the grade, the more the reported use, and in Grades 10-12, 35 per cent of youth reported having ever tried cigarillos or little cigars. With respect to current use, 4 per cent of all youth in Grades 6-9 and 14 per cent of those in Grades 10-12 reported that they had used cigarillos or little cigars in the last 30 days.

Overall, cigarette smoking rates did not change since the 2006-07 survey, but have risen significantly from 2004-05 for Grades 6-9 (from 2 per cent to 3 per cent). Since the 2006-07 survey, current smoking rates in Grades 10-12 have risen from 11 to 13 per cent, though the rate of “never smokers” remained unchanged.

The most recent Youth Smoking Survey involved 51,922 students in Grades 6 to 12 in 329 schools from all 10 provinces.


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Link of the day

Year of the Métis

When and where

International Green Energy Conference June 1-3, Arts Lecture Hall. Details.

Engineering exchange programs information session 11:30, Carl Pollock Hall room 3604.

Library workshop: “RefWorks Introduction” Tuesday 1:30 or Wednesday 10:00, Flex lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Career workshops today: “Work Search Strategies for International Students” 3:00, Tatham Centre room 1208; “All About GMAT” 4:30, Tatham 1208; “Thinking About an MBA?” 5:30, Tatham 1208. Details.

Open jam night at the Graduate House every Tuesday, through July 27, 7 to 10 p.m. No cover charge, 19-plus.

Career workshops Wednesday: “Business Etiquette and Professionalism” 10:30, Tatham Centre room 1208; “Career Interest Assessment” 2:30, Tatham 1113. Details.

Centre for Teaching Excellence workshop: “Designing Exams” Wednesday 10:30, Needles Hall room 1116 (note corrected time and place). Details.

Innovators in Action speaker series sponsored by Social Innovation Generation: Penny Milton, Canadian Education Association, Wednesday 7:00, The Museum, 10 King Street West, Kitchener. Details.

In Motion School of the Performing Arts, recital Wednesday 7:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Accelerator Centre one-day conference: “Innovation, Emerging Technologies and Global Markets” Thursday. Site visits to WatCar and Giga-to-Nano lab; lunch keynote speaker Frank Tompa, school of computer science. Details.

Keystone Campaign annual picnic, “Keystone: Final Answer” Thursday 12:00, Graduate House green. Details.

Printmaking fair and sale Saturday 10:00 to 4:00, Design at Riverside gallery, Architecture building, Cambridge, admission free. Details.

Conrad Grebel University College fund-raising banquet for Ralph and Eileen Lebold Endowment for Leadership Training, speaker Gareth Brandt, Columbia Bible College, “Leadership for the Next Generation: Is the Church Ready?” June 8, 6:30 p.m. at Grebel, tickets $50, phone ext. 24237.

Retirees Association bus tour, “Castle  Gardens and Wings” (Casa Loma and Canadian Air and Space Museum) June 9, details 519-885-6719.

Ring road closed between PAS building and Needles Hall, because of Environment 3 construction work, June 10 to July 12.

Retirees Association annual general meeting June 10, 3:30, Sunshine Centre, Luther Village, information 519-888-0334.

‘Yoga on the Green’ led by Sandra Gibson, health services, sponsored by UW Recreation Committee, June 15, 12:00, outside Graduate House.

100th Convocation June 16-19, Physical Activities Complex: AHS and environment, Wednesday 10 a.m.; science Wednesday 2:30 p.m.; arts Thursday 10:00 and 2:30; mathematics Friday 2:30; engineering Saturday 10:00 and 2:30. Details. Special session Sunday, June 20, 9:45 a.m., Perimeter Institute, for MSc (physics) graduates.

Canada’s Wonderland bus trip organized by Federation of Students, June 18, bus leaves Davis Centre 8:30 a.m., tickets $54 at Federation office, Student Life Centre.

25-Year Club annual reception June 22, 6:00, Physical Activities Complex, by invitation, information ext. 32078.

PhD oral defences

Chemistry. Nan Chen, “Synthesis and Chemistry of Kinamycins and Related Antibiotics.” Supervisor, Gary I. Dmitrienko. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Thursday, June 3, 9:30 a.m., Chemistry II room 361.

Physics and astronomy. Steven S. Johnston, “Electron-Phonon Coupling in Quasi-Two-Dimensional Correlated Systems.” Supervisor, Thomas P. Devereaux. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Monday, June 7, 10:00 a.m., Physics room 352.

Recreation and leisure studies. Amanda Johnson, “Consumption Communities: An Examination of the Kitchener Market.” Supervisor, Troy Glover. On display in the faculty of applied health sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Tuesday, June 8, 1:30 p.m., Matthews Hall room 3119.

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