Thursday, October 29, 2020

President's virtual town hall meeting set for today

"Join the Conversation" at the President's Town Hall Meeting. Banner features a laptop with President Feridun Hamdullahpur on screen.

President Feridun Hamdullahpur will host a Virtual President's Town Hall today at 1:30 p.m. through an interactive livestream.

To ensure that Waterloo continues its dedication to transparency during challenging times, the interactive town hall session will be open to the University of Waterloo community and beyond.

Just like regular President’s Town Hall meetings, President Hamdullahpur will deliver a presentation and then open the floor for a robust Q&A session. Vice-President, University Relations Sandra Banks will moderate the digital discussion.

Questions can be submitted in advance during registration, and the online meeting platform will also provide attendees with the opportunity to ask their questions during the interactive livestream.

There's still time to register and submit a question. Check out the livestream today at 1:30.

Michaelle Jean named Chancellor of St. Paul's University College

This article was originally published on the St. Paul's University College website.

The Right Honorable Michaëlle Jean.St. Paul’s University College is very proud to announce the appointment of the Right Honorable Michaëlle Jean, 27th Governor General of Canada, as Chancellor, for a three-year term starting immediately.

“We are delighted to have someone of Mme. Jean’s talent and stature take on the role of Chancellor,” said Brad Siim, incoming Board Chair. “Her interests and values align beautifully with those of our College.”

Affiliated with the University of Waterloo, St. Paul’s University College is unique in offering programs in Indigenous Studies, International Development, Canadian Studies and Human Rights. The College is also home to the Waterloo Indigenous Student Center, the Student Refugee Program, and GreenHouse, a nationally-recognized social enterprise incubator. These are all areas which are dear to the Right Honorable Michaëlle Jean, that she will want to follow closely, promote and encourage, as she states in words that express her desire to get involved:

"I am particularly honored to be associated with the highly innovative, inspiring, creative and inclusive approach that sets St. Paul's University College apart and of which this institution and the University of Waterloo can be proud. I thank them for including me and I would like to give my full support to their influence. I look forward to being in contact with and alongside the teams as well as the students, to let myself be won over by their enthusiasm, their aspirations, their desire to surpass themselves in a spirit of achievement and excellence. "

Michaëlle Jean was born in 1957 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She was eleven years old when Canada offered political asylum to her parents who were fleeing the repression of the dictatorial regime in their country of origin. Francophones, it is in Quebec that they settled. Her family experienced the ordeal of forced exile and, like all refugees, the immense challenge of rebuilding a life elsewhere, starting from scratch, gathering all their strength and their experiences, also motivated by the desire to contribute, as citizens and full citizens to the development of their host country.

Michaëlle Jean has never stopped wanting to serve Canada, by participating in the establishment of the largest network of shelters and emergency assistance for women and children victims of violence across Quebec and other provinces. Her brilliant career as a journalist and host of programs on Canadian public television was driven by her passion for promoting awareness of social and development issues in our country and in the world. In 2005, she was appointed Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, the first black woman to reach the highest constitutional office in our country and that she carried with extraordinary energy, for a five-year term.

When on January 12, 2010, her native country was devastated by a terrible earthquake, the United Nations called on the Right Honorable Michaëlle Jean to be UNESCO Special Envoy to support the reconstruction efforts of Haiti with the financial support of Canada. Then, in 2014, she was the first woman elected to head the International Organization of La Francophonie, which brings together 88 states and governments on 5 continents. She is familiar with the role of Chancellor, having previously held that office at the University of Ottawa. Together with her husband, filmmaker Jean-Daniel Lafond, she co-founded and co-chairs the Fondation Michaëlle Jean Foundation, whose programs support, through art and culture, civic initiatives alongside some of the most vulnerable and disenfranchised young people in Canada. 

St. Paul’s Principal Richard Myers expresses confidence that Chancellor Michaelle Jean will be a powerful champion for the values and priorities of the College and an inspiration to its students and staff. “And given her combination of intellect, experience and passion, we fully expect her to push us!” says Myers.

Michaëlle Jean succeeds Jean Paul Gladu, former President of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, who served as Chancellor from 2017 to 2020. They spoke at length about the development of the new program focused on Indigenous entrepreneurship at St. Paul's that Mr. Gladu strongly supported.

