How to get involved in new student transition
A message from Chris Read.
As the fall term approaches, the Waterloo community is invited to get involved in welcoming our incoming class of fall 2017 and their families.
Airport Bus Pick Up – On September 1, help welcome international students and their families at Toronto Pearson Airport by checking in students and answering questions, or welcome shuttles as they arrive on campus. Sign up online to volunteer for the Airport Bus Pick Up.
Family Welcome – On September 3 and 4, join Housing and Residences to welcome incoming students to their new homes (no heavy lifting required!) and celebrate the start of their UWaterloo career. Volunteers will greet new residents and their families in residences across campus (including the brand new residence in UWP) and welcome students to the UWaterloo family. Volunteers will receive lunch. Sign up online to volunteer for the Family Welcome event.
Orientation’s Family Send-Off – On September 3 and 4, join University of Waterloo President Feridun Hamdullahpur as he formally addresses our newest students and their family members. Volunteers will socialize with students and their family members to help them feel welcome on campus. Sign up online to volunteer for Family Send-off.
If you’re unable to participate in the above events during Labour Day weekend, you can still play a role in welcoming new students:
Warrior Wayfinding – On September 7 and 8, join fellow staff, faculty, and upper-year students to welcome new and returning students on the first two days of classes, answer questions, and provide directions. Participants will receive a “Here to Help” button and a t-shirt. Sign up online to volunteer for Warrior Wayfinding.
Here to Help Buttons – From September 1 to 15, all staff and faculty are invited to wear Here to Help buttons to indicate your knowledge of campus amenities, awareness of student resources, and your willingness to help a new student if they need assistance. If you do not have a button and would like to participate, please fill out the request form and the Orientation team will send you a button.
Creating a strong connection with our students from day one is an important part of building a vibrant and integrated community on campus. Your participation in these events allows our students and their families to meet the faculty and staff members that will help shape their fantastic experience at Waterloo.
Sign up to volunteer and be a part of the excitement this fall!
Urban imagineering brings public spaces to life
This article was originally posted on Waterloo Stories.
When vacant public spaces across the region turn into vibrant hubs of activity this summer thanks to $60,000 in placemaking grants from the city of Kitchener, a new website built at Waterloo is ready to track all the action.
The brain child of Troy Glover, a professor in Recreation and Leisure Studies, the website is the first step in a project to better understand the rise of urban imagineering— the act of transforming ordinary spaces into animated places of belonging.
“Urban imagineering or transformative placemaking, as it’s also called, is interesting because it’s fairly low cost and driven from the ground up,” said Glover, who coincidentally started the project several months before the grant announcement. “It has the capacity to not only change how people view a space and how they use it on a daily basis.”
From yarn bombing and street art to food trucks and festivals, transformative placemaking is not a new phenomenon — but its recognition as an important element to fostering strong communities is.
“Placemaking allows communities or neighbourhoods that would otherwise go unnoticed to build an identity by animating that space,” said Glover. “Increasingly, city officials are coming to realize the most effective and immediate solutions to make a public space thrive are best defined by the people who use it.”
Tagging animated spaces
Built in partnership with the Geospatial Centre at the Dana Porter Library, Glover’s smartphone-friendly website lets users upload pictures of animated spaces in the community and it automatically geo-tags the location for other users to see. Users have the option of adding textual descriptions and providing insight into their interpretation of the location.
“The hope is that in addition to assisting with research, the website will act as a community resource for those looking for interesting places to check out around town this summer,” said Glover.
Those interested in taking it one step further, can opt in for an interview with Glover to further discuss the space they tagged.
Come the fall, he will use data from the website and interviews to answer a slew of questions including: How do animation initiatives represent urban life? Whose aesthetics really count? Who does the reimagining and cultural packaging? On whose terms?
Ultimately, he hopes that a better understanding of urban imagineering will lead to more resources for transformative placemaking activities across communities.
“By nature transformative placemaking is an organic activity,” said Glover. “But if we can support these initiatives with resources to reclaim and enhance public spaces, everyone benefits.”