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.
Each winter term, the student body elects 6 Heads of Students who will play an integral role in supporting the student life of the College for the coming year. There are male and female counterparts of each of Head of College, Head of Arts and Head of Non-Residence Affairs.
Heads are senior students and their roles include various components, such as:
- Delivery of social programming
- Representing the student body in advising the Dean of Students on policy and administration decisions
- Representing the student body on governance and other administrative bodies (e.g., Senate, Board of Trustees)
- Collaborating with Dons and Administration to deliver supportive programming
- Assisting the Dean of Students in various aspects of community oversight
Male Head of College – Sam Greene Female Head of College – Paulina Bogdanova
Male Head of Arts - Ben Crase Female Head of Arts – Melissa Beauregard
Male Head of NRAC – Enko Koceku Female Head of NRAC – Sarah Nankivell
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 also 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. Again, much more information is available on the official student government website, Trinlife.
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. Here, students organize all the major social events throughout the year, including Orientation Week, with general oversight from the Dean of Students’ Office. In some cases, proposals are elected via the TCM (e.g., “Saints Week” or Orientation Week) and in other cases specific student organizations take responsibility (e.g., the Lit hosts “Conversat”; TCAA/SHAA hosts “The Athletic”). The TCM and its committees work with the Student Heads to set the social calendar for the year, which is – you guessed it - also found on Trinlife. The best way to keep apprised of the many activites and events is to sign up for the students' listserv and to keep an eye on Trin This Week, also found on Trinlife.
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.
Trinity has a rich history of innovative and progressive work on the extra-curricular front: from the early days of the LGBTQ movement at UofT, to ReWire and sustainability, to Students for International Development and provision of overseas aid to impoverished communities.
There are several well-established levied clubs, such as the Lit (the oldest debating society in Canada), the Trinity College Dramatic Society (TCDS), and the newest levied club, Rainbow Trinity. Each year Trinity students support a World University Service Canada (WUSC) [link] student, produce an impressive Review (the Trin Review) and a yearbook. There are clubs supporting active political groups, clubs that support equity and equality, safety and well being, clubs that strive to teach skills such as photography, and clubs that are just plain social and fun!