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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 45.51
Liaison Mat Thijssen
Submission Date Nov. 6, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Waterloo
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.33 / 3.00 Mat Thijssen
Sustainability Manager
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :

The non-discrimination statement, including the website URL where the policy is publicly accessible:

Waterloo’s Policy 33 – Ethical Behaviour, states: That the University of Waterloo is committed to providing an environment which supports and rewards its members on the basis of such relevant factors as work performance and achievement. Harassment, discrimination and the abuse of supervisory authority, for example, are inimical to this environment. Further, as required by the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the University has a responsibility to provide an environment free from harassment and discrimination, and accordingly must deal effectively, quickly and fairly with any situation involving claims of harassment or discrimination that come to its attention (taken from https://uwaterloo.ca/secretariat-general-counsel/policies-procedures-guidelines/policy-33)

Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team) to respond to and support those who have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination or hate crime?:

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team (including examples of actions taken during the previous three years):

Responses to discrimination are described under Policy 33:
Policy 33 – “aims to ensure an environment of tolerance and respect and believes that the right of individuals to advance their view openly must be upheld throughout the University.”
Policy 33 outlines general and specific principles related to ethical behaviour, providing examples of violations of the policy such as harassment and discrimination.
Policy 33 also addresses who receives a complaint and what they should do – line management – have a responsibility to act promptly and advise their supervisor of a complaint.
The manner in which the complaint is dealt with is generally a decision made by the complainant (ie. formal or informal) but the concern needs to be reasonably addressed by line management. Line management can seek conflict management services or investigative services from Waterloo's Conflict Management and Human Rights Office (CMAHRO) upon request. If there is a finding that someone violated policy 33 then management and HR discuss remedies to address the concern, from an oral warning to termination.
CMAHRO provides confidential consultations to all community members with regard to general conflict at work to concerns related to harassing and/or discriminatory behaviour. CMAHRO will listen to concerns and provide general information related to their concerns, followed by a discussion of formal and informal options to address their concerns.

Further information on support services and resources are available on the CMAHRO website:



Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit students from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit staff from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit faculty from underrepresented groups?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to recruit students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

Waterloo has several ongoing programs to recruit indigenous students, students from Northern Ontario, and for Ontario Crown Wards. The University of Waterloo continues to partner with St. Paul’s University College and the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre to attended recruitment events targeted for indigenous students (such as the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Information Program). The University has also participated in tours through Northern Ontario to reach typically underserved and often marginalized populations, and has attended and participated in events that support recruitment for Ontario Crown Wards.

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs to support students from underrepresented groups on campus?:

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support faculty from underrepresented groups on campus?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

A wide range of programs are available through Counselling Services, the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre, The Glow Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity, and AccessAbility Services. Counselling Services provides a wide range of services available to any student at the University of Waterloo at no charge. These could include individual appoints in a private and confidential setting, seminars and workshops on cultivating resiliency, managing emotions, alleviating anxiety, developing self-compassion, stress reduction, and group therapy. The Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre provides services premised on understanding, respect, and trust, as well as a recognition of and sensitivity to the different cultural values and rights of Indigenous peoples and cultures. The Centre facilitates the sharing of Indigenous knowledge and provide culturally relevant information and support services for all members of the University of Waterloo community, including Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, staff, and faculty. AccessAbility Services provides academic support for students who have both permanent and temporary disabilities, including full-time, part-time, graduate and undergraduate students, as well as students completing a degree online.

Does the institution have training and development programs, teaching fellowships and/or other programs that specifically aim to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members:

Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:

Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Requests can be made to Housing to seek accommodation depending on the preference of the student, such as for a single room, or suite-style for more private washroom use.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.