Our Three Policies
At the Glow Centre, we value the identities, experiences, and privacy of centre users. We have established three specific policies, which are used by volunteers to ensure that a positive and welcoming environment can be accessed at any of the spaces Glow operates in. Our executive team and volunteers are committed to upholding these policies as members of a student service.
The work of Glow Centre volunteers is intended to be confidential. It is important to keep in mind that not all volunteers and visitors identify as queer, and that not everyone chooses to be open about their sexual orientation and/or gender identity to friends, family, and coworkers. It is important to respect the confidentiality of all individuals while volunteering with Glow and to avoid making assumptions about anyone’s identity.
To protect individuals that use Glow services:
- One must not discuss the details of any centre visit, telephone call, meeting request or similar confidential activities of Glow, whether the knowledge is based on direct participation or shared by another volunteer.
- Only volunteers are allowed to access the documents (e.g. log sheets, forms, and digital files) maintained by Glow.
- One must not discuss the personal content of any documentation maintained by Glow.
- During peer support hours only the volunteer holding the hour and the individual(s) receiving support are allowed in the Centre.
- One must not reveal information that would indicate that any individual is at all affiliated with The Glow centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity, without that individual’s consent. When encountering anyone met through Glow in another location, do not indicate any affiliation with that individual unless they give you consent to do so.
- Volunteers must not divulge the office hours of other volunteers.
Note: There are occasions in which volunteers may wish or be obligated to discuss their volunteering experiences with other individuals.
Volunteers are obligated to report directly to police and therefore break confidentiality, in the following circumstances:
- If an individual discloses abuse of a person under the age of 16.
- If an individual poses a serious risk of physical harm to themselves or others.
- If an individual discloses sexual abuse by a health professional.
- If a resident of a nursing home is in need of protection.
- If asked to do so by a judge.
Safe Space Policy
The Glow Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity aims to provide awareness, support, and education for queer and trans* folks as well as those who are questioning their identity within these communities. Since Glow seeks to serve and educate the queer and trans* community, creating spaces where anyone can feel comfortable to share their experiences and learn from other individuals is of utmost importance.
Glow encourages its volunteers, and those who interact with our service, to adhere to and constructively enforce the following principles:
- Respect your personal boundaries and the boundaries of others – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
- Speak up if something makes you uncomfortable. Communicate your needs, as you are able.
- Remember that you are welcome to take time away from the group or space should you feel that you need time alone.
- Ask for consent before engaging in physical contact. It is important to remember that consent is not always implied, even with those to whom one is typically very close.
- Avoid making assumptions about the identity and/or personal history of others.
- Respect the privacy of information, narratives, and experiences that other people share.
- Share an open and respectful learning environment with others present.
- Be aware of the effects of your own behaviour and take responsibility for what you say and do.
- Be open to being challenged by others if you make a mistake, remembering that everyone makes mistakes.
- Avoid attacking others when challenging them about the mistakes they have made.
- Avoid presenting your opinions and ideas as fact. This can be done by using “I” statements, e.g. “I feel…” “I think…”
These principles run on the underlying value of respect. When one is being respectful of others in the office or at an event, the overall atmosphere will be open and those present can extract the greatest benefit.
Principles adapted from TransACTION, a community group in Victoria, BC
- Inclusion Policy
The Glow Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity designates itself as an organization committed to promoting inclusion within the University of Waterloo and in the wider community.
All members of the Glow Centre (executive members, volunteers, and those who access the Centre’s services and events alike) are expected to promote the creation of an inclusive environment for all forms of diversity and identities, including – but not limited to – the queer community. Even within the queer community, trans-negativity, bi-negativity, and sexism surrounding queer identities continue to act as barriers to a fully inclusive environment.
The Glow Centre aims to be a leader among queer campus organizations in ensuring that its spaces are safe and inclusive. The Glow Centre is open and inviting to individuals of all sexual orientations and sexual/gender identities, and is also continuously seeking to improve its services and events to recognize and include awareness and education for all queer communities.
The Glow Centre recognizes that other forms of oppression such as racism, classism, ageism, ableism, religious prejudice, xenophobia, and others exist in the greater community. Those who represent Glow as volunteers and executives, and those who access the services and events, are expected to be respectful of all opinions and beliefs that any individual may hold. However, it is important to note that the expression of opinions, ideas, as well as actions, that are counter-productive to the creation of safe spaces within the Glow Centre or at the Glow Centre’s events are discouraged and will not be tolerated.