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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

  • Man charged with harassment, mischief
  • Programmers win bronze, and other notes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Man charged with harassment, mischief

Waterloo Regional Police announced yesterday that they have charged “a Kitchener male” in connection with posters, e-mails and other material that has been distributed on campus over the past few months. The investigation was conducted in partnership with University of Waterloo Police, who actually made the arrest, a news release from the Regionals said.

It explains: “The investigation was launched in February 2011 after an e-mail was distributed to the university community, purportedly by the University President, depicting scientist Marie Curie in a negative manner. Anti-feminist posters and literature also began appearing on university property.

“Since February 2011 numerous other materials, e-mails and posters were distributed resulting in expressions of fear from students and staff. The probe revealed that the literature was also sent to Wilfrid Laurier University and the Balsillie School.

“University of Waterloo Police arrested the male on Sunday 29 May 2011 in Waterloo. Zamir Nathoo, 34 years of Kitchener, is charged with Criminal Harassment, Personation with Intent and Mischief to Property. He was held in custody for a bail hearing today.

“The criminal investigation continues and may result in further charges. Anyone with information is asked to contact North Division Detectives at 519-650-8500 ext. 3399 or Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-8477.”

In an e-mail message sent across campus last night and today, university president Feridun Hamdullahpur confirmed that the police have in custody "the person we believe to have been responsible for putting up anti-female posters in February and sending disturbing email messages to members of the university.”

He says the man was arrested in the Davis Centre library on Sunday. “We anticipate that the conditions of his release will prohibit him from being on campus and from communicating electronically with members of the university.

“I wish to thank our Police Services for its dedication and hard work in resolving this matter. I also wish to thank our partners in the investigation: the Waterloo Regional Police Service, the Wilfrid Laurier University Special Constable Service, and the staff of our own Information Systems and Technology department, who played an integral part in identifying and locating the suspect.

“As well, I and the other members of the senior administration wish to express our thanks to the university community for their patience during the investigation. The safety of all continues to be of the utmost concern to us.”

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[Looking through a giant WatCard]

Picture yourself as a Waterloo student: that was the opportunity for hundreds of high schoolers who attended Saturday's "You @ Waterloo" open house event. The day was organized for applicants who are now making their decisions about whether to accept offers of admission to the university for September. About 4,000 of them showed up to see Waterloo, says Amilyn Kebezes of the marketing and undergraduate recruitment office. Posing as a future student is one of the current student "ambassadors", Josh Butcher of environment. Nancy Weiner, the associate registrar (admissions), says Waterloo has made 22,239 offers of admission for fall 2011 full-time degree study. Target for the first-year class is 5,602 students.

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Programmers win bronze, and other notes

The "Waterloo Black" team of undergraduate student programmers that won a regional competition in December had another triumph yesterday, winning a bronze medal for finishing in 12th place in the world and second in North America. At the world championships of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest, Waterloo was represented by Tyson Andre (1A software engineering), Brian Bi (1A computer science), and Hanson Wang (2A computer science), coached by CS professor Ondrej Lhoták. "Waterloo teams have now been medalists at 16 of the last 19 of these annual programming competitions," Amy Aldous, director of communications for the faculty of mathematics, points out. In yesterday's six-hour coding session for the international title, the Waterloo squad solved seven of eight problems. Just two teams, from China's Zhejiang University and the US's University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, solved eight problems, to place first and second. Lower placings were determined by the number of total minutes taken to devise solutions.

A number of the university’s computer and network services were unavailable on Saturday between about 2 and 3 p.m., when campus network security equipment apparently failed. Bruce Campbell, director of network services, sent a brief explanation yesterday: “Affected were most e-mail, web, and internet services, including electronic cash registers in retail service outlets, affecting credit/debit card purchases. The suspect equipment recovered on its own, shortly before on-call staff responded to the issue. A support case has been opened with the equipment vendor, and investigation continues. The University has increased computer/network redundancy in a number of key areas in recent years, adding redundant internet services and e-mail services. Additional improvements in key system redundancy are planned for the fall term. A review of this recent failure may lead to additional improvements in redundancy, availability, monitoring and after hours response. We regret the impact to key services on the weekend, and understand the campus community expects these services to be available on a 24x7 basis.”

