Types of groups
Recognized campus groups
Student clubs or groups are formally referred to as "recognized campus groups" at the University of Toronto. Recognized campus groups are voluntary organizations that have "registered" or gained recognition from the Office of Student Life. Recognition is based on the Policy on the Recognition of Campus Groups. Group leaders can apply for recognition through the Ulife website. Campus groups include cultural groups, advocacy, social justice, hobby, arts and much more. You can find a list of campus groups on the Ulife website.
Student societies are often called student governments, student unions or student councils. They are supported by student fees, and students automatically become members based on where they are registered at the University. For example, the University of Toronto Students' Union requests a fee from all undergraduate students at the University and so they are considered a student society. These groups are included in the Policy on the Compulsory Non-Academic Incidental Fees. You can search for student societies on the Ulife website.
Affiliates of student societies
Affiliates of student societies are organizations which have a formal relationship with an established student society. Many affiliates receive a levy from the student society, which often collects a fee designated for this affiliate group. For example, the U of T Sexual Education and Peer Counselling Centre is an affiliate organization of the University of Toronto Students' Union. Some of these organizations also seek status as recognized campus groups.
Course and program unions are affiliates of student societies which represent a particular sub-section within a student society. For example, there are course and program unions within the Arts and Science Students Union (ASSU), the Graduate Students' Union (GSU) and the Engineering Society (ENGSOC). Some of these organizations also seek status as recognized campus groups. For example, the Psychology Students' Association is a course union under the Arts and Science Students' Union (ASSU) as well as a recognized campus group.
The newspapers that run on St. George as campus media are considered to be student societies because a fee is collected on their behalf. The majority of these organizations are considered affiliates of student societies. Examples include The Varsity (St. George), The Medium (UTM) and the Underground (UTSC).
Hart House groups
Hart House clubs and committees operate through Hart House and do not fall into any of the previous types of organizations. There are about 30 clubs and committees listed on Ulife.
Athletic groups that are not recognized campus groups operate through the Athletic Centre and/or the Varsity Centre. More information about the athletic groups at U of T can be found at www.athletics.utoronto.ca.