Governing Documents

Governing Documents

Governance Documents

The SSMU is governed by its Constitution, Internal Regulations, and Policies. If you have suggestions or ideas, please contact the SSMU President or your Councilor.

Please note that Internal Regulations, the Policy Books, Positions Book and the Plans Book are living documents that are often revised. The SSMU endeavors to provide accurate and up-to-date versions of these documents as soon as they become available.

If you have an urgent concern related to the Constitution or Internal Regulations, please contact the SSMU President.


Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act

The SSMU is a not-for-profit corporation incorporated under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (CNCA), and is therefore subject to the rules and regulations set out under the Act. If you wish to learn more about this federal not-for-profit legislation, go to the Government of Canada’s website here.


SSMU is an accredited Student Union therefore it is recognized by the provincial authorities as the only organization representing the students. The main purpose of an association is to represent students and to promote their common interests, such as the administration of their educational institution. Such accreditation allows the SSMU to:

  • State the institution’s obligations with regard to the association (the institution must provide the association with a room, bulletin boards, list of students)
  • Have sole authority to appoint students to sit on the institution’s council and other committees
  • Finance its activities because membership fees become compulsory for every person registered at the institution and represented by the association

If you wish to learn more about this provincial Act, check out the government of Quebec’s website here.

Letters Patent (Letters of Incorporation)

A Letters Patent is a document that outlines a corporation’s legal operations within the province of Quebec, such as how many legal administrators there are, the total amount of money the corporation can have, its mandate, and so on.

The Letters Patent of the then-named Student Center of McGill University  serves as the published written declaration of our status as a corporation. The Student Center of McGill University merged with the Students’ Society of McGill University in 2007.  

We are now known as the Students’ Society of McGill University and have been ever since 1999. It should be noted that the SSMU is still legally recognized as the Students’ Society of McGill University.


The Constitution of the Students’ Society of McGill University

The SSMU Constitution is a document that deals with all of the most fundamental elements of the Society. It also serves as SSMU’s legal “By-law” for the Quebec government in relation to SSMU’s status as a non-profit corporation (it is for this reason that we recently changed our By-laws to be known as Internal Regulations, per our legal counsel, as our Constitution is essentially our ‘By-law’ in the eyes of the Quebec government).

The Constitution outlines the SSMU’s role in providing service, leadership, and representation to McGill’s downtown undergraduates, the basic outline of the seven Executive positions, basic electoral processes, and various disciplinary processes. The Constitution can only be altered by Referendum.

Internal Regulations

After the Constitution, the Internal Regulations of SSMU are the highest level of regulation that exists within SSMU. The Constitution sets out broad principles through which the Society functions, and creates and defines the main organs of SSMU governance. Whereas general principles are included in the Constitution, the Internal Regulations create frameworks for their application. Internal Regulations can be changed by Council or General Assembly.

Internal Regulations Date Amended
Elections and Referenda February 25, 2021
Finances April 11, 2024
Governance May 2, 2024
Representation and Advocacy March 28, 2019
Student Groups March 09, 2023
Sustainability and Operations April 11, 2024
Policies (A-E)

Policies at the SSMU can be initiated by the Board of Directors, Legislative Council, or can be student Led.

Policy Adoption Date Expiry Date
Accessibility Policy January 1, 2021 January 1, 2026
Accessible Education and Academics Policy April 2, 2020 January 1, 2025
Climate Justice Policy April 11, 2024 May 1, 2029
Clubs and Services As SSMU’s Highest Priority Policy April 4, 2019 January 1, 2024
Conflict of Interest Policy December 14, 2023 May 1, 2028
Consultation Policy October 6, 2022 May 1, 2025
Divest for Human Rights Policy February 27, 2021 May 1, 2026
Equity Policy May 13, 2021 May 1, 2026
Events Policy April 2, 2020 January 1, 2025
Ethical Partnerships Policy May 11, 2023 May 1, 2028
Policies (F-S)

Policy Adoption Date Expiry Date
Food Security Policy March 9, 2023 May 1, 2028
Gendered and Sexual Violence Policy November 19th, 2020 May 31, 2024
Harm Reduction Policy April 8, 2021 May 1, 2026
Harmful Military Technology Policy May 2, 2024 May 2, 2029
Human Resources Policy September 24, 2020 May 1, 2023
Indigenous Solidarity Policy January 14, 2021 May 1, 2026
Mental Health Policy and Plan April 6, 2023 May 1, 2026
Moratorium on McGill Fees Until Fossil Fuel Divestment October 10, 2019 May 1, 2024
Sustainability Policy May 11, 2023 May 1, 2028
Mcgill Student Union Democratization Initiative Policy

Policy Adoption Date Expiry Date
McGill Student Union Democratization Initiative Policy November 11, 2021
May 1, 2026
SSMU Plans

A SSMU plan is a long-term plan with timelines and actionable items for advocacy and implementation for the SSMU, pertaining to a specific cause or issues. This is the book containing the outline of all ongoing SSMU Plans.

Plan Adoption Date Expiry Date
Accountability Plan May 2, 2024 May 1, 2029
Affordable Student Housing Plan February 13, 2020 May 1, 2024
Board Ad-hoc Committee on Naming (BACoN) Plan April 8, 2021
Clubs and Services as SSMU’s Highest Priority Plan March 28, 2020 January 1, 2024
Master Plan November 19, 2020
Master Plan for Addressing Racist Surveillance and Doxxing within SSMU and McGill University April 6, 2023
May 1, 2028
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Plan May 11, 2023
May 1, 2028
Trans Advocacy Plan May 11, 2023
May 1, 2028
SSMU Positions Book

SSMU Positions provide general guidance for the advocacy priorities of the Society. Positions lay out the SSMU’s values regarding internal and external issues, and are kept until amended, superseded, or removed. The Internal Regulations of Governance outline the procedures for creating and amending positions. This is the book containing the outline of all official positions taken by the SSMU.

  • Accessibility
  • Affordable Student Housing
  • Education
  • Environment and Environmental Sustainability
  • Ethics
  • Equity and Social Sustainability
  • Implementation of a Fall Reading Week
  • Family Care
  • Research
  • Gender Equality
  • Indigenous Equity
  • Sexual Violence
  • Student Life
  • Wellness
Existing Agreements

All-Faculty Involvement Restriction Policy (“IRP”)

All-Faculty Involvement Restriction Policy (IRP) 2021

The SSMU and the Student Associations want to adopt a uniform policy to provide the Persons with an environment where everyone is treated with respect, dignity and fairness and where all forms of discrimination, violence (including sexual violence), psychological, sexual or other forms of harassment, disrespect, dignity violation and lack of fairness is prohibited.