Imprint Online » News University of Waterloo's official student newspaper Wed, 16 May 2012 05:02:56 +0000 en hourly 1 The Trials of International Development Wed, 16 May 2012 05:02:56 +0000 Sam Nabi, Staff Reporter Sheila Ball found her placement in Peru to be valuable; however, she had concerns with the lack of communication from INDEV administration. Courtesy Sheila Ball

Sheila Ball found her placement in Peru to be valuable; however, she had concerns with the lack of communication from INDEV administration. Courtesy Sheila Ball

This spring, students graduating from International Development (INDEV) will be the first in their program to convocate. The INDEV class of 2012 has recently returned to Waterloo from their eight-month field placements, which were developed to replace their final year of classes.

The INDEV program is a unique hybrid of academics and field work, which allows students to apply their knowledge during a placement in countries such as Vietnam, Peru, and Malawi.

Though it isn’t a standard co-op program (students must choose from a short list of approved placements and don’t get paid), its structure is reflective of Waterloo’s focus on cooperative education.

Sheila, who did part of her field placement at the Ministry of Environment in Peru, was generally satisfied with the placement. “I’m gaining experience that I can put on my resume that’s directly applicable to the types of jobs that I’m applying for. [...] The experience I’m gaining has definitely been very valuable,” said Sheila.

INDEV students are a tight-knit group. Most of them spent their first year together at St. Paul’s University College, and with a class size of 23, it’s not hard to get to know everyone. But some students have found that being guinea pigs in a new program has its downsides as well.

While the practical experience is valu­able, being plucked out of Canadian society to work in a foreign country for eight months has its mental and physical challenges.

Culture shock and homesickness are par for the course, but there are also more pressing risks. Multiple students contracted malaria during their field placements, and two others had to return home before April due to physical and mental health concerns.

There is no “regular” stream of INDEV. There is no opportunity to take a year of classes at UW if you cannot complete the field placement. The eight-month intern­ship is a required portion of the program, and those who have had to leave because of extenuating circumstances were left in limbo, unsure of whether they’d be able to graduate.

The two-term field placement is worth three credits and is treated the same as any other course. And as with any course, if you don’t complete the work, you can’t get a passing grade.

Allison is one INDEV student that came face-to-face with this inflexibility in the INDEV administration.

During her time overseas, she lost two grandparents, contracted giardia and an amoebic parasite which caused a vitamin deficiency, and suffered from severe de­pression. She contacted INDEV staff to ask about alternate arrangements for completing her degree from Waterloo. The initial response advised her to continue with the placement in Vietnam, or transfer to another program.

“It felt like they were telling me, ‘If you can’t survive this, you shouldn’t work in the field,’” said Allison. After six weeks of further discussion, INDEV staff urged her to come home on account of her pressing health concerns. But, four months away from graduation, they would not provide her with an alternate way to complete the degree requirements. This question was left hanging, and only added to Allison’s burden.

“I find myself very frustrated that this program does not have the structure to sup­port students like myself suffering through personal problems while in the field and struggling to continue,” said Allison.

UW Counselling Services is available to all Waterloo students, but INDEV staff was seemingly unaware of these services. Allison was eventually connected with a counsellor, after making her own inquiries and going outside of the INDEV staff hierarchy to find support.

World University Services of Canada, or WUSC, is the third-party organisation tasked with managing INDEV’s field placements. It runs several of its own volunteer programs around the world, including Students With­out Borders and Uniterra.

Under the Uniterra program, students of all disciplines can volunteer for two or more months at a time. For these place­ments, WUSC pays for the volunteers’ airfare, insurance, and basic living ex­penses. INDEV students were subjected to a decidedly different deal. On top of tuition, students were required to pay a $3,000 administration fee, as well as airfare and living expenses.

Despite the differences in administration costs, Uniterra volunteers and INDEV students often found little difference in their duties on the ground — indeed, many had identical job descriptions as Uniterra volunteers that were working for the same agencies.

