Connection Collective

"connection collective"

Find your community with Connection Collective!

Connection Collective is an opportunity for equity-deserving students to connect with other equity-deserving students.

Connection Collective is a group mentorship program, facilitated by the Student Success Office, to support historically underrepresented students, such as Black, Indigenous, Racialized students, students part of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, students impacted by their socio-economic status, students in larger bodies, disabled students, neurodivergent students and any intersection of any of these identifiers.

Upcoming Connection Collective Events

If you registered for the Connection Collective program, you will be automatically enrolled in these events! If you are interested in the content, but do not want to be opted into the program as whole, please register individually for the events that interest you!

What can I expect as a Connection Collective member?

Connection Collective is built into three phases, with one phase happening each term. Phase 1 (pre-arrival) is specifically for incoming undergraduate and graduate students. Phase 2 (fall term) and 3 (winter term) are open to all current undergraduate and graduate students.

Phase 1: Connect (Pre-Arrival)

Before you even set foot on campus, dive into our virtual world! Our Connection Leads are here to chat with you on Teams, share helpful resources and get you pumped for what UWaterloo has to offer.

We’ve got five virtual events lined up from late July to early August. Get ready to explore student clubs, hear from amazing voices in our community and check out equity-specific resources.

And once you’re here, drop by our in-person space during Orientation Week to say hi!

Please note, phase 1 is only open to incoming undergraduate and graduate students.

Phase 2: Build (fall term)

Once Orientation’s done, keep the conversations going with our Teams chats and get ready for our Collective Chill meet-ups. These small group hangouts are all about bonding and meeting other like-minded students.

Plus, we’ve got some big social events planned for October and November – you won’t want to miss them!

Phase 3: Act (winter term)

This is the final term of the Connection Collective. Connection Leads are still here to chat and our Collective Chill sessions are still going strong. But now, we’re kicking things up a notch with workshops and initiatives focused on equity and social justice.

It’s all about putting what we’ve learned into action! Applications for the next cycle of Connection Leads open late winter term.

As an international student, I initially joined the program to gain exposure to the university life and talk with people who went through what I would experience at UW.

I later discovered that the Connection Collective is so much more than that. It is a complete community of upper years who are ready to guide you through your first challenges and first years with whom you can relate and go through the first year together.

Tyler, first-year student participant in 2023

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why should I register for Connection Collective?

We created this program to focus on building a sense of belonging, to introduce students to services, supports and clubs on campus and to shift from traditional one on one mentorship to community building!

Creating space for one another to celebrate who we are is a shared effort! 

What does "equity-deserving" mean?

For the purpose of noting who may benefit from being a part of the Connection Collective program, we define ‘equity-deserving’ in these terms, but this definition is not limited to the following:

Black, Indigenous, and racialized folks, people of the global majority, individuals within 2SLGBTQIAA+ communities, women, disabled individuals, people who identify as members of a racialized community, individuals who exercise cultural and/or religious practices, individuals impacted by their socio-economic status, individuals in larger bodies and any intersection of these identities, experiences or practices. 

Are international students invited to join the Connection Collective?

International students are highly encouraged to participate. Moving to a new country or adapting to a new culture is a demanding process. By participating in the Connection Collective, you'll be able to speak with current international students who have the knowledge to guide you through any specific challenges you may face. 

In this program, there is emphasis on intersectionality, understanding that there are multiple pieces to one's identity.

If you're wondering whether this program would be a fit for you or if you have any questions, please reach out to Tara Kleinsteuber, Student Equity Specialist.