The IW editor wants me to keep this exec report under 500 words. This is going to be very difficult given the amount of stuff that has happened over the last three weeks! By the way, Happy New Year! Welcome back to those of you on co-op, and welcome to BSoc for those 1Bs and 4Bs who have just joined us from ASoc.
So what’s up in Engineering-land? Well, over the work term the exec was embroiled in an issue involving the UW Microsoft Partnership that was unveiled in August after exams were over. The story made international news by the fact that it appeared that Waterloo had relinquished academic control over its curriculum in exchange for a donation from Microsoft Canada. Read all about it at http://uwstudent.org/story/10136 and please check out your exec’s response at http://engsoc.uwaterloo.ca/www/documents/EngSoc_MSstatement.pdf.
Also during the fall term a new Dean, Adel Sedra, was chosen to replace Sujeet Chaudhuri, who will be stepping down in late June. We also selected our FOC 2003 Engineering Orientation week organizers: Laura Mooney and James Kunz from ASoc, with Grant Holohan and Justin Bishop representing BSoc. Finally, as promised all summer term long, POETS finally got its new furniture! Go check it out!
Now on to this term and the first three weeks of January. Where to begin? As many of you may have heard, Fed Hall was the scene for some New Year’s Eve violence. As a result, on Monday January 6th UW administration assumed control of Fed Hall and the Bombshelter (http://uwstudent.org/story/13610) for an undetermined amount of time. Pursuant to a Senate meeting on Monday January 20th, VP Academic and Provost Amit Chakma decided to revoke the liquor license for both Fed Hall and the Bombshelter (http://www.feds.uwaterloo.ca/bartakeover.html). Furthermore, despite the fact that the bar was still permitted to operate, albeit without a license, the administration called in police to remove patrons from the Bomber Monday night, thereby violating several FEDS/UW agreements, not to mention encroaching on the right to free assembly.
At the time I write this report it is unclear how these happenings will affect Engineering. POETS may escape unscathed from these actions, despite the fact that we are also under a UW liquor license. However, events such as TalEng and IRS that are scheduled to take place in the Bomber and Fed Hall respectively may not be permitted to run in those locales. Both Gradcomm and the exec are currently investigating options for all events affected, and we will make adjustments accordingly. Rest assured that you will be kept abreast of all updates on this issue. Incidentally, this is the exact same issue that forced us to monitor attendance closely at the BOT for this term, because of the extra vigilance being employed by the province’s liquor inspectors.
Another discussion that has arisen is a petition currently being circulated that would allow students to pre-opt out of incidental refundable fees on Quest. While a very positive step for students wanting control over their own finances, there is also a danger for engineering students in that many of the services offered by both WEEF and EngSoc depend on these incidental refundable fees. If a huge participation drop followed such a move, it could severely cripple the operations of the society and would likely imply the removal of some of the services offered, the closing of some venues, including the C&D and the Orifice, and possibly the termination of some of our employees. As a result, if the petition comes your way, please think carefully about what both WEEF and EngSoc offer you before you rush to put your name down.
Finally, early morning on Monday January 13th the C&D was broken into and robbed of $300 of petty cash. A number of locks were broken and keys stolen, which necessitated the re-keying of several doors last week. The safe was also damaged quite extensively, but luckily it was not broken into. As a result of this and a string of similar break-ins that have occurred across campus over the last few weeks, the exec has decided to invest in some additional security for the C&D. Expect to see that in place by the end of the term.
Wow, this has gone on for a while. Okay, my last few things I’ll say very quickly:
- The on-line exam bank is finally complete! Check it out at http://engsoc.uwaterloo.ca/www/exambank/, and if you like it, be sure to send a thank you email to the webmasters at engsocweb@engmail.
- All YahooGroups mailing lists used within engineering, including the EngSoc link, the Gradcomm link and many other class links, seem to have finally caught the attention of the spam mail blockers. As such, many of these lists have been out of commission in recent weeks. This problem will be corrected as soon as possible, and I will be talking to IST immediately to see what options are available.
- Polaris will be completely phased out by the end of this term, to be replaced in all corners by Nexus. This will also mean that the Orifice will be upgrading some of its machines out of necessity. Expect some items related to Orifice upgrades on the W2003 budget!
That’s it, that’s all guys! Thanks for being so patient. If you have any questions about this or any other things that have happened, or if you just want to inquire about the society in any way, please feel free to email me at bsoc_prez@engmail.