Queer McGill is an organization very active in promoting its hotline and services for the GLBTQ population of McGill. They have posters up all over campus, and they host many different events, activities, and lectures. McGill is a fairly liberal school with liberal administration, and Montréal is a very liberal city. The university population is overall very accepting, and issues of gender and sexuality always seem to find their way into class discussion.
In part due to the high number of international students, students at McGill are hyper aware of the world around them. For this reason, there is a great amount of political activity on campus. Though politics are generally left-leaning, there is still a diversity of opinions represented on campus, and controversy occasionally ensues. Lately, extremely controversial issues have flared up on campus, with such questions as whether to condemn Israel or admit a pro-life group official club status. McGill students are always looking to make a point, whether to have their voices heard or simply beef up their résumés.
International students tend to be much wealthier than Canadian or Québec students. There is definitely a “rich American” stereotype. The wealthy kids with trendy clothes are the most visible economic class, but this is probably because they are the flashiest. Talking to some of the Québec residents who make up about half of the population, one will find many who pay for school themselves or live with their parents to save money. Québec tuition is very cheap, so not only the elite can afford it. In general, since McGill is a public university, the student body is pretty well-rounded when it comes to economic status.
Most Common Religions
Christianity is the dominant religion at McGill, but the most visible religious groups are probably Islamic and Jewish. There is an interfaith publication called Radix, and many clubs for various faiths. These clubs host holiday parties and help students find places of worship. They occasionally hold lectures or discussions on campus, but most religious practice is private.
Minority Clubs on Campus
McGill's clubs read like a U.N. attendance record, with a club for practically every country. Since the international population is high, minority status is not lumped into “Middle Eastern” or “Asian,” but often in terms of specific nations.
Did You Know?
- Only about 50 percent of students identify English as their mother tongue, and nearly 30 percent report that their first language is neither French nor English.
- American students make up only about 7 percent of the total student population.