Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Residence Move-In begins

A smiling volunteer helps students move into residence.

The moment that Campus Housing has been waiting for has begun. Residence Move-In begins today and will run until Monday, September 6. Additionally, the international arrival program for residence will be running at the same time.

Campus Housing has been implementing procedures to ensure the process is safe for each student and their families. This year, residence will house a typical number of students as the University sees in-person experiences increase across campus this fall. 

"We know a student’s initial sense of belonging is formed within the first moments they set foot on our campus," wrote Associate Provost, Students Chris Read in a recent memo to campus. "We can anticipate that in addition to the nervousness and excitement students typically feel on move in day, the pandemic may cause additional concern and worry. Your support is significant in helping them to feel integrated into our on-campus community, and a part of building a vibrant fall term."

Volunteers will be helping with active screening, directional wayfinding, and sanitization activities throughout the move-in process this week.

“Move-in volunteers can witness one of those rare memorable moments in the lives of our students where they are visibly going through a transition by moving away from home for the first time,” said Glen Weppler, director of Campus Housing. “In these moments students, and their families benefit greatly by connecting with current members of our university community.” Please consider being a move-in volunteer over the next few days. Campus Housing has less than half of the move-in volunteer shifts filled so any contribution made will benefit our incoming students. Sign up online to volunteer."

Campus Wellness offers back-to-campus resources

Two masked students enter a campus building.

A message from Campus Wellness.

As students return to in-person classes, you may come across those who may be struggling with their mental health and require additional support. Campus Wellness has developed two resources to support students who are returning on campus: Supporting your return to campus (for students) and Supporting Students and Their Wellness (for faculty and staff).

These resources provide information on how to manage social anxiety, developing a new routine, tips on how faculty and staff can respond to students who need support, and many more.

If you have any questions, please contact Bernice Ma, communications project manager.

Rapid antigen testing kits now available

At-home, rapid antigen testing kits will be available for pick up at all campuses (including satellite campuses) and during off-hours starting today. Testing kits are available to employees, faculty and students. Director of the Safety Office Kate Windsor sent a memo to the campus community outlining the availability of the kits.

As part of the University's mandatory proof of vaccination program you must test negative on a rapid antigen test no more than 72 hours before coming to our campuses and buildings if:

  • you are not yet fully vaccinated or
  • you are seeking or we have granted you an accommodation.

"The rapid antigen testing program is also available to anyone on campus as long as you are not showing symptoms of COVID-19," Windsor writes.

"The main campus Rapid Antigen Testing Site will remain open and you can book your appointment online. If you have never done a rapid test you should book an initial test at the rapid screening site before you start self-testing at home."

"We will only give test kits to current employees, faculty and students," Windsor's memo continues. "You will need to provide identification to collect test kits. One kit is available per person to start. Each kit contains 25 tests, and will last approximately 3 months if you are coming to campus five days a week."

Kits can be collected at the following locations:

Main campus

  • Rapid Antigen Screening Site located in the Student Life Centre (SLC) 2134 and 2135 during operating hours
  • SLC Turnkey Desk outside of the Rapid Antigen Screening Site operating hours



  • From the Administrative Officer, PHR 6004/6001 during building operating hours
  • After normal building hours, request a kit from the security guard on duty


  • ARC 2106, the main office, during building operating hours
  • After normal building hours, request a kit from the security guard on duty

"If you test positive on a rapid antigen test you must immediately self-isolate and book an appointment at the Health Services COVID-19 Testing Assessment Centre or any public health testing site for confirmation PCR testing," the memo continues. "Refer to the COVID-19 information website for more information."

Perceptions of supernatural beings reveal feelings about good and bad in humans

A man sits at a desk while an angel and a devil argue behind him.

What transpires in comedies and cartoons when a character has a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other is not far off from people’s perceptions of the real world, finds a new study from the University of Waterloo.

Intended to illustrate the characters’ decision-making dilemma with comedic results, the moral character and motives of the supernatural beings are obvious. And people have similar expectations when it comes to individuals they see as good or bad.  

The researchers explored expectations about how good and evil individuals respond to requests. The researchers were interested in understanding why movies and folktales often depict the devil and demons as eager to grant accidental requests, whereas angels are not depicted this way. 

