Who: All current Waterloo students and employees
What: Introduction of new cross-campus survey that will collect equity data
Where: Survey will be emailed to all @uwaterloo email addresses 
When: Survey launches mid-June
Why: Survey will help identify equity gaps in programs, services, and policies to better meet the needs of underrepresented and equity-deserving students and employees

Jump to: Collecting Equity Data | Developing the Survey | FAQs | Ask Us Anything About Data Collection Event | Contact Us and Stay in Touch

Lightbulb iconIntroduction

In mid-June 2021, we are excited to invite all students and employees to participate in an equity survey. We are gathering this data to better understand the makeup of our community. This has been an ongoing, collaborative process, and we owe great thanks and gratitude to all who have contributed time and energies to this initiative.

Equity data describes aspects of your personal identity. Collecting this data is a necessary step for us to better understand our community. It will help us identify equity gaps in programs, services, and policies to better meet the needs of underrepresented and equity-deserving students and employees. 

The survey is completely voluntary. We will send you a unique link to complete the survey and invite you to update your information regularly. You have complete control over how much information you choose to share and are free to add or remove information when invited to complete survey updates. The equity data will not include any personally identifying information and data will only appear in summary reports. 

Paper copies of the survey will also be available for those who are not able to use the online version. These will also include a unique “Activation code”, but no other identifying information. We will provide a return envelope (postage paid) for you to return the completed survey. No identifying information will be included on the form or the return envelope.

If you would like to use an alternate format, such as PDF or paper copy, please email equitysurvey@uwaterloo.ca.

The information you provide will create a complete picture of the makeup of our campus, creating opportunities for positive change now and in the future. 

Laptop iconCollecting Equity Data

We have been collecting some equity data in recent years, but we need to expand the data we collect. This survey will be asking for more comprehensive voluntary self-identification in the following areas: 

  • disability
  • Indigenous identity 
  • racial identity
  • gender identity 
  • sexual identity
  • religious or spiritual affiliation
  • family education background
  • Canadian residency status 

Creating a more comprehensive data set about the people at Waterloo will help address any areas where we are not serving members of our community.  

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magnify glassDeveloping the Survey

This survey is the next step in the work of many groups on campus. The Equity Office and Institutional Analysis & Planning developed the survey instrument through consultation with an Equity Data Advisory Group. This group is made up of students, faculty, and staff with expertise in equity and related data collection. Many members also have lived experience as a member of an under-represented group. In addition, the Equity Office worked with Indigenous representatives, and groups such as the President’s Anti-Racism Taskforce (PART), the Black Faculty Collective, along with student groups and associations, to ensure that they informed how the survey was developed.

Per Policy 55, the University of Waterloo Survey Advisory Committee is providing oversight for the survey. This committee includes the University’s Information Stewards, Privacy Coordinator, Office of Research Ethics, and an expert in survey methodologies.  

Once collected, we will use equity data alongside other data and information to answer the following vital questions: 

  1. How does the makeup of Waterloo’s community compare to Waterloo Region, Ontario and Canada?
  2. Are equity-deserving groups participating in the programs and services that Waterloo offers, and how does their participation compare to other groups and the overall university community? What are the gaps and how can they be addressed? 
  3. Do some groups experience fewer benefits or more barriers while learning or working at Waterloo, compared with the overall university community? What can be done to improve any gaps?

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There are lots of ways to learn more about the equity survey: browse the Frequently Asked Questions below, attend the Ask Us Anything About Data Collection event, or contact us.

question mark icon Frequently Asked Questions

Jump to: General Information | Basic Survey Information | Survey Data Management | Results

In these FAQs, “We”, “Us”, “Our”, and “University” means The University of Waterloo.

We encourage all members University of Waterloo community to take part in the University of Waterloo’s first Equity Survey. The purpose of this survey is to better understand the makeup of our community. 

Survey results, along with other data and information, will help the university develop initiatives, programs, and supports to meet the needs of under-represented and equity-deserving students and employees on our campus. Survey results will also help identify and address any areas where we are not serving members of our community. 

The events of this past year have highlighted the negative impacts of anti-Black, anti-Indigenous and anti-Asian racism on our society, and the importance of universities like ours in reparations, and reconciliations. It is also important to understand negative impacts individuals face based on other aspects of their identity, such as disabilities, gender identity, sexual identity, religion or spiritual affiliation, and Canadian residency status. This survey is part of our ongoing commitment to ending inequality on our campus. Your responses are critical to doing this work.

General Information

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Basic Survey Information

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Survey Data Management

Some of the answers in the Survey Data Management FAQs are technical in nature. Please reach out with any questions to equitysurvey@uwaterloo.ca

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University of Waterloo Information, Privacy and Record Retention

The University of Waterloo is committed to respecting the privacy of respondents to this survey. All personal information is collected under the authority of the University of Waterloo Act (1972) and will be processed in compliance with Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, as well as the University of Waterloo’s Information and Privacy policies

Questions about the collection, use, and disclosure of information associated with this survey should be directed to analysis@uwaterloo.ca. Questions about Information and Privacy at the University should be directed to the Privacy Office fippa@uwaterloo.ca.

The collected data and reports will be managed according to the University records classification scheme, WatClass, and will be securely destroyed when no longer needed by the University.

A mechanism will be provided to respondents in the event that they want to withdraw their responses from use in analyses. IAP will de-activate that particular pseudo-ID for the analysis; note however that reports previously published cannot be changed. 

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calendar icon Equity Survey: Ask Us Anything About Data Collection Event

To answer questions you might have a virtual event was held on June 8, where attendees learned more about the survey. The virtual Ask Us Anything About Data Collection event:

  • Reviewed the need for an equity survey
  • Discussed the processes used to develop the survey
  • Created space and opportunity to hear any questions and/or concerns from the campus community regarding equity survey data collection and use

A recording of this event will be loaded shortly. Thank you to everyone who attended and we look forward to seeing you at a future engagement opportunity. 

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email icon Contact Us and Stay in Touch

For general survey inquiries or to request an alternate format of the survey, please contact equitysurvey@uwaterloo.ca

Stay in Touch and Stay Informed About the Equity Survey and Equity Data Collection 

Provide your email address to stay in touch with us about the equity survey and equity data collection at Waterloo. You can opt out of this at any time by emailing equitysurvey@uwaterloo.ca.

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