St Paul's University College plans to formally welcome the Right Honorable Michaëlle Jean in a virtual installation ceremony to be held at the end of November. Principal Richard Myers believes that the virtual format will have the advantage of making this solemn moment even more accessible to friends of the College across Canada. Full details will be made public by the end of October.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) postponed until November 17

A visual guide to two-factor authentication - a laptop screen and a smartphone verification leads to unlocking the app.

A message from Information Systems & Technology (IST)

The implementation of mandatory two-factor authentication (2FA) has been postponed until November 17, 2020. You have three weeks left to enrol your mobile device with Duo Security. If you do not enrol your device with Duo Security by November 17, you will not be able to access 2FA supported systems, including Quest, LEARN, Office 365, and Workday.

Ensure you’re ready for November 17

 2FA resources

Take the annual employee travel survey

A vista of the University's ring road showing buses, pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.

A message from the Sustainability Office.

All employees and students are invited to participate in this year’s annual travel survey for the University, hosted through the Region of Waterloo’s TravelWise program.

Although getting to and from the campus looks dramatically different for many this year, the survey is an important tool to help both the University of Waterloo and our municipal partners understand how people are travelling to workplaces across the community – or not.

Information collected through the survey helps measure commuting patterns at Waterloo, and how various services and infrastructure can support commuting options on or off campus.

Whether you walk, cycle, drive, take transit, or work from home (before COVID-19 and now), your input is valuable.

The survey is available online until November 6, and there are gift card prize incentives available for participation. For any questions related to the survey, please contact the Sustainability Office (

Link of the day

Internet Day

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.

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):

Remote Course Design Essentials, beginning August 26.

Independent Remote Course Design Essentials. Self-directed, continuous self-enrollment course in LEARN.

Remote Course Design Essentials, beginning Wednesday, November 11. 

NEW - Assessment Design Cafe, Friday, November 20, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

Employees can access resources to help them work remotely, including managing University records and privacy of personal information. Here are some tips for staying healthy while working from home.

The Writing and Communication Centre is rolling out virtual services and programs for fall term: 

  • Undergrad students -- work with us to brainstorm, draft, revise, and polish assignments by meeting with our writing advisors in virtual appointments. Chat with our friendly and knowledgeable peer tutors in our virtual drop-ins and PJ-friendly writing groups. Or experience an online workshop at your own pace. 
  • First-year Warriors! Check out Waterloo Ready to Write to build your skills for writing success.
  • Graduate Students -- meet with an advisor in a virtual appointments, take an online workshop,  join the grad writing community at our Virtual Writing Cafés and #WaterlooWrites groups, develop your academic voice at Speak Like a Scholar, or make progress on your thesis at Dissertation Boot Camp.
  • Instructors and faculty -- Request and access WCC workshops for use in your courses, join a virtual writing group, or speak with a writing advisor about a writing project.

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. You can also contact the University's Centre for Mental Health Research and Treatment.

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

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 1-833-628-5589.

When and Where (but mostly when)

Healthy Warriors at Home. Free programming including Online Fitness, Health Webinars, Personalized Nutrition and more from Warriors Athletics and Rec. Open to students, staff, faculty and alumni. Register today.

Renison English Language Institute continues to offer virtual events and workshops to help students practice their English language skills.

Design & Deliver II: Designing Visual Support Live Q&A, Thursday, October 29, 9:00 a.m.

President's Virtual Town Hall Meeting, Thursday, October 29, 1:30 p.m.

Grad Student Community and Conversation Circle, Thursday, October 29, 3:30 p.m., Online – Register on GoSignMeUp.

Speak Like a Scholar, Friday, October 30, 5:00 p.m.

TEDxUW 2020, Saturday, October 31, 12 noon to 4:00 p.m.

Portage-Global Water Futures Research Data Management webinar series: “Using the Open Science Framework to Enhance Your Research Projects, Wednesday, November 3, 1:00 p.m. Registration details are available here.

WaterLeadership: Develop a Knowledge Mobilization Plan for Your Grant Proposals (Q&A with Nancy Goucher), Tuesday, November 3, 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

NEW - Waterloo’s annual travel survey for employees and students is available until Friday, November 6.

NEW - Warriors vs. Laurier Blood Donation Battle, until December 2020. Join your fellow Warriors, donate blood and help us win the Blood Battle against Laurier for a second year in a row. Set up a profile or add the PFL code: UNIV960995 to your account if you have a account already. Questions? Contact