How to Start a Club

One of the best parts about SSMU is the ability students have to take a direct role in student life and create new clubs. However, if you’re interested in starting a club, first make sure that the club you want to create doesn’t already exist yet! Check out the club listings page, where you can look through clubs by category or search for one. It’s always a good idea to contact clubs with similar mandates and activities to the ones you have in mind, and to see if you can work with clubs that are already established to pursue the goals you’re interested in.

New clubs must apply for interim status with the SSMU, which allows clubs to book rooms in the Shatner building, have a table at Activities Night, and have a club mailbox. After three academic months clubs are eligible to apply for full status, which comes with benefits such as being able to apply for an office.

How to Apply for Interim Club Status

To apply for Interim Status, please fill out and submit the Interim Status Club Application Package.

As of 2014-2015, the Interest Group Committee uses a standardized rubric to assess all new Interim Status Applications.  Clubs must score a total of 24 out of a possible 30 points and not be in violation of any of the listed policies in order to be approved.  For details about any of these policies, contact the Interest Group Coordinator at igc@ssmu.mcgill.ca. Be sure to consult the Interim Status Approval Rubric before preparing your application to ensure that you have touched on all of the factors the committee looks for in your cover letter!

This is the checklist of the official procedure for creating a new club. Make sure you read this carefully and go through all the steps!  BEFORE submitting your application, it’s best to get in touch with the Interest Group Coordinator at igc@ssmu.mcgill.ca to make sure other groups with the same mandate don’t already exist.

  • Search the Clubs Listings to see what groups already exist– it’s always better to get involved with established groups than to reinvent the wheel!
  • Find at least 10 other students (graduate or undergraduate) who share your interest.  While 10 is the minimum number of students required to start a club, including the names of 20 or more students on the member list can help you get additional points when the Interest Group Committee considers your application!
  • Prepare a constitution for the group, including name, mandate, organizational structure (executive team or non-hierarchical collective) and membership. Your constitution should follow the Sample Club constitution. Each club under the SSMU should have a constitution that is specific to its own mandate and mission.
  • Because of the Memorandum of Agreement between the SSMU and McGill Universtiy, club names are now required to use a certain formula. Please review the choices here and make your club name conform to these formulations.
  • If you have any questions about your club’s constitution, you can submit questions to the Interest Group Coordinator (igc@ssmu.mcgill.ca), who will ensure that your constitution doesn’t conflict with the SSMU constitution or overlap with any other currently active SSMU group.
  • Write a cover letter that explains the goals or your club and how you hope to achieve those goals.  The Interest Group Committee considers a number of different factors in these applications, including the uniqueness of your activities, your financial and fundraising capacity, and how you will ensure good institutional memory. For the the full breakdown of the factors considered by the Interest Group Committee, consult the Interim Status Approval Rubric.
  • Submit your completed Interim Status Application forms (in Word Doc format) to igc@ssmu.mcgill.ca.
  • Your application will be reviewed by the Interest Group Committee, which is a committee of SSMU’s Legislative Council. This Committee will then make a recommendation to Council, which will give the final stamp of approval. You will be notified of every step of the process and if your club is approved, tabled (for any reason), or rejected.

Please note that it may take a while for your application to be processed, as the Interest Group Coordinator & Committee receive many requests all the time and need to do research for each request as part of the process.

Applications received within two weeks of Activities Night are unlikely to be approved before the Activities Night table registration deadline. Also, if applying during the summer, the application process takes longer because Interest Group Committee doesn’t meet (and Executive Committee fulfills these duties, but along with many others..!). Thanks for your understanding!

How to Apply for Full Club Status

Once a group is granted interim recognition, it maintains that status for three academic months (so not including breaks and exams). During that time, you will need to gather members and fill all executive, coordinator or other formal positions mentioned in your constitution through the appropriate channels. During this time you must host three substantial events, create a club product, run a campaign, or hold smaller regular meetings.

After three months of being an interim status club or more if necessary, if the club has met the above requirements, you may apply for full status by submitting a Full Status Application. A club has up to five academic months to apply for full status. If five months have elapsed after the approval of the club for Interim Status and the VP Clubs and Services is not contacted, the club may lose its status. If more than five months are needed, please contact the Interest Group Coordinator with an estimate of when the group will be able to apply for full status.

The application consists of:

  • A cover letter (which is assessed based on the Full Status Club Approval Rubric)
  • three event forms
  • OR a product, campaign, or smaller regular events form
  • a members list
*Note: The forms are now in fillable pdf form, please save the form first to your computer and then fill it out as filling it out in your browser will not save*

Click here to see the Full Status Application forms and cover letter

Click here for the traditional three event form

*NEW FORMS* Campaign form, Small regular events form, Product form

Click here for Full Status Member List Form

As of 2014-2015, the Interest Group Committee is now assessing full status applications based on a number of criteria outlined in a standardized rubric.  Be sure to consult the Full Status Club Approval Rubric before you submit your application to make sure you cover all of the topics that the committee will be considering!