November 2015

SOGS Update, the official monthly electronic newsletter from SOGS, keeps you up to date on issues and events affecting graduate students at The University of Western Ontario. If you are looking for previous issues of SOGS Update please contact the office.

For updates on events, issues and discussion relevant to graduate students and Western between editions of the newsletter, consider the following options:

Do you have a news item or announcement you would like to have included in the next SOGS Update? Email for more information!

In this month’s Update

 Health and dental claims 2014-2015

Health and dental claims from 2014-15 must be processed by Desjardins no later than November 30. If you are submitting through the SOGS office, paperwork should be submitted no later than November 16 to ensure processing.

Welcome to our new SOGS Councillors

The  2015/2016 SOGS Council year kicked off on October 29. Thank you to all the new Councillors who dedicated their evening to our Councillor orientation, a presentation from StudentCare, and updates from various SOGS members.

We’d like to remind Councillors and members alike that more information about Council, our Commissioners, and our Executive is available online.  If you’re looking to get more involved, please consider joining a Committee; alternatively, many of our Commissioner positions are open. If you would like any guidance regarding Council practices such as Robert’s Rules, raising motions, or the bylaws, we encourage you to get in contact with our Speaker. If you have further questions, you’re welcome to contact our office staff or executive members.

Call for papers — 2016 Western Research Forum: Advances at a Crossroads

The Western Research Forum (WRF) is an interdisciplinary research conference that provides students with the opportunity to present their work and to engage with an interdisciplinary audience on matters of importance to researchers in a variety of disciplines. Graduate students from all disciplines and levels of study are encouraged to apply.

The conference is scheduled to take place on Friday, March 4, 2016. Please submit a 250 word abstract to by January 8, 2016 and indicate if your proposed presentation will be in the form of a paper, poster or creative project. Authors will be notified of acceptance by February 1, 2016

The full call for papers flyer is available online.
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GradCast wants to hear from you

Want to be on the Radio?
Gradcast is the official podcast and radio show for SOGS. We’ve been making weekly shows at and are going on our third year. The show interviews graduate students, and broadcasts the cool stuff we’re all researching. We are looking for new guests for next semester, and a few dedicated hosts for the grad cast committee. If you want to come talk to us, we’re having a recruitment event at the Grad Club on November 6 starting at 3pm. If you can’t make it, but are interested in being a guest or host, email us at!

Disordered Eating Support Group

Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month from 6:00 – 7:30pm in UCC 256
Focus on healthy coping techniques and strategies in this free drop-in support group for all Western students. Discuss topics related to recovery such as stress management, healthy relationship building, and self-care.
Contact Hope’s Garden at (519) 434 – 7721 or if you have any questions!



On the Goudge Report and the governance model at Western

The SOGS Executive looks forward to the upcoming reports from the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Renewal and the Board Task Force on Governance Review. We hope that, based on the recommendations of these three reports, the University Administration and Board will be committed to structural reforms to ensure that Western upholds the values of a publicly funded post-secondary institution. We expect to see members of the Board and Senior Administration lead by example to rebuild the trust of the campus community and seek genuine public engagement in issues of governance at Western.

For the full statement, please visit:

Call for Campus Police to cease the practice of carding and better support rights literacy

Given that there is no evidence to suggest that street checks contribute to a safer community and information about the use of street checks by Campus Police has not been made publicly available, we call for an immediate halt to the practice of street checks. We also call upon Campus Police to provide students with information about their rights and responsibilities on campus, and to be transparent about the use of these practices on campus, which includes releasing statistics about the frequency of such activity.

No student should ever feel that they have been approached by police while on campus because of their race or perceived characteristics. We reject the rhetoric some have put forward that students should not hesitate to provide their identification to be recorded “if they have not done anything wrong.”

As a community, we respect and appreciate the work of Campus Police. We are confident Campus Police will consider our concerns and work with us, as well other campus groups, to better inform students of their rights and responsibilities.

For the full statement, please visit:


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Grad Club and Finance Committees looking for new members

Interested in gaining experience managing budgets or becoming involved in operational decision making? While it might sound a little dull – it really isn’t! The Grad Club Committee and the Finance Committee are looking for new members. No previous SOGS experience required, and this kind of Committee work is great for skill development, helps to balance ones resume, and introduces you to new people outside of your department and faculty. (Time requirement: typically less than one hour per month.) If you’re interested, please email Jill at for more information.

