Tuesday, May 21, 2024

News Briefs

Gazette LogoMicrosoft contract fails to launch

Dal is still involved in contract negotiations with Microsoft in hopes of supplying new emailing and calendar services to students and staff.

“It’s a lengthy process,” says chief information officer Dwight Fischer. “It requires us to ensure that Nova Scotia and university policies are addressed, and all adequate safeguards are in control.”

Fischer says the negotiation process could take another month or more. “But there are no definites,” he says. If negotiations go well, the conversion will most likely take place sometime during summer 2012.


Protective sleeves

Coburg Coffee is offering safety tips to go. According to CBC News, the heat-protective sleeves for take-out beverages will have one of three tips printed on them.

Halifax Regional Police and Dalhousie University are sharing the estimated $2,000 cost of printing the 2,600 sleeves. Coburg Coffee, chosen because of its popularity and close proximity to Dal students, is currently the only shop providing safety tips with their daily perk. If the program shows promise, police say they may extend it to other coffee shops in the Halifax area.


SafeAssign making its mark

The new plagiarism-assessing program SafeAssign is proving to be an effective replacement for Turnitin. As of mid-fall, 81 class sections had used the program as a tool for students to submit their papers online.

Integrated Learning Online context manager Phil O’Hara, says the use of SafeAssign is at about 60 per cent of the employment that was dedicated to Turnitin. “That’s typical when a new product is introduced,” he says.

O’Hara says he doesn’t know who is using the program but hopes to have more information in the future.


Asbestos in the Tupper

An Instagram photo that appeared on Twitter last month has students talking. The picture was taken on the third floor of the Tupper Building displaying caution tape and signs warning against the presence of asbestos.

Tupper building services manager Greg McNutt confirmed that insulation padding surrounding a number of pipes in the building did indeed contain asbestos.

McNutt says the procedure was a safe-work practice, and not an uncommon occurrence at Dal. He estimates the padding had been there for about 44 years, and it was removed as new pressure-reducing valves were placed on laboratory pipes throughout the building.


CUP conference goes viral

Student journalists who attended the 74th Canadian University Press (CUP) national conference in Victoria, B.C. this month were unpleasantly greeted by the norovirus. The highly infectious virus took hold of an estimated 75 of the 360 attending delegates between Jan. 11 to 16.

That number continued to rise as more attendees confirmed symptoms on their trips home. CUP staff stayed in contact with the Vancouver Island Health Authority throughout the outbreak. Emma Godmere, CUP national bureau chief, issued a letter excusing any infected students from their classes. She has stated that the investigation is finally coming to a close.


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