life @ UofT st. george 13.14
kickstart your university career!
Kickstart 2013 september 3 to 13
2. 4. 6.
Everything you need to know about being a student at U of T FREE orientation open to all students Alternative and supplement to college/faculty orientation Meet other students Build academic skills Get involved in campus life Events include: The Essentials, mock lectures, upper-year panel, academic success workshops and more
www.kickstart.utoronto.ca Some events are eligible for the Blueprint program. Visit www.blueprint.utoronto.ca for details.
table of contents
hello meet Abdullah get started
Learn about people, programs and resources that will help you get off to a good start.
16. meet Katrina 18. meet Melina 20. get involved
Discover the possibilities! Thereâ€™s no better place to explore your interests and follow your passions.
26. meet Michael 28. meet Stephen 30. get support
Get familiar with the health, academic and personal support services on campus.
32. important websites
hello! We’re Stephen, Melina, Michael, Abdullah and Katrina and we are the Student Life Community Crew. The Community Crew is here to help you find your place at U of T, whether by getting involved in campus or getting help when you need it. This guide is a great place to start.
As you flip through these pages, you’ll see our stories about starting off at U of T. Each of us found our niche in different ways, and you will too. This is your chance to build your own experience. Take the time to get involved in something that you love – it will bring you joy, perspective, and new friends that you will have for the rest of your life. We want to hear your voices as you move through your first year at U of T. Keep in touch with us on our blog, Facebook or Twitter as you embark on a journey of challenges and triumphs.
go ahead, say hello, and share your stories with us! Connect with the Student Life Community Crew on Facebook: Life at U of T: St. George
“I like that U of T has a big campus with many green spaces. Since I often spend a lot of time on campus, it’s nice to know that I can hang out with friends and relax a bit between classes or during breaks.”
“U of T has a lot of thriving cultural groups that you can be a part of right from the beginning. My involvement with the Multi-Faith Centre allowed me to make new friends and discuss ideas that I am passionate about.”
For Abdullah, being at U of T has meant making connections with others around him. Abdullah’s experience started the summer before his first year. He got in touch with a campus association and started forming relationships. Now heading into his third year, he’s made lasting friendships, taken a leadership role in student politics and is now in his second year as a member of the Community Crew!
“This year I joined the Arts and Science Students' Union, which has been an amazing experience. When I started at U of T, I had no idea about postsecondary issues. I found my niche in learning about and advocating for key issues that affect student life. It was a challenge to balance my association involvement with my studies – but it paid off.”
“Experiencing growth is a huge part of campus life. In my first year, I did not always get the grade that I expected. I learned to acknowledge my setbacks and be productive about finding solutions and alternatives. Your experience at U of T really is what you make of it!” 4.
“Involving myself on campus at U of T right from the beginning allowed me to build structure and foundation into my life here. As a commuter, one challenge I faced was building community and making friends. I did so by making connections outside of the classroom. I realized that the more I participated in activities that I loved, the more I found my niche on campus.”
Connect with Abdullah and the rest of the Student Life Community Crew on Facebook: Life at U of T: St. George. 5.
the TCard - your key to campus
get started start navigating
Your TCard (uoft.me/tcard) is more than just your U of T identification. You can load up cash for things such as food or photocopying. Bring your offer letter and a piece of government identification to get yours.
Your UTmail+ account is important – that’s the address the University will use to communicate essential information with you. Activate your UTORid (your key to several important online services at U of T) at utorid.utoronto.ca and then set up UTmail+ at email.utoronto.ca.
