uWaterloo criticized for suspending student car team

April 14, 2011

A sponsor and a donor are criticizing the University of Waterloo for its discipline of the Formula SAE team after a female student on the team used the institution's Student Design Centre for a photo-shoot without permission, contrary to university policy. The president of a Cambridge company that has been a long-standing major sponsor of the race car project says it was an "extremely harsh" punishment for what he termed an innocent mistake. A uWaterloo graduate who has been a donor for 30 years describes the approach as too "heavy-handed"; unless the engineering dean reverses his decision, the alumnus says he will withhold future donations. The dean says he is sorry to have upset sponsors and donors, but "we have to do the right thing." The dean describes the female student's bikini pose as "a setback" to the hard work uWaterloo has done to make both women and men see the engineering faculty as an open, friendly, and welcoming environment. Waterloo Region Record