Wednesday, August 8, 2018

These are the issues: Learning Environment

Students sit in a group on some campus green space.

This is part four of a 7-week series in the Daily Bulletin examining the Strategic Plan Bridge to 2020 issue papers. Have your say and join the Strategic Plan conversation by providing feedback!

Waterloo monitors the quality of its learning environment through several surveys including the National Survey on Student Engagement (NSSE), National College Health Assessment (NCHA), and Canada University Survey Consortium (CUSC). Internally, Waterloo also conducts the Canadian Graduate and Professional Students Survey (CGPSS) with graduate and professional students.

In contrast to positive results in categories including academic excellence and satisfaction, answers to survey items related to physical, mental, and social health expose less than optimal conditions at Waterloo. The Learning Environment group believes we can do better.

Before Waterloo can address how to build a high quality learning environment, there needs to be a fundamental commitment to honouring students and their learning development. The Learning Environment Issue Paper Advisory Group strongly articulated their belief that Waterloo’s student learning environment is a vital component of Waterloo’s success as an institution, and that Waterloo's institutional values need to reflect this position. The value statement is as follows:

Achieving a positive learning experience requires a proactive community that demonstrates and encourages genuine care, concern, and respect for students and all members of the university community.

The working group determined that the proposed value statement be presented with three outcome areas that will serve to promote a "call to action" for discussion, revision, and ultimately, for endorsement:

  • Student support
  • Student involvement on campus
  • Learning culture

The upcoming consultation phase of the University's strategic planning process will determine whether or not the group's value statement resonates with the larger community.

Let's suppose for the moment that it does. The group considers the next question to be whether or not the three categories they have established are representative of the value statement, and if anything else needs to be included. Questions to stimulate discussion include:

  • What changes do we want to see in the learning environment?
  • What would ideal student relationships, support, and student involvement look like?
  • What would assure us that the values of the institution are being applied?
  • How could you, as an individual, contribute to ensuring that this value statement is enacted?

The value statement will be refined based on community feedback and indicators will be developed against which change can be evaluated and measured.

Read the list of thought-starting questions.

Check out the full issue paper (PDF) on the Bridge to 2020 website.

Join the conversation and share your feedback on the Learning Environment issue paper.

Third annual HeForShe writing contest launches in September

"HeForShe Writing Contest" superimposed over an open book with a pencil in the margins.

As part of the commitment to the UN Women’s HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 initiative, the University of Waterloo is presenting the Third Annual HeForShe Writing Contest, launching September 2018.

Everyone in the University of Waterloo community—students, staff, faculty, and alumni—are invited to share their stories, real and imagined, about building a better and more equitable world. The 2018-19 contest theme is ALLIES. In what ways are you #HeForShe?

A $500 prize will be awarded for the top submission in each category (poetry, creative non-fiction, and fiction). Selected submissions will also be included in a special University of Waterloo anthology on gender equity that will be published on March 8, 2019 — International Women’s Day.

The contest will open on September 5, 2018, and close on October 1, 2018. For more information, please visit the HeForShe website.

Wednesday's notes

The Bombshelter Pub in the Student Life Centre is closed for the remainder of the term. "We look forward to seeing you all in the Fall," says a note from the Federation of Students. "Have a safe and fantastic August!"

"It’s with mixed emotions that we announce that Sue Steffler has decided to retire after an incredible 41 years at the University of Waterloo," says a note from her colleagues in the Registrar's Office. "We hope you will join us as we celebrate her achievements and to wish her well as she heads off on her next adventure. Sue’s last day at work will be Monday August 20."

"Please stop by and sign her card, which is located out at the front wickets on the filing cabinet near the printer. Look for an orange file folder. For anyone who wishes to contribute to a gift, an envelope is on hand as well."

Sue's retirement celebration will take place on Friday, August 17 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in NH 3318.

