Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Meet the latest Schulich leaders

A college of 10 Schulich Leader Award winners.

By Melanie Scott and Victoria Lumax. This is an excerpt of an article published on Waterloo News.

The Schulich Leader Scholarships are a national undergraduate STEM scholarship, established by businessman and philanthropist Seymour Schulich to encourage the next generation of entrepreneurial-minded, technology innovators. This year, the Schulich Foundation is celebrating their tenth anniversary, and in 2021 they’ve awarded up to 100 scholarships to students across Canada entering university. Since 2012, Waterloo has ranked as the top recipient with the largest number of qualifying applicants. Last year, the Schulich Foundation began providing the University with more than double the number of awards.

“I am very pleased to welcome this year’s cohort of outstanding Schulich Leaders to Waterloo and to celebrate ten years of partnership with the Schulich Foundation,” says Vivek Goel, president and vice-chancellor of the University. “I continue to be inspired by the passion these young change-makers have for discovery, disruption and building a better, more equitable world through STEM research and learning.”

To date, Waterloo has admitted 46 Schulich Leader Scholars, including the incoming 2021 cohort of Schulich Leaders. Learn more about the ten high-achieving students who received this prestigious national award.

Read the rest of the article on Waterloo News.

Orientation in review

Orientation volunteers participate in a group zoom call.

A message from the Orientation Steering Committee.

Orientation 2021 wrapped up on Friday, September 3. Over the course of five days, Orientation leaders, coordinators and supporting staff and faculty rolled out new virtual events and reimagined Waterloo traditions for all students, including:   

  • Warrior Welcome, a pre-recorded video message from Waterloo President and Vice-Chancellor Vivek Goel, Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA) President Benjamin Easton, and associate provost students, Chris Read; 

  • Speed Friending, where hundreds of students logged in to build connections and socialize through video and audio conversations; 

  • Warrior Quest, a week-long virtual scavenger hunt where students submitted photos of themselves and new friends in their Warrior swag, added their signatures to the SLC/PAC expansion glass walls, and more; 

  • Program information sessions and faculty traditions, including campus favourites like Earn your Hard Hat and the Tie Ceremony;  

  • Waterloo Athletics virtual classes; 

  • and so much more. 

International students received additional programming to support their transition to life in Canada. Highlights included: 

  • International Welcome, where students met peers and supporters from 28 countries, and were ushered into the Waterloo community; 

  • The International Student Experience Panel, an event where upper year students provided insights and advice, sharing key resources and various aspects of university life; 

  • Ask Me Anything, where no question was too big or small. International Peer Mentors provided an open forum to address any pressing questions attendees may have had; and 

  • International Game Zone, hosted by International Peer Mentors and members of the International Peer Community (IPC), participants were sent into a variety of breakout rooms to play online games. 

When asked about his experience as a virtual Orientation Leader, Mathematics student Cody Halden said “Having to plan an online Orientation allows you to really think critically about what the key driver of making connections is. It makes you think long and hard about what would be most memorable for students about an online Orientation. It also allows you to meet people you otherwise wouldn’t have met, which is an added bonus!” 

By the end of the week, more than 5800 new students had registered to participate.  

Though events have concluded, supporting students doesn't end with Orientation. As more new and upper-year students arrive at Waterloo, many for the first time, staff and faculty working on campus are encouraged to pick up a Here to Help sticker from one of the program’s four booths set-up at the following locations: 

  • Ring Road at SCH  

  • Ring Road at SLC  

  • Ring Road at BMH  

  • Ring Road at DC 

Booths will run from Tuesday September 7 to Friday, September 10, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wearing a Here to Help sticker symbolizes your knowledge of campus amenities, awareness of student resources, and your willingness to help a student if they need assistance. 

To learn more about all new student transition activities, visit uwaterloo.ca/student-success-office-resources.  

W Store and W Print ready to serve the campus in Fall 2021

A message from Print + Retail Solutions.

With the fall term approaching, and students beginning to return to campus, both W Store locations in South Campus Hall (Course Materials + Supplies and Gifts + Apparel) have re-opened for in-store shopping. W Store will continue to offer online shopping at wstore.ca. The UWaterloo community can select from worldwide shipping or contactless curbside pickup as well as various on-campus shipping options. Our store hours by location are available at wstore.ca/location-hours. W Store Essentials | STC and SLC will remain closed for the fall term.

The W Print team has continued to offer printing services to the campus throughout the pandemic. W Print in the General Services Complex is accepting walk-in customers and offers the UWaterloo community several options to submit print files online at wprint.ca. W Print kiosks located across campus in various public spaces will continue to be available. W Print | South Campus Hall will remain closed to the campus during the fall term.

United Way Charitable Spotlight: Social Development Centre Waterloo Region

Social Development Centre Waterloo Region logo.

