Organizing Events

Organizing Events

For most SSMU Clubs, hosting events is the most common way to engage students and attract new members to the Club. The SSMU offers a number of resources including funding, room bookings, and other services to aid Clubs in the planning of their events.

Organizing Events:

Insurance and Liability

All SSMU Clubs may be eligible for insurance coverage, but we need up-to-date information to ensure that each activity is covered under our insurance policy. Any Club event or activity must be declared via the Declaration of Event & Insurance Request Form prior to its commencement and promotion. We recommend that you submit your events well in advance to ensure your event will be properly covered (~20 days).

Using the form, you must notify the SSMU of: 

  • your Club’s weekly and monthly activities, whether they are held during the academic year or over the summer months 
  • all activities held outside the University Centre (activities held inside the University Centre building do not need to be disclosed)

You will be contacted within 2 business days if your event has been approved or if we require additional information.

Tip: You may fill out the Declaration of Event & Insurance Request Form as many times as you need. 

For activities involving athletics or sports, or those which involve travelling outside the city of Montreal, additional insurance may be required. Fill out the Declaration of Event & Insurance Request Form and contact the Operations Department (operations@ssmu.ca) for details on how to obtain extra insurance for these activities. It may take at least 60 days to be processed by the insurance broker. 

If you also require a certificate for proof of insurance, or if you have any questions, please contact the Operations Department (operations@ssmu.ca) directly.

Off-Campus Events

If you are planning an off-campus event, make sure to read the SSMU External Events Guide.

Room Booking in the University Centre

One of the many benefits of being a SSMU Club is having access to room and table bookings in the University Centre for events, meetings, parties, rehearsals, and other Club initiatives.

As an Interim Club, you will receive a 50% discount on room booking reservations in the University Centre. As a Full Status Club, you will have up to 15 hours per week of free room booking in the building.

To activate your account, please email the Events Administrator at eventsadmin@ssmu.ca. You will need your ssmu.ca email address to access the EMS room reservation system.

Student groups will be able to find a space for their events and activities by visiting the Events Booking section on the SSMU website.

In the EMS User Guide & Internal Bookings Regulations you will find all the information to make your reservations.

Due to the University Building closure, the SSMU is looking into finding other office and event spaces on campus for student groups. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of securing space. 

Room booking in SSMU buildings (680 Sherbrooke)

Bookings must be submitted via the EMS booking system at least 2 business days in advance and within 2 months before the date of the event.

Room booking in any other building on McGill campus

The SSMU can book rooms across campus on behalf of Clubs. Please submit your request via the Meeting Space Request Form 2019-2020. If you try to book directly through McGill’s booking system, you will be referred back to the SSMU to make your request.

Room Booking on Campus

Due to the many construction projects across campus, including the renovations taking place in the University Centre, the SSMU is currently partnering with McGill to find alternative space on campus for our Services.

Please reach out to McGill Housing & Conference Services via this form if the event your group plans on holding has any of the following elements:

  • has a capacity that exceeds (50+)
  • involves a guest speaker
  • involves external sponsors
  • provides food or beverages
  • requires alcohol service
  • takes place on a weekend (Saturday/Sunday)
  • involves athletics/rehearsals (i.e., dance rehearsals, yoga sessions)
  • produces a high level of sound (i.e., band practice, choir/a cappella rehearsals)
  • requires extensive clean-up (i.e., art activities, postering, DIY workshops)

After receiving your form submission, the Special Events Administrator at McGill will look for an available space that fits your needs. For SSMU groups, the fee for booking through Special Events is discounted at $25.00 (applies to weekend bookings as well). Please keep in mind that if extra resources are needed (i.e., set-up, security, and/or equipment rentals), additional fees may apply. If you have questions regarding booking events with McGill, you can contact them by phone at 514-398-7687 or by email at permits.residences@mcgill.ca.

All agreements made through this system must be submitted through the Event Declaration and Insurance Request Form for signature and approval.

For more information please refer to the Booking with McGill Housing & Conference Services Guide (coming soon).

For meeting spaces, with less than 50 attendees, please submit your request via the Space Request SSMU Student Groups Form.

Please note that at the SSMU, we cannot guarantee rooms as we act as a middleman in processing bookings and have no authority over McGill-operated spaces.

Tabling in the University Centre

If you are a SSMU Club you are allotted eight subsidized hours a week for kiosk and table reservations. 

Please note that this is independent from your subsidized room booking hours. If you have reached your hours for the week, tables and the kiosk can be reserved at an hourly cost with a 50% discount. 

Note:

  • If you wish to sell or distribute food and/or beverages you will need to inform the Events Administrator at eventsadmin@ssmu.ca before your scheduled reservation to receive authorization.
  • Disruptive and intrusive solicitation will not be tolerated.

For more information, please visit Plan Your Event.