Their study indicates that people’s beliefs about good and evil characters are influenced by their views of ordinary humans.

“Our results suggest people expect good agents will be sensitive to intentions behind requests whereas they expect evil individuals will be relatively insensitive to these intentions,” said Ori Friedman, developmental psychology professor at Waterloo and lead author of the study. “These findings shape people’s expectations about requests directed both to regular humans and to supernatural agents."

The study shows that people have distinct ideas of how being good or bad influences the decisions of others. People assume that evil individuals are indifferent about anything that doesn’t directly impact their own aims. 

These findings support previous research in suggesting that at least some of people’s everyday beliefs about supernatural beings could be based on their views of humans.

“One aspect of seeing someone as evil might be that we expect that person to put less emphasis on the intentions of others, and instead focus more on the outcome of people's actions,” says Brandon Goulding, a PhD candidate in developmental psychology and co-author of the study. “Whereas we think that a good person will also consider what someone meant to do, and weigh that against what they actually did.” 

Researchers investigated people’s expectations about good and evil agents with five experiments. In the study, 2,231 participants read short stories about a protagonist’s request to either a human or supernatural being and rated the likelihood the request would be granted.   When the request was directed to someone good, ratings depended on whether the requester actually understood what they were requesting. Evil individuals were expected to grant requests just as often when they were confused and didn’t reflect the requester’s intentions.

“This research tells us something very interesting about how people view good and evil, which is that people don’t just think that evil agents focus exclusively on causing harm. Instead, people relate evil to being indifference and to not caring about what people want,” Friedman said. “It also suggests that people think moral goodness is about more than producing good outcomes. People also see moral goodness as being connected with caring about what people want and intend.”

The study, Butt-dialing the devil: Evil agents are expected to disregard intentions behind requests, by Goulding, Friedman, Rebecca Dunk and Jonathan Fugelsang appears in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Keeping the campus clean

Plant Operations custodial staff wearing masks.

A message from Plant Operations.

During the pandemic, UWaterloo’s senior administration broadcasted a message of strong commitment to campus cleanliness in response to COVID-19. You might ask - could Plant Ops Custodial Services really deliver the level of service required by Public Health across such a large campus? With a significant funding commitment from the University’s leadership and dedication to continuous improvement, the answer is yes.

Last year, we hired 38 contract staff, many who were already part of our campus community, such as Food Services staff on temporary layoff. This summer, we added 26 ongoing staff and are in the process of recruiting 22 contract positions. We are grateful to the Talent Acquisition team at HR who worked tirelessly to support our hiring needs - a monumental effort not only because of the number of hires, but also because experienced custodians are in high demand across the province. 

In addition to the new staff, our custodial management team has been auditing our standards using APPA (Association of Physical Plant Administrators) levels as our reference and adjusting our processes in response to evolving direction from Public Health. We added new service areas, increased cleaning of high-touch surfaces, developed new standard operating procedures, and started offering ‘covid cleans’.  In some areas, despite of the additional staff, we had to prioritize what gets cleaned and how often: focusing on surfaces that are frequently touched, opting to temporarily delay items such as floor work.  A few examples that we are proud of are the support to the vaccine clinic, interpatient cleaning in the COVID test centre, cleaning of the Central Plant at each shift change, the introduction of weekend cleaning based on building occupancy, and more.

A lot of effort went also to our supply chain management. By anticipating changes to campus needs, the Tool Room was able to secure cleaning products such as sanitizers, PPE, and HVAC filters. This dedicated effort and market research allowed us to supply Custodial Services, trades, Campus Police and many others with PPE and cleaning materials needed to keep UWs operating during the stay-at-home orders. As September 7th approaches, our Tool Room staff are supporting the campus wide efforts in sourcing sanitizing products and dispensers.

The work of custodial staff is sometimes overlooked, but our staff have been here on campus every single day since the start of the pandemic. Even during the stressful days when understanding of the virus was slim and people were anxious about their safety. Our custodial staff deserve a great thank you for their hard work, flexibility and dedication keeping our campus clean and ready to return.

So, what can you expect when you return to campus? The answer is clean buildings and many operational changes to support everyone who is working or studying on campus.