Now that you’re part of the U of T community, start exploring! Here are a few ideas to help orient yourself.
visit your registrar’s office
So what, exactly, is a registrar? Simply put, your registrar is in charge of the office you can visit for just about any help you need on campus, especially academic and financial questions. But whatever it is you need, your registrar can point you in the right direction. To find your registrar, visit uoft.me/registrars.
get on the mentor-ship
Two heads are better than one, especially when everything is so new. At U of T, there are many programs that match upper-year students with first-years. These programs can help you with everything from study strategies to finding great places to study or relax on campus. So visit mentorship.utoronto.ca to find a good match.
find a favourite library
Chances are youâ€™ll be spending a lot of time in a library. Good thing U of T has more than 50 of them. Explore a little, you may just find that perfect nook for studying or group work. Get a quick orientation at uoft.me/libraryorientation.
Save money on everything you need for classes. The U of T Bookstore offers discounted and used textbooks and a textbook rental program that can save you up to 80%. You can also get special student pricing on computers and software at the Computer Shop. While you're there, pick up some clothing to show your U of T pride. uoft.bookstore.com.
There are more than 40 places to buy food on the St. George campus. Students can sign up for a mealplan (mealplan.utoronto.ca) which gives you a discounted price and the convenience of using your TCard to pay. For more about food services, visit ueat.utoronto.ca. If you bring your meal from home, you can always find a microwave to heat it up. To find a microwave or a place to eat, see the food layer of the campus map at map.utoronto.ca/food.
meet the map
You never have to be lost, thanks to our interactive campus map. It will even give you directions! Find it on the web at map.utoronto.ca, or download the free U of T Map app for Android or Apple.
As a student, you have free access to our campus wireless network. For full instructions, visit wireless.utoronto.ca.
make the most of your commute Some come from farther away than others, but most students commute to campus.
get a discounted student pass You can get your TTC Metropass for a reduced rate at the University of Toronto Students' Union (utsu.ca). Go Transit student ID cards are available at the TCard office (uoft.me/tcard). try two wheels If you don’t have a bicycle of your own, you can get a discount with bike-rental service BIXI from the University of Toronto Students’ Union. It’s a convenient and inexpensive way to get around downtown Toronto and the St. George campus. shuttle off to UTM You can catch a shuttle to University of Toronto Mississauga several times a day from Hart House Circle. uoft.me/utmshuttle get involved Students who get involved tend to do better in school overall. Make sure you get the full U of T experience by spending time on campus outside of the classroom. use your transit time If your commute is long, use it to study or to relax. Start a blog on your commuting experiences. Get a high score on a game! (Just remember your headphones.) get a locker Check with your registrar or student council to see about locker rentals so you can have a place to drop your stuff. bring lunch There are microwaves all over campus, so you can save money by heating up your own lunch when you get here. Find them at map.utoronto.ca/food. If you expect to buy food on campus, get yourself a mealplan (mealpan.utoronto.ca). 12.
You can be a part of the U of T community even before your classes start!
Clubs and student groups are the backbone of life at U of T. Ulife (ulife.utoronto.ca) is your place to find ways to get involved on campus.
Orientation (uoft.me/orientation) gives you a chance to make friends and learn about campus life at U of T. Your college or faculty will host an orientation, and you can also participate in Kickstart (www.kickstart.utoronto.ca), for students who are looking for an alternative to their college or faculty orientation, are unable to attend their full orientation, or would just like to explore more of what is available. There are also special orientations for international students, students with a disability and LGBTQ students.
sign up with Blueprint
Power up your academic, career and leadership skills. Find out more at www.blueprint.utoronto.ca. 14.
let’s talk online!
Say hello on social media! Talk to the Community Crew on our Life @ U of T blog or our Facebook page. We’ll also be connecting with new students on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #startUofT! Say hello and tell us how it’s going!
lifeatuoft.utoronto.ca facebook.com/lifeatuoftstgeorge twitter.com/lifeatuoft instagram.com/lifeatuoft 15.
“Asking for help sooner than later really made a difference in my success as a student. During the first semester of my first year, my grades were falling behind. I wasn’t sure how to study better, so I started going to the Academic Success Centre at my college. I learned about various writing centre help sessions and about time management workshops. After a few sessions, I was well on my way.”
