Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 74.42
Liaison Mary-Lee Townsend
Submission Date Feb. 1, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Western University
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 3.00 Rob Pigeon
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :

The non-discrimination statement, including the website URL where the policy is publicly accessible:


Every member of the University community has the right to work and study in an environment free from discrimination and harassment. To that end, the University has a number of policies, which apply to all students, prohibiting harassment and discrimination and supporting the accommodation of students with disabilities.

Further information and assistance with these policies can be obtained from the following offices:

Equity & Human Rights Services
Somerville House, Room 2319

Also see: Non-Discrimination/Harassment Policy available at: www.uwo.ca/univsec/mapp/section1/mapp135.pdf

Services for Students with Disabilities
Western Student Services Building, Room 4100
email: ssd@uwo.ca

Also: http://www.uwo.ca/equity/doc/diversity_inclusion_plan.pdf

Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team) to respond to and support those who have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination or hate crime?:

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team (including examples of actions taken during the previous three years):

Equity & Human Rights Services (EHRS) manages all discrimination responses and related issues (see the annual report / source for the following information http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/board/minutes/2010/r1009aud_ES_report_2010.pdf).

EHRS categorizes matters related to harassment and/or discrimination as either  complaints or consultations: 
Complaint:  Where a  formal complaint is filed pursuant to Western’s non-discrimination and harassment policies. Or where, a formal complaint has not been filed, but EHRS has taken an active and on‐going role in providing advice or assistance. 
Consultation:  Where EHRS is contacted for information or advice on a harassment, discrimination and/or equity‐related issue, but has not taken an active and on‐going role.  More than one 
consultation related to a matter may occur without a complaint file being opened.  A  consultation may also be a request for resources or equity‐based training.   

More information about specific examples of actions taken during previous years can be found at the above website.

The non-discrimination/Harassment Policy defining the terms by which disciplinary measures may be taken against an individual who has committed an act of discrimination can be found here:



Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit students from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit staff from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit faculty from underrepresented groups?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to recruit students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

Western focuses on improving retention and recruitment of faculty and staff members from diverse backgrounds through a variety of programs supported by the Equity & Human Rights Services:

- Employment Outreach: The University advertises all positions in media targeted at members within diverse groups. Western is also continuously developing relationships with external clients to introduce greater diversity within the university community.

- Training sessions and information packages: These employment equity and diversity tools have been developed for appointment committees and those involved in hiring and promotion decisions on campus

- Special initiatives to encourage the recruitment of women faculty members: Financial
support is provided to Faculties to assist with the recruitment and retention of tenured/probationary female academics. These funds may cover special expenses as well as support general recruitment and retention programs (e.g. mentoring programs in teaching or research).

- Coordinated central support for recruitment and retention of faculty members: Under the direction of the Vice-Provost (Policy, Planning and Faculty), the Office of Faculty Recruitment and Retention (OFRR) has been established. This office acts as a resource to prospective, new and current faculty members and their spouses/partners at Western. In addition to offering assistance with spousal/partner employment placement, the OFRR has information on a variety of topics, including housing, childcare and eldercare, healthcare, ethno-cultural programs and immigration.

With the release of its first ever "Indigenous Strategic Plan", Western University has identified as a priority to become a university of choice for Indigenous students, as well as increasing indigenous representation in staff and faculty complement.

Western University has had an Internationalization strategy for over 6 years, which led to the creation of Western International, an area dedicated to recruiting and supporting students from around the world, as well as providing opportunities for Canadian students to travel abroad.

Western also has staff and resources dedicated to the recruitment of Mature students, and supporting them throughout their studies at Western.

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs to support students from underrepresented groups on campus?:

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support faculty from underrepresented groups on campus?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

Western offers the following programs to support under-represented groups for students:

Indigenous Services offers a variety of services and programs designed to assist Indigenous students in succeeding at Western. Services are housed in the Learning Resource Centre which offers an up to date computer lab exclusively for Indigenous students, a job board, a quiet study area, and an archival collection of more than 1,200 books (available in Weldon Library), as well as a variety of other academic, research, and informational needs resources. Services include a Visiting Elder Program, a Cultural/Personal Counsellor, and administrative support to serve as liaison between students, the University and Indigenous communities.

Outreach and Recruitment Services provides presentations to high schools and community agencies/groups. Also, youth are offered three different summer camps, as well as ongoing sport and academic activities in partnership with the faculties. The new Indigenous Services-Health Sciences and Sciences Access/Transition Program offers student intensive, academic, and personal supports centered on a general first and second-year academic program.


Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) plays a central role in Western’s efforts to ensure that its academic programs are accessible for all students at the graduate and undergraduate levels. SSD arranges academic accommodation for classes, exams, internships and other course or program activities. SSD also provides digital and Braille textbooks, accessible campus transportation, learning strategy instruction for students with learning disabilities, access to computer labs that are equipped with assistive technology, referrals for assessments and other services, and bursaries for students who meet OSAP’s eligibility criteria.


PrideWestern is a University Students’ Council service dedicated to supporting gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirited, intersex, asexual, queer, questioning students at the University of Western Ontario. Run by students, PrideWestern provides support, organizes speakers, and events such as coffeehouses on and off-campus, discussion groups, and bi-weekly movie nights.


SDC's Psychological Services has several counselors with expertise in the provision of services to LGBTQ2 students. These services include assisting students with coming out issues, family matters, isolation, dealing with queer phobia, and many other concerns.


SDC's International and Exchange Student Centre offer a full range of services and programs specifically tailored to meet the needs of international students and enhance their academic, social, and cultural experience at the university.


The Women’s Issues Network is a service provided by the University Students Council at the University of Western Ontario. It is dedicated to recognizing, representing, and rectifying gender inequalities affecting students at Western.


Western also offers an Accessibility program, which helps students, staff and faculty with accessibility needs to be accommodated to be able to study and/or work.
Human rights and equity services at Western provides consultation and support services to staff and faculty from underrepresented groups

Ergonomics and rehabilitation services works with staff/faculty to accommodate special needs in the workplace.

Finally, Western works with Family Services Thames Valley to provide services through the Family Service Employee Assistance Program (FSEAP), which allows Western staff and faculty to have access to counselling and other support services.

Does the institution have training and development programs, teaching fellowships and/or other programs that specifically aim to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members:

Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:

Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Student Development Centre - http://www.sdc.uwo.ca/

University Students' Council - http://www.usc.uwo.ca/services.asp

Western's Caucus on Women's Issues - http://www.uwo.ca/wcwi/

UWO's Teaching Support Centre -

Faculty Mentor Program - http://www.uwo.ca/tsc/faculty_programs/faculty_mentor_program.html

Women's Issues Network at UWO - http://winuwo.ca/

Accessibility at Western - http://accessibility.uwo.ca/

Human Resource Services, Learning and Development - http://www.uwo.ca/hr/learning/index.html

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.