Tuesday, May 17, 2022

President issues statement on Buffalo murders

The skyline of the city of Buffalo.

by Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor. This is the latest post on the Presidents News page.

This weekend many of us will have watched and read the news from Buffalo of another devastating mass murder motivated by racial hatred and an ideology of white supremacy. 

To anyone in our community that is affected by this senseless tragedy, please know we are here to support you, and we have resources you can draw on to help you cope.

Events like these force us all to confront the horrible reality of gun violence in the United States, but most importantly the reality that racialized people, particularly Black people, face every day. 

Black people in the City of Good Neighbours are still heavily segregated and face systemic anti-Black racism that continues to leave them with no easy access to basic life necessities like groceries. We clearly see exactly how damaging the false narratives shared by some mainstream media and politicians of white replacement can be.

It is easy to believe that these are problems are specific to the United States. However, here in Canada, hate-motivated crime is also on the rise. New data from Statistics Canada show the number of hate crimes reported to police across the country went up 37 per cent in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic compared with the previous year. Reported crimes targeting Black people went up 92 per cent.

The lesson from this news is, as always, that we need our societies to change. We need to grow tolerance and respect and dismantle the systems of oppression that marginalize Black people, other People of Colour and Indigenous communities. For us that starts at home. And it starts with basic questions like: can Black people in our community feel sure that they are protected from physical, emotional, and psychological violence here?

Racism exists here in Waterloo and we must continue to take action. This week at Senate and at a President’s Forum, we will be talking about the President’s Anti-racism Taskforce and their recommendations to create change at the University of Waterloo. I encourage you to join the forum to learn more about what we are doing to change the University to be a more inclusive, anti-racist place.  

Taking action against racism of all forms, decolonizing and creating a safe world for Black people is not something, though, we will easily achieve with a report, a forum or a series of recommendations. It will take each and every one of us taking concrete and specific actions in our day-to-day lives to confront and challenge racist actions, policies and ideas. 

I know this is an enormous challenge, but I am confident that this community can continue its efforts to make Waterloo, and the world, a place where everyone belongs. 


The University’s Employee Assistance Program offers short-term, confidential counselling that includes face-to-face (flexible hours), telephone or online sessions for a variety of reasons. Services for students are available through Student Care

Open call for members in residence for the Innovation Arena

An artist's rendering of the proposed Innovation Arena.

A message from University Relations.

It’s an exciting time at the University of Waterloo as we make the call for members in residence for the Innovation Arena – the latest innovation space created in partnership with the City of Kitchener – coming in 2023 (with space available for inaugural members in residence starting in 2024).

Located in Waterloo region’s innovation district, the vision of the new 90,000 sq ft Innovation Arena is to:

  • Co-locate cross-disciplinary teams and ventures,
  • Amplify Canada’s health tech sector and beyond,
  • Streamline commercialization pathways for businesses,
  • Fast-track delivery of health technologies, and
  • Drive Canada’s next wave of economic growth.

We ask that you share this call for members in residence with your professional networks who are looking to advance health innovations and technologies, specifically:

  • Researchers ready to commercialize,
  • Companies, big and small, seeking collaborations to develop new products or services, and
  • Health care practitioners looking to innovate traditional approaches to health care,

and invite them to express their interest in becoming a founding member of the Innovation Arena on, or before, June 30, 2022.

You can find more information and the Innovation Arena and application process here.

Open Education Resources Fellows Grant inaugural recipients selected

Open Education Resources Fellows Grant banner image.

A message from the Library.

The Library is pleased to announce the three dynamic projects selected as the inaugural recipients of the new Open Education Resources (OER) Fellows Grant program. From Canadian politics to the life stories of older Canadians, these resources will be freely accessible and available to all upon completion.

During Open Education Week earlier this year, the Library announced a new initiative, an OER Fellows Grant program to support the creation of open education resources at Waterloo. As part of the Library’s mission to make learning materials freely accessible and available, the Library sponsored $15,000 for this pilot program (up to $5,000 per grant) to create or adapt resources for use in a Waterloo course. 

Learn more about the grant recipients at: https://bit.ly/OERfellowsGrant.

Reminder: Continuous Improvement Showcase event is next week

A showcase banner image showing a lit light bulb.

A message from the Continuous Improvement, Change Management and Project and Portfolio Management Communities of Practice.

A reminder that the Continuous Improvement, Change Management, and Project and Portfolio Management communities are hosting the 3rd annual Showcase event on campus on the morning of Thursday May 26, 2022, between 9:00 a.m. and 12 noon at Federation Hall. This event is a great opportunity to learn more about how different departments are using continuous improvement, change management, and project tools and methodologies to achieve desired outcomes. 

The Showcase is a free, half-day long in-person event that brings campus colleagues together to share best practices, successes, and connect. It will feature poster exhibits and poster flash talks—all centered around ideas and practices that contribute to continuous improvement, change management, and project management. The Showcase is open to all employees and students, and everyone is invited to drop by and explore the various booths and poster presentations. Vice-President Academic & Provost James Rush will be providing the opening remarks at 9:00 a.m. to kick-off the event. A selection of beverages (Coffee, tea, water) will be provided.  

Should public health measures change, the event will be hosted virtually on Microsoft Teams and an announcement will be sent out to the University community.

