Glow is the oldest continually-running university-based 2SLGBTQ+ group in Canada dedicated to promoting healthy attitudes toward all sexual orientations and gender identities on campus at the University of Waterloo. Organized by Coordinators and run by dedicated Executives and Volunteers who provide a wide variety of peer support, social events, advocacy work, and resources. 

The Glow Centre is located on the third floor of the Student Life Centre in room 3103. Take the elevator or stairs by Brubakers to the 3rd floor and the centre is the second office on the left (just past the stairs). If you require any further directions, the knowledgeable staff at the Turnkey Desk in the Great Hall is available 24/7. 

Land Acknowledgements

The University of Waterloo and the Glow Centre are situated on the Haldimand Tract, land promised to the Haudenosaunee of the Six Nations of the Grand River, and is the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg, and Haudenosaunee peoples.

The teachings we hold around sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression, are largely westernized, and diverse expressions of gender and sexuality have long predated the colonization of Turtle Island. Since we have gathered around the premise of supporting the gender and sexually diverse students on our campus, we also want to acknowledge that we are fighting for rights to identities that have a history on these lands. Two-spirit people have existed on this land for thousands of years as revered members of their communities, but have been subjected to historical erasure by settlers.

The Glow Centre’s community was not the first gathering of queer and trans people on this land, and we do not claim to be. We acknowledge those who have been here before us and stand in solidarity with the local communities of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg, and Haudenosaunee peoples.


Trans Resources

Glow is committed to serving trans-identified and gender variant persons by making relevant resources accessible. If you or someone you know are having difficulty/have questions in accessing services and resources at the University of Waterloo please let Glow know (by whichever means you feel most comfortable – email, phone, in person) and we will do our best to find the information you are looking for.

This Google Drive contains information on legal name and sex designation change processes, medical transition, and other relevant information.

If there is information you would like to see added to this resource, feel free to email us or fill out our Anonymous Feedback Form.

Living off-campus can be a unique experience from living on-campus where there are supportive individuals in place to assist with any difficulties in your living situation.  If you are experiencing any difficulty with your off-campus living situation, please feel free to look to the following resources:

  • UW Off Campus Housing  – Department of UW Housing to assist students in finding off-campus accommodations, and providing students with resources and tips with leases, rental agreements, landlords, etc.
  • Student Resource Office   – Joint office between the Federation of Students and University of Waterloo to compile and provide resources students may find useful such as understanding their rights as tenants, where to access Legal Aid, etc.

UW Housing is can place students according to how they are comfortable (i.e. suite-style for more private washroom use/single room for privacy/etc.).  To ensure that you are comfortable with on-campus living arrangements:

  • Contact the UWaterloo Housing at – housing@uwaterloo.ca OR 519-888-4567 ext. 32679 – to let Housing know of your request.

If you would like to live in one of the University College Residences, you will need to contact them directly to ensure that they can accommodate your specific needs/requests.

If you are ever experiencing difficulty in your residence you can speak with your Don or the Residence Life Co-ordinator who are there to ensure the safety and success of students.

If you are part of the student health plan and you are taking hormones, the health plan will not automatically cover the cost of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). If you want the cost of your hormones covered under the student plan you can log in to http://www.ihaveaplan.ca/  and from there you can access a Restricted Drug Use Form. Alternatively you can get a copy of this form at Health Services. Then you just have to fill out the form and submit it to the Health Services office and then if the medical director approves, you will have the cost of your hormones covered.

To change your name after having enrolled at the University of Waterloo, complete a Change of Name Form and submit it to the Registrar’s Office (2nd Floor, Needles Hall).

