Monday, June 22, 2020

Pride 2020 resources now online

The Pride flag along with the University flag, Canadian flag and Ontario flag.

A message from Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion (HREI).

Pride at UWaterloo is a month where we prioritize the celebration of our LGBTQ2+ students, faculty and staff, focus on the significant contributions and vital role they play in our campus community, and hold space for conversations on how we can work together to create a more inclusive campus.

This year, as we turn our attention to focus on the violent, oppressive racism and specifically anti-Black racism in Canada, and on our campus – we must recognize that advancing equity, social justice and the dismantling of systems of oppression cannot happen in silo. We must work together to centre and prioritize the voices of BIPOC folks as we advance LGBTQ2+ initiatives, disability justice, decolonization, anti-racism, gender equity and any other anti-oppressive work.

Pride is about celebration – but it is also about resistance, reform, advocacy, and justice – and as the UW Equity Office we are committed to these principles and to intersectionality in everything we put forward.

We wanted to create a page to celebrate Pride and for students, faculty, and staff to explore for support, resources, community, and educational materials. We recognize that this year, the pandemic has disrupted typical avenues for celebration and community – and hope that some of the events listed will be useful for LGBTQ2+ campus members. As you review the webpage, if you know of other resources, social or community building opportunities that may be applicable, please contact us by sending us an email at

Check out the Pride 2020 resources

WCC student staff talk about remote services for all

WCC staff wave during a video call.

By Teresa Chung with input from Ayooluwa Solaja, Ravnish Kaur, Olivia Davitt and Rachel Hannusch.

As the remote spring term progresses, deadlines for student projects and essays are quickly approaching. Here, at the Writing and Communications Centre (WCC), we’re busy helping students reduce stress as they work on assignments. I’m one of several students working at the WCC right now, and I want to share my experience and some recommendations from all of us.

Undergraduate students, Ayooluwa Solaja and Ravnish Kaur, are currently working at the WCC as Senior Online Learning Assistants. Having previously used WCC resources, they’re eager to talk about the value of the WCC’s virtual offerings, particularly the drop-in appointments, which are great for to getting help right when you need it. Rachel, a WCC peer tutor, agrees and says that the move to digital is convenient: “Students can easily sign up for drop in appointments and receive the assistance they need whether they are at home, away on co-op, or simply don’t feel like leaving their bedrooms.” Virtual Drop-In Appointments are scheduled in the evening from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Sunday to Thursday, which is perfect for night-owls and quick questions. For those who like to plan ahead, Ayooluwa recommends 50-minute Virtual Appointments, which she scheduled ahead of a project deadline to keep her accountable to the timeline she set.

Newly created virtual workshops, such as the Clarity in scientific writing, Design & deliver series, and the Grammar studio series, are perfect for students hoping to get hands-on experience. Online resources like the assignment planner help students successfully plan and complete assignments. We’ve also been trying some exciting new formats in this new remote learning landscape. At our Instagram Live Q&A sessions every week, peer tutor, Olivia, talks writing and communication and answers questions. Students can also ask questions on our new WCC Subreddit! Later in the term, we’ll run a special YouTube Live writing group for undergraduates.

Virtual appointments are also for graduate students and faculty. As a graduate student, I’ve booked virtual appointments with WCC specialists and learned a variety of tips, tricks and advice on writing papers. Whether you’re writing an article, research paper or thesis, getting a second set of expert eyes to look at your work can be very useful. Just having a discussion about starting a project is valuable too.

For starting projects, there are other virtual programs to help grad students, such as the Rock Your Thesis series, the Speak Like A Scholar program, and Dissertation Boot Camp. Graduate workshops like Say it in your own words: Paraphrase & summary for graduate students and the Graduate literature review workshop series are great for hands-on practice in key graduate writing skills.

Finally, students, staff, and faculty should check out our Virtual Writing Cafés. Anyone can join us on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to write with a community of other writers and a WCC staff member facilitator.

