February 2017: Council Summary

The following provides a brief summary of the recent Council meeting on March 2. The complete Council package, which includes the agenda and reports, can be accessed online. Full minutes of the February Council meeting will be available in the March 2017 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:


  • Congratulations to Mary Blake Bonn on her acclimation to the position of SOGS President for the 2017-2018 year.
  • The GSTA Award nomination period is open as of March 1 and runs through April 15. Please see online for further information.
  • Members interested in participating in a committee reviewing the role of the Canadian Federation of Students should contact Patrick Hill (phill6@sogs.ca). Please see Motion 4 for further information.
  • There is still time to join the PSAC 610 Negotiation Research Committee in anticipation of the upcoming negotiation period starting in August. Please contact president@psac610.ca if you would like to sit on this committee. Further information is available online.

Upcoming dates of importance

  • March 3: PhD Movie screening (1:30pm; Western Film)
  • March 7: FREE Working Pizza Lunch for Councillors (11am – 2pm; IGAB Atrium; inquiries welcome at services@sogs.ca)
  • March 10: Western Research Forum (IGAB Atrium)
  • March 27-28: HireWesternYOU Launch Event

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 (President)


Whereas there is presently no formal transition period for any SOGS executive positions;
Whereas a formal transition period allows executives to learn the role before taking office;
Whereas PSAC 610 and the USC both have paid transition periods after the election of new executives;
Whereas our current election structure makes transition periods for all executives difficult;
BIRT the following be added to the Bylaws under Transition For the month prior to taking office, the President-Elect shall: Be expected to work with the outgoing President, the Executive, and the Office Staff to learn the role of President; be considered an ex-officio non-voting member of Council, the Executive, and all of the committees of the Society be compensated at the rate of a Vice-President.


Motions arising from Other Committees

Motion 2 (BCC)


BIRT the following shall be added to the duties of the Speaker and Ombudsperson, numbered appropriately:
– shall not occupy a voting position on any committee, excepting ex-officio voting permissions explicitly granted in the Society’s bylaws
BIFRT the following be added to the duties of the Speaker:
– shall not serve as chair of any committee, except when electing a interim chairperson or permanent chairperson, or in the absence of any committee members putting themselves forward as chairperson


Motion 3 (BCC)


BIRT Bylaw 2.11.1 be amended to read “[…] An Executive or Non-Executive Officer (excluding Commissioners, Deputy Speaker, CRO, and DCRO) participates outside of an administrative role […]”


New business

Motion 4


Whereas SOGS has been a longstanding member local of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS);
Whereas full-time SOGS members pay a $15 annual membership fee to CFS;
Whereas fees from SOGS members amount to approximately $80,000 per year in revenue for CFS;
Whereas it is within the mandate of CFS to provide services to its members;
BIRT an ad hoc committee be struck to 1) review the services provided by CFS and the value of those services to SOGS members; 2) study the benefits and costs of membership in the CFS to Western graduate students; 3) identify any concerns about CFS operations and governance from the Western graduate student community.
BIFRT the following terms of reference apply
– the committee shall elect a chair from amongst its members
– the committee shall present a report to SOGS Council in April 2017
– the report shall outline the services provided by CFS and the value of those services to SOGS members
– the report shall outline the costs and benefits to Western graduate students of membership in the CFS
– the report shall also outline any concerns about CFS
– the report shall include recommendations (if any) for motions to be presented at the June 2017 CFS AGM
– interested individuals should contact Patrick Hill (phill6@uwo.ca) regarding membership on the committee


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