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The Founding College of the University of Toronto

We're hiring! University College Don Applications

Job Posting
Current Students
Students in Residence
Residence Dons outside of University College


Application Details

Minimum requirements:

  • Must be a registered, full-time student at the University of Toronto for the 2020-21 academic year in good academic standing (minimum GPA 2.5)
  • Must be able to perform as a Don for the entire 2020-21 academic year, including Don training during the two weeks before Labour Day weekend, as well as in-service training throughout the year
  • It is recommended for Residence Dons to have prior residence and/or group living experience, along with the interest to create a supportive living and learning environment for diverse students

Additional assets include:

  • Leadership experience coordinating or supervising a team of students
  • Program or event coordination
  • Experience facilitating groups, educational workshops or meetings
  • Experience providing personal, academic or social support to students
  • Involvement in building inclusive communities for diverse students

University College is committed to fostering diversity on our Don team and prioritizing U of T’s equity principles within our communities. We welcome applicants that will contribute to expanding and diversifying the student experiences within our team.

Residence Dons are expected to prioritize the Don position as their primary co-curricular and employment commitment for the duration of their role, in addition to their academic responsibilities. Candidates with extensive co-curricular commitments, or who are involved in activities that may pose a conflict of interest with their Don position (i.e. Orientation co-chair or executive, University College Residence Council, etc.) should anticipate interview questions related to their ability to manage their time and meet the position requirements. University College reserves the right to offer positions conditional on a candidate reducing their co-curricular or employment commitments.

Recommendations for Applicants

The application and interview process is designed for you to demonstrate your interest, experience and passion for the Don positions.  Being well-prepared for the interview process will help you demonstrate your aptitude and interest in the position. Please consider the follow in preparing for your application and interview: 

  • Consider your unique, personal strengths and experiences that would benefit the UC community
  • Browse the University College website, especially the “Life at UC” section
  • Consider speaking with a current Don about the role
  • Think about questions you want to ask the interview team
  • Visit the Career Centre or UC Success Centre for cover letter, resume, and interview tips
  • Attend an Information Session. See details below:

"So You Want To Be A Don" - Information Sessions

Join current dons and residence staff to learn more about the job requirements, benefits and application process.

  • Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 5:00 pm in the UC Union, 79 St. George Street
  • Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at 8:00 pm in the UC Union, 79 St. George Street
  • *New: Drop-In Q&A Session - Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 at 6 pm in the UC Union, 79 St. George Street

Residence Don Positions Details

Residence Dons

The role of the Residence Don is diverse and comprehensive. Dons are expected to actively engage in forming and developing a cohesive residence community supportive of the academic and personal goals of University College students. It is expected that the conduct of the Don will serve as a role model for residents. Residence Dons are responsible for advising and assisting residence students, for maintaining reasonable levels of conduct, safety, and security, and for encouraging residence activities, events, and programs.  The Don’s involvement in residence life includes:

  • Helping to create a supportive, inclusive residence community that encourages involvement and mutual respect to meet the needs of all students to study, learn, and live
  • Assisting students with conflict resolution and effective communication
  • Establishing supportive relationships with all residents through one-on-one conversations, programs and on-going interactions
  • Supporting students  with personal, academic, financial, inter-personal or social concerns
  • Responding to crisis situations
  • Supporting the orientation of new students to residence and university life
  • Supplying information on residence life, facilities, and university services
  • Working with the house executive to provide a range of social activities and events
  • Working with the Residence Life staff to develop and facilitate educational residence programming
  • Working closely with other Dons, with House Executives and the UC Residence Council on matters of mutual concern during monthly house meetings, or at alternate times, as necessary
  • Assisting the residence administration as required; representing the interests of University College and other members of the university administration

Time Commitment & Responsibilities

All Residence Don positions have standard responsibilities, as well as creative freedom to help foster a residence community focusing on their strengths and community needs. Dons should expect to work approximately 10 - 15 hours a week, though each week will be unique based on residence programs, on-going student support and new student concerns. 

