Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Today, Waterloo remembers

A quotation about Remembrance Day by Prime Minister Arthur Meighen.

The University of Waterloo community will join the rest of the country in pausing for a few moments today to remember Canada's war dead. 

The official date of the Remembrance Day commemoration is always November 11, the anniversary of the day in 1918 when the guns fell silent at the end of the First World War. 

Much of the imagery we associate with Remembrance Day is connected to that conflict, now more than a century in the past, including the poppies, sold by the Royal Canadian Legion and worn on lapels, that recall the wildflowers that grow in the fields of Flanders, in north Belgium, as mentioned in the famous poem by Lt.-Col. John McCrae that is read at many Remembrance Day commemorations. And given our current circumstances it also bears remembering that 100 years ago, the world was recovering from an influenza pandemic that resulted in millions of deaths.

In accordance with the University's flag guidelines, flags will be lowered from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on campus today.

The COVID-19 pandemic has, unsurprisingly, resulted in changes in the way that the University and the broader community are observing Remembrance Day this year. There are no on-campus memorials planned for today, and the usual ceremonies held at cenotaphs in local communities are being greatly reduced and will include physical distancing requirements. The local Legions are encouraging community members to observe the traditional two minutes of silence at home. The City of Waterloo will be livestreaming its ceremony on Facebook, and the City of Kitchener's ceremony will be streamed live on In addition, the Waterloo Warbirds will be doing two flyovers of local cenotaphs in the region.

The national ceremony will be streamed on the Royal Canadian Legion's website via Facebook Live.

University monitors outbreak at Claudette Millar Hall

On Monday, November 9, Region of Waterloo public health informed University officials that two people on campus had tested positive for COVID-19.

These two cases are close contacts of an individual who tested positive on November 5. All three individuals are self-isolating in dedicated residence suites. Our residence life team are supporting the students affected. 

These new cases mean the Region of Waterloo public health has declared an outbreak in Claudette Millar Hall. Public health officials are investigating and are informing all high-risk contacts. Residents who are experiencing symptoms, are concerned about exposure, have been identified as a high-risk contact, or have received advice to self-isolate can email for support. 

If you do not hear from public health officials, you should continue to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and seek testing if needed. Public health officials have not identified a risk to members of the public. 

If you have any concerns you can contact the Campus Housing team for support. 

University of Waterloo has robust protocols to manage COVID-19 cases on campus and in residence. Our Campus Housing team developed the procedures in consultation with public health and the Safety Office to protect the safety of our community. We maintain cleaning and disinfection that exceeds public health requirements. 

Learn more about what happens when someone is sick in residence from Residence Life Manager Kristen Leal:

"We are reminding our community that every student and employee has an important part to play in limiting the risk of COVID-19," says a statement from the University. "It is up to everyone to follow public health guidance and to respect each other as we share the space on our campus. Please continue to follow signage, adhere to the policies on guests and mask wearing. Always follow social distancing and hand hygiene recommendations." 

COVID-19 testing is available for University students, employees, postdocs and family members living in the same household. To book a test, please use the online registration form

"We take the privacy of individuals extremely seriously. In reporting on positive cases, the University will protect the private health information of individuals. You should check our disclosure protocol for what to do if someone reveals to you that they have tested positive for COVID-19." 

How Black and Indigenous men fought to support World War I effort

A 1916 photo of a military unit featuring Black enlisted men and white officers.

This is an excerpt of an article that originally appeared on Waterloo Stories.

World War I was initially considered to be the war that would “make the world safe for democracy,” noted history professor James Walker in the opening of his 1989 paper about race and recruitment.

But for many, especially Black, Indigenous, Chinese and Japanese people, the reality was very different. “The experience of visible minorities in World War I illustrates the nature of Canadian race sentiment early in this century, and most abruptly it demonstrates that white Canadians participated in the western ideology of racism,” wrote Walker in the paper.

As it turned out, during WWI about 3,500 Indigenous, more than 1,000 Black and hundreds of Chinese and Japanese men joined the Canadian forces.

Yet racism and prejudice prevented more from enlisting. Walker wrote: “the numbers in uniform were impressive, a demonstration of loyalty and a confidence that accepting equal responsibilities would win the advantages of Canadian citizenship. (However, by) 1919 respect and equality remained beyond reach. Lessons which could and should have been learned in the First World War had to be taught all over again in the second global conflict.”

Walker is widely recognized as a leading scholar of Canadian race relations and Black history. He is credited for reclaiming forgotten stories and advocating for equality for Black and Indigenous communities through both his scholarship and actions. His influential publications, such the book The Black Loyalists, have inspired books and films including Lawrence Hill’s international bestselling novel The Book of Negroes.

His 1989 publication “Race and Recruitment in World War I: Enlistment of Visible Minorities in the Canadian Expeditionary Force” (available at Dana Porter Library) suggests how entrenched racist attitudes resulted in an even higher price of war for all Canadians.

Fighting "a white man’s war"

In 1914, many communities of Black, Indigenous and Japanese young men wanted to enlist in the Canadian Expeditionary Force but were repeatedly rejected. In the case of Indigenous men, Walker wrote that the early wartime reasoning for their rejection was that “Germans might refuse to extend to them the privileges of civilized warfare.” Among numerous other examples, he cites a group of 50 Black men in Sydney, Nova Scotia who set out to enlist but were told, “This is not for you fellows, this is a white man’s war.”

Walker wrote that the desire of men of colour to enlist was likely similar to all volunteers early in war: they were motivated in part by a young men's sense of adventure, but also by the belief that their contribution to the war effort would be rewarded with fair and equal citizenship for their communities.

