a, Student Life

McGill 101: Decoding campus acronyms

Becoming acclimated to student life at McGill can be overwhelming when there are so many services and student groups to keep track of. For many, this becomes more difficult when these entities are commonly referred to by ambiguous acronyms. The Tribune has created a brief guide to McGill’s acronyms in order to facilitate navigating the maze of student life and resources at McGill.

SSMU: Students’ Society of McGill University

The Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) is the undergraduate union for students at McGill, which every undergraduate student is a member of. Its elected governing body is entirely student-run, and their primary role is to advocate for student needs to internal and external bodies. When they’re not campaigning for improved student services and fighting against tuition increases, the SSMU is planning student events such as 4 Floors, Homecoming, and SSMU Frosh. The SSMU building is located at the top of McTavish Street, and provides meeting space for a multitude of extracurricular student groups, while being home to Gerts, a student-run bar and hub of social life.

FYC SSMU: First Year Council of the Students’ Society of McGill University

The SSMU’s First Year Council (FYC) is another elected body solely comprised of first-year students, whose mission is to represent the first-year student body to the SSMU at-large and to McGill administration. FYC also plans community-building events exclusive to first years; last year’s primary event was a party at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. To speak to representatives from FYC and have your voice heard on a larger level, schedule an appointment.

PGSS: Post-Graduate Students’ Society

The Post-Graduate Studentss Society is the governing body for graduate and post-doctoral students at McGill, and deals with relations with the University at large. Similar to FYC, they also plan social events and trips for graduate students. More information about the services they provide can be found here.

BMH: Bishop Mountain Hall

Bishop Mountain Hall (BMH) is the dining hall shared between the three student residences that make up Upper Rez: Molson Hall, Gardner Hall, and McConnell Hall. Unlike other first-year residences, many of which are hotel-style, none of the traditional dorm-style halls in Upper Rez have their own cafeterias, so they all share BMH.

(Arts) OASIS: Office of Advising and Student Information Services

The aim of the Arts Office of Advising and Student Information Services (OASIS) is to provide students in the Faculty of Arts with the guidance and support necessary to choose their academic pathway and to excel within it. Arts OASIS offers drop-in hours Monday through Friday in Room 110 of Dawson Hall, during which Arts students seeking academic guidance have the opportunity to make advising appointments. In addition to providing individual counselling, Arts OASIS has published several valuable resources for academic planning, including the Degree Planning Worksheet and the Guide for New Students.

AUS/SUS/MUS/EUS/EdUSA/MUSA: Arts/Science/Management/Engineering/Education/Music Undergraduate Society

These acronyms all refer to faculty undergraduate societies—the student-run governing bodies for academic and social life within each faculty. In addition to advocating for the needs of students in their faculties to the SSMU and to McGill Administration, each undergraduate society plans social events to supplement academic life, such as the AUS’ annual Work your BA conference, and social life, such as the EUS’ weekly student-run bar, Blues Pub.

CL&E: Campus Life and Engagement

McGill’s office of Campus Life and Engagement (CL&E), a member of McGill Student Services, aims to make academic and career opportunities more available for students through workshops, events, and counselling services. CL&E also publishes resources for students aimed at raising awareness of academic and extracurricular opportunities on campus, including undergraduate student guides and calendars of events.

CaPS: Career and Planning Service 

Another of McGill Student Services, CaPS, the McGill Career and Planning Service (CaPS), holds events and workshops to guide students in finding jobs and internships during the school year, summer, and beyond graduation. CaPS also hosts an online portal, myFuture, on which students can upload their resume, post and apply for job and internship listings, and search through a directory of potential employers. CaPS holds office hours Monday through Friday in the Brown Student Services Building to provide career planning guidance to students.

SACOMSS: Sexual Assault Centre of the McGill Students’ Society

SACOMSS provides support to survivors of sexual assault and allies such as DIAL (Drop-In and Line), a volunteer-run SACOMSS help line, and facilitator-led support groups, both of which provide listening and support to sexual assault survivors and allies.

MORSL: McGill Office of Religious and Spiritual Life 

Located in the Brown Student Services Building, MORSL offers a non-denominational inclusive prayer and meditation space, a library of interfaith literature, and meeting space for campus denominational groups. Stop by Mondays at MORSL for events focused on wellness and spiritual/religious literacy, Fridays for Drop-in Yoga, or any other day of the week for a quiet space to reflect, meditate, and/or pray.

OSD: Office for Students with Disabilities

OSD provides resources and services for students with disabilities. This can include student note-takers and rooms for assessments to be taken on computers with extended time. Last year they also hosted a Disabilities Awareness Week which served to raise awareness and advocate for people with disabilities, and speak about practices and policies that assure all are able to actively participate in university life.

This article is a part of our McGill 101 issue, which aims to ease your transition and answer questions you have about McGill and Montreal.

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