MacEwan students now have the opportunity to share information that will help the university better meet the needs of its diverse student body.

Students can choose to add information to their personal profiles in the university’s student records system, identifying their gender identity, sexual orientation, visible minority status, ethnic/cultural background and any disabilities. The information will be collected confidentially to inform policies and more effectively plan and provide scholarships, student services and other programs to best serve the university community by reflecting its diversity.

“As a premier undergraduate university, we serve our community,” says Dr. Craig Monk, MacEwan’s provost and vice-president, Academic. “And to do that, we need to understand our campus community. Implementing this system allows us to support our students in ways that are most appropriate, productive and inclusive.”

Students can enter their demographic information by logging on to the MacEwan portal and navigating to their profile information. Participation is voluntary, and only student pronouns and chosen/preferred name will be visible to staff and faculty to ensure that class rosters contain accurate information and that students will be addressed in the way they choose. All other information will remain confidential, and will only be accessed as aggregated statistical data, with no personal identifying information attached.

In the past, MacEwan has used surveys to collect this type of data. The approach offered some insights, but had its drawbacks. “Surveys are good for providing a snapshot in time, but this change will allow us to view our current demographics in real time,” explains Irfan Chaudhry, director of the Office of Human Rights, Diversity and Equity. “That enables us to keep up with changes and be more responsive.”

When applications for the 2023/24 academic year open in October, prospective students will also have the option to add demographic information to their profiles.

“We look forward to gaining a more complete picture of our student body and continuing to use all of the tools at our disposal to create an outstanding university experience,” says Dr. Monk.

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