News – The Cord https://thecord.ca The tie that binds Wilfrid Laurier University since 1926 Sat, 22 Sep 2018 22:23:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://thecord.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/logofavicon-32x32.png News – The Cord https://thecord.ca 32 32 42727683 Incident involving fatal shooting in downtown Kitchener is being investigated https://thecord.ca/incident-involving-fatal-shooting-in-downtown-kitchener-is-being-investigated/ https://thecord.ca/incident-involving-fatal-shooting-in-downtown-kitchener-is-being-investigated/#respond Thu, 20 Sep 2018 19:15:40 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51425

Waterloo Regional Police are currently investigating a fatal shooting in the downtown Kitchener area. The shooting occurred at the corner of Pandora Avenue and King Street West, an area located near Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute.

Police have not made any known arrests at the moment and are still in the process of evaluating the crime scene. A large section of the intersection has been obstructed, and there is a large number of officers in the area.

Reports of the shooting were made around 11 a.m. on Thursday. Police made note of two white males, who fled the scene in a white, four-door Mercedes C230, fleeing from the scene of the crime.

The same Mercedes was seen heading eastbound on Highway 401, headed towards Mississauga, pursued by OPP and Waterloo Police. The ensuing pursuit caused an accident between a police cruiser and an oncoming vehicle, but only caused minor injuries.

More information to come.

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Veritas Cafe’s construction is officially finished, and it looks golden https://thecord.ca/veritas-cafes-construction-is-officially-finished-and-it-looks-golden/ https://thecord.ca/veritas-cafes-construction-is-officially-finished-and-it-looks-golden/#respond Wed, 19 Sep 2018 11:01:47 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51357

Photo by Sadman Rahman

Veritas Café is known around Laurier for many reasons — the main being that it is a great hangout spot for students.

Patrick McMahon, the operations manager since January 2017, has a passion for providing quality food to Laurier for many years.

McMahon has a history of working for Laurier food services, as he was the restaurant and catering manager of Wilf’s six years ago.

McMahon’s mission at Veritas, however, is to provide quality food to students and utilize local, fresh ingredients. In an effort to revitalize and revamp the space, renovations for the space started in June 2018, and the café’s reopening launch was on Sept. 17.

“The biggest difference is that we’ve added double the space. Our GSA office moved into the Peters, so we went from having 42 seats to having 80 seats, and it also allows us to have private events booked and so we don’t have to close the café which was pretty common before.” McMahon said.

The space also changed to a more modern look, having white tiled walls, wooden tables, and two sliding barn style doors that open up to reveal the extended space, decorated with a chevron-style wall using their new Veritas “V” as the pattern.

Other than space for the customers, Veritas has also doubled the space in their kitchen and is working on plans for the future in their newly expanded kitchen.

“We’re opening with a pretty similar look in food, but we’re planning on expanding that with take home dinners for busy people, we’re launching an online marketplace for students and faculty to be able to order direct from farmers and pick-up in the café.” McMahon said.

Veritas is now officially open for business to all students and is somewhere that can be used as a study space, somewhere to grab a bite to eat, or one can even grab a drink with the wine, beer and spirits they carry in house.

“The change in our layout in the kitchen and our service area – we used to have a bar and got rid of it – is so that we can speed up our service so we’re a little bit quicker at lunch and dinner time so we can get customers in and out of here because we know everyone’s busy.”

Even though Veritas has increased their space both for customers and staff to help speed up service, they will not be compromising what they stand for.

“We’re still serving fresh, homemade quality food, our principles haven’t changed with renovations, we’re not just trying to capitalize on the space. We’re still serving fresh, local food, we just want to be serving it faster,” McMahon said.

Putting together quality meals that will help students sustain healthier lifestyles on campus are a main priority for the employees at Veritas.

“We really pride ourselves on the ingredients, we really spend some time finding the best ingredients to go in. The first thing we look at is where it’s coming from, it does set us apart. I know the dining hall and Wilf’s do that too, but our top priority is finding the ingredients and then we set our prices. We bring in from local bakeries, we are not buying cases of anything from anywhere,” McMahon said.

