Monday, September 19, 2022

Waterloo will pause to remember Queen Elizabeth today

A message from Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor.

In lieu of a provincial holiday, the Ontario Government has announced that Monday September 19 will be a Provincial Day of Mourning. This means the university will operate as normal, but where possible we will observe a moment of silence at 1:00 p.m. 

As Canada’s longest reigning monarch and Head of State, she has made an impact on many lives across our country and around the globe. We acknowledge that some members of our community may have different feelings and attitudes toward the role of Queen and the institution of the monarchy.  

Flags at the University of Waterloo campuses will continue to be flown at half-mast during the mourning period. Prior to the passing of the Queen, the flags were already lowered in acknowledgement of the tragic loss of life on James Smith Cree Nation. 

The news coverage of the Queen’s passing may be difficult for many in our community, if you need support, resources are available on our Campus Wellness pages. 

Review of LEARN environment launches

A message from the Learning Management System (LMS) Review project team.

The University’s current contract with the learning management system (LMS) provider D2L Brightspace (LEARN) is set to expire October 31, 2023. As per Policy 17 – Quotations and Tenders, a renewal of the D2L Brightspace contract, or the signing of a new contract with an alternate LMS provider, requires the University to initiate a publicly advertised competitive bidding process. This legal requirement ensures fair market competition for all potential vendors.  

Reviewing our learning management system environment

The approaching end of the current LMS contract provides an opportune time to conduct a review of the LEARN environment to help us better understand how the system may or may not be meeting the needs and expectations of our campus community. To support this work, members of Information Systems & Technology (IST), Centre for Extended Learning (CEL), and Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) have launched the Learning Management System (LMS) Review project, the outcome of which will inform a recommendation for moving forward with Waterloo’s LMS environment, including an approach to licensing and resources to support a transition, should the University change LMS vendors.

Learn more about this work and provide your feedback

Please note the following opportunities to learn more about this project and provide your feedback:

  • LMS Review project information session

Hosted by executive project sponsors, Bruce Campbell, CIO, and David DeVidi, Associate Vice-President, Academic, this session will take place Thursday, September 22, 2022, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. Join us via Teams to learn more about this project. Join us via Teams Webinar to learn more about this project and participate in a Q&A session. Please use the Team Webinar link to create your own calendar entry.

  • LMS Review survey

During the week of September 26, 2022, all University employees and students will receive an email invitation to complete the LMS Review survey and provide feedback on the LEARN environment.

  • Stakeholder consultations and environmental scan

Project team members have also connected with, or will soon connect with, LEARN “power users”, LEARN support staff, and areas that have a unique use case for the platform. Consultations with faculty and students will be held during the fall term; additional information about these sessions will be shared in October. The project team has also completed an environmental scan to understand what other learning management systems are available and the features/functions they offer. Team members also consulted with other Universities who have recently undertaken an LMS review to learn from their experiences.

  • LMS Review project page

Review a summary of the project, objectives, and work plan.

Please submit questions about this project or any of the engagement opportunities to Pam Fluttert, Director, Instructional Technologies and Media Services (ITMS), IST.

National Postdoc Appreciation Week kicks off today

Celebrate with us! National Postdoc Appreciation Day banner.

A message from Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA).

Happy National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW). In honour of NPAW 2022 (September 19 to 23) Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) will be sharing interesting facts and exciting announcements about postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Waterloo throughout this week.

In addition, GSPA is hosting a week of events for postdoctoral fellows, beginning with an in-person NPAW kick-off coffee hour today where postdocs can celebrate with each other and university representatives Jeff Casello (Associate Vice-President, GSPA) and James Rush (Vice-President Academic & Provost, Provost's Office).

Postdoc fact of the day: Launched in 2009 by the National Postdoctoral Association, National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW) has been around for over a decade. The goal was initially to celebrate postdoc contributions to U.S. research and discovery, but the idea quickly spread to other areas of the world. Today over 115 institutions in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and Oceania celebrate NPAW. University of Waterloo has been participating in this event since 2016 and has one of the largest Canadian postdoc celebrations in Canada.

Explore the University's Innovation Ecosystem on Tuesday

Innovation Ecosystem banner image

Join Velocity and learn how Waterloo's distinct innovation ecosystem is designed differently, and why this difference is the reason we are home to top creators, explorers, and ground-breakers worldwide, at the University of Waterloo Innovation Ecosystem event on Tuesday, September 20.

