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Monday, May 6, 2013



  • Springing into action as classes begin
  • Thinking about stress on Mental Health Week
  • Town Halls this week to discuss strat plan


  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs


Springing into action as classes begin


Spring term classes begin today, and while campus may not be as busy as it is in the fall, there's quite a lot of activity taking place as students make their return to lectures and life on campus.

Services that have been in reduced operation since winter term exams are back to a full schedule, including the libraries, food services, and athletics and recreation. Student Awards & Financial Aid will begin confirming enrolment for spring OSAP funding starting today.

For co-op students, Return to Campus interviews will be taking place this week.

Campus Rec registration starts today in the Athletics office or online, and the deadline to register for intramurals is this Friday, May 10. Athletics is organizing an Open House on Wednesday, May 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Student Life Centre's Great Hall.

Students attempting to traverse the Ring Road in front of Biology 2 may notice that the construction fencing in front of the freshly-turned earth that marks the Science Teaching Complex build site has now been extended to the sidewalks and is now part of the main entrance for trucks into the construction site. Signs have been posted requesting that pedestrians use the sidewalk on the ring road's west side. A flagperson will be at the entrance whenever a truck is entering and leaving.

The Federation of Students is preparing for Welcome Week 2013, a series of free events that will run next week.

And here's a notice from Conrad Grebel University College: “Conrad Grebel’s main office has temporarily moved to the first floor of the building, into previous classroom 1101. Please follow the signs from the parking lot entrance.”

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Thinking about stress on Mental Health Week

by Linda Brogden, Occupational Nurse, Health Services. The Canadian Mental Health Association's Mental Health Week runs from May 6 to 12.

A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked: "How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers were called out that ranged from 20g to 500g.

The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it.  If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it's the same weight, but, the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

The lecturer continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on. As with the glass of water, you have to put the stress down for a while and rest before holding it again.”

What is stress? 

To put it simply, stress is the body’s reaction to change of any kind.  You might be surprised to learn that not only bad or fearful changes cause stress.  Even good changes can mean stress. A new marriage, a job promotion, the birth of a baby – to your body, these are all stressful events.  Anything that causes a change in your daily routine or your health – even expected, imagined or anticipated change – can result in stress. Everyone has a certain level of tolerance for change.  Individuals with low tolerance for change may experience symptoms of stress much earlier than those with a higher tolerance for change.

What can happen if I ignore stress?

The many things in our environment that can contribute to stress are called stressors.

Stressors can be anything from external forces and events to others behaviors or decisions that may have an effect on your life. Ignoring stress does not make it go away.  It just goes to work inside the body affecting things like the brain, heart, digestive system and joints.  Prolonged stress can contribute to physical and psychological ills.  It overrides natural defenses against viruses that can even cause the common cold. Just remember that just as stress is different for each of us, there is no stress-reduction strategy that is a panacea.

  • Get active: leave your desk at lunch time-go for a walk, even 15 minutes will benefit you, at the very least engage in some non-work related conversation.
  • Nutrition: eat healthy, that includes fruit and vegetables.  When you are packing lunches at home for the family, make sure you plan for you too.
  • Get the rest you need: are you running around until the last moment and then jumping into bed only to lie awake because you are not ready to sleep? 
  • Do you take time for you?  What is it you like to do?  Do you have reminders of those happy things around you at work?  Pictures of your kids, you pet, your dream vacation.  Talk with your co-workers about what they do to reduce stress, there just might be a few new ideas to try.
  • Are you taking time to refresh, relax and rejuvenate? This is what vacation is for.  Are you taking it? Do you plan to take a day for yourself?  Kids are at school, partner at work- are you not needing to rush anywhere?

How to Manage Job Stress?

  • Take responsibility for yourself.  Just because you see your co-worker working through lunch break does not mean that you should do the same.
  • Get time away. If you feel the stress building, take a break. Walk away from the situation, perhaps walking around the office or building, sitting on a park bench, taking in a little meditative time. Exercise does wonders for the psyche. But even just finding a quiet place and listening to your iPod can reduce stress.
  • Fight through the clutter. Taking the time to organize your desk or workspace can help ease the sense of losing control that comes from too much clutter. Keeping a to-do list -- and then crossing things off it -- also helps.
  • Talk it out. Sometimes the best stress-reducer is simply sharing your stress with someone close to you. The act of talking it out -- and getting support and empathy from someone else -- is often an excellent way of blowing of steam and reducing stress. Have a support system of trusted people.
  • Find humor in any situation. When you start taking things too seriously, find a way to break through with laughter. Share a joke or funny story.  Laughter really is the best medicine.
  • Nobody is perfect. Don’t obsess over every detail and stress yourself to make sure "everything is perfect," Stop! Now! Perform your best, and leave perfection to others. 
  • Maintain a positive attitude (and avoid those without one).  Negativism sucks the energy and motivation out of any situation, so avoid it whenever possible.  Instead, develop a positive attitude.  Learn to reward yourself for little accomplishments.
  • Be sure your expectations realistic. While we are working longer hours, we can still only fit so much work into one day. If your expectations are unrealistic for what you can actually accomplish, you are setting yourself up for failure -- and increased stress. 


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Town Halls this week to discuss strat plan


Members of the campus community will get two opportunities this week to engage directly with the President and Vice-President, Academic & Provost at special Town Hall meetings on Wednesday and Thursday.

These town hall meetings, scheduled for Wednesday, May 8 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. and Thursday, May 9 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Humanities Theatre, are focussed on the university's draft strategic plan, which was put online for discussion in mid-April.

Two meetings have been scheduled to give students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to fit one into their schedules.

Campus community members were invited to send in their comments and feedback on the draft plan up until last Wednesday, May 1 at noon. That feedback has since been reviewed by a strategic plan working group, and the collected feedback and its impact on the current draft of the plan will be the subject of a presentation by the President and Provost that kicks the meetings off before discussion begins.

Community members are also being invited to ask questions about the strategic plan at the town hall meetings, and there are many ways to do so. You can attend the meeting in person and ask your question, or send your question in via email to the address, which will be checked both before and during the events, and you can ask your questions via Twitter messages sent to @uWaterlooLIVE or by using the hashtag #uwth. The Town Halls will be livestreamed.

Unlike the usual town halls (the next one being scheduled for Tuesday, June 25), this week's town hall meetings are going to stay focussed on the strategic plan and the recent community feedback on the draft. Please bear that in mind when coming up with your questions.


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Link of the day

Mental Health Week

When and where

Spring term lectures begin, Monday, May 6.

LEARN Drop-In Session, Monday, May 6, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EV1 242. Details.

Senate Executive Committee meeting, Monday, May 6, 3:30 p.m., NH 3001.

LEARN Drop-In Session, Tuesday, May 7, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., EV1 242. Details.

Retirement Open House for Rick Roach, Co-operative Education & Career Action. Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Laurel Room, South Campus Hall. RSVP to Pat Graf, ext. 31927.

UWRC presents Reducing the Stress for the “Sandwich Generation”, Tuesday, May 7, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., MC 5158. Email to register.

East Side Extension grand opening, Tuesday, May 7, 4:30 p.m., Renison University College. Details.

Getting Started in LEARN, Wednesday, May 8, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., EV1 353. Details.

UWaterloo Retirees Association Spring Luncheon featuring Gail Cuthbert Brandt, “Let's Hear it for Sex and Gender: Writing Women into Canadian History.” Wednesday, May 8, 11:30 a.m. (cash bar), 12:00 (lunch), Great Hall, Sunshine Centre/Luther Village on the Park. Tickets $28 for members; information and tickets: 519-888-0334. Details.

Strategic Plan Town Hall, Wednesday, May 8, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Senate Finance Committee meeting, Wednesday, May 8, 3:00 p.m., NH 3001.

Introduction to Videography, Wednesday, May 8, 7:00 p.m., Waterloo Stratford Campus. Details.

Strategic Plan Town Hall, Thursday, May 9, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Warriors Band Practice, Thursday, May 9, 5:30 p.m., PAC 1001. Details.

Brain Computer Interfacing, Thursday, May 9, 7:00 p.m., Waterloo Stratford Campus. Details.

Pension & Benefits Committee meeting, Friday, May 10, 8:30 a.m., NH 3001.

Ziva Kunda Memorial Lecture, Friday, May 10, 3:00 p.m., Alumni Hall, St. Paul's. Details.

Dance Odyssey, Friday, May 10 to Sunday, May 12, Humanities Theatre.

GO Open Data conference, Saturday, May 11, all day, School of Pharmacy. Details.

Waterloo Unlimited Grade 10 Change program, Sunday, May 12 to Thursday, May 16. Details.

Canada 3.0 Youth Program 2013, Monday, May 13, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University of Waterloo Stratford Campus. Details.

Cheriton School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture featuring David Eppstein, University of California, Irvine, "From Information Visualization to Soap Bubbles," Monday, May 13, 3:30 p.m., DC 1302.

WIN Seminar Series featuring Professor Michael Chabinyc, University of California Santa Barbara, "Order and Charge Transport in Organic Solar Cells". Monday, May 13, 3:00 p.m., QNC 1501.

Canada 3.0 conference, Tuesday, May 14 and Wednesday, May 15, all day, Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Details.

LabVIEW User Group Meeting, Tuesday, May 14, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., E5 4106-4128. Details.

uWaterloo Blooms, Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 10:00 am to 3:00 p.m., SLC Multi-Purpose Room.

UWRC Book Club featuring "419: A Novel" by Will Ferguson, Wednesday, May 15, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407

Senate meeting, Tuesday, May 21, 3:30 p.m., NH 3001.

WISE Lecture Series featuring Dr. Jiujun Zhang, Principle Research Officer, National Research Council Canada, Vancouver, BC, "PEM Fuel Cell Catalysis and Supercapacitors at National Research Council of Canada," Thursday, May 23, 2:00 p.m., DC 1302.


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