The Seneca Student Federation
With the inception of the Community College system in 1967, came the need for student representation at the various colleges across the province. In its earliest incarnations, the SSF operated as a function of the college, much in the way secondary school student councils operate. Under the guidance of Student Services at Seneca College, and the shared desire to ensure there was always a strong student voice at each campus, the SSF was created. As the needs of students grew and the complexity of representing them increased, the initial steps towards forming what we know as the corporation today, began.
In 1995 the representative council at Newnham campus, and their ancillary operations (Looney’s Food Service, The Missing Link Pub, and CRSC Campus Radio) incorporated as the Seneca Student Federation (Newnham) Inc. This new corporation consisted of the local elected council, a General Manager, an Operations Manager, and a Kitchen Manager. The King Students Administrative Council, the Sheppard Campus Student Association, and the Computer Studies Representative Council (Don Mills) continued as functions of Student Services. Each of the groups maintained a separate council of elected executive members from the local student population who was responsible for student representation at their campus. College-wide initiatives and concerns were handled through the All President’s Council (APC).
Over the next few years, as the local initiatives at each campus required more attention, the SSF (Newnham) Inc. began hiring additional staff to support the coordination of council operations at each of the campuses. A move to centralize the operations of the SSF was completed in 2000 when the Seneca Student Federation Incorporated was created. This new corporation brought together the councils at Seneca’s four main campuses at the time: Newnham Campus, King Campus, Don Mills Campus, and the newly built Seneca@York Campus. In 1999 the Don Mills Campus was closed and the Markham Campus was opened.
The mandate of the SSF Inc. is "to provide services & activities that benefit and meet the needs of Seneca students in a fiscally responsible manner within a learning environment". It is the goal of every Student Council (there are Councils at King, Markham, Newnham and Seneca@York) to offer a wide variety of programs and services to students and to represent the needs and concerns of students to the College's administration.
The Seneca Student Federation is made up of elected student council representatives who serve a one-year term of office. SSF positions at each of the four campuses (King, Markham, Newnham and Seneca@York) include a Vice President and three Coordinators. There is also a full time SSF President who oversees the operations at all campuses. As well, the SSF Board of Directors is made up of seven elected students. Each of the four main campuses elect one Board representative. In addition, there are three At Large elected Board of Director positions. Members of the SSF Board of Directors serve a one-year term of office.
On January 27, 2019, the Ontario government introduced the Student Choice Initiative. What this means is that beginning in September 2019, students will have the opportunity to opt-out of any non-essential SSF ancillary fee. Students should be aware that by opting out of SSF fees will result in them not being able to participate in SSF events, or receive any SSF service unless they pay a premium fee at the time the event or service is being offered. Opting in to SSF fees, will provide access to countless programming events and activities including cultural, educational, social and more!
Student leaders are also trained to serve as advocates on behalf of Seneca's student body. By participating in workshops facilitated by the Student Services, Student Federation and the Student Conduct Office department, student leaders learn to resolve conflicts through interest-based methods of negotiation. Student Council members are available to advise you on College policies and procedures and provide guidance on how to resolve both individual and group issues.