February 2017: Newsletter


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:

Do you have a news item or announcement you would like to have included in the next SOGS Update? Email advocacy@sogs.ca for more information.

In this month’s Update

Research & workshops

In the headlines

Get involved

Grad Life at Western

At the Grad Club

Monthly giveaways: Photo contest & trivia

Research & workshops

calendar_iconLooking for more workshops? You can consult the Western Events Calendar, Teaching Support Centre Graduate Student Events Calendar, or SGPS’ The Wire to learn more about what’s happening on campus.


Western Research Forum 2017 : Mosaic

MosaicThe SOGS Academic Committee is proud to host the annual Western Research Forum on March 10, 2017 in the International and Graduate Affairs Building (IGAB). As a university-wide interdisciplinary conference, we offer all graduate students the opportunity to present their work to students and researchers from various fields. You are invited to attend this research day and learn about the innovative and dynamic research conducted by diverse graduate student community at Western.

The Western Research Forum 2017 will feature:

  • A keynote talk by Dr. Pam Bishop (Faculty of Education)
  • Western’s first ever Young Researcher Talk, presented by distinguished graduate student Yimin Chen (Faculty of Information & Media Studies)
  • A panel presentation and discussion on Open Access Publishing
  • Podium and poster presentations
  • Refreshments will be provided

For more information about the Western Research Forum, please visit: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/wrf/

Also, if you are interested in volunteering to help run the Forum on the day of the event, please send an email to the committee at sogs.academiccommittee@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you there!


Industry Problem Solving Week

February 21-24

IPSW+2017+In+Class+Promo2Industry Problem Solving Week (IPSW) brings together multidisciplinary teams of students to develop “solution strategies” for authentic problems posed by external partners from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. IPSW provides students with a rich learning experience in which they develop professional competencies including teamwork, problem-solving, and communications skills.

Working closely with one of our external partners over four days of intensive brainstorming and solution design, you will combine deep learning with exceptional networking opportunities. Faculty mentors provide coaching and problem solving strategies, while you and your teammates bring the energy and imagination to develop a winning pitch for the final presentation. Being a free event, no registration fee required.

This is an trans-disciplinary event. The intent is to reach students from other programs so that teams can carry multiple perspectives.

Please register online.

For more information:


In the headlines

Black History Month

bhm_poster-previewIn honour of Black History Month, we’d like to direct you to some events and further information.


How students can take action: #NoBanNoWall

[The following text is an abbreviated version of a CFS-Ontario email sent Jan 30]

On Friday January 27, US President Donald Trump issued an executive order that bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from entering the United States for at least 3 months. The order also stopped all refugee admissions for four months and banned Syrian refugees from entering the United States indefinitely.

The Canadian Federation of Students denounces these inhumane policies and stands in solidarity with all Muslims and racialized people around the world who are being separated from their families, friends and work, and are being targeted with violence.

Last night in Quebec City, we witnessed once again the murderous consequences wrought by growing Islamophobia. To the victims of the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec attack and their families, we offer our prayers, love and rage. The Federation sends its unwavering support to all of those unjustly detained in airports across the United States and their loved ones. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people fighting to oppose these racist, Islamophobic and xenophobic policies in the courts, at the airports and in the streets.

The full text of the distributed email is available on the SOGS website, and includes ways to take actionLe texte complet est aussi disponible en francais.


Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey 2016 : Summary report

[The following text is taken from an email distributed by CAGS]

The 2016 CGPSS survey has an updated national data set with information from more than 144, 000 student responses across 50 universities straddling a six-year time frame. It contains a wealth of information about graduate student satisfaction and experience.

Luc Simon’s team at Laval University has summarized the results of many of the survey themes in this report. It covers everything from personal demographics, to program satisfaction, to debt load.

Need to drill down further? You can request access to more data by contacting CAGS through this access portal on the CAGS website.


Get involved

Save the date: SOGS Annual General Meeting

The SOGS Annual General Meeting will take place on February 16 at 5:30pm. Specifics of the location and meeting agenda will be distributed through a mass email in advance of the meeting.