Katrina “Since I’m an international student, I didn’t know anybody when I started at U of T. But I made some amazing friendships, and it grew from there. I even met other students from my hometown. I never dreamed I’d be able to meet so many people from all over the world, let alone my own city!”
In her first year at U of T, Katrina set out to find the community that fit her best. “You have to keep an open mind,” she says. Katrina introduced herself to a lot of different people, which exposed her to a wider range of interests. For Katrina, change is the only constant: she realized that she is always learning about herself. “You can’t worry too much about fitting into just one group,” she says. “There are so many out there to belong to.” 16.
“I love sports, but I was a bit hesitant in taking on too much in my first year. After all, I was already juggling labs, papers, and my involvement in my college. But I wanted to stay active, so I joined intramural sports. The more involved I became in sports and school activities, the better I did in my academic work.”
“This year, I took the step of seeing my professor during office hours and asked about summer research opportunities. And I got a job! As a Neuroscience major, my classes were always big, and I was intimidated by my professors in my first year. It took a while, but I realized that all I had to do was get out there and ask for what I needed.”
“I’m so glad I participated in Orientation week, especially since Toronto was a new city for me. I met so many new people, and made friends that are still a part of my life today.”
Connect with Katrina and the rest of the Student Life Community Crew on Facebook: Life at U of T: St. George. 17.
“I’ve discovered some great places on campus such as Innis Café, which offers healthy vegan meals and snacks. Since I commute, I was concerned about how I might manage making food for myself while also handling the demands of my classes. Thanks to this, I get a break from preparing food now and then!”
“There are just so many ways to get creative on campus. I love photography and creative writing, and I wanted to continue exploring these passions. I learned that U of T has a darkroom available to students. So I’ve been able to continue improving my photography skills, while still managing my schoolwork. ”
Before arriving at U of T, Melina asked herself, “How can I get the most out of this?” She decided that one way was to take courses that were not part of her major, and to explore the full U of T experience. She might have got lost a few times in first year – “I found out it’s much easier to ask for buildings by name than by address,” she says with a laugh – but she doesn’t regret the exploration.
“This year I was able to delve into my passion for poetry when my friends and I decided to create a poetry club. There are so many clubs at U of T, and if you can’t find the one you’re looking for, you can start your own!”
“I commute to school each day, but I wanted to find a way to make the most of U of T’s bike-friendly campus. I use my bike on campus during the day and store it at my college overnight. It’s a great way to explore U of T and makes getting to classes easier.”
“One of the things I really appreciate about U of T is the number of opportunities to be active. I began taking ballet classes again this year, after a 10-year gap. Hart House offers wonderful classes that allow you to get fit and have fun at the same time.”
Connect with Melina and the rest of the Student Life Community Crew on Facebook: Life at U of T: St. George. 19.
get involved successful students get involved! You have joined a world-class academic institution, and that means you will be studying with some of the greatest minds in the world. It also means you will have limitless opportunities to explore your passions and discover new ones. By getting involved, you’ll meet friends, have fun and develop skills that will help you in whatever career you choose. The new Co-Curricular Record (ccr.utoronto.ca) can help you find opportunities, and more importantly, understand the skills and abilities you’ve acquired just by doing what you love. And it will all be recorded on an official U of T document that recognizes how awesome you are.
take a leap and discover something new! 20.
It’s amazing what can happen by striking up a conversation. Introduce yourself to someone you don’t know – a classmate, a professor or a staff member. The people you get to know here can become friends and supporters throughout the rest of your life.
spend time with your faculty or college
Your faculty or your college is your home base on campus, and it’s your starting place for finding new friends and opportunities to get involved.
Hart House (harthouse.ca), the Athletic Centre (uoft.me/athleticcentre) and the Varsity Centre (uoft.me/varsitycentre) are all great places to get moving. Work out, join a class or sign up for one of the many intramural sports teams (uoftintramurals.ca).
Explore galleries, theatres, film nights, literary journals – the list goes on. Find out more at www.arts.utoronto.ca.
