- Campus revs up for another fall term
- An inside look at Orientation Week
- A giant leap for the STEP project
- Brandon Sweet
- Communications and Public Affairs
Campus revs up for another fall term
Waterloo's main campus is in the throes of Orientation Week as thousands of new students receive a crash course in the Waterloo experience. Thousands of them arrived over the weekend and on holiday Monday, unloaded their stuff with the help of t-shirt clad volunteers, and made the acquaintance of their dons and roommates.
This morning, right about now, in fact, a series of welcoming events are taking place, with AHS students on the BMH green, Arts students in the arts quad, Engineers, including the architecture students bussed in from Cambridge meeting in RCH, Environment students at St. Paul's, Math students grabbing breakfast on the DC quad, and Science students occupying the V1 green. And that's just for starters: some first years will be earning Frisbees, hard hats, and shades, among other things, and others will group together for aerial photos and participate in mass games.
There's an impressive array of activities taking place over the next few days, with a full schedule available on the Orientation website.
And orientation activities aren't just confined to the main campus: the Waterloo UAE Campus orientation program is also underway. I imagine their orientation activities will be less soggy than ours today.
Over the next three days there will be nine performances of Single and Sexy, one of the most prominent features of Orientation Week, and one that's been adopted by other institutions. Today there are three performances - 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. - and three on Wednesday (9:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.) and Thursday (9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 4:00 p.m.), all at the Humanities Theatre.
With the arrival of thousands of new students, and the return of thousands who aren’t new, campus services are back in full swing, or soon will be. Hours for a few key operations:
Retail services — The stores are now in Back to School Extended Hours mode, with the Bookstore, Waterloo Store, E-Smart, Write Stuff and Campus Tech all open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. this week. The Bookstore is also open Saturday, September 8 from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. Full hours for all locations are available online.
Libraries — 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. today through Thursday, September 6, switching to 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Friday, September 7 for Dana Porter and 8:00 a.m. to midnight for Davis Centre, and noon to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Intersession hours are posted online, with the regular schedule getting underway Friday and into next week.
Athletics — PAC and Columbia Icefield are open Monday-Friday 7:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. The PAC will see its doors locked at 7:30 p.m. and will be officially closed at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, September 6 for Orientation Week's Monte Carlo night.
Food services — Most main campus outlets are open this week for limited hours, with a few exceptions. Full hours for most locations will begin on Monday September 10. Residence cafeterias are now open daily. Tim Hortons in the Student Life Centre is open 7:30 a.m. to midnight until Friday, 11:00 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, and 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, with a return to regular hours on Monday. Full food services details are available online.
An inside look at Orientation Week
When you’re expecting over 6,000 first-year students on campus for Orientation Week, there’s a lot of work that goes in to preparing the campus, the activities and the first-year students themselves. Along with the faculties, the Federation of Students (Feds) and the Student Success Office (SSO) partner to organize the week and each have one full-time staff on the job. Becky Wroe (Feds) and Cassie Gilpin (SSO) work tirelessly with three contract staff members to pull everything together.
Another 40 upper-year student volunteers have attended bi-weekly meetings and training sessions since January. Then in March another 1,300 Orientation Leaders were interviewed, hired and trained at the First Year Experience Training Institute. For returning Orientation Leaders they can skip the training, as long as they pass the quiz to make sure they remember their training from the previous year. This year just over 300 students returned.
The Orientation leaders take on a variety of positions from front-line to behind-the-scene crews, from team leaders to media teams. These groups plan activities from the traditional Saturday night toga party to the brand new Friday event, FYE: Waterloo. In all, the Orientation Week staff juggled 61 different schedules to incorporate the different faculties, places students live and programming from International Student Experience, satellite campuses and departments within the faculties. There are a whopping 90 official events, many of which are comprised of multiple mini events for students to choose between.
Many of our Orientation leaders are divided up by faculty; some belong to groups with names like: Dundees, SciEye, Boar Tribe, EdCom, Banana Crew and Black Ties. Often their special duties include protecting the prized faculty possession. And many of them dance. Most faculties have an Orientation dance, and all the leaders perform the leader dance on Black & Gold Day at the Waterloo Warrior football game on Saturday, September 8.
Orientation leaders also stuffed 6,000 kits this weekend. Many items in these kits are sponsored by the Faculty Endowment Funds and local businesses and contain everything a first-year student needs including items such as a water bottle, Waterloo lanyard, coupons and faculty-themed items.
