March 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 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

Looking forcalendar_icon 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: Mosaic

The Western Research Forum is taking place on Friday, March 10. If you are interested in seeing what your fellow graduate students are doing for their research, why not come out and attend a talk or poster session?

This year our keynote presentation will be delivered by Western’s Dr. Pamela Bishop entitled “Leadership and Research in Turbulent Times: Why They Matter for Democracy”. New this year is the Young Investigator Keynote, delivered by Mr. Yimin Chen whose talk is entitled “The Politics of Internet Memes: Fake News, Trolling, and the Populist Power of Pepes”.

The full program of the day is located in available online.


SOGS subsidies deadline

Winter 2017 SOGS Subsidies’ Deadline is April 30, including the new Professional Placement (Fieldwork) Subsidy. Applications must be submitted to the SOGS office by the deadline, along with original receipts to be eligible.

More information about the SOGS subsidies is available online. Application forms are available from our Documents page.


In the headlines

For more headlines, you may be interested in University Affairs or the Globe and Mail’s Canadian University Report.


CFS-Ontario 2017 Budget Submission

Every year, the provincial government invites individuals, organizations and stakeholders to make formal submissions to the Ministry of Finance in advance of the provincial budget typically tabled every spring. The Federation produces a budget document every year, outlining the priorities of Ontario’s student movement. These recommendations always address a wide variety of topics, ranging from affordability of post-secondary education to student debt to campus safety to sustainability and much more. These submissions are made to the Ministry of Finance and are also used by student representatives on Queen’s Park during Ontario Lobby Week, typically held every March in Toronto.

The full text of the CFS-Ontario budget submission, and a pre-written form for you to convey your support of it to your MPP if you so wish, is available online.


Get involved

Calling for volunteers to be part of the GSTA Awards Committee

We are looking for any interested graduate students who want to take part in the evaluation process for these awards. Time commitments will be brief with a few meetings between mid-April and early May, and some work to be done from home.

If you are interested, please send an email with your name and your interest to volunteer to


Nominations for VP Academic & VP Finance

Elections for VP Academic and Finance will take place at April Council (April 27). If you are interested in nominating yourself for either position, please contact the Speaker ( by 5:00pm on April 18.

For more information on the responsibilities of either position, please consult sections 2.1.4 and 2.1.6 of the Bylaws, or send inquiries to


Seeking volunteers for Fall 2017 graduate orientation

Would you like volunteer experience? Want to make a difference in an incoming graduate student’s life? You have that opportunity if you volunteer to help staff our Fall 2017 Graduate Orientation. Volunteers will receive multiple incentives and a letter signed by SOGS confirming their participation.

Please register online to volunteer. Additional information about the volunteer experience is also available online, and inquiries are welcome at


SOGS orientation handbook cover photo contest

SOGS is hosting a Cover Photo Design Contest for the 2017-2018 SOGS Orientation Handbook for incoming graduate students. Submissions should capture the theme “Graduate Student Experience at Western”.

The contest is open to all graduate students. Participants may submit more than one entry, and entries may be photos or digital/hand-drawn illustrations. The winner will be selected by the Orientation and Social Committee (OSC) and will receive a $100 Grad Club certificate.

All entries must include the following in a design of the applicant’s choosing:

  • SOGS Logo
  • Society of Graduate Students
  • Graduate Orientation Handbook
  • 2017-2018

Submissions are requested at by July 1.

Good luck to all our entrants!


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.


GSTA Award nominations

Nominate your hard-working and excellent TAs today to enter them for a chance for them to win a prestigious award and a $500 cash prize. More information is available online.

Nominations are invited through our online nomination form.


Board Game Night

Date: Wednesday, March 16
Time: 7pm
Place: The Grad Club

Our March Board Game Night is on Wednesday, March 16 at 7pm. Join us at the Grad Club for discounted beer, free appetizers, and games galore.

