Friday, November 12, 2021

Waterloo signs on to Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education

A message from the University of Waterloo.

The front cover of the Scarborough Charter.

The University of Waterloo is pleased to join more than 40 other institutions of higher learning in becoming a signatory to the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education. The virtual signing ceremony takes place on Thursday, November 18, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

More than 3,000 representatives from higher education institutions in Canada assembled in 2020, for the National Dialogues and Action for Inclusive Higher Education and Communities. This forum resulted in the development of the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education: Principles, Actions, and Accountabilities.

“By providing a unified framework for confronting Anti-Black racism within higher education institutions in Canada, the Scarborough Charter complements cross-campus anti-Black racism initiatives being developed and implemented at the University of Waterloo,” said Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor. “Through the Scarborough Charter, we are honouring our commitment to making unbiased choices and being anti-racist in all aspects of our lives," President Goel said. “We are taking coordinated actions to dismantle systems that perpetuate racial discrimination and build a more inclusive and equitable society.”

As part of the University’s commitment to remove systemic barriers to equity and inclusion, for members of the Black community, the institution recently announced a cluster-hire initiative to appoint 10 Black tenure-track and tenured professors, who will contribute to Waterloo’s goal of nurturing a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusivity, through increased representation of Black peoples. 

“The University of Waterloo remains committed to creating a sustainable and supportive environment for our community,” said James Rush, Vice-President, Academic & Provost. “These initiatives are important steps to accelerating the progression of increased Black representation and inclusion across the University.” 

Some of the other initiatives implemented to help address racism and support inclusivity, include the recent appointment of Professor Christopher Taylor, equity strategist and anti-racism advisor, as Associate Vice-President of the newly formed Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-racism, and the offering of two Black Studies diploma programs, through the Faculty of Arts. Both programs, developed by members of the Black Faculty Collective, under the leadership of Professor Vershawn (dr.vay) Young, and with campus-wide consultations, will be offered in fall 2022.

“While Waterloo is making significant strides towards developing and maintaining a diverse, inclusive and equitable culture, we must continue to fast-track concrete, sustainable actions to combat anti-Black racism and advance inclusivity on our campuses,” Christopher Taylor said.

Members of the University community interested in attending the virtual signing of the Scarborough Charter can register before Monday, November 15, 2021.

Giving students the chance to grow and give back

Close-up of hands writing in a notebook that is laying on a keyboard

This is the first in a series of announcements in support of National Philanthropy Day.

Waterloo Math student Edwin Yang knew he belonged at Waterloo but he worried about paying for his studies and finding a co-op job.

Thanks to the generosity of Waterloo alumni Brian and Janis Traquair, Edwin now has the financial support to immerse himself in university life, while gaining the skills to build the inventions he dreams of.

As we approach National Philanthropy Day on November 15, learn how the Traquairs are giving Waterloo students the freedom to learn and contribute.

Food to go - and go and go

The starry night sky above a forest.

By Brian Caldwell.

Two researchers at Waterloo Engineering have made the semi-finals of a multi-year contest to develop new food production technologies and systems to sustain astronauts on long space missions.

Chemical engineering professors Valerie Ward and Nasser Abukhdeir are among 10 entries still in the running in the Canadian edition of the Deep Space Food Challenge, which has a $380,000 top prize.

As semi-finalists, Ward and Abukhdeir have already won $30,000 for a proposed algae rack system that minimizes water and energy usage while cultivating highly nutritious microalgae for human consumption.

The contest – which is running parallel to a similar challenge sponsored by NASA in the United States – was created by the Canadian Space Agency and Impact Canada to encourage innovate ways of efficiently producing food both in space and on Earth.

Open to businesses and other organizations in addition to academics, it challenged entrants to fill in food gaps for four-person crews on three-year space missions with no opportunities to get fresh supplies.

The challenge stressed maximizing the output of palatable, nutritious, safe foods requiring little processing, with minimal inputs and waste, and potential applications in urban centres and harsh environments on Earth.

The semi-finalists must now build and demonstrate a food production prototype. Up to four finalists will receive $100,000 each next fall.

Ward said she had been thinking about how to cultivate microalgae with less water for a long time and came up with a low-cost solution with Abukhdeir that combines some old ideas in the field of biochemical engineering with a modern design and materials.

"Not only does this have promise for growing algae in space, but also for growing them in arid climates on Earth where sunshine is plentiful, but water is scarce," she said. "We are excited to have the opportunity to build our prototype and see how efficient our design can be."

The last round of the event will require the four finalists to scale up their projects over 12 to 18 months. The grand prize winner of an additional $380,000 is expected to be named in the spring of 2024.

Photo by Sindre Strom from Pexels.

Eco Summit 2021: youth leading the way for climate change

Eco Summit 2021 banner showing young people at a climate protest.

A message from the Sustainability Office.

The Sustainability Office invites all staff, students, and faculty to attend the 2021 Eco Summit: Youth Leading the Way for Climate Action on November 24 and November 25.

Each year, the Eco-Summit provides an update on campus progress toward sustainability goals, celebrates efforts across the campus community, and builds momentum for more action.

This year’s theme highlights the role for youth leadership on climate change. Climate change is here, and it is young people who will face the worst impacts. The University of Waterloo has shown that they play a critical role in supporting students and alumni youth changemakers in Climate Action by creating an environment which fosters support. In addition to a main event, Eco Summit 2021 will feature a panel discussion and networking session to highlight student and alumni climate changemakers and motivate other Warriors. 

