University to sign Okanagan Charter at tomorrow's mental health forum
by Anne Galang.
At the Student Mental Health Forum taking place tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m. in the Humanities Theatre, the University of Waterloo will sign The Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges.
Adopting the Okanagan Charter to guide action on mental health was one of the 36 recommendations made by the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health (PAC-SMH) in its final report published in March. The Charter calls on academic institutions to 1) “embed health into all aspects of campus culture, across the administration, operations and academic mandates,” and 2) “to lead health promotion action and collaboration locally and globally.”
The Okanagan Charter was developed in 2015 by researchers, practitioners, administrators, students and policy makers from 45 countries. Collaborators included both educational institutions and health organizations, including World Health Organization and UNESCO. Waterloo will join 15 other Canadian universities and colleges and a host of other institutions around the world that have adopted the charter.
According to John Hirdes, chair of CoSMH, “the University of Waterloo is adopting the charter as a collaborative framework for promoting health and wellness of our students and the broader campus community, with a specific emphasis on mental health as a priority focus.” This includes:
- using a health and wellness lens to establish priorities in its strategic plan and to inform its policies and procedures in response to a changing world,
- developing a university-wide Health Promotion and Wellness Collaborative, led by Campus Wellness with representatives that include students, faculty and staff, and
- promoting health and wellness across campus, with mental health as a major area of focus.
In addition to signing the charter, speakers at the Mental Health Forum will provide a progress report on the committee’s recommendations presented last March. Speakers include President Feridun Hamdullahpur, Vice-President, Academic & Provost Jim Rush and various committee representatives.
The University community is invited to come engage with CoSMH representatives and bring their questions and feedback.
Doors open at 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, October 24 at the Humanities Theatre, with the discussion getting underway at 2:00 p.m. The open house begins at 3:00 p.m. in the nearby Don Craig Atrium in the School of Accounting and Finance.
A conversation with Amanda Cook
by Susan Fish.
It’s been just over a year since Amanda Cook began working as the University's first Sexual Violence Response Coordinator. We talked with her about the realities of her role and plans for the future.
One of the first things Cook points out is that her role is broader and deeper than many might expect – not only is she a resource for students at the main and satellite campuses, but she’s also available for staff and faculty. She works not only with people who have experienced sexual violence, but also with those accused of sexual violence, and those who’ve had sexual violence disclosed to them. Further, she points out the need to provide a safe space for all people—including men who have experienced sexual violence, and most particularly gender-nonconforming and LGBTQ+ people—to disclose sexual violence.
Cook also develops prevention education and training opportunities, but her primary role is to provide a safe space for people who have experienced sexual violence. Although what Cook offers is not a crisis service, she says, “I can meet them as soon as possible. Their needs trump anything else I’m doing.” Unless someone says they are at imminent risk of harming themselves or others, or know of someone else being harmed, conversations with Cook are confidential, creating no obligation to report. A conversation with her does not launch a formal complaint, but she can connect people with resources to engage in a complaint process.
Although the move to hire Cook predated the #MeToo movement (it was initiated as a result of the Ontario government’s March 2016 sexual violence and harassment action plan), her work is also timely. “We can’t pretend this isn’t happening any more. Like drinking and driving, we need to recognize this is a public health issue and find a way to change the conversation.”
To this end, Cook helped the Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion office develop online training modules about sexual violence, which are intended to provide baseline knowledge of what constitutes sexual violence, the role of the sexual violence co-ordinator, what to do if someone discloses an incident, and the applicable policies to address sexual violence on campus. The module is available for all students, faculty and staff on LEARN.
And while she believes there are even more instances of sexual violence than those being reported and supported through her work, Cook says, “I’ve been really encouraged that the University has been open and inviting, responsive to me speaking, and reaching out to consult with me.”
Kanban board workshop held for Waterloo employees
On Tuesday, October 16, Human Resources in partnership with St. Jerome’s University hosted the next in a 2018 series of Lean workshops: Personal Kanban, Mapping your work through Lean.