The relationship between IN­DEV students and WUSC has been a tenuous one. Before their field placements, the students were forced to sign a contract with WUSC that some of them didn’t agree to — the wording of the agreement would have made all coursework com­pleted by the students the property of WUSC. WUSC claimed that it would amend the contract, but only after students had signed off on the original wording.

International development is an inherently volatile field, and many of the students graduating this spring had to switch jobs partway through the placement term.

The reasons varied, from funding for their position being cut, to entire organisations going belly-up, to po­sitions bearing little resemblance to what the students had signed up for.

In most cases, suitable alternatives were found. But the administration did not appear to have contingency plans for dealing with unforeseen circumstances.

In the pre-departure discussions with INDEV administrators, students asked repeatedly what recourse they would have in the case of accidental injury or sickness.

In response, the administration advised them to not get sick. The substantive issues of mental health, sickness, and injury were largely swept under the rug during these briefings. Students were told that issues of mental health, sickness, and injury would be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, leaving them without a clear idea of how problems in the field would be handled.

Dr. Larry Swatuk, the INDEV Program Director, had the following to say about students who are unable to complete their field placement due to unforeseen circumstances.

“Anyone who has been on a long-term field placement in a developing country knows that there is no easy substitute for field experience. It is a unique and life-changing exercise,” said Swatuk. “So the primary inten­tion of the program is that once a student is deemed healthy, he or she must complete the field placement.”

While INDEV field placements are managed by WUSC, 1,400 interna­tional co-op placements are managed every year by Co-operative Education and Career Action (CECA). CECA handles the administration of co-op work terms in every other program, but is conspicuously absent from INDEV.

Before embarking on an inter­national co-op term, students in other programs must undergo a pre-departure orientation, giving them information about what to do in the case of illness, injury, or mental health issues when working abroad.

“Counselling Services are available to students who are on work terms and we made referrals to them as the need arises,” said Olaf Naese, a com­munications and marketing adminis­trator for CECA. “They have offered tremendous support and coaching to us as well as to our students.”

Rather than borrowing from CECA’s experience with risk manage­ment, INDEV established a separate agreement in partnership with WUSC, which has proven to be inadequate in some cases.

“It’s very clear that no one in INDEV knows how to handle depres­sion,” Allison said. “The process was so slow that I think they were just trying to stretch it out in hopes that I would get over it.”

In addition to the on-the-ground development work, students were required to submit a number of as­signments to the program’s director. Many never received evaluations of their work, nor fully understood what was required of them.

“You’re on the right track, keep up what you’re doing,’ was the only feedback I ever got,” lamented Sheila. “I then submitted my term paper and got a final grade. [...] We’re far away. What’s really important? Communication. What’s lacking? Communication.”

Most students were satisfied with their field placements on the whole, and spoke highly of the local WUSC offices which helped them with ad­ministrative tasks, translation, and managing minor medical concerns. The frustration for many of the stu­dents is directed at a lack of leadership and transparency from the INDEV staff in Waterloo.

“In our program we emphasise that the glass is half-full, and that through the careful combination of theory and practice, our students will emerge from the program with the capacity to help make meaningful, positive change in the world now,” said Dr. Swatuk.

Based on the experiences of students, such as Sheila and Allison, it appears that the administrative structure of the INDEV program must be refined if all students are to reach that ideal.

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New student building proposal coming Wed, 16 May 2012 05:02:47 +0000 Robert W. Savoy, Senior Reporter Courtesy Board of Governors April 2011 Agenda

Courtesy Board of Governors April 2011 Agenda

Discussions are now taking place to put together a com­mittee that will consist of undergraduate, graduate and mem­bers of the administration, that will eventually compile a proposal for a new student services complex.

A location located between the Grad House, RCH and the Physics has already been approved by the Board of Governors last year.

