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:
- SOGS Facebook – main: https://www.facebook.com/Western.SOGS
- SOGS Facebook – social group: https://www.facebook.com/Western.SOGS.Socials
- SOGS Facebook – international students:
- SOGS Twitter: https://twitter.com/westernsogs
- SOGS Forum, a joinable OWL site (contact firstname.lastname@example.org if unsure how to join sites on OWL)
Do you have an International Student Identification Card (ISIC)? If not, our office is now equipped to distribute ISICs upon request, and the printing process only takes a few minutes. To request your free ISIC, bring your lovely self and your student card to UCC 260 during regular office hours.
Do you have a news item or announcement you would like to have included in the next SOGS Update? Email email@example.com for more information.
In this month’s Update:
- Weekly Thesis Writing Time at The Chu Centre (April 6, 11, 20, 29)
- FIMS Research Day: Virality and The Digital Shadow (April 14)
- Nominations open for several SOGS Executive positions
- Help recognize great TAs by joining the GSTA Committee
- CFS StudentSaver solicitation summer job
- Western Goes Global: Cultural Showcase (April 6)
- Income Tax Information Session for International Students (April 7)
- SOGS members invited to Columbia Sportswear Employee Store (March 21 – April 24)
- Board Game Night (April 20)
- Calling all creative writers
- Coming this summer — Graduate Peer Support Weekly Drop-In (May 4)
Monthly giveaways: Photo contest & trivia
Scholarships & bursaries
Childcare & travel subsidies due
April 29 is the last day to submit your childcare or travel subsidy forms to the office for this term. Applications must be submitted along with original receipts to the SOGS office. The childcare subsidy and travel subsidy forms are both available online.
SOGS provides limited subsidies of $400 per term to offset the cost of child care services. Travel Subsidies are awarded to a maximum of $500 based on demonstrated financial need. In both cases, your information remains confidential and information collected is used for statistical purposes. This statistical information is of great use to us, as it can help support lobbying efforts such as seeking increased childcare support for students.
Canadian Derivitives Exchange Scholars Program
- two (2) graduate scholarships (M.Sc., DESS, MBA, EMBA) of $10,000
- two (2) postgraduate scholarships (Ph.D., DBA, EDBA) of $25,000
To be eligible for the Scholarships, graduate students must:
- Be registered in a full-time graduate or post-graduate program in a Canadian University.
- Conduct a research project (essay, paper, thesis or article) on exchange-traded derivatives or any topic related to the Montreal Exchange’s business.
- Conduct a research project in whole or in part during the 2016-2017 academic year
Additional information is available online: https://www.m-x.ca/uni_bourses_derives_en.php
Research & workshops
Weekly Thesis Writing Time at The Chu Centre
Weekly Thesis Writing Time is a SOGS-SGPS joint pilot project dedicated to providing a comfortable, distraction-free space conducive for graduate student thesis writing. These writing sessions are hosted at the Chu Centre, on the second floor of IGAB. The project first launched in March.
April sessions will run on:
- April 6 – 1pm to 4pm
- April 11 – 1pm to 4pm
- April 20 – 9am to 12pm
- April 29 – 1pm to 4pm
Please register online: https://grad.uwo.ca/events/?id=189
Coffee, tea, and fruit will be provided. We are looking for volunteers to help staff these sessions, so if you’ve tried to sign up and it’s full, volunteer and you’ll be able to write for the three hours! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
FIMS Research Day: Virality and The Digital Shadow
The Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS) invites you to their graduate research day on Thursday, April 14 from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm. The panels, hosted in NCB 117, explicitly bring together PhD candidates from media studies (MS), library and information sciences (LIS), and health information sciences (HIS) to discuss common themes and challenges. The schedule for the day is described below:
- 10:00 – 10:15 Welcome
- 10:15 – 11:00 Panel 1: Virality
Featuring Chandell Gosse (MS), Yimin Chen (LIS), and Jill Veenendaal (HIS); facilitated by Dr. Sarah T. Roberts
- 11:00 – 11:15 Break
- 11:15 – 12:00 Panel 2: The Digital Self & The Digital Shadow
Featuring Sadiq Raji (HIS), Ramon Diab (LIS), and Vicki O’Meara (MS); facilitatd by John R. Reed
- 12:00 – 1:30 Lunch & poster/multimedia presentations
No registration necessary. Lunch and refreshments will be provided in the NCB Atrium (main floor, by the Tim Hortons). Thank you for supporting graduate student research at FIMS.
