January 2018 Council

The following provides a brief summary of the recent Council meeting on January 25. The complete Council package, which includes the agenda and reports, can be accessed online. Full minutes of the January Council meeting will be available in the February 2018 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 Communications Administrator (sogs.communications@uwo.ca) or the Speaker (speaker@sogs.ca).


The SOGS Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place on Thursday, February 15 at 6:00pm. Location MC105B.

The SOGS Office will be MOVING to Middlesex College (MC) and therefore will be closed from February 22 to February 28. It will tentatively re-open on March 1, 2018.

The SOGS February Council will be held on Thursday, March 1 at 6:00pm. Location MC 105B. Celebration for SOGS’ Grand Opening will take place after February Council.


The Appeals Review Commission (ARC) (under the Speaker’s portfolio) is now full.

The SOGS Presidential Election is around the corner! Keep an eye on our website, social media, and newsletter.


  • Please spread the word regarding our “Not All the Same” campaign: http://nats.sogs.ca/. The next profile that will be released is on international students.
  • Please encourage Year X colleagues to come forward so that SOGS can offer support and mediation.
  • The Mental Health Strategy (2017-2020) will be sent out to the larger community for feedback on Monday, January 29. Keep an eye on your email!
  • Please encourage colleagues who have experienced issues with their supervisors to come forward so that SOGS can offer support and mediation.
  • University of Toronto has eliminated international fees for international graduate students (they now pay domestic fees). We will continue to pursue this ask at the administrative level.
  • As of July 1, 2019, Western University will (this will not impact the Indigenous community on campus) begin to phase out of smoking-designated spaces will begin in an effort to be a smoke-free campus.
  • PSAC 610 Bargaining Updates: If anyone has worked more than 140 hours, please come forward so that the Union can grieve on your behalf. According to the PSAC 610, more than half of TAs work overtime. Keep informed here: https://www.psac610.ca/
  • Ontario’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development has released its new Strategic Mandate: http://provost.uwo.ca/provost/Western-SMA2-Final-2017.pdf.


Monday, January 29, 2018: SOGS LGBTQIA Board Game Night

Wednesday, January 31, 2018: Bell Let’s Talk

Thursday, February 1, 2018: CFS Day of Action and PSAC 610 Mobilization (6-8pm) at the Grad Club.

Monday, February 12, 2018: SOGS Stitch & Bitch @ the Grad Club.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
LGBTQIA Discussion Group SOGS Board Room (UCC 260)

Thursday, February 15, 2018
The SOGS Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place on Thursday, February 15 at 6:00pm. Location MC105B.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
SOGS February Board Game Night: https://www.facebook.com/events/173546413253211/

Friday, March 16, 2018: The SOGS Western Research Forum. Location TBD. Keep an eye on the website for updates: http://sogs.ca/member-services/western-research-forum/

Mid-March: Winter Graduate Student Teaching Award Nominations released.


Grad Club Committee: Received quote for Grad Club renovation: $400,000. Unfeasible. Will save the Grad Club levy for the next year and design a business plan before moving forward.

IGSIC Committee: Pending approval of SOGS Council, IGSIC will send out its survey by the end of January. Please inform international graduate students to keep an eye on their emails.

Health Plan Committee: Studentcare should release its survey by the end of January. Please keep an eye on your email.

IGSIC: Will begin assessing the feedback it received from its survey.

Equity Committee: Working on another Consent and Compassion Forum under the portfolio of Sexual Violence and Prevention and Education.


Motion 6 SOGS Budget (VP Finance)
BIRT Council approve the SOGS and Grad Club 2017-18 budgets.

Motion 1 (SOGS President)
Whereas $1500 from the 2015–16 surplus were allocated for a fundraising event held in November 2016;
Whereas $1119.09 remain from this allocated amount;
Whereas the SOGS office staff are in need of new, more supportive office chairs;
BIRT the $1119.09 remaining from the 2015–16 surplus allocation “Thesis Fund: Fundraising Event” be used to purchase new office chairs for the SOGS office.

Motion 3 Clarifying the Intent of the Placement Subsidy (VP Finance)
Whereas there is confusion regarding the original intent of the placement subsidy;
Whereas the VP Finance wishes to clearly communicate the vision for the placement subsidy before adding it to the 2018-2019 budget;
BIRT council adopt the placement subsidy as described in the Appendix.

Motion 4 Placement Subsidy Funding (VP Finance)
Whereas there is additional money to be spent from the 2015-2016 surplus and $2,000 of the unspent money was allocated to the Reception Fund- Academic Portfolio Joint Fund;
Whereas the budget for the Academic Joint Fund was increased for the 2017-2018 fiscal year and is not projected to be overdrawn;
Whereas the placement subsidy is currently funded using the previous year’s surplus and there was no surplus in 2016- 2017;
BIRT the $2,000 dedicated to the Reception Fund- Academic Joint Fund from the 2015-2016 surplus be reallocated to the placement subsidy;
BIFRT the Subsidies and Bursaries Committee allocate the additional $2000 to applications received in the 2017-2018 year.

Motion 5 Naylor Report (VP Finance)
Whereas funding for science remains an important issue for both graduate students at Western and Canada at large;
Whereas the Government of Canada commissioned a review of funding for science and scholars that resulted in the Fundamental Science Review, which makes 35 recommendations to better support science in Canada;
Whereas the Science and Policy Exchange has written an open letter to support the implementation of the proposals in the Fundamental Science Review and engaged in a #Students4theReport advocacy campaign;
BIRT the Society of Graduate Students support the Science and Policy Exchange in their advocacy;
BIRT the Society of Graduate Students sign the open letter attached in the Appendix;
BIRT the Society of Graduate Students allow the Science and Policy Exchange to use the Society of Graduate Student’s logo on their website (e.g. http://www.sp-exchange.ca/students4thereport/) alongside the logos of other student associations.

Motion 9 (VP Student Services)
Whereas the International Graduate Student Issues Committee (IGSIC) wishes to obtain data on current international graduate students in the hope of improving their overall student experience;
Whereas IGSIC will report on the survey results in an Executive Summary to Council;
BIRT Council approves IGSIC’s international graduate student survey.


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