April 2017: Newsletter

SOGS Update, the official monthly electronic newsletter from SOGS, keeps you up to date on issues and events affecting graduate students at Western University. 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

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.


SOGS Winter term subsidies deadline

Winter Term Subsidies’ deadline is April 28. Applications must be submitted with original receipts by the deadline. More information is available on our site.


New Professional Placement and Experiential Learning Subsidy

This subsidy offers financial assistance for travel and accommodations of SOGS members undertaking professional placements, practicums, co-ops, or other experiential learning opportunities.

Each award amounts up to a maximum of $500 based on demonstrated need. Students who are enrolled in Category II programs (i.e., non-funded professional masters) will be given first priority.

Generally, applications must be submitted within the term when the placement or experiential learning activity ends. Deadlines are the last business day of each term in April, August and the last day of operation before the Christmas break.

HOWEVER, members have until the April 2017 deadline to submit applications for placements that ended at any point between May 1, 2015 and April 30, 2017.

Please download the application form with full details 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.


The Case for Renewal in Post-Secondary Education

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has published a technical paper on the topic of renewal in post-secondary education alongside their Alternative Federal Budget 2017. This is provided to offer one of many perspectives on the budget and the trajectory of Canadian universities.

“Over the past 15 years, revenue from student tuition has tripled, public student debt has ballooned (reaching $28 billion by 2012) and working conditions for campus staff have deteriorated. It’s time for renewal in our post-secondary education sector to address decades of bad policy choices.

This paper offers seven proposals to expand access to high-quality, publicly funded post-secondary education without upfront costs. These proposals, which are also included in the 2017 Alternative Federal Budget, will address decades of neglect in the sector, and are framed around two new public policy instruments: a Post-Secondary Renewal Transfer (PSE-RT), and a new federal Post-Secondary Education Act to be modeled on the Canada Health Act.”


Get involved

Nominations open 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 (speaker@sogs.ca) 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 speaker@sogs.ca.


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 academic@sogs.ca.


Seeking members for the Equity Committee

The Equity Committee deals with issues of human rights, discrimination and accessibility. We aim to support students beyond their academic requirements to assure that their overall well-being is put first. We strive to create an equitable campus environment for everyone.

If you’re interested in joining the Equity Committee, please email Taniya Nagpal (tnagpal@uwo.ca).


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 services@sogs.ca by June 15.

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.


Bus pass information for taxes

Filing your taxes? Not sure what you’ve paid for your bus pass? Go to Student Centre > Detailed Statement of Account > Check the fees paid for each term of the last calendar year.


Merging the SOGS Facebook pages

Please be aware that we are merging our main & social Facebook pages. This change is intended to ensure our Facebook posts are consistent and more readily accessible to all interested members.

If you have not done so already, please like the main SOGS Facebook page.


PSAC 610 Bargaining membership survey

Our current Collective Agreement with the Employer, the University of Western Ontario, expires on August 31, 2017, and we are getting ready for bargaining.

To learn more about our membership and what is most important to you, the GTA Negotiating Committee has created a brief survey for you to fill out. The survey can be found here, and should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. The survey is anonymous and all information is confidential.

Enter to win one out of four $100 grocery gift cards for completing the survey!

Winners will be announced at the AGM on April 18, 2017.

Thank you in advance for helping us to serve you better.


International graduate students end-of-year party

Date: Thursday, April 13
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 are available in the SOGS Office (UCC 260).

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


Free screening of Mambo Italiano

Date: Wednesday, April 19
Time: 6pm meet up; 7pm screening
Place: Grad Club for the meetup; Spencer Engineering Building 2202 for the screening

Please join us for a free screening of “Mambo Italiano” presented by Pride Library in partnership with the Society of Graduate Students in Room 2202, Spencer Engineering Building in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday and National Canadian Film Day. The screening starts at 7:00pm; however, we will be meeting at the Grad Club at 6:00pm for drinks and snacks.

Everyone is welcome to join us in the celebration of Canadian film with a movie and some prizes.

Please consider joining the Facebook event for updates.


Board Game Night

Date: Wednesday, April 19
Time: 7pm
Place: The Grad Club

Our April Board Game Night is on Wednesday, April 19 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.


Karaoke end-of-year bash

Date: Friday, April 21
Time: 7:30 – 10:30pm
Place: The Grad Club
Cost: $5 for admission & dinner

Come enjoy some Karaoke, free apps (more than just nachos), discounted drinks, and more! The first 20 people to sing get grad club giftcards. We invite you to bring your friends and get ready for a fun night.

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


At the Grad ClubGradClub

Paint Nites

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

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

Our March theme was: best reads. We asked for a picture of whatever you love to read. Our March photo contest winner is Isabela Reiniati, who tells us “Rome Sweet Home helped me to answer some of my questions. This is my go-to book when others asked for a recommendation to help them find their way.”

April’s theme is: all of the colours. With spring is upon is, we have birds chirping, flowers sprouting, and essays being returned with lots of red markups. Send us a picture with colours befitting the (slowly) warming weather.

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.


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 April 30.

April question

  • What is your favourite thing about the Grad Club?

March winners

For our March contest, we asked you to share a story about a fellow graduate student researcher whose work you admire. Here’s what our winners had to say:

  • Isabela Reiniati : I was excited to know that my supervisor has accepted a new student in my lab and she would start one semester after me. We took some courses together and we often discussed on ways to be involved on campus and to be successful in our program. I remembered many late nights we spent in the lab doing experiments, shared a long and heavy discussion about science and about the world. She shows so much passion and bright ideas toward entrepreneurship and bioenergy. In the midst of hectic research work, she always puts some effort to keep learning and look for an opportunity to use her knowledge in engineering to make a better and more sustainable world to live in. I am proud to call her my colleague, my fellow scientist, and most importantly, my friend. She is Reyna Gomez-Flores.
  • Anonymous : Marcon Laforet was a fellow graduate student in my department and was the best friend and support anyone could ask for. Always positive despite setbacks and quick to tell a joke to make you laugh. You rock, Marc!

Many thanks to the two of you for playing along and spreading some positive vibes.

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