Senior School Activities, Councils and Clubs (A-M)

Students thrive when they are engaged in meaningful and exciting activities and feel connected to the community. At SMUS, in addition to the strong Academic, Arts, Service and Athletic opportunities, we offer an array of additional experiences that help students grow, develop passions, collaborate with others and get out into the wider community. Each activity will challenge students in a variety of ways, helping them to gain valuable skills and understandings, practice personal and social responsibility, and develop the practices of effective leadership.

It is important to get involved and it is equally important to maintain a balance. So choose wisely! Get involved in those areas that will be fun, develop your strengths or push you in just the right way out of your comfort zone.

To find out more about each of the activities, get in touch with the listed advisor(s). Senior School Activities, Councils and Clubs beginning with the letters N-Z are on the Activities (N-Z) page.

Senior School Activities, Councils and Clubs 2018-19 (A-M)

Club/Activity Description and Advisor
Academic Council

The focus of the Academic Council is to enhance the academic lives of all SMUS students by promoting and responding to academic topics within the school and by supporting Health & Wellness Week through the organization of the Brain Bowl. The Academic Council invites SMUS students to bring suggestions, questions, or comments to the attention of its members.

Contact: Mrs. Lamarche and Mrs. Kuklinski

Admissions Student Ambassador

Support the Admissions office by providing school tours to visiting families (during your spare), corresponding with prospective students through social media, hosting students to classes and/or lunch and leading tours for our two annual open houses and at Alumni Weekend.

Contact: Ms. McKay

Adventures in Public Discourse

To develop positive, constructive discourse skills through a variety of workshops and activities such as Model UN (MUN), mock trials and senate debates. Students will engage in oratorical skill-building exercises, problem-solving, argumentation, consensus-building, as well as interact with students from other schools to address contemporary social, cultural and political issues through civil public discourse. Activities will emphasize: knowing your audience, listening to understand, preparing, organizing and presenting your position effectively, maintaining civility, being solution-oriented, evaluating ideas critically, constantly reflecting, and committing to collective success.

Contact: Mrs. McGee and Mr. Lynch

Amnesty International

To support the work of Amnesty International by raising awareness through various campaigns including the Day of Silence, as well as regular weekly discussions surrounding a variety of human rights issues. The group also promotes and attends the Victoria Amnesty International Film Festival in mid-November.

Contact: Mr. Primrose

Arts Council

To promote the arts at SMUS by organizing and coordinating acoustic concerts, drama nights and art shows.

Contact: Mr. Bateman, Mr. Butterfield and Mr. Collett

Athletic Council

To promote and facilitate student leadership as it relates to the athletic program, including such things as school spirit, game promotions and the athletic banquet.

Contact: Ms. Brooke and Mr. Primrose

Boarding Activities Council

To promote and facilitate student leadership as it relates to the boarding activities program. This includes organizing and promoting these events within the boarding houses.

Contact: TBA

Boarding House Games Council

To promote and facilitate student leadership as it relates to the boarding house games and activities. This includes organizing and promoting these events within the boarding houses, as well as helping with set-up and score-keeping.

Contact: TBA

Boarders Head of House Council

To work closely with the Director of Residence on issues arising within the boarding community. Boarding Heads of Houses act as important liaisons between the students in residence and the school’s faculty and administration. This also includes working closely with other groups, including the Admissions department when required, to ensure the best representation and exposure of the boarding program.

Contact: Mr. Driscoll

Book Club

To provide leadership opportunities for students, to promote literacy and to foster a love of reading in the school and in global communities. Activities have included fundraising book sales for schools in South Africa, Liberia and Nicaragua; Buddy Reading with the Junior School; book-buying expeditions to choose books for the library; sharing favourite books; hosting visiting authors; and planning Book Club events such as Drop Everything and Read and SMUS Reads. New projects are decided by members each year.

Mr. Contact: Mrs. Tweedie, Mrs. Weijs

Brass Ensembles

To play music arranged specifically for brass instruments.

