Apply to The Seneca
The Application Process
Interested in applying to The Seneca? The Fall 2020 Application Process is now over. But, you can be on the lookout for information on applying fall 2021.
If you have questions, please read through our FAQs, but also feel free to contact our Membership Chairs at SenecaMC@gmail.com.
In an effort to increase transparency, fairness, and clarity for all applicants, we have put together this list of FAQ. If there is anything else we can help clarify, do not hesitate to reach out to our Membership Chairs at SenecaMC@gmail.com.
What is The Seneca?
The Seneca, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was founded in 1999 by a group of Harvard undergraduate women. The Seneca’s mission is to create opportunities, resources, and sustainable networks for women in social, educational, and professional environments.
If I join The Seneca, will I be affected by sanctions?
No. The Seneca is a Recognized Social Organization (RSO) meaning that all Seneca members (regardless of graduating year) are not and will not be affected by the sanctions.
How do I apply to The Seneca?
The Seneca’s application process is distinct from that of other organizations on campus. The first round consists of essays which are read name-blind to increase fairness for all applicants. Additionally, during the first round of the application process, applicants will meet one on one with a Seneca member, attend a small group event and attend one of the Seneca’s All-Member meetings. None of these events will have any bearing on the applicant’s first-round application. The second round of the application consists of another one on one meeting, several small group events, and an All-Member meeting. These second-round application events serve to allow applicants to meet as many current members of the Seneca as possible and experience the full range of activities that comprise membership in the Seneca.
If you are interested in applying to The Seneca, we welcome you to attend our Mix & Mingle, which is an optional event that in no way affects your first round application. In order to take part in the application process, you must fill out an interest form. Reach out to SenecaMC@gmail.com for an extension, as we understand current events may have a bearing on your capacity and wellbeing.
How long is the application process? What does it look like?
The Seneca application process will usually lasts two to four weeks The initial interest form begins first round, which consists of one on one member meetings, small group activities, and several all-member events. The name-blind application is due at the end of first round. Second round follows and consists of one-on-one member matches, small group discussions, and large group activities.
How much of a time commitment is the application process?
The Seneca requires applicants to attend two member matches (one on one meetings with current members), two chat and chills (small group events), and one all member meeting. Therefore, at a minimum, the application is a seven hour time commitment. However, we encourage applicants to attend our Friday Hang-outs and partake in additional social activities.
Will I need to spend money during the application process?
No. App Process is completely cost-free for applicants. Inclusivity through affordability is central to The Seneca’s mission.
What should I wear to application events?
Genuinely, we want applicants to wear whatever makes them comfortable. Formal attire is not required for any of our events, and applicants are not judged on their appearance at any point in the application process.
Do you have to be a sophomore to apply?
Nope! Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors are all encouraged to apply! There is no preference given to sophomores. In fact, we have several seniors join every year.
Can you reapply to The Seneca?
Absolutely! We strongly encourage people who are interested in The Seneca to reapply, regardless of past experiences.
Does The Seneca collect dues? Is there financial aid?
The Seneca does collect dues that enable us to buy supplies for our All-Member meetings, fees for guest speakers, Faculty Reception, and formals. However, we have a very generous financial aid program that meets all of our membership’s need. We never allow financial barriers to bar applicants from joining The Seneca.
Due to being online, dues are reduced to cover mailed supplies, care packages, and other incidentals. Our financial aid program persists.
Does The Seneca accept men?
The Seneca amended its bylaws in 2016 to become gender inclusive. All individuals, regardless of gender identity are encouraged to apply; their application will be regarded and reviewed with the same standards and expectations we hold for female identifying applicants. This includes male-identifying individuals. The Seneca is simply looking for a dedicated community to uphold its mission.
But are you a Final Club?
No, the Seneca is not a Final Club. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was founded in 1999 by a group of Harvard undergraduate women. We enjoy taking part in social events and hosting our own social events, but we are also focused on pursuing initiatives that create better environments and opportunities for women. See the next question for info about our outreach!
We also aim to make our application process as merit-based as possible, with a consistent emphasis on applicant’s apparent interest and dedication to The Seneca’s mission.
What type of advocacy and outreach does The Seneca do?
The Seneca organizes a variety of events on campus to improve opportunities for women. In the past, The Seneca helped found the Harvard College Women's Center and helped launch an HPV Vaccine Awareness Campaign. Academically, we organize a Women’s Faculty Reception every year, in addition to events during Harvard College Women's Week. Socially, the Seneca started [BLANK] party, an all inclusive, free party organized and staffed by women, that is accessible to all Harvard students. In the future, we hope to partner with organizations focused on women’s issues. Our Women’s Outreach Committee dedicates an hour each week to expanding our impact. Reach out to our WOC chair with more questions.
For a complete list of FAQ, please click here. Please don't hesitate to reach out to our membership chairs at SenecaMC@gmail.com if you have other questions! You can also look at our Facebook (The Seneca, Inc.) or our Instagram @theseneca.inc for more info.