Sidney Smith Commons (online)
Just like the Sidney Smith Commons (SSC) located at 100 St. George Street, the online SSC is dedicated to supporting the academic needs of undergraduate Arts & Science students.
The online SSC was created as a result of numerous interactions and discussions between students and staff of the Office of the Registrar. Common themes kept bubbling to the surface- that students found academic resources and information were scattered in many places, difficult to locate entirely, or too difficult to understand.
The online SSC has been developed as a one-stop shop where students will find the resources and answers they are looking for in one place and in an easy-to-understand format.
In the SSC students will find:
- Content and tools developed to help students achieve academic success
- Information about programs happening in the SSC and how they can participate
- Information on resources available for students across the University
- How students can reserve space in the SSC
- Live chat with our Sidney Smith Commons Assistants (CAs) — Chat directly with one of our CAs online while the SSC is open. Simply enter your question into the chat box and a CA will be there to support you. If we can’t support you right away over chat, we’ll support you in finding your answer online or directing you to the proper resource.
Lastly, the online SSC is intended to be a resource created for students and we encourage students to contribute to its success. If you feel like there is content that is missing that could help a fellow student, or if you would like to add to the existing content, please reach out. We’d love to hear from you!
Sidney Smith Commons (the space)
The Sidney Smith Commons (SSC) is an informal learning space where students can work individually, or in groups with access to supports and resources.
The student-driven space offers:
- programming in response to the needs of the students
- a multi-use study space with access to collaborative learning technologies
- a bookable space for activities and groupwork
- a largely unscheduled space available for student use
The SSC is currently closed. Please check here for any updates on when the space will reopen.
In the SSC, students will be supported by the Student Success Team- a dedicated group of over 20 undergraduates working in collaboration with full-time staff from the Office of the Registrar to support the activities, programs, and students in the Faculty of Arts & Science. This blended staffing model ensures that students remain at the core of the SSC and empowers student-centric ideas and decisions.
Working together with academic departments, the colleges, and central student life, the Student Success Team oversees the SSC- connecting students to resources, programming, and academic supports, thereby, creating a culture of learning, engagement, and collaboration.
Meet the team!
Student Success Programs Assistants (student role)– support the development, delivery, and assessment of programs, events, and academic opportunities to support the success of Arts & Science students.
Student Study Group Assistants (student role)– are trained in study group facilitation techniques and assist with the development and support of the Recognized Study Groups (RSG) Program throughout the year.
Sidney Smith Commons Assistants (student role)– support the use of the Sidney Smith Commons and assist students with academic wayfinding, provide onsite equipment tutorials and manage space bookings.
Sidney Smith Commons Assistants
Name: Adams Aghimien
Hometown: Brampton, ON
Program (Specialist, Major, Minor): Double major in international relations and political science
One thing about me: Given the opportunity, I will pundoubtedly make a bad joke.
Most proud of: I am always making an effort to better myself. This can be through attending a workout class at Hart House or making an appointment with a learning strategist at my college. I am always looking for new opportunities to grow and I encourage everyone I speak with to do the same.
In my studies: I engage in an interdisciplinary study on global affairs. I get to explore topics that have global consequences, while applying theories based on history, economics and political science.
Outside the classroom: I like to stay active within my community. This usually involves participating in local charity events or organizations like the Fort York Food Bank, but it also just includes attending local shows or events happening in Kensington Market all year.
Summer activity: During the summer, I have decidedly rekindled my old passion for reading. Philosophy, history, non-fiction, you name it. Before the end of the summer, I’ll have enough books to start a small library.
Name: Cara Clarke
Hometown: Mississauga, ON
Program (Specialist, Major, Minor): Health & disease and ecology & evolutionary biology
One thing about me: I taught myself the guitar, ukulele, and piano!
Most proud of: Working within the Faculty of Arts & Science and being super involved with helping students!
In my studies: I had the opportunity to be Co-President of the Interdisciplinary Global Health Club where we hosted monthly talks with various professors, MSc/PhD students, and professionals within the Global Health sector.
Outside the classroom: I have lots of hobbies! The ones I am doing the most right now include playing Animal Crossing, cross-stitching, reading, and playing guitar!
Summer activity: Going out for walks and practicing yoga in my spare time!
Name: Daniel Jerman
Hometown: North York, ON
Program (Specialist, Major, Minor): Major in human biology: global health, and a double minor in Immunology and physiology
One thing about me: I love to bake, especially during the holidays.
Most proud of: I have completed my Trinity Comprehensive Paper, which is an independent research course where I made a review article on a public health topic. I was able to go in depth into the drug policies of various countries with an emphasis on Portugal’s decriminalization of minor drug possession.
In my studies: I joined the Trinity One program in my first year which was a great experience because the program had small class sizes of 15-20 students. Through these courses, I was able to find out what I am most passionate about and refocused my path towards Global Health and Public Policy.
Outside the classroom: I was elected to the Human Biology Students Union (HBSU) as their Outreach Director and to Healthy Minds U of T (HMUT) as their Promotions and Marketing executive. I have been able to facilitate and attend a variety of HBSU functions over the years which have helped me greatly as a human biology student. The HMUT is great organization that focuses on student’s mental health and I have taken part in their events that strive to better U of T’s student support systems.
