Getting involved on campus


I’m sure many of us have been told that university makes up the “best years of our lives.” It’s a time to build new connections, embrace self-discovery, and flourish as an individual. While our 12 years of schooling have allowed us to master the academic realm with finesse, we rarely receive guidance on how to thrive beyond the classroom — how to truly immerse ourselves in student culture and conquer the unexplored paths of university. Luckily for us, the University of Waterloo offers many captivating opportunities that allow us to easily get involved in almost any particular interest and make the absolute most of our time here.

If you’re anything like me, the thought of raising your hand in class might make you extremely nervous and nauseous. The bad news is that we can forget about walking up to random classmates and trying to be their friends. Here’s the good news, though: student societies, clubs, and countless extracurricular activities present the perfect opportunity to step out of your comfort zone without those class-induced jitters.

WUSA’s societies and student politics

It’s fairly common to be keen on joining teams where you can connect with people who share the same professional field or have similar career goals; after all, like calls to like. Luckily, there are societies tailored precisely for that! Picture them as student governments that work passionately as volunteer-based societies, supporting and serving students in their faculty. Health, Arts, Science, Math, Engineering, or Environment — where there’s a faculty, there’s a society! If student politics are your thing, you’ll want to know about WUSA’s Board of Directors. Made up of 13 members, they serve as the direct voice of undergraduate students. The Board focuses on enhancing the overall campus experience by advocating for inclusive policies and spearheading initiatives that support students, while also curating meaningful events to foster connections among the student body. Council elections are held annually, and candidates are nominated for various leadership roles within WUSA’s governance, with students voting on who they want as their representatives for the coming year.


It doesn’t stop there – the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA) recognizes more than 200 clubs that cater to even the most niche of interests. Love debates and world politics? Join the Model United Nations club. Fascinated by real estate? UW has an association for that. Art enthusiast? Check out the Photography, Films, or DJ clubs. Are you a math or science person? How about joining Women in STEM or UW Cyber Security? Maybe you just really like eating cheese (sorry lactose-intolerants); join the Campus Crusade for Cheese club. You can find all of these amazing clubs and more at Clubs and Societies Days on Sept. 21 and 22, or on WUSA’s website.

Cultural associations

Cultural diversity is celebrated all over campus too, with a huge variety of associations that are great to get involved in. Whether it’s the Muslim Students’ Association, AfroXDance, Chinese Classical Dance Club, Indonesian Students’ Association, or QTPOC KW, a club for 2SLGBTQ+ and racialized students, the options are boundless. Regardless of your background, ethnicity, or interests, you’ll find incredible places and opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals who share your passions or lived experiences.


There’s a reason why UW has earned the title of “most innovative university” for 29 years. UW’s entrepreneurship opportunities provide you with the resources to flesh out your innovative ideas. For starters, there’s Velocity, UW’s innovation incubator. Velocity supports students with an entrepreneurial spark, nurturing their curiosity and guiding them on a journey of endless possibilities. Whether you’re at the idea stage or already creating prototypes and launching businesses, Velocity provides the support and resources to turn your passion into a thriving venture. If you’re eager to explore entrepreneurial opportunities, don’t miss their website!

Turning your entrepreneurial dreams into reality might require some financial backing, and UW is well aware of this. That’s why they offer an assortment of awards to support students, such as the Ali Arts Entrepreneurship Award valued at $2500, which is available for application to any Arts student who is actively pursuing an entrepreneurial endeavor. There’s a whole lineup of other awards as well, and you can check out the Student Award and Financial Aid’s website to find the perfect match for your creative aspirations.


UW also offers a huge variety of research projects led by talented professors, giving you numerous volunteer or paid positions to immerse yourself in. Research opportunities are amazing because they provide you with hands-on experience on projects that align with your interests. They’re also the perfect environment to help you develop valuable skills, meet like-minded people, and grow your network, a great asset for future academic and career pursuits. You can visit UW’s research page to check out opportunities, or reach out to any professors to see if you can get involved on their projects!


Sport enthusiasts: I haven’t forgotten about you. UW has got you covered with an extensive range of varsity athletic opportunities spanning almost every sport you can imagine. For information about tryouts, just contact the coach of the sport you’re interested in joining. Even if sports aren’t your strong suit and you simply enjoy playing for fun, there are still ways that you can participate! Each term, there are open recreational sessions for volleyball, soccer, badminton, basketball, swimming, and more — no need to register, just check the schedule on the UW Athletics website for the open rec times that week, show up, tap your WatCard for entry, and play. And if you’re up for some spirited competition, you and your friends can team up for intramurals, where you face off against other teams. Overall, there’s an abundance of team sports waiting to welcome Warriors of all abilities.

From student clubs and diverse associations to entrepreneurship prospects and ground-breaking research projects, we’re encouraged to explore, grow, and make the absolute most of our time at UW — so, get involved and embrace the Warrior spirit!