The Iron Archives

Note: This article is hosted here for archival purposes only. It does not necessarily represent the values of the Iron Warrior or Waterloo Engineering Society in the present day.

1990 Spring Issue 1 – May 11, 1990

The editor during Spring 1990 term, John Kingdom, talked about the standards expected of Iron Warrior in his editorial. He writes, “The standards and principles of the paper are maintained principally by tradition rather than a formal mandate. Without direction, the Iron Warrior might one day shift its emphasis away from engineering and become just another newspaper.”

Kindgom further lists some of his thoughts regarding the content expected of an engineering publication. “Technical and informative articles are the backbone of the paper… This keeps the emphasis on engineering and its practice and reminds us about what we’ll be doing after we get out of here. News and announcements are important as well, but the campus has two other newspapers to keep us informed of general news. The Iron Warrior should keep its news coverage down to items that interest engineers specifically and items that the more general papers might neglect.” His further comment on opinion pieces somewhat differs from what is currently practiced, “Opinion pieces are as important to the [Iron] Warrior as to any other paper, but are slightly more restricted. Currently, opinion pieces are limited to editorials, articles from the EngSoc executives, Point-Counterpoint articles where both sides of an issue are rationally and responsibly covered and Letters to the Editor dealing either with previously appearing items or with immediately topical EngSoc and engineering issues.” Now the Iron Warrior welcomes and publishes all kinds of articles from the staff writers and students.

His stance on humour is notable as he explains, “if you come to expect humour in each issue, and get to the point where you have to have it, then you quickly find that you’re lowering your standards and accepting items that may be both unfunny, and possibly, tasteless and needlessly offensive.”

Throughout these years many writers have written about the beginning of Iron Warrior, and presented their views on the content that should be permissible. One thing that is certain and also highlighted by Kingdom is this newspaper can never cater to the needs of the student body without feedback from its reading public.

1995 Spring Issue 2 – June 12, 1995

Axel Noriega has written an enlightening opinion piece titled “Misfits of Society” on the transcending role of media in our lives and public hypnotization to it. After stating that development in technology has enabled the world to be informed he says, “And thanks to the media, we have become sterile. Sterile to the facts that the media exposed to us. But the big question is, how far are they taking us? The media has become a commercial estate that has affected our culture. Their main concern has become not to inform us of “current affairs” but to get us involved in some of others’ personal affairs.”

Axel presents examples of OJ and the Bernardo case to illustrate how media hype can get the public highly engrossed in someone else’s affairs. Regarding the later case he writes, “Do we have the right to overpass the doors of privacy of entire families that have fallen in disgrace? …Does the media have the right to disrespect the feeling and petitions of these hurting families? Is justice just? The media has crossed the line. The line of respect that as human beings we all deserve. But, we have fallen in their trap. We have lost track of what’s really important and what’s not. The media has exploited basic human emotions as cheap.” Isn’t this happening today too? We recently saw the whole affair with Tiger Woods make headlines for months. Woods sought public apology for something that was an internal affair between him and his wife and family. Should the public have been interested in the whole saga as much as it was?

Axel calls it all a game of power, money and dirty politics and says, “It is just sad to know that we spend our lives and social resource in events that should not turn our eyes.” He further expresses that the money could be better spent on addressing other issues.

Axel ends the article by calling to the younger generation to stand against it and help preserve a sense of privacy, respect and self esteem within the society. Unfortunately it hasn’t happened in the past 15 years. Let’s hope things are better when IW hits its 45th anniversary.

Spring 2000 Issue 2 – June 2, 2000

There was a PCP written on “Private Universities: A Threat to Our Education?” with the point written by Krista Glemser, 1B Enviro and Tania Bortolon, 2B Civil.

Krista defines privatization as “the retread of public funding – as well as public ownership, control and regulation – from post-secondary education system, to be replaced by private dollars, private ownership, private control, and no regulation of things like tuition fees.”

In her view, privatizing will convert universities to businesses. She puts the blame on the Government which instead of rejuvenating the public university system wants to privatize it. In her opinion universities are becoming like corporations to stay competitive, attract the best students and deliver a top quality education.

“Canadian Federation of Students is opposed to this plan, for it will only lead to higher tuition fees, greater student debt loads and less public control of higher education…many students fear that free speech, learning and creativity will be hindered through privatization of Canadian universities.”

Moreover, according to Krista’s article, CAUT – Canadian Association of University Teachers was also against this notion.

Moving focus to specific programs, professional programs such as engineering and business programs will be the most affected while privatization will discourage Arts programs.” It seems as if the value of degrees is being measured in narrow, market terms and the true value of a diverse and well-educated society is being neglected.”

Tania on the other hand presents a different point of view. She starts by saying, “there is no large threat to our current education…it will be difficult for universities to suddenly make all the necessary changes that privatization requires, while still expecting to get the same caliber of students” According to her a drastic increase in tuition is not affordable by all high caliber students, who consequently will decide not to go to university which is not something universities or industries want to see.

She further said that regulatory industries will not be allowed to have the significant input into a program’s curriculum that they would like due to the role of CEAB in regulating engineering curriculum.

Bringing in UW’s reputation she says “This reputation is what drives the University of Waterloo, and the administration will not readily sacrifice it.”

Spring 2005 Issue 2 – June 9, 2005

Francis Hope of 4A Electrical wrote an article “Improvements to electrical 4th year design project” criticizing the ECE department for not preparing the students well for their design project.

He strongly criticizes the 3B introductory course saying, “Not enough of examples of previous design projects are given, nor are examples of factors that should be considered when coming up with a design project – factors such as the availability of parts for your project, the lead time in part delivery, the technical capacity of the team to complete the project, good consultants, the skill set possessed by team members etc…The course ends up being the lecturer repeating the same things: What is your scope, who is your consultant and what are your goals. However, they fail to give examples of previous projects, the scope definition process, the approach to their project resolution. The course should give methodology of a design project and major things to consider along the way.”

The writer presented an example of the mechanical engineering where the students had to do a thermodynamics project

Being a chemical engineering student going into fourth year and no previous experience with design projects I think I can take some advantage from Francis’ advice that he presents to the future students. “First, talk to people in your class about their interests and the possibility that they would want to work on a similar design project. This will make sure that you all have similar interests and that you end up doing something that you enjoy. Secondly, start trying to form a design group early, perhaps in 3A or 3B. This will ensure that you are not trying to form a design group at the last minute. Thirdly, start doing research on your design project beforehand. Fourthly, do some of designs for your project the term before, this will make the 4A term a lot lighter on you. Fifthly when you come up with a design project make sure that the scope is not too large. You are not trying to design something that will change the world, just something that illustrates the concepts of design. And finally when you do make a design team, make sure that you work well together and that you communicate well. It is great if you are all friendly but if you cannot organize you are not in a good position for the design project.”

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