Whoever you are and whatever you’re looking for, the Writing and Communication Centre has something to help you. Come check out all the services the WCC has to offer today.

Indigenous and homeless is more than being houseless

An illustration of a steamshovel scooping up a community in its shovel.

This is an excerpt of an article that originally appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of Waterloo Magazine.

When a police officer and a social worker found three-and-a-half-year-old Jesse Thistle and his two older brothers alone in an apartment, the boys were taken into foster care.

Jesse Thistle.What the authorities didn’t know that day in 1979 was Thistle’s maternal grandparents lived in a remote cabin on Saskatchewan land they could never own; part of the Métis community that was pushed off their land in the Battle of Batoche in 1885. The officer could not have known that Thistle’s favourite thing in the world was his grandmother’s bannock or that she taught him how to harvest Saskatoon berries along the CN Railway. He did not know that Thistle’s grandfather built the cabin from nearby aspen trees on a prairie alive with rivers and streams, muskrat, fish, bears and elk.

“I was taken out of my circle of relations when I was a three-year-old child,” recalls Thistle (MA ’16). “When I went through the system and was taken in by my paternal grandparents in Brampton, I lost my Métis culture, that identity, and Michif language. That’s when my homelessness really began.”

Home is connection, not just buildings

After surviving more than a decade cycling through stages of homelessness, abuse, addiction and incarceration, Thistle, now a distinguished scholar and celebrated writer, is at the centre of an important conversation about Indigenous homelessness in Canada. His remarkable 2019 memoir From the Ashes has been topping best-seller lists for months.

Indigenous people – First Nations, Métis and Inuit – are disproportionately affected by homelessness and Thistle says tackling this challenge requires re-thinking what it means to be “homeless.”

“It’s not just about ‘houselessness’,” Thistle says. “Historically, Indigenous peoples haven’t just lost their lands. They lose connection to family and community, and they get dislocated culturally, emotionally, spiritually from all the healthy relationships they would have."

“It’s also about a disconnection from what we term Indigenous worldviews. For instance, my people call it wahkootowin – helping each other in a good way. That’s the way communities governed and lived and had sovereignty where everything is interconnected and we must respect all things in existence. In the Anishinabek worldview, you are placed within your relations, within creation, with the animals, the land, with your family, with food, with your teachers, your stories, your dances. All those things were lost or disrupted through colonialism, and homelessness is often the end result.”

Read the rest of the article on the Waterloo Magazine website.

St. Paul's GreenHouse celebrates 20 cohorts of social innovators

By Grace McKinnon. This article originally appeared on the St. Paul's University College blog.

The front cover of the commemorative St. Paul's GreenHouse book.Since 2013, GreenHouse has been helping students find purpose, take action and create impact. Recently GreenHouse has reached a significant milestone, celebrating the achievements of its 20th cohort of students at its first virtual Social Impact Showcase

As GreenHouse reached this milestone, some of its current students and alumni came together to share where they are today, and the impact that GreenHouse has had on their journey. These stories are captured in this collaborative digital book.

Celebrate this amazing achievement with us, by taking a read through some of our students’ journeys, while learning more about how GreenHouse has evolved since Day One.

GreenHouse would love to hear your favourite GreenHouse memory, reach out to us via our Instagram.

Waterloo International receives PPE donation and other notes

Representatives from the University of Waterloo and Sci International stand with boxes of facemasks and a supportive banner.

Earlier this month, Waterloo International, on behalf of the University of Waterloo, accepted a donation of 5,000 face masks from Sci Innovation Centre, Canada Confederation of Shenzhen Associations, and Canada Aixin Charity Foundation.

The masks come from Shenzhen and other parts of China and were managed by the Sci Innovation Centre, a private incubator with locations in Toronto and Shenzhen that specializes in venture services and investment between China and Canada. The centre distributed the donated masks to partners in Canada, including the University of Waterloo, as an offer of goodwill and support during this challenging time.