Veritas is now officially open for business to all students and is somewhere that can be used as a study space, somewhere to grab a bite to eat, or one can even grab a drink with the wine, beer and spirits they carry in house.

“It’s a really fresh, modern, rustic looking space, it’s comfortable. We’re not going to rush you out of here if you want to come in and have a coffee and spend the afternoon doing homework. We want to welcome everybody here, it’s not just about us selling people food; it’s a place for community.” McMahon said.

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Shortlist for the Edna Staebler 2018 Award announced https://thecord.ca/shortlist-for-the-edna-staebler-2018-award-announced/ https://thecord.ca/shortlist-for-the-edna-staebler-2018-award-announced/#respond Wed, 19 Sep 2018 11:00:58 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51256

 

Photo by Eva Ou

Earlier this month, Wilfrid Laurier University released the shortlist for the 2018 Edna Staebler Award for creative non-fiction. The award, established by the award-winning journalist, writer and philanthropist Edna Staebler herself, has been presented annually by Laurier since 1991.

The award, being the only award of its unique genre in Canada, is presented to a Canadian writer of a first or second published novel who has retold a true story with Canadian context or setting, as well as a strong, compelling, literary construction.

This year’s shortlist was compiled from 62 overall submissions that were then reduced to the long list of fourteen submissions, then finally to the shortlist of three nominees.

Once the winner has been announced by the university the author will be invited to campus to perform a reading of their book. Laurier will also host an award ceremony as well as a private dinner.

“Those 14 are submitted to three judges. Those three judges are Anne Russell, an associate professor in English and Film Studies, Sharon Brown, a librarian Emerius, and Bruce Gillespie, an associate professor of Digital Media and Journalism. And those three judges select the shortlist and the winner,” said Richard Nemesvari, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Wilfrid Laurier University.

“It’s a funnel process.”

The genre of creative non-fiction, specifically novels that are eligible to be presented with the Edna Staebler Award, require the author to tell a factual story with devices of fiction such as original research, dialogue, the depiction of personal discovery or experience and a creative, interpretative approach to the subject.

The three submissions that have been selected for this year’s Edna Staebler Award are as follows: Run, Hide, Repeat: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood by Pauline Dakin, Life on the Ground Floor: Letters From the Edge of Emergency Medicine by James Maskalyk and A History of Canada in Ten Maps: Epic Stories of Charting a New Land by Adam Shoalts.

This year’s Edna Staebler Award winner will be announced during the third week of September; however, the winner has already been decided by the three jurors.

“The winner receives $10,000, which is one the larger literary awards in the country — certainly it’s the largest for creative non-fiction,” Nemesvari said.

Once the winner has been announced by the university the author will be invited to campus to perform a reading of their book. Laurier will also host an award ceremony as well as a private dinner.

The winning author’s reading, which does not have a confirmed date as of yet but will take place sometime in October, will be open to the public for viewing and will also be announced sometime within the next couple of weeks.

Synopses of the three books on this year’s shortlist have been published on Laurier’s website, as well as a complete list of previous winners.

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#Textbookbroke campaign demands more affordable, cost-effective solution https://thecord.ca/textbookbroke-campaign-demands-more-affordable-cost-effective-solution/ https://thecord.ca/textbookbroke-campaign-demands-more-affordable-cost-effective-solution/#respond Wed, 19 Sep 2018 11:00:47 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51258

Graphic by Kash Patel

As the semester commences at universities across Ontario, many post-secondary students find themselves conflicted by the cost of course materials.

The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA), an organization dedicated to representing the needs of undergraduate students across the province, relaunched the campaign #TextbookBroke to address the matter of practically unaffordable course materials and rally towards creating more reasonably priced or cost-free options for students.

Shannon Kelly, vice-president of finance at OUSA and vice-president of student affairs at Laurier’s Students’ Union, discussed the campaign, OUSA’s mission behind it and how they are on campus speaking with students and faculty.

“The [original] campaign was started in British Columbia in 2012, and it was adopted by OUSA earlier this year and it’s our second time launching the campaign,” Kelly said.

It was concluded by OUSA after the first campaign launch that students, on average, were spending a minimum of five hundred dollars on textbooks per semester.

The first launch of #TextbookBroke back in January of this year was the first campaign of its kind to reach Ontario. There are now eight undergraduate representative schools in Ontario that take part; Laurier, Waterloo, McMaster, Brock, Western, Queen’s, Laurentian and Trent-Durham.

OUSA’s #TextbookBroke campaign hopes to “reduce these costs by moving towards open-education, which is basically open-access textbooks online that are publicly accessible and free. It’s modelled after Europe which has the largest open-education system in the world,” Kelly said.

The campaign provides insight towards the reality of just how expensive textbooks can get and how students who are unable to afford course materials are inescapably negatively impacted.

There is much emphasis on the value of utilizing technology for education through open-access materials.

This semester’s #TextbookBroke campaign ran from Sept. 10 to 14 on campuses across Ontario and will continue on social media until Sept. 21.

The first launch of #TextbookBroke back in January of this year was the first campaign of its kind to reach Ontario. There are now eight undergraduate representative schools in Ontario that take part; Laurier, Waterloo, McMaster, Brock, Western, Queen’s, Laurentian and Trent-Durham.

As part of the campaign’s initiative to get a dialogue started with the student body, they had set up a booth in Laurier’s concourse last week.

“There’s a huge line outside the bookstore at this time of the year, so we’ve been having volunteers talk to people while they’re in line,” Kelly said. “We had a raffle as well for a student to win a one-hundred dollar gift card from the Students’ Union.”

Volunteers from #TextbookBroke had been handing out cards for students to fill out while waiting in line: “I spent ‘blank’ amount on textbooks but I could have spent it on ‘blank.’” The majority of which students mentioned groceries, rent and other essential expenses.

OUSA’s next steps involve potentially meeting with professors and faculty at Ontario representative schools, including Laurier.

“We definitely have long ways to go in terms of meeting with professors, because faculty are ultimately the people who choose the textbooks,” Kelly said.

“We met with the bookstore prior to this campaign because we didn’t want to seem like an anti-bookstore campaign — they do a lot of work in trying to save student dollars.”

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Annual Doors Open event looks into Waterloo Region’s architecture and history https://thecord.ca/annual-doors-open-event-looks-into-waterloo-regions-architecture-and-history/ https://thecord.ca/annual-doors-open-event-looks-into-waterloo-regions-architecture-and-history/#respond Wed, 19 Sep 2018 11:00:18 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51266

Photo by Jackie Vang

The annual Doors Open Waterloo Region took place this past Saturday Sept. 15, 2018, giving residents of Waterloo a unique look into buildings with noteworthy architecture or history.

This year, the event featured 34 sites which were opened to the community for the day — many of which would be otherwise closed to the public.

“We try to have people think about the buildings they use everyday. Some of these buildings you can’t normally get inside, but somebody uses them,” said Karl Kessler, coordinator of Doors Open Waterloo Region.

“You walk or you bike or you drive by these places and wonder what goes on inside: whether they’re brand new or 150 years old.”

Kessler iterated that the main goal of Doors Open is to allow attendees to pause for a moment and appreciate the buildings, architecture and history that surrounds them.

Martin Luther University College — formerly Waterloo Seminary — recently underwent a $90 million renovation. The renovated space was open as of this past September and officially changed their name this past summer.

“We all use buildings, but we take them for granted… they’re like the air around us. They are our surroundings. But this is a chance to pause once a year and think about our built environment in a really deliberate way and have people interpret them,” Kessler said.

Importantly, those giving tours and talks at each building or site as a part of Doors Open, was also given the opportunity to reflect on the heritage or significance of the building they work in every day.

“It’s a chance for everyone to kind of stop and think about our buildings and how we use them and what makes them special,” Kessler said.

Some of the more anticipated sites included Catalyst137 as well as Deloitte, both located in Kitchener.

As well, the newly opened Idea Exchange library located in Cambridge was a place of curiosity to many participating in Doors Open.

“It’s an 1885 post office that’s been redone into a fully digital library and I think, from what I’m hearing, they had a lot of visitors for Doors Open,” Kessler said.

“I think people are really curious to go behind the scenes and get a guided tour of that building. Each one of these is really interesting because they are adaptive reuses of heritage buildings.”

