May 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.

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.

SOGS summer term bursary deadline

SOGS Summer term Bursary portal is now available for applications, and will remain open until the term deadline, May 31. More information is available on our site.

In the headlines

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

Campus summer construction projects 2017

With summer upon us, we can look forward to a few things across campus: quiet walkways, blossoming gardens, eatery closures…. and construction.

Faculties Management manages a page of information about construction projects and service interruptions across campus.

In the short term, a reminder that flood warnings have been issues for Medway and Talbot parking lots.


New report shows record-level student debt as significant part of Canada’s debt crisis

The following is an excerpt from a blog post by the Canadian Federation of Students.
Cet article est disponible en français.

A new report released today [April 26] by the Canadian Federation of Students reveals that government underfunding of post-secondary education is fuelling the household debt crisis in Canada. The Political Economy of Student Debt shows that student debt today is a significant proportion of Canadian families’ household debt, which has reached 171% of disposable income and exceeded the size of the Canadian economy at $1.6 trillion.

“Saddling students, graduates and their families with massive amounts of debt is slowing down the economy,” said Bilan Arte, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. “Young people are being forced to delay life milestones and saving for their families’ future in order to make payments on their student loans.”

Download The Political Economy of Student Debt.


Get involved

Seeking members for the GSIC Committee

The Graduate Student Issues Committee is concerned with general advocacy, issues, and campaigns. We have tackled issues such as the university budget, water quality on campus, and copyright law. We are open to address issues brought forward by committee and general members.

If you are interested in joining GSIC, please contact to be added to the mailing list. We hope to have a meeting in May to plan for summer initiatives.


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 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.

Health plan opt-in/out deadline for summer term

Health Plan Opt-Out and Opt-In deadline for new enrollments this Summer term is May 31. Opt-outs must be submitted online, and Opt-Ins must complete and submit a form to the SOGS office along with payment. Payments can be made by cash, cheque or e-transfers to


Gradcast recruitment event

Place: Grad Club
Date: May 5
Time: 3:30pm – 8:00pm

Want to be on the radio?

Gradcast is a radio show and podcast interviewing grad students at Western about their research. We’re looking for new guests for the summer as well as a few new members to help run the show.

We will be recruiting at the Grad Club on May 5, from 3:30pm – 8pm.

Free drink for people who sign up!

Can’t attend, but still want to know more about Gradcast? You can listen to previous episodes online or email inquiries to


McIntosh Gallery tours for graduate students

Place: McIntosh Gallery
Date: May 15, 5pm; May 17, 2pm

McIntosh Gallery is open all summer for you to enjoy! We currently have two exhibitions on: “In the Beginning, 1942” recreates our first exhibition from 75 years ago and “Behind the Lines” provides a glimpse into the personal sacrifice of Canadians on the home front during two world conflicts. Both exhibition feature works by The Group of Seven as well as other national and international artists. More information about the current exhibits is available online.

Join us for a free guided tour given by our curator. We’ve got an afternoon slot as well as an evening slot for those working away in labs. Please RSVP using this Doodle poll.

Image: Alexander Young Jackson, The Green Crassier, 1918, 1918. Oil on canvas, 86.7 x 112.0 cm, CWM 19710261-0183


Pint of Science Festival

The fastest growing scientific festival in the world is coming to London, ON this May for the first time!

The Pint of Science (PoS) Festival’s goal is to allow as many people as possible to discover the latest scientific research through an accessible, fun, and interesting lecture format- in a pub!

We are bringing amazing scientist out of their labs to local pubs, where they will discuss their latest research and discoveries. This is the perfect opportunity to meet the people responsible for the future of science and ask them questions!

Be part of the biggest celebration of science together with hundreds of venues across 11 countries (UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Brazil, Australia, Thailand, Japan and Canada) from May 1517.

FREE registration online.

More information about Pint of Science:


Board Game Night

Date: Wednesday, May 17
Time: 7pm
Place: The Grad Club

Join us for our first Board Game Night of the Summer on Wednesday, May 17. Free appetizers, discounted beer, and games galore!

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


This summer, IGSIC (International Graduate Student Issues Committee) and the IESC (International and Exchange Student Centre) are planning on co-hosting a trip to Niagara Falls. Tentatively, we’re aiming to have the trip in June.

Once a date is set, more information will be made available through the IGSIC Facebook page, the SOGS website, and the IESC newsletter.


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.

Summer Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday – 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM
     Kitchen close at 10PM
     Last call for the bar 10PM
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 April theme was: all of the colours. We asked for a picture of whatever you love to read. Our April photo contest winner is Isabela Reiniati, with this photo of “green grass, a bird, and tulips by the observatory.”

May’s theme is: may the fourth be with you. Send us a picture of your favourite fandom or geeky endeavour. Fun at Board game Night? Taking in a cult classic at Western Film, or a niche indie flick at Hyland Cinema? High score on a video game?

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 May 31.

May question

  • At the April Council meeting, we held elections for two SOGS Executive positions. Who won the election for VP Academic and VP Finance?
    Hint: We publish a Council summary alongside our newsletter. Previous newsletters and summaries are available in the News section of our website.

April winners

  • Howard Tong
  • Lorraine Wong
  • Karishma Hosein
  • Tara Condos

Congratulations to our April winners:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *