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U of T Student Equity Census

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Count Yourself In

Equity, diversity and inclusion are fundamental values at the University of Toronto. Building on U of T’s Statement on Equity, Diversity, and Excellence, we are committed to advancing equity within our practices and processes, and have launched the U of T Student Equity Census.

This Census is a tool that supports the University to better understand the demographics of our student population. The data we collect will be used to develop, assess, and maintain programs and initiatives that respond to the needs of our students. Through connections with other student-related data, we will be able to more effectively understand and improve the holistic experience of our students. This data will also help us to strengthen student recruitment efforts, accessand success strategies to address and eliminate barriers within our processes.   

Your identity is complex and personal – we understand and respect that. Your responses will be kept strictly confidential. Through the participation of all of our students, we will be able to better understand and address the systemic barriers that our students face. 

Advancing equity, diversity and inclusion is essential across the institution and we thank you for your participation and support for this ongoing and continuous effort. 

About the U of T Student Equity Census

The U of T Student Equity Census is a voluntary demographic data collection initiative that involves a set of seven questions, all of which are voluntary and include a “prefer not to answer” response option.  

Who should participate

All undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at the University of Toronto on a part-time or full-time basis. 

How to participate

Beginning November 16, 2020, students can log in to complete the U of T Student Equity Census. Simply log in using your UTORid and fill out your responses – it should only take about five minutes to complete. 

When to participate

The census launches on November 16, 2020. There is no deadline to complete the census – the information will be collected and updated on an ongoing basis. After submitting the census, you can log in to change or modify your responses at any time.  

Privacy & confidentiality

Participation is voluntary and the information you choose to share is determined by youAll questions are optional, with a “prefer not to answer” option available every time. Your responses aren’t anonymous, but the data collected will be kept strictly confidential.Only aggregate data will be used in reporting. 

As always, your privacy is protected. Learn more about how we’re keeping your information safe. 

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Excellence flourishes in an environment that embraces the broadest range of people and reflects local communities. The U of T Student Equity Census will support U of T’s commitment to creating inclusive working and learning environments through better understanding the characteristics of our student body.

  • All undergraduate and graduate students currently registered at the University of Toronto on a part-time or full-time basis on all three campuses. 

  • Students can log in to complete the U of T Student Equity Census anytime. Simply log in using your UTORid and fill out your responses – it should only take about five minutes to complete. 

  • Yes, you can log in again to change or modify your responses at any time. There is no deadline to complete the census – the information will be collected and updated on an ongoing basis. 

  • Each question has a “prefer not to answer” option, so you can use this if there is specific information you don’t want to share. As well, there is a “Clear all responses” button at the bottom of the form. You can change your responses at any time and your record will be updated. We don’t keep a historical record of your previous responses and any previous data you submitted will be removed. 

  • In the coming weeks we will establish an Advisory Roundtable on the U of T Student Equity Census. This group (which will include students, staff, and faculty) will review feedback on the census and provide guidance on how to best report, share and use this data for meaningful change. 

    Generally speaking, this data will help us to strengthen student recruitment efforts, access, and success strategies to address and eliminate barriers within our processes.

    We’ll share our findings because this information helps the University and our community partners understand and eliminate barriers to post-secondary education and ensure support for our student community. 

  • The information we gather will help us see who’s here and who isn’t – at the University in general, and in specific faculties and programs. It will let us know whether we’re adequately engaging and supporting students from diverse backgrounds, particularly those who are historically and currently underrepresented in post-secondary education. It will enable us to better understand the experience of students and how this might be impacted by the intersections of the various aspects of their identity.  

    Examples of action may include: 

    • Assessment of the effectiveness of student support programming and services. 
    • Increasing support for underrepresented student communities at the outreach, recruitment, and admissions stages, and throughout their time at the University. 
  • The census is gathering a broad range of demographic information – this includes information about gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, Indigeneity, race and ethnicity, and educational attainment of parents/guardians. This data will help us understand our student community and identify any gaps in representation and effectiveness of student support programming and services. 

  • Identity is personal and complex, so we looked at a wide variety of terminology and considered many ways to collect this information. For the most part, our terminology aligns with the language used by Statistics Canada. In every response, you have the opportunity to list how you want to identify, beyond the list of options provided. Terminology is fluid and you may change how you want to identify – that’s why you have the option to change your responses at any time. 

    You can also provide feedback on the census questions and the terminology used. You can do this on the form itself, or this can be done via email to vp.student@utoronto.caThrough the work of the Advisory Roundtable on the U of T Student Equity Censusother mechanisms for soliciting feedback on the census and the process will be developed.  Well review the census regularly to make sure it adequately reflects our community.  

  • The primary goal of this census is to gain a deeper understanding of the composition of our student community. The data we collect will help us to learn more about who isn’t currently represented in our community, but it will also show us how to provide better supports to our current student population. Your personal participation in the census is a way to be part of our collective action towards advancing equity for students across U of T. 

  • Data will be stored on secure University of Toronto servers and will be encrypted at all times.  

    The University of Toronto is committed to the protection of privacy and will safeguard your personal information in a way that is consistent with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). This includes all information provided through the U of T Student Equity Census.  

    Wwon’t use your information for other purposes, and it will never be associated with any academic or reprisal/disciplinary action. 

    If you have questions about privacy, please refer to the Governing Council website or contact the University Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Coordinator at McMurrich Building, room 104, 12 Queen’s Park Crescent West, Toronto, ON, M5S 1A8. 

  • No. The data you share with us won’t affect your academic record in any way, nor will it have any bearing on your eligibility for admission or registration to any U of T program. No professor, teaching assistant, or Academic Advisor will have access to this personal data. This data will never be used as part of the implementation of a policy associated with your academic progression. 

  • No. The U of T Equity Census is voluntary. However, we do encourage all students to complete the census because the more responses we receive, the more well learn about our student community, and the better we will be able to act based on the data.