The newly opened Martin Luther University College on Wilfrid Laurier University’s own campus was also open to the public and saw approximately 250 visitors as part of the event.

“They had a really good turnout. I think people are really curious about that renovation as well. They did a beautiful renovation on the existing buildings, and very appropriately, renovated the inside in sync with the original design but brought it up to modern standards, they added lots of services there,” Kessler said.

Martin Luther University College — formerly Waterloo Seminary — recently underwent a $90 million renovation. The renovated space was open as of this past September and officially changed their name this past summer.

“They left as much alone as possible and it really feels like it’s the 1960s original building so I mean, they were appropriate in each part of it according to its architectural significance,” Kessler said.

“When they added that new entrance facing Bricker, it had minimal impact on the older building because it’s got a modern building… it was a beautiful renovation.”

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Hack The North, annual software and hardware “hack-a-thon” event, comes to the UW https://thecord.ca/hack-the-north-annual-software-and-hardware-hack-a-thon-event-comes-to-the-uw/ https://thecord.ca/hack-the-north-annual-software-and-hardware-hack-a-thon-event-comes-to-the-uw/#respond Wed, 19 Sep 2018 11:00:10 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51264

Photo by Jake Watts

From Sept. 14 to 16, the University of Waterloo hosted their annual hack-a-thon, Hack The North.

The annual event brings students from all over the world to engage in a non-stop, 36 hour competition to create novel and interesting pieces of software and hardware to be assessed by a panel of judges.

To kick off the event, Chamath Palihapitiya, founder and CEO of the venture capital firm Social Capital and owner of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, gave competitors some advice:

“I would encourage you to do two things. One is be realistic. Which is, I do not intend to give you some glib thing about, ‘yeah, go solve breast cancer in the next 48 hours because it’s going to be great!’ It’s not true and it’s not accurate,” Palihapitiya said.

“What I do think is important is something else, which is: go prove to yourself that you can start something and finish it and not be afraid of being judged and failing,” Palihapitiya said.

Palihapitiya’s advice cut against the ethos of hack-a-thon and tech culture, wherein raw speed in workflow and the ability to whip up revolutionary products in little time — as in the time allotted for competitors at hack-a-thons — is valued highly.

Hack the North, for its part, scheduled various workshops and activities for competitors to engage in over the duration of the weekend, many of which may not have had direct relevance to hacks they may have been working on, but were on offer regardless.

“So it doesn’t really matter, to be quite honest, what you do in the next 48 hours in my mind, it matters that you take away that thread: [So you can say] ‘I started, I created a plan, I broke it down into small bits, I finished it, I’m proud of it and I don’t care how people judge it,’” Palihapitiya said.

“Now take that, amplify that and then go work on something hard and do it over the next ten years.”

Part of Palihapitiya’s break from that ethos could be tied to his career trajectory: from a successful tenure as an executive at Facebook, where he focused on user growth, to his founding of Social Capital, which focuses on funding companies that tackle some of the biggest problems there are in important areas like education and healthcare. Problems that, as Palihapitiya noted in his talk, can take a long time to solve.

Hack the North, for its part, scheduled various workshops and activities for competitors to engage in over the duration of the weekend, many of which may not have had direct relevance to hacks they may have been working on, but were on offer regardless.

There were workshops focused on using specific software tools and associated prizes from tech companies for submitting a successful hack built with those tools.

There were also therapy dogs, yoga and massage sessions in addition to more in-depth sessions on topics like virtual reality, machine learning, data science and block-chain currencies.

For those competitors who chose to sleep over the 36 hour competition, there were also air mattresses available for them as well.

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Commemorative book benches unveiled at Waterloo Public Library https://thecord.ca/commemorative-book-benches-unveiled-at-waterloo-public-library/ https://thecord.ca/commemorative-book-benches-unveiled-at-waterloo-public-library/#respond Wed, 19 Sep 2018 11:00:01 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51254

Photo by Jackie Vang

Two new “book benches” have found their place at the Waterloo Public Library  (WPL) thanks to the heartfelt donation of Frank and Delores Dorscht Steffler.

The couple donated the benches as a way to honour the memory of their parents: John and Mary Ann Dorscht and Leander and Rose Steffler.

