Wednesday, January 29, 2020

It's Bell Let's Talk Day

Student athletes hold up "let's talk" bubble cards.

A message from Organizational & Human Development (OHD).

Today is Bell Let's Talk day and your Healthy Workplace Committee wants everyone to help create positive change.

It’s a fact: one in five people in Canada will experience a mental health issue or illness in any given year. One of the biggest hurdles for anyone suffering from mental illness is overcoming the stigma. It is the number one reason why two-thirds of those living with a mental illness do not seek help.

“The Bell Let’s Talk day is an opportunity to highlight the comprehensive approach and commitment to mental health and wellness that we are undertaking here at the University of Waterloo for our entire campus community,” said Dr. Marilyn Thompson, associate provost, human resources. “Events such as this one, and the work of the Healthy Workplace Committee, support the 2020-2025 strategic plan to be a people–centered institution committed to genuine care, concern, respect, inclusivity and well–being for all.  Speaking honestly and openly about mental health in the workplace, where all employees can thrive, is a key part of that objective.”

For Bell Let’s Talk day, the Healthy Workplace committee is sharing actions big and small that we can all do to improve the lives of people struggling with mental health issues to help end the stigma that keeps too many who struggle with mental illness from seeking the help they need. 

Some actions you can take:

  • Take part in a campus-wide awareness campaign by capturing your thoughts on a Talk Bubble of actions employees can take to help create positive change around mental health. Build awareness by posting the bubbles in your work area. You can download the Talk Bubble and more resources on our Bell Let’s Talk! Event ideas blog.
  • Take care of your own mental health. Listen to your mind and body; ask for help and take some time if you are struggling or feeling overwhelmed. You might take a walk or reach out to a friend. Remember it’s okay to not be okay.
  • Advocate for a friend.  Sometimes friends might not feel well enough to speak up for themselves. You can help by offering support, telling about support options or simply listening. Because when it comes to mental health, every action counts.
  • Talk about it! On Bell Let’s Talk Day, for every text, mobile and long distance call made on the Bell network, tweet using #BellLetsTalk, social media video view, or use of the Facebook frame or Snapchat filter, Bell will contribute 5 cents more to Canadian mental health programs. Bell’s total donation to mental health programs now stands at $100,695,763.75.

Please visit the Healthy Workplace Committee blog to explore Bell Let’s Talk! Event ideas.

Information for students

In addition to the above actions, please note that the Waterloo team will be hosting a talk on the afternoon of January 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the SLC. Trained speakers will equip audiences to spark conversations, look out for each other, and end the silence around mental health. Please encourage students to attend this valuable conversation.

University issues coronavirus second update

"I want to provide a further update on how the University is monitoring the ongoing coronavirus situation, share some important public health reminders as well as a summary of some common questions we are hearing," says a memo by Sandra Banks, vice-president, university relations, which was circulated to the University community yesterday. "A team of stakeholders from across campus meets regularly to monitor and respond to the current situation and we will continue to issue communication to keep the campus community aware of the latest developments. We are following plans and protocols already in place to prevent the spread of infectious disease on our campus."

"Our University team is receiving input from Campus Wellness, Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services, Public Health Ontario, along with the Ministry of Health," writes Banks. "According to the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, the risk to Canada and Canadian travelers is still considered low."

Answers to common questions we’re hearing

  1. Should I isolate myself at home to protect myself against the novel coronavirus?

According to public health authorities, the risk of contracting the novel coronavirus in Canada is low. Health authorities have not recommended that people who are asymptomatic (those who are showing no symptoms of the illness) isolate themselves at home. We have not received any information or advice indicating that avoiding public places or classes is advisable.

  1. If I recently travelled to China but do not have any symptoms, should I avoid being around people?

The Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China, as low for Canada and Canadian travellers.

  1. Should I wear a face mask if I am going to be in public?

Health authorities have not generally recommended that people wear face masks in public as a preventative measure. They have recommended precautions such as hand washing and proper cough/sneeze, which protect people from a range of illnesses (see below for more details). 

