Have your say and help guide the future of Hart House!
Hart House is home to a diverse group of student-led committees, ranging from Finance and Debates, to Art and Athletics. Each committee plans events and social activities that provide leadership opportunities and a chance for members to develop professional skills. These committees have elected Secretary positions, and it’s up to you to cast a vote! You don’t have to be a committee member, just a currently enrolled U of T student.
What Does a Committee Secretary Do?
- Secretaries serve on the Board of Stewards, the governing body that guides Hart House activities and decisions
- They report on Committee activities and issues
- They oversee the budget of their Committee
- Secretaries act as a liaison with staff advisor(s) and Chair of Committee
Which Committees are Electing a Secretary?
Arts / Debates / Literary & Library / Music / Farm / Social Justice / Recreational Athletics
Finance / House / Alumni / Theatre
Cast Your Vote! See the candidate statements below.
When: Mar. 11 & 12, 2013
Where: voting.utoronto.ca or in person at UTSG: Hart House HUB (main floor); UTSC: Student Centre; UTM: CCT Link
Secretary Candidate Personal Statements
Having served the Art Committee the past two years, I now have a better understanding of the four subcommittees and their events timeline for the academic year. With my experience, I can ease the committee into a smoother transition next year, and give a more thorough introduction to the incoming subcommittee chairs. More importantly, having dealt with a variety of problems regarding events planning and communications, I am able to foresee potential difficulties we might face in the future.
This year, I strived to foster effective communication between the four sub-committees. I helped implement a new communication system to send out weekly newsletters and I kept a record of the subcommittees’ progress over the academic year. I also play an active role to organize events such as the Symposium in March. In January, I presented our annual goals and progress to the Board of Stewards.
Using the Hart House Vision statement as my lens, I will use my past two years of leadership experience to help new executives adapt to their roles in the Art Committee next year. I will continue to encourage the Committee to expand our collection of Aboriginal contemporary art so as to promote a more thorough representation of Canadian art. I will also encourage the Committee to continue organizing an annual Careers Symposium to provide excellent networking opportunities for art students in the University. This is also a great way to connect current students with distinguished alumni within Hart House.
My experience will aid me in being aware of the effect that strong promotions and outreach has on event attendance, on understanding the value of good working relationships with Hart House staff, and on knowing that the most successful events are the ones that best link contemporary issues with student learning opportunities.
My most significant contribution to the Committee was in helping plan the Churchill Debate this year. I think the most valuable contribution came in utilizing the network and relationships I have with members of the Debating Club. I was able to enlist four strong debaters from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences to enrich this year’s Churchill Debate.
I want to become involved by leading the Committee so that I can bring greater attention to public issues. I think the cornerstone of both a strong university and a strong community is creating an atmosphere where critical thought is fostered, where issues of the day are discussed and where we learn from one another by respecting differences and hearing unique viewpoints. The Debates Committee can be a living laboratory where people test different ideas and experiment with alternative arguments. I want to bring my experiences working with the Debating Club and as the President of CUSID, to help create a community where debate is fostered, but where that debate is also respectful and inclusive and where people feel comfortable expressing themselves.
Theresa Waclawek (co-running with Sophia Zamaria.)
This year and last I learned important leadership skills such as efficient communication skills; improved interpersonal skills; time organization; and flexibility. I feel that these skills will impact and inform my work moving forward by enabling me to keep the current activities of the committee running smoothly and to help it to grow.
Last summer I organized an event called “Midsummer’s Eve.” I organized and participated in subcommittees such as menu planning. I also organized guest speakers to enhance the experience. Through that event I was exposed to all aspects of event planning for the farm.
I would like to become involved as a secretary for the Hart House Farm Committee because, through my previous involvement, I have come to see the variety of people and activities that the farm is able to bring together. I thoroughly enjoy being part of it. I have the leadership skills mentioned above. Specifically, I have excellent interpersonal skills and time management, which I feel are especially important for this role. Interpersonal skills are needed to motivate volunteers and committee members and to succeed in creating a positive environment. Time organization is important to make sure the events and activities reach their full potential.
Sophia Zamaria (co-running with Theresa Waclawek)
During this year, I was actively involved with the Farm Committee. I participated in the farm orientation, committee meetings and workdays. I helped to plan the Farm’s major events. I have gained knowledge of the committee’s goals and operations which will inform and impact my work moving forward. I look forward to working with others and applying the experience I have gained this year to the Committee’s future endeavors.
This year I volunteered to coordinate the Farm’s Winter Carnival Event. I contacted Hart House to implement communications and advertisement for the event, called sub-committee meetings, ordered and organized pick up for food, contacted others to lead workshops and coordinated transportation.
Over the past year I have fallen in love with the Hart House Farm and I fully enjoy being on the committee. I hope to further become involved with the leadership of this committee to share my passion for the Farm with others and to maintain the great atmosphere of the committee and Farm. I plan to make the committee a friendly and open place where members can share ideas, initiatives, and opinions. I also hope to plan more fun events and workshops at the Farm open to students and faculty, where they can explore environmental and sustainable farming practices, local and organic cooking, and the great outdoors. The farm is a wonderful place, and I plan to make it more known and easily accessible to the U of T community.
The Finance Committee has given me invaluable knowledge and experience in financial operations for non-profits. Through my position as a voting member, I had the opportunity to learn the most pressing issues and topics that the organization is currently facing. This is crucial to my future involvement and success in the committee since I will be able to prioritize and focus on certain matters during discussions, creating more efficiency in meetings. The knowledge will also help me in contemplating issues and providing useful insights. As the standing committee secretary, I will assist Finance Committee in forming a tight, efficient, and transparent team.