Run for student government. It’s a great way to get involved and make a difference for your fellow students. All faculties and colleges have opportunities for you to run for an elected position. You don’t even need to win – you’ll learn so much and meet so many people just by campaigning.
You can get involved in more ways than you can imagine. Whether your passion is student politics, the arts, diversity, equity, sports, social justice, community service, spirituality or some combination of any of these, there’s something here for you. Here are just a few examples: Campus media, such as U of T’s radio station, a student-run blog, an online television channel and several campus newspapers Intramural sports at the faculties, residences and colleges Groups for every major faith and opportunities for interfaith dialogue Countless opportunities to contribute to the community through volunteering or other community service If you can’t find what excites you, start a group of your own! Find out more on Ulife (ulife.utoronto.ca), which lists hundreds of campus groups run by students. 22.
You are a Varsity Blue! So show your school pride every chance you get. Wear your Varsity Blues clothing, and use the #bleedblue hashtag on Twitter. Your TCard (uoft.me/tcard) is your free ticket to all Varsity Blues (varsityblues.ca) home games, so come out and support your favourite team. You can even sign up for the Varsity Rewards program to earn points towards great prizes!
try something different
Your campus has events every single day. Try attending an event that addresses something you don’t know much about. You’ll meet new people and perhaps discover a new passion. Visit events.utoronto.ca to find activities for just about every interest.
International experience will help you learn more about the world, and yourself. Exchange programs are unique opportunites to immerse yourself in a new culture while earning academic credit. Visit the Centre for International Experience (cie.utoronto.ca) to find out more.
Your hard work outside the classroom deserves to be recognized. U of T now has a Co-Curricular Record, which will give you an opportunity to seek out involvement opportunities, and have them recorded on an official U of T document. You’ll also be able to identify the skills and abilities you’ve developed as a result of your involvement. Which is great when you’re meeting with possible employers – you’ll be able to tell them exactly why you are so awesome. ccr.utoronto.ca
“The Engineering faculty helps a lot with juggling classes and workload. At first I felt overwhelmed, but I had access to tutors and study sessions that were really helpful. And the Engineering Society holds many events throughout the year that help relieve exam stress.”
Michael Michael’s older sister loved U of T so much that he knew he had to come here himself. But he still wasn’t sure what to expect. So he joined a performance club right away to meet people and get familiar with his new surroundings. “The campus became my new home,” he says. Today, he’s often the first in line to get tickets for the next play at Hart House or try any new dish being served at one of the food trucks around the campus.
“U of T has a beautiful campus and a rich history. When I need to destress, walking on campus calms me down. I especially like the idea of contributing my own story to the University’s great history.”
“Taking a break from studying and going to the gym is a great way for me to regain focus and motivation. I never used to go to the gym before I started university. One day I decided to check out the Hart House gym, and I got hooked!” 26.
Connect with Michael and the rest of the Student Life Community Crew on Facebook: Life at U of T: St. George.
“Soon after I started first year, I got involved with the group Power to Change. I met so many people with similar interests! This was a relief for me, since before I started at U of T, I was nervous about making friends. After all, I was about to attend a huge university in the middle of the biggest city in Canada. U of T is such a colourful school filled with amazing people – it was no problem for me to find a group of my own!”
“Living in residence gave me a chance to really get a feel for U of T. I loved meeting people, but I had to learn how to strike a balance between socializing and hitting the books. Getting my study time out of the way before hanging out with friends was one strategy that worked for me.”
Stephen came to U of T fully expecting to major in International Law, but when he discovered English Literature, he knew he’d found his academic passion. First year is full of surprises like that, he says: what you really want to do isn’t always what you first expected. If he’s not studying, Stephen is sharing laughs with his college’s comedy group or biking around campus with his trusty coffee mug in tow.
“I love using my bike on campus. Bikechain is a great bike shop that is all about teaching you to care for your bike. So far, I have learned to fix my brakes, change wheels, and repair broken chains. Not only that, I’ve met amazing people who also love biking adventures.”