  1. If I am concerned that I may have symptoms of the novel coronavirus, who should I contact?

Public health authorities have stated the risk to Canadians of contracting the coronavirus is low. People who have recently travelled to China or on a flight with many passengers who originated in China are encouraged to tell their healthcare provider about their travel if they become ill after returning to Canada. If you feel unwell, please contact your family doctor or call 519-888-4096 or visit the Health Services building to book an appointment.

Reminder: Coronavirus symptoms and prevention

Symptoms of this new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) include fever, a dry cough within two to seven days of infection, mild difficulty breathing, body aches, and gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea. As a precaution, UWaterloo Health Services has updated its triage protocols in the campus Health Services. As a result, Health Services staff will ask patients about recent travel and respiratory symptoms upon entering the health centre and may be asked to wear a face mask depending on their answers.

Health Services advises patients and campus to take sanitary precautions. Precautions include:

  •  covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  •  frequent washing of hands
  • avoid contacting with others who are sick
  • avoid touching your face.

Travel considerations

University officials will continue to monitor Global Affairs Canada travel advisories and will be in contact with public health officials as this situation continues to unfold.

We encourage anyone travelling to or from China to visit the federal source of destination-specific travel information that provides important advice to help travellers make informed decisions and travel safely while abroad. Currently, Global Affairs Canada is recommending that Canadians avoid all travel to the province of Hubei, including the cities of Wuhan, Huangang and Ezhou, due to local travel restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus. You can also register all international travel with the Safety Abroad Team at to access travel safety information, emergency assistance and access to various services provided by Anvil Group.

Staying informed

You can get the most current information from the Campus Wellness website. The University’s official Twitter account and the Daily Bulletin will also share updated messaging.

If you have questions or concerns, please email and our teams will help to find the right campus contact.

Battle of Waterloo at the Aud and other notes

Battle of Waterloo banner.

The Battle of Waterloo at the Kitchener Auditorium features cross-town rivals Waterloo Warriors and the Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks tonight at 7:07 p.m. There's still time to get tickets, either online or at the PAC North Athletics Office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. while supplies last.

A stylized image of a rat.The University Club is holding its annual Lunar New Year Luncheon from January 27 to 31 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Make your reservation today by calling extension 33801.

This week's update from the Centre for Career Action: See the Career Centre Events Calendar on WaterlooWorks for all upcoming student and employee workshops.

The Region of Waterloo has announced that it has reached a tentative agreement with Unifor Local 4304, raising the possibility of an end to the week-long Grand River Transit strike. The ratification vote will take place on January 30, with a Regional Council vote to take place soon afterwards.

Upcoming office closures

The Arts Undergraduate Office will be closed today from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Link of the day

40 years ago: The Canadian Caper

When and Where

#ConsentWeekUW, campus-wide events and workshops for Consent Week, Monday January 27 to Friday, January 31.

Consent Week Book Display, Monday, January 27 to Friday, January 31, W Store | Course Materials + Supplies, South Campus Hall.

NEW - University Club Lunar New Year Luncheon, Monday, January 27 to Friday, January 31, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Statements of Teaching Philosophy, Wednesday, January 29, 9:30 a.m., MC 2036.

Research Ethics drop-in session for faculty and students, Wednesday, January 29, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dana Porter Library (study booth on the main floor).

Canadian Blood Services Clinic, Wednesday, January 29, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

Waterloo Women’s Wednesdays presents: Community-Based Digital Storytelling with Aynur Kadir and Kimberly Lopez, Wednesday, January 29, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., NH 3308.

Moving Careers Forward: A community of practice for women, Wednesday, January 29, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Chemistry Seminar: Nanoscale heat transport at plasmonic interfaces and in 2D crystals featuring Simone Pisana, Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Lassonde School of Engineering, York University, Wednesday, January 29, 2:30 p.m., C2-361 (Reading Room).

