Western University’s first-ever stock survey results show that the university has a more diverse student body than stereotypes suggest, but Indigenous students continue to be underrepresented.
Western University Equity Research will begin collecting data in the fall of 2021. Response rates were 25% for students, 54% for staff, and 34% for faculty.
The school’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization Working Group led the census as part of a nationwide response to the lack of race-based data collected by Canadian universities. did.
There are varying opinions online about what the typical Western student looks like. Whites and blondes to name a few. As Vice says, if you go to the West, “You’re probably white. And rich.”
However, about 49% of Western student respondents identified themselves as a visible minority, compared with 40% of undergraduates and graduate students nationally, according to the university’s Equity Census. 45% raw.
This finding also holds true when compared to the U15 Schools, a federation of 15 Canadian public research universities, including McMaster University, Queen’s University and the University of Waterloo. non-white.
However, many schools are still in the process of completing the census or have yet to release racial demographic data.
While the Equity Census data does some help disproving the stereotype that Westerners lack racial diversity, the Census points out that Indigenous students are underrepresented. I’m here.
Approximately 2% of student respondents identified as indigenous. Of the 2%, the majority (54%) were identified as indigenous, 27% as Metis and 2% as Inuit.
About 3% of Canadian college students identify as indigenous, according to national data. In Ontario, he 4% of young people aged 15 to her 24 are Aboriginal.
The available data on the proportion of students who identify as indigenous shows that the West is comparable to comparable institutions.
Christy Bressette, vice president of Western University and vice president of Indigenous Initiatives, said having more Indigenous students on campus would be a “welcome enhancement” to the Indigenous student experience. .
“The larger the group, the greater the feeling of being welcomed in the West, the more opportunities to interact with fellow Indigenous students, and the greater cultural, social and personal support,” she said. Bressette herself was one of the first indigenous women from the West to receive a doctorate in educational studies.
Indigenous students at Western University now have access to the Indigenous Student Center, which aims to foster safe spaces for communities and Indigenous students on campus through staff, programming and physical locations. I can do it.
ISC also works with the Indigenous Students Association, the University Council’s Indigenous Relations Coordinator, and the Aboriginal Alumni Advancement Coordinator.
Bressette said Indigenous teachers are “key leaders” in the process of creating welcoming and inclusive environments by integrating Indigenous “knowledge and action” methods into the curriculum. .
In 2021, Western University has added four Indigenous faculty members and has begun the process of hiring up to eight Indigenous faculty members, including two Canadian Studies Chairs.
Ultimately, Western University’s students may not be as white as its reputation suggests, but the university, as the authors of the Stock Study write, calls Western University “the school of choice for Indigenous students.” There is still work to be done to make