"This unique event will allow you to explore all that our innovative institution has to offer through panel discussions, founder stories, networking and more," says a note from Velocity. "Students will be able to hear and connect with Velocity, Problem Lab, Zero, Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business, GreenHouse (Social Impact Incubator), Grebel Peace Incubator, and the Library. Gain insight as to what your student entrepreneurial journey can look like and find out more about our many free resources. Anyone can benefit from an entrepreneurial mindset and our University of Waterloo and Velocity community starts right here on campus. Whether you have experience or not, are exploring a big idea, or founding a company, Velocity is here to help."

Register for this in-person event

In addition to the packed agenda, there is an optional innovation ecosystem scavenger hunt that runs from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at six locations across campus with six trivia questions to solve. Those who complete the challenge will be entered to win a pair of AirPods and, of course, bragging rights.

Food and beverage will be catered by University of Waterloo Food Services.

A Tim Hortons smile cookie.

A message from the University's United Way campaign committee.

In the mood for a delicious chocolate chip cookie? Smile: it’s Tim Hortons annual Smile Cookie Campaign, happening today and for the rest of the week (until September 25).

Every year Tim Hortons locations across the country raise money for local charities through the Smile Cookie Campaign. What could be better than a sweetly decorated cookie and supporting your local community?

One hundred per cent of the Smile Cookie purchases made at the Student Life Centre (SLC) and Davis Centre (DC) locations will support our United Way Campaign, helping United Way Waterloo Region Communities. Money raised is distributed to various charities across the KW area – such as the Social Development Council, Sexual Assault Support Centre, House of Friendship, Kitchener-Waterloo Counselling Services, and dozens more.

Smile cookies are immensely popular – so expect a few lineups and possibly some temporary shortages – but don’t despair. New cookies are baked daily and will be available all week.

Curious if the Modern Languages (ML), South Campus Hall (SCH), and East Campus 5 (EC5) locations are participating? Yes, they are: Smile Cookie purchases made at those locations will support the Faculty, Staff, and Retiree Giving Program.

As always, if you want to donate to the United Way directly, you can do so easily through our website. Enjoy your smile cookie.

Senate meets today and other notes

The University's Senate has its first meeting of the fall term today at 3:30 p.m., and it's the first in-person meeting in quite some time, as senators head back to their familiar stomping grounds in the Board and Senate chambers in NH 3407. Among the agenda items:

  • A motion to approve the dissolution of the Centre for Advanced Trenchless Technologies (CATT);
  • A motion to approve the dissolution of the Institute for Computer Research (ICR);
  • A motion to approve the deletion of the graduate research fields from the Master of Arts (MA) in History, effective 1 September 2022;
  • A motion to approve the proposed new Three-Year General English – Creative and Professional Writing academic plan, effective 1 September 2023;
  • A motion to approve the proposed new Diploma in Health Humanities, effective 1 September 2023;
  • A motion to approve the proposed new Mathematics/ Chartered Professional Accountancy Data Analytics Specialization, effective 1 September 2023;
  • A motion to approve revised academic calendar dates for 2022-2023 and calendar guidelines for establishing academic dates;
  • A motion to approve the appointment of Stephanie Ye-Mowe as undergraduate student representative on the Board of Governors, term to 30 April 2024;
  • A motion to approve the appointment of Stephanie Ye-Mowe as undergraduate student representative on the Senate Executive Committee, term to 30 April 2024.

As part of the Senate's 'consent agenda,' a collection of items voted on en masse by senators, Senate will receive the names of Honorary Degree recipients who will be honoured at the fall Convocation, and will vote to approve revisions to the invaldi credential combinations for the Faculty of Arts, effective 1 September 2023, and revisions to the BA Breadth Requirements for the Faculty of Arts, effect 1 September 2023.

Senate will also hear oral reports from Vice-President, Academic & Provost James Rush on the state of operational and strategic matters underway at the University, and from Associate Provost, Students Chris Read and Director of Campus Housing Glen Weppler, who will provide an update on the current hot-button issue of student housing.

Vice-President, Academic & Provost James Rush will also issue a call for nominations for University Professor.

September 19 is Powley Day, a day recognized and celebrated by Métis people and communities across the country. The date references the fact that on September 19, 2003, the Supreme Court of Canada decision R. v. Powley affirmed that the Métis had existing Aboriginal rights under Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 - the first high-level court decision of its kind that recognized Métis rights as being similar to those of First Nations and Inuit Peoples. This court victory led to a series of rights and self-governance recognition agreements across Canada.

Peace Week banner"Conrad Grebel University College’s Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement hosts Peace Week to celebrate and promote the pursuit of peace and justice in our community and around the world," says a note from Conrad Grebel. "With a public community calendar of events and activities, we encourage you to reflect on peace and justice in our world by attending a Peace Week Event, September 17-25, 2022."

