Trinity is renowned for its traditions - the gown-wearing and other activities that fascinate students at other colleges. However, these traditions are secondary to more important features of the community: its closeness, its diversity, and its strength.
Community in Residence
Approximately 430 students live in the College’s two residences and the population consists of a mix of upper and first year students. All first year students are guaranteed residence at the University of Toronto, and at Trinity this results in allocation of approximately 60% of our residence spaces to first year students (more than half of the first year class!), with the remaining 40% going to upper year students in a range of years of study. At Trinity, upper years play an important role in supporting the transition of incoming first year students into an established community. This is a unique feature of the Trinity residence experience in comparison to many Canadian universities, where the residence experience is limited to first year students and a small handful of returning student leaders. This mix of upper year and first year students results in a very cohesive and invested community, which is a hallmark of the Trinity experience.
The Commuter Student Experience
Trinity is also a home away from home to many very engaged students who do not live at the College. The Buttery is the main common use study lounge for commuters and is found on the main floor of the Gerald Larkin Building, Trinity’s academic building and home to the George Ignatieff Theatre (GIT). Located mid-way between Trinity and St. Hilda’s, this wheel-chair accessible building has a cafeteria, study space, a lounge, washrooms, events space, and even a fireplace. The relaxed setting makes it a perfect spot for informal meetings - from group-study sessions to tutoring sessions with Academic Dons, TAs.
The Larkin building is also host to the Non-Residence Affairs Committee (NRAC), a branch of student government which is dedicated to the support of commuting students – you will find their office (and the many supports and services they provide) in the Northwest corner of the Buttery. The office is overseen by the two elected Student Heads of NRAC.
NRAC Heads work independently to provide supports, programming and resources for students. They also work closely with the Office of the Dean of Students, Dean of Arts, Academic Dons, and other Administration to bring supportive programming to commuting students, always with the goal of encouraging engagement in College life. You can find much more information on the student-maintained website, Trinlife.
Student Government: The Trinity College Meeting
The highest body of student government at Trinity is the Trinity College Meeting (TCM), which operates as a direct democracy. Student governance at Trinity is very unique because it’s the only college in North America whose student governance is conducted by a body of which all the College’s students are members, rather than by an elected student council. Every student can bring forward motions, speak and vote at the TCM.
The TCM sets the social calendar for the year, reviews and amends student government documents, voices the general opinions of the student body, establishes and directs student clubs and holds annual student elections.
The TCM has various elected Officers (Chair, Secretary and Treasurer) that work on its behalf, as well as various boards and committees that help it work more effectively. The Auditor and Deputy Auditor also oversee all accounting books and financial accounts for levied clubs twice a year, while the CRO and DRO run annual spring elections.
Other important forms:
Major Social Events
There is a rich, vibrant social life at the College – from Orientation Week in September through to the many dances and formal balls. To this end, there is a tremendous degree of student leadership at Trinity – arguably another unique and wonderful feature of the Trinity student experience.
Events organized by student and student clubs include:
- Trinity College Frosh Week
- Saints’ Ball - The planning of Saints' is through the election of proposals from students interested in organizing the event. Held in November, the Saint’s Charity Ball includes a week of festivities leading up to the main event. Beginning with Saints Rush, asThe first of Trinity’s formal events, the Saints’ Charity Ball is always held in mid-November.
- Bubbly - Hosted by the Literary College Institute, the champagne formal is in Seeley Hall every December.
- The Athletic- Hosted by TCAA and SHAA in January.
- Conversat – The final formal of the year, Conversazione, is in Strachan Hall, and similar to Saints includes a week of festivities leading to the event.
Clubs and Organizations
It is often said that at Trinity there is a club or organization for everyone – and if there’s not, you can start one! Student clubs and budgets all operate via the TCM and the whole process is explained on Trinlife, as well as a full listing of clubs and contact information. Students have control over funds and budgets are approved via the TCM.
To learn more about how to start your own club and necessary documents, more information may be found here.
Levied Clubs at Trinity College include: The Literary Institute, Trinity College Volunteer Society, Trinity College Athletic Association (TCAA), St. Hilda's Atheletic Association (SHAA), The Trinity College Review, Finance Committee, Trinity College Dramatic Society (TCDS), Rainbow Trinity, Trinity College Environmental Society