Top campus news stories of 2012-13
KP322 health risks
In early August, students who had previously taken KP322 (Physiology of Physical Activity) had found that they were at risk of transmitting Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV as a result of reusing a blood-sampling device in class that was actually meant as a single-use tool. According to WLU, only 200 of the 1,189 students who had taken the class were at risk, and were notified by the school. The science department also began working on alternate ways for the course to operate without students volunteering for blood lactate tests. Despite these efforts by the school, and while the risk of infection was quite low, some alumni were extremely upset with the way the school was handling the situation, and requested a formal apology for what had happened.
– First reported on August 14, 2012
Dining Hall renovations
During the summer of 2012, plans were made to revamp Laurier’s Dining Hall. More food stations were added, the monetary system changed from a declining balance system to a board meal system and a massive wall was erected to enclose the eating area. While the new changes were welcomed by many first-years, the majority of upper-year students, staff and faculty were unhappy with the new ‘all-you-care-to-eat’ dining style; they wanted the old model back. Groups, such as “Mr. Blouw, Tear Down This Wall,” erupted on Facebook, where students expressed their dislike of the changes. Complaints about food costs, segregation and lack of study space were the most popular. However, despite the many complaints from upper-year students and faculty, the dining hall has, and will, remain the same after the changes implemented this past summer.
– First reported on August 1, 2012
Little House ‘Movember’ team
Andrew Myles, a don in Little House and cancer survivor, headed Laurier’s top Movember team this past year. After battling testicular cancer and winning, Myles wanted to raise awareness and funds to ensure that others with cancer would also have a fighting chance. While growing his ‘Mo,’ he led his Movember team by raising roughly $3,515 himself, with his team raising a total of roughly $3,595. They raised the most out of all the Laurier teams participating in Movember, and placed within the top ten in Movember Canada’s ‘Big Moustache on Campus’ category, which included all student teams across Canada.
– First reported on November 14, 2012
IPRM system takes effect
During the fall semester, Laurier implemented the Integrated Planning and Resource Management (IPRM) plan in order to ensure that the school’s resources will, in the future, be properly allocated. Committees have been formed, comprised of staff, faculty and students, in order to survey what sectors of the school need more funding, what can stay the same and find areas where cuts can and will be made. After assessing current situations, the school can move forward with its budget. However, many faculty expressed concerns regarding the IPRM system, and were wary of how monetary cutbacks would be determined necessary or not, and what areas would be considered to need additional funds. But four committees were made in order to assess the school’s situation and work forward in ensuring its academic mandates can be kept.
– First reported on September 2, 2012
Racist posters surface
In October, a Laurier student brought a poster they found on campus showing an image of Trayvon Martin, who was murdered in Feb. 2012, which included text depicting racial stereotypes, to the diversity and equity office. After the poster had been brought forward, the diversity and equity office, along with Special Constables and the Association of Black Students (ABS), began searching campus for any remaining posters. Three more were removed, with no others being found. An investigation also began to search for whoever made the posters, and the diversity and equity office worked with the ABS in order to ensure that anyone affected by the images received appropriate help and support. The next week, a workshop was held by the ABS in order to raise awareness regarding diversity on campus, and also to educate the Laurier community regarding the issue.
– First reported on November 14, 2012
After Christmas break, some students returning to Waterloo College Hall discovered that some of their personal belongings had been stolen. While Residence Life tried to shed light on the situation, students were not pleased. Although their doors were reportedly locked before leaving and still locked upon returning, items such as laptops and clothing were missing, as well as some couches from their residence lounge. Two months later, in February, another string of break-ins occurred, both on and off campus, where numerous students were affected. This resulted in Special Constables doing sweeps of residences, where they discovered that students were still not taking proper precautions against break-ins, and that many doors were remaining unlocked. However, Residence Life was not reporting any additional safety measures for residences — students were simply reminded to lock their doors.
– First reported on January 9, 2013
WLUSU accumulates stiff debt
In early March, WLUSU’s audit found them to have exceeded their cap of $5 million allowed to them by the university. As of April 30, 2012, WLUSU had incurred a total debt amount of $6,567,498, coming from both the university and external institutions.
Of this, $4,250,156 is from loans and lines of credit from the school, with the additional $2,415,051 from external sources, of which the university has signed on to as a guarantor.
This debt, according to Michael Onabolu, president and CEO of WLUSU, was due to the amount of capital projects taken on in past years, which included things such as the Terrace expansion, club space and renovations to study space. Some of these projects are from the 2010-11 year, and are still negatively affecting WLUSU’s finances. And despite the $243,104 that the university forgave WLUSU for in 2011, another $2 million loan was taken out for other capital projects. In order to remedy this debt, $88,000 was taken from the 2012-13 Student Life Levy (SLL) fund in order to pay off the 2-4 Lounge renovations from 2011-12.
– First reported on February 27, 2013
President-elect was hacked
During this year’s WLUSU elections, president-elect, Annie Constantinescu, created a video with her campaign team explaining that her social network accounts, namely her personal email and Facebook, had been compromised. She reported that emails had been sent to her contacts by a hacker who attempted to negatively impact her campaign, and while there was no negative content posted to her Facebook, the passwords had been changed so she couldn’t use it. At the time, she expressed concern for her personal information, but was confident in herself and her campaign team to work through the issue at hand. Constantinescu sought out help from the dean of students’ office and eventually filed a report with Special Constables. There were, however, no immediate effects towards her campaign, and she was able to move forward and eventually win the election.
– First reported on February 1, 2013