After a temporary closure last week, the Tim Hortons located in SLC is open for business once again.
The closure occurred after UW Food Services was made aware of a video circulating online which showed two rats running along pipes in the store room. The video was posted on TikTok by an account called Rats at Waterloo, and has garnered more than 275,000 views.
Rebecca Elming, Director of Media Relations at UW, explained that the location was deep-cleaned “from floor to ceiling” by a third-party cleaner. “This location also received a passing inspection from both Tim Hortons and the Health Inspector late last week before re-opening,” Elming said.
After the prompt closure last week, Tim Hortons media relations added that the location would not be reopened until all “strict standards” have been met.
Elming also shared that Food Services and Plant Operations worked “to seal off all conduits and gaps leading to the Tim Hortons area after successful pest control work”.
University rankings are a controversial criteria for prospective students. For some, rankings are an important factor when choosing schools, while for others, they are confusing and undecipherable, or only useful with regard to program rankings. So where does the controversy stem from, and how should we really be looking at them?
At the time of publication, Maclean’s Education, one of the most prevalent Canadian ranking publications, ranks UW the third best comprehensive university in Canada, the second best Canadian university overall, and the number one most innovative university in Canada.
According to data from the Canadian University Survey Consortium, in 2022, 21 per cent of first-year students considered Maclean’s university rankings an important source of information when choosing which university to attend.
“Ranking definitely played a role in m[e] choosing Waterloo,” said Gabrielle LaRosa, a first-year science student at UW. “I wanted to ensure . . . that I was getting the best education I can with the choices I have.”
In light of the influence rankings can have on recruitment, it becomes clear why UW has an entire section dedicated to rankings on its website. The school makes its standings as first-place in innovation and second-place in best overall Canadian university clear to students, and also highlights its programs’ spots in other rankings including US News Global University Rankings (second in engineering and nanoscience) and QS World University Rankings (second in Canada for electrical engineering and fourth for various programs including geography and environmental sciences).
Despite these titles, rankings can still create confusion due to the multitude of factors that go into the calculations. First-year Waterloo students Hailey Schmidt and Anika Nickel noted that university rankings can be complicated to decipher, as there are “a lot of factors” that go into creating these kinds of lists.
Annual university rankings published by Maclean’s Education take into account 12 performance indicators, including the ratio of full-time students to full-time faculty members, the number of scholarships and awards students have won in the previous five years, the number and value of research grants awarded to faculty over the past year, the percentage of the university’s operating budget spent on student services, scholarships, and bursaries, as well as the overall reputation of the university based on online surveys responses from faculty and senior administrators at Canadian universities and business people across Canada.
Changbao Wu, chair of the department of statistics and actuarial science at UW, emphasized the importance of determining indicators within each university ranking. For example, students should determine what it means when a school ranks highly in research: “Is [it] the total number of publications? Is [it the] average number of publications per faculty? There are different measures,” he said.
Wu also explained that individual programs often rank differently than the university as a whole. “From a student perspective, it is always more important to pay attention to [the] particular subject area you’re interested in, rather than the overall [university] ranking,” he noted.
Ema Masic, a first-year student at UW, echoed his sentiments. “The university [as a whole] doesn’t really matter,” she said, explaining that she wanted to focus on schools’ specific program rankings instead.
Other critiques of university ranking stem from issues with methodology used by the companies that publish the rankings. Elite schools in the United States, including Harvard Law, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Yale Law have decided to pull out of university rankings systems all together over the last few years due to said criticism. Critics say these rankings encourage universities to sacrifice educational quality and diversity among the student body and to instead prioritize exclusivity in an effort to strengthen the school’s rankings. Coupled with the significance placed on rankings, universities have an incentive to cheat by cherry picking the statistics they share with the media.
This was illustrated most recently by the case of Columbia University in February 2022, where mathematics professor Michael Thaddeus found that Columbia had submitted misleading numbers to the US News rankings, for example, inflating the amount of money spent on instruction by including the cost of patient care in the medical school. Columbia University opted not to submit information for that year’s ranking. Independent research performed by US News for the rankings saw Columbia fall 16 places, from second to 18th.