If you would like to order supplies to provide supplementary cleaning of your work area or PPE, you can order them through

If you would like to see what is being cleaned and how often, the Plant Ops website updates the cleaning schedule weekly

Link of the day

30 years ago: The Ren & Stimpy Show

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.

Course templates are available within your course in LEARN to help you build and edit your content and assignment pages quickly.

The following workshops, webinars, and events are offered by the KL team (CTE, CEL, ITMS, LIB):

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.

Stay informed about COVID cases on campus by consulting the COVID case tracker.

The Writing and Communication Centre has virtual services and programs to help undergrads, grad students, postdocs and faculty members with academic writing.

Co-op students can get help finding a job and find supports to successfully work remotely, develop new skills, access wellness and career information, and contact a co-op or career advisor.

The Centre for Career Action assists undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, staff, faculty, and alumni through navigating career services that are right for them. You can attend a one-on-one appointment or same day drop-in session at the CCA for assistance with cover letter writing, career planning and much more. You can also book an appointment online or visit our Live Chat to connect with our Client Support Team. The CCA is here to help you.

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 TreatmentGood2Talk is a post-secondary student helpline available to all students.

The Library continues to offer virtual access to learning and research materials as well as through their book pickup and delivery services. Special Collections & Archives can also be accessed by appointmentDavis Centre study space will not be available between August 17 and September 6 as the Library prepares for the fall term. During this time, Library resources and supports will continue to be accessible virtually and staff available for questions via chat Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. The Library will be closed on September 6 for Labour Day. Full details on current services and hours are available on our Service Update webpage. Library staff are available for questions via Ask Us

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 Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office (SVPRO) supports all members of the University of Waterloo campus community who have experienced, or been impacted, by sexual violence. This includes all students, staff, faculty and visitors on the main campus, the satellite campuses, and at the affiliated and federated Waterloo Institutes and Colleges. For support, email: or visit the SVPRO website.

The Indigenous Initiatives Office is a central hub that provides guidance, support, and resources to all Indigenous and non-Indigenous campus community members and oversees the university Indigenization strategy.

The Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre, based at St. Paul’s University College, provides support and resources for Indigenous students, and educational outreach programs for the broader community, including lectures, and events.

WUSA supports for students:

Peer support  - MATES, Glow Centre, RAISE, Women’s Centre - Visit to book an appointment

Bike Centre – Open via Appointments and Rentals

Campus Response Team, ICSN, Off Campus Community and Co-op Connection all available online. Check for more details.

Food Support Service food hampers are currently available from the Turnkey Desk on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Student Life Centre. If you have any questions please email us at

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 caps@wusa.caMore information is available.

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 (Online Fitness)

Warriors vs. Laurier Blood Donation Battle. 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

Drop-in to Warrior Virtual Study Halls on Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Come together in this virtual space to set goals and work independently or in groups each week.

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

Fall Orientation, Monday, August 30 to Friday, September 3.

Webinar: Copyright for Teaching, Wednesday, September 1, 12 noon.

Labour Day holiday, most University operations closed, Monday, September 6.

Fall co-operative work term begins, Tuesday, September 7.

Classes and lectures begin, Wednesday, September 8.

Positions available

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

  • Job ID# 2021-6657 - Alumni Engagement Officer - Faculty of Science, USG 9 - 10
  • Job ID# 2021-7099 - Area Manager, Food Operations - WUSA, USG 8
  • Job ID# 2021-7125 - Customer Service Representative - Parking Services, USG 4
  • Job ID# 2021-7132 - Graduate Program Administrator - Physics & Astronomy, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2021-7020 - Graduate Studies Coordinator - Math Graduate Office, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2021-7148 - Grants and Contracts Manager - Institutional Research - Office of Research, USG 9 - 11
  • Job ID# 2021-7102 - Stakeholder Relations Officer - WUSA, USG 8
  • Job ID# 2021-7084 - Student Engagement Coordinator - Science Undergrad Office, USG 6

Secondments/Internal temporary opportunities      

  • Job ID# 2021-7127 - Project Coordinator - Architectural - Plant Operations, USG 9

Affiliated and Federated Institutions of Waterloo opportunities