In the headlines
SOGS Council Summary
Have you ever wondered what happens at SOGS Council meetings? Maybe you’ve lost an email report from your Councillor, or you’re considering serving as a Councillor and would like more information about past meetings.
In order to increase open and transparent communication, the SOGS Executive is testing out producing a brief monthly Council Summary. These summaries will be hosted along with our newsletters in a blog-style format under the News tab on our website, and are tagged as Council Summaries for ease of access. They are intended to complement the minutes provided in the following month’s Council package, and to support Councillors in completing their obligations under Bylaw 2.3.5; “shall regularly communicate with his or her constituents concerning the activities, programs, and decisions of the Society”.
If you have any questions, concerns, or feedback about these summaries, please contact the VP External, email@example.com.
Federal budget commentary
With the announcement of the federal budget late in March, many commentaries and summaries have been circulating as of late. In addition to the official budget page, here are some additional sources that have been brought to our attention at SOGS:
- Higher Education Strategy Associates. The 2016 Federal Budget: An analysis from Higher Education Strategy Associates. http://higheredstrategy.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/2016-Budget-Commentary3.pdf
- Canadian Federation of Students. The Federal Budget and You(th). http://cfs-fcee.ca/the-federal-budget-and-youth/
If there’s a link or resource about the federal budget that you’d like to share, please feel free to share it in the comments section.
Nominations open for several SOGS Executive positions
Nominations are now open for the positions of Vice President Academic, and Vice President Finance, to be elected at April’s Council to commence their regular terms on May 1. A by-election for Vice President External & Communications will also take place (to hold the position until September 30th).
To submit a nomination, or for more information, contact the Speaker (firstname.lastname@example.org). Nominations are due by 4pm on April 19th.
Help recognize great TAs by joining the GSTA Committee
Each year, SOGS recognizes the efforts of our extraordinary TAs who dedicate themselves to teaching and the education experience of students at Western University with the Graduate Student Teaching Awards. Twenty awards of $500 are presented annually to graduate students, divided equally across the divisions of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
These awards are only possible thanks to volunteers on the GSTA Committee, which is currently seeking members. In particular, the Committee is hoping to recruit more members from the arts & humanities side of things, but any and all volunteers are welcome:
Perks of joining the GSTA Committee:
- A short-term commitment, as the awards ceremony is in May
- A lunch will be provided to thank volunteers
- A way to help recognize graduate student labour at Western
if you’re interested in joining the GSTA Committee, please contact the VP Academic, email@example.com
CFS StudentSaver solicitation summer job
The Canadian Federation of Students is seeking a Brand Ambassador to approach local businesses around their campus community and encourage them to participate in the student discount programme. As members of the nationwide Discount Solicitor Network, Brand Ambassadors will play a critical role in creating meaningful and long-lasting partnerships with local businesses and providing exclusive discounts for their peers to benefit from. The position requires Brand Ambassadors to work independently and remotely, while providing consistent progress reports to the Discount Solicitor Network.
The complete job description is available online. For more information, or to apply, please contact Sahar Ashraf (416-925- 3825; firstname.lastname@example.org) by Wednesday, April 13.
Grad Life at Western
Western Goes Global: Cultural Showcase
On April 6 from 4pm-7pm, IGSIC will be representing SOGS at the Western Goes Global: Cultural Showcase in the Mustang Lounge. All are welcome! Come celebrate the end of term.
Income Tax Information Session for International Students
On April 7 from 1:30pm-3:30pm, the International and Exchange Student Centre will be presenting an Income Tax Information Session for international students in UCC Room 56. International students must register by April 6. Please register online.
