Monday, June 15, 2020

President Feridun Hamdullahpur announces President's Anti-racism Taskforce (PART)

In a memo to campus this morning, President Feridun Hamdullahpur announced the formation of the President’s Anti-racism Taskforce (PART). 

"The University of Waterloo’s Strategic Plan defines our commitment to fostering inclusivity, belonging and a culture of involvement on our campus and within our community," Hamdullahpur writes. "We have made a start on this work already – including in our Indigenous initiatives and in the on-going work of the Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion Office.

"It is clear to me now, after spending time engaging with the issues of anti-racism, particularly anti-Black racism, over the last two weeks, that we must build further on what we’ve been doing as a University to advance equity for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) on our campus.

"The President’s Anti-racism Taskforce is the next step in our commitment to strengthening diverse communities, with a specific focus on anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, and other issues of racism on our campus."

Members of the campus community who would like to share their experience at the University of Waterloo with PART are encouraged to email Taskforce members will be informed about expressions of interest to participate and someone will be in touch when the group is formed.

Read the full announcement on Waterloo Stories.

New resource page provides tools for engaging in anti-racism work

A message from Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion.

As part of our commitments made last week, we are happy to share an anti-racism resource page. It is designed to be a non-exhaustive list of resources intended to help students, faculty, and staff at the University of Waterloo develop a deeper understanding of anti-Black racism, along with racism toward other members of the BIPOC community (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour).

Reviewing resources and attending trainings are a great first step in working toward anti-racism and equity, but they should be the tools we use to inform our commitments—not the end goals themselves.

Anti-Black racism, colonization and all other forms of racism are ongoing, oppressive and violent, and impact people on our campus directly. Please see Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion's Statement of Action on Anti-Black Racism to learn more about what we are doing to address anti-Black racism specifically. We recognize that our work must be and will be more expansive than just those commitments but wanted to share our immediate response. We look forward to hearing from other departments and teams about their plans to embed anti-racism in their spaces in the coming days, weeks and months.

We look forward to building this list, continuing important conversations and actions, and remaining accountable.

Graduating Waterloo warriors share a few words of wisdom

An action shot of Waterloo Warriors womens basketball game

This is an excerpt from an article on Waterloo Stories

Sports have always played an integral role in bringing a community together. From standing in the crowd and cheering on our varsity teams to celebrating athletic milestones, Waterloo strives to find a space for everyone — all students, faculties, staff and the wider Waterloo community.

Although we cannot be together to celebrate in-person in June with students and their family members, we will hold convocation ceremonies once it is safe to do so. They can choose to come and celebrate with us then. Waterloo strives to maintain that sense of belonging and showing our pride in celebrating our graduands.

We invited three graduating Waterloo Warriors to share a few words of wisdom to incoming students who will be joining us for the first time in the upcoming fall term. Each of these students have been competing in different Varsity teams across campus. Where they showed a lot of integrity, perseverance, and passion for both in their athletic career and their undergraduate studies. Graduands can expect to reflect back on their own experiences as well.

Victoria Tough

Victoria Tough

Victoria Tough
Waterloo Varsity Figure Skating

For the last five years, Victoria Tough has been part of the Waterloo Varsity Figure Skating team here at the University.

“It’s important to remember that your university experience is about the accumulation of things that you learn, and that won’t always be inside the classroom,” Tough says.

Tough recommends every student to broaden their experience by participating in extra-curricular activities that can bring joy to a person. Tough adds, “That is the key in making your university experience the best it can be.”

“Try new things or old things, or things [that] you’re already good at,” Tough says. She explains that any activity that can make you feel happy and strong — is an activity worth trying. “The lessons and connections that you gain from these experiences will always be worth it.”

Tough is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in biology.

Read the full article on Waterloo Stories.

Employee email migration beginning

multi-coloured stripes and text "Moving employee email to Office 365"

A message from Information Systems & Technology.

As communicated on February 12, the Office 365 employee email investigation recommendation to proceed with a staged migration of the majority of employee email to the Microsoft Office 365 cloud environment was approved. Working closely with our Microsoft partners, Information Systems & Technology (IST) has carefully assessed the requirements for the O365 deployment and is prepared to begin this work. 

In the coming weeks, Academic Support units will be contacted by their IST Account Rep to coordinate a migration plan. The migration of Academic Support client email accounts will take place between mid-June and the end of August 2020. 

Faculty groups interested in migrating to Office 365 during the spring term may submit a request ticket to

More information on the migration process – what to expect, migration schedule, and support resources – will be added to the Office 365 Employee Email Migration website as this work gets underway.  

Upcoming office closure

Campus Wellness locations will be closed on Tuesday, June 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. due to an all-staff meeting.

Link of the day

June 15, 1215: King John signs the Magna Carta

When and Where to get support

Students can visit the Student Success Office online for supports including academic development, international student resources, leadership development, exchange and study abroad, and opportunities to get involved.

Award from GSEF-GSA-GSPA for thesis-based master’s and PhD students who have lost funding because of COVID-19.

