Final Fall Update: December 1st Council Report

How is it almost December already? Procrastinate from your exam studying by reading our December 1st Council Report to learn where planned projects have landed this term!

Stay tuned for a January progress report along with revised goals for the Winter 2017 term.

Recent UA highlights:

  • The McGill Policy against Sexual Violence was unanimously approved by McGill Senate on November 23rd (now awaiting final approval by the Board of Governors on December 1st);
  • We are recruiting volunteers for the January Know Your Rights campaign; sign up by December 9th!
  • Student Services has implemented a new category of “urgent appointments” for Counselling and Mental Health Services, beginning December 1st;
  • We submitted a question regarding Faculty internship programs to the December Senate meeting;
  • The Association of McGill University Support Employees (AMUSE) has reached a tentative agreement with the administration; more details will be announced in the coming weeks;
  • The VP UA is currently working with Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) & the Associate Vice-Principal (Innovation) to implement a global access licensing framework for health innovations;
  • We are recruiting for a new Harmful Military Technology Researcher; apply by December 8th!

Fall goals completed to-date (italics = since last report):

Deferred Exam Pilot Project Takes Off

The Subcommittee on Student Undergraduate Advising (SUSA) has recently announced a new pilot project for the academic year.  The project is allowing first time exam deferring students to apply without the need for supporting documentation.  This policy was designed to allow students who need to defer exams due to medical or mental health circumstances, the opportunity to do so while helping to alleviate pressures on Health Services for required documentation.

The project (spanning the 2016-2017 academic year) applies to the following faculties:

  • Agricultural & Environmental Science
  • Arts (inclusive of Social Work & Religious Studies)
  • Education
  • Law
  • Management
  • Science

 For further questions, please contact your respective Student Affairs Office or visit the Deferred & Supplemental Exams Website


Late Semester Slowdown: November 14th Council Report

It’s that time of term: days are getting shorter, policies still aren’t writing themselves, and it’s hard to find energy to keep pushing projects forward. But the work continues, and you can check out the details in my November 17th Council Report. Also, don’t forget to vote for the SSMU Fall Referenda and General Assembly Ratification, ballots for which can be found at!

Recent UA highlights:

  • The final draft of the McGill Policy Against Sexual Violence, including many of our recommended changes, will be presented for approval at the November 23rd Senate meeting
  • We met with Student Services & the Dean of Students to voice our concerns with new medical note policies (documentation will only be provided to students already followed by a clinician or who qualify for restrictive “safety appointments”)
  • The VP University Affairs participated in a 3-day cyclical review of Enrolment Services (Service Point, Exams Office, Registrar, Admissions, & more), during which they provided detailed input based on student consultation
  • Senators submitted Senate questions regarding campus accessibility during construction & university regulation of unpaid internships
  • We continue to update the Student Rights website & develop Faculty association partnerships in preparation for the January “Know Your Rights” campaign (volunteer recruitment launching soon)
  • Mid-term performance evaluations are in-progress for portfolio student staff

Fall goals completed to-date (italics = since last report):

Senate Caucus Biweekly Report for Oct 10-24, 2016


Mid-terms are definitely picking up, but the Senators are not slowing down. Here is the third biweekly report of the SSMU Senate Caucus. You can also find our previous biweekly reports here.

A few highlights:

  • The Senators attended the October Senate meeting, where the Policy Against Sexual Violence draft was discussed for the first time at the Senate level.
  • We had Chris Buddle, the new Dean of Students, come in to Caucus to chat with us about his vision and goals of the Office of the Dean of Students, how he sees his role, as well as the Policy against Sexual Violence.
  • We discussed the ongoing Cyclical Unit Review McGill Enrolment Services. The review committee is looking for student input, so if you have thoughts about Service Point, exam scheduling, or student records, please fill out the short survey here.
  • We discussed the deferred exam policy pilot and the communication of this pilot project to the students.

Minutes of each Senate Caucus meeting is available upon request via email.

If you’re interested in attending a Senate Caucus meeting to learn more about what the Senators do, feel free to email me (the UA Secretary) to get more information. Senate Caucus meetings are held every Monday at 6:30 PM in the SSMU Office.

Senate Caucus Biweekly Report for Sept 2-26, 2016

This is an exciting time for the Senators, as they get a their first taste of their role for the year ahead. We present to you the first biweekly report of the SSMU Senate Caucus.

A few highlights:

  • The Senators attended various kinds of training over the past two weeks, including during the SSMU Councillors and Senators retreat two weekends ago.
  • They also attended their first Senate meeting, in which they asked a Senate Question regarding for-cost course assessment software
  • We completed allocations of students to fill in more than 110 undergraduate representative seats in 47 University-level committees. The Senators themselves sit on many of these spots, and will work on many of their projects from this front. The list of committees (including the description of each committee) and the representatives are available here. Thank you to those who applied!
  • Students in many faculties now are allowed to have their first final exam deferral granted, without having to submit any supporting documentation (only for the first ever deferral during the student’s degree). Read about it in the report!
  • Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) have just launched a new Steering Committee to plan an Undergraduate Skills Program, which is created to enrich students’ undergraduate education experience by giving them skills they will need in the workforce and beyond.

Minutes of each Senate Caucus meeting is available upon request via email.

If you’re interested in attending a Senate Caucus meeting to learn more about what the Senators do, feel free to email me (the UA Secretary) to get more information. Senate Caucus meetings are held every Monday at 6:30 PM in the SSMU Office. We also sent out our first University Affairs Listserv! Click here to join the mailing list.

Welcome to the Term: September 15th Council Report


Welcome to a new school year! My name is Erin Sobat and I’m incredibly excited to be serving as your SSMU VP University Affairs for 2016-2017. The UA team is responsible for university representation and academic affairs; research, advocacy, and policy development; equity programming and complaints; and the Library Improvement Fund. You can always get in touch via email or drop by my office hours on Thursdays between 10:00AM-12:00PM. Check out my first report to the SSMU Legislative Council to find out what I’ve been up to!

Some project highlights:

Fall goals completed to-date (italics = since last report):

Executive Goals & Objectives 2016-2017

As an undergraduate student on the downtown campus, you are automatically a SSMU member. SSMU defends your interests to the University, the local community, and the government. It’s your advocate and support, providing you with resources and opportunities, ensuring that your money is put to good use, and voicing your concerns to the University and other groups.

Do you want to know what each Executive does? What are their plans for this academic year? Check out the SSMU Executive Goals & Objectives (2016-2017).

Some highlights from the Vice-President (University Affairs) include:

  • Working for the smoother integration of Mental Health & Counselling Services;
  • Combatting abuses of ancillary fees, including ending central overhead deductions;
  • Advocating for an effective McGill Sexual Violence Policy;
  • Implementing a Fall Reading Break in the academic calendar;
  • Passing a SSMU Policy Against Unpaid Internships;
  • Establishing dedicated racialized student support resources;
  • Developing a more consistent & equitable model of academic accommodations.

Have questions about these objectives? Watch for bi-weekly reports from the VP University Affairs to the SSMU Legislative Council, or get in touch now.