“There are lots of ways to involve yourself in creative activities here. Getting involved in sketch comedy at U of T allowed me to make really strong friendships, and explore new ways of expressing myself. I had never explored theatre before first year, and I am so glad I took a chance. Being a part of The Bob (Victoria College’s comedy troupe) has definitely been a highlight of my university experience so far.”
“I enjoy finding great places on campus for good coffee and food options. Diabolo’s is one of my favourites. When I need a quick break, or want to catch up with friends, I usually make my way there.”
Connect with Stephen and the rest of the Student Life Community Crew on Facebook: Life at U of T: St. George. 28.
“This summer, I took on a job as a groundsman at Victoria College. I've learned to love gardening. It's awesome to be out in the sun all day, and I am lucky to work with great people. Working as a groundsman has allowed me to learn new skills and work in ways that I would not have dreamed of doing before!”
“When I have some serious studying to do, I take advantage of the libraries on campus. There are just as many quiet spaces as there are students, and you can find your favorite spot to get your work done. I especially enjoy the resources that Robarts has to offer for my program of study. It’s great to get to know which library suits you best.” 29.
get support You are the star of your own life, and you’re going to need a good supporting cast. You’ll find support everywhere on campus. Start with your registrar’s office. The staff there can help you with course selections, student loan and scholarship questions, personal issues, writing and math aid centres and much more. They can also refer you to other services if you need them. You can also build your supporting cast just by getting out there. Explore the campus. Try something new. Meet new people. Be active. Contribute something to the community. The more you explore, the more friends you’ll make, the more you’ll know about the services, and the more you’ll know how to get what you need when you need it. Browse the important websites (page 36) and discover the many services that will serve as your advocates and your cheerleaders. They’re here to hold you up when you struggle and help you grow when you’re ready.
For more information or to answer any questions about any of these services, please visit
Where can I get my TCard?
University of Toronto Studentsâ€™ Union (UTSU) utsu.ca
welcome aboard! weâ€™d like to help you get familiar with U of T as you begin your year. here are some resources to help you get started.
Food Map map.utoronto.ca/food
Information Commons: Robarts Library
Learning Portal/Blackboard Student Web Services
Libraries at U of T
JP Robarts Research Library
Mentorship Resource Centre
St. George Interactive Map
New Student Website
Student Life Community Crew
Student Life Programs and Services studentlife.utoronto.ca
TCard Office uoft.me/tcard
Orientation Information: uoft.me/orientation
UTM/UTSC Campus maps uoft.me/campusmaps
Facebook: facebook.com/lifeatuoftstgeorge Twitter: twitter.com/lifeatuoft Blog: lifeatuoft.utoronto.ca Instagram: instagram.com/lifeatuoft
Ulife (Clubs + student organizations directory) ulife.utoronto.ca
Discounted BIXI memberships
Library Tours and Orientation onesearch.library.utoronto.ca/tours uoft.me/robartslibrary
Gerstein Science Information Centre uoft.me/gersteinlibrary
gotransit.com Go Transit Student ID card: uoft.me/tcard
www.utoronto.ca/ic portal.utoronto.ca (ROSI, Degree Explorer, Course Finder) www.rosi.utoronto.ca
UTORid your key to U of T web-based services utorid.utoronto.ca
Wireless Access wireless.utoronto.ca
Parking Services uoft.me/parking
Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) ttc.ca
Discounted TTC passes University of Toronto Students' Union (UTSU) utsu.ca
get involved the possibilities are endless at U of T. browse these websites to find your niche. arts + culture
faith + spirituality
leadership + governance
The Multi-Faith Centre for Spiritual Study & Practice
Exploring Leadership Program
Multi-Faith Spaces @ U of T
The Faculty of Music
