I Belong, You Belong, We Belong

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Thank you to all involved in the Inaugural Waterloo @ The Intersections

On March 22, the Student Success Office (SSO), Waterloo Undergraduate Student Assocation (WUSA), and the Graduate Student Association (GSA) held the first Waterloo @ the Intersections event. The inaugural “On Belonging” was a thought-provoking and engaging event that brought together students from across the university to discuss one important question: How has the experience of community shifted for you, for me, for us since the pandemic began?

The event took place in the Black and Gold room, Student Life Centre (SLC), and featured six live student performances, each exploring different aspects of the topic through poetry, music, and spoken word. The performances were powerful and emotive, encouraging the audience to reflect on their own experiences and feelings of belonging in this time of change.

speaker addressing audience

Thaissa Kubo Arruda shares personal narrative with the audience.

“On Belonging truly showcased the power of art and conversation in promoting a sense of community and ultimately, equity,” says Jazz Fitzgerald, Manager, Student Equity, “The student performers’ creativity and passion inspired and challenged attendees to think deeply about not only their own community, but others’ experience of community as well. Thank you to all the participants for taking part in co-creating such a beautiful space.”

In addition to the student performances, the event also welcomed two guest speakers: Fallon Farinacci, speaker, survivor, and advocate for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls; and TK Pritchard, SHORE Centre Executive Director. Both speakers shared their own perspectives on the topic of belonging, drawing on their personal experiences and expertise to offer insights into how intersecting identities and lived experiences affected their sense of community.

 On Belonging

TK Pritchard addresses audience about developing a sense of belonging through feeling at home in their body.

Throughout the event, the audience was encouraged to participate in the discussion, with opportunities for open-mic, small-group discussions, and, for those who are introverted, a large board where students could add post-it notes answering the question, “where do you feel like you belong?” This created a supportive and welcoming atmosphere, where attendees could share their own thoughts and connect with others who were also grappling with this important issue.

Overall, Waterloo @ the Intersections: On Belonging was a powerful event that provided a unique perspective and conversation starter on the important topic of community here at Waterloo.

What do you think the next Waterloo @ The Intersections should explore? Let the Equity and Community team at the SSO know by answering a short survey.

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