To highlight campus initiatives and showcase UWaterloo’s youth changemakers, registration is now open on the Sustainability website:

  • Eco Summit 2021: Main Event – November 24th 10:00am-11:00am: The main event will look to highlight campus initiatives over the past year, launching the 2021 Sustainability Report, and issue certificates for the Green Office and Green Labs programs.
  • Youth & Climate Action Panel Discussion - November 25th 11:00am-12:00pm: The panel discussion will bring together, researchers, students, and alumni to discuss the important role youth play in Climate Action.
  • Youth Changemaker Speed Networking Session – November 25th 12:00pm – 1:00pm: This Speed Networking will bring together young people to meet with one another, learn from their experiences, and discuss how they take action for Climate.

W Store Essentials SLC to close and other notes

"The W Store Essentials currently located in the basement of the Student Life Centre will be permanently closing effective immediately," says a memo from Director of Print + Retail Solutions Ryan Jacobs that will be circulated to employees today. "We are grateful to WUSA for providing us with this great space for many years."

"Print + Retail Solutions is in the process of reviewing our master space plans and consolidating our retail locations to better serve the campus as we return to in-person delivery of campus services. Our primary goal, as always, is to enhance the student experience and provide the best possible support to our many campus partners."

"For up-to-date information about our locations and hours of operation, please visit For questions related to this change in our operations, please reach out to me directly at or via extension 35221."

Transportation Hack for Health Banner.

Are you interested in transforming the local transportation system to achieve climate action? Explore solutions in sustainable transportation at the Transportation Hack for Health event that is being co-hosted by the Faculty of Environment, the Geographies of Health in Place Lab and St. Paul's GreenHouse on Friday, November 19 and Saturday, November 20.  January 21 and 22, 2022. Please note the new date of the event, which has been postponed.

Attendees are invited to participate in a discovery lab and learn about sustainable transportation, identify opportunities for local innovation, and pitch their ideas for funding. There are prizes available, namely:

  • 1st Place: $1,200
  • 2nd Place: $800
  • 3rd Place: $400

Register online.

The Fusion Conference logo.The Fusion 2021 conference: Advances and Emerging Opportunities in Financial Technology will take place Saturday, November 13. The Fusion Conference, established in 2004, merges knowledge from science, business, and technology fields through a unique theme each year, with FinTech being this year's focus.

The virtual event runs from 11:00 a.m. to 4:10 p.m. on Saturday.

Beyond the Bulletin Episode 108

Beyond the Bulletin banner featuring two vintage microphones.

The latest episode of the Beyond the Bulletin podcast is now live. Bob Lemieux, dean of the Faculty of Science, discusses the many opportunities the Centre for Eye and Vision Research (CEVR) provides the University, teaching initiatives in the Faculty, and the importance of fundamental research. Vivek Goel is installed as UWaterloo's seventh president and vice-chancellor. The University commits to signing the Scarborough National Charter, which provides a framework for post-secondary institutions in Canada to confront anti-Black racism. And the Earth Sciences Museum launches an immersive visual tour.

Link of the day

World Pneumonia Day

When and Where to get support

Students can visit the Student Success Office online for supports including academic development, international student resources, immigration consulting, leadership development, exchange and study abroad, and opportunities to get involved.

Instructors looking for targeted support for developing online components for blended learning courses, transitioning remote to fully online courses, revising current online courses, and more please visit Agile Development | Centre for Extended Learning | University of Waterloo (

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 (CCA) is offering some in-person services for fall 2021. The Tatham Centre is open with front-desk support, limited in-person appointments and co-op consults. Services are also available virtually. Book an appointment online or Live Chat with our Client Support Team. The CCA is here to help.

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.

While the Library continues to focus on digital resources and consultations, our spaces are open for the fall term. Dana Porter Library is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Davis Centre Library is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for drop-in individual study space, bookable individual study rooms, drop-in access to computers and printers, book pick-up services and IST Help Desk support. Special Collections & Archives and the Geospatial Centre will be accessible by appointment. Library staff are available for questions via Ask us. Full details on current services and hours are available on the Library’s COVID-19 Update webpage

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 Office of Indigenous Relations is a central hub that provides guidance, support, and resources to all Indigenous and non-Indigenous campus community members and oversees the University's 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 either in person or online for the Fall term!

Food Support Service food hampers are currently available from the Turnkey Desk 24/7 in the Student Life Centre. Drop off locations are also open again in SLC, DC, DP, SCH and all residences.

Co-op Connection all available online. Check for more details.

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 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.

WaterTalk: York Region’s One Water Story… recognizing the value of water in all its forms, presented by Erin Mahoney, Friday, November 12, 2:30 p.m.

Women’s Volleyball vs. Windsor, Friday, November 12, 6:00 p.m. Home Opener, Warrior (Youth) Day, Donor Appreciation Day. Free tickets available for youth; email for the coupon code. Purchase tickets.

FUSION 2021: Advances and Emerging Opportunities in Financial Technology, Saturday, November 13.

NEW - University Senate meeting, Monday, November 15, 3:30 p.m.

GEDI Exchange Webinar - A 30 Minute Exchange with Friendlier and TeTechS: Tuesday, November 16, 1:00 p.m. Join this discussion with Friendlier and TeTechS as they discuss “Reimagining reducing and reusing before recycling”. Register here:

The Future of Public Education: Lessons from the Pandemic, Tuesday, November 16, 7:00 p.m. (online) presented in partnership with the Waterloo Public Library.

WIN Thematic Seminar Series: Sustainable Nanomaterials for Environmental Management Systems, Wednesday, November 17, 12 noon.

NEW - Faculty leaves information session, Wednesday, November 17, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

NEW - Brubacher House Digital Exhibit Opening, “Life Upstairs: Stories from Brubacher House,” Thursday, November 18, 7:00 p.m., Virtual (Zoom).