Portrait of Keifer Snider, Coordinator of The Rainbow Centre at WLU.


On Mar. 6, 2024, Kiefer Snider, coordinator of the Rainbow Centre, and their team organized a counterprotest to the Heterodox Academy’s visit to the Laurier campus.  

Heterodox Academy is a membership organization that famously shares anti-queer and anti-trans rhetoric at post-secondary institutions.   

They stressed the need for more resources and support for queer and gender-diverse individuals. Snider worked closely with staff members at the Council for Student Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as well as the Associate Vice President of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to organize the counter-protest.  

“I think, in light of events like this, it’s even more important to celebrate our joy as queer people and be able to have those times where we can just enjoy ourselves, especially after times when our existence is challenged,” Snider said.  

Snider is a bisexual, aromantic and non-binary advocacy leader and master’s student in the Waterloo Region. Never one to shy away from a challenge, they have a strong drive to step up and speak out for others like them.   

Queer Youth Defense and other organizers in the community reached out to the Rainbow Youth Centre. More equipment and more community members became involved and brought sound equipment and speakers for the event. The day before, Snider hosted a small event at the Rainbow Centre where people could come in and make signs to bring to the counter-protest.   

As an advocate, Snider speaks on how the Laurier administration has not always been helpful concerning equity, diversity and inclusion work in general.  

During the counter-protest, they worked closely with their team to satisfy security and health planning without special constables’ presence.   

“I’ve worked with Spectrum a few times. I’ve done some talks each year with new students and with like queer leaders on campuses to talk about whether or not the university [Laurier] is a good fit for queer students, what things they need to look out for, what things they should avoid,” Snider said.   

Their goals for the Rainbow Centre include making it more inclusive to queer and trans folks of intersectional identities. Snider hopes to create a network between the collectives that exist within the Rainbow Center, such as the Black Students Association and Muslim Students Association, but also clubs like the Asian students association.   

“And being open to hearing our peers in other communities, I think is the best way to find [inclusion] because I’m white. So, I’m not going to know every place that people are going to experience those harms. I am disabled and I am queer and gender diverse. So, I can see those things. But I don’t always see everything,” Snider said.   

As the Rainbow Centre coordinator, Snider wants to collaborate with the Indigenous Students Association. They also hope to work with an organization that represents students who are disabled. The Palestinian Students Association ran events with the Rainbow Center, and Snider hopes to continue working with them and running more events in the future.   

“My academics is going to come through, but intersectionality is something that I tried to live and push through in my work as much as I push it through in my work that I do at the Rainbow Center as well,” Snider said.  

By diversifying the connections that the Rainbow Center has, they hope to educate more students on campus about their existence and the resources that the Center makes available. Snider wants the Rainbow Center to have a stronger presence on campus than it has historically had.  

By organizing more events, they want to encourage more support from in and around campus.