The SOGS Annual general Meeting is open to all SOGS members. Absentee members may complete a proxy form in order to entrust their vote to an attending member.

The specifics of a General Meeting our outlined in section 2.15.2 of our Bylaws; in short:

  • All members of the Society shall be entitled to attend General meetings. Only full and associate members shall be entitled to move, second, and vote on motions.
  • Notice of a General meeting, including an agenda showing business to be transacted,shall be advertised in university publications and on campus bulletin boards at least one week in advance of the meeting.
  • Business for a General Meeting must be submitted 7 business days prior to the meeting by a Society Member
  • There shall be an Annual General Meeting of the Society, to be held every February

If you have any questions, please stop by the SOGS Office (UCC 260) or email sogs@uwo.ca


Do YOU want to be SOGS President?

All SOGS members are eligible to be nominated for the position of President. The nomination is period is February 6 – 24 (close of business day).

Nomination forms must be obtained from and submitted in writing to the SOGS Office (UCC 260). A complete form requires two nominating signatures from members in good standing.

Questions should be directed to the Chief Returning Officer, Michael Joseph Simard and the Deputy Chief Returning Officer, Martin Lefebvre at sogs.returnofficers@gmail.com.

The duties of the President, and updates about the election as they become available, are posted online.

For more information about elections, please consult the Elections Handbook.


Celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary

150SOGS has been given $2500 from Western’s Canada’s 150th Committee to fund graduate student projects that engage with Canada’s 150 year history.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal for funding, please email president@sogs.ca with the following information:

  1. A description of the event, which discusses its relevance to Canada’s 150th anniversary.
  2. A detailed budget, which includes an itemized list of all expenses and any other sources of revenue.
  3. A proposed schedule of the event.

The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2017. Applicants will be notified by March 3.


Grad Life at Western

calendar_iconLooking for more to do? You can consult the Western Events Calendar, London Tourism’s Events Calendar, or SGPS’ The Wire to learn more about what’s happening on campus and in your community.

Special Global Cafe

GlobalCafe_bannerDate: Friday, February 10
Time: 3-5pm
Place: IGAB Atrium

Western International and SGPS invite you to a special global cafe event. In light of recent events, it is more important than ever to come together to celebrate diversity and show support for international students, faculty, and staff, as well as scholars around the world. All members of the Western community are welcome.

Global cafe is a weekly gathering where international and Canadian students can connect, share, and learn from each other.

Coffee, tea, and light refreshments will be served.


Board Game Night – (Don’t) Quit Playing Games with my Heart


Date: Wednesday, February 15
Time: 7pm
Place: The Grad Club

Switching it up from our usual free appetizers, we’ll have assorted baked goods and a themed alcoholic beverage, plus our usual beer discount ($.350/bottle of Goose Island IPA, Shop Top, or Bud Light).

Join the event page for updates and to invite your friends/colleague.


Meet your SOGS Pride Commissioner

Date: Wednesday, February 15
Time: 6pm
Place: Physics and Astronomy Building, Rm. 26

Patrick Hill, your newly elected SOGS Pride Commissioner, is hosting an informal meet and greet on February 15 at 6pm in the Physics and Astronomy Building (Room 26). The event is open to LGBTQIA+ Graduate Student Community at Western. Snacks and beverages will be provided for the discussion.

If interested in attending, contact Patrick: pride@sogs.ca. If you can’t attend, but still want to get involved, let Patrick know.

For updates or to spread the word, please join the Facebook event page.


Free screening of The PhD Comics Movie


Date: March 3
Time: 1:00pm doors open; 1:30pm movie starts
Place: The McKellar Room (Western Film)

As part of the Heidi Balsillie Fairmount Foundation Health and Wellness Lecture Series, The School of Graduate & Post Doctoral Studies (SGPS) in collaboration with the Society of Graduate Students (SOGS), University Students’ Council (USC), and Student Experience (SE), present the screening of “PHD Movie 1”.