SSMU-recognized Clubs can book through the SSMU EMS portal.

Booking and Tabling Outside of SSMU Buildings

Clubs are able to book rooms in other McGill buildings, but there may be a cost associated with the booking and the SSMU will not be able to provide financial or logistical support.

SSMU Clubs are also able to book tables for promotion or sales in other buildings including Leacock, Burnside, Bronfman, and McConnell.

Clubs may also request room bookings in the McGill Sports Complex. Athletics offers a $15 rental rate for the rental of gyms, activity rooms, and fieldhouse courts for SSMU-accredited groups. Note that the Sports Complex will contact the SSMU to verify that you are a SSMU-accredited group prior to approving your requests. Contact the Administrative Coordinator (sandra.crescenzi@mcgill.ca) at the Sports Complex for more information!

Alcohol

The following regulations describe what Clubs can and cannot do with respect to organizing events that include alcohol and alcohol purchasing:

  • Funds may not be used for alcohol purchases except alcohol purchased at venues holding a valid liquor permit for the purpose of consumption on site.
  • Individuals will not be reimbursed for alcohol purchases made outside of venues.
  • The SSMU must approve any events involving alcohol. Clubs must submit a description of their event request via the SSMU EMS portal (University Centre events only) or directly to the SSMU Events Administrator at eventsadmin@ssmu.ca a minimum of 5 business days prior to the event.
  • If Club funds are used for alcohol purchases that are not permitted within these regulations, sanctions will apply.

If you wish to purchase alcohol, you may do so one of the following two ways:

A CSP (consommation sur place) or bar establishment permit allows the bar or restaurant to sell alcohol to the patrons of the establishment. This means that the establishment has accepted the responsibilities and laws set by the Quebec government.

A SSMU Club or Service may have a contract or agreement prepared between them and the venue. Once the agreement is in place they may then make a request with the SSMU to have the contract or agreement signed.

This is the easiest way for Clubs to have an event involving alcohol since the venue will coordinate all the necessary logistics.

A CAD (consommation à domicile) or reunion permit is a temporary permit that may be applied to a space or venue when requested on behalf of a non-profit organization. In order to serve wine, beer, or any other type of alcoholic beverages at an event a reunion permit issued by the Quebec Government must be in place.

The SSMU must take the responsibility of applying for the reunion permit. Additionally, the SSMU must sign the venue or space rental agreement prior to filling in the application request for the reunion permit. Due to legal liability, if this type of request is needed, the SSMU must supply all support staff (including servers, coordinators, and security).

This is the least recommended option, since it could involve additional costs to your event.

Contracts & Agreements

All SSMU Clubs are part of the Society and have no independent legal status. As such, they cannot enter into legally binding contracts or engage in activities that would pose a risk or liability to the SSMU. This includes, but is not limited to, contracts and/or agreements (including verbal agreements) with venues, sponsors, or caterer services.

Should you have any pending contractual agreements with a third party, it is compulsory to submit these agreements (as an attachment) by filling out the Declaration of Event & Insurance Request Form or contacting the Operations Department (operations@ssmu.ca) for processing.

Also, make sure to consider all the information on the Contracts & Agreements Checklist.

Guest Speakers

If a Club or other student group desires to invite a guest speaker to their event who may contribute to the McGill community, the event organizer must complete the Guest Speakers Waiver Form and return it to the Events Administrator (within 3 days of declaring and/or requesting your event) so that it can be processed and approved.

When a guest speaker event is approved, McGill Security Services may also be consulted to determine whether or not it is necessary to hire security or event management personnel to assist with the event. If security or other event management personnel are deemed necessary, the student group may be responsible for any fees associated with the event.

Event Services

As a Club, you are also able to take advantage of the SSMU’s many student-run Services in order to ensure the success and safety of your event. You should consider working with:

  • MSERT: The McGill Student Emergency Response Team provides first-aid services to McGill residences and major SSMU events.
  • Walksafe: Walksafe is a group of volunteers who provide accompaniment for those who are uncomfortable travelling by themselves in the evenings.
  • DriveSafe: DriveSafe is a service that will provide safe and free rides home to anywhere on the island of Montreal on weeknight evenings.
  • Midnight Kitchen Collective: The Midnight Kitchen provides vegan catering services for initiatives that keep within their political mandate.
  • Plate Club: The Plate Club provides free, reusable dishware rentals for special events including those organized by Clubs who want to ensure their event is environmentally sustainable.

Assistance with Events

Should you require assistance with creating your event or finding a venue, we have various preferred venues, caterers, and bars that would be happy to offer you their services and collaborate. Please submit all inquiries to the Events Administrator (eventsadmin@ssmu.ca).

We do our best to ensure the site is as up to date as possible, but new developments in Club processes may take time to go live. Please take note that the information listed above may not reflect the most recent changes.