Contact: Mr. Farish

Bridge Club

Bridge is a popular partnership-based card game played all around the world. The club provides a low-stress environment for its members to learn and play. No experience is necessary, and travel to tournaments is optional.

Contact: Mr. Tessarolo and Mr. Hunt

The Brier/Between Red Walls

To expose students to the process of assembling a magazine – soliciting work, writing commentary and text, editing, designing – and to showcase literary talent at the school.

Contact: Mrs. McCachen

Buddy Reading Club

Buddy Reading offers an opportunity for students in all grades to share their love of reading amongst their peers, promote literacy ties between Senior and Junior School students and foster a love of reading with our younger students by reading weekly to junior reading buddies. There is also a leadership opportunity for a senior Buddy Reader to be the coordinator and liaison between students, Mrs. Tweedie and Mrs. Nason, the Junior School Librarian.

Contact: Mrs. Tweedie

Business Club

To carry out simulated and real business activities in the SMUS community in order to gain insight into business practices. The club is currently operating a busy student-run café out of the Sun Centre called the Daily Grind. A limitless amount of real-world business experience is available to students who attach themselves to one of five business operations at the Daily Grind: finance, operations, marketing, sustainability and senior management.

Contact: Mr. Colistro

CAIS Conference

Each year, the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools Conference is hosted at a different school across the country. Although specific themes are set by the host school, youth generally develop their leadership abilities in relation to self, group and community. The aim of the conference is to empower and prepare students to come back to SMUS and Victoria as individuals who are able to lead by example. See the Leadership Moodle site for more information at secure.smus.ca/moodle.

Contact: Mr. Primrose

Chapel

The team strives to craft Chapel sessions that are student-centred, relevant and meaningful. Chapel itself is a crossroads for the leadership program where various groups relate their endeavours and reflect on the values that support their work. The team has a hand in every aspect of planning: themes, format, music, prayers, hymns and presentations. Members enjoy the unique opportunity and responsibility of creating an event in which the whole Senior School participates twice a week. The team also works to influence school culture beyond the walls of Chapel.

Contact: Rev. Fletcher

Chess Club The Chess Club provides an organized environment for anyone who loves chess, offering tournament ladders, and tutorials for everything from basic tactics to complex openings.

Contact: Mr. French

Chinese Culture Club

Chinese Culture Club is a time dedicated to learning more in-depth about Chinese culture in the areas of food, art, sports, dialects, regions, social habits, doing business with Chinese people, etc. This club is founded, organized and run by students. Through different activities, such as Ping Pong, chopstick competition, Chinese calligraphy, and watching culture and music videos, participants will have a greater understanding about Chinese culture in a broader scope.

Contact: Mrs. Mao

Commonwealth Conference (Vancouver Island)

To bring students from different schools together to discuss global issues based on the Commonwealth Heads of Government model.

Contact: Mrs. Davel and Mrs. Kuklinski

Commonwealth Forum (National)

To continue the work of the Vancouver Island Commonwealth Conference in Ottawa.

Contact: Mrs. Davel

Commonwealth Conference (Van. Island)

To bring students from different schools together to discuss global issues based on the Commonwealth Heads of Government model.

Contact: Mrs. Davel, Mrs. Kuklinski

Community Service

As a school which prepares students for higher learning and for life, we believe community involvement is a crucial part of a SMUS education. Serving the needs of others is a core tenet of our program. We hope to broaden perspectives and develop leadership skills and character traits in order to create good citizens. The Senior School encourages students to participate in off-campus service. Some opportunities are chaperoned and some are not. Community Service opportunities are posted on the Service and Leadership section of the SMUSpaper website (news.smus.ca/leadership). Students interested in learning more about the opportunities or looking for something more individualized can meet with Ms. Parker in the Leadership office on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Contact: Ms. Parker

Duke of Edinburgh Award

The Duke of Edinburgh Award is a globally recognized and prestigious award available for youth recognizing their engagement in community service, skill building and outdoor endeavours. As a standards-based award, when the requirements are met, students qualify for the award. Register online at: www.dukeofed.org/sign-up (and indicate that you are part of the St. Michaels University School group). Registration must occur before activities can be recorded.