Although they were delivered and placed during the beginning of summer, the benches have not been officially unveiled as of yet. However, the Waterloo Library displayed the benches on their Twitter once they were placed with plenty of positive feedback.

Anjana Kipfer, WPL marketing and communications manager, discussed the upcoming unveiling ceremony which will take place Thursday Sept. 20 at the main branch of the Waterloo Public Library at 10 a.m. She has worked at the library for five years and graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2001.

“We thought it was a fantastic idea, they had this idea about the book shaped benches, which we felt was perfect,” Kipfer said.

“Mayor Jaworsky is coming to the ceremony, and the chair of our library board, Karen Coviello Scian, will be there as well. And hopefully, the Stefflers will be there as well if they can make it,” Kipfer said.

The idea for these stone benches arose when Frank and Delores decided to commemorate their parents with a donation.

They were directed to the library early in the summer shortly after expressing interest in commissioning something special for the city.

They are avid supporters and advocates of the library which made their request especially compelling to the library management.

The couple and the library worked together with Ed’s Concrete, a company out of Stratford, in order to commission the benches. A bronze plaque engraved with the couple’s names has also been recently added to the bench in preparation for the dedication ceremony.

Although the relationship between the Steffler’s elders and the library is unclear, Kipfer believes that Frank and Delores’ parents were supporters of the library the same way their children are, and many admire how they are so eager to give back to the community with these various donations to local sites.

The Stefflers have also donated to other organizations across the city, including another bench for the Parkview Cemetery where their parents are buried.

“One of the notes that Frank had sent me, he said, he felt that they really wanted to honour their parent’s memory and do this kind of thing in their spirit,” Kipfer said.

Especially to give back to your community in that way.”

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First-year student at Laurier passes away https://thecord.ca/first-year-student-at-laurier-passes-away/ https://thecord.ca/first-year-student-at-laurier-passes-away/#respond Fri, 14 Sep 2018 16:23:32 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51241

Wilfrid Laurier University has confirmed the death of a first-year student as of earlier this morning.

The student passed away and was found near a residence building at 260 Regina St.

According to the Laurier press release, police are still investigating the incident. The name of the student has not been released as of yet.

“The loss of a student has a deep impact on the entire Laurier community. The university is making counseling and support services available to all students, faculty and staff,” Laurier’s release read.

Those impacted are encouraged to reach out to services on campus, such as the Student Wellness Centre, the Delton Glebe Counselling Centre and more.

More information to come.

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Evaluating the updates and upgrade to the Laurier Waterloo campus https://thecord.ca/evaluating-the-updates-and-upgrade-to-the-laurier-waterloo-campus/ https://thecord.ca/evaluating-the-updates-and-upgrade-to-the-laurier-waterloo-campus/#respond Wed, 12 Sep 2018 10:59:37 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51086

Photo by Jackie Vang

In the past year, the Laurier Waterloo campus has experienced some significant progress in the ongoing construction and improvements to the university, including its overall efficiency, both in terms of energy and accessibility, as well as its aesthetic appeal.

The construction has taken place both in and outside of the Frank C. Peters Building, the Turret, Veritas Cafe, 202 Regina Street North and Martin Luther University College, formerly the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. A new building is also in the process of completion.

According to a WLU news release from April 2016, this project is part of a greater “sustainable energy management initiative,” which began April of that year.

The goal, in cooperation with the provincial government, has been to “provide an innovative financing solution to confront the substantial impacts of energy consumption, both in financial and environmental terms,” said Claire Bennett, manager of Laurier’s Sustainability Office.

“This issue is more relevant than ever considering recent carbon pricing legislation and the decline of energy security from changing weather patterns, resource availability and associated utility pricing.”

Mark Dettweiler, director of planning, design and construction at Laurier, provided some commentary on the changes that have happened since the Winter 2018 term, and have been delayed.

There are a number of things with regard to the Laurier Energy Efficiency Project that are ongoing, soon to be completed projects. One of the most immediately noticeable is a new building that can be found on and around the Clara Conrad Hall, the co-ed residence building near the Athletic Complex.

“Outside of the Clara Conrad [Hall] there’s a new building, which is a battery storage unit,” Dettweiler said.

