Coming to an unfamiliar city, while exciting, can be difficult. It can be hard to figure out what communities and support services are available for you and how to access them. This is why the Daily has created a list of resources and communities that may be useful to students.
The list is divided into the following categories:
- Resources for Students of Colour
- Resources for LGBTQ+ Students
- Food Security and Financial Aid
- Support for Survivors of Sexual Violence
- Health, Wellness, and Care
- Resources for First-Generation and International Students
While care was taken to find the most recent information possible, some information provided here may not be up-to-date and events are subject to change depending on public health guidelines. For the most accurate information, please consult groups’ social media pages or contact them directly.
Resources for Students of Colour
For information on the Black Students Network and Indigenous Student Alliance, see pages 6-7.
Pan-Asian Collective (PAC)
The Pan-Asian Collective is a group that intends to uplift and encourage “meaningful engagement in Asian history and culture” at Montreal-area universities. They host a number of community events, including relaxed BIPOC gatherings, movie screenings, and potlucks, as well as a discussion series called Un(PAC)k.
They also operate a closed Facebook group for Asian-identifying folks, which you can find here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/656651661411226
First Peoples’ House
The First Peoples’ House “attempts to provide a sense of community and a voice to Indigenous students who have left their home communities in order to pursue higher education.” They provide academic and cultural support to Indigenous students, including in-house tutoring support, soup and bannock lunches each Wednesday at noon, a drum circle, and the ability to meet with an elder in residence.
Chez IBPOC is a Facebook group by and for “individuals who identify as Indigenous, Black, and/or people of colour EXCLUSIVELY and are seeking accommodation or housing to rent (short term or long term), rent out, buy, or sell, or looking for or sharing other information related to housing and shelter in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal.”
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/303182606783952/
Resources for LGBTQ+ Students
Queer McGill (QM)
QM is a student-run service with drop-in office hours which offers resources including a queer library (English only, online library available on their website), safer-sex supplies, and gender-affirming products. QM also offers events focusing on queer students, including Rad Sex Month, games nights, and open mics. They also publish a zine featuring work from queer students.
The Union for Gender Empowerment (UGE)
The UGE is a “trans-positive, anti-racist, feminist” organization that provides services to “any person who identifies with [their] anti-oppressive, feminist, and trans-positive principles, regardless of gender identity.” Its co-op offers safer sex supplies, gender-affirming products, and eco-friendly menstrual supplies on a pay-what-you-can (PWYC) basis. The UGE also co-runs an alternative library with Queer McGill, runs educational workshops and other programming, and has drop-in office hours (which are currently being held online).
Chez Queer Montreal
Chez Queer is a Facebook group “for all the queers and queer allies of Montreal to help queers find safe happy homes.” Visit this group to browse queer-friendly apartment listings, seek out roommates, or post your current place for a lease transfer.
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/chezqueer/
Gender Neutral Bathrooms
McGill has a number of gender-neutral washrooms across campus.
You can view an index of washrooms here: https://www.mcgill.ca/equity/resources/gender-sexuality/gender-inclusive-washrooms
SSMU Gender and Sexuality Commissioner
The SSMU Gender and Sexuality Commissioner can provide support to students facing issues due to their LGBTQ+ identity, including (but not limited to) being dead-named by university staff, homophobic or transphobic material in class documents (including syllabi), or facing barriers to accessing the Student Wellness Hub.
To contact them, email email@example.com.
Food Security and Financial Aid
Midnight Kitchen is “a non-profit, worker and volunteer-run collective […] dedicated to providing accessible food to as many people as possible.” Besides providing support to students and community members facing food insecurity, they provide free catering for events that align with their political mandate (under certain conditions), host educational workshops on different topics around food, and provide discretionary funding for certain projects.
Applications for their bi-weekly prepared meal program are currently closed, but students may email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the waitlist. More information is available here: https://midnightkitchen.org/meal-program.
Students may also apply for a one-time emergency grocery gift card here: https://midnightkitchen.org/emergency-grocery-cards.
