The following is a transcript of a video message shared with University of Waterloo students on August 31, 2023

Hello everyone

I’m Vivek Goel, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo. I use the pronouns He/Him

It is my privilege to welcome you to our Fall 2023 term.

For some of you, this will be your first time on our campuses. For others, we welcome you back.

While research and learning on our campuses continues throughout the year, every September, there is a sense of a new beginning.

The core of Waterloo’s success has always been its connection to our community. That community includes the regions where we live, learn and work, but also the communities that make up our campuses.

These internal communities are made up of strong, diverse, and collaborative groups of students and employees who look after one another and support each other to strive for their best.

In late June, a hate-motivated attack shook our Waterloo campus. The attack and its aftermath highlighted many issues of concern. We are working hard to address them. And we’re continually working to ensure our campuses are safe and are seen to be safe.

Instead of polarizing us, it has brought our community closer today.

At the University of Waterloo, we are committed to fostering an inclusive, safe and welcoming environment for all members of our community.

We are united against all forms of violence, hatred and bigotry.

We are a community of high-achievers.

A community that occasionally needs a reminder that it’s not only ok, but it’s important, to take a break and make our individual wellbeing a priority.

At Waterloo, we work hard to ensure that resources and support are available for our students whether to help establish healthy study habits, promote physical health or to prioritize mental health.

If you are new to Waterloo, or a returning student, I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and join clubs, events or workshops. You will be welcomed into a vibrant and inclusive environment where you can find an extra sense of belonging.

When I look back to my time as a student, I can fondly recall the important role that activities outside my studies played in helping me succeed. Indeed it is the extra-curricular activities s a student leader that best prepare me for the roles that I’ve taken on over my career. I am confident that if you follow a similar approach, you will feel the same.

I wish you all the best for a successful term ahead.