“The agenda for the April 2011 meeting included a conceptual illus­tration of the location,” said Senator-at-Large Sean Hunt. “As long as the eventual proposed building fits the location, most of the design is up for discussion. RCH was built with the potential for expansion. If there’s enough demand for space in the new building, some of it could potentially built on top.”

The issue of who controls the space within the building and in what manner will most likely be the hottest point of contention.

“It is widely accepted that a food court would be in the building, but who will run it? Will it be the university through Food Services or will it be an operation run by the Federation of Students?” said Hunt.

Other ideas that have been floated around include linking the building to Dana Porter Library, as well as includ­ing residences in the upper floors.

In the winter term of 2010 a refer­endum took place to approve a building located in parking lot H in the front end of campus across from the South Campus Hall. Undergraduates were asked to pitch 65 per cent, totalling $49.50 per term, over a 20 year period.

The referendum ultimately failed. Reasons for the failure commonly cited include the fact that the proposal was suddenly sprung on the students without enough consultation, im­portant details weren’t entirely clear and that students felt that too much money was being asked from them and not enough from the university. The distant location was also an issue that has now been addressed.

“Nobody wants a repeat of what happened a couple years ago. It is in everyone’s best interests that any pro­posal put forward for a referendum has received a significant amount of con­sultation and discussion and students can vote confidently in favour knowing that this is the right thing,” said Hunt.

On the agenda of the upcoming Feds Council meeting, May 6 at 12:30 p.m. in the SLC, is the creation of a Services Building Planning Commit­tee that will run consultation sessions and determine top student priorities, develop and implement communica­tion and marketing strategies in re­gards to a potential building proposal and assist in designing the building.

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News Briefs: May 4, 2012 Wed, 16 May 2012 05:02:47 +0000 Amber Berry, Intern UW helps the fight against smoking

University of Waterloo has re­cently released a mobile app that they hope will help anyone who is fighting to quit smoking with a donation of $350,522 from Health Canada .

Senior scientist at the Propel Cen­tre for Population Health Impact at the university, Bruce Baskerville, said his is the first evidence-based mobile app that targets people between the ages of 19 and 29, the demographic with the highest smoking rates in Canada, and the most often users of smartphones.

The app offers a quit plan to those in need, that will track their smoking habits and cravings. It also has an online “quit buddy” where you can share and gain support with others. It has updates with motivational information, such as the money they have saved without cigarettes, and health statistics.

The app has been released for 10 days and has over 100 users.

Baskerville will be testing the ef­fectiveness of smartphone usage for quitting smoking.

Former UW student initiates $4 million against police and crown

Julian Ichim filed a notice of claim to sue the Crown, Toronto police, and an undercover cop for $4 million. This claim refers back to the G2O summit in 2010, where he was accused and arrested on multiple occasions of being a co-conspirator.

Ichim, a UW alumni, declares that an officer who went by the name of “Khalid Mohammed” overstepped his lawful authority and violated his Charter Rights by pretending to be his friend one year prior to Ichim’s arrest.

He claims that Mohammed gave “false and misleading information” that resulted in his arrest just before the G20 summit. He also claims that Toronto police beat him, strip-searched him, and subjected him to “cruel and unusual treatment” at the jail.

Ichim is also alleging that Moham­med “routinely encouraged actions against the Olympics and G8/G20” and ended up living in house without a warrant.

“When the police want to go into your home as an officer; they have to get a judge’s warrant,” said Howard Morton, former crown at­torney. “But when they’re undercover they shouldn’t be allowed to go into people’s houses and live there.”

Ichim has 60 days to file his lawsuit with the courts.

“I think the lawsuit is one way that I can break the silence by bring­ing evidence, by bringing people like ‘Khalid Mohammed’ forward,” said Ichim. “The other reason I’m doing this is I have suffered and I have to take a stand.”

