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Spotlight: Seneca Velling, Students' Council Secretary
Meet Seneca Velling, 4A Materials and Nanosciences student, Secretary of Students' Council, and recipient of the fall term Feds award for his volunteer work in Feds governance.
As a second-year student in 2016, Velling found himself inspired to incite change on campus according to the needs and demands of his fellow Warriors. Over the next three years, Velling got involved in various governance positions including Science Society Speaker for the Board, member of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, Chair of the Feds Board of Directors, and Science Councillor on Feds Students’ Council.
Velling got involved with governance at University of Waterloo in an effort to personally address some of the issues he saw on campus.
"When I was involved with the Science Society, I noticed growing discontent among students that I wanted to address myself, instead of relaying the needs and concerns from students to the Feds Councillors at the time," he said.
On top of holding various governance positions, Velling has dedicated countless hours to policy reform and representing the voices of his fellow undergraduate Science students. During his involvement with Feds governance, he has worked toward implementing online voting for General Meetings, allowing students to vote for the auditor and Directors via proxy at General Meetings, and introducing a potential new legal service for students.
The new potential legal service was initially proposed to Feds Students’ Council in 2016, before Velling became involved with Council. After being elected, however, he and Applied Health Sciences Councillor Tomson Tran spearheaded the efforts of bringing the potential service to a referendum. This legal service could potentially provide legal coverage, a toll-free legal counsel helpline, and cover losses and disputes.
“Every September, I’ve heard students complain about the different housing developments and landlords, asking, 'Can Feds help us get legal protection? What is the process to file a complaint with the Landlord and Tenancy Board?’ and while Feds, with the help of Laurier’s student union, put out infographics and have housing rights information online, students need more than that in dire situations,” explains Velling.
See room for improvement on campus? Want to see change? Velling encourages students to get involved, whether it be voting or running for a Feds governance position, or even reaching out to your respective Feds Councillors, and to take charge of making that change.
When asked what Velling does in his free time, he is finally at a loss for words after thoroughly explaining the ins-and-outs of student governance at UWaterloo. After a long pause he responds, “I like to work on policy for Feds," and after an even longer pause, adds, “and I like to read and play video games."
Executive, Council, and Senate nominations are now open! If you or someone you know is passionate about campus life, consider getting involved: https://feds.ca/governance