7 everyday questions Portal can answer

digital image of hand holding device with Portal on

"What time's the bus coming?" 

"Do you know when the V1 caf is open until?" 

"Can we find somewhere else to study?  I'm tired of the library." 

Sounds familiar, right?  Either you've asked yourself one of those questions, a friend has thrown them around, or maybe you've simply heard them as you walked by a group of people on campus. 

Waterloo actually has an app that can answer most of the campus questions you have, plus more!  It's called Portal, and you can access it on your desktop or mobile device.  To start you off, here are a few widgets and features that we think will answer your campus questions:  

What time's the bus coming?

The days of searching endlessly for your bus routes are over. With the Grand River Transit (GRT) widget, you can search up bus stops and locations, favourite the ones you use regularly, and check when various buses are arriving at your favourite stops!  All the bus times you see on Portal are updated by real time, so you will never miss a bus again.  

How much money do I have left on my WatCard? 

Don't forget to check your WatCard balance if you use it often! With the WatCard widget, you'll be able to track the amount of money you have left and your spending history.  If you want to add funds, this widget also comes with a handy external link that takes you directly to the "Add Funds" web page. 

Can we find somewhere else to study? I'm tired of the library.

There are only so many places besides the libraries on campus where we can study in peace and quiet. Open Classrooms allows you to see what times classrooms will be available for use. This will definitely come in handy during midterm and exam season, or whenever you feel like a change in study locations. 

Do you know what employer info sessions are happening this week? 

Are you looking to prepare yourself to the fullest for this interview season? One way of doing this is to attend employer info sessions to learn about what the company you're applying (or interviewing) for has to offer. Go to the Employer Info Sessions widget, click on an info session to learn more about the company and register for sessions right from your phone. 

What do I need on my final in order to pass the course with an 80%?

Goal setting is a major key to success, but sometimes it can be hard to know what you're aiming for.  The Grade Calculator widget has the whole process set up for you.  Simply plug in your grades from a class or lab, and it will tell you what grade you need to get from the rest of your assignments to achieve your desired average.  

Do you know when the V1 caf closes?

Ever find yourself craving a midnight study snack?  In just a few taps with the Food widget, you can check where various food outlets on campus are located and when they're open!  Additionally, some eateries have daily menus available.  For instance: from checking Portal, we can see that Mudie's (the V1 caf) is serving bbq brisketa, corned beef marinated salmon and singapore noodles for dinner tonight! Delish! 

Do you think the Tims line in the SLC is long right now?

Have you ever walked into the SLC, looking to purchase a quick drink or snack from Tim Hortons, only to find out that the line extends all the way to the newsstands? So have we.  If you're ever in a rush, use the Crowd Reporter to discover the most line-free eatery to grab a coffee before your classes - and don’t forget to report on lineups across campus while you’re using it! 


There is an endless list of features on Portal and we definitely recommend you take some time to check all of them out. Explore Portal to discover the widgets best suited to your student life.  

If you want to download the app, learn more about Portal, or submit some feedback, head on over to the Student Portal website.  

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