MURANews Winter 2018 issue in PDF format
In this issue:
As I write this, we have finally had a welcome January thaw after the deep freeze of the last few weeks. The 2018 year started off on a positive note for MURA members with a pension increase. You can read details regarding how the increase is determined in the "January 2018 Pension Plan Increases" article by Brian Beckberger and Cliff Andrews.
Our annual Christmas luncheon held December 5th was a great way to finish off 2017. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces and see everyone reconnecting. Over 180 members participated with about 22 new retirees attending. Kudos to Gail Britton and everyone on the Christmas Lunch committee on their efforts to make this MURA event a success. Thanks also to the President’s Office for subsidizing some of the cost of the luncheon, and welcoming new retirees by fully covering the cost of their lunches.
You can read about MURA’s new web site. We are indebted to the efforts of Nora Gaskin and members of the Communications Committee for the many, many hours they contributed to the design and content of the new web site. Let us know what your impression or experience is once you have tried it.
The next large MURA gathering will be the Annual General Membership Meeting and Luncheon on June 6th. The AGM will include election of the MURA president, vice-president and four council members. In addition to the executive, you have nine elected representatives on the MURA Council, with each Councillor elected for a three-year term. The terms are staggered so that vacancies are filled every June. Council manages the affairs and projects of the retirees’ association; acts as the official voice of the retirees of the University; and sets MURA’s budget. See more of what we do on our Council Activities web page. In addition to attending Council meetings once a month from September to June, Council members sit on one or more MURA committees. You can find out more on our Council Members web page. If you would like to get involved or know someone who would be a good candidate for Council (or perhaps as a member of a committee), please see the Call for Nominations. All nominations are welcome. MURA especially welcomes individuals who have recently retired.
More details will be announced in the Spring newsletter. Mark the AGM in your calendars now and plan to attend.
Until the spring, best wishes for 2018.
McMaster is Ontario’s First Smoke-Free Campus
Beginning January 1, 2018, McMaster University became Ontario’s first 100% tobacco and smoke free campus.
The use of tobacco and all oral smoking devices is prohibited on the Hamilton campus, inside and on the grounds of the Ron Joyce Centre in Burlington, and at all McMaster-owned properties.
By designating the campus tobacco and smoke free the University is creating an environment promoting health and wellness that ensures students, faculty, staff and visitors are not exposed to tobacco and smoking products, including second-hand smoke.
Since the September announcement of the new designation, students, staff and faculty worked together to get ready for the change.
“The community has been highly involved in the preparations,” said Sean Van Koughnett, dean of students and the co-chair of the University’s Smoke-Free implementation committee. “Smoking cessation sessions are underway for students and staff, and there’s been orientation for peer groups and health educators and an opportunity to provide input and feedback on the implementation of the new policy. ”During the first year of the new designation, there will be an informal enforcement that will emphasize an education and awareness approach. Information materials listing smoking cessation supports and other resources will be distributed and shared with those found smoking on campus.
Tobacco and smoke free environments are effective at motivating people towards quitting. When the draft policy was posted and comments were invited, several individuals and groups provided feedback on the implementation plan.
The implementation committee used the feedback to add to already planned communications and training. The University’s student and employee accommodations policies are in place for any member of the community who has been prescribed cannabis for medical purposes and seeks accommodation.
A tobacco and smoke free campus supports McMaster’s commitment as a signatory to the Okanagan Charter, which commits the University to pursuing a healthy and sustainable campus.
More information is available at "Tobacco and Smoke Free Campus", McMaster Daily News.
McMaster Joins Network of ‘Age-Friendly’ Universities
McMaster University has joined the international Age-Friendly University (AFU) network, a global body of higher education institutions that are committed to being more accessible to older adults. The AFU network was launched in 2012 by Dublin City University (DCU) in Ireland to help address the challenges and opportunities associated with the world’s aging population. It builds on the World Health Organization’s Age-Friendly Communities Initiative.
The guiding principles of an age-friendly university include:
[Excerpted from "McMaster joins global network of ‘age-friendly’ universities", McMaster Daily News.]
McMaster Community of Distinction Inductees
Retirees Brian Haynes, MD, PhD, a founder of evidence-based medicine and a world leader in health informatics, and Geoff Norman, PhD, a world-renowned expert and researcher on problem-based learning in medical education, have been inducted into the McMaster Health Sciences’ Community of Distinction.
Read the full article, "Three 'giants' welcomed to Community of Distinction" at the FHS web site.
The Peter George Centre for Living and Learning
Where: on Michell Crescent adjacent to the Ron Joyce Stadium, in the heart of the campus
When: Expected to open in 2019
Size: 12 storeys, 359,000 square feet
Funding: The estimated $120-million project is being financed by the University
Arthur Bourns Building - Addition and Renovations
New and refurbished laboratories
Where: adjacent to Thode Library on the west edge of the main campus
When: Expected to open in 2018
Size: New addition 5 storeys, 45,000 square feet; renovations 32,000 square feet
Architectural RenderingFunding: New addition estimated $17-million; renovations estimated $16-million; funded by the federal and provincial governments, and the University
These beautiful note cards were produced to celebrate MURA’s 25th anniversary in 2010.
Stephanie Lisak, a McMaster retiree, very generously gave us permission to reproduce one of her original watercolour paintings, Fall Colours at Mac. The image depicts a particularly lovely view of the oldest part of campus. Pat Vinton, a photographer with Media Services at the University, donated her expertise to produce a very high-quality digital image. We are grateful to both for their support. The cards were printed at McMaster on 80 lb. textured paper, which gives the effect of an original watercolour painting. The 9" x 4" card is blank inside and can be used for special occasions, for saying thank you and for other short notes. It could even be framed.
Cards are available at $1.50 each. All proceeds go toward MURA’s Special Projects Fund.
The cards are for sale at the MURA Christmas lunch and Annual General Meeting. They are also available by mail in packages of five or ten cards. To order cards by mail, please send your name, address and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at 905-525-9140 ext 23171. We will let you know, based on your address and the number of cards requested, what the total cost including postage will be.
MURA Has a New Website
MURA’s new website is up and running! Powered by Wild Apricot, a Toronto-based web-hosting and membership management company, the new website will be easy for you to navigate and search for the information you want. It will also be simpler for MURA to manage and keep up to date. The site is accessible via desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone.
The site features a wealth of information, including current and past issues of MURAnews; updates on pensions and benefits; information about on- and off-campus member perks and special offers; upcoming events, both MURA and non-MURA; volunteer opportunities, and much more.
We thank our outgoing Webmaster, Marianne Van Der Wel, who managed MURA’s previous website, for 10 years of creative and dedicated work. The new site was designed by the web subgroup of the MURA Communications Committee, with MURA Secretary Nora Gaskin as Webmaster.
We invite you to visit the site regularly to keep up to date on activities and issues that concern our membership, and welcome your comments and feedback.