Organizing Events

Organizing Events

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

Organizing Events:

Off-Campus Events

If you are planning an off-campus event, make sure to read the Event Preparation Checklists.

Room Booking in the University Centre

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

As a SSMU Service, you will have up to 15 hours per week of free room booking in the building.

To activate your room booking 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. In the EMS User Guide & Internal Bookings Regulations you will find all the information you need to make your reservations.

You can also view the available rooms by visiting the Events Booking section on the SSMU website.

Please note that bookings must be submitted via the EMS booking system at least two (2) business days in advance and within two (2) months before the date of the event.

Due to the University Building closure, the SSMU is looking into finding other office and event spaces on campus for student groups – however, we would like to remind groups that there is no guarantee of securing external space.

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 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 (e.g., 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.

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 Service 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 kiosks can be reserved at an hourly cost with a 50% discount.

You can make your booking through the SSMU EMS portal.

Note:

  • If you wish to sell or distribute food and/or beverages you will need to complete an Application for the Sale and Service of Food on Campus at least fifteen business (15) days prior to the event. Only SSMU student groups that receive authorization from the SSMU Operations Department may sell food on/off campus at designated locations.
  • Disruptive and intrusive solicitation will not be tolerated.

For more information, please visit Plan Your Event.

Tabling in Other Campus Buildings

SSMU Services are also able to book tables for promotion or sales in other buildings – including Leacock, Burnside, Bronfman, and McConnell. You can find a list of bookable locations, along with reservation processes, detailed here.

Services may also request room bookings in the McGill Sports Complex. McGill Athletics offers a $15 rental rate for the rental of gyms, activity rooms, and fieldhouse courts for SSMU-accredited groups. Please 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!

Insurance and Liability

Events held by SSMU Services 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 Service event or activity must be declared via the Declaration of Event & Insurance Request Form prior to its commencement and promotion. For details about how many days in advance an event needs to be declared, please consult the Student Groups Event Preparation Checklist.

Using the Request Form, you must notify the SSMU of:

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

Alcohol

The following regulations describe what Services 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. Services 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 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 forth 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 Services 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 responsibility for 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.

Only SSMU student groups that receive the approval from the SSMU via the Event Declaration and Insurance Form are allowed to proceed with events that include alcohol and alcohol purchasing.

If you have any questions, please contact the SSMU Events Administrator at eventsadmin@ssmu.ca.

Food Sales

Only SSMU student groups that receive authorization from the SSMU Operations Department may sell or serve food on/off campus at designated locations.

SSMU student groups who wish to host bake sales, samosa sales, and other food-related events on/off campus will need to complete an Application for the Sale and Service of Food on Campus at least fifteen business (15) days prior to the event.

Note: This procedure is not required for hot or cold beverages (such as coffee, tea, packaged juices, or soft drinks) and/or pre-individually packaged food items by the manufacturer that remain un-manipulated (such as granola bars, candies, chocolate bars, etc.).

All procedures are outlined in the SSMU Sale and Service of Food Policy and the MAPAQ Regulations to protect the health and safety of all students, employees, and campus visitors.

There is a $25 administrative and processing fee in order to extend the legally required food permit to student groups. Groups will be able to rent food equipment required for the food they will be selling as specified in the SSMU Sale and Service of Food Policy from the SSMU. Groups will need to submit their request by filling out the Sale and Service of Food Equipment Rental form and paying the applicable fees for the rental of the equipment and supplies.

If you have any questions regarding the food procedures, please contact the Operations Department at operations@ssmu.ca.

Contracts & Agreements

All SSMU Services 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.

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

Guest Speakers

If a Service or other student group would like to invite a guest speaker to their event, the event organizer must complete the Guest Speakers Waiver Form.

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 Service, you can also collaborate with the SSMU’s many other 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.*
  • Safety Service Request Form: By filling out this form, you can request the services of MSERT, WALKSAFE, and Drivesafe all together for your Services’ events.
  • 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.

*SSMU WALKSAFE’s, Drivesafe’s, and MSERT’s services can be requested through the Safety Service Request form

Eventbrite Ticketing System

Student groups are encouraged to use the SSMU Eventbrite account to sell tickets if they expect the capacity of their event to exceed 199+ people or $20K in sales. The SSMU will create the Eventbrite page, collect the earnings on tickets sold, and then deposit the amount directly into the group’s bank account.

Please note that Eventbrite will charge a processing fee and a service fee based on the number of tickets sold (these fees will be deducted when the SSMU deposits the ticket earnings into your account). To calculate potential earnings, you can use the Eventbrite calculator found here (please make sure to select “Essentials Package”).

Please note that only the SSMU Communications Department will be able to manage the event page as it is under the SSMU Eventbrite account. If you have any questions regarding the progress of ticket sales or requesting refunds for certain attendees, please contact communications@ssmu.ca

Please fill out the SSMU Eventbrite Request Form to get started. Also, please make sure to submit a Declaration of Event & Insurance Request Form for your event as well. Your event page cannot be created on Eventbrite until you have received confirmation that your insurance request has been approved.

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 Service processes may take time to go live. Please take note that the information listed above may not reflect the most recent changes.