LITE grants activated

Learning Innovating and Teaching Enhancement (LITE) grants were an­nounced yesterday. These grants were initiated with collaboration between The Centre for Teaching Excellence and the Associate Vice-President, Academic Programs.

They are intended to provide support of “experimenting with and investigating innovative approaches to teaching that aim to foster deep student learning and enhance teach­ing at the University of Waterloo.” It contains two types of grants.

LIFE seed grants fund projects between $500–$5,000 that must be completed within a year. Three an­nual application deadlines are held on: February 1, June 1 and October 1.

LIFE full grants will fund projects with a total of $30,000 ($5,000– $15,000 yearly) that must be com­pleted within two years. October 1 is the annual application deadline.

Visit the Centre for Teaching Excellence’s website for more in­formation.

— with files from The Record, and the UW Daily Bulletin

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University of Waterloo increasing student success and tuition rates Wed, 16 May 2012 05:02:47 +0000 Amber Berry, Intern Hamdullahpur reports 80 per cent student success and proposes 4–8 per cent increase in tuition

The University of Waterloo has been surely making its way up into the top universities of the world.

The Board of Governors meet­ing, held April 3, took time to praise its students success in academics, co-op and sporting events. With the new school advancements and many rewards received, the board believes that University of Waterloo will have a fair chance of becoming one of the top Universities worldwide.

“We ought to pay more attention to student success” said Feridun Hamdul­lahpur, president of the university.

The university has an 80 per cent success rate and they hope that this will increase as they strive to make this school number one. Hamdullahpur took the time to acknowledge the success of members and students of the university and donations that will build the universities appeal.

Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis have donated $20 million to the Faculty of Science, as well as $1 million to the Faculty of Mathematics. The couple has now donated more than $123 million to the university.

A scholarship is now being award­ed to Faculty of Mathematics that will cover full tuition for the students four years here at the university. Qualifica­tions for this scholarship state that students awarded this scholarship must be medalists in International Olympiad of Informatics (IOI) or the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) by the end of their four year term. This is “to attract the brightest students,” said Hamdullahpur.

Along with many accomplish­ments awarded to the students, Prof. Geoffrey Fong had the luxury of being granted the largest award of $7.4 million for his world reknowned tobacco control research.

A brief presentation touched upon the influence that co-op has made on the students and the goals for the future. While there has been a 10 per cent student increase in the co-operative education program, employment opportunities are lacking by 5 per cent.

In attempt to increase student employment rates, is a new website that has been created.

Currently there are over 120 academic programs for co-op, and this website will ensure that students have the opportunity to search and find jobs. It will also ensure that the company is hiring mature and responsible students.

“Recent co-op students brought in $70 million in additional revenue, providing real value to the company,” said John Pagono, senior manager for the insurance company Allstate, who hires actuarial science students for co-op.

Although the future holds cut­backs on the co-op budget, they are eager to make co-op the best option for students and will always encourage student participation.

President Hamdullahpur intro­duced the accomplishments that the University of Waterloo has developed with schools nationwide.

A motion to accept University of Waterloo’s involvement with Ballsil­lie School of International Affairs (BSIA) was addressed. Consensus was reached to acknowledge the university will be participating in facilitating and supporting academic programs and will be conducting joint research.

Along with collaborating with BSIA, the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology is now working with Soochow University Nanotechnology. Together they have created a Joint Research Institute for Nanotechnol­ogy, located in Suzhou, China.

President Hamdullahpur has also toured Germany and signed an agreement with two universities: Ruhr University Bochum and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. The latter has made an agreement with the request that University of Waterloo co-op students travel to Germany to conduct research in their lab.

The meeting then moved to a very touchy subjects of tuition increase, student service fees increase, as well as co-op increases.

The university proposes that tu­ition fees for undergraduate students that are taking regulated programs will see an increase of 4 to 4.5 per cent. Any undergraduate student taking deregulated programs should expect to see an increase of 4 to 8 per cent.

