Student groups represent a significant part of the operations and programming of the SSMU. With 230+ Clubs, 15 student-run Services, and 12 Independent Student Groups, students have a wealth of opportunities to get involved and become a part of the campus community. The easiest way to see what the SSMU has to offer is through attending.
Activities Night. Activities Night is a club fair, where all of the SSMU’s 230+ student groups set up tables in the SSMU Building (University Centre – Shatner Building) and students have the opportunity to speak to the executives of each group and sign up for the email list of any and all of the groups at the event.
Register for the VP Student Life’s listserv to get more information.
The SSMU’s 230+ clubs fall into ten different categories. Clubs are interest groups, representing a wide variety of hobbies, interests, and causes, all of which are run entirely by other undergraduate students. While the commitment level varies from club to club, the involvement of members in any given club can range from attending weekly meetings and volunteering on a regular basis to attending an event once or twice a semester. Clubs allow you to customize exactly how you want to be involved and how much time you want to devote to student life.
If you have a specific group in mind that you’re interested in joining, reach out to that group directly! After contacting a group and being asked to be added to their mailing list, you’ll receive updates about the events and notice of their general meetings.
Want to hone your skills and show off your athletic prowess? Want to get in shape or learn a new sport? You've come to the right place!
Help fundraise for an international charity or learn how you can make the McGill campus more sustainable!
Get out of the McGill bubble and make meaningful contributions to our community with one of our volunteer programs!
Learn to draw, show off your vocals, or steal the show with your dance moves!
Interested in learning more about global health? Supporting student wellness on campus? Join a Health and Wellness club!
Interested in writing and showing off your editorial skills or learning a new language? Join our clubs.
Learn to tango, play bridge, or share your love of board game? This is the place to be! Pick up a new hobby or skill in a fun and relaxed environment.
Build your skills and your resume by developing your leadership ability and networking along on the way!
Advocate for the causes you believe in and fight for change with a Political and Social Activism Club!
Expand your horizons by learning about a new culture or get a taste of home with one of our many Religion and Culture Clubs!
The SSMU operates 15 student-run Services, which provide a wide range of services and resources to the student body. Unlike clubs, where students sign up to become members of a particular group, Services operate without formal membership lists because any McGill student is able to access the resources provided by all of the Services. Despite not being able to be a general member of a Service, the SSMU Services offer countless opportunities for becoming a volunteer and serving the student body.
Services are financially part of the SSMU, and many of them are funded by their own fee-levy. Others receive funds allocated from the SSMU budget. The budgets for these Services are approved every year by the SSMU Council and are created in collaboration with the members of the services themselves.
Have you ever used a SSMU Service? We want to hear from you! Please fill out this short survey to help us learn more about how SSMU Services can better support you! Fill out the survey here!
SSMU also has a relationship with a number of independent student groups, which are groups existing on campus outside of the SSMU structure. These groups are larger than the average club and have very distinct governance structures, often being incorporated as not-for-profit organizations.
Currently, the SSMU has a formal affiliation with 12 independent student groups, ranging from a radio station to campus publications to sustainability initiatives.
Clubs, Services, and Independent Student Groups are all different designations that the SSMU gives to student groups based on their operations and their structures.
Clubs are interest-based groups surrounding a wide variety of topics and themes that host events and programming for their members and are run on a volunteer basis by other undergraduate students. The majority of clubs operate their events within the SSMU building.
Services are groups that exist to provide certain resources or services to all students, and while students can get involved with Services in a volunteer or executive capacity, most Services do not have membership lists in the same way that clubs do, because all students are able to access what they provide.
Like clubs, Independent Student Groups are groups that centre around a specific interest or topic, but they are distinct from clubs in that they typically much larger and are legally distinct from and have no oversight from the SSMU. The majority of these groups are registered independently as non-profit organizations. While most of these groups have membership lists that students can sign up for, the Independent Student Groups that are funded by student fees list all McGill students who do not opt for our their fee as members.
There are countless ways to find out what SSMU has to offer! The easiest way to find a student group you’re interested in joining is perusing the Club Listing, Services Listing, and Independent Student Group Listings on the SSMU website.
The most common way to see all of SSMU’s student groups in one place is by attending Activities Night, a clubs fair that SSMU hosts at the beginning of each semester. Activities Night, hosted in the SSMU building, brings in all of SSMU’s student groups under one roof for students to sign up for membership lists, speak to the student executives running each group, and learn more about how to get involved.
If you have a specific interest or even a very general idea of what you’re looking for in a student group and would like some guidance on where to start looking, you can also contact the Vice-President (Student Life) or the Club Administrative Officer.
Clubs lose their SSMU status after two years of inactivity. In order to be considered active in any given year, clubs must complete the Student Group Information Form, submit a Fall and Winter audit, and send one representative of their executive team to a Club Workshop, held at the beginning of September and January. Failure to complete any of these three tasks will lead to a club being considered inactive for the year, and being inactive for two consecutive years will cause a club to lose their SSMU status. This means that failing to attend a Club Workshop two years in a row can lead to the loss of Club Status.
