W3+ (Waterloo Womxn + Nonbinary Wednesdays) is a community of womxn and nonbinary grad students, post-docs, staff and faculty.
The purpose of W3+ is to foster a social and support network among womxn and nonbinary members of the UW community. The group offers a safe space to discuss issues, provides a place to present university research, and raises awareness about gender and sexuality at the university both as a workplace and as a place for intellectual engagement.
Sessions range from research talks to workshops to fun activities. Feel free to join at any time!
W4: W3+Workshops, June 9, 2021
Registration is open for this day of online workshops, teach-ins, and how-tos that share the talent of our members with the larger W3+ community. This event is open to all womxn and nonbinary graduate students, post-docs, staff, and faculty at the University of Waterloo. See the full schedule and register here.
W3+ during remote working conditions
We launched our W3+ Microsoft Team in September 2020. Rather than replacing our monthly in-person events with virtual ones, we decided to take a whole new approach to engaging with the W3+ community. The Team is a space in which womxn and nonbinary members of the UW community can connect and support each other anytime, anywhere. We have a range of channels with different purposes, from celebrating our accomplishments to reminding each other to take breaks throughout the day. The Team is a space where we can continue to build our community while most of us are working from home.
We know that it can be hard to explore something new or invest more time in front of a screen, especially when you don’t know what the “vibe” is going to be like. So, we think there is an opportunity to do a little mythbusting about what being a part of the Team is like.
W3+ Teams mythbusting
Myth: All the events have lots of people attending who all know each other
Fact: So far, our weekly events have been quite small, with about 4–12 people at each one. If you’re not into big groups or worry that you might feel like an outsider, this is a great informal, low-stakes environment to meet some new people!
Myth: W3+ is mainly for faculty
Fact: We don’t have actual stats, but we estimate that we have more staff members participating than faculty these days. W3+ is for staff, graduate students, and post-docs just as much as it is for faculty. We try not to give priority to any one of those groups, and they are all represented on our planning committee (Well, except post-docs, where there is a currently a vacancy. Please get in touch if you’re a post-doc interested in joining).
Myth: There’s no way you can add this to your plate right now
Fact: Well, that one might be true. Who are we to tell you otherwise? But hear us out: Some of our events are aimed at helping you do your existing work: Our weekly wrap-ups are a dedicated time to review your week and plan the next one, and with our biweekly “Do The Thing!” sessions, we hope to motivate each other to take 30 minutes to work on something you’ve been putting off. And there’s tons of research showing that taking regular breaks throughout the day (whether walking, stretching, lying down, or just closing your eyes for a minute) helps you get way more done, and that’s what our Keep Moving channel is all about. And again: You don’t have to do everything. If there’s only one channel that interests you, hide all the rest! We won’t mind.
Myth: In Teams, you either get a million notifications, or turn notifications off and forget the Team is even there
Fact: There is a middle ground! Most of our channels only have one or two posts a week. Our “nosiest” channel is one that sends daily reminders to take a break and move—this is also our most popular channel! But what notifications you get is up to you. Here are three tips for customizing your settings:
- Switch to List view to see all your channels at a glance—and which ones have new posts. The default is “Grid” view, where you only see one team’s channels at a time and have to go into each one to see what’s new. “List” view allows you to see all of your channels at a glance, and the ones with new content appear in bold text. Here’s how to switch views.
- Once you’ve done that, you can turn off pop-up notifications for most or all channels, since you can easily see which ones have new posts in your list! Here’s a quick primer on Teams notifications, including settings for individual channels.
- Finally, you can hide the channels you aren’t interested in. Here’s how to hide channels.
The best way to get involved is by joining our Microsoft Team to stay up-to-date about events and to share your own campus events, news, and questions with other members.
You can also join the W3+ mailing list and do the same things there!
Mailing list signup:
More about W3+
Who is W3+?
W3+ is everyone who comes out to our events or joins our mailing list or Team! W3+ receives core funding from the Faculty Association and Staff Association and is coordinated by a planning committee of faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students.
Andrea Jonahs (English Language and Literature)
Cassie Bechard (IST)
|Graduate student representatives||
Naila Ayala (Kinesiology)
Contact Laura McDonald for more information.
We need new representatives to be the voice for post-docs at W3+. We especially encourage folks with Black and Indigenous backgrounds or who identify as LGBTQIA2S+ to join.
The group plans and manages monthly events, including bringing in guest speakers. Each committee member takes the lead on one or more events each year, based on their schedule and interests. Here’s what committee members do:
- Attend committee meetings at least once every other month
- Chair or take notes at a couple of meetings each year
- Help identify and arrange guest speakers for monthly events
- Gather feedback about and gather suggestions for events
- Plan and organize events, including arranging space, catering etc.
- Attend and take part in most W3+ events
This is an opportunity to gain valuable experience chairing meetings and organizing events centered around important social issues in a supportive environment.
If you are interested or want to know more, please contact Michelle Przedborski (email@example.com). Please feel free to circulate to your colleagues and inform others who might be interested in this great opportunity!
About our new name
August 24, 2020
W3 is now positively charged! The W3 planning committee has changed the name of the group to W3+, Waterloo Womxn and Nonbinary Wednesdays (pronounced “W three plus”). The change in spelling from women to womxn signals that feminist spaces have historically excluded racialized women and the plus reflects the gender and sexual fluidity of our membership as inspired by LGBTQIA2S+ and the countless ways in which people self-identify. Like an atom that has lost an electron, a positively charged W3+ strives to create space for its members against the negativity of all forms of oppression. We believe that this name better reflects our constituency, our vibe and attitude, and the community we are and hope to continue to build.
We invite women with an ‘e’ to see themselves as womxn and begin to explore what that difference means—what it would mean to racialize whiteness and settler colonialism, and to challenge the heteronormative binary of gender/sexuality. As our style guide for communications, we will use womxn and nonbinary when referencing our membership. This is not a prescriptive policy for members’ or presenters’ work or research or identity, and we will respect everyone’s choice of spelling.
Listserv and Teams policy
Our listserv and Microsoft Team are like community bulletin boards, enabling us to connect on issues and concerns related to our membership. As a diverse group of womxn and nonbinary folks with intersecting identities, there are a wide range of issues beyond gender that are relevant to our membership. Gender, sexuality, race, class, ability, and social justice are all topics that impact and hold relevance to our everyday lives and are welcome on the listserv and in Teams. We ask that when you post news or events, you introduce the content with one or more sentences that explain the event or other content’s relevance to our membership and/or social justice, to help make the connection clear to everyone.