The percentage amount differs on the course and the year. Any student interested in taking co-op should know that fees will rise 2.4 per cent. Graduate students fees will see an increase of 3 to 5 per cent and international students will increase 3 per cent.

Mathew Colphon, president of the Federation of Students spoke on behalf of the students and ex­pressed his concern about raising the student fees. Feds intention is to make sure that they know that the students are being respected and treated fairly. While they showed respect and understanding toward the board members, he voiced his opinion about their concern toward the effects of raising tuition will have on students.

If the board chooses to raise fees, Feds wants to make sure that the stu­dents know that they are also benefitting from the increase and not being ripped off, said Colphon.

The board took this into consid­eration, however it was not enough to stop the majority vote of the in­crease in fees. They understand that the students may not be able to fully understand the new fee increases, but will ensure that students know the amount of money spent on university reflects the quality of education that they are receiving.

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Hamdullahpur renews and expands international agreements Wed, 16 May 2012 05:02:47 +0000 Robert W. Savoy, Senior Reporter
President Feridun Hamdullahpur and Chancellor of Nanjing University, Yinxing Hong, signed an agreement that renews the Sino- Canadian College in Nanjing for another five years. Courtesy Waterloo Image Gallery

President Feridun Hamdullahpur and Chancellor of Nanjing University, Yinxing Hong, signed an agreement that renews the Sino- Canadian College in Nanjing for another five years. Courtesy Waterloo Image Gallery

A delegation from Nan­jing University in Chi­na, led by Chancellor Yinxing Hong, was on campus April 12th to review the ac­complishments of the Sino- Canadian College and sign a new agreement renewing the collaborative initiative with the University of Waterloo.

“We are honoured to work so closely with Nanjing Uni­versity on this initiative,” said Hamdullahpur. “Such important collaborations enable us to bring a diversity of research and aca­demic experience to our faculty, international expertise to our campus, and opportunities for students to receive an international education.”

The first Nanjing students started the 2+2 joint undergraduate degree program in September of 2006. Stu­dents completing the program earn degrees from both schools.

Hamdullahpur represented Ca­nadian universities at the presti­gious International Exhibition & Conference on Higher Education in Riyadh, speaking of ways in which institutions can prepare graduates to be productive in an ever-changing world, on April 18th.

While in Riyadh, Hamdullahpur renewed and expanded the University of Waterloo’s co-operation with King Saud University as the president and Abdullah A. Al-Othman, university rector at King Saud University signed an agreement that expands on exist­ing collaborations between the two institutions.

The agreement involved joint research and commercialization opportunities and an international exchange for faculty members and non-degree graduate students.

Suffice to say, the president was very busy in April, as he also made a trip to Brazil. He signed a new agreement with the University of São Paulo that will promote international collabora­tion in water research and education.

“We are pleased to expand on our existing relationship with the Uni­versity of São Paulo,” said Hamdul­lahpur. “Water-related research and education is a core strength of our two institutions. We look forward to expanding opportunities for our students and faculty while addressing real issues affecting water security in Brazil and Canada.”

The University of São Paulo is widely considered Latin America’s leading comprehensive univer­sity and has extensive research and teaching experience in water-related disciplines.

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UW and Laurier face censure over Balsillie School governance structure Wed, 16 May 2012 05:02:47 +0000 Sam Nabi, Staff Reporter The University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University is­sued a joint press release April 27 in response to a decision by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) to censure both universities if they do not amend the governing structure of the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA).

The School’s governance struc­ture is such that the Centre for International Governance Innova­tion (CIGI), founded and chaired by Jim Balsillie, has veto power over approving programs, deciding the research direction of the school, and budget decisions, among other powers.

“These features of the agreement directly contradict the principles of academic autonomy and integrity,” claimed James L. Turk, CAUT’s execu­tive director. The association has given both universities until November to give BSIA more control over its own affairs, or academic censure will be imposed. Censure would discourage academics from accepting positions at UW and WLU or visiting the campuses.

