Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Organizational updates in the Office of the Vice-President, Administration and Finance

A message from the Office of the Vice-President, Administration and Finance.

The Office of the Vice-President, Administration and Finance has announced a number of reporting changes as part of a recent senior leadership reorganization. The following reporting changes are in effect as of January 2023:  

  • Steve Cook (Director, Procurement & Contracts) now reports to Sarah Hadley (Director, Finance). As always, anyone looking to reference Procurement related information can visit: https://uwaterloo.ca/procurement/
  • Joel Norris (Director, Central Stores) now reports to Stepanka Elias (Executive Director, Facilities). Information related to Central Stores and their services can be found here: https://uwaterloo.ca/central-stores/
  • Kate Windsor (Director of Safety) and Alan Binns (Director, Special Constable Service) now report to Jacinda Reitsma (Vice-President, Administration and Finance). Previously these positions reported to the Secretariat.

Employees in all units have been advised of the changes. 

As of December 2022, two new positions include: 

  • Alice Knight (Director, Strategy and Operations) reporting to Jacinda Reitsma (Vice-President, Administration and Finance); and
  • Erin Gillespie (Administrative Officer) reporting to Alice Knight (Director, Strategy and Operations). 

Bringing blackness and freedom to life

Black and Free banner featuring artists

By Claire Francis. This article was originally featured on Waterloo News.

Dr. Naila Keleta-MaeIn the Canadian academic landscape, scholar, artist, and professor, Dr. Naila Keleta-Mae (Communication Arts) is a visionary. Her Black And Free Project explores Black expressive culture through various mediums — and this year, Keleta-Mae’s work is going beyond academia and being brought to life for the public. A series of events, classes, and exhibits are planned which explore the themes inherent in her multi-year research-creation project on blackness and freedom.

Keleta-Mae, who was recently named a Canada Research Chair in Race, Gender and Performance, deeply understands the importance of freedom and authenticity in Black expression. Whether it’s access to funding or materials, “Throughout all of Black expressive culture, I'm thinking about the historical, political and cultural context of the art itself, the working conditions that artists need to be able to make art about freedom while feeling free in the artistic process, and how to create moments when different audiences can connect with the art and artists.”

Indeed, in the curation of this project, she aims “to contribute to the centuries-old practice of movements for Black liberation, for Black freedom.”

12 Black artists featured

Now, Keleta-Mae is grateful to be able to share details of the public programming. “Black And Free has commissioned 12 Black artists in Ontario to create new works on the topic of blackness and freedom, six of which will be featured in a new series called Black And Free: New Art on Wednesdays from 6:30-8pm on February 1, 8 and 15 and March 1, 8 and 15 at THE MUSEUM, in person and live-streamed with closed captions.” The artists featured during this series are Ken Daley, Beck Derese, Miss Coco Murray, Simone Patricia, Suritah Wignall, and Tafui. In addition, six other artists will be featured at the Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum over a two day event on March 25 and 26 called Black And Free: Art Exhibition. Those artists are Lillian Allen, Sydné Barnes-Wright, Damola Disu, Aljumaine Gayle, MK Manu and Janine Ruhinda.

In fact, the first phase of Black And Free’s programming began in January. On Saturdays in January and February, the Drama School at Young People’s Theatre (YPT) in Toronto is offering Black Theatre in Ontario, a set of five scene-study classes for students in Grades 7 and 8 led by artist-educators Yvonne Addai and Jay Northcott. The partnership with YPT includes work with playwrights Samson Bonkeabantu Brown, Marcia Johnson and Makambe K. Simamba to explore play ideas on blackness and freedom for children and young audiences over the winter and spring.

The Black And Free project has also partnered with YPT and The EDGE (Empower.Develop.Grow.Engage), a Scarborough-based organization committed to uplifting Black youth, on a community residency theatre education program starting in April. And Black and Free comes to the UWaterloo campus in May when it partners with The EDGE on a campus retreat about being a Black post-secondary student.

When asked to highlight specific commissioned artists from the Ontario-wide open call, Keleta-Mae said her preference is to let audiences discover the work for themselves. “There are just so many ways to be and express blackness and freedom.” And she cannot deny the joy of engaging with artists invested in Black expression. “So many of the artists who are now commissioned are artists whose work I was unfamiliar with.”

A labour of love, and labour-intensive

For Keleta-Mae, the Black and Free Project is a labour of love that reaches back to her own childhood. With its release into the world, ideas which she expressed in poetry as a child and through music as a young adult will be brought to life.

The journey has also been quite labour-intensive. While working with various artists and organizations, Keleta-Mae’s process is collaborative. “It's a partnership… And so it looks like a lot of meetings, a lot of emails,” she says. “We've been working on this for a long time: this is year six of Black And Free for me, and this is year two of the Ontario Research Fund: Research Excellence grant, which is the basis of these partnerships with private, public, and community sector organizations.”

When asked what she wants audiences to gain from engaging with Black And Free’s various works, Keleta-Mae remains open. “You know, I don't want to define it.” The essence of Black And Free, “exceeds measurement, it exceeds quantification,” she continues. “I believe in art and artists’ ability to connect, to articulate, to express, and to inspire. And I believe that if artists, academics, and audiences are thinking about Blackness and Freedom, good will come of it for all of our society. And so I invite people to come to the Black And Free: New Art series and the Black And Free: Art Exhibition and to also please follow us on social media. Ultimately, I trust that Black and Free will impact people in the ways that it needs to.”

For further information on the Black And Free Project, upcoming programming, and the artists, please visit Black And Free on Instagram and Black And Free on Facebook.

Warrior Reset hits the button for winter 2023

A student walks towards a campus building in wintertime.

A message from the Uwaterloo Life team.

