a group of students sitting together chatting
Written by Desana (she/her), student

From debate, to hip-hop, to photography, to cheese, there’s really something for everyone so let’s explore the ins and outs of clubs at Waterloo.

Wait, WUS-what?

WUSA is the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association, and they’re responsible for a lot of the organized student life at Waterloo, including managing the entire clubs system.

Every Waterloo undergrad is a member of WUSA, and it’s run by students we elect. WUSA represents the student body and speaks to policymakers on our behalf. Some of the popular items they discuss include tuition, mental health, housing, safety and transit, affordable food options on campus, and, of course, clubs. They’re dedicated to representing student voices and ensuring that everyone has a great experience at Waterloo.

Ferris Wheel.

Clubs and Societies Day

At the beginning of every term, WUSA organizes Welcome Week, which includes free events for all students. One of these events is Clubs and Societies Day, which is a great opportunity to learn more about Waterloo’s student culture. All of the clubs have a booth in Waterloo’s Student Life Centre, where they display the important info about their club like what the members do and when they meet. You can even sign up for the clubs that interest you right then and there.

Clubs for every purpose

Some clubs are great for finding the calm in a hectic week, while others help you learn new skills or connect to students in your faculty or program.

Waterloo clubs range greatly in terms of size, level of commitment, and, of course, purpose. Some clubs are great for finding the calm in a hectic week, while others help you learn new skills or connect to students in your faculty or program.

Tea and Culture Club is a space for people to get together every week and try a few new teas, usually while playing board games, chatting, or even doing homework. It’s a lower commitment club (attendance varies weekly) and a great way to destress during an intense week. Kate, a second-year member, remembers being intimidated by all of the club options and appreciates Tea and Culture club’s atmosphere. “Everyone is kind and enthusiastic. New people are always welcomed… and almost immediately one of the members will come over and chat.”

The Waterloo Toastmasters Club is part of Toastmasters International, a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching public speaking and leadership. Whether you’re looking to perfect your speech giving skills or ace a job interview, Toastmasters is a great place to learn by doing – you’ll get tons of opportunities to practise in front of your peers! Plus, you’ll receive thoughtful, perceptive feedback that will help you improve as a presenter.

Clubs for everyone 

Waterloo has a number of clubs and opportunities for students to get connected to other students. Whether you’re interested in clubs with a religious focus, or those that are dedicated to promoting equality and inclusion, there’s definitely an option for you. On the WUSA website, you can filter your search by general type, such as “religious and spiritual,” or by key word, such as “equality.”

For example, the General Equality Club (GEC/GenEq), which works to provide a forum to discuss equality and to give students the opportunity to advocate for, and create, positive change.

Faculty societies

If you’re looking for a place to connect with students in your faculty or program, check out Waterloo’s faculty societies. These societies run super fun events and provide important services like exam banks (samples of previous exams) and even cheap or free food. You can get involved by going to events, and if you’d like a leadership role, there are spots for first-year representatives or executives in your upper years, and even volunteer options where you can get a feel for the positions. Faculty societies are a great way to meet like-minded people, and I encourage you to check them out once you’re here!

Starting your own club

If you’re interested in bringing a new club to the Waterloo campus, the process is quite easy. There are certain basic criteria and steps for starting a club, all of which can be found on the WUSA website.

A hip hop dancer.

Along with clubs, there are countless other events on campus that will help you get integrated into Waterloo life and connect with students with similar interests and backgrounds. These include all the events run by WUSA, Waterloo’s own TEDx event, Canada’s largest hackathon, and many others. Check out WUSA’s event page and the full clubs list, and hopefully find some options that interest you!


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