Welcome to SSMU External Affairs


The External Affairs portfolio has 5 main components: Community Affairs, External Affairs, Indigenous Affairs, Union Affairs, and Political Campaigns.

Unlike other SSMU portfolios, External Affairs is largely project-based, and responds to the climate on McGill campus as well as the larger climate of the student issues in Quebec. The VP External also acts as the main representative of the membership to municipal, provincial, and federal politicians.

Why is SSMU Political?

If one looks at our Policy and Plan Book – there is not one policy the Student Society of McGill University (SSMU) has that isn’t political in nature, even the human resources. It is necessary to recognize that political neutrality is largely impossible, because neutrality automatically implies choosing what is neutral and in doing so, making political choices. Ultimately, political issues should be discussed critically, but they should never be banned under the guise of neutrality. 
Over the years, the collective results of online ratifications and General Assemblies show that the majority of the student body consistently votes in favor of various political stances of the society. That being said, the SSMU constitution is quite clear: we must not homogenize the student body in an ill-fated attempt to seem “politically neutral.” SSMU must stand up for those most marginalized by society.
Indeed, SSMU takes issues that students have identified as important and collaborates with other student and community associations in the province or across the country to combine mobilization and lobbying efforts. At McGill, students have campaigned for South African apartheid divestment, against the wars in Iraq and Vietnam, for the rights of women and people of color, and for accessible education. The history of victories for student activists through student unionism is broad and impressive, and to state that these individual movements had no affect on their surrounding environments would be objectively false. In Quebec, the student movement is particularly well organized and is responsible for ensuring the low tuition.
Ultimately, the SSMU has a mandate to demonstrate leadership in matters of human rights, social justice and environmental protection. We also are mandated to provide services to strengthen the educational, cultural, environmental, political and social conditions of our membership. By supporting political campaigns, the SSMU is able to support an important component of student life, helping various students find community, while simultaneously supporting our commitment to equitable leadership.

Latest News Posts

  • 2018 Indigeneity & Solidarity Event Series!

    2018 Indigeneity & Solidarity Event Series!

     SSMU Indigenous Affairs is pleased to present the 2018 edition of its annual Indigeneity and Solidarity Event Series. A total of five events and one full-day conference put on by the Indigenous Student Alliance, in partnership with SSMU Indigenous Affairs, dispersed throughout the Winter semester make up this event series. We hope that these events … Continue reading 2018 Indigeneity & Solidarity Event Series!