Take some initiative towards a new student initiative

Looking to get involved outside of the classroom at U of T? You’re at the right place. The Student Life website, Ulife website (and of course lifeatuoft blog) are the right places to start looking. Have you already browsed the list of school organizations, but felt that something was missing and should be brought to campus? Sparked by the inspiration of UpbeaT blogger Dara's post earlier last month about getting involved with student clubs and organizations and Lori's post about the possibility of starting U of T's very own tobogganing club, I looked further into how one would go about starting a club, student organization or event on campus. While there are the basic steps of getting campus recognition at the desired level, there are also several opportunities offered that could get your ideas kick started. Everything starts with a good idea and can easily become a reality with dedicated planning and execution. Sometimes the question of where to start plus details of the “who, what when, why, and how” can become easily overwhelming. Hopefully with these steps, your dreams of kick starting a movement on campus can become a reality. So first, ask yourself the five W’s and I’ll attempt to fill you in on the “how”. Who? Your student organization should be for students, by students and that means you, of course! Alongside a strong team of core executive leaders your organization would be nothing without your team and the student body. What? Thinking of what the club is and what it does can be the hardest decision. Does your club focus on leisure, sports, or music? Is it an interest group? A charitable service group? What is it that drives the spirit of your student organization? Where? Right here on campus of course! Getting recognition can also get you bookings for campus space and will help planning for meetings, events, and other things that will require a location. When? If you want this to happen – start planning now! If you keep leaving it on the back burner it may just be tossed in a pile of “what ifs” and “maybes”. Who knows what impact you will be able to make by putting your plans into action today. Besides, with reading week coming up you are sure to find the spare time to start making an action plan. Why? If you think our campus is missing out on something that could be great for student life, this is your chance to shine and be the founder of something great. Plus, it’s great experience and even if it seems like you know nothing about starting a club now, you will certainly learn lots along the way. Now that you’ve asked yourself these basic questions and put a little thought into it, it’s time to get these ideas recognized. The Ulife website spells out the recognition process pretty easily in their website. After obtaining Ulife recognition you may apply for UTSU recognition when your organization becomes eligible. Don’t forget that you must reapply yearly! Starting a club at U of T requires time, dedication, commitment, and vision. The school recognizes the talent of its students and sponsors programs that seek to enable success in these endeavours. That’s where Hart House’s Good Ideas Fund comes in!

If your club, project or event is a good idea that fits the criteria, you could be eligible for funding. Not only is Hart House great for it’s Good Idea Fund, but the website also provides great resources for planning your own student event. Another great opportunity for funding is the Dean’s Student Initiatives Fund. This fund provides financial support for Faculty of Arts & Science students or student groups that propose an engaging and educational opportunity for students. The maximum value of support is $1000, and is offered twice a year each semester. These are only two funding options to make your dreams to start a student club come to life. It just takes some initiative to bring life to your very own student initiative. So if you've been thinking how great it would be to start that new U of T Justin Bieber fan club, then go for it! All it takes is the right amount of passion and planning. Okay, well maybe a Justin Bieber fan club wasn't the best example... but then again you should never say never! Right? Have a good reading week everyone! I know it's midterm season but hang on tight and just keep swimming! - Danielle

2 comments on “Take some initiative towards a new student initiative

  1. Can someone please tell me if students from other U of T colleges can join the student clubs of a college that he/she is not in. For example, can a Woodsworth College student join the student clubs at Trinity College?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *