Each committee at Hart House provides opportunities for students to create experiences and build communities with a focus on Music, Art & Creativity, Social Justice & Civic Engagement or Wellness & Recreation.

Committees organize events, from social gatherings and guest lectures to musical events and hands-on activities and also shape the future direction of Hart House. Hart House Committee elections take place today and tomorrow, so don’t forget to have your say!

How did you get involved?

Venus Wang, Chair, Hart House Debates and Dialogue Committee: A lot of people in the debating club are involved in both [the club and the committee], so I joined as an event planner in my second year to check it out, mostly, and have been involved since.

Eugenia Wong, Chair, Hart House Art Committee: I connected with Hart House when I submitted artwork for the Annual Arbor Room Spring Show hosted by the HHartC. I then tried out for the secretary position to join the executive team and eventually I became the Chair.

Why are Hart House Committees important?

V: For the Debates & Dialogue Committee, it’s a fantastic opportunity to network with alumni, politicians, research experts, lawyers, judges, and justices. It’s really what you make out of it because it’s also extremely flexible — if you wanted to do an event on gene editing because it’s something you’re personally interested in, you can take the opportunity to curate a panel of experts, you can come up with discussion points with them, and you can interact with audience members who are interested in the same topic. I really think it’s a fantastic opportunity to develop leadership and expand your learning at university.

E: Hart House Committees are important because they promote arts and wellness through executives appointed by students. It connects the student body with the community and it provides creative outlets for those who are not involved in the arts on an academic level.

Do you have one main takeaway from your experience with the Committee? 

V: It is as much about building relationships with other members of the University of Toronto community as it is about building relationships with speakers. Our work would not be possible without help from student unions like the Association of Political Science Students to help promote our events or people from The Varsity who report on our events, to the countless professors we’ve consulted in the content creation portion of our events. A huge thank you to all of you!

E: My main takeaway would be developing my leadership skills in a committee filled with art enthusiasts from different academic backgrounds. I find motivating my colleagues by working around their schedules and incorporating their personal interests to the committee’s mandate is effective to maximize what we can collectively achieve.

What advice would you give a student thinking about getting involved with the Committee you represent? 

V: Don’t be afraid to reach out. It’s really great at the beginning of the year when people email about how to get involved or start joining in on meetings. If it doesn’t work out this year, we can always keep you in our mind for potential volunteering positions and keep you posted on how to join next year.

E: I would advise students to start small by attending gallery tours, workshops or even responding to the calls for submission to make sure their interests align with the Committee’s mandate. They can then join as event coordinators to learn how the subcommittees work and eventually apply to be on the executive team.

Is there anything else you‘d like to add?

V: Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have. This year we got a stable email for Chairs of the Debates & Dialogue Committee, so if you email [email protected] at any point in the future we’ll be able to respond. Thanks for your interest, and we hope to see you at our events!

E: It’s a joy to be part of this legacy and my university experience wouldn’t be as fulfilling as it is now without Hart House.

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