Arguably the most organized student movement in North America is Québec’s. We are lucky to inherit a huge amount of strength and political clout within the province because of the work of our predecessors. SSMU historically has always been a member of provincial associations, and this only changed in 2014/2015 when the provincial association that SSMU and many other student unions across Québec were a part of, FÉUQ, fell apart. Previously SSMU had been unhappy with FÉUQ and actually left the table 3 times. It is out of FÉUQ that two associations were created, AVEQ and UÉQ. SSMU was around the table for both associations’ creation and we have been observing members of UÉQ until spring 2016 (however as of October of this year been observing once more), and AVEQ consistently these past 2 years.
Why is provincial representation important?
A common misconception is that because of McGill’s reputation and size, that it would be easy for the VP External to gain access to rooms where provincial legislation and decisions are being made. This is not the case, and for the sake of time as well as because of the strength of the student movement in Québec, when the province seeks student consultation, they go to the provincial student associations, not individual schools. It is integral that SSMU join a provincial association, whether UEQ or AVEQ in order to have their voices heard by the Minister of Higher Education and others.
Association for the Voice of Education in Québec (AVEQ)
AVEQ is a provincial student association that was founded to meet the needs and unite the voices of students across Québec, for effective mobilization and representation on student priorities. It focuses on equity, democracy, and solidarity, and works to serve all students, with special attention to being inclusive of anglophone, smaller, and regional associations.
Students currently representing: approx 47,000
For more information on their campaigns and the work they do, check out their website!
Québec Student Union (QSU/UÉQ)
QSU/UÉQ is another provincial association which SSMU has very recently been mandated to be an observer of. Their mission statement is as follows : The Quebec Student Union is a national student organization that wants to make real improvements to students’ living standards and study environment.
Members : AÉCSP (Association des étudiants des cycles supérieurs de Polytechnique), AEENAP (Association étudiante de l’École nationale d’administration publique), AéESG (Association étudiante à l’École des sciences de la Gestion à l’UQAM), AEP (Association des Étudiants de Polytechnique), AGEUQAT (Association générale étudiante de l’Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue), FAÉCUM (Fédération des associations étudiantes du campus de l’Université de Montréal), REMDUS (Regroupement étudiant des 2e et 3e cycles de l’Université de Sherbrooke), SRC (Bishop’s University Students’ Representative Council)
Students currently representing: approx. 72,000
For more information on their campaigns and the work they do check out their website !