The press release from UW and WLU state that both universities are “firmly committed to protect­ing academic freedom” and that “the allegations that prompted this recommendation have no basis in fact.” Both universities assert that the current governing document of the BSIA adequately protects the school from third-party influence.

CIGI’s executive director, Thomas A. Bernes, also voiced opposition to CAUT’s intent to censure. “CIGI is confident that academic freedom at the BSIA will continue to be protected with the utmost rigor. A recently passed governance document reaf­firms the integrity of the partnership and a commitment to teaching and research of the highest standard.”

These statements have not appeased CAUT, which remains concerned that CIGI’s influence in the governance structure will sacrifice academic integrity in the pursuit of economic interests.

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Former top civil servant appointed chair of Board of Governors Wed, 16 May 2012 05:02:47 +0000 Robert Savoy, Senior Reporter Courtesy Waterloo Image Gallery

Courtesy Waterloo Image Gallery

The Honourable Kevin G. Lynch has been appointed chair of the University of Waterloo Board of Governors.

“The University of Waterloo is a great Canadian university with the potential to be a world leader in driving innovation through our students, our research and our collaborations,” said Lynch. “It is a real honour and privilege to chair the Board of Governors, which is very dedicated to Waterloo and all it stands for, and have the wonderful opportunity to work with Feridun and his team, the excellent faculty, the com­mitted staff, the outstanding students and our alumni.”

The former executive director for Canada at the International Monetary Fund is the currently the vice-chair of BMO Financial Group and holds board positions on multiple groups including the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Lynch’s distinguished career with the Government of Canada includes serving as Deputy Minister of both departments of Finance and Indus­try before becoming Clerk of the Privy Council in 2006 and thus Head of the Public Service of Canada until to his retirement in 2009.

The chair of the Board of Gover­nors has the responsibility of provid­ing effective leadership and fulfills this responsibility through a number of means, including ensuring the board can function independently of management, establishing procedures to govern the board’s work, serving as advisor to the president, and ensuring appropriate committee structures and membership.

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Waterloo welcomes new administrators Wed, 16 May 2012 05:02:47 +0000 Robert W. Savoy, Staff Reporter As students get settled for what will be a beautiful summer term, Needles Hall finds itself adjusting to some new faces.

Sallie Ann Keller has left her post as director of the Institute for Defense Analyses Science and Technology Policy Institute in Washington D.C. to become the new provost and vice-president academic of the University of Waterloo.

While the president is generally the figurehead of the institution, provid­ing direction and representing the university at various public functions, the provost is the one who deals with the more day-to-day operations.

Geoff McBoyle, a distinguished teacher award recipient from his time as a physical geography professor, has been filling the position on an interim basis and will be returning to his position as associate vice-president academic.

Sallie Ann Keller, provost & vice-president academic Kenneth McGillivray, vice-president advancement Tim Jackson, vice-president university relations Chris Read, associate provost, students

Photos Courtesy Waterloo Image Gallery

Chris Read, the former University Housing Officer has now assumed his role as associate provost, students. He will be responsible for overseeing the Student Success Office, Athletics, Retail Services, Food Services, Hous­ing and Residences and other aspects of the university that directly impacts students. Read takes over from Bud Walker who was recently named spe­cial advisor to the provost.

After former vice-president exter­nal relations Meg Beckel, commonly known to students as the person in charge of releasing public statements regarding the laser logo fiasco three years ago, left to head the Canadian Museum of Nature, it was decided that her role would be split into two.

The first of the successor positions is vice-president university relations. Tim Jackson, a former Feds executive and current CEO of the Accelerator Centre will be responsible for advanc­ing the university’s goals by ensuring strong external relationships locally, nationally and internationally.