Indigenous Speakers Series presents Jean Becker, Wednesday, January 29, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, ML.

Coping Skills Seminar – Cultivating Resiliency, Wednesday, January 29, 6:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

Concept by Velocity - Intro Session: Is Your Idea a Business?, “Learn how to assess whether your idea can become a viable business with the help of Concept Coaches.” Wednesday, January 29, 6:30 p.m., South Campus Hall, 2nd Floor.

Warrior’s Men’s Hockey vs. Laurier Battle for Waterloo at the Aud – Laurier Hosting, Wednesday, January 29, 7:00 p.m.

Canadian Blood Services Clinic, Thursday, January 30, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

Grad Student Community and Conversation Circle, Thursday, January 30, 3:30 p.m., HS 1106 – Register is on GoSignMeUp.

Alleviating Anxiety Seminar, Thursday, January 30, 5:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

Concept by Velocity - Co-op at a Startup: Info Session, “Hear from previous startup co-ops as they share their past work experiences”, Thursday, January 30, 7:00 p.m., South Campus Hall, 2nd Floor.

Designing Teamwork/Group Work in your Course: Collaboration and Teamwork Community of PracticeFriday, January 31, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Office of Research drop-in Q&A session with CIHR Project Grant reviewers, Friday, January 31, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Engineering 5, Room 5128.

Opt-in closes for Concept's new Graduate Student Stream, a four-month program built to help graduate students and postdocs think about their research as a potential business venture, Friday, January 31. – Opt-in form.

NEW - IT Seminar: Highlights from VueConf, Friday, January 31, 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., East Campus 5 room 1111.

Canadian Blood Services Clinic, Friday, January 31, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

Knowledge Integration alumni panel on “Life after KI”, Friday, January 31, 1:00 p.m., EV2-2002.

NEW - Philosophy Colloquium Series presents Dr. Tim Kenyon, “Accepting Testimony and Believing Testimony,” Friday, January 31, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., HH 373.

Food & Faith: Mennonites Farming Locally and Globally: Seven Points on Earth Film Screening“Screening and discussion on agriculture and faith with film maker Paul Plett”, Friday, January 31, 7:30 p.m. CGUC.

NEW - Farmers Breakfast Panel: Breakfast and discussion with Ontario Mennonites in Agriculture, “Panel discussion of the way farming, food, family and faith come together in our various lives”, Saturday, February 1, 9:00 a.m. CGUC.

NEW - Coping Skills Seminar - Empowering Habit Change, Monday, February 3, 3:30 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

NEW - Research Talks: Designing smart and climate savvy cities. A public event and panel discussion examining smart infrastructure and sustainability, Monday, February 3, 6:30 to 8:15 p.m., THEMUSEUM. Register as seating is limited.

NEW - Akindi training session, Tuesday, February 4, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Positions available

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

  • Job ID# 2019-5008 - Associate Director, Advancement - Dean of Math Office, USG 12 – 13
  • Job ID# 2020-5113 - Associate Director, Maintenance - Plant Operations, USG 13 – 14
  • Job ID# 2019-4305 - HVAC & Refrigeration Mechanic - Plant Operations-Electrical, CUPE
  • Job ID# 2019-5025 - Legal Counsel - Legal & Immigration Services, USG 14
  • Job ID# 2020-5130 - Patrol Officer - Police Services, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2019-4958 - Research Financial Analyst - Mathematics Research Office, USG 10
  • Job ID# 2019-5030 - Senior Communications Officer, Development - Dean of Math Office, USG 10

Internal secondment opportunities:

  • 2020-5112 - Coordinator, International Student Experience - Student Success Office, USG 7
  • 2020-5129 - Manager, Co-op and Work-Integrated Learning Initiatives - School of Accounting & Finance, USG 10
  • Job ID# 2019-4937 - Social Media Specialist - CEE - Cooperative Education, USG 7