Honouring Pride

Waterloo is committed to fostering an inclusive, safe and welcoming environment

This June, we activated many new Pride initiatives across campus. Rainbow walkways were installed outside the Dana Porter Library and at campus entrances, while the Two-Spirit Pride flag was flown alongside the Intersex-Inclusive Pride Progress flag for the first time. The Great Gaggle of Waterloo, original art by Rachel Jung (BA ’23), became a campus-wide installation with rainbow-coloured geese on display across campus to mark Pride Month.

On June 28, these celebrations were violently interrupted when our campus community experienced a hate motivated attack related to gender expression and identity.

“At home and abroad in 2023, we’re seeing a rise in 2SLGBTQIA+ hate and violence. After the attack on our campus this June, we are left heartsick and horrified.” said Michael Dorr (BMath ’01), associate vice-president of marketing and brand strategy. While our community has been deeply shaken, we remain steadfast in our commitment to foster an inclusive, safe and welcoming environment for all members of our community.

“It’s more important now than ever before to send a message of belonging to students, staff and the broader community. I believe that 2SLGBTQIA+ Pride takes on a deeper meaning of resilience and an urgent protest against hate, intolerance and violence.” While these Pride initiatives and symbols are important, we have a lot of work ahead to combat transphobia and homophobia and work towards an inclusive campus.

Waterloo announces tuition waiver for students from two first nations communities

Exchanging gifts at the Cedar Ceremony

The University of Waterloo is offering a full tuition waiver to all qualifying students from two First Nations communities on whose traditional territory the University is situated. 

The initiative covers current and incoming students who are members of the Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Waterloo will also offer Ontario domestic tuition rates for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students from elsewhere in Canada as well as Native American students from the United States in recognition of the Jay Treaty. It will also continue to waive the application fee for these applicants.

“This announcement is part of Waterloo’s efforts toward indigenization, decolonization and reconciliation, which are at the heart of the values guiding us as an institution of higher learning,” said Vivek Goel, president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo.

Needles wall embodies past and present

Needles Wall

A new mural recently installed in Ira Needles Hall visually represents the University of Waterloo’s history and future. Dubbed “Needles Wall,” the mural draws upon the unconventional spirit of Waterloo’s founding while hinting at what lies ahead.

65 years of experiential education

In 1957, Waterloo set itself apart from other universities with an innovative co-operative education offering. A cohort of more than 70 engineering students experienced their first co-op work terms in 1958, and Waterloo’s unique co-operative education program soon expanded to all other faculties on campus.

Today, Waterloo is a global leader in experiential education. More than 25,000 students are available each year for four- or eight-month full-time work terms across all industries. Students create an impact at more than 7,500 global employers by supporting projects, delivering solutions and offering diverse perspectives. 

“The amazing work of students through work-integrated learning experiences has set Waterloo apart from other institutions,” said Norah McRae, associate provost of Co-operative and Experiential Education. “As we celebrate 65 years of experiential education at Waterloo, we continue to innovate and find meaningful ways to support our students. Our strong industry relationships and leading-edge research help us to future-proof ourselves, employers and students.” 

Waterloo celebrates black communities

On Friday, May 26, more than 300 people from the campus and the community gathered at the University of Waterloo for the inaugural Celebrating Black Communities event at Federation Hall. The evening’s program featured a reception and a sit-down dinner, followed by a keynote address and a conversation with the Right Honourable, Michaëlle Jean, the former 27th Governor General of Canada and current chancellor at United College.  

President and Vice-Chancellor Vivek Goel and Dr. Christopher S. Taylor, Associate Vice-President Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-racism also addressed the audience and gave thanks to all existing donors for their support of the Black Student Opportunities Fund — a new resource to support current and future Black students.

Velocity celebrates 15 years

Velocity started as a University of Waterloo dorm residence in 2008 and has since helped entrepreneurs build scalable companies by creating optimal conditions for their growth. Building on its 15 years of success — which includes helping more than 400 companies create a total enterprise value of more than US$26 billion — Velocity is constantly evolving on its mission to assist entrepreneurs and the startup community.

With locations across the University campus and downtown Kitchener, Velocity operates specialized labs, runs tailored programs and provides access to capital, resources and advisory for rapid business development.

Since the beginning, Velocity’s self-reinforcing culture has fostered collaboration and trust. Velocity entrepreneurs work with a broad network of industry-specific experts through various streams such as software, health tech and deep tech.

Velocity will further strengthen this collaborative culture at the Innovation Arena, where innovation can thrive with the broader community.