Oddball newsmakers of 2009-10
1) Laurier takes extreme measures in dealing with H1N1
Laurier implemented an online flu declaration system in the fall, intended to combat the threat of a H1N1 flu outbreak. The system was revised in second semester when over 2,200 students opted out of assignments or exams based on claims of flu-like symptoms and medical notes were once again required to excuse absences.
Fall convocation was also modified because of the H1N1 threat; graduates were asked to refrain from shaking hands and were instead asked to “bump elbows” with officials.
2) Wilf’s fails to charge students’ OneCards
Early in the year Wilf’s restaurant encountered problems with its charging system, meaning that many students who paid for meals on their OneCards were never charged.
The problem was discovered in December – as a number of transactions had failed to properly process. As a result, the money owed was never withdrawn from students’ accounts.
After discovering the problem, the money that could be recovered was, although many students did not realize that they had never been charged in the first place. Therefore students continued to use their OneCard accounts and some had insufficient funds by the time the problem was noticed, meaning Wilf’s was not able to recover this money.
The system error was corrected and no further problems have been reported.
3) Sunny Chan absent for election results
Presidential candidate Sunny Chan, who sat on the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union board of directors for two terms, failed to show up for the announcement of election results and was not seen around campus for several weeks following this.
Garnering only 7.5 per cent of the student vote with 149 votes, Chan came in a distant fourth place and when contacted by The Cord for an interview he stated he “had nothing more to say to The Cord.”
At the Feb. 26 meeting, the board accepted Chan’s director resignation, which he sent at 5 a.m. on the morning after the election.
4) 88-year-old graduates with a PhD
This past fall, at the age of 88, Wilf Tschirart completed a journey 23 years in the making when he graduated with a PhD in geography and environmental studies.
Tschirart was enrolled in a program that offered free tuition to seniors interested in continuing their learning post-retirement at Laurier.
Tschirart set an example for all students about the value of ones education, stating “you should learn all your life.”
5) Student asked not to ‘stilt’ on campus
Laurier student Evan Sharpe had a run in with campus security in September, when he was asked to stop powerbocking on campus – powerbocking is the use of spring-loaded stilts, which enhance a person’s ability to run fast and jump.
Sharpe stated that the special constable was especially rude to him and that her reasons for asking him to leave the campus were unfounded as he was wearing a helmet and not disturbing campus property.