Thursday, October 20, 2022

Deans challenge Senate to give to the United Way

The six Deans in costume holding the United way flag.

A message from the University of Waterloo United Way Campaign.

How do you capture the attention of Senate here at the University of Waterloo? Apparently, you just need to step through the looking glass.

On Monday October 17, our Faculty Deans marched once again through campus dressed as characters from Alice in Wonderland as part of their annual challenge asking their Senate colleagues to step up and donate generously to the United Way Workplace Campaign. In past years, they’ve dressed up as characters from Sesame Street, the Wizard of Oz, as well as Star Trek. And this year’s march included hopping a ride on the Watonobus, our own autonomous shuttle.

The six Deans stand in front of the Watonobus

The Queen of Hearts, the King of Hearts, Alice, the Mad Hatter, Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum stand before the Watonobus.

Who dressed as who?

  • Dean of Arts Sheila Ager – Queen of Hearts;
  • Dean of Environment - Bruce Frayne – King of Hearts;
  • Dean of Health Lili Liu – Alice;
  • Dean of Science Bob Lemieux – The Mad Hatter;
  • Dean of Engineering Mary Wells – Tweedle Dee; and
  • Dean of Mathematics Mark Giesbrecht – Tweedle Dum.

Entering the Senate boardroom to great applause, the Deans also announced their annual auction to raise money for the United Way. This year’s selection includes many home-made treats, some Alice in Wonderland-inspired gifts, and a 16th century scale Man O’ War. Over 35 items are available for purchase. The auction will end on October 31 – making it a great option for early holiday shopping. If you’re the winning bid, you can pick up your purchase in person from the Deans in STC. Details available online.

The six Deans in costume, the United Way flag, and President Vivek Goel in the Senate chamber.

A word from Vivek Goel

Our president and vice-chancellor Vivek Goel also had a few words for Senate. He mentioned the great success of our Workplace Campaign – raising nearly $250,000 annually for United Way charities. He thanked our tireless volunteers and ambassadors, and mentioned that everyone at the University of Waterloo can take part in the many events that are hosted campus-wide. President Goel, along with our Deans, have been strong supporters of the United Way – noting that it’s a worthy cause that can only strengthen our amazing community.

There’s still time to donate!

Haven’t had a chance to donate this year? There’s still time. Also check out the Deans’ auction and bid on some fabulous treats and gifts.

Graham Seed Fund launch event October 31

A researcher uses a device to scan a patient's eye.

A message from Transformative Health Technologies.

Transformative Health Technologies (THT) is launching the Graham Seed Fund, designed to broadly encourage innovative health-care solutions to the challenges of today and tomorrow.

The Fund seeks new projects that leverage and build health system partnerships by providing resources for collaborating directly with a full range of health providers and clinicians. The Fund provides funding in the amount of up to $25,000 to support expenses of these collaborations for a one-year period.

Join us for the launch event on October 31 to learn more about the seed fund, hear about the available resources for collaboration with health-care partners, and engage with leaders and experts in health innovation.

Please register by October 25.  

Reach out to Grace Gomashie if you have any questions.

Students to receive $5 on their WATcard for taking the Fall Student Experience Survey

A person types on a laptop with the Student Experience Survey on its screen.

A message from the Survey Research Centre and Institutional Analysis & Planning.

We want your feedback. The Student Experience Survey (SES) is now open. The SES is a short survey sent out once a term to help the University understand students' learning environment and experience, challenges, and successes.

Please check your email or LEARN profile to see if you have been selected to participate in this term’s iteration of the survey. You can also remind your friends and/or students to check to see if they have received an invitation. Only a select number of students receive an invitation. If you did not receive an invitation this time, don’t worry, you may receive one for future iterations of this survey.

Students who submit their survey will receive $5 added to their WATcard. The survey only takes about 10 minutes to complete and will close on October 31, so be sure to submit your survey before it closes.

The survey is voluntary and confidential, and if you decide to participate, you can skip any question you do not feel comfortable answering.

The Student Experience Survey is administered by the University of Waterloo Survey Research Centre (SRC), in collaboration with Institutional Analysis & Planning, the Associate Vice President, Academic, the Associate Vice President, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, the Keep Learning Team, and the Student Success Office. For more information on the survey, you can visit the FAQ page [hyperlink:] or email

Grad House celebrates 50 years Friday

Grad House Anniversary Bash banner.

The Graduate House, long a landmark on the University of Waterloo campus, is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Friday, October 21.

The Graduate House as it appeared in 1957 as construction on the first campus building took place nearby.Of course, the Grad House is much older than 50 years—built in 1898, it was originally known as the Schweitzer Farm House when the land it occupied was purchased by the Waterloo College Associate Faculties in 1957—but it was in 1972 when the University of Waterloo granted it to the Graduate Student Association, who has operated it as the social hub for graduate students ever since. Many additions have been made to the original structure over the years, and it still occupies a central location on the main campus, a stalwart witness to the many changes to the landscape since the University's inception.

Appropriately, the GSA-UW will be celebrating the milestone with a proper bash.

A more recent photo of the graduate house."Among the attractions are live music, tacos, and local breweries for cask and tap tasting," says a note from the GSA-UW. "Local acts Treephones, Hyness, and CxViolet will be performing, and we’ll also be hosting breweries Block Three, Neustadt Springs, and Wellington to show off their beers IN CASKS and on tap. Pulled pork courtesy of proud bacon and beef provider Oakridge Acres (with a vegan option)."

On Friday, be sure to raise a glass to celebrate the oldest building on the University of Waterloo campus.

Thursday's notes

Flu shots will be available by appointment beginning Monday, October 24 at the Student Health Pharmacy. Appointments can be made by calling 519-746-4500.

The Student Health Pharmacy is located in the lower level of the Student Life Centre.

Keeping Well at Work Daily Inspiration

Here's today's Keeping Well at Work Daily Inspiration:

Recognize a colleague

Recognition is a powerful way to contribute to your wellness. Not only are you filling someone else’s bucket, but you are also filling your own while providing the recognition. Take 20 minutes today and create a ‘high-five’ board for your team! Don’t have time for that, take 3 minutes and send a note to a colleague to say thank-you.

Upcoming office closure

All Campus Wellness locations will be closed today from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for an all-staff meeting.

Link of the day

Check your figures: it's World Statistics 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 access the EdTech Hub to find support on Waterloo’s centrally supported EdTech tools. The Hub is supported by members of IST’s Instructional Technologies and Media ServicesCentre for Teaching ExcellenceCentre for Extended Learning and subject matter experts from other campus areas.

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 United 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 

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.

Zero Waste Month campaign, Monday, October 17 to Monday, October 31.

WaterTalk: Challenges and opportunities for moving from the linear to the circular water cycle, presented by William A. Mitch, Stanford University. Thursday, October 20, 11:30 a.m., DC 1302.

Quantum Opportunities and Showcase, Thursday, October 20, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Research Advancement Centre 2 (RAC 2).

Knowledge Integration seminar: “The Interdisciplinary nature of Technical Sales”, featuring speaker Yanish Jutton, BKI'16Senior Solutions Engineer at Groupby Inc, Friday, October 21, 2:30 p.m., EV3-1408.

Fall 2022 Convocation, Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22.

NEW - Warriors Women’s Hockey Home Opener vs. Toronto, Saturday, October 22, 2:30 p.m., CIF Arena. Residence Day, Parent Day, THRIVE event. Purchase Tickets.

NEW - Waterloo at 100 faculty consultation, Monday, October 24, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., in-person meeting (registration required).

NEW - Graham Seed Fund launch event, Monday, October 31, 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., Enterprise Theatre (EC5, Room 1111). Please register by Tuesday, October 25.