New President in office
On Sat., Sept. 1, Dr. Harvey Weingarten officially took office as the new President of the University of Calgary.
Dr. Weingarten holds a PhD in psychology from Yale University and comes to U of C after 21 years at McMaster university, where he started his academic career as an assistant professor. Dr. Weingarten gradually ascended the McMaster hierarchy to become the Vice-president Academic and Provost.
Both students and administrators who had worked closely with Weingarten at McMaster praise his approach to promoting the university experience as a whole and a unique perspective on the integration of research and academics.
"I think any sort of research university always has a problem including undergraduates in their research and bringing that research back into the classroom," explained outgoing McMaster Student's Union Vice-President Education Bryce Rudyk. "I think under Weingarten we've seen progress towards that."
Although sad to be leaving long-time friends behind in Hamilton, Ontario, Weingarten is pleased to be in Calgary and looks forward to working with the U of C administration, faculty and most of all students.
"Students should feel the impact of their undergraduate experience," he said. "We've done very well by research opportunities, but the important thing is that when we do that at a university, we do it because it's a part of enhancing the student, graduate or undergraduate, experience."
For Dr. Weingarten's views on envelope funding, extreme sports, and the Klein government, see Gauntlet Features on Sept. 13.
This fall, the faculty of Communication and Culture will launch a core course offered entirely on the Internet.
COMS 201 is one of the foundational courses in communication studies and introduces
students to key theories and fundamental concepts in communications. The on-line course covers
cultural studies, interpersonal communication, media effects and technology and convergence, among other topics.
"People who think they'll get an easy ride by taking COMS 201 on-line had better reconsider," warned course instructor Dr. Rebecca Sullivan. "On-line learning is very demanding because there isn't a room full of other people to rely on or even hide behind. You need to be disciplined and motivated because the structure is loose and most of the work is independent."
The course Web site also warns that a certain degree of familiarity with computer-mediated communication is necessary to succeed in the course. Sullivan explained that more universities are looking at the potential of on-line learning to serve communities that may otherwise have been marginalized by traditional campus life.
"The faculty was looking for ways to reach out to the community and extend our focus beyond Calgary," she said. "A lot of people would like to come here to study but for different reasons, they can't attend or excel in traditional classroom-based courses."
Slurpee Cup recap
On Sat., Aug. 25, CJSW radio held its fourth annual Slurpee Cup street hockey tournament for charity.
Twenty teams participated in the 2001 Slurpee Cup, including players from A-Channel, ffwd magazine, the Ship and Anchor, the Metro Nightclub, the University of Calgary Students' Union and CJSW.
"The event was a huge success," said CJSW station manager Chad Saunders. "Last year we made almost $2,000 for charity, and this year we made $4,000."
The A-Channel team emerged victorious from the melee, followed by the Mercury Lounge crew and teams from the SU and Sloth Records.
Over $4,000 was raised and donated to a long list of charities, including the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation, the Calgary Humane Society, Kid's Cancer Care Foundation and the Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter.
"What's different is that in years past we used to give the money to the charities of the top three teams and the worst team," explained Saunders. "This year we're distributing the money to all the charities."
Saunders hinted at a new and exotic locale for the 2002 Slurpee Cup to be held, but was vague about specifics.
"Next year, for the fifth-year anniversary Slurpee Cup, we're hoping to hold it in a unique location," he said. "Nothing's been solidified yet."
The CJSW team won only two of their 16 games during the tournament.
"You can't win your own tournament," Saunders smiled in defence of CJSW's uninspired efforts. "We throw the games on purpose to give everyone else a chance."