Parking enforcement and fees to resume
The free parking free ride is coming to an end.
Standard parking enforcement begins on September 8, with student and visitor parking charges coming back into effect, according to a memo from Vice-President, Administration & Finance Dennis Huber circulated to employees yesterday. Additionally, payroll parking fee deductions will resume on November 1.
"As we prepare for a return to campus this fall with many students and employees participating in person, Parking Services is making changes to support the campus," Huber writes. "For employees with parking permits, payroll deductions were suspended in April 2020 and parking will remain free of charge until November 1."
"Starting September 8, standard parking enforcement will begin," the vice-president's memo continues. "This means that you are required to park in your designated parking lots and clearly display your valid permit. If you use a pay and display lot, you are required to display a valid ticket."
If you currently have a valid parking permit, payroll deductions for standard parking fees will resume on November 1, 2021. You can cancel your parking permit by returning your hang tag and transponder (if applicable) before October 8, 2021 to avoid November’s payroll deductions.
"If you currently do not have a permit, you can obtain one for X lot. Parking charges will start in November."
"Please note that temporary holds for permit holders are not available. If you choose to cancel your parking permit, you can elect to register for the wait list for any designated lots."
"If you don’t have a current parking permit and visit campus intermittently, you can park in one of many pay and display lots available where a daily rate applies."
"For employees seeking alternate transportation means, University staff are eligible for GRT’s corporate pass program and can save 15 per cent on fares," Huber writes. "Arrangements for GRT passes are no longer organized through Parking Services and must be made directly through GRT."
Find out more about Parking Services.
United Way Charity Spotlight - Sexual Assault Support Centre
By Jessica Manarang. This is the first article in a three-part series on the charities that the United Way supports.
Following the second wave of feminism in the 1960 and 1970s, sexual assault centres sprung up across Canada. After the Waterloo Rape Distress Centre closed its doors due to a lack of funding in 1975, our region became one of largest communities in Ontario without sexual violence services. In response, a group of local women started a 24-hour support line by passing around a pager to ensure that survivors of sexual violence at least had someone to talk to. In 1989, after the Montreal Massacre, these women received a $30,000 donation from Mutual Life (now Sun Life) which enabled them to hire staff and become the charitable organization known today as the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region (SASC).
Providing wrap-around support
SASC has undergone drastic development and expansion over the years to offer the necessary programs to address the complex issues that survivors of sexual violence and gender-based violence may face. These include both individual and facilitated group counselling; a 24-hour support line and online chat; an advocacy program that supports survivors in court, at the police station, at the hospital, and with landlords; and even an anti-human trafficking program that serves survivors as young as 12 years old.
One of SASC’s indirect services include engaging men and boys as allies through one of the strongest public education programs in the country. To understand the systemic roots of sexual and gender-based violence, SASC in conjunction with key community partners reviews all sexual assault cases that didn’t end up in charges through an agreement with the Waterloo Regional Police. Essentially, SASC exists to support survivors and then to advocate for systemic change that either prevents sexual violence or improves how our system responds to sexual survivors.
Perhaps the most distinct and important part of SASC’s services is that they are not time limited. “We work with folks where they’re at and try to support them with whatever they need” Sara Casselman, SASC’s executive director, explains. “Sometimes you have someone come for 8-12 sessions, and sometimes someone may be with us getting supports in various capacities for a couple of years”.
The MeToo movement and the pandemic has increased demand
The MeToo movement shifted and amplified the dialogue around sexual abuse and harassment. Survivors began reaching out for support like no other time in history; yet funding for sexual assault centres has remained relatively stagnant. Without sufficient resources, SASC struggles to meet demand.
The pandemic has only exacerbated that demand, and in all program areas. The counsellor-facilitated workshops have grown over 600 per cent and around 130 people are on the waiting list for individual counselling. Demand for SASC’s family court support program has also increased by 51 per cent.
Social isolation has been particularly harmful for victims and survivors of sexual violence, as it has made distancing from abusers and reaching out for support much harder. Although SASC has been able to adapt most of their services to a virtual setting, it is not always ideal. “It’s challenging if someone is triggered, and we can’t be there to support them.” Casselman said.
Students are prioritized because they are disproportionally affected by sexual violence
Casselman says that “at any given point, about half of the survivors we’re serving and about half of those on our waiting list are aged 25 and younger”. Moreover, women between 16-24 are four-five times more likely to experience sexual violence than any other demographic. That’s why SASC has an agreement with the post-secondary institutions in the Waterloo region to prioritize students who reach out for support and to provide public education on campuses, including the University of Waterloo. Spreading the word about sexual violence and the supports that exist is so important; as Casselman says, “it’s the kind of service you never think you’ll need or will impact your life, until it does”.
Donations to United Way can help eliminate the waiting list
There are many ways to support SASC and its work – such as volunteering with its 24-hour support line, sharing its social media content, and joining its team of staff. However, the most urgent goal is to eliminate its growing waiting list. “We need the resources to meet the demand that we’re seeing,” explains Casselman, “which is why it is so important that we have agencies like United Way that support our work”.
To learn more about SASC, visit their website at https://www.sascwr.org/. Stay tuned for content about our campus’s United Way Campaign in October to support SASC and other important organizations in our community by making a donation.
CORE seeks participants for myopia study
A message from the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE).
The Centre for Ocular Research & Education is currently seeking children ages 7-12 to participate in a study investigating whether a contact lens can slow down myopia's progression (nearsightedness). This new study will include eleven in-clinic visits over a three-year time. Eligible participants will receive study lenses throughout the study's three-year duration, a pair of spectacles and $650 upon completion. You and your child can help us develop technologies to slow myopia's progression by volunteering for our study. For more information or visit www.COREstudies.ca/HONEYDEW
All studies conducted at CORE have been reviewed and received ethics clearance through a University of Waterloo Research Ethics Committee. To be the first to know about new CORE studies, make a participant profile at https://prescreen.uwaterloo.ca/star_tracker/index.php/volunteers
President Vivek Goel published an editorial in the Waterloo Region Record on the importance of returning to campus for students in post-secondary institutions.
The pandemic has thrown a monkeywrench into many of our routines since 2020, and that includes blood donation. On-campus blood donation clinics have been suspended due to COVID-19, but the need still exists, and Canadian Blood Services is implementing a trial program to students offering them free transportation to their local clinic in Waterloo.