Like the term dom used for Roman Catholic priests, the term don derives from the Latin dominus meaning "lord" and is a historical remnant of Oxford and Cambridge having started as ecclesiastical institutions in the Middle Ages. The term don meaning crime boss also derives from dominus.
At some universities in Canada, such as the University of King's College and the University of New Brunswick, a don is the senior head of a university residence. At these institutions, a don is typically a faculty member, staff member, or postgraduate student, whose responsibilities in the residence are primarily administrative. The don supervises their residence and a team of undergraduate resident assistants, proctors, or other student employees.
In other Canadian institutions, such as Huron College and the University of Toronto, a don is a resident assistant, typically an upper-year student paid a stipend to act as an advisor to and supervisor of the students in a university residence.
- For background information and opinion, see a recently published selection of short articles by Cambridge Don, Professor Mary Beard, It's a Don's Life, London, Profile, 2009. ISBN 1-84668-251-7
- "Residence & Dining | University of Kings College". University of Kings College. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
- "Become a Don | UNB". www.unb.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
- "Apply to be a Don". www.huronuc.on.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
- "Donships and RAs | Student Life". www.studentlife.utoronto.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
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