March 2016: Council Summary

The following provides a brief summary of the recent Council meeting on March 31. The complete Council package, which includes the agenda and reports, can be accessed online. Full minutes of the March Council meeting will be available in the April 2016 Council package.

This summary is provided to increase transparency, 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, please contact our office or the Speaker.

You may jump to the relevant section:


  • Elections for VP Academic, VP External, and VP Finance will take place at April Council. If you are interested in nominating yourself for either position, please contact the Speaker by April 19th.
  • Congratulations and welcome to Karishma Hosein, our new Aboriginal/Indigenous Commissioner.
  • The Subsidies and Bursaries Committee are reviewing our application forms and adjudication processes.
  • A current project for several SOGS members is to increase clarity and access to accomoddation services at the graduate level.

Upcoming dates of importance

Motion decisions

Reminder: Motions generally include several clauses providing the background or justification of a motion followed by one or several resolutions. The resolutions are the specific actions being proposed. For brevity, resolutions use the initialisms BIRT (be it resolved that) and BIFRT (be it further resolved that).

Motions arising from the President/Executive

Motion 1 (VP External)


Whereas the Manitoban community of Pimicikamak has declared a state of emergency after a recent string of suicides, 4 of which were high school students; and
Whereas there are more than 100 young people from the community are on a suicide watch list; and
Whereas the Winnipeg Bear Clan Patrol is seeking donations to build supportive youth programming within the Pimickamak Community; and
Whereas the Society has taken great steps to prioritize mental health and wellness initiatives; and
Whereas the Society recognizes the particular challenges Indigenous people face when accessing services and post-secondary education; therefore
BIRT the Society donate $200 to the Bear Clan Patrol.

Motion 2 (VP External)


Whereas graduate studies involves a variety of stressors;
Whereas these challenges can be exacerbated by mental health status, stressful life incidences, or specific challenges faced as part of graduate studies (e.g. comps);
Whereas developing community and support structures can contribute to graduate student performance and general well-being;
Whereas peer support is a mutually beneficial meeting of equals to share skills, strengths, and concerns;
Whereas the overview of SOGS by way of committee format can provide support, guidance, and accountability; therefore,
BIRT a Graduate Peer Support (GPS) Committee be struck in line with the proposal attached as an appendix;
BIFRT the GPS Committee be reevaluated in September 2016 to determine the terms of its continuation or cessation;
BIFRT the GPS Committee fall under the portfolio of the VP External;
BIFRT that $500 of the advocacy budget be dedicated to the GPS project;
BIFRT the VP External and those working on the GPS initiative continue to seek funding and support from SGPS, Student Experience, and community partners (such as CONNECT Mental Health).

Motion 3 (VP Finance)


BIRT the Deputy Speaker be compensated at a rate of $30 per hour up to a maximum of 120 hours per year.
BIFRT time sheets shall be submitted to the Executive prior to receiving payment.

Motion 4 (VP Finance)


BIRT the Commissioners be compensated at a rate of $25 per hour to a maximum of 48 hours per year.
BIFRT time sheets shall be submitted to the Executive prior to receiving payment.

Motion 5 (VP Finance)


BIRT the Ombudsperson be compensated at a rate of $30 per hour to a maximum of 120 hours per year.
BIFRT time sheets shall be submitted to the Executive prior to receiving payment.

Motion 6 (VP Finance)


BIRT the Chief Returning Officer be compensated at a rate of $30 per hour, and
BIFRT the Deputy Chief Returning Officer be compensated at a rate of $25, and
BIFRT the combined maximum per year for both positions shall be $1700;
BIFRT time sheets shall be submitted to the Executive prior to receiving payment

Motions arising from Other Committees

Motion 7 (BCC)


BIRT the election of the Vice-President Finance occur at April Council, to take office May 1.
BIFRT the election of the Vice-President External Affairs & Communications occur at September Council, to take office October 1.
BIFRT the elected terms of the current Vice-President External Affairs & Communications and VicePresident Finance shall be honoured (the former ending April 30th and the latter ending September 30th).

Motion 8 (Health Plan Committee)


BIRT the SOGS Council does not implement a flexible plan option in the 2015-2017 SOGS Extended Health and Dental plan.

Motion 9 (Policy Committee)


BIRT the working version of the Information Management and Transfer Policy document be adopted. The document would be put into affect immediately for the 2016-2017 committee chairs.
BIFRT chairs be required to fulfill a set of minimum and pre-determined requirements in order to be eligible to receive their honorarium at the end of their term in 2017.

Motion 10 (Policy Committee)


BIRT all active SOGS committees complete or update their current committee policy document, using the template provided by the policy committee, to be submitted PC chair and Office Manager by 4 pm on Wednesday, June 1st, 2016.
BIFRT the completion of the above submission requirement by the stipulated deadline be a
necessary prerequisite for being eligible for the Chair Honorarium in 2017.

New business

Motion 11 (President & Executive)


Whereas our contract with LTC states that bus passes confiscated from graduate students by bus drivers will be returned to SOGS office;
Whereas we have seen an increase in the number of confiscated passes this year and our staff have requested a consistent policy for dealing with confiscated passes;
Whereas we charge students 20$ CAN to replace a lost bus pass,
BIRT confiscated bus passes returned to the SOGS office from LTC will be treated as lost bus passes that are in need of replacement.
BIFRT any bus passes that have been scanned, photocopied, or otherwise duplicated will be held at the SOGS Office pending request by relevant authorities.
BIFRT all confiscated bus passes will be destroyed one term after they expire.


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