Attended by over 70 employees, the workshop was led by Kierra Cali, Operations Project Manager at St. Jerome’s University. Cali asked the question: “How can we be Lean in all our daily activities and tasks?”
The answer: build a personal Kanban board. Kanban is Japanese for “visual signal” or “card”. It’s about visualization: understanding what is going on, sharing this understanding, and learning from doing. This process allows us to be flexible and more creative, and to examine what we’ve done and look for patterns that emerge.
There are two main principles when planning a Kanban board 1) visualize your work 2) limit your work in progress. The board divides tasks into three main categories: To do, Doing, and Done. This helps us move beyond focusing on getting everything on our lists done. It helps us prioritize tasks that add value, and reflect on work that’s been done to see if there are any areas for improvement.
Workshop attendees were able to put these concepts into practice by designing a mock board and then participating in a discussion on how they organized their tasks. The discussion demonstrated that everyone has a different approach, but the purpose of board is to be able to visualize and prioritize your tasks in a way that works for you.
If you have any questions about Lean or personal Kanban, please contact Kimberley Snage, Director HR Projects, Technology & Analytics or Raghda Sabry, HR Project Coordinator. See the Lean at Waterloo website to learn more about our Lean initiatives.
Gairdner Lecture today and other notes
Dr. King Holmes, John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award winner 2013 and William E. Foege Chair of Global Health, Department of Global Health; Center for AIDS & STD, University of Washington will deliver the 2018 Gairdner Lecture today.
Dr. Holmes will speak about the evolution of global health, and priorities looking forward.
Dr. Holmes’ career has been dedicated to the study of sexually transmitted diseases. His 45 years of cutting edge research and application of epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, and behavioural science to the study of STDs has expanded the scope of this field tremendously. Numerous clinical trials conducted by Dr. Holmes led to many diagnostic tests and standard-of-care therapies used today to treat and prevent such conditions as human papilloma virus (HPV), gonorrhea, chlamydial infections, and genital herpes, to name a few.
The Gairdner Foundation was established in 1957 and it best known for its Canada Gairdner Awards. In the sixty years since its founding, the Gairdner Foundation has awarded more than 380 prizes to laureates from 30 countries (87 of whom have gone on to win receive Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine). As part of the Gairdner Foundation's mandate to communicate the work of medical researchers to others, current and past Gairdner awardees visit universities across Canada to provide lectures on their area of expertise.
The lecture takes place at 4:00 p.m. today in QNC 2502.
Thrive Week continues today with a number of events including a Career Advising Pop-Up Event at 10:00 a.m. in the Science Teaching Complex, Yoga for Resiliency at 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the CIF Gym, and many others events. Check out the event listing for full details.
Today is Mole Day! Media.doc STC is celebrating with $5.00 T-shirts and free plush moles with purchase, while quantities last.
A memorial reception for retired political science professor Alan Cairns will take place on Thursday, October 25 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Waterfall Gallery at Luther Village on the Park. Cairns died on August 27 and was an adjunct professor at Waterloo and professor emeritus at UBC. Speaking at the event will be Emmett Macfarlane, Peter Woolstencroft, Ted Appleby, and Anne Innis Dagg.
Human Resources will once again host the quarterly pension information session: Understanding the Pension Plan and Planning for Retirement. This is a great opportunity to learn more about Waterloo’s pension plan provisions and get some assistance with retirement planning. Employees will have the opportunity to ask questions and get information about programs that impact their pension benefits.
The first session is on Monday, October 29. Please register for this event on the HR Events page as space is limited. The event takes place in EC5 1111 from noon to 1:00 p.m. Stay tuned for additional information session dates to be scheduled in 2019. If you’d like more information on pensions or have a suggestion for future information sessions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, HR can provide a customized session for your department to answer the pension questions that are most important to you and your colleagues. Managers should contact Sue McGrath at ext. 32046 or Michelle St-Amour at ext. 33573.