In an interview with Beyond the Bulletin, UW president and vice-chancellor Vivek Goel stated that trying to elevate Waterloo’s rankings in publications like the Times Higher Education rankings would require adhering to what some would say “metrics that link back to what we define as an excellent university 100 years ago”.
Though UW continues to promote its rankings in its marketing material and on its websites, Nick Manning, associate vice-president of communications, said that this is because rankings can still be helpful particularly to international students choosing which school to attend abroad, and that the university does not use strategies to purposefully increase its rankings.
“The real issue is the absolute view of positions,” Wu explained, noting that the actual differences between scores used for rankings are often “not distinguishable.” However, this gets lost when schools are ranked numerically: “If you try to read [rankings] in the absolute sense, it says [university number] three is better than four. That’s misleading, and we should never mislead students [with] this kind of absolute positioning of universities.”
Manning further clarified Goel’s comments on not following outdated metrics, stating, “What he means is we’re not building strategies, so that we get into the top 10 or top 50 or top 100. What we’re doing is we’re continuing to deliver against our [benchmarks] … to be successful in the ways that we define it.”
With files from Alicia Wang
Members of the UW community are taking steps to improve accessibility in STEM for themselves and others, whether out of necessity or simple compassion.
One aspect that differentiates studies in STEM fields is the usage of labs, which can present unique accessibility issues both in terms of the structure of the classes and the spaces themselves.
Graduate student Emma Collington is currently working towards her PhD in molecular genetics and holds an undergraduate degree from UW in psychology and biomedical sciences. She has a connective tissue disease that causes overly stretchy organs and tissues, which also makes her immunocompromised.
One factor that led Collington to avoid taking certain labs, even those that would have aided her training, is that they can run long and often late, citing a 7 to 10 p.m. lab as particularly brutal.
“I only have a certain number of working hours in a day. And that’s true for a lot of people with disabilities,” she said, adding that she gets “maybe three or four good hours in a day” to do work. “And so for me, a 7 p.m. lab was like, ‘oh my goodness, I’ve lost the whole day to that lab or that lab will make me lose the whole next day.’”
Collington described seeing long labs on her course schedule and thinking, “There is no way I could ever do that.” However, she encourages students to try contacting instructors and informing them of their needs to see if they can be accommodated, rather than opting out of labs.
She acknowledged that though it may be scary to ask for accommodations, “I don’t think it’s fair for students to look at [long labs] and just say ‘I can’t do it,’ because you probably can.” She said that though the relationships she has built with those in her program have helped her establish such accommodations, she also hopes to see more instructors taking the initiative to ask students what accommodations they may need.
Dale Martin, an able-bodied associate professor in biology, is one member of the UW community taking initiative to increase accessibility in labs themselves. When Martin knew he would be getting his own lab, he took advantage of the renovations that were already happening to improve its accessibility.
“The idea would be that if another student required some more accessibility, [they’d] work in our space,” he said. The lab is located in Biology 2, room 152.
Martin partially credited his research in neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Huntington’s disease and ALS, for the idea to make the lab more accessible, as he works with patients of the diseases who sometimes receive tours of the facilities. He also credited a friend who had advised him to take the opportunity to make his lab more accessible.
The progressive nature of Huntington’s disease means that it causes mobility issues over time, such as struggles with balance and walking which may lead to the use of wheelchairs or canes. In 2019, UW hosted the Huntington’s Society of Canada, which Martin called “a big eye-opener” in terms of the accessibility of the buildings due to the need to accommodate various disabilities while ensuring people could maintain their independence as they wished.
To increase its accessibility, one change made to the lab was the inclusion of an accessible bench which allows users to change its height to accommodate their needs, something that can enable more flex space and easier access to other instruments nearby.
Martin also wanted to ensure that the lab sinks, which are normally deep and placed higher up, were accessible, leading to the inclusion of a sink which is lower and automatic.
The location of the lab also played a factor in Martin’s push to make the lab more accessible, as it is located on the first floor of a building with accessibility doors, making it so that “somebody can easily, relatively speaking … come from that entrance and be in the lab.”
Martin acknowledged that in retrospect, there are still ways in which the lab’s accessibility could have been improved, such as by having drawers on castors (small wheels) to make their position adjustable.
Martin noted that more instructors in STEM are taking accessibility into account — “maybe not fast enough, I think, but I do see more of it.” He said that the tips sent by departmental teaching fellows now include more suggestions on how to make classes more accessible, for example, by including subtitles on PowerPoints.