Contact: Ms. Parker and Mr. Primrose

Entrepreneur Club

A student-driven and experiential opportunity for those willing to join the real entrepreneurial world and learn how to operate a business while at SMUS. Depending on members’ ideas, different business possibilities will be explored and tested. All members are involved in the whole business process, including idea forming and goal setting, market research and business operating, financial management, marketing, business plans, execution of business and evaluation of success or failure. Guest speakers will be brought in throughout the year. The goals of the club are to:

  • Immerse members in the world of entrepreneurship,
  • Observe real current business events,
  • Give hands-on experience with business research,
  • Analyze entrepreneurs and their companies,
  • Teach the process of start-up creation,
  • Create your own start-up to pitch.

Contact: Mr. Lilly

Fall Theatre Production

Students will mount a full dramatic production for two or three performances in November. Cast will be determined based on auditions held at the beginning of the year.

Contact: Mr. Collett

Film Club

To teach students how to edit and film videos, to serve the school by helping out in school-related videos and to produce an end-of-year summary video of the school year.

Contact: Mr. Dave Hlannon and Mr. Kent Leahy-Trill

Food Committee

The boarding food committee represents the boarding community and their wish to have healthy, tasty, well-liked meals.

Contact: TBA

Freethinkers' Club

The purpose of FreeThinkers’ Club is to educate young individuals by exposing them to diverse opinions and ideologies. During this process, we hope to provide a safe environment where students feel comfortable expressing their thoughts while learning to be skeptical and mutually benefiting off each other’s ideas. We will be covering topics ranging from Nihilism and Reincarnation to Personal Identity and Ethics. Club members will be frequently encouraged and be provided with opportunities to explore and present their own topics of interest.

Contact: Mr. Bateman

Grade 11 Leadership Training

Throughout the year all Grade 11 students participate in leadership sessions. Through the use of grade meetings, chapels, guest speakers and workshops-style events , there are many opportunities for students to continue their development as future leaders within the school. The students are introduced to the five practices of leadership and provided the opportunity to explore how they can implement these practices into their everyday life as they prepare for their future leadership roles as Grade 12 students.

Contact: Mrs. Daly, Mr. Primrose, Mr. Anderson and Mr. Driscoll

Grad Committee

This committee organizes events to raise money for the grad class. Candygram sales, bake sales and Christmas poinsettias are some of the events that take place. The funds are used to support the grad class.

Contact: Ms. Webber

Grade Councils

Students represent the issues of their peers with respect to school spirit and school life in general. Organized by grade, School Prefects oversee the management and running of the meetings and serve as liasons between the students in each grade and the Prefect Council and school administration. Grade wide initiatives and issues are discussed as well as the organization of full school events.

Contact: Mr. Primrose

Green Club

The Green Club’s overarching goals are to reduce the school’s ecological footprint and reduce the school’s CO2 emissions. We accomplish this through education and hands-on projects. Students will gain a broad understanding of sustainability and environmental issues. At the same time, they will gain leadership and project management experience.

Contact: Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Donatelli

Hack Club

Hack Club is a club that teaches coding to students in a way that empowers them to build things and solve problems. This club will be a chapter of the broader Hack Club initiative, which provides support and resources to the club itself. Hack Club meetings are structured in pairs, so that new projects can be started and demoed each week. The first of the two meetings includes an hour-long workshop to help get members started, and the second is a session of free-form hacking. This emphasis on building things echoes the spirit of hackathons, making Hack Club feel like a continuous hackathon.

Contact: Mr. Steed

History Is Cool Club

Using a seminar style, the club will do in-depth analyses of various events and personalities in history, particularly as they pertain to current events. The actual content and themes will be driven by membership interest. The aim is to deepen awareness of history and engage in insightful, relevant dialogue with students. There will also be information about local historical events, and possibly field trips to visit events and activities with a historical theme.

Contact: Mr. Kerr, Mr. French

Intercultural Council

To increase awareness of the diverse intercultural community at SMUS and to promote tolerance and understanding of other cultures’ traditions. We will discuss intercultural issues and our role in better understanding our global responsibility as students.