Midnight Kitchen also provides information on services for people facing food insecurity here: https://midnightkitchen.org/new-index.
Montréal – Tio’tia:ke – Entraide – Mutual Aid
This Facebook group accepts mutual aid requests for things like food, delivery, legal help, housing, and more.
Join the group and learn more here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1005041203222884.
Support for Sexual Violence Survivors
Sexual Assault Centre of the McGill Student’s Society (SACOMSS)
SACOMSS provides support to survivors of sexual violence and their allies through “direct support, advocacy, and outreach.” The volunteer-run organization offers support groups (currently held online), an English phone service (Drop-In and Line or DIAL), and facilitates workshops and trainings around sexual violence. Volunteer training occurs in September/October – keep an eye on their Facebook page for more details.
They also have a page of resources for immediate survivors (those who have faced sexual violence in the last five days) which can be accessed here: https://www.sacomss.org/wp/resources-for-immediate-survivors/.
Office for Sexual Violence Response Support and Education (OSVRSE)
OSVRSE is a service that “provides confidential, non-judgmental and non-directional support” within a survivor-centred, intersectional approach to members of the McGill community who have been impacted by sexual or gender-based violence. Survivors can access support services and short-term counselling, receive assistance with resource coordination (e.g. obtaining accommodations, accessing support services, and safety planning), and discuss reporting options.
You can currently book a support session with OSVRSE here: https://outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/ OfficeforSexualViolenceResponseSupportandEducation@McGill.onmicrosoft.com/bookings/ or via email.
Health, Wellness, and Care
AIDS Community Care Montreal (ACCM)
ACCM is Montreal’s only English-language volunteer driven community “organization that provides support services and treatment information to people living with HIV/AIDS and/or hepatitis C.” The organization provides social and support services such as discussion groups (currently held via Zoom), 1-on-1 support, and practical assistance to people living with HIV and hepatitis C, such as information about treatment, symptoms, and medical coverage. They also run a number of educational programs to “decrease the transmission of HIV, hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted and blood borne infections.” These programs include sexual health kiosks, workshops, and SextEd, a free anonymous texting helpline for youth seeking information about sex and dating.
SextEd Phone Number: 514-700-4411
ACCM Phone Number: 514-527-0928
Free and Inexpensive Menstrual Products
SSMU provides free pads and tampons to students in a number of campus buildings. You can see the map of locations here: https://ssmu.ca/resources/menstrual-hygiene-products/.
Students can also access Pay What You Can reusable pads and menstrual cups from the UGE’s co-op. More information is here: https://theuge.org/services/co-op/.
McGill Family Care provides resources to student parents and caregivers, including information on childcare, a map of family-friendly spaces on and around campus, and a list of policies that pertain to student parents and caregivers.
Montreal Queer Spoon Share
Montreal Queer Spoon Share is a Facebook group that “help[s] spoonies (people who are chronically ill or disabled, including people with brain-based illnesses, various impairments, assistive technology users, etc.) through mutual aid and support.”
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mtlqueerspoonshare
Resources for 1st-Gen and International Students
International Student Services (ISS)
ISS provides services to international McGill students, including the buddy program for new students, workshops and webinars, and the iSTEP life prep program. They also have a number of resources for international students on topics like immigration, filing taxes, and document translation.
Service-specific contact information: https://www.mcgill.ca/internationalstudents/contact-us
First Generation Student Support
McGill Campus Life and Engagement (CL&E) and the Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) offer a number of resources for first-generation university students. One of their programs is 1st Up, a peer support group by and for first-generation university students.
They also published a guide for first-generation students in 2020, which you can access here: https://www.mcgill.ca/firstyear/files/firstyear/first_gen_guide_2020_0.pdf.
1st Up Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/410525029814520/
McGill’s residence Community Engagement and Equity Committee (CEEC) has created a map of spaces in Montreal, including cultural and community centres, places of worship, and grocery stores, to help students find familiar spaces in Montreal.
You can view the map here: