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Wednesday, October 22, 2014



  • 1 out of 5 experience; 5 out of 5 affected
  • Report breaks down the concept of a Fall Break
  • Latest LITE grant winners announced
  • Wednesday's notes



A spinning session takes place in the Student Life Centre.
1 out of 5 experience; 5 out of 5 affected

This is the latest in a series of #UWCommunity weekly features that highlight Waterloo in the community.

1 in 5 Canadians will experience mental illness in their lifetime, however the majority of Canadians will be affected at some point throughout their lifetimes.  Whether this be through a family member, a friend, a colleague or themselves mental illness touches us all. 

A woman wearing an orange shirt that says "ask me" on the back.In order to spread awareness about the staggering effect of mental illness, where to find help, as well as provide an opportunity for people to improve their mental health, the Health Services Rec & Leisure Team, in association with Good2Talk, Feds Diversity Education Team, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Party Smart, Counselling Services, and Stand Up to Stigma ran Spin for Mental Health, an event promoting the benefits of physical activity to mental wellbeing.

Through Spin for Mental Health students, staff, faculty, signed up to ride stationary bicycles for a set period of time. According to Victoria Gentile, Team Leader of the Rec & Leisure team, “This event is about bringing awareness to mental health issues and showing visible support. We are using the Student Life Centre, Great Hall and having a lot of success. People are asking how to get involved, dropping in to participate on the bikes, and the event has increased the visible support on campus for Mental Health and Mental Illness.”

The UWaterloo community has celebrated Mental Health Wellness for the past 6 years.  Each year awareness and participation has grown to involve more of the campus and community and it is clear the message is resonating.  The trademark orange T-shirts have either “Good2Talk”, a post-secondary student helpline available to Ontario students, or “1 In 5 Ask me” written on the back and are designed to inspire conversation about mental health and how it affects all Canadians.  

As Fahad Al Zaman, a First Year Economics student talks about his experience, “Counselling Services helped to diagnose me with ADHD, they have been nothing but supportive, friendly and caring. I suggest everyone take part in Mental Health Wellness Day and learn more about themselves.” Registered Dietician Sandy Ace says “So many students come to me and feel ashamed of having a mental illness, and days like today help to show them they are supported.” 

When UWaterloo community members gather together and wear the orange t-shirt, they show solidarity for the friends, family members, and colleagues living with mental illness.   Visit Mental Health Wellness Day to learn more.


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Report breaks down the concept of a Fall Break

Vice-President, Academic & Provost Ian Orchard provided a report on the consideration of a Fall Break at Waterloo to Senate at its meeting on Monday, The report, commissioned by Orchard's provostial predecessor Geoff McBoyle, was written by the Fall Break Task Force.

"The Task Force was not asked to take a position on whether there would be a Fall Break, but if there was one, what impacts there would be," Orchard told senators on Monday. "

The task force, chaired by Associate Vice-President, Academic Mario Coniglio, includes representation from the Registrar’s Office, the Student Success Office, the Associate Provost, Students’ office, the Federation of Students, the Graduate Students Association, the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo (FAUW), and the Graduate Studies Office.

The report was crafted in response to the "recently revitalized" discussion of a Fall Break at Waterloo in anticipation of a student referendum (a campaign is currently underway), and Wilfrid Laurier University's recent adoption of a break, which took place following Thanksgiving last week, was highlighted as an influence.

In terms of a rationale for the proposed Fall Break, the report notes that 14 Ontario universities currently have a break of some kind in the fall term, varying in length from 2 to 5 days, and that "promotion of sound mental health is widely claimed as the rationale for installing a Fall Break, although hard data to support this assertion is lacking." At Monday's Senate meeting, Coniglio was quick to point out that "anything we do to relieve stress is a good thing."

The report outlines a number of guiding principles, constraints, and impacts that should be considered as the discussion of a Fall Break continues, noting that there are a number of trade-offs that will have to be made in arranging any potential break.

