Volume 92, Issue 2

Friday, May 22, 1998

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Recognizing award-winning innovations

Gazette Staff

Western has slid through hyperspace to win two awards and national recognition.

Maurice Cohen, an executive director at the Canadian Association of University Business Officers, said the association has been giving away awards for 11 years to universities which have shown visible initiatives in making the university more effective, efficient and have provided better services for students.

Western's Internet Employment Café tied for first place with the Université du Québec and both will receive a cash prize of $7,500.

Cohen said the Café was awarded first prize for its portability, originality, quality, impact and involvement of the institution with the community.

Sharon Lee, coordinator of the Internet Employment Café at the Student Development Centre said it was the first of its kind in Canada. "We were first and are still the leaders and we are continuing to change and make many improvements behind the scenes."

One of the main criteria for the CAUBO award is portability and transferability of the project to other institutions. "We routinely get calls from others about the Internet Employment Café and we are happy to share our information," said Lee. "We have a universal affinity towards caring about what happens to other grads at other universities, although some of our unique processes have a commercial value and need to be conserved."

Essex Hall residence, the other award recipient, won the Ontario regional first prize from CAUBO for their detailed consultative process.

A mock-up suite was used to test the design of the residence, as well as to make improvements, creating five suites with barrier-free access including wider doors, hallways, roll-in showers and special kitchen facilities, said senior director of housing and food services, Susan Grindrod.

David Riddell, senior director of physical plant and capital planning services, said the rest of the units are also accessible to wheelchair students with accessible washroom facilities located on every floor. "We have incorporated features above those normally required by code," he said.

Many of the things learned from the building process of Essex will be incorporated into the new residence to open in 1999 and even more fine tuning is being done to Essex this summer, Grindrod said.

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