Graduate Students’ Issues Committee is looking for new members

The Graduate Students’ Issues Committee (GSIC) oversees issues pertaining to the quality and accessibility of graduate education, and works to keep graduate students informed of these issues. Our next projects will likely focus on reaching out to grad students and advocacy. If you are interested in getting involved, or if there are any other issues you would like to bring up with the committee, please contact

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SOGS monthly queer discussion group

Our monthly queer discussion group will be Monday, November 9 at 5:30pm in the Pride Library. From hereon  in, we’re intending to consistently host our discussion group the second Monday of every month in the Pride Library, barring unforeseen circumstances. This is a safer space event and any member of a gender, sexuality, or romantic minority is invited to attend, as are any allies.

Seeing as many campuses seem to use November as a mental health awareness month, our topic for this month is queerness and mental wellness. For example, how do you find queerness and mental health intersect? Do you find campus resources sufficiently support queerness and/or mental health? What do you think of initiatives such as CAMH’s #languagematters campaign?

Other topics, however unrelated, are also welcome; this topic is just a proposed conversation starter.

What is Feminism Part III: Graduate Studies and Parenthood

Join us on November 17 at 6pm in UCC 65 for dinner and discussion. Facilitated by PhD student Melanie Stone, we will be discussing experiences of managing parental responsibilities while meeting the demands of graduate school and we want to hear from YOU about how SOGS can better support your needs. Even if you are not a parent; maybe you’re think about it, maybe you’re considering a career in academia and have some questions about the future, maybe you want hear from other students or maybe you just really love some good food and engaging discussion – you are more welcome and encouraged to attend. Finally, if you are interested in being a part of the action plan to assist students with this issue (do not have to be a parent to take part) then please do attend. Please email Women’s Concerns Commissioner, Taniya Nagpal, to RSVP for this event at Please include in your email if you would require any assistance for childcare or accessibility. Thank you.

Ugly Sweater Party

Stay tuned for information about our upcoming Second Annual Ugly Sweater Party. Ticket price will include drinks, snacks, games, and prizes. Be sure to subscribe to our SOGS Socials Group:
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Board Game Night

The OSC Committee invites you to our monthly Board Game Night on November 18 @ 6pm @ The Grad Club:

We are currently updating our game inventory and would like to have your feedback on what to purchase:

Every third Wednesday of the Month the OSC is hosting Boardgame night starting at 6:00pm. You can purchase a bottle of Bud Light, Shock Top or Goose Island IPA for $3.50.


At the Grad Club

GradClubLook for our ad in The Gazette for coupons and discounts

Dinner & Movie

Purchase one of our dinner special and you can purchase a Western Film movie for $3.50. Voucher is good for any movie.

Fall Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday – 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM (midnight)
Saturday – closed
Sunday – closed.

The Grad Club will open on weekends for events or conferences
Call 519-661-2111 ext 86386 or e-mail to set up your event.

Free parking after 7:30 PM.

Get Your VanHoutte Coffee Card

Buy ten coffees and get one free.


Trivia Tuesday: 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Come early to get a good seat

Every Thursday: Mill St presents Rick McGhie – 8:00 PM start

Lunch Specials

Tuesday – 11:30am – 1:30PM
Pad Thai or Buffalo Chicken Wrap – vegetarian options available

Wednesday – 11:30am – 1:30PM – $10.25 one trip
Indian Buffet (South Asian Cuisine)

Thursday – 11:30am – 1:30pm – $8.50
Create your own Pasta; gluten free pasta available

Friday – 11:30AM – 1:30PM
Patio BBQ

You can find all of our lunch and dinner specials on the Grad Club website

Book the Goblet

To reserve The Goblet of Knowledge for your upcoming defense party, call Marc 519-661-2111 ext 86386.

SOGS Hospitality Services

November trivia

Each month, SOGS hosts a trivia contest featuring information from our annual day planner or our website. Correct answers are entered into a drawing and five students will win a certificate to the Grad Club! Please email your response to by November 30. Winners can pick up their GC certificates in the SOGS office during regular office hours, and their names will be posted in next month’s newsletter.

November Question:

Please name a campus or community resource available to graduate students which supports mental health/wellness.

October Winners:

Congratulations to our October winners:

  • Christina Chung
  • Sarah Ann CoDyre
  • Hongyu Zhang
  • Sali Farhan
  • Melissa Jacquart

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