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University introduces first Student Diversity Self-ID survey

Confidential survey will help identify barriers to inclusion, shape university programming
By: Will Sloan
November 07, 2017
Students posing on Gould Street

Photo: The Student Diversity Self-ID survey will help give Ryerson a better sense of who is represented at the school and its faculties.

For a university to serve its students’ needs, it needs to know who its students are. That’s why Ryerson’s Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion is introducing the university’s first-ever Student Diversity Self-ID survey. This initiative is an opportunity to better understand the representation of equity groups in the undergraduate and graduate student population and in specific programs.

“I think it will help set a tone, and prove to be a leading initiative in the country,” said Denise O’Neil Green, vice-president, equity and community inclusion.

“It’s important to have that kind of data to inform decision-making. It’s also really the right time to do it. I think the time has come that universities are understanding that it’s important to have this kind of information, and it can be very useful to building a more inclusive organization.”

The survey will give Ryerson a better sense of who is represented at the school and its faculties. It will help the school to better identify barriers to inclusion for underrepresented groups, and guide policy and initiatives to remove them. It will also allow Ryerson to identify what groups have access to higher education and specific programs, and to better tailor its programming for the needs of distinct student populations. The survey will look at equity groups such as racialized people, Aboriginal Peoples, persons with disabilities, 2SLGBTQ+ people, and women.

The survey is now available and will take about two minutes to complete. Find it in your student RAMSS account under Student Centre/Student Diversity Self ID Questionnaire. All information collected will remain confidential, and only aggregate data will be reported. For most questions students can indicate how they choose to identify in addition to selecting from the groups listed. Participants may also select a “prefer not to answer” option for each question.

“We also hope to track our progress over time, and to share with our community so they can explore issues further and identify systemic barriers,” said Tamar Myers, director, strategic planning, assessment and special projects, in the Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion.

The survey follows in the footsteps of Ryerson’s Employee Diversity Self-ID survey, implemented for the first time in 2014.

Learn more about Ryerson’s employee and student Diversity Self-ID surveys at