Warrior Reset graphic featuring a light bulb and a reverse-direction arrow.The start of a new year often inspires us to make commitments to ourselves to try something new. But once we get through the dark days of January, our new year’s resolutions fall by the wayside.

It can be hard to stick to far-reaching goals and we tend to fall back into old habits. If this sounds all too familiar, you’re not alone. That’s why we’ve pulled together some ideas that you can try today, tomorrow or a month from now, because it’s never too late to get started.

Warrior Reset, your four-step guide to developing healthy habits that are sustainable all year long:

A checklist of self-empowering strategies.

  1. Shift the way you think about New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions can lead to unnecessary pressure to make significant changes or overhaul your life. This approach is overwhelming and likely to fail, leaving little motivation to keep trying. So, what if instead you found a new way to think about your resolutions to make your wellbeing a priority? Our Peer Health Education team suggests reframing your goals to encourage lifelong habits.
  2. Start fresh each Monday with weekly intentions. Small steps each week can help you form better habits throughout the year. Why start on a Monday? There’s research to suggest that you’re more likely to carry your intentions throughout the week if you start on a Monday. Plus, at the end of the week you can evaluate what worked and what didn’t, celebrate the wins and think about what next week may look like.
  3. Challenge a friend. Leverage the power of a friendly competition and creating some accountability by sharing your intentions for the week. Schedule time to check-in with one another. Remove any feelings of guilt or judgment, that will just set you back. Instead, focus on the positives and trust the process. Remember, there’s always next Monday!
  4. Make the most of Reading Week! It’s a perfect time to start a Warrior Reset. Classes are paused and you have some time to recharge, get caught up on your coursework, connect with friends and family and plan for the upcoming weeks.

Not sure where to start? Here are some more ideas from your UWaterloo student resources:

  • Start small and get a quick win by tidying your room/study space.
  • Grab a few things from WStore’s Warrior Reset list to get yourself organized.
  • Apply for that student exchange you’ve been dreaming of. Hot tip: Second-round applications are now open until February 28.
  • Try new food! Download and browse the Food Services mobile ordering app and skip the line.
  • Feeling down after receiving grades from fall term? Create a plan to access support resources like Warrior Study Halls hosted by the Student Success Office Peer Success Coaches.
  • Experienced challenges with your midterms and exams last term? Need testing accommodations? Register with AccessAbility Services or schedule an appointment with your Accommodation Consultant.
  • Explore and enhance your leadership knowledge through interactive workshops facilitated by student leaders. Workshops run throughout February and into March.
  • Acknowledge feelings of burnout and take steps to reduce and manage your stress.
  • Get your mind and body moving! Try a new approach to participating in physical activity.
  • Explore the different athletic facilities. If you’re finding the PAC busy, try CIF or change up your routine by trying a morning workout to kick-start your day.
  • Fire up your creativity and help build #consentculture on campus by entering the SVPRO’s Consent Slogan Contest. The deadline to submit is February 27.

Still looking for more? There’s no shortage of ways to get support and explore the many ways to get involved in your campus community. Bookmark your student resources page and follow @uwaterloolife for more ideas for your Warrior Refresh.

Link of the day

25 years ago: The Wedding Singer

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).

Faculty, staff, post-doc and graduate student instructors can find upcoming teaching and learning workshops, self-directed modules and recordings of previous events on Centre for Teaching Excellence Workshops and Events page.

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.

Did you know that the Writing and Communication Centre offers many in-person and virtual services to support you with any writing or communication project? This term we've added The Write Spot: a new student space in South Campus hall, complete with bookable workspaces, drop-ins with our peer tutors, and free coffee and tea. We also have one-to-one appointments with our writing and communication advisors and peer tutors, email tutoring for grads and undergrads, drop-ins at Dana Porter Libraryonline workshopswriting groupsEnglish conversation practice, and even custom in-class workshops. For any communication project, the Writing and Communication Centre is here to support you.

Research Ethics: Find yourself with an ethical question, unsure if your work requires an ethics review, or need advice about putting together a research ethics application? Reach out to one of our friendly staff by booking a consultation or email us with your questions.

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 spaces, computers/printers, and the IST Help Desk. For in-depth support, meet one-to-one with Librarians, Special Collections & Archives and Geospatial Centre staff. Visit the Library’s home page to access our online resources for anywhere, anytime learning and research.

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 Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Anti-Racism (EDI-R) works with students, faculty and staff across campus to advance equity and Anti-racism through evidence-based policies, practices and programs. If you have a concern related to Anti-racism and/or equity, please complete our intake form.

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 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 caps@wusa.ca.

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 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.

Fitness and Personal Training - Registrations opened January 5 this winter with Personal Training and Small Group Training as well as a Free Warrior Workout Program.

Student Health Pharmacy in the basement of the Student Life Centre is now offering Covid booster shots (Pfizer and Moderna) and flu shots. Call 519-746-4500 or extension 33784 for an appointment. Walk-ins always welcome.

WaterLeadership: Sharing Science | Clear Language Writing, presented by Elisabeth Van Stam. Tuesday, February 14, 12:30 p.m. in DC 1304.

WISE Public Lecture,FuelPositive's Containerized Green Ammonia Systems: Prioritizing Farmers and Food Security” by Nelson Leite, COO, FuelPositive., Tuesday, February 14, 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., EIT Third floor 3142., In-person & on Zoom. Register.

NEW - CEE Employer Impact Conference, Wednesday, February 15, 2023, 12 noon to 4:30 p.m..

TQT presents Keysight Lunch and Learn, Wednesday, February 15, 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m., QNC 0101.

NEW - Music and conversation with Dr. Karen Sunabacka (Waterloo Womxn + Nonbinary Wednesdays), Thursday, February 16, 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.

Tribute to Michael Herz, Thursday, February 16, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EC1-1323 and via MS Teams.