Collington described how impactful it felt to see the “interest and compassion” fuelling the work put into making the lab more accessible, especially from an able-bodied faculty member. “Labs … weren’t really designed, having in mind that someone might come in with different needs. [So] seeing someone kind of from the ground up, build an accessible space, was really refreshing.”
Other things both Collington and Martin have pointed out are the importance of other accessibility features like hybrid options for class content, accessible doors, and accessible bathrooms.
For Collington, her immunocompromisation means that “hybrid options for things give me the opportunity to continue to participate in campus life the way I would like to without having to put myself in a scenario where I don’t feel safe.” Collington praised the biology department for running their weekly seminars hybrid since the pandemic. Online teaching is something Martin also continues to take into account in part due to the pandemic, for example, continuing to record a large histology class he teaches.
Martin said that his work to make the lab more accessible has led to him cataloging where campus can increase accessibility, including the need for more accessible washrooms and accessible doors. Many doors to labs, particularly in the Science Teaching Complex, also lack accessible door buttons, something Collington says can create frustration even for non-wheelchair users like herself, as her disability leads to dislocated shoulders, which makes opening doors “not a very pleasant experience.”
Collington emphasized the importance of providing those with disabilities the space to work within their means. “People with disabilities have come up with their own ways of working around and working with their own bodies … if given the opportunity to, they can work just as hard and produce just as good quality material and make just as interesting contributions to their fields.”
While there are many dedicated staff members that help organize games for the Waterloo Warriors football team, many outside the university also serve a pivotal role. Parent booster clubs are informal networks of parents who volunteer to support student athletes through their university life, helping them balance sports with academic life, to adjust to living in the KW region, and to integrate into college-level competitive sports.
Tyson Hergott, a fifth year student and player for the football team, explained how impactful parent support groups are for players. Tyson is a local student whose parents are also involved in the group. Tyson expressed how he has “been close with Julie and Gerry who generously volunteer their time to organize the group.” In regards to parent supporters, Tyson mentioned that “their support on game day has always been felt by myself and the rest of the team.”
The UW football team’s most prominent group of parent supporters operates as the Waterloo Warriors Football Parent Group on Facebook, led by Julie Britton Fraiser. Through the use of social media, parents are able to communicate with each other regarding events, links to game information, logistical hurdles like parking for a game, as well as provide updates and advice both on the field and on campus.
This is Frasier’s second year leading the Waterloo Warriors Football Parent Group, along with running tailgate events with her husband for the team. The events serve as a way for the team and parents to come together prior to home games. In addition, potential recruits come by the tailgate events during their tour, where parents “provide a welcoming atmosphere and have light interaction with [them],” she said.
Frasier also emphasized the importance of their group as a resource for answering questions. If other parents want to know how to get tickets for away games, or are looking for information on university life or how to best support their child on the team, they can ask experienced parents in the group.
In times of need, these groups come together to support student athletes. Parents were able to generate awareness through social media in helping students recuperate losses from a house fire. In the early morning of Aug. 14, 2022, five football players for the Waterloo Warriors team were displaced by a house fire that occurred while they were away at practice, where they lost many of their belongings. In response, Jen Schmidt and Tricia Fulcher created a GoFundMe page that was promoted across social media, including the Facebook groups of these parent booster clubs. The GoFundMe raised $5,370 to help the players recover some of their losses.
Megan Muir, the communications and game day coordinator for UW Athletics, also noted the importance of these groups in supporting athletes that are far away from home. Parents of athletes who are not from the KW region may find it more difficult to support their children directly as they are unfamiliar with the area. As a result, Muir says that these parent groups “give them local community and other athletes’ parents that can be a support system for them in the KW region.”
While there is much pressure for players to perform well on the football field, there are also many other challenges they face as they take on the responsibilities of university life. Parent booster clubs are just one way that parents can come together to ease the pressures of and help each other navigate the student-athlete life.
