As part of its ongoing commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, the University of Guelph has launched a comprehensive self-identification census for students, faculty and staff.
Census results will provide a clearer understanding of diversity at the University and will help inform future decisions with the goal of removing barriers, improving inclusion and creating better community supports. The U of G Community Census is a key commitment of the University’s Anti-Racism Action Plan.
“The census will provide the University with a clearer understanding of the identities and lived experiences of those who make up the U of G community,” said U of G president Dr. Charlotte Yates. “By spending a few minutes completing the census and sharing aspects of your identity, you will be contributing to a more inclusive place to learn, teach, research and work.”
Access the census at uoguel.ph/census. You will be asked to sign in with your central log-in credentials.
Information collected through the census will provide the University with key demographic data about our U of G community.
While the census asks questions specific to equity-deserving groups, it is important for all students, faculty and staff to complete the census to help provide an accurate picture of representation at U of G, said Indira Naidoo-Harris, AVP (diversity and human rights). Participation in the survey helps foster a University-wide commitment to inclusion, she said.
“Individuals have the opportunity to self-identify with any of five equity-deserving groups: persons with disabilities, racialized peoples, women, Indigenous peoples and members of the LGBTQ2SIA+ community. Whether you identify with an equity-deserving group or not, your participation is needed. Responses from every member of our university family will help us see the full picture of our diverse community.”
Individual census data is protected under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and is stored separately from academic and personnel records. Census results will be aggregated to maintain confidentiality and can be summarized to highlight both singular aspects of identity and intersectionalities.
All faculty and staff are required to register a response to the U of G Community Census under reporting requirements of the Federal Contractors Program. However, this is the first time U of G has expanded this formal data collection to include students. Student participation is voluntary but strongly encouraged.
“Knowing who we are is key when it comes to identifying gaps and addressing systemic barriers to success,” said Naidoo-Harris. “Having a strong understanding of our U of G family will help us build and maintain inclusive, equitable learning and working environments for everyone in our community.”
While faculty and staff are required to register a response, all those who do not wish to self-identify – including students – are able to opt out at the beginning of the census. Participants can also choose not to respond to any of the individual questions.
“U of G is a safe place to self-identify, but we recognize that the act of identifying can be uncomfortable for a variety of reasons,” said Karen Menard, AVP (institutional research and planning). “As we analyze and report on these data, we will do so in such a way that no individual will be identified by their answers.”
Individual census responses are kept confidential. Responses to the census are stored on a secure server separate from personnel, student registration and academic files.
While self-identification data is collected for faculty and staff every three years, the University intends to encourage more frequent participation in the census from everyone.
“Everyone counts in our U of G family and participation of all students, faculty, and staff is key to the success of this important and exciting initiative,” said Naidoo-Harris. She encourages everyone to provide the valuable information needed to help everyone in the U of G community.
Those requiring a paper copy of the census can request one by contacting the Office of Diversity and Human Rights at firstname.lastname@example.org.