Proof of vaccination will be required for campus access
The University of Waterloo is strengthening its safety measures against COVID-19 by requiring anyone coming to its campuses to provide proof of vaccination beginning September 7, with accommodations available for medical or human rights grounds.
"Ensuring high rates of vaccination remains the most important way we can protect public health during the pandemic and reduce the spread of COVID-19," wrote President Vivek Goel in a memo circulated to the campus community yesterday. "In recent weeks, we have progressively strengthened our own approach to health and safety on campus while we advocated for a coordinated and consistent government approach to vaccine policy."
"I am pleased that the Council of Medical Officers of Health have recommended that all post-secondary institutions in the province must require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for people coming to campuses," President Goel writes. "This provides a consistent set of recommendations for implementation of vaccination policies across regions. I am therefore encouraged that all members of the Council of Ontario Universities have agreed to act on this recommendation."
"This means that we are further strengthening the plans we announced on August 10 regarding self-declaration of vaccination status. Starting September 7, everyone in the University of Waterloo community, including visitors, must provide proof of vaccination before coming to campus."
"We will send you instructions on how to submit your proof of vaccination or apply for accommodation by the end of this week," President Goel writes. "We are encouraging everyone to submit proof of vaccination as soon as possible. We recognize that some people may not yet have started or completed their vaccination process, so anyone who is not yet vaccinated must provide proof of being fully vaccinated no later than October 17, 2021 and must participate in the rapid testing program if coming to campus before that date."
"We will provide accommodations for rare cases where individuals cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or grounds protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code," The president's memo continues. "Any unvaccinated individuals who are granted an accommodation and anyone not yet fully vaccinated must test negative on a rapid antigen test no more than 72 hours before coming to our campuses and buildings."
"We also expect further guidance from the government on the health and safety regulations and guidance that will be in place for the fall term. You can expect to hear more from us on this guidance and what it means for our fall plans later this week."
"We are grateful for your understanding, patience and adaptability as we prepare for an important fall term ahead," President Goel's memo concludes.
More information will be available later this week on the COVID-19 information website.
COVID-19 testing, rapid screening and vaccination is available through Campus Wellness for all University of Waterloo students, employees, postdocs and their family members.
If you are struggling with your mental health during these changing times, reach out for support through Human Resources, Occupational Health, Here247 and Wellness Together Canada. Ongoing employees can access supports through Homewood Health, the University’s Employee and Family Assistance Program partner or at 1-800-663-1142.
Orientation kicks off August 30
Led in partnership with the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA), the Student Success Office and all six faculties, Waterloo Orientation will be offered virtually for new undergraduate students from Monday August 30 to Friday September 3, 2021. This earlier date ensures Orientation programming will not compete with other priorities and demands on students during their first week of classes and will offer new online events, and reimagined Waterloo traditions. Whether students are on or off campus, Orientation aims to provide participants with a sense of belonging, even when engaging with us online.
In lieu of traditional, centrally run Graduate Student Orientation, Waterloo Grad Ready has been created for incoming master’s and doctoral students. With support from the Graduate Student Association (GSA), and Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA), the Grad Ready program offers a virtual welcome, introduces key services, and provides peer-to-peer connections for graduate students through live sessions and message boards. Faculties will provide some virtual and/or in-person events for students.
The decision to hold all central programming online is in recognition of the ongoing uncertainty around public health guidelines for large scale events, and the impact the Delta variant of COVID-19 has had on Waterloo Region.
We're here to help
To assist students navigating campus for the first time, our annual Here to Help campaign has been reinvented. Wayfinding and information booths will be available in high-traffic areas on campus from Tuesday, September 7 to Friday September 10, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will be staffed with volunteers from several units. If you are interested in assisting new students, pick up a Here to Help sticker from a booth. Wearing the sticker signals that you’re more than just a friendly face – it shows that you are ready to share your knowledge of our campus and welcome new students to our community.
To learn more about all new student transition activities, visit uwaterloo.ca/student-success-office-resources.
United Way campaign releases 2020 annual report
A message from the University of Waterloo United Way Campaign.
Our campaign in 2020
What does “go red” look like during a pandemic? Like the rest of campus, we took a virtual approach in order to keep our community safe. This meant a little more creativity and ingenuity – but like any other United Way Campaign, we were blown away by the generosity of the University of Waterloo and their ability to come together in a crisis. COVID-19 definitely added challenges, but we rose to the occasion.
The best and brightest moments
As we gear up for the 2021 United Way Campaign, we’d like to share our appreciation for the hard work, support, and enthusiasm from our campus community – committee members, volunteers, and donors – during our 2020 campaign. Whether you attended a virtual event, executed a fundraising activity within your department, or made a donation, every little bit helps. Your support helped to raise over $230,000 for the 2020 campaign. Read the full report online.
- Over 40 individual donors gave to United Way (employees, retirees and students).
- 103 new donors supported the campaign – that’s just over 22 per cent of our 460 total donors.
- Our Ambassadors executed 15 events, contributing over $12,000 to our campaign.
- University of Waterloo Deans paraded to Senate in Star Trek costumes;
- The first ever virtual cooking shows had 'souper' turnouts – members of our campus community enjoyed their butternut squash soup and risotto; and
- Incredible participation of our volunteers – including the Library, Engineering, Health, and more.
Impact of your investment
Our campaign efforts contributed to:
- Funding programs to help those in need of counselling and mental health services.
- Supporting programs helping youth enhance their social and educational skills.
- Funding programs connecting local immigrants to their community.
- Supporting programs that help those living in poverty in our community.
2021 campaign is coming soon
As we look ahead to our 2021 campaign on October 1st, we don’t want to forget our “every little bit counts” sentiment. By coming together as a campus community, we can help those who need it most.
IST publishes summer newsletter; other notes
"The summer 2021 issue of the IST Newsletter is now available," says a note from IST. "Read about the new WCMS 3 platform; see project updates on migrating to Jira Service Management, supporting the move to Oracle Cloud, and moving from N: drive to OneDrive; learn about our sustainable IT initiatives; and read about a recent shift in integration technologies. Be sure to subscribe to receive our term-based newsletter."
The Writing and Communication Centre’s English Conversation Circles will be starting again soon. The program is designed to help undergrad and grad students improve their English conversation skills. It runs from September 13 to October 29. Sessions will run Tuesdays from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and Fridays from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. "Make friends and build vocabulary," says a message from WCC. "Register today."