“We’ve also added a lot of solar panels to the roof of Clara Conrad, the roof of the Athletic Centre … We’re essentially becoming more self-sustainable when it comes to electrical power, so that way we can control our costs a little more.”

Dettweiler explained that these changes are a result of changes to the Ontario system of utilities, where hydro costs have shifted to a time-of-use, on versus off peak hours of electricity consumption.

“Essentially hydro is cheap at night, expensive during the day,” Dettweiler said.

“So the idea is you charge batteries when the electricity is cheap, draw when it’s expensive, save yourself a pile of money and you are able to shed your peak loads, which is something the provincial utilities are encouraging.”

A portion of the campus construction has been prompted by this idea of increasing energy efficiency and sustainability for the university, moving forward.

“We will see solar panels here and there and we’re also doing a lot of the lighting replacements, upgrading the LEDs to reduce energy usage. It’s a multi-year project — same with water fixtures,” Dettweiler said.

The Peters building has seen the largest percentage of the construction budget and will be continuing into the new semester — but is hopefully concluding soon.

“The Peter’s building had a budget of $13.7 million, that involved a complete gut of all the interiors and all of the building systems — totally new mechanical, electrical systems, air handling,” Dettweiler said.

“Really we’re looking at a 40 per cent increase in energy efficiency there, a much better air quality and heat and cooling as well. Plus I think we made the building function a little bit better.”

Photo by Jackie Vang

It used to be like a rabbit’s warren, now it’s a little easier to navigate and know where you are — it’s more open and attractive,” he said.

Like all construction, unfortunately, the Peters Building ran into some delays that have pushed completion beyond the estimated goal of April 30, 2018.

“We had to put some new equipment and electrical rooms, where the only area we had to do that was to drop it in through the courtyard, and that complicated things a little bit,” Dettweiler said.

“I was hoping we would have that done, but we missed it by that much. So we have another couple of weeks of inconvenience on the outside, but we’re getting there.”

This construction has coincided with a plethora of reorganization and movement of other departments and spaces.

“We’ve moved archaeology, women and gender studies and philosophy, languages and literature to the third floor; all of the student’s services, the centre for students success and CTIRE on the second floor; and the first floor is common areas and [it] will have a new food service outlet there in a month or so,” Dettweiler said.

The Turret and Veritas Cafe have also undergone significant renovations, using contributions from the Student Life Levy and Graduate Enhancement Fund to enhance the experiences of undergraduate students at Laurier.

According to a letter from the former President of the Students’ Union, Kanwar Brar, the Turret project has been undergoing a rebranding to make it a more inclusive and attractive space for students, to become both user friendly and multi-use.

This project, with a cost of $2.2 million, was funded by the Student Life Levy and is expected to be available for use by the end of September.

“Our goal is that the complete transformation of the Turret will encourage more comprehensive usage by creating a location functional as both a social venue and an independent or group study space,” said Brar in the statement.

“Accessible to students throughout the day, we will be adding approximately 260 study spaces to the current venue, including approximately 75 group study spots.”

With the summer closure of Veritas Cafe coming to a hasty conclusion, Ellen Menage, executive director of WLU Graduate Students’ Association, provided some information on the goal behind their renovations as well.

The Graduate Enhancement Fund, separate from the Student Life Levy, seeks to support projects that improve the quality of graduate student experiences that couldn’t happen otherwise. The Veritas project in particular has totalled $265,350, and is expected to open Monday, Sept. 17.

The goal of this renovation was twofold: to improve seating capacity, as it will be nearly double the size, as well as improving storage space to focus on local suppliers, fixing an issue that had occurred previously.

As well, the GSA office has moved from beside Veritas and into the Peters Building, in room P111.

The final stage of this construction rests at the 202 Regina St. building, where a series of internal renovations are taking place. The offices currently residing at 255 King St. N., including the Administration, Planning, Design and Construction and Sustainability Office, are going to be moving into that building once renovations are complete.

“It’s been kind of a domino project where Schlegel moved people, Peters, 202 Regina, so basically the last thing is we move out of here and we give up this leased space. All that was put into motion when we started Lazaridis Hall. [We’re moving] within the next six months for sure,” Dettweiler said.

