President’s update: February 2024

Yessenia GuerreroIt is officially February and I’d like to acknowledge and celebrate Black History Month—please check out the events happening on campus and in the community. We have a Black Faculty and Staff Collective on campus and the work they’re doing is creating a more inclusive campus. They “are committed to helping our institution end anti-Black racisms by innovating interracial relations, transforming campus culture, and holding the institution accountable in its priorities for equity, diversity and inclusion.” Racism should have no place on campus or in our work. As staff, we shape much of the experience of everyone on campus, so we all play a part in making UW inclusive to all.

We had a busy January with lots of events, including Blue Monday, hosting a soup lunch at the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre, and the Fundraising and Social Committee potluck. We are planning more events including some road trips to satellite campuses (Pharmacy is up first!), a workshop series, and a summer multicultural event. More to come on that!

In case you missed it in our February newsletter, we are piloting a new suggestion box on our website, where you can leave us your thoughts and suggestions. This is one step in our plan to engage more with all our members and hear your concerns. I will personally be reviewing the submissions weekly.

As for salary discussions, PACSC reps continue to work hard to represent your voices on all matters. If you have a concern about these salary discussions that you would like to see addressed, feel free to reach out to me. Our PACSC team is keeping track of concerns, and we are bringing them to the table.

In closing, I leave you with an excerpt from Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise” for us all to reflect on while acknowledging this important month of Black History:

“You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.


Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.”