Welcome back to campus for summer. My name is Sarah McCurdy and I am the new A-Soc WEEF Director. First of all, WEEF has some exciting news: in Winter 2017, WEEF’s principal value surpassed $15 million and is currently valued at $15,144,604! Additionally, after observing our current financials, WEEF approved an increase in annual spending to $270,000 annually.
WEEF was founded in 1990 by two University of Waterloo Engineering students, John Vellinga (SYDE ’91) and Avi Belinsky (EE ’90), to “continuously improve the educational environment for undergraduate engineering students”. So, they created an undergrad student-controlled endowment fund with the funds explicitly assigned for undergraduate equipment.
WEEF stands for the Waterloo Engineering Endowment Foundation and it is the largest student-run endowment fund. WEEF income is based through donations by the student body, alumni, and the employer matching contributions. The interest earned on the principal amount is distributed out to faculty and student proposals after voting approval by the WEEF student representative council and approval by the student-majority WEEF board of directors. The student council has two representatives from each class that attend and vote on all proposals.
By the WEEF by-laws, WEEF can fund long-term investments that have a direct impact on UW Engineering undergraduates. Every term, proposals submitted by the faculty, student teams, and clubs are presented to the WEEF council outlining: materials needed, the detailed costs, and the impact on Waterloo Engineering. The student WEEF representatives ask questions, propose modifications, and communicate to presenters about the efficacy of their proposals. Once all the presentations are finished and each class has been represented, the funding council votes on the funding allocation. The Engineering department take into consideration what students are funding with the WEEF budget. WEEF communicates on behalf of students through our own funding decisions and through our influence on the faculty’s budgets.
You can currently see some of WEEF’s investments in your lab instrumentation and in the funded student team materials that have a yellow WEEF sticker on them. Additionally, you can see WEEF’s investment through the E5 Sedra Student Design Center, in which WEEF has completed its final payment of its $1 million funding to.
If you have any questions about how to get involved with WEEF, how to submit proposals, or any general questions about WEEF, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.