In April of 2016, I put my love for animals into action and founded The Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (SETA). After drafting up a constitution, and recruiting board members, the foundation was created. My vision was starting to come to life, but I still had extensive work to do.

Essentially, the mission of SETA is to advocate for all animals, in all aspects, by spreading awareness through tabling demonstrations, programs, and conversations.Therefore, my vice president and I sat down and wrote a list of every animal welfare topic imaginable. We then began planning when and how we could educate the campus community on these significant issues in fun, interactive ways.

In addition to supporting existing campaigns, and touching upon new ideas, we will be educating the campus community on issues including: farm animals and dairy production, marine life and pollution, vegan/vegetarian alternatives, scientific and cosmetic testing, the fashion industry, animal cruelty/neglect, current legislation, the reality of breeding, zoos and circus’ and much more.

As the fall approaches, we are hoping to launch programs including pet therapy, and movie screenings, of which will be collaborated with other student clubs. Some of our general meeting activities will include round-table discussions on trending animal welfare topics and policies, debates on how we can utilize social media to advance equality for animals, and applying photography and art to gain an appreciation of the wildlife on our own campus. One of our main objectives, however, is to obtain a grand number of signatures for our petition to end dissection in science classes here at SUNY Old Westbury.

Animals can be extremely helpless at times, and thus it is our responsibility to be the helping hand. We hear their cries, and see their pain, and we cannot sit by and allow it to continue. Humanity depends on compassion, knowledge, and the ability to decipher right from wrong. SETA values dedication, passion, leadership, and the ability to be the one standing, when everyone else is sitting.

SETA is the only animal welfare club on campus, and thus takes pride of being the positive voice animals so desperately need. However, we cannot achieve long-lasting change alone. Our fellow peers are the future and we depend on their help.

One thing I will always remind my members of is that helping one animal will not necessarily change the world. But it will change the world, for that one animal. Our journey is just beginning, and I could not imagine a better environment for it than the campus of SUNY Old Westbury.