Here is a breakdown of what you could expect over the course of a month as a Residence Don:

  • Student Support (12 - 25 hours/month)
    • Responding to on-going and new student concerns
    • Mediating House issues and complaints
    • Student outreach & engagement 
    • Overnight on-call shifts
  • Student One-on-Ones (8 - 12 hours/month)
    • Intentional student support meetings
  • Residence Programs (12 - 18 hours/month)
    • House Talks 
    • Residence community building program
    • Passive information board 
    • Residence wide programs & Theme Weeks 
  • Meetings (8 hours/month)
    • House meetings
    • Full team meetings 
    • Building team meetings 
    • Staff support meetings

The preceding is a general description of the Don duties, and does not include many of the specific duties and responsibilities of a staff member. Dons are offered room and board, which is reported as a taxable benefit to the Canada Revenue Agency. Complete job descriptions are available upon request.

Living Learning Community (LLC) Don

University College offers four distinct Living Learning Communities (LLC) within residence houses. Each LLC connects students with similar interests and/or academic pursuits. Students in an LLC will experience directed programming facilitated by Residence Dons and other students in the community. Applicants can indicate their interest in one (or more) of the following LLCs:

  • Health and Wellness
  • Global Perspectives
  • Arts and Culture
  • Life Science

Program Don

The role of the Program Don builds upon the Residence Don responsibilities to be leaders in developing residence-wide programming to build a cohesive residence community connecting students across all residence buildings and houses. In addition to the general responsibilities of a Residence Don to support residence students, the Program Don role includes:

  • Initiating, developing and implementing residence-wide social and educational programs
  • Creating opportunities for students to connect around academic interests and program of study
  • Supporting the development of residence-wide theme weeks and activities
  • Developing creative events and programs to engage diverse students around shared experiences and identities (i.e. international students)
  • Liaising with the University College Residence Council, UC Lit and other student groups
  • Liaising with relevant college and university staff, student groups and other resources to support residence programming

The Program Don role is ideal for those wishing to take a leadership role in program development and implementation. Program Dons will work together, in collaboration with other Dons, residence life staff and independently throughout the year.

The preceding is a general description of the Program Don duties and does not include many of the specific duties and responsibilities of a staff member. Program Dons are offered room and board, which is reported as a taxable benefit to the Canada Revenue Agency. Complete job descriptions are available upon request.

Head Don

In addition to fulfilling the duties of a Residence Don, the three Head Dons take on a leadership role in each of their residence buildings. This includes developing a cohesive building don team, organizing and leading bi-weekly building team meetings, providing advice and support to their team members as needed, facilitating communication between the building team and residence staff, attending bi-weekly Head Don meetings with the Assistant to the Dean, Residence Life to provide information and feedback, assisting with planning and problem-solving, and coordinating programming and training.

Head Dons also assist with don training and sit on the second round don selection committee. The Head Don role is ideal for those wishing to take a leadership role and/or to pursue a career in higher education, residence or student life.

The preceding is a general description of the Head Don duties, and does not include many of the specific duties and responsibilities of a staff member. Head Dons are offered room and board, which is reported as a taxable benefit to the Canada Revenue Agency, with an additional yearly stipend of $1500. Complete job descriptions are available upon request.

Selection Process

The selection process consists of a group interview. Due to the volume of applications, not all applicants will be granted an interview. The Assistant to the Dean of Students, Residence Life will be in touch with all applicants regarding the status of their applications.

The Group Interview

The group interview will last approximately 3.5 hours and take place January 25, 2020 from one of  two time slots - 9:00am or 2:00pm (you will be randomly allotted either the morning or afternoon session). The interview will consist of a series of activities, including scenarios and role-playing, that will allow candidates to demonstrate relevant skills and experiences. A telephone interview for people unable to interview in person can be arranged. The group interview team will be made up of student life staff.

Final Selection

After group interviews have completed, the Don Selection committee will review all materials gathered during the selection process, including your application, cover letter and resume, group interview, and references. You will be notified of your application status by email in early March. Please note that University College maintains an extensive waiting list and we make offers throughout the spring and summer, should positions become available.

Start your application

Applications have now closed. Please stay connected for the 2021- 2022 applications!