The Students’ Union collectively represents tens of thousands of undergraduate students at the University of Calgary who come from an innumerable amount of diverse identities and backgrounds. To ensure the Students’ Union is appropriately equipped to include and advocate for all students it represents, this policy was created in the 77th SLC and reaffirms the SU’s commitment to the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
EDI INITIATIVES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY FUNDED THROUGH THE SU’S QUALITY MONEY PROGRAM
DECOLONIZING HEALTHCARE CONGRESS (2023)
Decolonizing Healthcare Congress will be an annual event hosted by the Indigenous Health Program and funded for the first five years. The Congress will aid in mobilizing investments and energies, namely in: 1) promoting authentic inclusion of Indigenous people and knowledge systems, and 2) building institutional capacity to address the underlying causes of health disparities arising from colonization. The Congress will purposefully welcome Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, leaders, learners, youth, and professionals, with the aim of holding ourselves and our institutions more accountable to moving towards decolonizing spaces in healthcare, while finding allies in other individuals and groups with similar goals.
WRITING SYMBOLS LODGE RED LODGE (STUDENT LOUNGE) RENOVATION (2023)
The Red Lodge provides a safe space for Indigenous students to gather in ceremony, socially, to study and to connect with staff and campus resources. This renovation will make improvements to the design and physical environment of the space, including modular and multi-purpose furnishings to allow the space to function effectively for ceremonies, cultural programs, and academic support programs, and décor that reflects Indigenous culture and create a meaningful gathering space for students and our Indigenous community on campus.
SPYHILL EXAM CENTRE (2023)
Students at Spyhill Campus have limited access to services and resources offered at other campuses, including Student Accessibility Services and designated quiet study spaces. The goal of this project is to renovate and furnish an exam centre to meet the needs of students requiring accommodation that also doubles as a quiet study space outside of exam times. The Spyhill Exam Centre will provide an inclusive physical environment that accommodates students with various learning needs.
MENTAL HEALTH BURSARY (2023)
The Mental Health Bursary is a $1,000 bursary to improve access to personal therapy and counselling appointments. This bursary will serve as a short-term source of funding that students can access to help offset the cost of privately funded therapy and counselling services beyond what the SU Wellness Centre is able to offer to students, and beyond what is covered by the SU Health and Dental Plan. This project will fill an important gap in currently available mental health services, improving access to therapy for students who might otherwise not have the necessary financial resources. Whether it be indigenous students, students with disabilities, or students from minority groups, this bursary has the ability to improve mental health awareness, advocacy and access for students of all backgrounds.
SU Able Award
The lack of access to financial awards, combined with a challenging employment landscape in our province, has made it especially difficult for students with disabilities to access and be able to afford a university education. The SU Able Award is the first student-led scholarship of its kind at the University of Calgary and will break down barriers for an equity-deserving group, make awards more accessible, and provide financial relief at a time where the cost of education continues to rise.
The issue that this project is proposing to address is the little-to-no opportunities for Indigenous students on our campus to access traditional awards in the current system. The project will award scholarships to undergraduate students who are Indigenous to Turtle Island and who have excelled as leaders within their communities, whether that be here on campus or in the larger community.
PRE-PATHWAYS TO EDUCATION FOR INDIGENOUS STUDENTS IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA
The Pre-pathways to Education for Indigenous Students in Southern Alberta will support Indigenous students who are applying to UCalgary and will cover the tuition and fees for Indigenous students taking three classes per term during the 2022-2023 academic year. On top of removing the significant financial barriers that Indigenous students face when entering postsecondary, this project will create new pathways for Indigenous students to upgrade their high school classes while enrolled in open studies and other supports.
NEURODIVERSITY IMMERSIVE CAMPUS EXPERIENCE
To better support the transition and success of neurodiverse students, it has been identified that a specific transition program would support the needs of this student group. This one-week transition program will provide neurodiverse students with an opportunity to gain familiarity with the campus setting, meet key student services providers and build community with fellow incoming students. The program will also focus on fostering student advocacy and a sense of belonging, providing key academic study strategies, and furthering equitable and inclusive learning conditions at the University of Calgary.
EMBRACING DIVERSITY IN MEDICINE THROUGH PUBLIC ART
There is a large statue of Hippocrates at the Foothills Campus captioned with “Father of Medicine.” While Hippocrates made substantial contributions to medical ethics, the statue ignores and diminishes the substantial contributions that Indigenous ways made to modern medicine. This project intends to highlight Indigenous ways in health, promote inclusion, and value different approaches to health through art. Two key components make up the project: (1) a large (40×70 feet) mural to be displayed in Cumming School of Medicine at Foothills Campus; and (2) an augmented reality overlay that will digitally bring the mural to life.
ELDERS IN RESIDENCE PROGRAM
The Elders in Residence program will provide culturally sensitive mental health services and offer a unique educational experience for Faculty of Nursing students to learn more about Indigenous perspectives on health. This education is particularly important for those pursuing a career in healthcare, as Indigenous knowledge sharing plays an integral role in building the capacity of healthcare providers working with the community.
