Respect Week at Dalhousie – including Pink Day


To:                 The Dalhousie University community

From:            Richard Florizone, President

Date:             September 24, 2015

Re:                Respect Week (September 28 – October 2) at Dalhousie


I’m writing to let you know about Respect Week, a new, campus-wide initiative happening at Dalhousie September 28 to October 2. Respect Week is one of the ways we continue the conversation about how to make our campus a more respectful, inclusive place where everyone feels welcome and supported.

Units and groups from across campus have been collaborating on a series of events to help foster this important conversation. Their goal? To challenge our thinking, engage with, listen to and appreciate differing perspectives and discuss how we show respect for others both on campus, and in the broader community.

As part of Respect Week, Dalhousie will hold its sixth annual Pink Day BBQ on Tuesday, September 29. Respect Week organizers will also be visiting the Sexton, Carleton and Agricultural Campuses on Pink Day with cake and apples. Students, staff and faculty are encouraged to wear pink to show their support.

  • Agricultural Campus: Pink Day – Cake and apples, Cox Institute, 10-11 a.m.
  • Carleton Campus: Pink Day – Cake and apples, Tupper Link 10-11 a.m.
  • Sexton Campus: Pink Day – Cake and apples, Alumni Lounge, 10-11 a.m.
  • Studley Campus: Pink Day BBQ and pizza, Lower Studley Quad, 12-1 p.m.

The Dalhousie Native Student Association’s sixth annual Mawio’mi will also take place during Respect Week on Wednesday, September 30. This event features traditional drummers and dancers, and honours community Elders on recognized unceded Mi’kmaq territory.

I hope you will make time to attend the Respect Week events. Dalhousie is a community where everyone has a shared responsibility for establishing and maintaing a climate of respect. We want our entire community to be inspired, think critically and consider what they can do to better support the inclusion of everyone who works and studies here. For more information and the full list of events, visit the Respect Week website.

Dal launches new Quality of Work Life survey

On Monday, April 20, faculty and staff at Dal will be invited to take part in a new survey about a wide range of aspects of work at Dal, from teaching and research to administration, and everything in between.

Called the Quality of Work Life Survey (replacing the previous biennial Workplace Survey), it will not only provide Dal’s leadership with workplace assessments but also offer faculty and staff immediate individual health profiles. Read more.

The survey will run from April 20 – May 4. If you have questions about the Quality of Work Life Survey, please visit the FAQs or send an email to

Mental Illness at Work – Erin Sutherland’s experience

This video shows Erin Sutherland, an employee of the Canadian government, talking about her experience with mental illness.  It speaks to the power of the workplace and leaves us with some of her lessons learned.


BEWARE: The Food you Eat Affects Your Productivity

Think back to your most productive workday in the past week. Now ask yourself: On that afternoon, what did you have for lunch?

When we think about the factors that contribute to workplace performance, we rarely give much consideration to food. For those of us battling to stay on top of emails, meetings, and deadlines, food is simply fuel, but food has a direct impact on our cognitive performance, which is why a poor decision at lunch can derail an entire afternoon.

Here’s a brief rundown of why this happens. Just about everything we eat is converted by our body into glucose, which provides the energy our brains need to stay alert. When we’re running low on glucose, we have a tough time staying focused and our attention drifts. This explains why it’s hard to concentrate on an empty stomach.

So far, so obvious. Now here’s the part we rarely consider: Not all foods are processed by our bodies at the same rate. Some foods, like pasta, bread, cereal and soda, release their glucose quickly, leading to a burst of energy followed by a slump. Others, like high fat meals (think cheeseburgers and BLTs) provide more sustained energy, but require our digestive system to work harder, reducing oxygen levels in the brain and making us groggy.

Most of us know much of this intuitively, yet we don’t always make smart decisions about our diet. In part, it’s because we’re at our lowest point in both energy and self-control when deciding what to eat. French fries and mozzarella sticks are a lot more appetizing when you’re mentally drained.

Unhealthy lunch options also tend to be cheaper and faster than healthy alternatives, making them all the more alluring in the middle of a busy workday. They feel efficient. Which is where our lunchtime decisions lead us astray. We save 10 minutes now and pay for it with weaker performance the rest of the day.

Read on at