Amidst the countless things we do for love, a common tale that unfolds in different corners of the world is moving to another country, leaving a home to build another. MT Space founder Majdi Bou-Matar’s story is not very different. A trained Lebanese-Canadian director, actor, and dancer, he relocated to Canada with his wife after she was accepted into a PhD program at UW. Hoping to support both his marriage and love for theatre, he auditioned with various theatre companies in Southern Ontario for a variety of roles but was only met with criticism, primarily related to his ethnicity. Some might have been deterred by this, but Bou-Matar used the criticism to fuel his fire and carved a space of his own. MT Space has since evolved into a thriving platform where marginalized and racialized artists can do what they love and pursue their passions uninhibited.
A homophone for “empty,” and an acronym for “multicultural theatre,” MT Space is a theatre company that challenges the definition of theatre by including a diverse repertoire of dance, music, multimedia, and performing arts. Bou-Matar’s vision progressed further in 2009 with the inauguration of the biennial International Multicultural Platform for Alternative Contemporary Theatre (IMPACT) Festival. This festival, in his own articulation, “is a festival of difference[s]. [Its] vision was built on embracing cultural diversity in its widest sense. It’s about embracing different work cultures, forms of performance, cultural attitudes and behaviours, [and the] diversity of stories and performance traditions.”
IMPACT 23, which runs from Sept. 26 to Oct. 1, features 21 productions from across the globe, including Australia, Chile, Columbia, Tunisia and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Ontario. The festival includes a diverse range of acts that promise something for everyone, including a burlesque act featuring members from Indigenous communities, a ribbon-making scourge to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women by local artist Cara Loft, a writer series, and an immersive installation piece by Tess Martens titled “An Ode to Katherine,” inspired by New York painter Katherine Bradford. Details about specific productions can be found in the festival brochure on the MT Space website.
Over time, IMPACT has grown to represent both international and local artists from the KW region, primarily intending to portray and create stories beyond the expected, test new boundaries, and incorporate undiscovered acts.
Bou-Matar’s sudden passing last year has only reinforced the intention behind the upcoming festival, making it a profound homage to his legacy and unwavering dedication. Talking about the performances at the festival this year, artistic director Pam Patel, who was closely mentored by the man himself, said, “I’m trying to get representation across the country, from different places in the world that are not the countries we’re always seeing in festivals because often we’re only seeing [Western countries], but [not countries] more in the east or more marginalized, [like] the Middle East, or from Asia or South America.”
Beyond the performances itself, at the core of IMPACT is the transformative power of dialogue, presented through a three-day conference from Sept. 28 to 30 that acts as a hub for discussions that reverberate beyond the local theatre scene, resonating on a provincial and national level. This year the floor is open to conversations about succession planning and caregiving in the professional theatre sector, as well as the arts and culture sector as a whole. Patel, who is also meant to join UW’s department of theatre and performance to direct the winter 2024 main stage production, spoke to the reason why the festival is held in Waterloo and of the involvement of both Wilfrid Laurier University and UW in the festival.
“We do the festival here because we’re also trying to forge a connection between international, national, and local artists, [including] the emerging artists, and the theatre professionals here,” Patel said. “By going into classes at the universities, [we are] aiming to shift the definition of Canadian theatre, and make students realize that there are other practices and methodologies that can be applied to the creation of work, the way stories are told and even the way things are done behind the scenes [pertaining to] the administration, or the management or the production elements.”
To further this teaching initiative, MT Space has just launched a fundraising campaign for the Majdi Bou-Matar bursary dedicated to offering financial support worth $5,000 and mentorship from MT Space to a newcomer, immigrant, racialized or emerging artist each year. The inaugural call for applicants has been announced, with the goal of naming the first recipient at the festival.
If you’re looking to get involved in the festival beyond audience participation, IMPACT is also looking for volunteers to help manage the festival. Perks of being a volunteer include complimentary access to the productions.
As the curtains rise on the 2023 IMPACT Festival, it’s evident that Majdi Bou-Matar’s dream has not only endured but flourished into a movement of empowerment and representation. With Patel at the helm, Bou-Matar’s legacy lives on, inviting artists, audiences, and creators to participate in a celebration that transcends boundaries, challenges perceptions, and unites us all through the universal language of art. Festival passes and tickets for the festival can be found on the MT Space website.
“It’s so empty,” Madi, my best friend from Ottawa, tells me plainly. She’s right – we’re in the heart of Uptown Waterloo, and the streets she’s gesturing towards are mostly bare. Usually, by this hour, they’re teeming with university students bar and club-hopping. Right now though, it’s eerily quiet.
