Thrive Month starts today
Thrive Month has begun. Hear from President Vivek Goel as he kicks off the month with a video message.
Join us for a series of events focused on building a culture of wellbeing and normalizing mental health struggles for Waterloo students and employees (faculty, staff, CUPE).
Thrive at events such as:
- PART: Let’s Talk about Mental Health at the Intersections - October 21
- United Way Cooking Show - October 28
- Mindful Morsels - November 1 and 8
- Managing your time and energy (for staff and faculty) - November 5
- COVID-19: Self-care strategies (for staff and faculty) - November 9
- Student Mental Health Research Conference - November 10
This past year, you have worked exceptionally hard to manage your work, personal, and family life. It is normal to feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, and experience difficulties. Please know that you are not alone. When you are faced with these challenges, we encourage you to reach out to your colleagues, supervisors, and friends. Students can make an appointment with Counselling Services at 519-888-4567 ext.32655, or call Empower Me for 24/7 care at 1-833-628-5589. Staff and faculty can contact Occupational Health at 519-888-4567, ext. 40551 or 40538 and use the Employee & Family Assistance Program.
Through Thrive, we encourage everyone to share responsibility for promoting mental wellbeing on campus and have open conversations about mental health challenges. Let’s Thrive together.
A brief history of Black experience at Waterloo, 1960s -1990s
By Jonathan Zi En Chan. This is an excerpt of an article originally published on Waterloo News.
Early this year in a conversation about marking Black History Month at University of Waterloo, History professor Christopher Taylor raised the question about Black history at the University. “I know work has been done on Waterloo region’s Black history,” Taylor said, “but what about specifically at the University? Who was the first Black prof? Who were the first students? What are the achievements by Black folks on campus? What about protest and resistance?”
The conversation also prompted Taylor to stress that any month is the right month to learn from and reflect on Black history. “I'm a firm believer that Blackness doesn't end on February 28/29, and these stories should be year-round.”
Taylor has just been appointed Associate Vice President, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism for the University, and is a founding member of Waterloo’s Black Faculty Collective. Within the Department of History, he works with research assistant Jonathan Zi En Chan.
Knowing that researching and documenting Black history at Waterloo could be a big project and should not be rushed, Taylor asked Chan to begin the work. Their intention was to research the presence of Black students, faculty and courses at Waterloo, and disseminate the findings, once ready, in The Sankofa Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, a new open-source journal founded by Taylor. In the meantime — because any time is the right time to talk about Black history —they are sharing highlights from the research to date.
Chan, who is a PhD candidate in History, found that Black students and several notable Black faculty members were at the University of Waterloo since the early 1960s. “The campus was often filled with the students’ vibrant activity and advocacy,” he says, “while the faculty members pioneered the first courses on African and Black studies.” At that time, he adds, most Black students came to the university as international students from African countries.
Black student experiences
In 1961, the university participated in the Kennedy Airlift, a movement started two years prior by a Kenyan named Tom Mboya to support Kenyan students’ post-secondary education in Canada and the United States.
Waterloo welcomed five students from Nigeria, all of whom won a scholarship from the African Student Foundation, which organized the Airlift initiative in Canada. The campus student newspaper (then called The Coryphaeus) chronicled Black student activities and experiences on campus, including their hopes, dreams, and fears for their futures and home countries as they treaded down the path of decolonization.
However, by the late ‘60s, the University had difficulty accommodating accepted Black and other international students as Canadian public opinion shifted. International students were viewed not as people who could benefit from Canadian education, but as parasites who took up valuable enrollment quotas from their children. This problem was intensified with the Sir George Williams affair in 1969 at present-day Concordia University — when students occupied a computer lab protesting racist marking. The incident was widely attributed by media to slack immigration laws, and Caribbean students in particular were demonized as troublemakers.
In 1970, Waterloo’s Chevron student newspaper ran an editorial calling on the University to “Canadianize” and protect itself from foreign influences. One of the paper’s recommendations to the government was to “review its policy on foreign graduate students … whether the cost of their education is to be regarded as international aid … and they should be required, upon graduation, to return to their country of origin…”.
Despite periods of antagonism from certain segments of the campus, Black student associations strived to create lively and vibrant space for their members. In addition to creating a place of belonging for their members, the African Student Association (ASA) and the Caribbean Student Association (CSA — now the Association of Caribbean Students) often jointly hosted symposiums that invited scholars and government officials from the African Continent and Caribbean to give talks on decolonization, which also engaged the wider student body. This intercultural engagement may have encouraged many Waterloo students to join humanitarian exchange trips to the African Continent hosted by various organizations, such as Crossroads and CUSO. Both Black student associations often advocated for the concerns of the Black student body. In 1975, for instance, a Chevron editorial by ASA president Oye Ibidapo Obe spoke up against foreign students being considered tourists rather than being issued student visas.