Instructors can visit the Keep Learning website to get support on adapting their teaching and learning plans for an online environment. The following workshops are current offerings from the KL team (CTE, CEL, ITMS, LIB):

Teaching Online: Basic Skills for TAs, June 1 to 30.

Teaching Online: Advanced Skills for TAs, June 1 to 30.  

Deepening Your Course Design: Remote Edition, Monday, June 15, 1:30 p.m. 

Google Translate – a tool for cheating or a tool for learning? Wednesday, June 17, 2:00 p.m.

Creating Accessible Presentations, Thursday, June 18, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. 

Introduction to OER Textbooks, Wednesday, June 24, 2:00 to 2:30 p.m.

Introduction to OER Activities, Exercises, and Student Work Examples, Thursday, June 25, 10:30 to 11:00 a.m. 

Employees can access resources to help them work remotely, including managing University records and privacy of personal information

Interested in learning more about engaging your students in an online course? The Centre for Extended Learning has created a new resource for you called "Fostering Engagement: Facilitating Online Courses in Higher Education"

This Open Educational Resource was designed for post-secondary instructors and teaching assistants who would like to better understand the critical role of facilitation in online course delivery, and build practical skills and strategies that are relevant, effective, and authentic.

Here are some tips for staying healthy while working from home.

The Writing and Communication Centre has gone virtual to provide assistance.

Grad Writing Cafés and #WaterlooWritesself-registration on LEARN:

  • Tuesdays: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Wednesdays: 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Fridays: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Virtual Drop-In AppointmentsTuesday, May 19 to Thursday, August 6, registration on WCONLINE

  • Sunday - Thursday from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
  • Sign up begins at 5:55 p.m.
  • Closed for the holidays on July 1 and August 3
  • Appointments are 25 minutes long

We understand that these circumstances can be troubling, and you may need to speak with someone for emotional support. Good2Talk is a post-secondary student helpline based in Ontario, Canada that is available to all students.

If you feel overwhelmed or anxious and need to talk to somebody, please contact the University’s Campus Wellness services, either Health Services or  Counselling Services.

The Library has published a resource guide on how to avoid information overload.

The Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo (FAUW) continues to advocate for its members. Check out the FAUW blog for more information.

The University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA) continues to advocate for its members. Check out the UWSA blog for more information.

WUSA supports for students:

Food Support Service food hampers are currently available from the Turnkey Desk on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Student Life Centre. If you have any questions please email us at

MATES – Providing general online Peer Support via Skype to undergraduate students. To set up an appointment, please go to:

Glow Centre - Providing online Peer Support for the LGBTQ2+ community via Skype to Undergraduate students. To set up an appointment, please go to:

The Women’s Centre – Providing online Peer Support via Skype to undergraduate students. To set up an appointment, please go to:

RAISE – Providing online Peer Support via Google to undergraduate students. To set up an appointment, please go to:

The Bike CentreNow OPEN by appointment for your bicycle repair and rental needs in the Student Life Centre! For more information or to schedule an appointment, please go to:

Centre for Academic Policy Support - CAPS is here to assist Waterloo undergraduates throughout their experience in navigating academic policy in the instances of filing petitions, grievances and appeals. Please contact them at . More information at

WUSA Commissioners who can help in a variety of areas that students may be experiencing during this time:

WUSA Student Legal Protection Program - Seeking legal counsel can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time facing a legal issue. The legal assistance helpline provides quick access to legal advice in any area of law, including criminal. Just call 1-833-202-4571

Empower Me is a confidential mental health and wellness service that connects students with qualified counsellors 24/7. They can be reached at 1-844-741-6389.

When and Where (but mostly when)

Warriors Coaching Clinics. Every Wednesday from June 3 to July 15. Free online sessions highlighting a wide range of topics featuring Warriors Coaches and staff. Register in advance for the zoom link.

NEW - University Senate meeting, Monday, June 15, 3:30 p.m., online.

Entrepreneurship@Environment presents Steps to Starting a Small Business, Tuesday, June 16, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.

Résumé Tips: Thinking Like an Employer, Tuesday, June 16, 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.

Portfolio & Project Management Community of Practice (PPM CoP) session, "Estimating in Projects" Wednesday, June 17, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Register for this event

The Moving careers forward: Community of Practice for women presents: Achieve your goals with 1% effort, Wednesday June 17 at 12:00 p.m. Register in WaterlooWorks.

Entrepreneurship@Environment presents Social Enteprise 101Friday, June, 19, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.

Black Lives Matter Here, Friday, June 19, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Wellness Collaborative, Tuesday, June 23, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Entrepreneurship@Environment presents Impact Investing 101Tuesday, June 23, 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.

Women in Computer Science presents "Unconscious Bias: How to Recognize and Interrupt It," Tuesday, June 23, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Registration required.

Graduate literature reviews A: Organizing research, Monday, June 29, 10:00 a.m. Live Q & A on LEARN.