The Student Equity & Diversity Census Explained

Posted by York & U on October 21, 2021

Student Life

Students and student-focused service areas across York have expressed a desire for a self-identification census to collect information that will help York identify barriers in services and policies. In response to this feedback, the University has launched the Student Equity & Diversity Census to gather the data. Recently, you may have received an email asking you to complete a student census. If you haven’t done it already, we encourage you to complete it as soon as you can.

If you have questions about the Census and still need to fill it out, send @StudentLifeYU a direct message on any one of their social media channels and they’ll be happy help you out. The team will make sure you get entered in the sweepstakes to win these amazing prizes! If you are already on campus for a class on Wednesday, Oct. 27 and have questions about the Census or still need to fill it out, visit the Census Day information booth between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Students walking and talking on York's campus

Complete the Student Equity & Diversity Census and win!

After completing the Census, you will be directed to an entry form where you can opt into a sweepstake for a chance to win some awesome prizes:

  • a Grand Prize of one iPad Pro valued at $1,529.00 CAD pre-tax; 
  • one of 10 Amazon gift cards valued at $100 CAD each;
  • one of 10 Uber Eats gift card valued at $50 CAD each;
  • one of 30 YU-Card flex dollars valued at $10 CAD each. 

What is the census meant for?

The 11-question Census is your opportunity to enable representation of equity-seeking groups. Your answers will help York learn about the diversity of its students to provide targeted services, resources and supports, and improved accessibility.

Asking about a person’s identity can be uncomfortable. Therefore, to ensure that the census is respectful of the varying points of view of racialized students, Indigenous students, women, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community, York consulted students and community members when developing the questions.

You will be asked some personal questions around your gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity and indigeneity, disability status, religion, place of birth, and level of education your parents received.

Your responses aren’t anonymous, but the data collected will be kept strictly confidential. 

You can read the Privacy Statement for more information.

Who needs to complete the census and is it accessible?

To ensure that the data collected is complete and consistent, all York University undergraduate and graduate students will be asked to complete the Student Equity & Diversity Census on an annual basis.

And yes, the format of all the Census questions is WCAG AA/508 accessible.

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How will this data help in understanding barriers for under-represented student groups?

The information gathered is the first step to seeing who’s here and who isn’t – at the University in general, and in specific faculties and programs. The census data will help York understand whether or not they’re adequately engaging and supporting students from diverse backgrounds, particularly those who are historically and currently under-represented. It will enable York to better understand your experiences as students and how various aspects of your identity are impacted through these experiences.

How will this information enable equity, diversity and inclusion values within our practices and processes?

York has many programs that support identified populations including our mature students, Black students, Indigenous students, undocumented students, LGBTQ students and students with accessibility needs. It is through these targeted services that York fosters student success. York acknowledges that it needs to do more.

The information collected through the census will identify factors that potentially contribute or reinforce systemic inequalities for student groups.

How will the Student Equity & Diversity Census results be used?

The information collected will be used to develop, assess, and maintain programs and initiatives that respond to your needs. This information will also help York strengthen student recruitment efforts, access to university education, and success strategies to understand barriers within our processes.

If you have more questions about the census or need privacy-related information, feel free to check out the Student Census FAQs page.