Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advocacy Policy 

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.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advocacy Policy

SU INITIATIVES THAT SUPPORT Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity

Scholarships, bursaries, and awards

  • Created an EDI award to recognize and reward anti-racism work being done by student clubs
  • Successfully fought for $2 million in needs-based bursaries for students through the university’s Tuition Reinvestment Bursary program.
  • Created scholarship and bursary opportunities for BIPOC students and for students working to combat racism

Collaboration across campus

  • Ongoing collaboration with the university community on EDI initiatives, including with Malinda Smith (Vice Provost EDI) and Michael Hart (Vice Provost Indigenous Engagement)
  • Created an EDI taskforce so that student concerns can be heard by the SU

Anti-racism and EDI policies

  • Created an EDI Advocacy Policy for the SU
  • Successfully advocated for an acknowledgement of intersectionality to be included in the university’s Sexual Violence Policy

Advocacy through an EDI lens

  • Ongoing advocacy regarding the use of Online Educational Resources (OERs).
  • Continued advocacy around scholarship and bursary criteria for students with learning disabilities and low income and BIPOC students.

Other anti-racism and EDI efforts throughout the SU

  • Initiating an internal review of the SU to ensure that systemic racism is addressed – the outcome of this review will include antiracism training for new and existing staff and the creation of an internal EDI strategy for the SU. Anti-racism training is planned for SLC and SU staff later this year
  • Amending the Teaching Excellence Awards criteria to consider how teachers address inclusivity in the classroom
  • Using SU social media to amplify anti-racism efforts by students all year long
  • Q Centre: SU Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity, which just celebrated its tenth anniversary, and its programming like Sex Week
  • Creating the only multi-stall gender inclusive washroom on campus (in Mac Hall, room 206W)
  • Ensuring the collection of race-based data in the annual SU survey
  • Continuing to fund student anti-racism and EDI initiatives through SU Clubs Special Event Funding
  • Sharing anti-racism and LGBTQIA+ positive resources on the SU website

EDI initiatives at the University of Calgary funded through the SU’s Quality Money program


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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 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).

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.


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.

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.

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.


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.


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).


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.

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.


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.

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.

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.


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.





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