University Affairs Research Reports

University Affairs Research Reports

University Affairs Research

The SSMU University Affairs portfolio conducts and facilitates student-led research on topics that are pertinent to McGill University and SSMU governance. The Student Rights Commissioner and contract researchers conduct studies on various topics that facilitate advocacy by the SSMU. Students, especially those who are involved in student governance, may also propose research topics that they feel are relevant by filling out the research request form. Below are some of the reports produced by SSMU in the past.



Institutional Academic Wellness from the Perspectives of Instructors
This report seeks to explore the integration of mental wellness and mental health resources in undergraduate classrooms to inform future strategies for advocacy.

Accessibility and Accommodations on Campus
This report aims to support student advocacy initiatives by evaluating the efficacy of services offered by McGill University’s Student Accessibility and Achievement (SAA), formerly known as the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD).


Preferred Name and Pronoun Use at McGill University
This report summarizes the findings of a study conducted during the Fall 2019 and Winter 2020 terms, looking into the use of the preferred names of transgender and gender-non-conforming students at McGill.

Un aperçu de l’impact de l’article 19 de la charte des droits de l’étudiant sur la population francophone


This survey, designed by student senators, aimed to get a snapshot of student’s perceptions and experience of assessment at McGill. This was done to inform the rewrite of the University Student Assessment Policy (“USAP”).1 This policy provides the framework for all assessments conducted at McGill at the undergraduate and graduate level.


Examining the University Tenure Process 
This report aims to demystify tenure for student advocates and the broader student population and to uncover potential avenues for improvement of tenure for all stakeholders, especially students.

Fall Reading Break Research: Towards a Mental Health Perspective
This report examines research that suggests the positive mental health effects of a Fall Reading Break.

Pioneers Straddling Two Worlds: The First Generation Student Experience at McGill University, Part II
This report examines the experiences of first generation students at McGill in light of the measures taken since the previous year’s report on the topic.

Creating Safer Classrooms: A Tool Kit for Teaching Staff on Addressing Sexual Violence 

This tool kit is a student-initiated attempt to engage critically and thoughtfully with teaching staff on issues of sexual violence.


Austerity: A Report
This report has been created from a huge archive of collective knowledge that exists around austerity in Québec and at McGill in particular. It’s been created as a formalization of this knowledge and as a document that can be used to leverage demands from SSMU, the McGill administration, and the government, as well as our fellow students and universities.

Employment Equity at SSMU
This report reviewed and evaluated the practices of hiring for SSMU student positions to determine existing challenges or weaknesses in relation to employment equity.

Pioneers Straddling Two Worlds: The First Generation Student Experience at McGill University, Part II
This report examines the experiences of first generation students at McGill in light of the measures taken since the previous year’s report on the topic.


Challenges and opportunities: Open Educational Resources (OERs) at McGill University
Sponsored by the Student Society of McGill University (SSMU), the report “Challenges and Opportunities: Open Educational Resources (OERs) at McGill University,” provides a comprehensive review of the benefits and concerns regarding OERs, existing OER initiatives in North America, and their potential application at McGill. The report argues that the two primary reasons McGill should invest in the development and implementation of OERs on campus are that they improve access to education and offer a new, flexible pedagogical tool.

Fostering Post-Secondary Success: Support Programming for Students from Foster Care
This was commissioned in November 2016 in order to better analyze the scope of issues faced by students from foster care in accessing and completing a post-secondary education. Furthermore, it examines existing programming across Canadian and American universities in order to summarize best practices and recommendations for implementing similar programs at McGill.

Striving to Place: The First Generation Student Experience at McGill University
This report examines recruitment, retention, and support strategies utilized for first generation students at McGill University, in the Canadian U15 universities, and at comparable Ivy League schools in the United States. To do so, a review of U15 universities and Ivy League schools was completed, and surveys were sent to students and external university administrators.


A Seat at the Table: An Analysis of the McGill Board of Governors by the SSMU

Policy Against Sexual Violence Recommendations
This report summarizes the comments and concerns that were gathered from student-organized focus groups and the wider feedback period. It identifies 28 specific recommendations for additions or revisions to the draft of McGill’s Policy Against Sexual Violence.

Moving Towards Equitable Governance at the SSMU
This report intends to provide several potential avenues through which the SSMU can develop more equitable and representative governance structures

Indigeneity and Allyship 2016 Report
This report discusses the negative impacts that the McGill environment has on Indigenous students. Issues include harmful interactions with other students, staff and faculty; perpetuation of a pan-Indigenous identity (the assumption that all Indigenous nations are the same); daily stereotyping; and more.


Indigenizing the Academy
The purpose of this project is to illustrate what McGill offers and does not offer its Indigenous community. In doing so, I hope for McGill to identify some of its deficiencies in accommodating the cultural differences and barriers facing Indigenous students, and subsequently consider adopting some of my proposed reforms in addressing these shortcomings. The goal is to foster a more sensitive and friendly learning and social environment for Indigenous students at McGill, accommodating cultural differences.