I can’t help but feel disappointed. Out of everywhere in Waterloo, this was the spot I was most excited to show her during her visit. When I first moved from Ottawa to Waterloo in high school, I was stubbornly homesick and hated just about everything about the new city I found myself in — except for uptown. In spite of myself, I couldn’t help but fall a little in love with the technicolour glow of the signs at every restaurant, bar, and storefront at night, and how there was always someone passing by on the street even at the most obscure hour. It always seemed so alive.
But so far the night has been eerily quiet, and even the lights look a little dimmer tonight. I’ve yet to run into anyone who seems remotely near our age, and our only encounter with anyone thus far has been with some drunk guy in his thirties who catcalled us on the sidewalk. “You girls look hot!” he shouted at us, his words slurring. We just turned the corner faster and hoped he wouldn’t follow.
I turn to Madi. “Want to walk a little more?” I’m half-hoping that she says yes: if we walk a little further, maybe we’ll find out where everyone else is, if anyone else is even here.
She agrees, and so we keep moving.
While we walk, my mind wanders to what a typical night here would look like. Back in the summer, I would generally start with a stop at Revive, a little karaoke bar on King and Young. Sometimes, the place is packed with Laurier students, cocktails in hand, singing “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood, and everyone will gather around the stage to drunkenly cheer on even the most tone-deaf singer. The singing continues even while walking out — my friends and I have launched into impromptu duets on the street with total strangers. On other nights, the bar is completely empty except for a lone singer belting something obscure onstage, and that sound coupled with the hazy coloured lights feels like something straight out of a dream.
Like with anything you love, there are things I also hate about uptown. I went to Erb And Culture once and it was everything I loathe about clubs – too sweaty, too loud, just too much at once. The other main club uptown, The Drink, is one I’ve yet to visit since each time I walk past it, there’s always a seemingly endless line of people trailing down the street, hoping to get in. Maybe I’ll check it out to see what all the fuss is about now that students are coming back to campus, but for now, I’d much rather go to The Pub on King since at least that comes with the promise of sweet potato fries.
It’s when Madi and I pass The Pub on King that we finally encounter a group of girls our age. They’re giggling (tipsy I’m sure), and all decked out in dresses and high heels. One of them, against all odds, is another girl we went to high school with.
“Hi!” she shouts to us with a little wave and smile, before heading off to join her friends.
In a glimpse, they’re gone. I peek my head toward the window looking into The Pub. There’s no one there, the same way that there was no one at Revive and no one at The Drink, which, for the first time seemingly ever, has no bouncer in sight. The city is fast asleep.
Still, Madi and I manage to make the best of the night we have. We window-shop at Eastwind, a boutique with sparkly dresses I think she might like. I issue her a mini-tour of the places where I’ve been on dates, from Famoso, a small pizza place, to Princess, the local theatre. Then I take her to Pür & Simple, where I often go for brunch after a bad hangover. Each spot feels special in their own small way.
Maybe it’s a little quiet uptown, and a little empty too. But right now, it feels like ours.
Paris in August feels like freshly washed linens basking in the hot sun — a relaxed movement formed by the summer winds, waving back and forth. There’s something so soothing about this time: relaxing in a cafe, people watching, walking along the quiet streets once everyone has gone to the countryside for vacation. It feels like you have the city all to yourself. The experience was accompanied by great food there, specifically duck confit. Confit is a French method of using low heat to preserve foods in fats such as oil. This recipe is dedicated to my trip to Paris, and obviously, I will not make you go out of your way to find duck breasts, so a garlic confit will do.
- A glass casserole dish
- Airtight container
- 1 ½ cup of grapeseed oil
- 1 garlic bulb, peeled
- Fresh oregano and rosemary sprigs
- Preheat the oven to 250 F.
- Wash your peeled garlic cloves and herbs thoroughly, and pat dry.
- Combine the whole garlic cloves, herbs, and oil together in the casserole dish.
- Place the confit in the oven for two hours (yes, it is long but worth it).
- Once cooled, place the confit in an airtight container, and it can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks.
