WUSA seeks input on long-range plan
A message from the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA).
For over a year, WUSA president Abbie Simpson met with members, staff, and faculty to deliberate on WUSA’s next five years, discussing the most prominent issues affecting students, devising strategies to address those issues and steer WUSA on a path that leads to lasting, positive change. The result of those discussions is the Long Range Plan.
The Long Range Plan is a tool to help bring clarity and continuity to the goals and objectives WUSA, as an organization, set yearly. With the expected annual change in executives, Council and Board, the Long Range Plan will be the pillar against which WUSA rests its priorities and the benchmark for its yearly goals. It contains WUSA’s thematic priorities for the next 5 years as well as its advocacy priorities.
The two sets of commitments, while not exhaustive, were chosen with careful thought to the most important and frequent pain points students have during their time on campus. Each key point is broad enough for executives and staff to find a fit for the operational plans, yet specific enough to ensure focus on providing actionable tactics that address students’ concerns.
The key highlights of the plan are:
- Make it easier and more accessible for students to engage with WUSA and our constituency societies
- Continue commitments to build belonging and campus engagement
- Support continued personal and professional growth of our students and staff
- Serve students efficiently through our commercial services and operation of the Student Life Centre
- Increase student support
- International Students
- Equity and Accessibility of Education
- Educational Quality
The execution of these priorities, and student involvement to hold executives accountable, will lead WUSA and the university, to become a safer, more inclusive place for all students.
Check out more on the Long Range plan on WUSA's Library page.
Abbie is happy to hear your thoughts and answer questions about the Long Range Plan if you have any. Reach out to her at email@example.com.
When it comes to math education, it's all fun and games
by Brian Caldwell. This article was originally published on Waterloo Stories.
An online education company co-founded by two Waterloo Engineering alumni announced this week that it has secured $159 million in backing to fuel its expansion.
Prodigy Education, one of the fastest-growing education technology companies in North America, was launched by Rohan Mahimker and Alex Peters, who both graduated in 2011 from the mechatronics engineering program at Waterloo.
"From our beginnings as an undergraduate project nine years ago to today's exciting announcement, we have always operated with a simple yet compelling mission: to help every student in the world love learning,” Mahimker said in a media release. “It will continue to be our guiding light as we transform into a truly global leader in education."
100 million users worldwide
Mahimker and Peters are co-CEOs of the Oakville-based company, which has grown from 3,000 local users to more than 100 million registered users worldwide since developing a video game to help elementary students learn math.
Prodigy is well established in North America, and recently expanded to India, Australia and the United Kingdom.
The investment round was led by U.S. private-equity giant TPG Growth, which has backed disruptive technology companies such as Airbnb, Calm, Ipsy, Spotify and Uber.
'Unique value proposition'
“We believe that Prodigy's unique value proposition for teachers, parents, and students - through advanced technology that fosters a love of learning - positions the company to connect with users across the world,” said David Trujillo, a partner at TPG.
Prodigy will use the investment to drive growth, with plans to double its workforce this year to 800 people.
"We have come a long way as a company, and it's a true testament to the strength and dedication of our team," Peters said in the release.
Photo: Katerina Holmes from Pexels
IST announces new email threat protection tool
A message from Information Systems & Technology.
As part of the Email Improvement project, the University is transitioning to a new email security vendor, Cisco, to replace the current email threat protection tool, Proofpoint, with Cisco's Email Security (CES) solution. The new solution will be implemented on Monday, January 25.
Known impacts and considerations
The CES solution applies to Exchange/Office 365 accounts only, and student email accounts, not currently being scanned for SPAM, will be included in this implementation. SPAM email message management will also change from the current "quarantine" approach to a "tag and deliver" method.
There are many benefits to this change, including simplified email transit, consistent SPAM actions for all mailboxes, and a single place to check for all email and add/remove safe/blocked senders.
To learn more about this change, including actions you may need to take after the implementation and related support documentation, please see the full announcement on the IST website.
Senate meets today and other notes
The University's Senate meets today at 3:30 p.m. via Microsoft Teams videoconference. Among the agenda items:
- A motion to make regulation changes in Faculty of Arts' Liberal Arts program;
- A motion that Senate appoint its Executive Committee as the Chancellor Review Committee, reflecting that current Chancellor Dominic Barton's first term ends in July 2021 and he is eligible to serve a second three-year term;
- A motion to approve a new Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Political Science, including an optional experiential stream, effective September 2021;
- Motions to approve program changes in Applied Health Sciences and Engineering; and
- A motion to approve changes to the Bachelor of Global Business and Digital Arts, effective September 2022.
President Hamdullahpur will also provide an update on the pandemic and its impact on the University, as well as an update on recent PART activities.
Winter Welcome Week also kicks off today. This start-of-term event extravaganza is intended to welcome all new and returning students to the campus community virtually this January with a week of fun events.
- Beyonce TikTok Dance Tutorial (Monday, January 18, Instragram Live)
- Pop Culture Trivia Night (Monday, January 18, Teams Live)
- The One Where You Meet New People (Tuesday, January 19, Teams Live)
- F**k Up Night, presented by WUSA (Tuesday, January 19, YouTube Live)
And many more to round out the week. Check the full event listings on WUSA's website.