“The university has numerous stakeholders — students, staff, fac­ulty, government, donors, employers, research partners, etc — we need to ensure we are telling our story in a consistent meaningful way to these parties — that is job one,” said the new vice-president.

The second position, responsible for advancing the university’s goals through strategic fundraising and alumni relations programs, locally, nationally and internationally, is titled vice-president advancement.

Alumni donations are crucial for an academic institution’s continued growth and to fill this position the university has recruited an individual from California’s oldest private re­search university — the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

As vice provost at USC, Kenneth McGillivray has played a major role in increasing USC’s impact and vis­ibility abroad, overseeing the Office of Globalization and USC’s eight international offices located in Asia and the Americas. He also provides leadership for USC’s global strategic plan, including international advance­ment and alumni relations.

“I am absolutely delighted to be joining the University of Waterloo and I look forward to working with colleagues, students and the commu­nity at large to advance the academic, research and service goals of this great institution,” said McGillivray.

It is no secret that the University of Waterloo is working hard to not only further its reputation internationally but also connect with overseas alumni. Last November the university opened an office in Hong Kong.

The creation of the vice-president advancement position and hiring of McGillivray, who is experienced in overseeing international offices with undoubtedly prove valuable on the university’s quest to become a top 100 ranked school. McGillivray becomes a member of the university’s senior team August 1st.

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LipFlub Fri, 30 Mar 2012 10:09:46 +0000 Lili Wilson, Staff Reporter Copyright issues bring downfall to student video

Back on Sept. 10, 2009, UQAM produced a large-scale video where members lip-synced a song and that song was later dubbed over the audio. That video was produced during their integration week by 172 communication students, and only a day later they released their lipdub video. That YouTube video turned viral, gaining international acclaim on its way to amassing over 10,000,000 views.

Soon, other university student groups followed suit. On March 26, 2011, the University of British Columbia created their lipdub video, which starred Juno-nominated, Vancouver-based Mariana’s Trench. That video was released less than two weeks later on April 8, 2011 and also exploded virally.

Videos have been produced at many other of Canada’s university’s including, University of Victoria, Queen’s University, McGill University, University of Montreal, York University, University of New Brunswick, Simon Fraser University, and the University of Guelph among others.

On Oct. 1, 2011, hundreds of University of Waterloo students gathered together on campus to produce their own lipdub video. Since that day of filming almost six months ago, many University of Waterloo students have been waiting anxiously to see what the lipdub team has created to represent their school.

Many wonder what has prevented the release of the video, and are frustrated at the lipdub group and the university’s administration. Finally we know that the release of the video will be put on hold for good.

According to Bud Walker, associate provost, students, it all comes down to copyright. Though the video finished post-production in December, the students were unaware that they were breaking copyright laws until it was shown to the administration.

When Lipdub approached the administration for final clearance, it became apparent that they had several songs that needed copyright clearance.

“We knew pretty early on that that’s what they needed,” Walker said. “(But) we didn’t want to get too involved.”

He maintained that Lipdub is a student endeavour, and unfortunately the organizers gathered the wrong information pertaining to Canadian copyright laws.

“Their understanding was, based on the research that they’d done, that if they took portions of a song, they wouldn’t need to get copyright clearance,” Walker said.

The group was mislead by a website that claimed if they only used small portions of songs, as opposed to one or two full songs, they would not need to get copyright clearance. This information turned out to be an interpretation of American copyright law and not Canadian. The Lipdub team now faces a situation where they need to get clearance on the 11 songs they planned on using.

“Getting copyright clearance is a huge endeavor,” Bud Walker said. “If you have one song that you can’t get copyright clearance for, the whole video is useless.”

Getting the copyright clearance to one song can be tricky, considering everyone involved has to clear it, according to Walker. From musicians and writers to producers and anyone with rights to the song, all the individuals involved must give clearance. Considering the multiple songs involved with the UW video, it is a challenge that is not worth the time and resources pursuing.