This confit can be used as a garlic-infused oil, spread on a piece of baguette with butter, a marinade, or even combined in a homemade salad dressing. Confit is versatile and flexible when it comes to cooking with it, and it adds a depth of flavor like no other. Confit’s culinary nature perfectly defines the French lifestyle; laid-back, relaxed, and simple — and you are going to love it.
By this point, you’ve probably heard a lot from the university about its systems and services. It can be a lot to remember, and little gems can slip through the cracks when you hear so much at once, despite the university’s best efforts. Here’s some gems you might not have gotten from orientation but are plenty useful.
WatCard’s off-campus uses
Aside from its GRT, meal plan and flex dollar usages, your WatCard is valuable to have at several off-campus locations as well. Farah Foods, Campus Pizza, Izna Poke Plus, Pita Factory, and Williams Fresh Cafe, all located in the plazas beside the university, accept WatCard payment (though this money comes from your flex dollars, not your meal plan). Similarly, Mucho Burrito, Gino’s Pizza, and Score Pizza, all on King Street North, accept WatCard payment in the same way. Your WatCard can also get you discounts at different spots in the city, like at the Kitchener Farmers’ Market, where presenting a valid student ID can get you 10 per cent off your purchase.
Printing on campus is easier than you might think, and you aren’t restricted to printing from residence. Simply visit the W Print homepage and follow the steps listed to print your document before choosing any of the below locations to print your document from:
- Applied Health Science – AHS 2821
- Arts Lecture Hall – Foyer
- Burt Matthews Hall – BMH 1034
- Chemistry – C2 160
- Columbia Lake Village – General Complex
- Conrad Grebel College – Library
- Davis Centre Library – Main Floor
- Davis Centre Library – Basement
- Dana Porter Library – 262
- Dana Porter Library – DP 302 (Near Vending Machines)
- Fine Arts – ECH 1226
- Environment – EV2 (Hallway, beside Rm. 1026)
- Environment – EV2 1101
- Hagey Hall – HH 2102
- Hagey Hall – HH Hub (Outside 161A)
- Math Building – MC 2063 (In Hallway)
- Math Building – MC 3003
- Math Building – MC 3004 (Outside of Room)
- Math Building – MC 3008
- Math Building – MC 3035 (In Hallway)
- Mackenzie King Village (Next to 24-hr front desk)
- Needles Hall 1441 – AccessAbility Services
- Needles Hall 1020 – The Centre
- Optometry – OPT 2101
- Psychology – PAS 1099
- School of Pharmacy – Library
- South Campus Hall – Concourse
- Physics – Main Foyer
- Renison College – Library
- Ron Eydt Village – General Complex
- Student Life Centre – Great Hall
- St. Paul’s College – STP 210
- St. Jerome’s College – Library
- Science Teaching Complex – STC 1013
- Tatham Centre 1213 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Village 1 – Rm 116
- Stratford Campus – DMS 2026
Quick residence hacks:
- Put your laundry pods at the bottom of your laundry — it dissolves better!
- Make sure your delivery address for packages includes your room number so that the front desk of your building can notify you when your package arrives.
- The residence gyms are smaller, but less busy as a result! If you’re looking to take a break from sitting at a desk all day but feel too anxious to go to CIF or PAC, take full advantage of what’s available in your building.
- You can make your own waffles in the REV cafeteria. The waffle station also has free toppings like chocolate chips, maple syrup, and whipped cream. Sounds like Sunday brunch plans to me…
Food at the university colleges
If you’re tired of campus food and maybe willing to spend money aside from what’s on your meal plan, check out the food at the four university colleges (UCs) — Renison, St. Jerome’s, United, and Conrad Grebel. Even if you’re not co-registered, you can pop over to the UCs during their designated meal times (which can be found on their websites) to gain access to their all-you-can-eat meals.
Make sure to bring your credit card, debit card, or cash, as WatCard is not an accepted form of payment at the UCs (except at Renison and SJU). Renison also offers to-go boxes and an option to save 25 cents by bringing your own tupperware.
This is something that really surprised me. Whether it’s because you’re trying to avoid the cold, or a person you really hate running into on campus, the tunnel system is a highly useful way of getting around campus without having to go outside. Using the tunnels between the science buildings, you can move from the SLC, the heart of campus, all the way to DWE, at the edge of Ring Road without ever having to step outside. For exact instructions on how, check out our social media at @uwimprint.
