The Senate of McGill University is tasked with controling and supervising policies and guidelines on academic matters of the university.
The Senate is composed of 107 members representing various actors of the McGill community at large, including 13 elected undergraduate student representatives, three post-graduate student representatives, 55 elected faculty representatives, six administrative support staff, the Deans of faculties, and members of the senior administration.
Students have the most representatives at Senate, relative to the other governing bodies of McGill. It is an important venue for student issues to be brought to the attention of university policy-makers.
The Senate also includes nine standing committees and one Joint Committee of the Senate and the Board of Governors. The Senate committees serve as advisory boards and recommend new initiatives on various topics, including academic policy, physical development, libraries, equity policies, and more.
The Senate typically meets twice a month during the academic year. Although students are sometimes not permitted into the meetings, the university has provided a live-stream link in the past, through which students may watch the open debate portion of the session.
McGill Board of Governors
The Board of Governors is the final authority over the conduct of the affairs of McGill University, and is responsible for its maintenance and administration.
The Board has 25 voting members, including Principal Heather Munroe-Blum, Chancellor Arnold Steinberg and 12 Members at Large, who represent the general membership. Representation from the Alumni Association, the McGill Senate academic staff, and administrative and support staff are also included.
Two student representatives—one from SSMU and one from the Post-Graduate Students’ Society of McGill University—are also allowed to vote. Two student observers who cannot vote also sit on the Board, representing the Macdonald Campus Students’ Society and the McGill Association of Continuing Education Studies.
Some important issues under the Board’s jurisdiction include the appointment of the Principal and other university personnel, as well as determining their salaries and benefits. The Board also has various committees, which deal with issues including finances, building and property, and human resources.
The Board typically meets six times per year. All members of the McGill community are allowed to attend open session Board meetings. The first meeting of the 2012-13 year will be at 4:00 p.m. on Sept. 27.
SSMU Legislative Council
The Legislative Council is the body that makes decisions and takes action on behalf of Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU).
There are 36 voting members of SSMU Council, six of which are the SSMU executives. The remaining 30 representatives are elected from various constituencies, including faculty associations and councils representing specific student demographics, such as the First-Year-Council.
The Legislative Council is in charge of large-scale policy and financial decisions like the SSMU budget. Each councillor must also sit on at least one SSMU Committee—contingents that makes recommendations to Council.
In addition to Council, SSMU has another body called the Judicial Board (J-Board), which consists of five students from the Faculty of Law. The J-Board makes rulings on cases in which any individual, organization, or referendum associated with the Society is alleged to have violated the SSMU Constitution or Bylaws. Decisions of the J-Board can only be overturned by a four-fifths majority vote by SSMU’s Board of Directors.
SSMU Council meets every other Thursday at 6:00 p.m. in the Lev Bukhman Room, located on the second floor of the Shatner Building. Any undergraduate student attending McGill is a SSMU member, and all SSMU members are allowed to attend open sessions of council. Visit http://ssmu.mcgill.ca/representation/governance/ssmu-legislative-council/ to read the agenda for the week. The first meeting will be on Sept. 13.