"The primary challenge to arranging a Fall Break is finding sufficient space to schedule: 60 teaching days, a minimum of 2 pre-exam study days, and a minimum of 12 exam days while finishing by December 22," the report says. "This challenge seems relatively easy to accomplish most years but is complicated by the occasional late Labour Day holiday."

Among the more feasible options would be starting classes two days earlier, revamping Orientation Week so that classes could start on the Thursday and Friday of the first week of school. Move-in days could occur earlier, but the Task Force considered scheduling Orientation Week activities to begin before the Labour Day weekend to be "problematical on several fronts." At the other end of the term, exam time, a Saturday teaching day might have to be scheduled during the last week of classes, or exams might have to be scheduled on the first Sunday of the exam period. Any option that reduced the number of pre-exam study days would "offset any benefit from a Fall Break" and was not considered feasible. Pushing the exam period's end to December 23 was considered feasible, but would impact the university community in a number of ways and was not a "favoured approach." The possibility of Sunday exams is already an option under current exam regulations, but is also not a preferred option.

Among the report's recommendations:

  • That the following terms of reference be applied to any mid-term break at the University, including the existing Winter Reading Week:

"A mid-term break (e.g. Winter Reading Week) is intended to act as a pause for on-campus students to reflect upon and catch up on their term's work to date and, as necessary, prepare for any upcoming mid-term assignments and assessments.

During this pause, there are to be no scheduled meetings for students (e.g., classes, labs, tutorials, seminars, exams). While exceptions may exist (e.g., co-operative employment interviews, Pharmacy's clinical rotations, PhD comprehensive exams, graduate thesis defences), the pause applies to meetings involving both undergraduate and graduate students.

Deadlines for student submissions should not be scheduled during the break. Student services, such as Health Services, Counselling Services, the library, residences, etc. are expected to continue working at full capacity."

  • Consult openly and thoroughly with all stakeholder groups, as a Fall Break would impact much of the university community. Groups to be engaged include undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and staff associations, administrative officers, student support services, other institutions that Waterloo partners with, and faculty councils.
  • If a Fall Break is adopted, the following are recommended:
    • That the break be two days in length
    • That a change to the start date of classes be considered
    • That the Fall Break be adopted on a trial basis for a period of 2 or 3 years
    • That wellness education and awareness-building initiatives be further developed.

Any next steps to be taken are largely dependent on the outcome of the upcoming student referendum on a proposed Fall Break, which is set to take place from November 4 to 6. If the referendum results are binding, the Fall Break Task Force will determine the sorts of questions needed before broad campus-wide consultations are to begin. According to Coniglio, this will happen in a timely fashion.


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Latest LITE grant winners announced

"In collaboration with the Office of the Associate Vice President, Academic, the Centre for Teaching Excellence is pleased to announce that nine new LITE Seed Grant projects have begun this fall," writes the Centre for Teaching Excellence's Julie Timmermans. "Congratulations to the recipients!"

The funded projects are:

The LITE Grants are intended to provide support for experimenting with and investigating innovative approaches to enhancing teaching that aim to foster deep student learning at the university.

Two kinds of grants are available: LITE Seed Grants for projects up to $5,000, and LITE Full Grants for projects up to $30,000. Both grant formats emphasize the contribution of the projects to Waterloo's learning community.  The next LITE Seed Grant deadline is February 1st

For more information about the Grants and to browse descriptions of completed and current projects, please visit the LITE Grant website .

Anyone considering applying for a grant is invited to contact Dr. Julie Timmermans at the Centre for Teaching Excellence via email or by calling extension 32940.


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Wednesday's notes

Fore! The Waterloo Warriors golf teams continued their winning ways at the OUA Championships in Oshawa yesterday with both teams claiming medals. The men's team won individual and team gold while the women's side finished 2nd overall as a team. On the men's side, Gajan Sivabalasingham came first and won gold, and on the women's side the team claimed the OUA silver, with Devon Rizzo coming in fourth.

In addition to this success on the fairway, the men's baseball team had their best finish ever by claiming the OUA silver medal on Sunday.

