New College, University of Toronto

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New College is one of the four constituent Colleges of the University of Toronto in Canada. One of the larger colleges with nearly 5000 students, it stands on Huron Street in the historic campus' west-end, nestled alongside the major Science research buildings. The university press, the Window, is a member of CUP.


Founded in 1962, New College was the first college to be created within the University of Toronto since the federation with Victoria, Trinity and St. Michael's Colleges. The name of the College was initially to be "New King's College," an homage to University College, which had been known as King's College before receiving new royal charter.

Namesake cousins

New College shares with Trinity College, St. Hilda's College, and University College, the distinction of being Dominion cousins to namesakes in the UK. It is named after New College at the University of Oxford, in Britain, upon which the College system at the University of Toronto is itself modelled.


Designed under the "multi-faculty" concept, 4,500 of its students are from the Faculty of Arts & Science with the rest drawn from Applied Science & Engineering, Physical Education and Health, and Pharmacy. In fact, what is now known as Innis College, the second "multi-faculty" college, was originally designed as another wing onto New College before it was built separately in 1964.

Housed in an integrated "serpentine" design, New College consists of three halls: Wilson Hall, Wetmore Hall, and a new hall aptly named New Building built in 2003. Employing an integrated approach to living, 857 living units are built in the upper floors; the lower floors include the library and reading room, computer labs, staff offices and lecture theatres, dining halls, and recreation lounges. The New Building also has the William Doo Auditorium and a mini-gym.

New College is most attractive to students who wish to live near many of the central facilities of University of Toronto such as Robarts Library, Sidney Smith Hall, the Athletic Centre, and the Lash-Miller chemical laboratories. Recently, with the newly finished New College Residence Hall garnering design awards for its red-bricked nod to New Urbanism, the College is an attractive home to university life in the campus' west-end.

Student life

New College boasts an extremely multi-cultural student body, with more than three-quarters of its students drawn from the ranks of new Canadians. Both the Residence Student's Council (serving students who live at the college) and the New College Student Council (serving both residents and commuters) plan activities which highlight the college's diversity. A highlight of the year, usually held in the winter term, is Mosaic. Mosaic is an evening of music, dance and performance, featuring multi-ethnic themes. The Student Council generally uses the William Doo Auditorium for Mosaic, and also for other events such as movie nights, musical concerts, and miscellaneous themed nights such as Casino Night.

For students in residence at New College, their social life is aided by their floor residence council. The floor residence council organizes restaurant trips, movie nights, field trips (trapeze training, rock climbing, bowling, etc.) and other activities. Each residence floor is benefited by its don. New College dons are graduate students who live with the undergraduates and provide advice and support to the students. The New College Residence Council oversees student life specifically for students who live in residence.

Residence student life is also anchored largely around the college's cafeteria, whose food services are run by the privately owned Aramark company. The dining area is quite large, with a number of different foods available at each mealtime. Vegetarian, Vegan and Halal (though not Kosher) meals are offered, though students may need to request these items at each meal.

In 2008 the College replaced the Dean of Residence position with a new Director of Student Life. This senior administrator is charged not only with running the residence operation but developing student life programming that integrates the over three thousand commuting students into the larger New College community. In addition, the College's social justice and equity mandate is now woven through many of its extra-curricular programs, a development furthered by the 2009 appointment of a service learning coordinator.


New College pursues a mandate around equity and social justice -- and most of its programs reflect this mission. The College continues to maintain its connections with the field of engineering and the life sciences. Many of its early officers were from science backgrounds, including Wilson from Engineering and Ivey from Medicine. Today, like many of the colleges at the University of Toronto, it co-ordinates a number of academic degree programmes, Human Biology being an especially prominent program for aspiring MD's. New College is also home to an Aid Centre for Mathematics, Statistics and Economics/Finance. In recent years, the College has developed new programmes in area studies (South Asia, Africa, Caribbean), Equity Studies, Women's Studies, Jungian Psychology, and Socially Engaged Buddhism. In recent years, it has made major efforts to develop a range of internships and field placements, believing that service learning is a valuable complement to the traditional classroom experience. These now include work in southern Africa (Namibia and Zambia) around HIV/AIDS, equity placements in the area of disability study and advocacy, and internships with the Steelworkers Injured Worker Program and Job Action Centre

2008 financial woes

In 2008, New College decided it was necessary to raise residence fees by approximately 20% for the 2008–2009 academic year.

The "New New" residence, built 2002–2003, had been financed by the College itself, with the loan on the building anticipated to be paid back through residence fees collected from all three buildings. However, the projected room occupancy (and thus, rent collected) was more optimistic than turned out to be the case. Between the lower-than anticipated income and the fact that the two older buildings were over 40 years old and in need of substantial and increasing maintenance, the College found itself running a substantial operating deficit, anticipated at $2.3 million a year.

Financial woes were not unknown to U of T colleges. For example, a few years earlier the federated St Michael's College had a similar need for money (although for different reasons) and had sold off a substantial parcel of land to private developers to help with its finances. New College does not have similar land-holdings to sell off; indeed, short of the University itself bailing out the College, increased student fees are one of the few ways to make up the shortfall. Another solution, aggressively put into place by Principal Rick Halpern and Director of Business Services Ron Vander Kraats, was an aggressive policy of cost containment coupled with entrepreneurial efforts to increase revenue in the summer period. Current financial projections show the residence breaking even by 2014.

New Faces

The New Faces Drama Society has been a traditional part of New College student life for years. The Society was recently resurrected during the 2009-2010 school year after disappearing around 2005. This new group of students, led by Jameson Glas reformed New Faces with a few minor productions in the hopes that future New College students would keep the tradition going strong. These productions included a murder mystery and a New College Drama Festival which featured three student written, directed and acted one-act plays. One of these one-act plays was also featured in the Hart House Drama Festival.

New College Red Hot

One of the more popular songs during "frosh week".

New College Red Hot, New College Red Hot, New College R-E-D red, H-O-T hot, We can't help the stuff we got, Aahah, Aahah, Aahah, Aahah, Aahah.

New College Red Hot, New College Red Hot, New College R-E-D red, H-O-T hot, We can't help the stuff we got, Aahah, Aahah, Aahah, Aahah, Aahah.

New College Fight Song

Song traditionally sung during "frosh week" at U of T by New College students.

Toronto has a college at its university.

It's great and cool and wonderful,

Amazing to a T.

I'll tell you who it is and then I'm sure that you'll agree,

We're better than the rest.

Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah New College!

Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah New College!

Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah New College,

We're better than the rest

Now Vic's an okay college,

Like some old and lonely aunt.

UC is aged and boring now,

Trin only likes to chant.

St. Mike's claims they won't have sex,

The hardhats simply can't,

We're better than the rest!

Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah New College!

Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah New College!

Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah New College!

We're better than the rest.

Now Innis is a silly place,

they plainly all are nuts!

Another starts with 'W',

We really thought it shut.

UTM and TSC,

You didn't make the cut!

We're better than the rest!

Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah New College!

Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah New College!

Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah New College!

We're better than the rest!


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