MACEWAN BUILDING ACCESSIBLE AND GENDER-INCLUSIVE WASHROOM
This project will continue to address a significant gap in available washroom facilities in the MacEwan Building by renovating and making publicly available the current private, single-user washroom (MSC 293W) located behind the Coffee Company. This facility will address the specific needs of both differently abled and trans and gender non-confirming students, making the campus more welcoming for them.
MACEWAN BUILDING ACCESSIBLE AND GENDER-INCLUSIVE WASHROOM (2021)
This project will address a significant gap in available washroom facilities in the MacEwan Building by renovating and making publicly available the current private, single-user washroom (MSC 293W) located behind the Coffee Company. This facility will address the specific needs of both differently abled and trans and gender non-confirming students, making the campus more welcoming for them.
SU PRIDE SCHOLARSHIP (2021)
The money provided by Quality Money will create four annual scholarships that will go directly to University of Calgary students for the next five years. These individuals will be undergraduate students who have taken part in initiatives to serve the LGBTQ+ community and have shown positive leadership and volunteer capabilities. A separate category of community service with an emphasis on queer students with a financial need will also be established.
INCLUSION, DIVERSITY, AND EQUITY ADVOCACY (IDEA) AWARDS (2021)
The goal of this Quality Money project is to create Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Advocacy (IDEA) Awards that will recognize students who have dedicated themselves towards EDI initiatives. Two awards will be distributed per year over the course of five years to undergraduate students who demonstrate exemplary work in tackling EDI issues. Through their work these individuals will show both positive leadership and volunteer capabilities.
AFRICAN STUDIES PROGRAM EXPANSION (2021)
As a global intellectual hub in Canada’s most enterprising city, the University of Calgary must include a complete and exemplary African Studies program. Studying African history and current events gives a deeper understanding of world history and even modern Canadian history. To that end, this funding will be allocated for the next three academic years and will used to redesign the African Studies program and implement a series of courses for UCalgary students. In all, seven new African Studies courses will be launched, thus allowing students to pursue a minor in the subject.
ANTI-RACISM TRAINING FUND (2021)
This project aims to create a fund that will encourage clubs to hold anti-racism training for their executives, volunteers, and members, spreading greater awareness and knowledge about anti-racism within the University of Calgary. These grants will support student-initiated anti-racism training events, help students engage with their peers, and create safe spaces to discuss and learn about anti-racism.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT FINANCIAL NEED BURSARY (2021)
This project will offer bursaries intended to assist international students who are experiencing financial difficulties due to unforeseen circumstances and have no available options for securing short-term funds, where failure to address the situation could lead to an ongoing deteriorating financial situation that could disrupt the ability to meet basic needs. These bursaries are intended to bridge the potential funding gap that international students face in securing funds for unforeseen financial difficulties that could create an ongoing negative effect that is difficult to recover from.
FREE MENSTRUAL PRODUCTS IN MSC WASHROOMS (2021)
Undergraduate students typically fall into a high-risk demographic for experiencing period poverty: they are frequently between the ages of 18-25, have fewer sources of income, and are less likely to have regular/stable access to period products. In 2017, the SU launched a free period product program to help address period poverty on campus. This project will expand that program by installing free period product dispensers in all MacEwan Building washrooms.
EQUITY, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION SCHOLARSHIP (VIOLET KING ENGAGED SCHOLAR AWARD) (2021)
This project will create a sustainable scholarship for the BIPOC students on campus. It will provide for five scholarships per year for five years. The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Scholarships will serve an often vulnerable and financially disadvantaged group by easing financial barriers for BIPOC students. The recipients will be chosen from current undergraduate student applicants who have been struggling to acquire scholarships due to the lack of effective EDI policies in the process of creating, promoting, and selecting scholarship recipients.
UCALGARYCARES: INDIGENOUS LEADERSHIP AND ENGAGEMENT IN THE YUKON (2020, 2017, 2014)
The Indigenous Leadership and Engagement program connects Indigenous and non-Indigenous students for a unique service-learning experience in two First Nations communities. The program allows students across disciplines to explore Indigenous ways of knowing through an unconventional learning environment.
UCALGARYCARES: DIVERSIFYING PARTICIPATION IN EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING (2020, 2015)
This funding provides for approximately 25 bursaries per year to students who would otherwise be unable to participate in ucalgarycares programming for financial reasons. Bursaries will range from $100 to $1,200 per student depending on the program. This funding is specifically intended to increase the participation from First Nations, Metis, and Inuit students, international students, low-income students, commuter students, and residence students.
