Hello Seneca Students,
To all new and returning students, welcome to the fall 2019 semester! I hope you have all settled in, are enjoying your classes, meeting new people and are anticipating a great year ahead. As you work toward your goals, the Seneca Student Federation is also working to ensure the year ahead is filled with memorable experiences as well as the support you may need.
In January of this year, the Ontario government introduced the Student Choice Initiative. What this means is that beginning in September 2019, Seneca students will have the opportunity to opt out of any non-essential SSF ancillary fees. Students should be aware that by opting out of SSF fees will have a direct effect on the services and programming they will have access to. Opting out of SSF fees will result in students not being eligible to participate in SSF events, or receive SSF services unless they pay a premium fee at the time the event or service is being offered. While it may seem like a great way to save money by opting out of fees, the long-term effect could be detrimental to the services, programming and support they have access to. The SSF asks that students remember we are here for you and to support you, but to do this we need your financial support. You can find more detailed information on the various SSF fees and what they will provide you, at www.ssfinc.ca.
Here's what opting in to SSF fees will get you… Membership in a club/association; access to SSF awards and bursaries, including the Student Development Grant; access to the Tax Clinic, Legal Aid, training programs (CPR, Mental Health First Aid); volunteering opportunities; on-campus jobs; the student handbook; all on/off campus programming, including awareness programs; advocacy; grade appeals; participation on college committees; food banks and meal support. SSF fees are minimal, but will provide you with countless opportunities.
Over the summer, the Seneca Student Federation has been busy organizing programming, keeping Seneca’s diverse student population and needs in mind. Campus-specific activities will include pubs, cultural events, dessert days, bubble tea, and so much more. Campus-wide activities will include the annual Niagara Falls trip and the Boat Cruise, both taking place in September. In October, look forward to Cirque du Soleil and an off-campus trip to Montreal!
Behind the scenes, Seneca Student Federation members have been attending College Committee meetings. Student representation at committee meetings is a great opportunity to have the student voice heard at meetings where decisions are being made, effecting all of us. Based on some very productive meetings, great changes have been made to the Academic Honesty Policy, and the Academic Integrity Policy, all taking effect September 1st. Ongoing initiatives of the SSF include the shuttle bus service; Health & Dental coverage; food banks and the Student Development Grant. For those of you who don’t know about the Student Development Grant, it’s a great program which helps to fund student participation in program-related conferences, humanitarian projects, and more! Check out the ssfinc.ca for more information, including application forms.
As the SSF faces challenging times with the new Student Choice Initiative, I continue to be excited to serve you to the best of my ability, and in any way possible. Feel free to drop by my office at Newnham (F1525) or contact me through e-mail. I will also be visiting all other campuses on a regular basis. Town Hall meetings have also been planned at all campuses throughout the semester. Check out www.ssfinc.ca for dates and times.
I wish you all good luck and a great fall semester!
Charanpreet Singh Deu