UWaterloo creates advisory committee on mental health in wake of student suicides

The University of Waterloo (U of W) is establishing an advisory committee on mental health, according to a Mar. 27 press release from Feridun Hamdullahpur, president of U of W. The creation of the committee came as a response to a widespread call for improvement to U of W’s mental health services after a student died by suicide on Mar. 20, and an earlier suicide in January. The committee will be responsible for “guiding a listening process that will seek to gain further input from our local community, other institutions and external experts,” the release said. Matthew Grant, director of media relations at U of W, said the committee will “allow people to bring forward ideas, comments and concerns that […]

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Doping in sports: Why football players are common offenders

The life of a U SPORTS football player is a busy one, filled with practices, the desire to win for their school, the possibility of being drafted by a Canadian Football League (CFL) team—all on top of the responsibilities of being a university student. Throw in an injury and things get even more stressful—and stress can make one do drastic things, like taking a banned substance to improve athletic performance. Performance-Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) are a way to improve one’s athletic ability and recover from an injury, but can damage one’s reputation if caught. PEDs, or doping, have been a controversial subject in sports leagues for years, and U SPORTS is no exception. The subject was recently brought to light at […]

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University of Waterloo researchers to test self-driving car on Ontario roads

The Ontario government has approved a research project at the University of Waterloo (U of W) to allow three self-driving vehicles to start driving on Ontario public roads. The pilot program is a combined project with the U of W’s Centre for Automotive Research (WATCar), the Erwin-Hymer Group, and Blackberry QNX, each testing one of the vehicles, according to a press release by U of W. The car is fully connected to the internet, uses radar, sonar, and lidar, and will always have a researcher behind the wheel in case it loses control, according to the release. U of W will be testing a Lincoln MKZ hybrid sedan nicknamed Autonomoose. Ross McKenzie, managing director of WATCar, said the vehicle’s name […]

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Universities continue to push for fall reading breaks

An increasing number of universities across the country are introducing fall breaks for students. While the length of the breaks vary from a full week to a number of days depending on the university, many institutions, such as the University of Waterloo (U of W), hope that the break days will facilitate better mental health for students. “The University of Waterloo is keenly aware of the need to provide conditions that promote the physical and mental well-being of our students,” said Mario Coniglio, associate vice-president (academic) at the U of W. “The fall term is widely seen as a pressure cooker, especially in regards to transitioning issues and looming midterm exams for new incoming students.” While Coniglio said improving mental […]

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Editorial: City shouldn’t ban hookah on patios

On Aug. 31, Ottawa City Council voted to ban people from smoking water pipes, also known as hookahs, on outdoor restaurant and bar patios. The new ban is both unfounded and will do little to stop young people from smoking. The city stated in a press release that it wants to de-normalize smoking for youth and young adults. A 2013 report from the University of Waterloo states that smoking rates in Canadian youth is already low. The same study found that only around three per cent of people aged 15 to 24 reported smoking a water pipe in the last 30 days. This means that it is by no means a normalized behaviour for the overwhelming majority of young people. […]

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