SERVICE-LEARNING PROGRAM FOR DIVERSITY (2020)
Service-Learning Program for Diversity is an optional offering in the Werklund School of Education. In this program, students spend at least three hours a week in a community agency working with diverse youth, which includes programs that serve children of youth from refugee and immigrant families, those with disabilities, Indigenous children and youth, and LGBTQ+ children and youth. Rather than seeing these children as a professional challenge for their future teaching careers, our students are invited to establish positive, healthy relationships with them in a way that focuses on their strengths and potential.
This project addresses the issue of providing relevant, culturally appropriate counseling to Indigenous students at the University of Calgary by training SU Wellness Centre staff in Indigenous Focusing-Oriented Therapy (IFOT).
TIYA DAGUMISASRY (2019, 2015, 2014)
To fully support and engage Aboriginal students both academically and personally, Tiya Dagumisasry (formerly the Aboriginal Student Success, Empowerment and Re-engagement Training, or ASSERT) was created in 2012. The Tiya Dagumisasry program encompasses a holistic approach to academic success, empowerment and self-development by providing academic and cultural guidance to Aboriginal students on campus. Through various student development workshops and training, and co-curricular activities, Tiya Dagumisasry encourages students to persevere through their challenges to complete their post-secondary programs.
ASK FIRST 2: CHALLENGING ATTITUDES AND BELIEFS (2018)
The Women’s Resource Centre and the Consent Awareness and Sexual Education club have paved the way for sexual violence prevention at the University of Calgary. This program dismantles prevailing sexist, ablest, racist and homophobic narratives that are normalized and repeatedly reinforced by cultural norms. The primary goal is to address how these beliefs and attitudes set the framework for a “continuum of threatened violence” that ranges from sexual remarks to unsolicited sexual touching. In doing so, the program works to ensure our community is free from harassment, discrimination and violence.
Q CENTRE PRIDE SCHOLARSHIP (2018)
This project created an LGBTQ+ scholarship administered through the SU Q Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity. In doing so, the Students’ Union became the first group on campus to provide a scholarship specifically for the queer community. These scholarships are meant to serve an often vulnerable and financially disadvantaged group who can make many positive changes to overall campus communities.
GENDER NEUTRAL/BARRIER FREE CHANGE ROOMS (2018)
This project built a gender neutral, barrier free change room in the Faculty of Kinesiology Block A so that gender non-conforming folk, persons with disabilities and caretakers, and families would have a place to comfortably change when accessing recreational facilities.
ELDERS AS TEACHERS (2016)
The Faculty of Social Work is committed to incorporating Aboriginal perspectives into the subject matter of all courses. This funding allowed for a minimum of three hours of Aboriginal content related to the theme of each course, taught by Indigenous and Aboriginal faculty that will be specially invited to campus to share their knowledge and experience.
PRAYER SPACE RENOVATIONS (2015)
There is a growing body of evidence indicating that religious accommodation contributes to the whole development of a student, including academic success. This funding allowed for the renovation of three existing multi-faith prayer and meditation spaces on campus (Large Prayer Room, MSC 317a; Small Prayer Room, MSC 317 and Meditation Room, MSC 373).
Q CENTRE RENOVATION (2014)
Since opening its doors in November 2010 the Q Centre has been crucial in nurturing diversity on campus and promoting awareness of the LGBTQ+ communities. The centre provides educational programs for the campus community, participates in advocacy campaigns and provides peer-based support to students. This funding allowed the centre to be relocated to a larger and more prominent space in the MacEwan Building.
INTERRELIGIOUS AND INTERCULTURAL DIVERSITY PROGRAM (2014)
The Interreligious and Intercultural Diversity Program provides research opportunities, academic and service learning in the areas of religion and public life, interreligious and intercultural dialogue and the role diversity programming plays in the success of the student experience at university.
ARABIC STUDIES (2013)
This funding allowed for the establishment of the Arabic Studies program in the Faculty of Arts, which included for-credit language courses and Islamic Civilizations courses that celebrate the diverse Muslim communities in Calgary and prepare students to understand the cultural context of the Middle Eastern region and to be global citizens both in Canada and internationally.
WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP PROGRAM (2013)
Funding provided to the Women’s Resource Centre sustained and expanded the Women’s Leadership Program that inspire women to recognize and realize their leadership potential by developing their capacity to clarify values and beliefs, communicate effectively, set goals, mentor one another, and recognize personal and professional achievements. The program connects young women at the university to strong female leaders and positive role models within the institutional and greater Calgary community.
ACCESSIBILITY IN RESIDENCE (2013)
This grant funded the costs for a consultation from a disability expert, accessibility audit, FOB activated automatic door openers, wall-switch operated automatic door operators, project management fees and the associated contingency fees. These changes contributed to making residence buildings comfortable and safe places for students who face physical challenges.
CANADIAN ROOTS EXCHANGE PROGRAM (2011, 2010)
Funding was provided for the Canadian Roots Exchange Program. This program provided an opportunity for University of Calgary students to embark on a nine-day road trip across three Northern Alberta Aboriginal communities, providing an opportunity for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal student interactions, shared learning and cultural understanding.