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Friday, February 8, 2013



  • Heavy weather closes campus
  • They liked it, now they get to put a ring on it
  • Feds celebrate SLC agreement with cupcakes


  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs


Heavy weather closes campus

The university is closed today because of heavy snowfall that started in the early hours of the morning and is expected to continue all day. Call it a Snowpocalypse, call it Snowmageddon, or just call it a day off.

The closing means that there will be no classes today, staff get a paid day off, libraries are closed, and everybody gets a 24-hour extension on assignments. A few essential services, including policing, the Student Life Centre, and residence cafeterias, continue regardless of an emergency closing.

The closing applies to the main campus as well as satellite operations including the School of Architecture, the Downtown Kitchener Health Sciences Campus, and the Waterloo Stratford Campus. The Stratford campus had already taken the steps of cancelling buses that had been scheduled to transport the Global Business and Digital Arts (GBDA) class from Waterloo to the Stratford Campus.  Alternative arrangements had been made in order for GBDA classes to be held on main campus, but last night’s snowfall and its continuation this morning has put paid to that contingency plan.

The University of Waterloo’s Optometry Clinic is closed as well.

Co-op interviews have been cancelled and will be rescheduled in JobMine.

An email from Registrar Ken Lavigne indicates that the make-up day for rescheduled classes will be Saturday, March 2.

To reiterate, according to the university's weather guidelines: "closed" means: classes are not held; meetings and other scheduled events are cancelled; scheduled examinations are cancelled, to be rescheduled; deadlines for assignments and other submissions are postponed until the same hour on the next business day on which the university is not "closed"; staff, other than those providing "essential services," are not expected to be at work, but are paid for a normal day.

"Essential services" are defined to be: food service in the residences; policing; the central plant; residence life staff; snow removal; emergency repair and maintenance; animal care. Staff providing "essential services" will be so designated by their Department Heads, who are responsible for assigning duties to be carried out and making reasonable arrangements for the protection of such staff.

Reports are coming in on Twitter of cancellations that include the Fed Bus and athletics facilities, with the Athletics department reporting that all Warrior home games have been cancelled tonight due to inclement weather, including Volleyball at 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. vs. Windsor and Men's Hockey at 7:30 p.m., also against Windsor..

Some events and services soldier on. St. Jerome's University is still going ahead with its Lectures in the Catholic Experience tonight at 7:30 p.m. that features Michael Higgins, former president of St. Jerome's, and Kevin Burns, entitled "Genius Born of Anguish - Exploring a Book of IDEAS." Tonight's FASS performances at 7:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. will continue as scheduled. Conversely, the UW Drama department's performances of "on love" at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., have been cancelled.

The indomitable Turnkey desk in the Student Life Centre will also be open.

The last time the university closed on a weekday in the face of poor weather was February 1, 2008, though there have been some close calls in the years since. The university experienced a Saturday shutdown on March 8, 2008.


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Dressed for success: BlackBerry fansite CrackBerry ran a contest called "What Would You Do For a BlackBerry 10 Phone?" and Chris Vigna, a teaching laboratory co-ordinator in the kinesiology department, gave his answer. He would become one. Video evidence above.

Suitably impressed with Vigna's costume design, CrackBerry is sending him a Z10. Congratulations, Chris!


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They liked it, now they get to put a ring on it

There will be over a thousand more Canadian engineers before tomorrow is over, as graduating students from the faculty of engineering take part in the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer and put on the Iron Ring for the first time. The ceremonies will be followed by the biggest party of an engineering student’s campus years — the Iron Ring Stag — and preceded by smaller celebrations today.

In helping to stage the traditional (and distinctively Canadian) ceremony, the Faculty of Engineering works with an independent agency, Camp 15 of the Corporation of the Seven Wardens, which will be conducting the Ritual in four ceremonies tomorrow. The office of the associate dean (co-operative education and professional affairs) says that there will be four ceremonies starting at noon on Saturday, all in the Theatre of the Arts. The ceremonies are not open to the public.

The first Iron Ring ceremony at the university was held in the spring of 1963. The wardens’ web site gives this background: “The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer has a history dating back to 1922, when seven past-presidents of the Engineering Institute of Canada attended a meeting in Montreal with other engineers. One of the speakers was civil engineer Professor [Herbert] Haultain of the University of Toronto. He felt that an organization was needed to bind all members of the engineering profession in Canada more closely together. He also felt that an obligation or statement of ethics to which a young graduate in engineering could subscribe should be developed.

“Haultain wrote to Rudyard Kipling, who had made reference to the work of engineers in some of his poems and writings. He asked Kipling for his assistance in developing a suitably dignified obligation and ceremony for its undertaking. Kipling was very enthusiastic in his response and shortly produced both an obligation and a ceremony formally entitled 'The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer.'

“The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer has been instituted with the simple end of directing the newly qualified engineer toward a consciousness of the profession and its social significance and indicating to the more experienced engineer their responsibilities in welcoming and supporting the newer engineers when they are ready to enter the profession.

“The Iron Ring has been registered and may be worn on the little finger of the working hand by any engineer who has been obligated at an authorized ceremony of the Ritual of the Calling of the Engineer. The ring symbolizes the pride which engineers have in their profession, while simultaneously reminding them of their humility. The ring serves as a reminder to the engineer and others of the engineer's obligation to live by a high standard of professional conduct. It is not a symbol of qualification as an engineer — this is determined by the provincial and territorial licensing bodies.”

Waterloo’s graduating engineers have typically shown their joy by dressing up in exuberant outfits and parading on campus before the Iron Ring ceremonies. With the ritual now held on a Saturday, such celebrations are focused on today, as part of a week of social events organized by GradComm, an offshoot of the Engineering Society.