For more information about this event, please visit the Showcase event website or contact Project Coordinator, Human Resources Breanna Michael should you have any questions. We look forward to welcoming you to the showcase.

Tuesday's notes

A test of the University’s emergency communication system is scheduled for today at 2:00 p.m. Test activation and deactivation messages will be sent using several channels:

  • Tweets to @UWaterloo and @WatSAFEapp
  • WatSAFE mobile app
  • The ‘WatSAFE Desktop Notification’ on-screen pop-up for desktops and laptops
  • Portal alerts and push notifications

In the event of a real emergency during this test, please contact Special Constable Services at 519-888-4911, or ext. 22222.

"Be sure to install the WatSAFE app on your device and WatSAFE Desktop Notification tool on your desktop/laptop to receive this test message, and more importantly, to stay informed of campus emergency situations," says a notification from IST. "Visit the WatSAFE website for more details."

Researching Like a Pro banner

The Problem Lab is hosting a workshop entitled Researching Like A Pro on May 19 at 5:30 p.m. in hybrid format (over Zoom and in-person in South Campus Hall.)

"In this workshop, we’ll focus on researching your ideas with Christine Moffatt, Researcher at the Problem Lab, and previously the Entrepreneurship Liaison Librarian," says the announcement from Concept. "After this session, students will be able to: articulate research questions about their problem space; identify key library resources and freely available sources that will help with their market and industry research; articulate remaining gaps in their research about their problem space."

For more information and to register visit https://concept.uwaterloo.ca/event/researching-like-a-pro-2/.

Drop-In Appointment Banner featuring a tutor and student.The Writing and Communication Centre would like to remind the campus community that drop-in peer tutoring sessions are back at the Dana Porter Library.

"Want support for that cover letter or assignment?" the WCC asks. "Work with our friendly and experienced peer tutors. In-person drop-in peer tutoring now available at Dana Porter Library Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 12 noon to 3:00 p.m.⁣"

Link of the day

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

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 (uwaterloo.ca).

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):

Supports are available for employees returning to campus. Visit IST’s Hybrid Work and Technology guidelines and workplace protocols to assist with the transition.

The Writing and Communication Centre has virtual services and programs to help undergradsgrad 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) has services and programs to support undergrads, grad students, postdocs, alumni, and employees in figuring out what they value, what they’re good at, and how to access meaningful work, co-op, volunteer, or graduate/professional school opportunities. Questions about CCA's services? Live chat, call 519-888-4047, or stop by our front desk in the Tatham Centre 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

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

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 is open with expanded hours for access to book stacks, drop-in individual study space, bookable group study rooms, drop-in access to computers and printers, book pick-up services and IST Help Desk support. Librarian consultations, Special Collections & Archives and the Geospatial Centre are available by appointment. 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: svpro@uwaterloo.ca 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 https://wusa.ca/services/wusa-peer-support 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 https://wusa.ca 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.

GSA-UW supports for graduate students: 

The Graduate Student Association (GSA-UW) supports students’ academic and social experience and promotes their well-being.

Advising and Support - The GSA advises graduate students experiencing challenges and can help with navigating university policies & filing a grievance, appeal, or petition.

Mental Health covered by the Health Plan - The GSA Health Plan now has an 80 per cent coverage rate (up to $800/year) for Mental Health Practitioners. Your plan includes coverage for psychologists, registered social workers, psychotherapists, and clinical counselors.

Dental Care - The GSA Dental Plan covers 60 to 70 per cent of your dental costs and by visiting dental professionals who are members of the Studentcare Networks, you can receive an additional 20 to 30 per cent coverage.

Student Legal Protection Program - Your GSA fees give you access to unlimited legal advice, accessible via a toll-free helpline: +1-833-202-4571. This advice covers topics including housing disputes, employment disputes, and disputes with an academic institution.

The Graduate House: Open Monday to Tuesday 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Wednesday to Friday 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. We’re open to all students, faculty, staff, and community members. The Graduate House is a community space run by the GSA-UW. We’re adding new items to the menu. Graduate students who paid their fees can get discounts and free coffee.

When and Where (but mostly when)

Warriors vs. Laurier Blood Donation Battle. Join our “Waterloo Warriors” team on the Blood.ca website or app. #ItsInYouToGive

Equity and inclusion in industry sponsored contract research and commercialization consultations for researchers, Monday, May 9 to Friday, May 27. Sign up for an interview timeslot.

CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy, "Risk and Resilience: Promoting Adolescent Online Safety and Privacy through Human-Centered Computing," featuring Pamela Wisniewski, University of Central Florida, Tuesday, May 17, 1:30 p.m., Zoom.

Physics at the End of the Universe” public lecture by Dr. Katie Mack, hosted by Waterloo Centre for Astrophysics, Followed by Q&A and book signing. In-person or online, registration required. Wednesday, May 18, 7:00 p.m., QNC 1011 or Zoom.

President's Forum on PART report, Thursday, May 19, 10:00 a.m., Microsoft Teams.

Discovery lab and world café, “The Future of Sustainable Transportation”, Tuesday, May 24, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., STP 201 (Alumni Hall).

Master of Taxation, Virtual Information Session, full-time virtual info session, Tuesday May 24, 3:00 p.m., part-time virtual info session, Tuesday, May 24, 4:00 p.m.