The number one newsmakers of the past 5 years
2008-09: The pool
Issues surrounding the Laurier pool surfaced during the summer of 2008 and dominated Cord headlines for the next year. When a pipe burst in April 2008, it was determined that the pool was to be closed permanently. However, the Region of Waterloo Swim Club (ROW) raised over $700,000 and the city of Waterloo agreed to give $250,000 over the next five years, a figure that was matched by Kitchener the following week. Laurier students also lobbied for help, resulting in a successful referendum that determined that students will pay $10 per semester in order offset the cost of the renovations.
2007-08: Laurier part-timers strike
365 Laurier contract academic staff (CAS) walked off the job on March 19, 2008, resulting in many classes being cancelled for nearly three weeks. There was strong disagreement on major issues, which included salary and seniority. Throughout the strike, there was a lot of support for part-time professors: a petition was signed by 2,750 students, there was a walk-in to university administration offices and several rallies organized by WLUFA were attended by many students. The semester was extended by two days, but students were not given a refund for missed teaching time.
2006-07: Blackface scandal
During WLUSU’s annual Winter Carnival event, several members of the Loyal Order of Waterbuffaloes were seen around campus in blackface with novelty-sized joints and fried chicken buckets on their head. Though only one formal complaint was lodged to WLUSU president Allan Cayenne, national newspapers, including the Globe and Mail, picked up the story.
2005-06: Year of the athlete
For those who thought school pride was reserved for high school students and Icebreakers, Wilfrid Laurier’s student athletes sent a clear message in 2005-06 as varsity squads pulled together gutsy performances across the board. The men’s football team had an unbending will to win, taking them all the way to national supremacy, capturing the 2005 Vanier Cup. In football’s expansive shadow, three other WLU teams – men’s curling, women’s lacrosse and women’s hockey – brought home provincial banners. From top to bottom, WLU athletes helped ‘the little high school down the street’ dwarf the likes of UW, Western and Toronto, if only for a few sweet moments.
2004-05: The men’s football team
Men’s football may not have been the team of the year, but they were certainly the story of the year. Occupying the headlines from early September until late November, 2004 was as memorable for the players as it was for the school as a whole. Entering the season under a cloud of controversy, specifically the legal hot water of three players, the Hawks weren’t expected to do much. Eight games later, the Hawks had plowed through every Ontario team and finished the season with their first 8-0 record ever. In front of the largest football crowd ever at University Statium, the Hawks claimed a 31-19 win, and the school’s first Yates Cup since 1991. A Canadian semi-final loss to Laval, the eventual Vanier Cup winners, would do nothing to tarnish what was an incredible season.