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In Brief...

Bridge-building contest tomorrow

The Concordia Chapter of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering invites everyone to come to their 15th annual Bridge-Building Competition tomorrow, March 5. All day, university and college teams from across Canada and the U.S. will display their expertise and imagination by constructing a makeshift bridge out of popsicle sticks, white Lepage's glue and dental floss. Then, loads are applied to each bridge to see how much weight it will withstand.

It sounds simple, but keep in mind that a bridge last year from Lakehead University took over 1,500 kg before it fell!

The event originated back in 1984 in Dr. Troitsky's Civil Engineering class, and eventually progressed from a regional event to an international competition in 1991. Since then, each year has seen at least 30 teams participate from all over North America.

Here is a temporary schedule of events for the day:

* 10 a.m. - noon: Assembly of bridges in the atrium of J.W. McConnell Building and mezzanine of the Henry F. Hall Building

* 12 3 p.m.: Display of bridges

* 3 7 p.m.: Crushing of the bridges in the Alumni Auditorium, Hall Building

* 7 p.m.: Awards ceremony and dinner

-- Christopher Piché and Antoine Basbous


Winners at Rendez-Vous

Two recent Concordia graduates in Cinema have won important awards at Rendez-vous, the major annual showcase of Quebec films. Serge Marcotte's film, The Sick Room, won him the Best New Director award, and Catherine Martin won the Best Documentary short film award.

Writers reading

On Tuesday, March 16 at 8:30 p.m. in Room 420 of the Henry F. Hall Building, Eliza Clark will speak about and read from her third and most recent novel, Bite the Stars, about the mother of a killer on death row. Clark is the author of Miss You Like Crazy, which was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award and the Stephen Leacock Medal, and What You Need, which was shortlisted for the prestigious Giller Prize.

Writers with Concordia connections are also involved in readings at the Jailhouse Rock Café, 30 Mount Royal W. for $3 admission. The next event is March 15, 8 p.m. Info:


Future force

A new competition for outstanding students has been launched by the Quebec government together with representatives of the private sector.

Forces avenir invites applicants to submit projects in various categories -- business, the environment, self-help, social justice, the arts, science and technology, health, and communications/education. Twelve bursaries, worth $105,000 in total, will be awarded next October. Applications are available from Keith Pruden, Coordinator, Dean of Students Office, 848-4301, and the deadline for entries is April 12.

Invited to join North American survey

Concordia has been chosen as part of a cross-continent social science survey of universities.

Seymour Martin Lipset, perhaps the best-known U.S. expert on Canada, is one of the researchers; the others are Stanley Rothman and Neil Nevitte, of the University of Toronto.

The survey involves 3,000 faculty, 1,000 administrators and 3,000 students selected at random from about 150 universities. The aim is to assess current views about universities in the late 1990s to provide U.S./Canada comparisons and to understand more about the issues shaping contemporary campus life. Angus Reid, the polling agency, will collect the data.

About 25 people at Concordia, selected at random, will be contacted for their views, which will be kept confidential. The survey is supported by the Rector's Cabinet, who encourage those contacted to participate freely. The scholars have offered to provide a summary of the results when they are available.

Copyright 1999 Concordia's Thursday Report.