Get Involved

Develop your leadership

In addition to developing project and cause-specific skills, co-curricular involvement is also about building the skills necessary for students to define their own path.

Leadership takes many forms. Everyone has the ability to contribute their unique strengths, develop their confidence and competence, and realize their leadership potential. By understanding their personal strengths, students can develop ways to cope with change, build confidence, create a community of support, identify mentors and pursue career-relevant experiences.

Students making posters

Designed to help individuals identify and connect their personal strengths, Clifton Strengths is a useful assessment and reflection tool used by advising professionals across North America.

Career and academic advisors at UCalgary have embraced this tool as a means of exploring academic and career pursuits in the context of a student's unique strengths and talents. In addition to having nearly 10,000 students, staff, and faculty complete the assessment, Clifton Strengths has also been integrated into the following UCalgary programming:

As of Monday, March 1, 2021, we’re changing the way you access your CliftonStrengths (CS) results, and for new users, the way you take your CS Assessment. Existing results can be accessed by signing in using the same email and password combination hereFor new users, please request your CS code here.

Bystander Intervention Training was developed by in-house experts and launched in fall 2015. It teaches participants to be proactive and to help those around them by intervening when they witness situations involving violence, bullying or hazing – or see signs of loneliness or emotional distress.

More than 4,000 students, staff, and faculty completed the Bystander Intervention Training course between 2015 and 2018. Some of the groups who have completed the training include:

  • The Students’ Union Executives (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Women’s and Men’s Dinos Teams (Basketball, Football, Hockey)
  • Fall Orientation Leaders

Bystander Intervention Training is offered regularly and open to anyone in our campus community.

Funded by UCalgaryStrong in 2016, Camp LEAD expanded its original mandate to serve as as a pre-orientation summer camp experience for first year students. Now the program offers multiple sessions throughout the year, an intercultural competency component has been added, and students in any year of study can participate.

This highly-regarded program combines the natural setting of a Kananaskis lodge with engaging outdoor adventures, leadership exercises and a cohesive feeling of community. Some Camp LEAD activities include:

  • Strengths workshops
  • Kayaking and hiking
  • Snowshoeing
  • Team activities

If you're interested in learning more about Camp LEAD, or registering for an upcoming session, visit the Leadership and Student Engagement website for more details.

The Peer Helper Program was also brought into the UCalgaryStrong fold in 2016. This program connects students with non-paid leadership positions aimed at providing meaningful, skill-development opportunities within a variety of departments and offices at the university.

Combined with ongoing leadership training and peer helper community building events, this program introduces many students to their first professional work environment. It can provide an excellent resume boost for students seeking to gain confidence and experience while they study. Some areas of involvement include:

If you're interested in learning more about the Peer Helper program, or want to view open positions currently seeking peer helpers, visit the website for more details.

Students jumping

Cultivate your wellbeing

Maintaining personal wellbeing can be challenging for those in a post-secondary environment. Academia can place intensive demands on a student’s time. When combined with responsibilities of family, work and social commitments, the build-up can encourage stress and anxiety.

Students will learn to thrive and maximize their achievements by participating in stress-reducing activities, developing techniques that calm anxiety, and finding other innovative ways to maintain a balanced sense of personal wellbeing, 

UCalgary’s Campus Mental Health Strategy presents a bold vision for a campus where personal resilience and caring for one another are the guiding values. With these in mind, the university will foster an environment where issues of mental health and personal wellbeing are talked about openly, and where help-seeking is considered a normative behaviour.

UCalgaryStrong is one of the ways this strategy is being implemented, as developing personal resilience is among its core values. By enabling individuals to move toward a healthy, balanced lifestyle, the university aims to equip students with the techniques and knowledge required to move through the stress that's inherent in post-secondary life.

To learn more about the Campus Mental Health Strategy, please visit the website.

The SU Wellness Centre’s health promotion team has developed a variety of training, workshop and programming options for students looking to build their personal capacity for wellness, or develop their skills in peer support and outreach.

In collaboration with student teams, these programs teach a number of concepts, practices and approaches to wellness, including:

If you'd like to learn more about wellness-oriented events, programs, or other projects that support positive mental health, please visit the SU Wellness Centre website.

Leveraging the support provided by the existing community of students and student-facing helpers, this training program aims to both enable and educate new Community Helpers about what they can do to guide students in distress to appropriate resources. Training focuses on a wide array of techniques and referral types, including:

  • Active listening
  • Handling a crisis
  • Applied suicide intervention
  • Campus services referrals

If you'd like to learn more or register for a program, please visit the Community Helpers Training Program webpage.

The first step toward building a resilient, wellness-focused lifestyle is forming helpful habits. The Roots of Resiliency program is a seven-week exploration of how positive life choices can help to improve a student's morale – and help them focus on a positive future. The program is facilitated by counsellors, a health promotion practitioner and a kinesiologist. It explores a variety of topics, including:

  • Personal goal setting
  • Eating well
  • Healthy thinking
  • Stress management

If you'd like to learn more about the Roots of Resiliency program, or would like to apply to take part in it, please visit the Roots and Resiliency webpage.

Students playing

Create your Community

UCalgaryStrong’s focus on community building aims to develop a campus support system of clubs, programs and peer groups committed to helping students feel connected and engaged with one another.

By celebrating togetherness and encouraging students to look out for each other, the initiative aims to reduce loneliness and establish a sense of place and purpose for students during their university experience.

Healthy Campus Alberta (HCA) is a province-wide initiative with a mandate to educate, collaborate and advocate for caring communities on post-secondary campuses. Through the HCA network, institutions share best practices and research, accessible and sustainable program ideas, and fostering a culture of support and compassion for all post-secondary institutions across Alberta, all while recognizing their unique needs for success.

UCalgaryStrong initiatives and related wellness programming work hand-in-hand with the HCA to report results and contribute best practices to the wider network. If you'd like to learn more about Healthy Campus Alberta, visit the website.

Building a community can be a tall order when you’re busy with school work, and meeting like-minded people in a large campus setting is always a challenge. By creating the Campus Community Hub, the goal is to make these parts of the post-secondary experience more accessible and available. Located on the ground floor of our Yamnuska student residence, the Hub is a place where students can connect, play, chat with new friends and attend workshops and training.

The Campus Community Hub is a great place to:

  • Play a board game
  • Become a Peer Support helper
  • Learn a new skill
  • Just hang out

See what’s happening at the Campus Community Hub this week by visiting the event calendar.

The Unwind program offers students the chance to get together and find a community on campus. It also presents various social opportunities on campus that you can join whenever you have time. Events typically take place during the lunch hour or after classes, they're often themed, and sometimes even offer free pizza to attendees.

Past Unwind themes have included:

  • Halloween pumpkin carving
  • Team-ups with various SU clubs (for instance, the spoken word club and the gaming club)
  • Board games and bingo

Similar to Unwind, the Meet-Up program connects students looking to meet new people in a social setting. The main difference is that the ongoing Meet-Up event series always takes place with the same group of people, and they make an effort to introduce out-of-country and out-of-province students to those who live in Calgary.

Some examples of the activities enjoyed during Meet-Up events include:

  • Dinos sporting events
  • Bobsledding at Winsport Athletic Park
  • Dining at trendy restaurants

Learn what kind of events are coming up for both Unwind and Meet-Up on the Leadership and Student Engagement Facebook account, or on the website event calendar.

Taking place during Orientation, the UCalgaryStrong Carnival is an evening event where first-year students can participate in a series of carnival activities like ski-ball, an arcade and basketball. Partnering with the Dinos, CJSW, Man-Up and other campus groups, Carnival brings the UCalgary community together to help welcome our incoming class each year.

This event serves as a bookend to the UCalgaryStrong Festival, a similar event held in April to celebrate the final day of classes. For more information, visit the webpage.