  • If you have changed your name legally,  fill out the first page of the name change form and submit it with a photocopy of your government-issued change of name certificate.
  • If you have not changed your name legally, you will need to fill out the second page, have it signed by a Commissioner of Oaths and state why you are changing your name.  The Commissioners are free for students and located just above the Registrar’s Office.
    • TIP to save money:  Commissioners of Oaths can sign your legal name change  documents as well where it needs a Commissioner of Oaths!
  • In a few days your records (Quest, transcripts, Learn, WatCard (you may pick up a new one, similar to a change of Faculty), etc. will all be changed.   If you need to change your Quest user ID/email you will need to contact the computer center for your Faculty and they can set up a new Quest user ID/email account which corresponds with your name.

To change your records to accurately reflect your gender identity:

  • To change your student records to accurately reflect your gender identity, complete a Gender Update Form. In a few days your Quest record will be changed.

Inclusive Resources

Glow strives to build and educate on inclusive practices within the University of Waterloo and beyond. It is important for the 2SLGBTQ+ community to be inclusive of and recognize the intersectionality of racial, ethnic, religious, and other social identities. The Glow Centre has developed resources to share with the goal of promoting and educating based on these principles.

This guide defines terminologies relating to race and ethnicity – from concepts in race theory to historical terms and events. This is essential for learning about and participating in discussions around these topics.

View Inclusive Language Guide

This resource highlights and promotes different ethnic and religious 2SLGBTQ+ organizations from around the world. This document is a great way to connect with others and learn about experiences and perspectives from different identities within the community.

View Around the World Resource

Gender Neutral Washrooms

The Inclusive Bathroom Initiative, run by the Equity Office at the University of Waterloo, has been developing an action plan to create more inclusive bathrooms on campus. For the All-gender washrooms list, visit https://uwaterloo.ca/equity-diversity-inclusion-anti-racism/washrooms-list.

Glow Policies

The work of Glow Centre volunteers and present of centre users is intended to be confidential. It is important to keep in mind that not all volunteers and visitors identify as part of 2SLGBTQ+ community, 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 to Glow documents (e.g., log sheets, forms, and digital files).
  • No picture or videos are allowed without explicit consent.
  • One must not discuss the personal contents of any Glow documentation.
  • During peer support hours, only the volunteer providing peer support that 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.

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.
  • Assume people are always coming from a place of positive intent.
  • Share an open and respectful learning environment with others present.
  • Be aware of the effects of your own behavior 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.
  • Know that people sometimes make mistakes. Avoid attacking others when challenging them about the mistakes they have made, and use constructive criticism.
  • Avoid presenting your opinions and ideas as fact. This can be done by using “I” statements, e.g. “I feel…” “I think…”
  • Use gender neutral language and statements.

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.

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.


At the Glow Centre, we value the identities, experiences, and privacy of centre users. We have established three specific policies (confidentiality, safe space, and inclusion), 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 WUSA Student Run Service. View our Policies below.

Glow hosts regular events that are meant to be low key get togethers to meet new people, learn about current 2SLGBTQ+ issues, and have a little fun in a safe space. Events include movie nights, board game nights, and discussion circles on a particular topic. Upcoming event details will be posted on our Facebook and Instagram!

While our services are primarily targeted towards the UWaterloo campus community, Glow makes every effort to include the community at large, when possible. We encourage all students to be active in the queer and trans KW community! The city is full of resources and events, many of which you can find on Our Spectrum

Glow maintains a collection of books, magazines, movies, and TV series on DVD that are available for undergrads to access.

Borrowing Resources: Glow’s books may be borrowed by UWaterloo undergrads for a 120-day period by going to the Glow Centre to sign a resource out with your student number or by contacting the Operations Director. Books must be returned before the end of the term/last day of classes. Browse Glow’s book list to see what we have available. Let us know if you have book suggestions by emailing the Operations Director.

Other Resources: If you are looking for a specific title and we don’t have it, get in touch and one of our volunteers can try to help you track it down. The UWaterloo libraries, the city libraries Waterloo and Kitchener, the W Store, and many other local bookstores all carry small collections of queer titles.

Donating to the Library: Glow accepts donations of books, magazines, videos, music, and other resources from the general public. If you are interested in donating, please contact our Operations Director.