With the trees dropping their leaves and turning into those familiar hues of orange, red, and yellow, it’s natural to start looking for ways to ring in the official start of fall. One way to do that is with one of the most classic activities there is: apple picking.
Greg Downey, owner of Downey’s Strawberry and Apple Farm, explained what the process of growing apples is like.
In winter, the apple trees are pruned so that they can grow new buds in spring, which according to Downey, generally happens May 10 to 15. The main concern when it comes to apple trees is frost, which can damage the trees and impact their yield. After the frost passes, focus shifts to ensuring there aren’t too many apples on a tree. “The tree can only look after so many apples, if there’s too many on there they’ll all be small,” he said.
Pruning is also done in summer, where suckers (tree limbs that produce little to no fruit) are cut.
Weather fluctuates from season to season, which makes it difficult to assess the impacts of larger weather changes due to climate change. “I think, climate change is measured more in decades or hundreds of years than year to year,” Downey said.
To find the freshest apples in KW, look to these spots around the Waterloo region:
6515 Line 86
Located a 20-minute drive from the Student Life Centre, you can buy baskets of freshly picked apples from Shuh Orchards starting this Saturday. The orchards have been in the family for four generations, and offer Gala, Ambrosia, and Honeycrisp.
Downey’s Apple Farm
1355 Hopewell Creek Rd.
Open daily except for Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., check out Downey’s for their pick-your-own apples and pumpkins. The entrance fee is $5 on weekends and $3 on weekdays, which also grants you access to the wagon rides, corn maze, and pumpkin patch on the farm. If you’re going with a group, you can choose a 10-lb. bag of apples for $25 (four people maximum) or a 20-lb. bag for $42 (seven people maximum). In addition to its orchards, Downey’s offers freshly-pressed cider and other fresh produce like corn and squash for purchase.
To find the best apples, Downey recommends looking to the tops of the trees, as fruit there receives the most sun. The apple should also come off relatively easily: “You know the old saying, ‘Eye to the sky,’” he says, where the apple should twist off if you simply turn it upside down from the stem.
If apple picking isn’t for you but you still want to enjoy all that fall has to offer this September, check out these fall activity alternatives.
Strom’s Farm & Bakery
5089 Wellington Rd.
If you’re looking to get into the spooky mood early, then starting Sept. 20 stop by Strom’s to pick your own pumpkins. For an $18 admission, you also gain access to a plethora of fall activities, including the corn maze, wagon rides, and fire pit area (food and drink available for purchase).
Wild Hog Country Market
2785 Line 34
Located just under a 10-minute drive from the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business, the Wild Hog Country Market is open Tuesdays to Saturdays for all your local market needs. Fresh produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, and an espresso bar are all up for grabs.
Stratford Fall Fair
20 Waddell St.
353 McCarthy Rd.
From Sept. 21 to 24, head to the fair grounds to indulge your inner child. Check out the midway, exhibit halls, and various shows such as the Perth County Championship Show on Sept. 22 and the miniature horse show and farmers’ market on Sept. 23.
Whether you’re new on campus or are about to graduate, you’re probably familiar with the two most popular W Store clothing items: sweatpants and sweaters. Perfect for throwing on before a morning lecture, these ultra-comfy pieces are the definition of convenient — but they can be stylish too. We’re here with some tips on how to style these classic UW pieces without looking like a walking ad.
Before we begin … a few dos and don’ts
DON’T show off other schools’ merch on campus – Unless you’re looking for attention, try not to promote the competition (especially if you’re attending a sports game).
DO buy colours/styles that you like – Waterloo’s official colours may be black and gold, but the W Store offers a whole rainbow of clothing to explore. Buy items that you’ll actually enjoy wearing, whether that be classic black sweatpants or a baby pink hoodie.
DON’T dress head-to-toe in university merch – Having UW pride is great, but you don’t want to conceal your own sense of style. We suggest keeping it to one or two merch pieces per outfit.
DO add accessories – As with anything, UW clothing will pop more when you pair it with jewellery, hair accessories, or matching shoes. Even a simple gold necklace would look great against a solid-coloured faculty sweater. Accessories are also a great option if you’re looking for a more subtle approach to school pride: lanyards, face masks, hats, and more are available at the W Store.