Unmasking, Breathing, Moving Forward banner image.

One big event happening during Peace Week is the launch of the exhibit, “Unmasking, Breathing, Moving Forward,” at the Grebel Gallery on Wednesday, September 21 at 7:00 p.m. "Life during the pandemic has been challenging for everyone," says the event background material. "During this period, the harsh realities of oppression and racism were cruelly unveiled in front of our eyes. The question of how we move forward is often asked, and difficult to answer. This exhibit is comprised of 17 Black, Indigenous, and racialized artists responding to their experiences during COVID-19. Unmasking aims to offer insights into a way forward that is perceptive to marginalized voices. The exhibit runs until December 16, 2022."

Link of the day

The Queen's funeral

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 KL team (CTE, CEL, ITMS, LIB) offers workshops, webinars and events.

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

Students with permanent, temporary and suspected disabilities and disabling conditions (medical conditions, injuries, or trauma from discrimination, violence, or oppression) can register with AccessAbility Services for academic accommodations (classroom accommodations, testing accommodations, milestone accommodations).

Instructors can visit AccessAbility Services' Faculty and Staff web page for information about the Instructor/Faculty role in the accommodation process. Instructors/ Faculty members are legally required to accommodate students with disabilities. AccessAbility Services (AAS) is here to help you understand your obligations, and to offer services and resources to help you facilitate accommodations.

The Writing and Communication Centre has in-person and virtual services to support grad and undergrad students, postdocs and faculty with any writing or communication project. Services include one-to-one appointmentsdrop-ins at Dana Porter Libraryonline workshopswriting groupsEnglish conversation practice, and custom in-class workshops.  

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 in-person Warrior Study Halls on Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in DC and DP. Join a Peer Success Coach 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 here to help, both in person and online. Our spaces are open for access to book stacks, study space, computers and printers, and the IST Help Desk. For in-depth support, meet one-to-one with Librarians, Special Collections & Archives and Geospatial Centre staff. Access our resources online for anywhere, anytime learning and research. 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 - MATESGlow CentreRAISEWomen’s Centre - Click on one of the links to book an appointment either in person or online for the 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. 

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

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 website or app. #ItsInYouToGive

Warriors Game Day Tickets and Season Passes, on sale now. Cheer on your Warriors W/M Basketball, Football W/M Hockey and W/M Volleyball teams at home during the 2022-23 season. Purchase today.

2SLGBTQ+ Fundamentals, Monday, September 19, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., online.

University senate meeting, Monday, September 19, 3:30 p.m., NH 3407.

Organ Donor Awareness with Eric Celentano (BSc ’79), drop by to hear from a lung transplant recipient and how you can register to give the gift of life, Tuesday, September 20, 12 noon to 4:0 p.m., Health Expansion (EXP) foyer.

The Next 100 Symposium, Wednesday, September 21 to Friday, September 23. Find out more.

WaterLeadership: Evolution of Science Communications, presented by David Janzen, Tuesday, September 20, 3:00 p.m., DC 1304.

Applied and Computational Mathematics Distinguished Lecture, “High Order Numerical Methods for Hyperbolic Equations,” Dr. Chi-Wang Shu, Theodore B. Stowell Professor, Brown University, Wednesday, September 21, 11:30 a.m., MC 5501.

NEW - Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation (WICI) Open House, Wednesday, September 21, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Safeguarding Science workshop, Wednesday, September 21, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Public Safety Canada invites faculty, staff and students to attend this virtual event via MS Teams. Register to receive a link.

NEW – Indigenous Commitment Sunrise Ceremony, Thursday, September 22, 7:30 a.m., United College ceremonial grounds.

NEW - Unlearning the Binary: Fostering a Truly Trans-Inclusive Campus, Thursday, September, 22, 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon, online.

NEW - Farm Market Arts Quad Toonie Picnic, Thursday, September 22, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Arts quad.

NEW – Indigenous Commitment Ceremony and feast, Thursday, September 22, 10:30 a.m., BMH Green.

NEW – David Sprott Distinguished Lecture featuring Stephen Senn, Thursday, September 22, 4:00 p.m.

NEW - Douglas Wright Celebration of Life event, Friday, September 23, 11:00 a.m., livestreamed on YouTube.

Welcome Back Lunch Friday, Friday, September 23, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the BMH Green. Free for the campus community. RSVP not required but let us know if you plan to attend.

University of Graz x University of Waterloo Erasmus+ Staff Mobilities 2022 application deadline, September 30.