Black faculty experience
Some of the earliest hires of Black professors at the University of Waterloo in the 1960s had lasting impacts on the community and the world. The first Black professor at Waterloo was Dr. Locksley Edmondson, an assistant professor in Political Science. He taught from 1963 to 1967 before taking a leave of absence to teach in Makerere University in Uganda. Edmondson returned to North America in the early 1970s and eventually took up a position at Cornell University where he became the director of African Studies.
Dr. Donald M’Timkulu, was hired in the late 1960s as a professor of Sociology at Renison College. He was a popular teacher best known for his courses on Race and Culture In the Third World. M’Timkulu also established the beginning of the Applied Social Science program that eventually became Renison’s School of Social Work. In addition to teaching, M’Timkulu was the director of the Mindolo Ecumenical Centre, an active participant at the University of Waterloo’s CUSO committee, and part of many African Studies societies.
Dr. Karl Bennett, born in Jamaica, was an Economics professor until 2002, and was department chair from 1981 to 1987. Bennett served on multiple committees throughout his tenure at Waterloo, such as the Government of Canada Treasure Board in 1971 and 1982, Ontario Premier’s Council on Economic Renewal in 1991 to 1995, and UN Caribbean Regional Integration Advisory Team in 1975. To this day, Bennett remains an active member in the Caribbean Canadian Association of Waterloo Region which grants scholarships to promising students of Caribbean heritage. Dr. Bennett serves as an adjudicator of the scholarship committee.
United Way presents Yoga: Wellness Through Gentle Movement, Breath and Gratitude
A message from the United Way Campaign.
Feeling worn out physically and mentally? Need a moment to unplug and unwind?
Join us on October 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for guided light yoga, mindful meditation, breathing techniques and gratitude, taught by Sandra Gibson from Campus Wellness. This event is brought to you by Keeping Well at Work, and in collaboration with our United Way campaign.
This event was inspired by one of United Way WRC's focus areas, mental health. Visit their webpage to learn more about how mental health impacts our community, as well as the agencies they fund that address it: https://www.uwaywrc.ca/what-we-do/focus-areas/mental-health/
- Yoga mat (valued at $49.99+hst)
- Free 30-day trial (valued at $59+hst)
- $25 gift card to use at the studio (expires December 31st, 2021)
No equipment or mat is necessary to participate, although we encourage you to have a pen and paper handy, as well as wear comfortable clothing.
Event admission is complimentary, but we encourage you to make a donation to the UW United Way Campaign through e-Pledge as you participate in any of our core events this year.
Check out our silent auction as well, with items created and prepared by each of the Faculty Deans. All proceeds will go toward our United Way Campaign. View all the items and get ready to place your bids when the auction goes live on October 25.
Your Daily Inspiration, Senate meets today, and other notes
Today's Daily Inspiration
Healthy recipes can be simple
Focus on foods you enjoy and balance. Try some of these 5-ingredient breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes from our friends at Food Services.
The University's Senate meets today at 3:30 p.m. on MS Teams. Among the agenda items:
- A motion to approve a degree description change from the Diploma in Sexuality, Marriage, and the Family to the Diploma in Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies, effective September 2022;
- A motion to approve the inactivation of the Diploma in Education Program for Photonics Professionals;
- A motion to approve a central statement regarding the undergraduate communication requirement, effective September 2022;
- A motion to approve the lists of candidates for degrees, diplomas and certificates as recommended by the Faculty councils and the associate vice-president, graduate studies and postdoctoral affairs for the upcoming Convocation ceremonies;
- A motion to approve a number of committee appointments;
- A motion to approve updates to the regular full-time graduate students definition regarding the number of hours a student can be employed by the University, effective September 2021;
- A motion to approve the 2022-2023 academic calendar dates and calendar guidelines for establishing academic dates;
- A motion to approve the proposed new Canadian Politics and Public Policy Minor in the Faculty of Arts, effective September 2022;
- A motion to approve changes to the human rights minor in the Faculty of Arts and St. Paul's University College, effective September 2022;
- A motion to approve an earlier effective date of 1 September 2021 for the optometry advance standing program;
- A motion to approve the inactivation of following academic plans, effective 1 September 2022:
- Public Policy and Administration Minor
- Canadian Politics Specialization
- Global Governance Specialization
- Politics and Business Specialization; and
- A motion to approve revisions to the transfer student regulations in the Faculty of Science, effective September 2022.
Professor Suzanne Kearns will give a presentation on the newly-launched Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics.
This is a reminder that UW Fitness (part of CCCARE – Centre for Community, Clinical and Applied Research Excellence) will once again offer livestream exercise classes to UWaterloo staff and faculty this fall. Registration is now open for the six-week sessions that start November 1.