Styling UW sweatpants
- Balance out your look by pairing oversized sweats with a tank top, fitted tee, or crop top.
- Add a pop of colour to the classic UW sweats by wearing them with a bright shirt or sneakers.
- For the ultimate business-casual look, pair your Waterloo joggers with a casual blazer or button down.
Styling UW sweaters
- Channel Princess Diana’s iconic street style by pairing an oversized UW crewneck with bike shorts.
- Add layers by wearing a fitted turtleneck or collared blouse underneath your hoodie.
- Tie the sleeves of a UW sweater around your shoulders for an ultra-preppy look.
- Tennis skirts are the ultimate preppy staple, but pairing a sweater and ankle-length skirt is a great fall option.
- If you’re looking to dress up your faculty sweatshirt, look no further than adding a simple blazer and straight-leg jeans.
- As the cold weather hits, add a jacket for some extra warmth (jean, puffer — the choice is yours). Vogue predicts the black trench coat will be the fall item, so why not pair one with a Warriors hoodie? Long coat and sweater combos have already dominated recent runways from Miu Miu to Givenchy, so you’ll be in good company if you give this pairing a try.
Hopefully you’re feeling inspired to try out some new looks this year — we’re sure you’ll make Ring Road your catwalk in no time.
Last month, the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA) published its annual plan for the 2023-24 school year. The plan is divided into three sections — advocacy priorities, operational goals, and governance structure — which aim to respond to student needs both on and off campus.
WUSA president Rory Norris spoke to Imprint about this year’s plan, and provided details on a number of concerns students face at UW.
The first operational goal outlined in WUSA’s plan is to “address gaps in student safety” following June’s hate-motivated attack in Hagey Hall. WUSA aims to meet regularly with its own services to ensure that a safe environment is being provided, and to be in contact with the student body.
Though unable to provide a “one-year-fix,” Norris says that WUSA will be taking several “first steps” throughout the year. Norris explained that the most direct way for students to have their voice heard would be contacting him personally, but WUSA also plans to hear from students — either through town halls or direct meetings — in the coming months. In addition, WUSA plans to utilize their Research Survey Platform, which sends surveys to randomly selected groups of 500 students. The next surveys in October and November will be centered on improving student safety, Norris said.
Improving student access to mental health services is another area outlined in WUSA’s annual plan. The reliability of mental health support at UW has been criticized in recent years, particularly in the wake of June’s hate-motivated stabbing. Norris cited “massive wait times” as being one of WUSA’s primary concerns when it comes to working with Campus Wellness. In particular, he hopes that WUSA can push Counseling Services to improve the length of wait times: “My general idea is that students should be able to access [Counseling Services] within a few days turn around, but right now we are looking at a few months for most students.”
When it comes to financing mental health services, Norris said that WUSA is willing to approach external stakeholders for support. He emphasized that this approach may be necessary due to a lack of funding from the university itself: “[When] you get down to the root cause of it, a lot of it is just that the university is not willing to put their money where their mouth is.” Norris stated the importance of WUSA continuing to provide financial support to internal services such as Glow and the Women’s Centre.
Another issue raised among Waterloo students concerns the lack of affordable access to housing and transportation. “The big problem is just the availability of housing, and the fact that not much has been built . . . in the past three or four years,” Norris explained. He added that WUSA plans to share these concerns with various municipal groups such as Waterloo’s Town and Gown Committee, which aims to “enhance relationships, communications and policies” between universities and the community.
Norris added that the university is currently looking to build another residence building, but it would take at least three to five years and would not eliminate the housing problem. “Based on the preliminary designs, [it wouldn’t] increase the amount of housing substantially,” he said. “So that’s something that I’ve been criticizing the university about.”
Another issue receiving attention since the stabbing in June has been the failure of the university’s emergency communication systems, particularly the WatSAFE app. The university has hired a third-party to review safety plans, and WUSA wants to make sure that any policy changes are made clear to students. “We’re pushing the university to really make sure that they’re providing updates and communication with the students, [so that they’re] aware change is happening,” Norris said of the process.
As for a timeline, Norris says that new emergency communication plans are likely to be finalized by September and then reviewed by the Board of Governors at their October meeting.