Iron Archives

Angelo Alaimo - 3N Electrical
Posted on: February 3, 2010

Winter 1990 Issue 2 – February 2, 1990.

An article written by Editor Elliot Simcoe, in the 2nd issue of The Iron Warrior reported the Faculty of Engineering Dean of the University of Alberta, had been presented with a petition “denouncing the actions by U of A’s engineers”.

According to the article, University of Alberta Engineers had received national media attention after a skit show crowd chanted “Shoot the Bitch” and “Get her off the stage” at a female performer.

The petition stated “Much must be done to eradicate the crude anti-female traditions, which despite recent efforts and the terrible Montreal tragedy, seem firmly entrenched in our engineering departments of our universities. Many of us, male engineers, are not prepared to wait for the slow process of enlightenment to penetrate the dark minds of a significant number of engineering students”

As for actions, the petition urged 5 actions, two of which are restated below:

“Hold immediately an Engineering Awareness Week dedicated to the women who died or were injured in Montreal. Require the attendance of all male engineering students and faculty at a number of seminars devoted to raising male consciousness on women in this society and in engineering today.”

“Prepare a program for frosh activities next fall which sensitizes incoming student and abolishes offensive traditions. Clearly inform in-coming students of your determination to rid engineering of its present abominable image of crude tunnel-visioned anti-female morons.”

Winter 1995 Issue 2 – February 3, 1995.

Today, as we battle with ever-rising tuition costs (now pushing $5000+ a term), the same story raged 15 years ago when the Federal Government decided to raise tuition fees.

Andy Chan, Editor, criticized the Federal Government for free-spending in an editorial, “Due to the free-spending of past governments, we are left with a debt situation that can no longer be ignored. We are burdened with a massive debt that affects the quantity and quality of services our government is capable of providing. Each year a large portion of our tax money is put towards paying off the interest on our federal debt and every year that portion increases, leaving less money that can be used more effectively towards health-care, education, and social services.”

Interestingly in his article, Chan mentions a well used education-cost comparison between Canada and our southern neighbours. “Our tuition may not reach US levels (compare M.I.T.’s Engineering at $20,000+($US) per year to Waterloo’s Engineering at $2400+ per year).”

The mention of $2400 per year tuition particularly interested me in the above excerpt. I honestly don’t know if this is a typo in the article, but I read it as one. Can you imagine $2400 tuition per year? Per year!

As a solution to the Canada’s debt problem, Chan states “I would love to see a movement where every single person contributed a year’s pay solely to pay off the nation’s debt. Unfortunately, such an occurrence would never happen.”

Winter 1999 Issue 2 – February 5, 1999.

The selected article of interest for this issue is a response by faculty and concerned students to the Point vs. Counterpoint (PCP) in the January 22, 1999 issue of The Iron Warrior titled “Is the Co-op system still about applying what you learn or is it now just a way to pay the bills?”

The unnamed authors of the response believed the question posed in the PCP of the second issue was flawed as they stated “The co-op programme has never claimed to enable to application of academic knowledge to the working environment. Rather, the strength of the programme is the ability to acquire practical engineering knowledge and skills.”

For the majority of text-heavy article, the authors rebutted the claims of the PCP author while also bringing wisdom for students in the workplace – “No one is ever given responsibility and leeway; it is earned. Showing initiative and interest will open up opportunities. There are few successful employers that would ever state that an employee has too much initiative.”

At the end of the article, the authors summarized the response into five major points, three which are printed below:

1. To maintain the reputation of UW, (and specifically the Faculty of Engineering) we must strengthen the co-operative education programme.

2. Demanding higher salaries from employers can only weaken the co-op system.

3. Your position within a work-term placement is only what you make it, and being apathetic only weakens the education derived.

Winter 2005 Issue 2 – February 2, 2005.

As most probably do know, UW’s School of Architecture is part of the Faculty of Engineering, but did you also know it used to be part of the Faculty of Environmental Studies?

Cindy Bao documented the Senate’s vote to approve moving the School of Architecture to Engineering which began with the School voting to leave ES, “It wasn’t until the fall of 2004 that the School of Architecture voted unanimously to leave the Faculty of ES to join Engineering. Both faculties supported the decision and ES expressed “[w]hile the faculty and staff of the Faculty of Environmental Studies regret that the School of Architecture has made the decision to leave the Faculty, they do not wish to oppose the separation and prolong the instability this action has caused.”

The moving of the School to Engineering was believed to eventually create another engineering program at UW as well as strengthen ties between Civil Engineering and Architecture, “…..Dean Sedra mentioned that he would like to see more interactions between the Department of Civil Engineering and the School of Architecture, possibly a new program of architectural engineering in the future.”

The topic of PDEng did come up in Cindy’s article, “…engineering students are expected to complete a number of mandatory professional development courses during their co-op terms. When asked if the architecture students are also going to be participating in such courses, Adel Sedra, the dean of engineering, pointed out that those courses are geared towards the requirements of PEO.”

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