After the ceremony tomorrow comes the Iron Ring Stag, which has been held at the Waterloo Inn in recent years. A tradition of that event: everybody wears black, all black. And amid the merriment, the Tool, mascot of UW engineers, will be introduced — and the newly ringed ones permitted to touch its metal for the first time ever.


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Feds celebrate SLC agreement with cupcakes

by Jacqueline Martinz, Federation of Students

Rows of Federation of Students cupcakes on display in the SLC Great Hall.There was an air of excitement in the Student Life Centre Great Hall on February 7th. Undergraduates lined up for tasty treats and an announcement by Federation of Students’ President Andrew Noble.

Both arrived at 11:00 a.m. when the SLC Celebration and Q&A launched.

“On February 4th, it was revealed that the Federation of Students will have full management control of the Student Life Centre. We will be using this space to start new initiatives and enhance existing ones to meet the needs of students,” said Noble to the crowd as they devoured cupcakes, hot chocolate and coffee.

He also addressed questions from students including if any changes will be made to Brubakers, and how this acquisition will impact students. Noble stated that Food Services will retain control of Brubakers, and that students will benefit in many ways such as having more space for clubs, events, and to study.

“We encourage all students to share their thoughts and ideas for how to utilize the building on FedsConnect,” said Noble. “The Federation of Students executive will also answer any questions about the new agreement there.”

Photograph by the Federation of Students.


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University of Waterloo Hong Kong office New Year logo.
Ringing in the Year of the Snake

Sunday, February 10 will mark the lunar new year, or what's sometimes called the spring festival. East Asian cultures from around the world will be celebrating the Year of the Snake, one of a dozen animals that make up the East Asian calendar.

Celebrations, formal and informal alike, will be taking place across the community, both here and abroad (The University of Waterloo's Hong Kong office is marking the occasion with the above graphic).

Some of the events have taken place - students of the China 2+2 joint education program held a party and dinner on February 6, for example.

The University of Waterloo Chinese Student and Scholars Association (UWCSSA) has organized the UWCSSA 2013 Spring Festival gala, which will take place on Sunday, February 10 in the Humanities Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Students from the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University are involved in the event, which includes singing, stand-up comedy, dramas, Chinese classical music, magic, and more. Tickets are available through the UW Theatre Centre.

Link of the day

Happy 185th, Jules!

When and where

Note: events may be cancelled or rescheduled due to today's snowstorm.

UW Drama Department presents On Love, Wednesday, February 6 to Saturday, February 9, Hagey Hall 180. Note: the Friday performances have been cancelled.

Deadline for Amit and Meena Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Student nominations, Friday, February 8.

History Speaker Series featuring Prof. Lynne Taylor, associate professor, history department, "“In the Children's Best Interests”: Unaccompanied Children in Germany, 1945-1949,"
Friday, February 8, 1:00-2:00 p.m., Hagey Hall 117. Details.

Knowledge Integration seminar: Students on Ice Alumni Delegation: Lessons from Rio+20 & Introducing the Youth Arctic Council, Friday February 8, 2:30pm, Environment 3 (EV3), room 1408. Details.

Department of Philosophy Colloquium featuring Robert McCauley, "Why Religion is Natural and Science is Not," Friday, February 8, 3:30 p.m., HH 334.

Conrad Grebel presents Prof. Gerald Gerbrandt, Canadian Mennonite University, "Where the Church Thinks: The Role of the Christian Scholar," Friday, February 8, 7:00 p.m. Details.

FASS presents FASS for President, Thursday, February 7, 8:00 p.m., Friday, February 8, 7:00 p.m., Saturday, February 9, 7:00 p.m. All shows at the Humanities Theatre. Details.

University of Waterloo Chinese Student and Scholars Association (UWCSSA) 2013 Spring Festival Gala, Sunday, February 10, 7:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre. Details.

Senate Graduate & Research Council meeting, Monday, February 11, 10:30 a.m., NH 3001.

Student Success Office presents Common Grammar Errors Workshop, Monday, February 11, 2:30 p.m., SCH 228F. Details.

Senate Undergraduate Council meeting
, Tuesday, February 12, 12:00 p.m., NH 3001.

Student Consultation Group - Co-op website, Tuesday, February 12, 12:00 p.m., Student Success Office second floor. Details.

Town Hall Meeting, Tuesday, February 12, 3:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Biology Department presents Darwin Day talk by Jack Pasternak, "Charles Darwin and the making of 'On the Origin of Species'", Tuesday, February 12, 3:30 p.m., B2 350.

Biology Department presents Darwin Day celebration, Tuesday, February 12, 4:30 PM, EIT foyer.

Waterloo Women's Wednesday, Wednesday, February 13, 12:00 p.m., DC 1301. Details.

Senate Finance Committee meeting, Wednesday, February 13, 2:00 p.m., NH 3001.

VeloCity Campus Event: "Customer Discovery #1 Cold Calling, how to ask customers for money," Wednesday, February 13, 7:30-8:30 p.m., EV3 4412, Details. FREE pizza.

Conversation from Space with Astronaut Chris Hadfield, Friday, February 15, 11:30 a.m., Hagey Hall. Details.

UWRC Book Club meeting, featuring "The House I Loved" by Tatiana de Rosnay, Wednesday, February 20, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

Retirement party for Linda Kieswetter, Wednesday, February 20, 3:30 p.m., University Club. RSVP to Karen Browne, ext. 31743 by Monday, February 11.

Vision Science Research Seminar Series featuring Professor Agnes Wong, University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children, “Skew Deviation: From the Laboratory to Bedside”, Friday February 22, 3:30 p.m. OPT 1129. Details.


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