Frequently Asked Questions:

Please continue to submit questions so that we can build this FAQ!

1) How are student senator seats distributed?

In the McGill senate, there are 13 seats for students. Two of those are reserved for the SSMU President and VP University Affairs. The remaining 11 positions are allocated to different faculties and are elected by members of the faculty they represent. Here’s the breakdown for the 11 seats:

  • Arts (two seats), Science, Medicine, Engineering, Education, Law, Management, Arts & Sciences, Nursing, Music

However, occasionally, at the end of the regular nomination period, some seats have no candidate. These seats are then given to other faculties. As a result of a bylaw change, these seats will first be given to a few interfaculty/ faculty programs that are not listed above, such as the School of Physical/Occupational Therapy (PTOT), School of Nursing, and School of Social Work (and in the order of the most to the least student enrolment). If there are seats remaining after that, those seats will be distributed to the faculties listed above.

2) What’s the difference between regular and extended nomination periods?

For positions that only have one or no candidates, they’ll be available during the extended nomination period, which lasts for around 48 hours. The point of the extended nomination period is to ensure that there are more candidates per position, because who doesn’t like choices?! The requirements for the candidates will remain the same, as they also have to collect the appropriate amount of signatures and hand in the forms on time.

3) How are sanctions decisions handled by Elections SSMU?

When Elections SSMU receives a formal complaint against a candidate, or becomes aware of significant campaign infractions, the Elections SSMU CEO may choose to open an investigation into the matter. The investigation involves interviewing the candidate concerned, the complainant, and any gathering information from potential witnesses or available information from social media and other sources. Upon full consideration of the evidence and the elections bylaws, and consulting with the DEO, the CEO may decide to take actions up to and including issuing a censure, or even convene the Electoral Review Committee to discuss a candidate’s disqualification.

4) What constitutes a campaign violation?

SSMU Elections are governed by an extensive set of rules, outlined in the SSMU Internal Regulations of Elections and Referenda, the Constitution, and other Governance Documents such as the SSMU Equity Policy–most of which can be found here.

Generally speaking, the rules and regulations demand that candidates conduct themselves with respect for each other and their peers, as well as with the spirit of a fair campaign, according to which all candidates should be on a level playing field throughout the duration of the elections period.

If you are unsure about a candidate’s actions, and believe they may have violated campaign rules, we strongly encourage you to reach out to us at! We truly appreciate any effort to ensure fair and proper campaigns.