All student groups maintain their own membership lists, so there is not one centralized way to sign up for a number of groups at once. To become a member or a volunteer for a student group, the easiest way to sign up is contacting that group directly by email or attending a general meeting.
Many groups also have sign-up lists available for students to add their names to during Activities Night. Signing up for one of these lists will generally put you on the group’s email list, where you’ll be able to get more information about how they define their membership and how to become one!
The answer to this question varies depending on the type of group in question. Among clubs, some have membership fees which vary based on the activities of the club, but the majority have no membership fee.
There are no direct membership fees associated with any of the SSMU Services or the Independent Student Groups, but some of these groups receive funding that is paid directly through your student fees on Minerva, which gives you membership rights.
Because Services and Independent Student Groups provide resources and opportunities to all McGill undergraduate students, they have the option of levying a fee from the student body directly that all undergraduate students pay into on Minerva.
Of SSMU’s twenty services, of those groups (M-SERT, SACOMSS, Nightline, Midnight Kitchen, Queer McGill, the Union for Gender Empowerment, TVM: Student Television at McGill, Organic Campus, the Black Students Network, First Year Council, and the McGill International Students Network) levy fees directly from the student body.
Of SSMU’s ten Independent Student Groups, six of those groups (the Legal Information Clinic at McGill, the McGill Daily, the McGill Tribune, CKUT Radio, QPIRG McGill, and the ECOLE Project) levy fees directly from students. So long as you haven’t opted out of the fee through Minerva (note that the McGill Daily and McGill Tribune fees are not opt-outable), you hold voting rights in those organizations and can participate at their Annual General Meetings.
The SSMU currently accommodates over 200 active clubs on McGill’s downtown campus with the aim of fostering new connections, student-run initiatives, and life-long friendships!
Are you interested in starting a SSMU club? Fill out and submit this form to apply for Interim Club Status with the SSMU! Be sure to contact the Club Commissioner with any questions or concerns regarding the Interim Club Status application and the benefits of Club Status.
After three academic months have passed since your club was granted Interim Status, you become eligible for Full Status. The application process for Full Status is the final step in starting your club. Like the Interim Status Application, the Full Status Club Application requires the submission of a number of components, reviewed based on a standardized Full Status Club Approval Rubric.
The Full Status Application Form is submitted electronically. You will be required to provide information about how you fulfilled your mandate during your Interim Status Period, how you have contributed to the SSMU community, and what plans you have to ensure the longevity of your club if you are granted Full Status. You will also be required to submit information about three events you have hosted and provide a club budget as well as a list of at least 25 members.
The approval of a Full Status Application follows the same procedure as the Interim Status Applications. After the initial submission to the Club Commissioner via the online form, the application will be taken to the Club Committee for review and then SSMU Council for approval. For clubs who failed to be granted Full Status following the submission of their Full Status Application Form, in the case of extenuating circumstances or the provision of additional information about the application, clubs may submit an appeal through the Full Status Appeal Form. The Club Committee is under no obligation to consider or grant appeals.
The process for becoming a Service is more work intensive then the process of becoming a club, as Services are expected to provide resources, services, and advocacy to the entire student population as opposed to just their members. For this reason, potential Services are required to demonstrate their financial and institutional sustainability and their benefit to students on a long term basis prior to being granted Service status.
Because these clubs need to demonstrate their viability over the long-term, groups that are interested in becoming Services of the SSMU are required to first be a Full-Status Club.
In order for a group to be considered for becoming a SSMU Service, the first step would be to get in touch with the Vice-President (Student Life) to provide a proposal for why your group should be considered for SSMU Service status. This proposal should include information about the programming and operations of your group, the long-term sustainability of your group, and why SSMU Service Status is the next step for your group. Focus should be placed on an explanation of how the group benefits all undergraduate students.
At the approval of the Vice-President (Student Life), your proposal for Service status will be brought to the Services Review Committee for consideration.
If the Services Review Committee so chooses, they may make a recommendation to SSMU’s Legislative Council to grant a group Service Status.
In order to ensure your club is successful in the long terms, clubs should make an effort to fundraise and spend money responsibly and ensure that institutional memory remains intact with executive turnover each year. Most importantly, clubs should keep records of their events, meeting minutes, and communications with SSMU for future executives and pass on all records from year to year. Club executives should also make an effort to write exit reports at the end of each year to be added to club records. In addition to each club’s own records, SSMU keeps records on each of the 250+ clubs which can be requested by new executives who would like more information about the club. You can also submit exit reports, event information, or anything else to the Club Administrative Officer to be added to your club’s records to ensure all of that information is available to future executives.
If a club loses their SSMU affiliation status, they cease to be a SSMU club and lose all privileges associated with being a SSMU club. This means that the club will no longer be included in the SSMU Club Listings, will no longer be able to access the SSMU Club Fund, and will not be able to book rooms in the SSMU building or table at Activities Night for free, among other things.
SSMU keeps a digital and physical copy of the constitution of each club with SSMU status in our club records, which can be requested by any member of the SSMU at any time. To request a copy of the constitution of any club, contact the Club Administrative Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org with the request.