AGM Updates

SOGS AGM: February 15, 2018
6pm, Middlesex College (MC) 105B

For the full report, see here.

Announcements:

  • SOGS Office will close after February 16 and will re-open on March 1 in Middlesex College (MC) Room 8. Please keep an eye on our website and social.
  • Western Research Forum will be held on March 16.
  • SOGS Presidential Election (18-19) nominations will close February 23. Please contact Chief Returning Officier (CRO) (stephanie.dennie@uwo.ca) and the Deputy Chief Returning Officer (clamire2@uwo.ca). More information can be found here.

SOGS Budget

For the full Budget presentation, see here.

  • Implemented Wellness Joint Fund, Graduate Wellness Week budget, Orientation (50th Anniversary) budget increases.
  • Increased funding of Placement Subsidy.
  • Increased departmental grants (dependent on Councillors).
  • Supporting Graduate Student Senators.
  • Taken minimum wage into consideration for the Grad Club.
  • In the future, we will see stagnant enrolment due to the Ontario government altering how graduate programs are structured.
  • The proposed 18-19 budget passed unanimously.

PSAC 610

  • Shannon Potter, President, has provided additional information on Strike Mandate Info Sessions. For more information, please see their website and their social media to remain engaged.
  • Next meeting with the employers will take place during the first week of March.

Executive Reports (Important/Extra Information)

For all and full reports (including committees under each Executive), please see the AGM Package.

President: For those interested in running for the Office of SOGS President, please see here for more information. REMINDER: the SOGS Office is MOVING to Middlesex College (Room 8).

VP Academic: Western Research Forum discussion component is cancelled due to scheduling conflicts. Will be incorporating a wellness event by working with the Wellness Coordinator.

VP Advocacy: Graduate Peer Support (GPS) responsible for the Food Bank and adjucating Wellness Joint Fund applications.

For those who have not seen the website yet, please check out the SOGS Not All the Same website. Devoted to highlighting the many differences amongst graduate students. Breastfeeding station map is fully up-to-date and on the website.

Graduate Student Issues Committee (GSIC) have provided data have reviewed the results of their recent survey. Found that financial and academic issues are the highest reported by graduate students.

SOGS has matched Western University’s donation of $1000 to the London Pride Parade. Pride Discussion groups happen each month (next one is on March

For more information about Commissioners, contact VP Advocacy: advocacy@sogs.ca.

VP Finance: Trying to sustainably renovate the Grad Club. For more information, please contact finance@sogs.ca.

VP Student Services: Call to action for greater visibility on graduate mental health. Provide Western with feedback on their Mental Health Strategy Draft, and consider getting involved by contacting services@sogs.ca.

Crisis Drop-in set from March 13-April 12. All dates detailed on SOGS Facebook Events.

The USC Tax Clinic has agreed to run a graduate-specific time slot on March 26 from 9am-12pm.

Please fill out the Health Plan survey that was sent out February 6.

Please sign the International Graduate Student Issues Committee (IGSIC) petition in support of international students.

Please encourage all international graduate students to fill out the Student Satisfaction Survey that was sent directly to them via email.

We need people to join the 50th Anniversary Planning Committee! If interested, contact services@sogs.ca.

FEBRUARY 2018: 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.

Between editions of the newsletter, you’ll find updates on Facebook, Twitter, the IGSIC Facebook page and on our events calendar!

Links are underlined and active in PDF.

DOWNLOAD THE SOGS UPDATE FEBRUARY 2018 ISSUE


Email sogs.communications@sogs.ca for more information or to submit newsletter content.

We’re Moving!

SOGS is moving to Middlesex College

That’s right! We’ll be right across from the Grad Club in MC 8.

We’ll be CLOSED from Feb 19 (Family Day) and opening our doors on March 1st.

 

What if I have a question?

In order not to disturb service to members, we will answer queries via email at sogs@uwo.ca during the office closure. Also, try sogs.ca and our Facebook page for information.

What if I need to hand in something?

You can still use our mailbox outside UCC 260 until March 1st to drop off any health claims and application forms. Please make sure all documents are securely stapled together! Use an envelope if possible!

What if my issue is URGENT?

First, try emailing us at sogs@uwo.ca. You can also leave a message at 519-661-3394, though we’ll be checking voicemail less frequently. While we cannot guarantee a response immediately, we will do our best to accommodate you.

SOGS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 2018

CALL FOR NOMINEES FOR SOGS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 2018

All SOGS members are eligible to be nominated for the position of President. The nomination is period is February 5 – 23 2018 (close of business day).

Nomination forms must be obtained from and submitted in writing to the SOGS Office (UCC 260). A complete form requires two nominating signatures from members in good standing.

Further information about campaigns and elections will be posted after the nomination period. An election will only take place if there are multiple candidates. If a candidate is unopposed, they are acclaimed to the post of President.

Questions should be directed to the Chief Returning Officer, Stephanie Dennie (stephanie.dennie@uwo.ca) and the Deputy Chief Returning Officer, Chantal Lemire (clemire2@uwo.ca).