Calling all backpackers: The University of Waterloo Police Service (UWPS), in support of Regional Family & Children Services, are collecting new backpacks and other school supplies as our potential future students prepare to attend local schools. Any donations will be greatly appreciated and can be dropped off at the UWPS office in the Commissary Building at any time. 

Donations of new backpacks and lunch bags can be made until Tuesday, August 14. 

There are no employers on campus next week hosting employer information sessions. Visit the Employer Information Session calendar to stay updated.

Link of the day

100 years ago: The Battle of Amiens

When and where 

Celebrate Canada's Diversity at the University Club, Tuesday, July 3 to Friday, August 10, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Lobsterlicious at the University Club, Tuesday, July 31 to Friday, August 10, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

LGBTQ+ Making Spaces workshop, Wednesday, August 8, 12:30 p.m., NH 3318.

SSHRC START training: Knock-Out Knowledge Mobilization Plans, Thursday, August 9, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Hagey Hall 373.

CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy featuring Aiman Erbad, Qatar University, "When a small leak sinks a great ship: Deanonymizing Tor hidden service users through Bitcoin transactions analysis," Thursday, August 9, 3:00 p.m., DC 1304.

Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students (QCSYS), Friday, August 10 to Friday, August 17, Institute for Quantum Computing.

Chemistry Seminar Series featuring José G. Hernández, Research Group Leader and Lecturer, Institute of Organic Chemistry, RWTH Aachen University, Germany, “Mechanochemistry; a Unique Strategy for Chemical Synthesis,” Friday, August 10, 11:00 a.m., C2 361.

Examinations end, Saturday, August 11.

Perseids Sky-watching Party and lecture: "Mapping the Universe", Sunday, August 12, 7:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., OPT 347.

Unofficial grades begin to appear in Quest, Monday, August 13.

Food Services Recruitment Fair, Tuesday, August 14, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Fed Hall. 

SSHRC START training: Stellar Student Training Plans, Tuesday, August 14, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Hagey Hall 373

More Feet on the Ground - Mental Health Training, Thursday, August 16, 9:00 a.m., NH 2447.

SSHRC START training: Bringing your Budget “A Game”, Thursday, August 16, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Hagey Hall 373.

SynBio at Waterloo featuring Stanley Cohen, Stanford University, Friday, August 17, 9:30 a.m., QNC 1506.

NEW - Retirement celebration for Sue Steffler, Friday, August 17, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., NH 3318.

Deadline for students to get "Fees Arranged," Wednesday, August 22.

Multi-Year Accessibility Plan information session, Wednesday, August 22, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., BMH 1016.

Co-operative work term ends, Friday, August 24.

QPR Training, Monday, August 27, 10:30 a.m., Needles Hall 2nd Floor.

Waterloo Women's Wednesdays: Knit & Nourish, Wednesday, August 29, 12:00 p.m., DC 1301.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable on the UWaterloo Talent Acquisition System (iCIMS):

  • Job ID# 2018-2509 - Advancement Coordinator - School of Accounting & Finance, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2018-2526 - Communications Officer, Internationalization - SSO-Outreach & Engagement - Student Success Office, USG 7

  • Job ID# 2018-2527 - Communications Officer, Student Services - Student Success Office, USG 7

  • Job ID# 2018-2831 - Department Office Assistant – Biology, USG 4

  • Job ID# 2018-3167 - Manager, Centre for Career Action - Centre for Career Action, USG 12
  • Job ID#
2018-2977 - Manager, Graduate Financial Aid & Awards Programs – Graduate Studies & Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA), USG 10
  • Job ID#
2018-3017 - Student Engagement Coordinator – Library, USG 7

  • Job ID# 2018-2878 - Student Information Specialist - Science Undergrad Office, USG 8

  • Job ID# 2018-3146 - Student Services Coordinator - Science Undergrad Office, USG 5

 Internal secondment opportunity:

  • Job ID# 2018-3183 - Senior Advancement Officer - Dean of Math Office, USG 11