Hart House Board of Stewards
Poet in Community
Religious Diversity Youth Leadership Project
Centre for Community Partnerships
Centre for International Experience cie.utoronto.ca
Summer Abroad Program
Religious Diversity Youth Leadership Project www.rdyl.utoronto.ca
diversity + equity
Accessibility Services accessibility.utoronto.ca
Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office www.antiracism.utoronto.ca
Sexual and Gender Diversity Office www.sgdo.utoronto.ca
Family Care Office www.familycare.utoronto.ca
environment & sustainability Sustainability Office
Campus Chaplains Association
jobs on campus
Council of Athletics & Recreation
sports and recreation
Hart House Clubs and Committees Harthouse.ca/getinvolved
Sussex Clubhouse uoft.me/sussex
Ulife Clubs + Student Organizations Directory ulife.utoronto.ca
University of Toronto Students' Union (UTSU) Clubs utsu.ca
student media BlogUT
The Athletic Centre
U of Tâ€™s student newspaper thevarsity.ca
Varsity Blues Athletics
University of Toronto Television
Athletic and Varsity Centres
Work-Study Program uoft.me/workstudy
U of T Libraries uoft.me/libraryjobs
U of T Bookstore uoftbookstore.com
Association of Part-Time Undergraduate Students (APUS) www.apus.utoronto.ca
University of Toronto Students' Union (UTSU) utsu.ca
How do I find a job on campus?
For more information or to answer any questions about any of these services, please visit
Community Safety Office
The Positive Space Campaign
get to know the support services available on campus so that you can get what you need when you need it.
Emergency Alerts alert.utoronto.ca/callme
students with disability
Online Safety & Harassment
Sexual Harassment Office www.utoronto.ca/sho
Walksmart Service uoft.me/walksmart
academic support services Academic Success Centre asc.utoronto.ca
Accessibility Services accessibility.utoronto.ca
Grief Support www.griefsupport.utoronto.ca
Health & Dental Insurance
Math Aid Centres
University of Toronto Students' Union (UTSU) utsu.ca Association of Part-Time Undergraduate Studnets (APUS) www.apus.utoronto.ca
University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)
U of T Librairies
Engineering Communications Program (ECP) uoft.me/engcp
Writing Centres writing.utoronto.ca
english language support
English Communication Program (Centre for International Experience) uoft.me/cieecp
School of Continuing Studies (English Language Program) uoft.me/esl
health + wellness
Health and Wellness Services healthandwellness.utoronto.ca
Dental Service uoft.me/dentalclinic
Assault Counselling uoft.me/assaultcounselling
Housing Services housing.utoronto.ca
Student Family Housing studentfamilyhousing.utoronto.ca
money matters Your Registrar uoft.me/registrar
Financial Aid and Awards apply.utoronto.ca
Student Accounts www.fees.utoronto.ca
University of Toronto Advance Planning for Students (UTAPS) uoft.me/utaps
University of Toronto Bookstore and Computer Shop
Sexual & Gender Diversity Office (SGDO)
Working Alone Service www.campuspolice.utoronto.ca/safety
rights and responsibilities
Accessibility Services Library Services uoft.me/disabilityservices
students with family responsibilities Childcare Services uoft.me/childcare
Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education Kids Programs
Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office
Downtown Legal Services dls.sa.utoronto.ca
Governing Council Policies uoft.me/policies
University Ombudsperson www.utoronto.ca/ombudsperson
Family Care Office Student Family Housing studentfamilyhousing.utoronto.ca
families of U of T students Parent and Family Website family.utoronto.ca
Studentsâ€™ Rights and Responsibilities uoft.me/rights
support resources for: aboriginal students First Nations House (Office of Aboriginal Services & Programs) fnh.utoronto.ca
Does U of T have a health clinic?
For more information or to answer any questions about any of these services, please visit
international students Centre for International Experience (CIE) cie.utoronto.ca
University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) uoft.me/uhip
University of Toronto Office of Student Life 214 College Street Toronto, Ontario M5T 2Z9