“They sought enlistment in large numbers and insisted on knowing why their offer was not accepted.” No clear response from the government was offered, but by spring of 1915 it was obvious that the war was not going be “short and glorious.” More and more men were needed. Criteria for soldiers was loosened and segregated units emerged, as long as recruits declared themselves “patriotic.” But, as Walker found in numerous examples, racism continued to stand in the way.

Indigenous men were the first to be enlisted on a larger scale. Walker noted that the 114th Battalion advertised itself in newspapers as “the Indian unit” and ended up with half its members being Indigenous — many from Six Nations — and a badge featuring crossed tomahawks.

However, enlisting Black troops was severely hampered despite the growing need. Commenting on the overt racism in the rejection of Black volunteers, Walker wrote: “No one apologized […] No one seemed to think his prejudices would not be understood and shared.”

Most of the Black volunteers who did join the Canadian Expeditionary Force were not enlisted in combat units, however. From across Canada, they were sent to the segregated Nova Scotia No. 2 Construction Battalion, formed in July 1916, and went to Europe as an all-Black labour battalion.

Read the rest of the article on Waterloo Stories.

Registration open for Renison professional language courses and other notes

Learn American Sign Language credit free and online, with hands making signs.

"Registration is now open for Renison’s Community and Professional Education courses in American Sign Language, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean," says a note from Renison University College. "These credit-free courses are open to all in our community, and begin in January."

For details and to register visit

Here's what’s happening at the Centre for Career Action (CCA) this week:  

You can see CCA’s full offering of virtual programming online. Students can register on WaterlooWorks.  

CCA virtual drop-in advising hours for October: 

Résumé, cover letter, and interview drop-ins for UG and Masters students are offered:

  • 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EST Monday to Friday as well as 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST Monday to Thursday.

Career Consult and work search drop-ins for UG and Masters students are offered:

  • 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. and 12:00-1:00 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday

Further Education drop-ins are offered:

  • 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST Monday to Friday

PhD and Postdoc drop-ins are offered:

  • 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday

Students can book all virtual drop-ins through WaterlooWorks. Online registration begins at 8:00 a.m. daily.

In keeping with recent tradition, the November 2020 Senate meeting, scheduled for Monday, November 16, will be held via Microsoft Teams videoconference. "Guests are welcome to join the open session of the meeting similar to a normal "in-person" Senate meeting," says a note from the Secretariat. "If you would like to attend the meeting as a guest observer, please contact Emily Schroeder to request to join the meeting. All requests must be received by Friday 13 November at 12:00 noon. The agenda is posted on the Senate webpage."

Interested in creating a commercialization plan for a technology? Participate in the Proteus Innovation Competition on November 19 and the chance to win $5,000. Register by November 18.

Link of the day

Ken Spears, co-creator of Scooby-Doo, dead at 82

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):

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

Remote Course Design Essentials, beginning Wednesday, November 11. 

Connecting your students to course materialThursday, November 12, 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

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.

The Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre facilitates the sharing of Indigenous knowledge and provides culturally relevant information and support services for all members of the University of Waterloo community, including Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, staff, and faculty.

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.

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

Remembrance Day, Wednesday, November 11.

Social Justice Wednesdays presents a Virtual Discussion with Dr. Greta Kroeker, "The Artemisia Project and Rape Culture in Early Modern Europe,” Wednesday November 11, 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., Webex meeting invite available through link.

Noon Hour Concert: The Path before Me - A Woman's Journey (Premiere), Wednesday, November 11, 12:30 p.m.

Global Insights: “Asia, the West, and the Global Economy: Promise or Crisis? featuring a panel of international experts, including Waterloo Professor John Ravenhill, and moderated by Balsillie School Director Ann Fitz-Gerald, Thursday, November 12, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Grad Student Community and Conversation Circle, Thursday, November 12, 3:30 p.m., Online – Register on GoSignMeUp.

NEW - Research Talks: Curing the COVID-19 pandemic, an online panel discussion examining risk, resilience, and public wellness. Tuesday, November 17, 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Register to receive a link to this event.

WaterLeadership: Get Published: Tips from Editors-in-Chief (Live Webinar), Tuesday, November 17, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Portfolio & Project Management Community of Practice (PPM CoP) session, "How to create time to reach a goal," Wednesday, November 18, 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Register for this event.

Proteus Innovation Competition, Thursday, November 19. Register by November 18.

Positions available

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

  • Job ID# 2020-5831 - Administrative Coordinator and Advisor, Undergraduate Studies - Economics, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2020-5816 - Administrator, Graduate Studies - Dean of Environment Office, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2020-5921 - Career Advisor - CEE - Centre for Career Action, USG 8 - 10
  • Job ID# 2020-5863 - Coordinator, Marketing and Communications - Print + Retail Solutions, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2020-5860 - Executive Assistant to the Dean - Dean of Mathematics Office, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2020-5849 - Faculty Services Manager - Engineering Dean's Office, USG 8
  • Job ID# 2020-5840 - Financial Officer and Space Coordinator - Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2020-5868 - Manager, Equity Office - Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion, USG 10
  • Job ID# 2020-5856 - Research Coordinator - Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association, USG 6

Internal secondment opportunities    

  • Job ID# 2020-5848 - Advisor, Housing Services - Campus Housing, USG 5
  • Job ID# 2020-5911 - Analyst - Co-operative and Experiential Education Business Services, USG 8 - 9
  • Job ID# 2020-5910 - Digital Engagement Specialist - Co-operative and Experiential Education - Business Services, USG 9
  • Job ID# 2020-5795 - Financial Coordinator - Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2020-5886 - Junior Data Analyst - School of Public Health and Health Systems, USG 8
  • Job ID# 2020-5822 - Program Coordinator - Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology, USG 6