The Federation of Students is hosting its Annual General Meeting today at 2:00 p.m. in the SLC Great Hall. The agenda is online. Students will be asked to vote on significant motions such as changes to bylaws, accessibility issues, and the use of the space in the SLC Marketplace.

Friends and colleagues of Ray Butterworth in the Math Faculty Computing Facility (MFCF) are invited to a retirement open house in his honour on Monday, November 3 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in DC1301. Ray is retiring after more than 35 years with MFCF. Please RSVP to Patricia Robinson-Angel by Monday, October 27 via email or by calling extension 35472.

Waterloo student social startup Hydrated World is in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign, having beat its funding threshold of $10,000 by over $1,000 with less than two days remaining. Hydrated World is an apparel company founded by mechanical engineering and enterprise co-op students Aleks Poldma and Spencer Kelly that that donates money to the Safe Water Project in Africa for every fifth item sold. The team has won a Norman Esch Enterprise Co-op Award and the Nicol Entrepreneurial award. Backers can pledge money in return for bracelets, shirts, hats, sweatshirts, and water project "sustainability credits."

The physicist who successfully demonstrated quantum entanglement, a defining moment in modern physics, will give a free public lecture at the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo on Thursday.

Professor Alain Aspect from Institut d'Optique in France is internationally recognized for performing a series of experiments in 1982 that demonstrated that one of the strangest predictions of quantum mechanics— quantum entanglement—was true. This discovery sparked the second quantum revolution and directly led to the birth of quantum information processing.

The Quantum Frontiers Distinguished Lecture will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in QNC 0101.

Here are today's Get Up And Go Passport Challenge Clues:

  • You have to visit here when you are hired
  • They work hard to protect your working environment

Remember to register your team, download your passport and head out to the two sites you think the clues match. Get a date/time/signature by someone from that area on your passport, and follow the same procedure each working day until the contest ends on October 31.


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Send in your questions for the President's Town Hall Meeting

The President's Town Hall Meeting is scheduled to take place at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 30.

As with all town halls, your questions are most welcome. Feel free to send them in via email or on Twitter by sending tweets to @UWaterlooLIVE.

There will be opportunities for attendees to ask questions in person at the event as well.

Don't forget to register for the town hall and the luncheon that immediately follows the meeting.

Link of the day

Wombat Day

When and where

High Risk staff and faculty flu clinics, Monday, October 20 to Wednesday, October 22, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Health Services 1101.

Open Access Week, Monday, October 20 to Sunday, October 26. Details.

Research Data Management Conference 2014, Wednesday, October 22, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., DC 1302. Details.

Federation of Students Annual General Meeting, Wednesday, October 22, 2:00 p.m. Student Life Centre Great Hall.

GMOs in our Food: Curse or Blessing? Wednesday, October 22, 5:00 p.m., E5 6111. Details.

Velocity Alpha Q/A panel, Wednesday, October 22, 7:30 p.m., EV3 4412. Registration details.

Quantum Frontiers Distinguished Lecture featuring Professor Alain Aspect, Institut d'Optique, France, Thursday, October 23, 4:00 p.m., QNC 0101.

Bookstore Author Event featuring Steven Bednarski: A Poisoned Past, Thursday, October 23, 4:30 p.m., Bookstore, SCH.

Public Lecture featuring Dr. Elizabeth Bloomfield, "Author of my own story: Recognizing the words and choices of people without voices," Thursday, October 23, 4:00 p.m. in HH 1102. Details.

Quantitative Biology Seminar Series featuring Jane Heffernan, Centre for Disease Modelling Mathematics & Statistics, York University,
Friday, October 24, 2:30 p.m. QNC 1501.

Fall 2014 Convocation, Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25.

University of Waterloo Gem and Mineral Show, Friday, October 24, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday, October 25, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Earth Sciences Museum. Details.

Knowledge Integration poster conference: design in museums, Friday October 24, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Environment 3 (EV3) atrium. Details.

Faculty of Science Open House, Saturday, October 25, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., EIT. Details.

Municipal Election Day, Monday, October 27.

University Relations Grilled Cheese Lunch, Monday, October 27, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Arts quad. Proceeds in support of the United Way Campaign.

