University of Waterloo: student life on campus

An insider's guide to the best live music venue, weirdest tradition and more

The 411

Best place for a nap:
Math Comfy Lounge
Best cheap lunch:
Bon Appétit in the Davis Centre
Best hangover breakfast:
Mel’s Diner
Best campus food:
Environment Café
Best pizza:
Domino’s or Pizza Pizza
Best place for hanging out:
Morty’s Pub. The wings are amazing.
Best place to live:
Claudette Millar Hall or Fergus House
Best place to study:
AHS Fireplace Lounge
Best campus event:
Feminist Poetry Slams
Best live music venue:
The White Rabbit
Weirdest tradition:
The chant
What surprised me most about this school:
The value placed on academics was even higher than I expected. Also, surprisingly good for Pokémon Go.
If I could change one thing about this school:
More campus-wide events

PROFILE: University of Alberta | Edmonton, Alta. | Founded 1908

The University of Waterloo is a prestigious school with a diverse population of students. It is best know for its STEM programs, especially computer science and engineering. However, UW also boasts excellent arts, business, environment and health programs. Students can find courses in anything from gender and sexuality to embryology to Beyoncé.

UW also has a course in the Mohawk language, Kanien’kéha, and will soon host an Indigenous business program. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, which includes 10 km on either side of the land promised to the Six Nations, also called the Haudenosaunee people. This is the traditional land of the Haudenosaunee, Neutral and Anishinaabe peoples.

There are cultural societies for most cultural groups, such as the UW Indian Cultural Association and the Waterloo Indigenous Student Association.

The campus sprawls over several blocks and eventually blends with the rest of the town. Some buildings, especially the older ones, are connected via a series of tunnels and bridges. They are sometimes hard to find, but very convenient in harsh weather. Navigating them is like knowing a campus secret.

After Class
UW has a club for almost every interest. There is a place for everyone, from cheese enthusiasts to aspiring magicians to salsa dancers. In addition, UW has many services for students, such as the Feds Food Bank, the Glow Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity, and Racial Advocacy for Inclusion, Solidarity and Equity (RAISE), a new addition this past winter. UW also provides many mental health programs, including mentoring, peer support and counselling. The President’s Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health is also working on improving resources for students.

Local Vibe
UW is not a party school. If you’re looking for a good time, this is probably not the place for you. The K-W region is very academic because of the many post-secondary institutions in Kitchener and Waterloo, but both uptown Waterloo and downtown Kitchener have a wide range of restaurants, museums and thrift stores for day trips. K-W is also home to the biggest Oktoberfest outside of Germany, an amazing St. Patrick’s Day parade and lots of other cultural festivals.

More Info
Surprisingly, Reddit is one of the main sites for campus action. Another app is UW Portal, which has a wide variety of widgets, including class schedules, a campus map and open classrooms. Finally, Imprint, the school newspaper, is a great source of news.

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