Written and drawn by Cham, Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD) Comics follows the lives of several grad students. First published in the fall of 1997 when Cham was a grad student himself at Stanford University, the strip deals with issues of life in graduate school, including the difficulties of scientific research, the perils of procrastination, the complex student–supervisor relationship and the perpetual search for free food.


Refreshments will be provided. This movie’s screening is FREE.

Join the Facebook event page to stay updated and confirm your interest in attending.


Hours: M-F 10am-5pm; Sat 12-4pm
Admission: By donation

McIntosh Gallery has been a university-based, public art gallery since 1942, McIntosh Gallery collaborates with artists, curators and academics to develop innovative strategies to interpret and disseminate visual culture. Exhibitions, educational programs and special events provide a platform for engagement with visual art and artists.

We’ve presented an abbreviated list of ongoing exhibits below. For more information, please consult their current exhibitions page.

Shelley Niro: Battlefields of my Ancestors; Jan 12 – Mar 4

In this exhibition, artist Shelley Niro (Mohawk, turtle clan) explores historic battlefields that hold significance for her people. Beginning in New York State, where she was born, Niro documents the location of Cayuga villages destroyed during the American Revolutionary War and follows the subsequent migration to the area now known as the Six Nations near Brantford, Ontario. The final image depicts the Canadian memorial at Vimy Ridge. In addition to Canada’s sesquicentennial, 2017 also marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, which is often understood as a key event in the development of our national identity as a sovereign country.

Shelley Niro: Artist talk

Date: Thursday, February 16
Time: 7pm
Place: North Campus Building (NCB) 113

Free admission. Presented in collaboration with Western University’s Department of Visual Arts, as part of its ArtNow Winter 2017 Speakers’ Series, organized by Christof Migone.

Cold Front; Jan 12 – Mar 4

This exhibition features six artists –Tom Benner, John Boyle, Jack Chambers, Greg Curnoe, Jamelie Hassan, and Tony Urquhart – who worked in London, Ontario during the Cold War (1947-91). In this period of heightened political tension, capitalist and communist countries battled to shape global economic development and modernization according to their respective ideals.


At the Grad ClubGradClub

Paint Nites

The Grad Club is now hosting Paint Nite on most Wednesday evenings.

Upcoming dates include February 8 and 15.

Reserve your spot at paintnite.com

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: 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM
Come early to get a good seat

Every Thursday: Come and enjoy the music of Rick McGhie – 7:00 PM start

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.

Winter Hours of Operation

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

The Grad Club will open on weekends for events or conferences
Call 519-661-2111 ext 86386 or e-mail mlalond2@uwo.ca to set up your event.

Free parking after 9:30 PM.

Get Your VanHoutte Coffee Card

Buy ten coffees and get one free.

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
Themed buffet; Grad Club BBQ

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.


Monthly giveaways

Winners can pick up their Grad Club certificates in the SOGS office during regular office hours, and their names will be posted in next month’s newsletter.

Photo contest

isabelaOur last theme was: nostalgia. Congratulations to winner, Isabela Reiniati, with this picture of her grandparents from the early ’90s which was displayed at their cousin’s wedding.

February’s theme is: Groundhog Day. This yearly tradition speaks to the slog of February weather and a hope for warmer days. This has us wondering — what else gets you through the winter? Whether it be a favourite hearty soup, or a lull in your grading schedule, or Winterlude, or snowboarding… we want a picture of what will be getting you through the next six weeks of winter.

Send your photo into sogs.contest@uwo.ca; the winner will be randomly selected, and their photo will be featured in next month’s Update newsletter.


Please note: Since we posted October trivia so late, we’re recognizing TWO extra trivia winners from November (for a total of six).

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 sogs.contest@uwo.ca by February 28.

February question

  • In honour of Black History Month, please share a fact that you find interesting or significant about Black history in Canada.

November winners

Congratulations to our November winners:

  • Howard Tong
  • Kate Mathers
  • Chad Walker
  • Jeffrey Chow
  • Nicole Dalmer
  • Lauren Seidl

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