Monday, February 8, 2016

Waterloo welcomes the Year of the Monkey

Happy Lunar New Year image with a stylized monkey face.

Anna Beard, communications officer in the Faculty of Mathematics, created this Lunar New Year graphic.

The Year of the Monkey is here.

Today is a day of celebration of the Lunar New Year as most East Asian cultures mark what’s sometimes called the “spring festival” and there are a number of events taking place this week to mark the occasion.

The conventional cry is the Chinese words for a happy new year — “Gung hai fat choi!” — but the festival isn't just a Chinese one. The lunar new year (so called because it’s signaled by the phases of the moon) is observed by overlapping communities that include Chinese (themselves speakers of two main languages, Mandarin and Cantonese) and a dozen or more other groups.

Renison University College is hosting a Chinese New Year tea party on Tuesday, February 8 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the atrium that will feature Chinese food and tea (natch), a Kung fu demonstration, paper cutting and other displays.

The seventh annual Chinese New Year Spring Festival Gala, hosted by the University of Waterloo Chinese Students and Scholar Association (UWCSSA), is set for Friday, February 12 in the Humanities Theatre. The event includes vocal and dance performances, a magic and fashion show, as well as comedy and dramatic performances, all performed by University students.

So, why is it the Year of the Monkey? The lunar new year brings with it a new creature from the Chinese Zodiac 12-cycle horoscope: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep (or ram), rooster, dog, boar and monkey. The last Year of the Monkey was celebrated in 2004, and will return in 2028.

Nominations open for senate positions

The Secretariat & Office of General Counsel has issued a call for nominations for positions on the University Senate.

Faculty Members

  • One faculty representative to be elected by/from the members of faculty of each Faculty of the University, terms 1 May 2016 to 30 April 2019 (six total);
  • Eight faculty-at-large representatives to be elected by/from the members of faculty of the University, terms 1 May 2016 to 30 April 2019;
  • One faculty representative to be elected by/from the members of faculty of St. Jerome's University, term 1 May 2016 to 30 April 2019; and
  • One faculty representative to be elected by/from the members of faculty of Conrad Grebel University College, term 1 May 2016 to 30 April 2019.

Graduate Students 

  • One graduate student of the University to be elected by/from the full- and part-time graduate students of the University, term 1 May 2016 to 30 April 2017.
  • Two graduate students of the University to be elected by/from the full- and part-time graduate students of the University, terms 1 May 2016 to 30 April 2018.

Faculty Undergraduate Students

  • One undergraduate student elected by/from the full-time undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts, term 1 May 2016 to 30 April 2018.

Completed nomination forms, which require at least five nominators, should be submitted to the Secretariat & Office of General Counsel, Needles Hall, Room 3060, no later than 3:00 p.m., on Monday, February 29. Elections will follow if necessary. Candidates should include a brief statement of no more than 100 words to appear with the online ballot.

Any questions relating to any of the nominations listed above may be directed to Emily Schroeder at extension 32749.

Books in vending machines and God's Busted Knee

by Lori Straus

Even though you don’t know him, you may already feel a type of familiarity with author Marc Degens: he writes with a self-deprecating humour common in Canada, and he would also fit right in with our local startup culture.

An accomplished writer, Degens has published four novels, numerous other books, and had regular columns in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (The New York Times of the German-speaking world).

A book in a candy vending machine.In 1995, Degens co-founded SuKuLTuR Verlag (SuKuLTuR Publishing), which focuses primarily on contemporary literature. In 2003, he and his partners came up with a new idea: selling chapbooks via vending machines placed at light rail transit stations throughout Berlin. The books had only 12 to 24 pages, and prices started at 1 Euro. In 2004, they expanded to other cities in Germany, including Hamburg and Dortmund. By fall of last year, they had sold over 100,000 books via vending machines alone.

Degens will be reading from several works on Tuesday, February 23 at 4:00 p.m. in EV3-3406: God’s Busted Knee, The SuKuLTuR Years, and Dorsten. He’ll read in both English and German, with English translations projected for German texts. A discussion in English will follow. Knowledge of German isn’t necessary.

This event is organized by the Waterloo Centre for German Studies and the Department of Germanic & Slavic Studies.

Monday's notes

Updates will be made to the campus firewall early Tuesday morning, according to an announcement from Information Systems and Technology (IST). Updated firmware will be applied on Tuesday, February 9 between 6:30 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. "There will be multiple short outages to the wired network service," says the note from IST. "Active sessions will need to be re-established during this time."

Anyone with questions or concerns should contact the IST Service Desk by sending an e-mail to or by calling extension 44357.

Polls have opened for the 2016 University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA) president-elect vote, and staff association members have until 4:30 p.m. on February 18 to cast their electronic ballot.

