Here art our presidents

One of the best ways to get acquainted with U of T is to join one of the many clubs that all three campuses offer. Whatever floats your boat — be it dancing, arguing, or beekeeping — you’re likely to find a club for it here. Four of our campuses club execs tell us how they went from nervous freshman to successful club leaders, and how you can get involved too. 

U of T Drama Coalition

The coalition itself encompasses the entirety of the tri-campus drama societies -— from college-based groups to independent productions. Your best bet to get involved will be through one of the university’s many theatre productions.

Liz McLoughlin has been involved with U of T theatre since her first year, and took up acting when she was only seven years old. Now, she’s the president of the U of T drama coalition, and she is looking forward to a productive year of student theatre.

Courtesy of Liz Mcloughlin.
Courtesy of Liz Mcloughlin.

How can you get involved with the U of T drama coalition?

LM: “The most direct way to get involved with the drama coalition as a first-year would be to get involved with the festival that we do each year; it’s a huge festival — student run, student produced, student written, and student acted. Students can either get involved with acting or working backstage.”

Why would you recommend getting involved with arts-related clubs at U of T?

LM: “If you’ve already been involved in theatre, it’s an extension and way to grow. As someone who’s been doing theatre for a long time, I felt myself challenged more thAn I’ve ever been; I worked with some of the best artists and best directors I’ve ever met in my entire life here. If you’re new to the city, it’s a great way to expand your horizons, too.”

Silhouettes Dance Company

Silhouettes, or SDC, holds year-round free shows, annual recitals at the semi-swanky Revival Bar, and many opportunities to choreograph your own work with your fellow dancers. There’s no competition of any kind, and anyone can get involved.

Aleksandra Holownia and Anais Loewen-Young, SDC’s artistic directors, have been involved with the company for three years and five years respectively, and they have come to know the Silhouettes Dance Company as “a really big family”.

Holownia, Aleksandra
Aleksandra Holownia. Courtesy of Aleksandra Holownia.
Loewen-Young, Anais
Anais Loewen-Young. Courtesy of Anais Loewen-Young.

What made you want to get involved with the Silhouettes Dance Company?

AH: “I grew up dancing, and so when I came to U of T from British Colombia, I knew nothing about U of T at all. [In second year,] I was a frosh leader at Victoria College, and people I knew through that were in SDC, which is how I first learned about the company.”

How can you get involved with SDC?

AH: “We try to advertise as much as we can before frosh week, so we go to club fairs and have a website that we can use to promote ourselves. People can also email us, and we’ll let them know about auditions. But anyone can come; we don’t set the bar ridiculously high.”

Why would you recommend getting involved with arts-related clubs at U of T?

ALY: “As a science student, I find that I need the Arts because it helps me think differently, and separates me from other science students.”

AH: “It’s a matter of getting the courage to go and find something, which can be hard, but it’s really worth it. The people at your college can be great, but it’s worthwhile to see what else U of T has to offer.”

Cinema Studies Student Union (CINSSU)

Your prized possession in high school was a Super 8 film camera, you’re in a committed relationship with Netflix, and you can recite the entirety of The Big Lebowski in your sleep. Why not join CINSSU? The film club/students union is home to the friendliest film geeks on campus, and is a great place for you to unleash all the movie-trivia that’s been pent up inside your brain these past few years.

Erin Ray is this year’s in-coming CINSSU president, and ais hoping to continue the long-standing tradition of free friday films, as well as expand its on-campus filmmaking competition to both UTM and UTSC. 

Erin Ray.
Erin Ray. Courtesy of Erin Ray.

What made you want to get involved with CINSSU?

ER: “I took a year off after high school to work, so I had to defer my acceptance to U of T. When I came to U of T the next year, all my courses were just general courses and I really didn’t enjoy any of it, which is when I realized that realistically my passion is film, so why wasn’t I taking any film courses? I also had a lot of friends in CINSSU already, and they were all talking about it so I was always interested in getting involved in some way.”

How can you get involved?

ER: “Come to the meetings. They’re open to every cinema studies student on campus, and we have a lot of volunteer opportunities, because not only do we try to host many academic and non academic events, but we also have a lot of sneak-preview events where we need rush line helpers, concession stand helpers, and so on.”

Why would you recommend getting involved with arts related clubs at U of T?

ER: “In my first year I had a horrible time making friends… so getting involved with CINSSU and getting involved with the community, I found that I was able to meet like-minded people and have a space where I could talk freely about film. And it’s great not just for friendship, but also for your own personal development.”