Since September, I have been part of a research project carried under the Finance Committee to evaluate one of the Hart House operations, UofT TIX. Along with a few other members, each of us took on a different role to research and develop ways to improve the efficiency and profitability of the operation.
Hart House has always been the place for me to socialize, experience, and learn. In order to enable the House to continue such wonderful services and offerings, well-managed finances are crucial. By taking on the leadership of Finance Committee, I hope to support the vision of Hart House. My extensive knowledge in accounting as well as leadership skills acquired while serving as the Director of Events at a Rotman Commerce student group will certainly be an asset. I will bring my dedication, passion, and insights into this position and Committee.
Literary & Library Committee
As a first-year member of the Literary and Library Committee, I am both advantaged and disadvantaged: advantaged because I am among like-minded peers who devote their often constrained free time to celebrating and realizing literary pursuits; and disadvantaged because it’s difficult to determine areas of improvement when I do not have knowledge of previous years for comparison. I have learned much from my one year here; for instance, next year’s Committee could be improved by being more cohesive. This year, we had three Committee meetings and for all of them, we barely made quorum. Moving on, I intend to organize more regular meetings (every three weeks) and emphasize the importance of attendance to the Members. And while I understand that subcommittees are often independent, as Secretary, I will prioritize cultivating stronger lines of communication with each of the subcommittees, so that there is never a question of what a particular subcommittee is doing.
Having observed how the Music committee functions for a year, I am confident that I could make a valuable contribution as a secretary by sharing ideas, communicating between groups and helping to organize events and meetings. I have a general knowledge of how the committee functions, and its main goals in promoting student friendly and accessible musical events and opportunities.
I would be able to make a significant contribution with my interpersonal skills and strong passion for music, which would be valuable in terms of communicating between groups, and individuals. I would like to help promote the events, keep friendly communication, and encourage student participation. I also am familiar with the struggles of finding one’s place within a large campus, and would very much like to share my knowledge of this to help make the campus a friendlier and more accessible place for students.
I would like to become involved in the leadership of this committee because I truly believe it is a valuable resource to students. I am very familiar with the overwhelming size of the UofT campus. I know that it can be very difficult to navigate, and even more difficult to find a community within it. Although I definitely struggled along the way, I eventually found a very supportive community in the Music Committee who shared the same love for music I did.
Serving as an event organizer for UofT Idol this past year has further developed my organizational skills, leadership, social skills and time management skills. To me, being a secretary of a committee does not only mean that you need to be responsible to the duties you are assigned to, but it also means that you have to be responsible to everyone who wants to attend the functions that the committee organizes. I believe that a secretary should help to find the balance between the students and staff demands and the capabilities of the committee. This review of responsibility will help me to move forward as I try to take a more significant role in the Committee.
I have served on the sub-committee of UofT Idol. My tasks include dealing with administrative duties, communication, promotion, budget planning, stage directing as well as hosting.
The vision of Hart House is to provide a co-curricular life for everyone at UofT and to help people to express their personalities and expand their horizons, which is exactly the reason why I have joined the Music Committee. I hope to use my knowledge with music, experience and my organizational skills to help the committee to enrich the recreational life for all of UofT members. I want to use my abilities to give opportunities to people who may not pursue a profession of Music, but want to express themselves with music. Passion and sensitivity are the two qualities that I will bring to this position.
Recreational Athletics Committee
I am currently serving as the secretary for RAC, this experience as well as my multiple years on the committee provides a wealth of experience to bring to this position. My most significant contribution is to provide context and a sense of continuity to the committee.
Social Justice Committee
Three years of experience on the Social Justice Committee have taught me the importance of teamwork, organization, and passion. I will use these skills to continue collaborating with UofT student groups and organizations in the GTA. As a returning member, I have the connections to create meaningful partnerships and involve more community members in social justice initiatives. I will introduce new projects to broaden the range of topics we address as well as incorporate ideas from past years.
My experiences include organizing events for V-Day, a workshop on fair trade with Fair Trade Toronto, Flirting with Democracy, Making Inclusion Happen and many others. I have shown commitment through meeting attendance and participation and leadership both in the small groups of organizing teams and on the larger committee.
Hart House has shaped my UofT experience. I value the opportunities Hart House provides to engage and educate students. I respect the mission of the Social Justice Committee and would appreciate the chance to uphold these pillars. My academic interests in health policy and inequality align with the committee’s commitment to equity, development, sustainability, and empowerment through education. Participating in the group’s work continually reminds me that social justice is one of my priorities. For these reasons, I would value the opportunity be secretary of this committee. I am not afraid of failure and will find creative solutions to problems as they arise. I have strong communication skills and enjoy working with others, skills that will make me an effective secretary.
My knowledge of the committee’s activities from this year will impact my work moving forward by knowing the effects of the goals we accomplished during the past year. I will also have knowledge of what goals are incomplete and what can be improved upon when it comes to how the Theatre is operated.
My most significant contribution that I have made to my committee is that I have suggested different ways of promoting the theatre beyond the traditional methods. These suggestions have helped to provide more exposure for the Theatre amongst students.
I would like to be involved in the leadership of this Committee as I think there should be more opportunities for students to get involved and learn outside the classroom. By participating in a medium such as theatre, it allows students the opportunity to express themselves in a unique environment. It also allows one to gain new skills and refine current skills. My previous experience with the Theatre has prepared me for this position and what to expect given that I am aware what conditions the Theatre is dealing with. I believe that I have good communication and public speaking skills which I think are necessary in order to make suggestions and implement change.