Contact: Ms. Wilson, Ms. Robinson

International Exchanges

There are a wide range of exchange opportunities throughout the school year to destinations such as Japan, India, China and Australia. The exchange schools SMUS partners with are primarily co-educational, with a few exceptions. Each exchange situation offers a similar level of academics and educational philosophy, and many schools offer unique aspects of their curriculum to visiting students.

All trips are announced in the early spring at parent information meetings and grade-wide assemblies for Grade 9 and Grade 10 students. The application and acceptance process takes place in the year prior to the exchange. Applications are due in early May and students learn about their exchange placement before the end of the academic year.

To learn about specific exchanges, please visit www.smus.ca/programs/senior/life/travel.

Contact: Ms. Wilson

International Opportunities

Our school offers international opportunities each year for students to deepen their understanding of the world and its cultures. Some experiences are related to an area of interest (such as music, geography, language). All involve exposure to a different culture. Because we are committed to service, most trips will involve some service work in the area. There will be pre-trip expectations, behavioural expectations during trips as well as follow-up reflections for most trips. To see the schedule of trip offerings, visit www.smus.ca/programs/senior/life/travel.

Contact: Mr. Cook

Intermurals

To afford students the opportunity to seek a healthy, balanced, active lifestyle through a variety of activities including (subject to change) Badminton, Basketball, Disc sports, Indoor climbing, Indoor soccer, Sailing, Squash, Tennis, Strength training, Total body fitness (girls), Volleyball or Yoga.

Contact: Mr. Linn

The Jag Newspaper

To produce a student-centred newspaper throughout the school year in both print and online.

Contact: Mrs. McCachen and Mr. Edgington

Knitting Club

To teach students how to knit and then have them teach others.

Contact: TBA

Leadership Conferences

Students are presented with many opportunities to participate in leadership conferences locally, nationally and internationally. Each conference has a specific theme that may prove to be appealing in an area that students would like to explore.

Contact: Mr. Primrose

Link Leaders

Link Leaders is a student-centred leadership and mentoring program which welcomes Grade 9 students and helps to make them feel comfortable and confident throughout their first year at the Senior School. Built on the belief that students can help students succeed, the Link Leader program trains members of the Grade 12 class to become positive role models who act as motivators, leaders and mentors to help Grade 9 students have a successful year. This program engages, develops and trains older students to make a difference. Link Leaders are drawn from a cross-section of the entire student body. Through identification with and connection to a Link Leader, the Grade 9 students will start to see themselves as leaders on campus. Full details can be found at www.boomerangproject.com.

Contact: Mr. Daly, Mr. Shaw, Mrs. Bendfeld, Mrs. Jones and Mr. Anderson

Math Challengers

The main purpose of this activity is to share our enjoyment of doing mathematics with like-minded individuals. Mathematics can be a spectator sport. Our Math Challengers are a very similar group to our athletes. Instead of competing in the gym or on the field, we compete in a room using minds, paper and pencils only. Problem-solving is viewed as a game where students need creativity and persistence in order to compete. The Math Challengers program promotes strategic problem solving by challenging students with stimulating and thought-provoking questions. Students form teams competing with other schools at regional and provincial tournaments.

Contact: Mr. Williams and Dr. McAskill

Me to We

Formally known as Free the Children, the Me to We or simply We Club serves locally to create awareness and support for children who are disadvantaged in locations throughout the world. Our current focus is the Adopting a Village program in Kenya through Me to We.

Contact: Mr. Cook

Military History Club

Using a seminar style, the club will do in-depth analyses of the tactics and strategies involved in major battles and campaigns throughout history. The content and themes will be driven by membership interest. Membership will also determine the extent of any experiential components (off-campus activities) throughout the year.

Contact: Mr. Young

Musical

To offer the opportunity for students to be involved in a full-scale musical production. Mamma Mia! will be this year’s production.

Contact: Mr. Collett, Ms. Williams and Mr. Butterfield

See the Activities (N-Z) page for Senior School Activities, Councils and Clubs beginning with the letters N-Z.