The Federation of Students, usually just known as Feds, is the University of Waterloo’s student government. As one would probably expect from a student government, Feds makes decisions and runs services that impact students, and generally plays a large role in the matter of student life, even if it’s not immediately obvious that they’re involved.
So what exactly does Feds do? Well, if you’re reading this during orientation week, you’re already seeing a little bit of it. Feds is heavily involved in putting O-Week together, and is in charge of running Welcome Week, which follows afterwards. Of course, these are just things that happen at the start of the term — so what is Feds doing the rest of the time?
Well, let’s start with the Student Life Centre. In addition to managing the entire building, Feds also personally runs many of the businesses within the building, including the Bombshelter Pub, International News, Wasabi!, and Feds Used Books. On top of that, it also runs several services, such as the Campus Response Team (which responds to on-campus medical emergencies), the Off-Campus Community (which accommodates students who are living off-campus while attending UW), and the Feds Food Bank.
Feds is also in charge of managing all of the student clubs and societies on campus, as well as student services like Glow and the Women’s Centre. Lastly, it provides important services like the Feds bus (which takes students out of town to London, Hamilton, and Toronto), the campus shuttle (which provides free, safe transport around Waterloo every night), and the Turnkey Desk (a general information centre with a bunch of other side functions). For full listings and descriptions of all of Feds’ services, check out feds.ca.
So now that you know the kinds of services Feds provides, you might be wondering exactly how Feds is run. As a student, you’re naturally considered part of Feds and have voting rights in all Feds elections or general meetings, but in terms of the general hierarchy, Feds is a bit more complicated than direct democracy.
Feds primarily functions as a student council, with members being elected from each of the school’s faculties and colleges at UW. Members of the student council make decisions affecting the entire student body.
At the top of the student council are four executives:
President (Chris Lolas)
Leads the Federation of Students and represents students in correspondence with the university’s administration.
Vice-president, operations and finance (Carly McCready)
Responsible for managing the finances of Feds, which includes balancing budgets, monitoring Feds operations and properly utilizing human resources.
Vice-president, education (Stephane Hamade)
Represents student interests in matters affecting education, both in terms of dealing with UW administration and on a provincial level.
Vice-president, internal (Maaz Yasin)
Manages and improves student programs, clubs, and societies.
There’s also a board of directors composed of different heads of the organization and concerned with Feds’ ongoing sustainability.