Summer activity: I believe that staying active is very important and can improve my state of mind, which is why I have been going on walks around my neighbourhood. I have also started to read various memoirs which include books by Michelle Obama, Kamala Harris and Valerie Jarrett.
Name: Layla Ahmed
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Program (Specialist, Major, Minor): Double major in neuroscience and molecular genetics and a minor in pyschology
One thing about me: I love listening to podcasts! I listen to audio dramas, comedy, and history podcasts. Come talk to me about your favorite ones, or suggest a new one!
Most proud of: I’ve gotten into the habit of working out!
In my studies: I completed a summer at the Hospital for Sick Children under U of T’s LMP SURE program, where I got to help a pathologist set up a virtual slide library and write a paper on it’s impacts. I’m taking the summer off from university, thanks. 😎🏖
Outside the classroom: I am the Communications Director for the Somali Student’s Association, and the Events Director for the Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Students Association! We’re hoping to host a lot of events in the Fall/Winter semesters, so please talk to me if you want to participate!
Summer activity: I’m hoping to learn how to code in R and Python.
Name: Miharu Ho
Hometown: Mississauga, ON
Program (Specialist, Major, Minor): Double major in equity studies and human geography
One thing about me: I’m the official doodler of the SSC ✎ Whether I am in the space or not, you’ll always catch me with a marker, pencil, or some chalk in hand.
Most proud of: Being part of the SSC and the amazing student community that is Arts & Science!
In my studies: I am always looking for opportunities to expand my knowledge and perspective on global topics and build my own views in order to work towards a brighter and more equitable future.
Outside the classroom: I stay involved in on- and off-campus events that engage in themes of equity, diversity and inclusion. Many of the opportunities are available through the Equity Studies Students’ Union (@uoftessu on Facebook and Instagram)! I’m always happy to talk if you want to learn more or get involved J
Summer activity: So many books, so little time. Enough said.
Name: Oreoluwa Adara
Year: Four and graduating!
Hometown: Brampton, ON
Program (Specialist, Major, Minor): Double major in equity studies and sexual diversity studies (SDS), minor in political science
One thing about me: My favourite TV show right now is Killing Eve!
Most proud of: Being able to create and be a part of community here at U of T.
In my studies: A really fun course I got to take in first year was a 199 course called Magic and Mathematics. During my university career, I have also been able to publish a paper that I wrote in the SDS student undergraduate journal called Hardwire. I was also an editor for this journal.
Outside the classroom: I’ve been a contributor to a few newspapers on campus (The UC Gargoyle, the Varsity and The Innis Herald). As part of a work-study program I had the opportunity to lead programming at the Sexual and Gender Diversity Office, which allowed me to draw on academic theories that I learned in class.
Summer activity: Since I have some more time this summer, I plan on spending my extra time painting and playing my guitar.
Name: Ori Gilboa
Hometown: Toronto and Ya’ad, Israel
Program (Specialist, Major, Minor): Double-major in philosophy and peace, conflict, and justice
One thing about me: I’m a huge dog lover (and have a super cute Goldendoogle)!
Most proud of: I participated as a research assistant in a few social science projects around campus, which is a really fulfilling and exciting experience available to undergrads at U of T.
In my studies: I was part of the Vic One Gooch stream, where I studied philosophy and ethical citizenship within a small cohort of students. It was great to be able to intensively examine a specific topic in a seminar setting, especially in first year!
Outside the classroom: I am the Arts & Culture Editor at The Varsity, U of T’s student paper of record, where I curate and edit the section each week. Feel free to send me an email if you’re interested in getting involved in student journalism!
Summer activity: I’m currently learning how to bake bread, and slowly but surely making my way up to sourdough.
Name: Theodora Udounwa
Hometown: Abuja, Nigeria
Program (Specialist, Major, Minor): Specialist in pharmacology and biomedical toxicology and minor in physiology
One thing about me: I love travelling and exploring cities.
Most proud of: Running a dance club with some friends and getting broadcasted on national television within less than a year of operation!
In my studies: I had the amazing opportunity to be published as an author on a paper by a PhD student after working on his project during the summer.
Outside the classroom: I am the secretary of the Afro-Dance Club (ADC) where our goal is to create cultural awareness through dance. Additionally, I am the HR Director at CAUSE Tutoring, an accredited Canadian charity organization affiliated with the University of Toronto.
Summer activity: I’ve been doing some cooking as well as virtually volunteering for a lab.
Name: Timothy Cherian
Hometown: Mississauga, ON
Program (Specialist, Major, Minor): Double major in psychology and neuroscience
One thing about me: I’m always down for an adventure.
Most proud of: I can play 3 instruments: drums, piano and bass guitar.
In my studies: Doing a whole lot of psych stats and abnormal psych for the summer.
Outside the classroom: I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen.
Summer activity: Calesthetics and cooking.
Interested in getting involved?
Fill out this form and help us develop a better Sidney Smith Commons experience for you and your peers!