Student Life

Student Life

The Undergraduate English Students' Association (UESA)

The Undergraduate English Students' Association (UESA) represents undergraduate students in the Department of English at the University of Ottawa. That means we represent you and your interests at the department, faculty, and university level. Any student registered in an English degree program is considered a member of the UESA. The executive consists of a democratically elected President, VP Finance, VP University affairs, VP Literary, two VP Socials, a VP Communications, and a VP Philanthropic. We have also included within our executive two appointed positions: a Secretary and a spot for an incoming student as First Year Representative.

Another purpose of the UESA is to build a sense of community within the department by organizing a variety of social gatherings, like game nights, pub nights, and our famous Wine & Cheese events. With the induction of our VP Philanthropic we also support various charitable endeavours and are taking an active role in fundraising for Cystic Fibrosis through Shinerama. The UESA also hosts a monthly reading series called blUe MOndays which showcases the talents of students and local writers. In addition to these activities, the UESA is responsible for overseeing and publishing the Ottawa Arts Review, a forum for student poetry, prose and visual art.

For more information or to get involved, contact the UESA: 

President: Komal Kaur -

Hamelin Hall, room 321

The Graduate Students' Association

The Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) of the Department of English represents the English graduate students at the University of Ottawa. The purpose of the English GSA is to foster a sense of community among graduate students, to liaise with faculty and staff on issues relevant to graduate students, and to represent our department at the campus-wide Graduate Students’ Association (GSAÉD) and the Union of Student Workers at the University of Ottawa (CUPE 2626). The English GSA is proud to assist graduate students in all aspects of their involvement in the department of English. It holds work-in-progress sessions for graduate students to share their work with colleagues, friends, and faculty, and a weekly coffee hour in the department lounge (Hamelin 301) on Thursdays, 1:00-2:00, for students to gather for casual conversation and support. The English GSA also organizes an annual conference at which students and faculty are welcome. Please see our graduate conference page and our Facebook page for more information.

Graduate director: Jennifer Panek
GSA President, Department of English: Patrick Williams

Students' activities

Ottawa Arts Review

The Ottawa Arts Review (OAR) is the official English Arts Journal of the University of Ottawa. It is a not-for-profit publication produced twice per year on average. The OAR is staffed by student and alumni volunteers who wish to encourage the appreciation of both literary and visual arts within Ottawa.

Publishing verse, short prose, visual art, and short plays, the OAR gives an equal voice to local, Canadian, and international artists, cultivating a vibrant and positive setting that facilitates creative exchange between emerging and established artists alike.

By participating in various literary and artistic events around the University of Ottawa campus and the city itself – including the Writers' Festival and Small Press Book Fairs, as well as our issue launch parties and the UESA wine and cheese – OAR reaches out beyond its pages and seeks to form community with and gain exposure for local and visiting artists.

The publication is available for sale at the U of O Undergraduate English Students' Association (UESA, 3rd floor Arts Building), on our website, and at other fine establishments around Ottawa.

If you would like to submit to the review, the guidelines can be found on our website,

Please limit your submissions to a maximum of six works and send them to

We can always use more help! To become a volunteer, please contact the Undergraduate English Students' Association at

The Puritan

The Puritan: Frontiers of New English is a quarterly publication that showcases the work of both amateur and established authors. The Puritan publishes previously unpublished prose – fiction and non-fiction – on any subject; our only mandate is quality. Submissions should not exceed 25 typed pages in length (or 7,500 words). The Puritan is available for sale at several locations around Ottawa. It is distributed free of charge to students in the department of English and at the Agora Bookstore. For more information, please consult our website.

Friday Circle

Friday Circle was initiated in 1992 as a series of Friday noon hour gatherings to which students and faculty were invited to read their new work for discussion and response. The weekly meetings took place in Simard Hall, usually with ten to fifteen persons sitting in a circle, hence Friday Circle.

Subsequently, annual anthologies of writing, a broadside and chapbook series became ongoing activities of Friday Circle. While the reading circle ceased to meet, a full publication program ensued with the collaboration of faculty, students and alumni of the Department of English.

Today, Friday Circle's mandate is to foster creativity and to help sustain the Ottawa literary community by disseminating the work of new writers from the University community.

English Debating Society

The English Debating Society, the oldest continuing student society of the University, draws its members from all faculties and schools but has long been sponsored by the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Social Sciences, and the Department of English. It holds public weekly debates on campus during term and organizes special events such as debating workshops, and two annual debating tournaments, one for high-school students and one for university students. The Society's intercollegiate activities include the reception of visiting teams and the sending of its own teams to debates in Canada and abroad.

Other student associations

Students' Association of the Faculty of Arts

Student Federation of the University of Ottawa

Graduate Students' Association of the University of Ottawa

Canadian Federation of Students

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