All international graduate students are encouraged to join the IGSIC Facebook Group. Over the next few weeks, you will find out about IGSIC’s summer events.
SOGS members invited to Columbia Sportswear Employee Store
Columbia Sportswear once again welcomes SOGS members to take advantage of their employee store. You may bring up to four family members or friends with you. What are the perks?
- Special Employee store pricing is applied to all products in the store
- Includes all brands in the Columbia Sportswear family of brands
- 14,000 sq. feet of each brand’s most popular styles and sizes.
- prAna, the newest brand to join the Columbia portfolio
When: March 21-April 24
Where: 1425 Max Brose Drive, Unit 1, London Ontario, N6N 0A2
Hours: M-Fri. 10-7 pm | Sat. 10-6 pm | Sun. 11-5 pm
To take advantage of this offer:
- Print off this invitation.
- Show the invitation along with your student ID and bus pass to gain access to the store.
If you don’t have a bus pass, you may contact our Office Manager to request a letter of enrollment.
We hope you enjoy taking advantage of this offer from Columbia Sportswear.
Board Game Night
April 20 @ 7pm @ the Grad Club
The last Board Game Night of the Winter term! Be sure to share the Facebook Event with your friends and colleagues.
If you haven’t liked the OSC’s Facebook Page yet, be sure to do so here to stay up-to-date on events.
Calling all creative writers
Write the FIRST every script for a graduate student play, created by graduate students for graduate students. This will be the first production of its kind where graduate students will write a play about Grad Life. This play will highlight the experiences we all share, give us a chance to laugh at ourselves and connect with our peers.
This large production is looking for talented writers! If you are interested in being on the team which creates the script please email Taniya Nagpal, email@example.com.
Coming this summer — Graduate Peer Support Weekly Drop-In
The SOGS Equity Committee, along with SGPS, Student Experience, and CONNECT for Mental Health have teamed up to provide grads with a space for a mid-week break. Starting May 4, stop by the Wellness Education Center Wednesdays between 10:30am and 12:30pm for coffee, tea, snacks, and company. These drop-in sessions are open to any Western graduate student, and will be hosted by trained peer support facilitators to keep everything running smoothly.
Once per month, this drop-in will be dedicated to a specific topic. Keep an eye out in May for our finalized schedule, but here’s a sneak peak at the topics we’ll be focusing on over the summer term:
- Imposter Syndrome: It’s Not Just You
- Life After Grad School: Ready to Defend, but Not Ready for the Job Hunt
- Living on a Tight Budget: Beyond Ramen
- Unrealistic Expectations of Grad Studies: How Am I Supposed to Do All This
We hope you’ll stop by over the summer, or consider getting involved with the newly founded Graduate Peer Support (GPS) Committee. Please email the VP External (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information about the program, the committee, or to suggest talks you’d like to see in the future.
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.
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
Every third Wednesday: 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.
Winter 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 email@example.com to set up your event.
Free parking after 7:30 PM.
Get Your VanHoutte Coffee Card
Buy ten coffees and get one free.
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
You can find all of our lunch and dinner specials on the Grad Club website http://gradclub.sogs.ca/
Book the Goblet
To reserve The Goblet of Knowledge for your upcoming defense party, call Marc 519-661-2111 ext 86386.
Congratulations to Lola Wong, winner of our inaugural photo contest with this photo from within the Macintosh Gallery. March’s theme was campus. In light of the end of term stressors, April’s theme is pets & other beloved animals. Send a photo into firstname.lastname@example.org; the winner will be randomly selected, and their photo will be featured in next month’s Update newsletter and notification email.
Each month, SOGS hosts a trivia contest featuring information from our newsletter or our website. Correct answers are entered into a draw and four students will win a certificate to the Grad Club! Please email your response to email@example.com by April 30.
What was your favourite part of your orientation experience, or what one thing do you wish your orientation had included? Feel free to answer describing an activity, a focus, or even a piece of information.
Congratulations to our March winners:
- Chloe Grande
- Jagriti Sharma
- Amy Hsieh
- Elizabeth Fan