How To Engage In The Graduate Student Community

So you have some spare time (or you have no time at all but you just realized that spending all your time on research will eventually turn you insane) and would like to get to know other grad students. Here are some ways to go about this:

Campus politics:

  • Run for a position on the Graduate Student Council (GSC). Elections take place  at the end of every winter semester.
  • Run for a position on the Student Union. Elections take place at the end of every winter semester.


  • Become a program representative. The responsibilities are: Attendance at some of the GSC meetings (usually 3 a semester), dissemination of information that comes from the GSC to the program, attendance of some events (depending on availability and course work/TA obviously) and some planning help at the conference (depending on availability, ~3 hours). Oh and all the reps meet once or twice a semester on their own over beer/coffee to touch base and kind of exchange what is going on in everyone’s program. Besides that there is a bunch of opportunity to get involved at other events/student issue campaign planning or whatnot and just generally help out around the GSC. Contact the GSC through email, Facebook or Slack!
  • Volunteer for events or the grad conference for the GSC. You can do as little or as much as you have time for. Contact the GSC through email, Facebook or Slack!

Academic interests:

  • Join the Academic Skills Club. As a sub-society of the GSC it is for graduate students to share knowledge and skills that are useful for research. The workshops are held with logistics support from the SGPS by grad students for grad students and range from all forms of programming to making scientific posters. You can find them on Twitter and Facebook.


  • Join us for the Coffee Hours and Pizza Hours! More information here.
  • Come to the Trivia Night. Every Monday from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM at Simcoe House Ales & Grill by the Ice Centre, doors open at 5:30 PM. You can come with a team of up to four people or by yourself and join some other students to form a team. Everyone is welcome and the Simcoe House has half price appetizers on Mondays… More information on Facebook.
  • Find out about social nights for your faculty from your program representative. For a list of program representatives check here. If your program does not have a program representative, consider becoming one.

General interests:

  •  Join a campus club (like the Board Games Club) or a society (like the Engineering Society). You can find a list here. Those are mostly run and heavily populated by undergraduate students, so you might want to go the alternative route and…
  • Start a club or society with some colleagues or friends. Here is how.


  • Join the Slack workspace for all Ontario Tech graduate students. Get research and grad-school advice, start channels with your research group or some people with common interests, all from the comfort of your lab/office/couch. Especially interesting for winter. You can join here with your .net or .ca email.