An intellectual highlight of this week will be Saturday night’s debate between God is Not Great author Christopher Hitchens and Texas rhetorician Barry Brummett on the resolution "Religion, as a literary value, is a force for good." It’s sponsored by the department of English as “the culminating event” in the department’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Jian Ghomeshi of CBC Radio's Q will moderate the debate, which is the plenary session of an academic conference on Literature, Rhetoric, and Values being held this week. Tickets for the live event, in the Humanities Theatre, are now sold out, and $10 tickets are on sale (at the Humanities box office) for an overflow site, the Theatre of the Arts. Says Fraser Easton, chair of the English department: “There is another piece of news: despite the harsh round of recent anti-cancer therapy, during which he temporarily lost his voice, Hitchens will be attending the event live by video. Hitchens was first booked for this event over two years ago, before his illness was known, and we are very grateful for hie continued commitment to this debate. While we share everyone's disappointment that Hitchens will not attend in person, the live debate promises to be just as intellectually exciting. And for those with tickets to the Humanities Theatre, the opportunity to ask Hitchens a question after the debate will still be available.”

[Engraving on floor of OSU library]Finally . . . I returned to campus yesterday after a couple of weeks travelling, and I want to thank my colleague Pat Bow, who kept the Daily Bulletin appearing regularly during my absence. I'll mention just one point of interest that I saw during my trip: the spectacularly renovated Thompson Library at the Ohio State University in Columbus, where a formerly utilitarian tower housing hundreds of thousands of books is now a glass-sided landmark. I particularly liked the Buckeye Reading Room, where, if you weary of printed books or electronic texts, you can read the floor instead, as pictured at right.


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Link of the day

Festival of the Arts in New Hamburg

When and where

Warrior golfers at Canadian University/ College Championships, Royal Ashburn Golf Club, through Thursday. Details.

Co-op employer interviews for fall work term (main group) continue through June 16. Rankings open June 17 at 1:00, close June 20 at 2:00; match results available 4:00.

Co-op job match (pharmacy students) for fall work term, today.

Final date for fee arrangements, spring term, today.

May Court Club lunch-and-learn about volunteering, 11:30, Davis Centre room 1302. Details.

Career workshop: “The Power of LinkedIn” 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Library workshop: "Find Books and More" Wednesday 10:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Career workshop: Business Etiquette and Professionalism, Wednesday 10:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Library workshop: "Introduction to RefWorks” Wednesday 1:30 or Thursday 3:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Centre for Teaching Excellence workshop: “Faculty Teaching Philosophies” Wednesday 2:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Perimeter Institute lecture: Freeman Dyson, Institute for Advanced Study, “Living Through Four Revolutions” Wednesday 7:00, Waterloo Collegiate Institute. Details.

‘Introduction to Rails Development for Web Developers’ hosted by Federation of Students IT manager Eric Gerlach, Wednesday 7 p.m., Student Life Centre room 2143. RSVP.

Conrad Grebel University College presentation of building plans Wednesday 7:30 p.m., Grebel great hall.

East Campus Hall electrical power shutdown Thursday 6 to 6:30 a.m.

‘The Rogers Story’ presentation by Nadir Mohamed, president of Rogers Communications, Thursday 2:00, Davis Centre room 1350.

VeloCity venture fund finals, Thursday 4:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

Optometry continuing education weekend June 3-5. Details.

Warrior hockey PA Day camp for students aged 7-12, Friday 8:30 to 4:00, Columbia Icefield, information ext. 32635.

Midnight Sun X solar car unveiling Friday 11 a.m. (car appears at noon), Engineering 5 first floor.

Spring Rainbow Social for LGBTQQ faculty and staff and allies, Friday 4:30 to 6 p.m., University Club Burgundy Room.

International Development student fundraiser: Roy Sesana, Botswana medicine man, speaks (with interpreter) on land claims issues in the Kalahari, Friday 7 p.m., Davis Centre room 1350. Donation requested.

Niagara Falls and winery tour sponsored by International Student Connection, Saturday, tickets $23 at Federation of Students office, Student Life Centre.

Equinox Summit: Energy 2030 sponsored by Waterloo Global Science Initiative , June 5-9.

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