Campus Housing is committed to creating a welcoming space for all students. This means that we need to recognize where we have fallen short in that mission. In fall 2020, Campus Housing staff began pushing to make systemic change to ensure everyone in our community is treated equitably. Our actions further support the 2020- 2025 University of Waterloo Strategic Plan. So, what does that mean in residence? It means:
Learning is better when we do it together
We are passionate about creating communities that embrace equity, diversity and inclusion. Everyone deserves to feel like they belong in our residence community and all have a responsibility to support an equitable living and learning environment.
Building anti-racist and inclusive communities
Campus Housing employees know that racism, racist attitudes, and systemic racism exists, and our campus and residences are not immune to those behaviours and structures. We deeply value the diverse contributions of Black, Indigenous, racialized, 2SLGBTQ+ students and employees and all students with disabilities. We are committed to addressing racism and developing an anti-racist community. Let us be clear, prejudice or hate of any kind has no place in our community. To see change, we need to acknowledge and dismantle racial biases in our residence culture, structures and practices. We will respond to racism and discrimination. We will engage in uncomfortable conversations. We are prepared to learn and help others learn. Because racial equity and inclusion matter.
But it also means being held accountable and sharing how we're working to create an environment that is anti-racist and equitable. Below we'd like to share some of the actions we've taken and actions we plan to take, with a timeline of when we plan to implement these actions.
Actions we've taken
Provide space for equity, diversity inclusion and anti-racism focused student services. In Fall 2021: office space in the UW Place Grand Commons and Mackenzie King Village was made exclusively available to support student services such as the Women’s Center and MATES.
In Spring 2022, our Maintenance and Security Services team all attended a equity, diversity and inclusion workshop to deepen their learning.
Each month the Senior Management Team meets to discuss current and future professional development opportunities relating to equity, diversity, inclusion or anti-racism. Through review of equity data and gathering input from campus partners, we are actively working on areas of focus for desired systemic changes within our residence communities.
In Spring 2022, equity, diversity and inclusion statements are now integrated throughout the residence application process.
All-gender washrooms in residence
We have a place for you. We want two-spirit, trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming students to feel welcome and safe living in our residences. All-gender washrooms are spaces that individuals can access and use, regardless of their gender identity. Unlike gender-specific washrooms which are designated as being for either women or men, all-gender washrooms are available for use by anyone.
Each first-year residence building has at least one all-gender washroom in our central complex area to use when studying and hanging out with friends, dining at an eatery or visiting a front desk. If you are living in Claudette Millar Hall, each floor has all-gender washrooms. Our other first-year residence communities (dorm-style and suite-style) are organized by gender, where students who identify as female live together, and students who identify as male live together. Washrooms in Ron Edyt Village and Village 1 are designated as being for either women or men. In suite-style residences (UWP, CLV and MKV), room assignments are based on gender and the washrooms are shared by the roommates within the suite. If you wish to not disclose your gender, we will never ask you to.
If you would like to speak with someone before completing the First-Year Guarantee Residence Application, please email us at email@example.com and we will connect you with our Residence Life team who are ready to support you and will find you the space in residence that works best for you.
The actions listed here are not a comprehensive list of actions we in Campus Housing plan to take. The list of actions will continue to grow as Campus Housing continues to identify future calls for action. All actions will be informed by students, staff, and campus partners.
- The Student Development and Residence Experience (SDRX) business unit within Campus Housing is committed to working with the Equity Specialist with the Student Success Office on an equity-based training program for Fall 2022 and Winter 2023.
- Campus Housing’s Research Analyst will be launching an EDI focused research project in Fall 2022.
- The Residence Facilities business unit is working with the Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism to build a series of custom workshops to build capacity within the frontline staff team for advancing issues of inequity and anti-racism. These workshops are planning to be delivered in Fall 2022.
- The Director’s Office will be reviewing and analyzing the data of the University of Waterloo’s Equity Report from the Equity Office to compare demographic data of the University of Waterloo community to Campus Housing’s residence community to identify any inequities or disproportionalities in the residence experience.
Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism and the President’s Anti-Racism Taskforce (PART)
The office and taskforce work to bring members of the campus community together to facilitate understanding and address systemic barriers to equity, inclusion, and decolonization.
The Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre (WISC) is committed to providing support to Indigenous students at UW. The support provided to Indigenous students at WISC takes a wholistic approach by incorporating cultural, academic, and social support. The WISC provides an environment that is supportive, respectful, inclusive, and welcoming for all Indigenous students on campus.
MATES is a peer-support service for the undergraduate student population. MATES Peer Support Volunteers support students experiencing social and academic challenges as well as low-level mental health concerns and stress.
The Equity Office at the University of Waterloo works with students, faculty and staff across campus to advance equity through evidence-based policies, practices and programs.
Glow is the oldest, continually-running university-based 2SLGBTQ+ group in Canada. Run entirely by dedicated student volunteers, Glow promotes a healthy attitude towards all sexual orientations and gender identities on the Waterloo campus by providing a wide variety of peer support, social events, advocacy work, and resources.
Counselling Services is a team of professionals that provides programming and services to help you lead a healthy and balanced life. We strive to provide a secure, supportive environment for students of all orientations and backgrounds. Counselling services are provided, at no charge, in a private and confidential setting to University of Waterloo students who are currently registered or on a co-op term.
Indigenous Relations is a central hub for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students, researchers, faculty, and staff, along with allies within the Waterloo campus community. Additionally, the Office of Indigenous Relations provides the campus community with guidance, support, and resources to strengthen our shared vision of reconciliation.
The Women's Centre aims to create a positive and safe space for students of all genders, with a special focus on women and trans folks. Our volunteers are trained to provide peer support with an intersectional lens and can help connect you with resources about sexual health, healthy relationships, mental health, and more. We're here to listen, support, and help connect students with other resources within the university and the community.
At AccessAbility Services, we design and facilitate your academic or housing accommodation plan by removing barriers and building your capacity for personal success.