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 student issues and the student movement in Quebec. The VP External also acts as the main representative of the membership to municipal, provincial, and federal politicians. The position of VP is outlined in the SSMU’s Constitution as follows:
“The Vice-President (External Affairs) shall exercise the following powers and perform the following duties: to represent the Society and communicate positions and Policy taken by the Society to external bodies and agencies; to lobby federal, provincial, and municipal governments to further the objectives, goals and Policy of the Society; to mobilize students on positions and Policy of the Society and assist in the coordination of student-run political campaigns; to develop Policy regarding initiatives in the Montreal community; to communicate to the Board of Directors relevant external issues which may significantly affect the Society; to coordinate the Society’s Indigenous solidarity efforts; to operationalize the Society’s commitment to the francophone community; and to attend meetings of relevant local, provincial, national or international student groups” (SSMU Constitution 10.14).
For a more comprehensive picture, you can consult the VP External’s 2020-2021 Mandate Letter, where you’ll find the entire mandate!
All SSMU mandates are passed either at a session of Legislative Council or General Assembly. For more information on how to pass a policy at SSMU, click here.