Martin Luther University College has also seen some rather important internal overhauls.

“Essentially a new entrance was put on the Albert St. side, [as well as] a completely new mechanical [system] — they had a very old boiler and no air conditioning, now they have much more efficient heating and air conditioning,” Dettweiler said.

“The interior is completely redone and [so is] the courtyard — so go over and have a look, the courtyard looks great, it’s a very nice, open, public space there.”

As far as future projects are concerned, there is only uncertainty and questions for now.

“We certainly have ideas for the music building, we’re hoping those things come forward,” Dettweiler said.

“[But] at this point they’re not confirmed as going ahead.”

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Dividere Stainless, Laurier start-up, promotes innovative and discrete dual chambered flask https://thecord.ca/dividere-stainless-laurier-start-up-promotes-innovative-and-discrete-dual-chambered-flask/ https://thecord.ca/dividere-stainless-laurier-start-up-promotes-innovative-and-discrete-dual-chambered-flask/#respond Wed, 12 Sep 2018 10:59:22 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51082

Contributed Image

One of many interesting opportunities available to Laurier students is the entrepreneurship option, which offers utilities run by the Schlegel Centre like the Launchpad program — a service through the Communitech Hub, The Accelerator Centre and the Community Innovation Hub that allows Laurier students and alumni to use a workspace at no cost, to help accelerate their start-up businesses.

Two recent Laurier grads who have taken advantage of their resources are Tanner Walters and Erik Daroczi, with their company Dividere Stainless.

Walters and Daroczi met during frosh week at Laurier, but are not typical BBA grads who know the ins and outs of business and just happened to have an idea; in fact, Daroczi graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology in 2017.

“Tanner’s first idea was actually an app to track busses, but it kind of failed and now Google tracks buses so that wouldn’t have worked.” Daroczi said.

“We used to go out a lot and we would take flasks everywhere we went, but I would carry chase plus my liquor, so the idea was to combine them both into one classy item we could sneak into clubs like Phil’s.”

Dividere is still in the starting phases of their product, and as of Sept. 8 have surpassed their fundraising goal to create the Dividere Dual Chambered Flask.

The flask differs from others on the market for a variety of reasons: the dual-chambered flask was made not only to be able to store two products at once, but because they “enhance the sharability and versatility” according to their website.

The fundraising goal was $15,000, but the Kickstarter campaign currently sits at $16,620.

“We have a lot of other plans, but we really have to laser focus on this one thing so we can finish it and actually build it. We have to now, we passed our goal.”

What separates Dividere is also their approach to connect with their customers; each of their members has written several blog posts that tie into the theme of who they are; young adults who enjoy creating and some occasional liquor.

Blogs that have been released range from titles like “Top 5 Hidden Bars in Toronto” to “Whiskey Basics,” not only trying to reach their audience from a marketing perspective helping them learn more about spirits, but also the nightlife aspect of what their product is all about.

The whole concept of becoming a businessman while a science student came from Erik taking the course SC 200, Entrepreneurship in Science.

“Zach Weston was advertising to science classes something called Entrepreneurship in Science. I had business interests but I never had business class, like I was in science, right? I took his offer to join his class, and then after that I went on to Laurier Launchpad with the business idea. We used the flask idea in Launchpad.”

Since Erik was still in science and had to write his thesis, the business took a break while he was in his fourth year, but the business still blossomed with the help of Launchpad when they continued again in 2017.

“I had all these ideas, and I feel like a lot of other science students are in this position where they have a lot of ideas and ways they think they can change things, but the point is you don’t figure out how to execute. It’s the opposite in business — they teach you how to run a business and there is a little bit of less creativity there,” said Daroczi.

“When you come into Launchpad, they teach you how to validate it, how to make sure there’s a market for it. By the end of Laurier Launchpad, you should know if your product is marketable or not.”

Dividere’s Kickstarter campaign is now in its last 10 days, and now the execution of the product is going to be Tanner and Erik’s main focus.

“We have a lot of other plans, but we really have to laser focus on this one thing so we can finish it and actually build it. We have to now, we passed our goal,” Daroczi said.

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