Waterloo has provided the masks to the Region of Waterloo community PPE drive to be further distributed within the community.

Plant Operations is reminding the campus community that the Ring Road at Village One will be closed on Monday, June 22 and Tuesday, June 23 for work relating to a water main repair. Ring Road will be closed at North Campus Road and in front of the STC building for the duration. Emergency services and Grand River Transit have been informed.

Parking Services is letting staff and faculty know that the payroll-deducted parking fees continue to be waived for the month of July. "All staff who purchased a permit in office will receive a credit for months bought," says a note from Parking Services. 

Parking permit fees have been waived for the months of April, May and June.

Link of the day

45 years later, you're still gonna need a bigger boat

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.  

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. 

NEW - Introduction to OER Courses, Tuesday, July 7, 10:00 to 10:30 a.m. 

NEW - Remote Course Design Essentials, Wednesday, July 8. 

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. We have many online services to help you meet your goals, including: Virtual Pre-booked and Drop-in appointments, Online workshopsVirtual Grad and Faculty Writing CafésInstagram Live Q&A sessionsLive PJ-Friendly Write-insOnline learning resources, and Online programming for Master’s and PhD students. Whatever you’re working on, we’re here to help! Visit our website for more information.

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 Centre – Now 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.

More Feet on the Ground Mental Health Training for Faculty and Staff, Monday, June 22, 1:30 p.m., Microsoft Teams – Register on  GoSignMeUp.

WCGS Reading Group Eugen Ruge’s In Zeiten des abnehmenden Lichts, Monday, June 22, 7:00 p.m. (RSVP by June 18).

International Live Chat #1 – Connecting to Campus, Tuesday, June 23, 9:00 to 10:00 a.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.

BSIA/UNAC online seminar, “Global Health Pandemics: COVID-19 Forward”, featuring Susan Horton, UW/BSIA; Peter Singer, World Health Organization; Michael Pearson, Public Health Agency of Canada; and Alan Whiteside, Laurier/BSIA, Tuesday, June 23, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.

Intro Session: Pitch to Win, Wednesday, June 24, 6:30 p.m.

The Post-COVID-19 Reboot, “Rebooting with Research: Our virtual future” (panel session 6 of 6) Thursday, June 25, 1:00 p.m.

Public Writing – Turning an Academic Paper into a Blogpost (with Elise Vist and James Skidmore), Thursday, June 25, 1:00 p.m.

Healthy Minds, Creative Concepts: Stress Management, Thursday, June 25, 4:00 p.m., Virtual Event. 

Science Innovation Hub Guest Lecture: Science Around the World with Senjuti Saha, Friday, June 26, 10:00 a.m.

Managing the Pandemic through Contact-Tracing Apps: Technological innovation or a Challenge to Privacy and Civil Liberties? Lunch and Learn session in collaboration with Defence Security Foresight Group and Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute - Moderated by CPI Executive Director Dr. Florian Kerschbaum with Panelists Bessma Momani, Plinio Morita and Douglas Stebila. Friday June 26, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Zoom platform. Register by Thursday June, 25.

Concept $5K Applications Close, Sunday, June 28, 11:59 p.m.

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

International Live Chat #2 – Adjusting to a New Culture, Tuesday, June 30, 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

Navigating Academic Integrity Issues in Online Teaching and Learning, Tuesday, June 30, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Canada Day holiday, most University operations closed, Wednesday, July 1.

Grammar studio I: The most common grammar trouble spots, Thursday, July 2, 2:00 p.m. Live Q & A on LEARN.

University of Waterloo internal communications survey deadline, Friday, July 3.

Design & deliver I: Structure and deliveryMonday, July 6, 10:00 am, Live Q & A on LEARN.

International Live Chat #3 – Thriving in First Year, Tuesday, July 7, 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

Science Live Chat, Wednesday, July 8, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Intro Session: Billion Dollar Briefing, Wednesday, July 8, 6:30 p.m.