The Gairdner Research Lecture featuring Dr. Titia de Lange, 2014 Gairdner Laureate and a Leon Hess Professor, Rockefeller University,
“How shelterin protects the ends of telomeres” Monday, October 27, 3:30 p.m. DC1302. Details.

The Gairdner Public Lecture featuring Dr. Titia de Lange, 2014 Gairdner Laureate and a Leon Hess Professor, Rockefeller University.
“A Career in Science” Monday, October 27, 7:00 p.m., QNC 0101.Please register for this free event - Complimentary parking provided in Lot X. Details.

Board of Governors meeting, Tuesday, October 28, 1:50 p.m., NH 3001.

The Waterloo Centre for German Studies presents “100 Years Since World War I: Dictatorship and Democracy in an Age of Extremes” panel discussion, Tuesday, October 28, 5:00 p.m., AL 113.

Velocity Alpha presents “Finding Your Customers Online,” Wednesday, October 29, 7:30 p.m., EV3 4412. Registration details.

President's Town Hall meeting, Thursday, October 30, 10:30 a.m., Humanities Theatre. Luncheon to follow at 12:00 p.m.

UWRA Fall Luncheon, Thursday, October 30, 11:30 a.m., Luther Village Great Hall featuring Susan Mavor, "Westmount - The Tie That Binds the Twin Cities: An Illustrated History of Westmount's 100 Years." For tickets call 519-888-0334. Details.

Bookstore Author Event featuring Vanessa Ricci-Thode, "After the Dragon Raid," (costume launch party), Thursday, October 30, 6:00 p.m., Bookstore, SCH.

Arriscraft Fall Lecture Series featuring Joel Sanders, “Immersive Environments: Media, Architecture and Landscape,” Thursday, October 30, 7:00 p.m., Cummings Lecture Theatre, School of Architecture. Details.

Waterloo International Halloween Bake Sale, Friday, October 31, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Needles Hall.

Biology Seminar Series featuring Turlough Finan, Department of Biology, McMaster University," Functional and evolutionary insights gained by reducing a complex bacterial genome by half," Friday, October 31, 2:30 p.m. QNC 1501.

Successful Aging seminar featuring Dr. Lynn Hasher, University of Toronto, Monday, November 3, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., DWE 3522.

Retirement celebration for Ray Butterworth, Monday, November 3, 3:30 p.m., DC 1301. RSVP by Monday, October 27.

Optometry & Vision Science Class of 2018 White Coat Ceremony, Monday, November 3, 6:00 p.m., Location TBA. Details.

2014 Hagey Lecture featuring Professor Sir Michael Marmot, "Fair Society, Healthy Lives," Monday, November 3, 8:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre, Hagey Hall.

10th annual UWSA Shopping Trip Weekend, Friday, November 7 to Sunday, November 9, Erie, Pennsylvania. Details.

PeaceQuest: Remembering for Peace featuring Jamie Swift, co-author, Warrior Nation: Rebranding Canada in an Age of Anxiety, Monday, November 10, 7:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College chapel. Details.

Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology Visionary Lecture Series seminar featuring Suneet Singh Tull, "The Next 3 Billion." Tuesday, November 11, 2:30 p.m., DC 1302. Details.

Waterloo Unlimited Grade 12 Road Map to Research, Wednesday, November 12 to Friday, November 14. Details.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable through myHRinfo:

• Job ID# 2623 – Design Instructor – Systems Design Engineering, USG 12
• Job ID# 2621 – Executive Officer – Dean of Arts Office, USG 14-15
• Job ID# 2624 – Curriculum Assistant – Arts Undergraduate Office, USG 6
• Job ID# 2628 – Customer Relations & Admissions Assistant – Housing Admin, USG 4
• Job ID# 2625 – Manager, Operations – Food Services, USG 8

Secondment opportunity, viewable on myCareer@uWaterloo

• Administrative Coordinator – Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, USG 6
• Graduate Admissions Specialist – Graduate Studies Office, USG 6/7


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