For more information on the elections process, consider consulting the Elections Handbook.

 

Duties of the President

A complete description of the President’s duties and elections rules can be found in the SOGS Constitutions and Bylaws. A selection appears below.

 

The President

  • shall be responsible for the overall operation of the affairs of the Society.
  • shall oversee the bookkeeping and administrative functions of the Society.
  • shall be responsible for ensuring the Vice-Presidents execute their duties.
  • shall be a non-voting member, ex-officio, of all standing committees of the Society.
  • shall be responsible for calling a meeting of the Executive prior to any General or Council meeting.
  • shall chair Executive meetings and prepare an agenda.
  • shall be responsible for the minutes of Executive meetings.
  • shall, with the Vice-President Finance, and only with Council’s approval, enter into loan agreements on behalf of the Society.
  • shall, with the Vice-President Finance, be responsible for the administration of the Society’s emergency loan system, travel grants fund, and child care fund.
  • shall, with the Vice-President Finance, and with Council’s approval, be responsible for the administration of the Society’s long-term investments.
  • shall ensure the names of the winners of Society’s non-confidential sponsored programs are published.
  • shall co-ordinate the contract renewal process for the Society’s office staff.
  • shall maintain organizational charts that reflect the mandate, operations, and needs of the Society, and shall update them annually.
  • shall, as appropriate, call a meeting of all Executive Officers, Commissioners and Committee Chairs to discuss issues with the Society, which shall be reported to Council.

Thank you,

Stephanie Dennie, M.A, B.A

Doctoral Student

The University of Western Ontario

Department of Classics

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).

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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.

ELECTIONS

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.

IMPORTANT UPDATES

  • 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.

IMPORTANT DATES

Monday, January 29, 2018: SOGS LGBTQIA Board Game Night
https://www.facebook.com/events/213381685876940/

Wednesday, January 31, 2018: Bell Let’s Talk
https://www.facebook.com/BellLetsTalk/

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.
https://www.facebook.com/events/192430961311707/

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.

COMMITTEE PROJECT UPDATES

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.

IMPORTANT MOTIONS PASSED

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.

 

SOGS 2018 Annual General Meeting

 

Graduate Students & SOGS members are invited to attend the SOGS Annual General Meeting on Thursday, February 15th, 6pm, Middlesex College, Room MC 105b.

Sign in begins at 5:30 pm.

The AGM package with documents for review is available online:http://tinyurl.com/ycamlwou

If you are unable to attend, please find a proxy to attend on your behalf, fill out the form on the last page of the AGM Package and have them give it to the Speaker at the beginning of the meeting.
(Direct link to form: http://tinyurl.com/ycroxp9m)

January extended hours for Bus Pass pick up!

SOGS opens on Monday, Jan 8 & will have extended hours the first week to accommodate students with schedules beyond regular office times:

  • Monday, January 8, 2018:  9 am – 6 pm
  • Tuesday, January 9, 2018:  9 am – 5 pm
  • Wednesday, January 10, 2018:  8 am – 6 pm
  • Thursday, January 11, 2018:  9 am – 5 pm
  • Friday, January 12, 2018: 9 am – 5 pm
  • Monday, January 15, 2018: 9 am – 5 pm
  • Tuesday, January 16, 2018: 9 am – 5 pm

DECEMBER 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.

Between editions of the newsletter, you’ll find updates on Facebook, Twitter, the IGSIC Facebook page and on our events calendar!

Links are underlined and active in PDF.

DOWNLOAD THE SOGS UPDATE DECEMBER 2017 ISSUE


Email sogs.communications@sogs.ca for more information or to submit newsletter content.

Winter Bus Pass pickup starts Monday, Dec 11, noon

Students without a WesternONE tap card can pick up a paper pass for the winter term staring

Monday, Dec 11, noon

 

In addition, SOGS will have extended hours the first week to accommodate students with hours beyond our regular office hours of 9 am to 4 pm:

  • Monday, January 8, 2018:  9 am – 6 pm
  • Tuesday, January 9, 2018:  9 am – 5 pm
  • Wednesday, January 10, 2018:  8 am -6 pm
  • Thursday, January 11, 2018:  9 am – 5 pm
  • Friday, January 12, 2018: 9 am – 5 pm
  • Monday, January 15, 2018: 9 am – 5 pm
  • Tuesday, January 16, 2018: 9 am – 5 pm

Subsidy and Bursary Deadlines

Subsidy applications must be provided by the last business day of each term.

This term’s deadline for applications is December 22.

*REMEMBER: The SOGS office only accepts hard copy subsidy applications. Because SOGS is a non-profit organization, we require original receipts. We cannot accept per-diems.

More information can be found at sogs.ca/member-services/financial-support/#subsidies

 

SOGS Bursary deadline dates are September 30, January 31, and May 31.

Applications are completed online through the SGPS Graduate Student Portal. More information can be found at sogs.ca/member-services/financial-support/#bursaries