Gender-based violence is never okay
A message from Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor.
I was deeply saddened to wake up yesterday morning to news of the death in Pakistan of a former University of Waterloo student, Sara Inam. Sara was killed as a result of intimate partner violence. A talented economist and kind friend by all accounts, Sara is gone far too soon.
The continued prevalence of gender-based violence here in Canada and around the world weighs heavily on us all. Ms. Inam’s death comes on the heels of the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of Tehran’s Guidance Patrol – an act that has sparked massive protests in Iran and also here on our own campus.
I am proud of the students who are standing up against gender-based violence. Last week’s silent protest in honour of Ms. Amini was a testament to those who organized and attended it. Ensuring that we use our voices to speak out against this abuse is crucial.
There will be another silent vigil held today at 5:30 p.m. in front of Dana Porter Library to continue to raise awareness about Ms. Amini’s case and to continue to stand against gender-based violence in Iran and here at home. I encourage all those who are able, to attend.
We as an institution will be participating in the UN Women’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign. The campaign kicks off on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and runs to December 10, Human Rights Day. For more information on what the University has planned, please visit Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office’s website.
If you, or anyone you know has been impacted by gender-based violence, please consider accessing the following resources for support:
- UWaterloo’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office @ 519-888-4567 ext. 40025
- The Sexual Assault Support Centre of Kitchener/Waterloo’s 24 Hour Support Line @ 519-741-8633
- UWaterloo’s Counselling Services for students @ 519-888-4096 ext. 32655
- Homewood Health (UW’s EAP) @ 1.800.663.1142
- Coalition of Muslim Women Kitchener-Waterloo @ 226-499-2269
and for medical care:
- Health Services - Student Medical Clinic @ 519-888-4096
- The Sexual Assault Domestic Violence Treatment Center at St. Mary’s Hospital @ 519- 749-6994
Welcome back lunch a big success
By Megan McGarry.
Fall was in the air as many students and employees gathered on the BMH green for a free welcome back BBQ lunch this past Friday. The event was the first of its kind since 2019.
Arsalan, who is completing his MSc in Physics, said, “it’s good to be back. It’s easier to form new friendships in person.”
Abby, an employee from Campus Housing, echoed the same. “The transition was a bit tough, but it’s really good now. The questions and concerns we can work through when making decisions… those colleague connections that happen from the casual chats in person… it’s just a different vibe when we’re all in one place.”
The lunch marked a historic event for Waterloo, with all four campuses celebrating together. Cambridge hosted 275 people; Kitchener, 350; Stratford, 240; and Waterloo close to 3,500.
A big thanks to everyone who joined us.
Kicking off the United Way Campaign with a lunch for volunteers and donors
A message from the University of Waterloo United Way Campaign.
As we get ready for the University of Waterloo’s United Way Campaign launch on October 3, we were excited to have some of our key campaign supporters come together on Thursday, September 22 in Fed Hall for the 2022 United Way Kick-Off Lunch. This included our incredible ambassador volunteers from our campus departments, our campaign committee members, and United Way delegates, as well as representatives from the charities the United Way supports.
An impactful message
United Way Campaign co-chairs Alice Raynard and Gordon Savage helped to welcome our volunteers and introduced our first speaker, Amanda Melnik, Senior Director of Impact and Stewardship at the United Way. Amanda is also an alumnus of the University of Waterloo.
“This campaign at Waterloo is one of the largest in Kitchener-Waterloo, raising close to $250,000 every year. It’s a commendable amount, and the impact this has on an individual in need is enormous. This is why we do what we do – for that real person that you’re helping in our community.” Amanda put into perspective what this campaign is all about – making a positive impact on those in our community that rely on the charities that the United Way funds.
“We get it – we’re tired, needs continue to be unprecedented. Thus, it’s important to know where your dollars are going and the impact they have.” The United Way reviews requests for funds every three months. The standard funding requested by charities in those three months is about two million dollars – and the United Way can only fund 30 per cent of that need. Wait lists for services are longer than ever. “But we can do something to help those organizations and reduce those wait times. It’s through this campaign – through your donations. Every dollar matters.”
So, who are we helping?
Wayne Paddick from the Cambridge Shelter offered some insight into how your donations impact his work. “We provide shelter for anyone who needs it. Right now, a big need is for seniors who are on a fixed income but rent continues to rise and they find themselves evicted and unable to find affordable alternatives.” He reminded us that homelessness can happen to anyone – people who are not typically part of the homeless community. “My job is not just to help shelter them, but to get them out of the shelter and back into housing.”
“We also help those who have addictions or mental health challenges. We hire peer workers – people who know the issues and problems faced by our clients because they’ve lived it themselves. Your donations fund such peer workers.”
Our volunteers take the stage
Susan Grant, from Alumni Relations, spoke directly on the experience of being a United Way Campaign ambassador. “I wanted to start by saying thanks to the United Way. We are one community, and we all know why we’re here. Why we volunteer.”
She’s not alone – the dozens of volunteers across campus demonstrate our capacity for giving back to the community during each of our annual campaigns. Their events help to raise thousands of dollars, “and helping that one person in need is worth it.”
However, what did she reveal to be her real motivation behind volunteering? “It’s a reward to meet new people. To see them show off their baking skills. And for me to show off my eating of those baking skills.”
Aligned with Waterloo’s values
The United Way Campaign is supported by the University senior administration and the campaign is a meaningful way to connect with and belong to our community. We all benefit as an institution from our community, and it is very important we also give back through volunteering, encouraging others to participate, and donating. Those connections are a driving force behind what makes this region and its people so unique and special.
Don’t forget to mark Monday, October 3 in your calendar for the campus-wide campaign launch. Help us turn the campus red by dressing up or decorating your office. Don’t forget to share photos with #UWUnitedWay.
If you want to get involved with the campaign, volunteer to be a United Way Ambassador! And you don’t have to wait until October to donate to the campaign. In the words of Amanda Melnick, every dollar matters.
Participants needed for macular degeneration study
A message from the School of Optometry & Vision Science.
Researchers at the School of Optometry & Vision Science are currently seeking adults 18 years and over diagnosed with macular degeneration who use their side vision to see for a study which examines whether reading can be improved through a combination of practice and the use of a safe, well-established technique for modulating brain function called non-invasive brain stimulation. Recently published results from the group suggest that a single session of non-invasive brain stimulation may have a short-term effect on reading in adults with macular degeneration (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brs.2022.08.016). The current study is exploring the possibility of longer lasting effects.
Participants will be asked to read words on a computer screen for 9 study sessions (each 2 hours per visit) spaced out over a period of 2 to 3 months. Participants should not be undergoing eye-based injections and must be eligible for non-invasive brain stimulation (researchers will screen for this). Eligible participants will receive $20 per session in appreciation for their time and regional transportation costs will be covered. If you, your family members, or acquaintances might be eligible and interested, please contact Melanie Mungalsingh for more information at email@example.com.This study has been reviewed and received ethics clearance through a University of Waterloo Research Ethics Committee.
President's Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability seeks undergraduate representative
A message from the Sustainability Office.
The President’s Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability (PACES) is recruiting an undergraduate representative to join the committee for a two-year term, beginning in fall 2022. The committee represents a cross-section of Waterloo stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, and administration, who provide advice to the president on campus sustainability programs and policies.
The position is open to any undergraduate student enrolled at the University of Waterloo through Winter 2024. Applications are due by Friday, September 30. Visit the PACES webpage for more information and to submit an application.