If you’re worried about not understanding Orientation leaders when you hear them as they lead first-year students around campus this week, we do have a glossary of Orientation lingo for you. Or you may only be interested in one word, in which case you’ll definitely want to watch the ONE WORD project.
A giant leap for the STEP project
The University of Waterloo Scheduling, Timetabling and Examination Project (STEP) is moving ahead with a course selection week that will replace the current pre-enrollment week and enrollment appointments regime.
The new scheduling process, to be introduced for the spring 2013 term, was outlined in an email sent to undergraduate students last week.
"We are introducing a new scheduling process that will minimize time conflicts and maximize your ability to meet your degree requirements by scheduling courses at the times that you need them," reads the email sent by the Registrar's Office.
"By participating in the new one-week long course selection process you will:"
- Reduce the need to stand in long lineups to get professor signatures on course override forms;
- Avoid the disappointment of missing out on your desired courses; and
- Reduce the need to scramble for courses during the drop/add period.
"It will focus on producing timetables with courses that you have selected and that you need to satisfy your academic requirements," continues the email. "If your program requires you to self-select courses, you will choose the courses in January 2013 for the spring 2013 term. If the University has always selected your core courses for you, this will continue."
The new scheduling processes will maximize conflict-free timetables.
"We will continue to send you information as this process develops," concludes the email. "You can also visit the STEP website for more information."
The Scheduling, Timetable and Examination Project was initiated in late 2011 to investigate technological enhancements to the scheduling and timetabling process.
Show your Waterloo pride this week
If you’re a Waterloo alumnus working on campus, upload a photo of yourself sporting a “glad to be a grad sticker” to the uWaterloo alumni Facebook page or on Twitter with #uWOWalum for a chance to win some great prizes.
For additional stickers please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Link of the day
Reminder: Phillip Street road closure
As of today, Phillip Street is closed to through traffic from the Columbia Street side. The northerly Phillip Street access to Lot B, ECH, E5 and E6 will be closed as a result.
Access to Lot B, ECH, E5, and E6 is possible via the University Avenue entrance to Phillip Street.
The 201 iXpress bus will take a detour through Albert Street before resuming its regular route.
When and where
Orientation Week, Monday, September 3 to Saturday, September 8.
Perspectives on Academic Freedom conference, Thursday, September 6, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Waterloo Inn. Details.
Weight Watchers At Work registration session Thursday, September 6, 12:15, PAS 2438, info at ext. 32218.
International Longevity Risk Conference, Friday, September 6 to Saturday, September 7, all day. Hosted by the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science. Details.
Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Prof. Daniel Seidel, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rutgers University, "Functionalization of Amines via Redox-Neutral Reaction Cascades," Friday, September 7, 2:30 p.m., MC 4058.
Graduate Scholarship information session - Applied Health Sciences, Monday, September 10, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., LHI 1621. Details.
New Faculty and Grad Students: Research Tools and Library Services, Tuesday, September 10, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., FLEX Lab, Dana Porter Library.
UW Farmer's Market, Thursday, September 13, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall. Details.
Information Session on Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Mathematics, Thursday, September 13, 4:30 p.m., MC 2066.
Faculty of Mathematics NSERC and OGS scholarship information meeting, Friday, September 14, 2:00 p.m., DC 1302.
Centre for Career Action Volunteer Fair, Wednesday, September 19, 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.
UWRC Book Club, "Lakeland" by Allan Casey (Region of Waterloo One Book, One Community selection), Wednesday, September 19, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.
Waterloo Lecture featuring Douglas Cowan, "Sacred Space: The Quest for Transcendence in Science Fiction Film and Television," Wednesday, September 19, 7:00 p.m., Stratford Public Library, 19 St. Andrew St., Stratford. Hosted by the Waterloo Stratford Campus.
UW Farmer's Market, Thursday, September 20, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall. Details.
Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre ribbon cutting, Friday, September 21, 10:00 a.m.
School of Planning Induction Ceremony, Saturday, September 22, reception at 9:30 a.m. in the Environment 3 atrium, ceremony at 11:00 a.m. in Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages.
Rotary Scholarship Dinner for UW Stratford Campus, Wednesday, September 26, 6:15 p.m., Rotary Club of Stratford. Details.