Posting the video would be a breach of Canadian law. The University’s Administration, which had given the Lipdub team $10,000 to help produce the video, has a direct stake in the consequences of the video being released and could easily be held liable in any legal action, which could cost the university hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s a risk that they simply cannot take. However, Walker still believes that those involved in creating the video have done the best they can.

“They’re good students,” Walker said. “I have to give them a lot of credit, they attempted to do something totally in good faith.”

Although it is a shame that Waterloo’s Lipdub will not be released, the efforts of the students involved should still be recognized. Their intentions were genuine, and it is unfortunate that the video will not make it to YouTube.

The Lipdub organizers were unavailable for comment. However, on March 29, Lipdub and Bud Walker released a  joint statement on Lipdub’s Facebook, which stated they regret that the video cannot be made public in its current form.

“We have seen the comments in Waterloo’s social networks and can understand how frustrating this is for some of you… However, we need to respect those who hold the rights to the music used in the video. We believe the students involved in the video deserve to see the final product and are working together to determine a way to do this,” the statement said.

— With files from Brent Golem and Robert Savoy.

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Students vote on Feds fee increases and policies Fri, 30 Mar 2012 10:09:46 +0000 Lili Wilson, Staff Reporter Students at the Feds March general meeting vote to approve the minutes of the last general meeting. Courtesy Ryan Cho

Students at the Feds March general meeting vote to approve the minutes of the last general meeting. Courtesy Ryan Cho

Feds shareholders finally got the chance to vote on the $3.95 increase of the Federation of Students fee.

The increase of the Feds fee by $3.95 was considered a controversial and critical amount, as the raise does not usually exceed $1. According to their presentation, the Federation of Students actually requires a total increase of $250,000, which would amount to $5 per student.

However according to Natalie Cockburn, VP education, Feds is “uncomfortable with fee increases,” and decided to keep it below the $4 threshold.

The extra money was deemed necessary due to the growth in clubs, services and programming of special events Feds has taken on. The money would go to hiring a second clubs assistant, a societies administrative assistant (or accountant), an additional assistant manager for marketing and a network administrator — for whom urgency was particularly expressed.

It was also decided that the reference to the fee increase board procedure would be added to the bylaws, and that future changes to the Feds’ fee would be subject to Board Procedure 24 Increases. The objective of Procedure 24 was to make the process more transparent to students. Though some were sceptical of its intentions, Feds president Matt Colphon insists that it really is in the interest of the students.

The current clubs assistant works alone and part time, leaving all the responsibility of processing forms and aiding students on the shoulders of one individual. Hiring someone full time would allow more support for students in charge of running events and organizing clubs.

A societies administrative assistant would be the “go-to” person with financial knowledge. This person would also take on accounting responsibilities.

The second assistant manager for marketing would allow for splitting the responsibilities between two people, creating a more organized and efficient system. One manager would take on commercial services, and the other, internal.

Lastly, importance was expressed about hiring a network administrator. This would save a lot of time as the network administrator would take care of installing online ticket sales and improving school websites, making online UW a better and easier place for everyone to navigate.

Included in the meeting was an official name change of GLOW — The Queer and Questioning Community Centre to The Glow Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity.

There was also a vote on the change in the length of appointment for certain members of the bylaws, policies and procedures committee, the president’s advisory committee, and the educational advisory committee. Only the president’s advisory commitee changed its appointment time from one year to one term.

Furthermore, a motion was passed allowing students in St. Jerome’s and Renison, satellite campuses — such as in Kitchener and Cambridge — and in multiple faculties, to run and vote in elections for any faculty or campus they are a part of. St. Paul’s and Conrad Grebel were not included because students are only registered in residence and are still considered University of Waterloo students.

Two Feds councilors, David Collins (environment) and Jesse McGinnis (math) were elected to the Feds Board of Directors at the meeting.

The March General Meeting of the Federation of Students took place on March 22, in the SLC great hall.

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