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


HireWesternYOU launch event

Date: March 26-27
Time: Drop-in between 9:30am and 3:30pm
Place: UCC Atrium

This launch event brings together Western employees and students, as well as local employers, to provide the opportunity to get the conversation going about how to talk up the skills you have developed at Western when applying for jobs. Stop by to ask questions and network, or to have fun with events and prizes

HireWesternYOU is aimed at supporting Western students as they seek employment. The program is currently in development to complement the existing employer facing program, HireWesternU. A HireWesternYOU website of resources and advice in in development, and is expected to launch in Fall 2017.


Free tax information session

Date: Tuesday, April 4
Time: 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Place: TBD

SOGS is hosting a FREE tax question & answer session with its own Accountant Michael King.

Please register for the session online. To receive notices about the event, such as being alerted when the room is finalized, please list yourself as ‘Going’ on the  Facebook event page.

Interested in using UFile to file for free? Instructions are available online.


International graduate students end-of-year party

Date: Friday, April 14
Time: 7:30pm
Place: The Grad Club
Cost: $5 for admission & dinner

International Graduate Students are invited to the IGSIC End of Year Party on Friday, April 14.

Tickets go on sale on Monday, March 13 in the SOGS Office (UCC 260).

Stay up-to-date using the Facebook event page.


You’re invited to shop the Columbia employee store

When: March 6 – 26
Where: Columbia Sportswear Employee Store, 1425 Max Brose Dr.
Hours: Mon-Fri, 10am – 7pm; Sat, 10am – 6pm; Sun, 11am – 5pm

Western graduate students are invited to shop the Columbia Employee Store from March 6 – March 26.


  • Most products are a minimum of 40% off MSRP. (Some exceptions may apply)
  • Includes all brands in the Columbia Sportswear family of brands: Columbia Sportswear, SOREL, Mountain Hardwear and prAna.


  • Show the invitation at the reception desk upon entry. Print or digital displays of the invitation are acceptable.
  • Show your student ID and bus pass. If you do not have a bus pass, please contact our office to provide a note confirming your enrollment
  • This invite is non-transferable but you are welcome to bring your family and friends with you (up to 4 guests per person).
  • You are welcome to visit us multiple times during your invite period.


At the Grad ClubGradClub

Paint Nites

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

Reserve your spot at

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 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

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

Our last theme was: Groundhog Day. We asked what would be getting you through the last six weeks of winter. Our February photo contest winner is the intrepid Kimberley Adamek who sent us this photo and the message “Hiking the hamilton trails gets me through the winter!”

March’s theme is: best reads. Have an impressive collection of comics? A well-worn favourite book from childhood? Or a book for your research that you fell in love with and have cited every chance you get? We want a picture of whatever you love to read.

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


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 by March 31.

March question

  • In honour of the Western Research Forum and GSTA awards, please share a story about a fellow graduate student researcher whose work you admire.
    It can be a formal story, such as sharing a citation to a publication or presentation, or an informal story, such as commending someone for being a consistently cheerful lab partner.

In addition to announcing four randomly selected winners next month, we’ll share all the stories that are shared with us in order to celebrate graduate student research and generally spread some positive vibes. As such, please let us know if you would like your story shared anonymously for any reason.

February winners

For our February contest, we asked you to share a fact that you find interesting or significant about Black history in Canada. Here’s what our winners had to say:

  • Renee Tamming, “The first named Black person to set foot on Canadian soil was Mathieu Da Costa, a free man who was hired as a translator for Samuel de Champlain’s 1605 excursion.”
  • Siobhan Churchill, “Canada’s first race riots occurred in Nova Scotia in 1784 when blacks and whites were forced to compete for jobs in the settlement of Shelburne (”
  • Isabela Reiniati, I learned about Viola Desmond and her courage to challenge racial segregation back in 1946. Now 71 years later, black women are more acknowledged but they still fight different kinds of fights.”
  • Lola Wong, “It is fascinating to note that while many segregated schools in Canada were phased out during the mid-1960s, the last segregated school in Canada, located in Nova Scotia, was closed in 1983.”

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