Candidate information, voting instructions, and online ballots are located on the UWSA website.

Link of the day

Happy Lunar New Year: say it with dumplings

When and where

Bookstore Winter Reading Sale, Monday, February 8 and Tuesday, February 9, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., South Campus Hall concourse.

Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani: Open Educational Practices, Monday, February 8, 1:00 p.m., DC 1302.

Faculty Seminar Series, featuring Angela Hildyard, "Leadership in the Post-Secondary Environment", Monday, February 8, 1:00 p.m to 3:30 p.m., Federation Hall, rooms A and B -register here.

Renison presents a Chinese New Year Tea Party, Tuesday, February 9, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Renison Atrium.

Velocity Start presents Science Brainstorming, Tuesday, February 9, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2ndFloor.

Noon Hour Concert: Michael Wood Trio, Wednesday, February 10, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College.

Conrad Grebel presents “The Business of Music: Career Advancement in the Arts,” Wednesday, February 10, 2:00 p.m., room 1208.

Velocity Start presents Setup Your Business Like A Boss, Wednesday, February 10, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Treat-a-Gram, Thursday, February 11. Orders are due Thursday, February 4.

WatCACE webinar, “The Co-op Workplace Support System and its Effects on Student Commitment to Work, Team, and Host Organization,” Thursday, February 11, 1:00 p.m., E5 2004. Livestream link. Contact Judene
Pretti at for
more information.

Communication for the Workplace, Thursday, February 11, 2:30 p.m.

Nominations for the Amit and Meena Chakma Awards for Exceptional Teaching by a Student (AETS) are due on Friday, February 12. For more information contact Verna Keller at 519-888-4567 ext. 33857.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Prof. Arthur Mar, Department of Chemistry, University of Alberta, “How to Look for Compounds”, Friday, February 12, 2:30 p.m., MC 2017.

Family Day holiday, Monday, February 15, most university operations closed.

UWRC Book Club, “Undermajordomo Minor” by Patrick deWitt, Wednesday, February 17, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

Battling Internet censorship and surveillance, "Find out how Ian Goldberg is combating Internet censorship and surveillance with privacy-enhancing technologies," Thursday, February 18, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., DC 1302. Please register – seating is limited.

Hagey Bonspiel, Saturday, February 20, 9:00 a.m., Ayr Curling Club.

Pursue a part-time or on-line degree at Waterloo, Undergraduate programs, Tuesday, February 23, 12:00 p.m., TC1208.

Waterloo International presents a DAAD Faculty Information Session featuring Dr. Alexandra Gerstner, director, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Information Centre, Toronto Tuesday, February 23, 2:00 p.m., Quantum Nano Centre.

Author event featuring Marc Degens, "God's Busted Knee," Tuesday, February 23, 4:00 p.m., EV3 3406.

Noon Hour Concert: Timepoints: The Toronto Percussion Ensemble, Wednesday, February 24, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College.

New Faculty Information Social Series: Copyright and Licensing, Wednesday, February 24, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EV1 241. 

Velocity Start presents Do People Want Your Sh*t?, Wednesday, February 24, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

UWSA Special General MeetingThursday, February 25, 9:00 a.m., DC 1302. Coffee and treats available at 8:45 a.m.

Declutter Your Life: The Physical & Visible, Thursday, February 25, 12:00 p.m., MC 5501.

Master of Taxation Open House, Saturday, February 27, 10:00 a.m., Downtown Toronto.

Gender and Equity Scholarship Series, “Gendered or neutral? Considering the language of human-computer interaction,” Tuesday, March 1, 11:30 a.m., MC 5501.

Renison presents a guest lecture featuring Director-General Rong Chuan Wu, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Toronto, “Taiwan’s Foreign Policy,” Tuesday, March 1, 2:30 p.m., REN 2106.

Sawatsky Lecture featuring Sir James MacMillan, “The Spiritual in Music,” Tuesday, March 1, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel chapel.

Noon Hour Concert: Afternoon’s Night Music, Wednesday, March 2, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel chapel.

Pursue a part-time or on-line degree at Waterloo, Graduate programs, Wednesday, March 2, 12:00 p.m., TC1208.

Conrad Grebel presents The Music of James MacMillan, Sunday, March 6, 3:00 p.m., St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Kitchener.

Noon Hour Concert: Stealth in Concert, Wednesday, March 9, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel chapel.

East Asian Studies presents a guest lecture featuring Philip Seaton, Hokkaido University, “Pop Culture, History and “Contents Tourism” in Japan,” Thursday, March 10, 6:30 p.m., REN 2106.

CV tips, Tuesday, March 15, 12:00 p.m., TC 1112.

Noon Hour Concert: Haydn String Quartet, Friday, March 18, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel chapel.