By Jessica Manarang. This is the second in a three-part series on the charities the United Way supports.

The Social Development Centre Waterloo Region (SDC) is not your usual non-profit organization. With a focus on community development and policy advocacy, it supports and empowers groups, collectives, and communities to take action on the issues they personally face. In effect, the progress advocated for and supported through the SDC is developed by the very people impacted by it the most. “No other organization has this specific mandate working to improve services or policies,” explains Aleksandra Petrovic, SDC’s Executive Director. “We’re talking systems; helping transform systems from the ground up”.

Taking a bottom-up approach to community engagement

Many institutions and direct service providers function based on the expertise and knowledge of professionals who operate within the realm of their reality; however, by way of their education and access to resources, their reality is often more privileged than that of the people they serve. In contrast, SDC conducts community-based research and observes trends to identify the gaps in services and helps advocate for improvements. “The knowledge that we need to resolve current crises cannot come from top-down places and systems,” explains Petrovic. “It can only be transformed by the knowledge and experience of the people living the reality of housing precarity, income insecurity, and food insecurity”.

In fact, SDC has traditionally been an incubator for other organizations and resident groups, such as Disabilities and Human Rights, Renters Educating and Networking Together, Waterloo Community Legal Services, and Meals on Wheels. Some of the supports SDC offers through their Civic Hub Waterloo Region program include but are not limited to: fiscal sponsorship; acquiring resources and making connections; and offering a physical space for groups to meet and collaborate. Petrovic affirms, “we learn from them, and they teach us how to do our work; it’s a symbiotic relationship”.

Community members discussing and collaborating in SDC’s Civic Hub.

Community members discussing and collaborating in SDC’s Civic Hub.

Eviction prevention and peace for all Canada

Eviction Prevention is one of the more recent programs that SDC supports. Two peer support staff are dedicated to advocating for and empowering residents as they deal with evictions in the Cambridge and KW areas. Perhaps the most crucial and difficult part of this service is building trust with the residents. Michelle Knight, the program’s Cambridge Outreach Worker, explains that “[s]ometimes, people just need to… validate their experience and the fact that they matter. SDC does that”.

SDC also supports Peace For All Canada (PFAC), a conflict transformation initiative that creates opportunities for refugees, immigrants, newcomers, and current residents to help each other through programs that focus on gender-violence, mental health, tutoring, and more. “I have over 20 years of community work experience,” Ayiko Solomon, one of PFAC’s most dedicated volunteers, explains. “One of the leading traumas I have in Canada is not being able to put that experience and passion into work… but with the support of the United Way through the Social Development Centre, I am able to do what I do best”.

United Way empowers SDC to empower others

The relationship between SDC and the United Way is rooted in the shared passion for translating diverse individual experiences into something that benefits everyone. When the United Way receives donations from people like us here at the University of Waterloo, those funds are distributed to the local organizations that need it the most, like the SDC. Due to the United Way offering fiscal sponsorships, SDC is also able to direct some of those funds to the small and niche non-profit organizations or programs that are otherwise unable to apply for funding, like Eviction Prevention and Peace For All Canada.

Knight explains how she sees the relationship between United Way and the SDC’s Eviction Prevention program: “United Way has created a place and a space and stacked it with people who genuinely care about the work that they’re doing... It has allowed me to learn a lot through this, and to grow as a human… bigger, better, stronger, wiser. Thank you, United Way.”

To learn more about SDC, visit their website at: http://www.waterlooregion.org/. Stay tuned for content about our campus’ United Way Campaign in October to support SDC and other important organizations in our community by making a donation.

Link of the day

Michael K. Williams, 1966-2021

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. 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: svpro@uwaterloo.ca 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 https://wusa.ca/peersupport 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 https://wusa.ca 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 foodsupport@wusa.ca.

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)

NEW - Warrior Rec Registration. Starts September 7. A wide range of programs are being offered this term. Intramural deadline: September 13, 11:00am. Instructional deadline: September 19, 11:59pm. Register online.

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 blood.ca account already. Questions? Contact WarriorsInfo@uwaterloo.ca.

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

NEW - Free Fitness on Warrior FieldTuesday, September 7, 12 noon (Power Yoga) and Thursday, September 9, 12 noon (HIIT). Registration required.

Classes and lectures begin, Wednesday, September 8.

NEW - Athletics and Rec Virtual Open HouseTuesday, September 14, 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Find out how to get active and engaged with Warriors Athletics and Rec this term. One lucky participant will win $25 to Freshii. Registration required.

NEW - Warriors Football Home Opener. Saturday, September 18, 6:00 p.m., Warrior Field. Minor League Day, Residence and Employees Day, The Alliance “We Are One” Game. Purchase your tickets in advance (coming soon).