December 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!

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Upcoming SOGS Events

Bring your friends and loved ones to the SOGS annual Ugly Sweater Christmas Party on Thursday, December 6, 7:30 – 11PM at the Grad Club! Bring your tackiest Christmas sweater and get in the holiday spirit. There will be snacks, activities, trivia, themed holiday cocktails, and gingerbread house making/sugar cookie decorating. $5 tickets available at the SOGS office (MC room 8). Don’t be tardy for the party!

(Keep your eyes peeled for the Winter 2019 “Snowball” orientation dance party coming in January.)

SOGS Grad Club committee is now hosting B.Y.O.C: Bring your Own Crafts event the second Monday of every month at the Grad Club. Join them on December 10, 2018 at 7pm for a night of self-care and fun. Bring your crafting gear, relax, and make new friends.

Miss the bus trips last week? Don’t worry, SOGS has another Columbia Employee store invite for graduate students. Shop from November 30 until December 9, 2018. Bring your student ID and this invite with you. You may bring up to 4 guests. If you don’t have a car, but still want to shop, bus instructions can be found here. If you are driving, here is a map to help you get there.

Upcoming Deadlines: Funding

SOGS and PSAC 610: Thesis Completion Fund

DUE December 7, 2018, 4PM @ the SOGS office (MC room 8).


Are you a student who is outside of their funding package? Are you a “Year X” student? (“Year X” refers to students, often upper-year PhDs in year-5 and up, who pay student fees but do not have funding from the school.) Apply to the SOGS/PSAC 610 Thesis Completion fund for financial help finishing up your degree. Fund is competitive, and is awarded based on academic merit and financial need.  Download the form here. More information about the fund here.

sogs bursary applications:Travel, childcare, and professional placement

DUE December 21, 2018, 4PM @ the SOGS office (MC room 8)

Please be advised that SOGS can only accept ORIGINAL receipts. If you are submitting expenses elsewhere in addition to SOGS, we can accept photocopies of expenses ONLY IF THEY ARE STAMPED AND SIGNED OFF by the dept./admin. head you are submitting the originals to.

If you are submitting childcare expenses, the receipts must indicate your name on them. We cannot accept receipts with a spouse or partner’s contact information.

If you did a professional placement this term, please submit the receipt for your out-of-town living costs. SOGS cannot accept applications for a placement done in a different term (i.e., last summer) – the placement must have been completed in the FALL 2018 term.

Please see our DOCUMENTS page to download the application forms. 

Feedback Opportunities

fall 2018 gsta awards survey

The SOGS Fall 2018 Graduate Student Teaching Assistant awards survey will be live from December 1, 2018 to January 15, 2019. Nominate a Teaching Assistant you think deserves to be recognized for teaching excellence here. Students, faculty and staff may nominate Teaching Assistants (one nomination per TA)!  More information about they GSTA awards here. Winners will receive $500 and an award certificate at the spring 2019 awards ceremony.

reminder: Survey on PhD student-supervisor relationship

Are you a PhD student/candidate at Western? If so, consider helping Dr. Natalia Lapshina, Faculty of Education (nlapshin@uwo.ca) by filling out this survey. The goal is to better understand PhD-supervisor relationships at Western and gather critical data to help future PhDs on campus. Your information and responses are anonymous and confidential. Raw data will NOT be shared with or released to university administration or departments.

western course feedback survey

If you took a graduate course this term, consider filling out this survey and enter to win 1 of 5 $500 Amazon gift card.

Experiential Learning for graduate students feedback

Want to offer feedback on the prospect of experiential learning for graduate students? If so, please fill out the feedback form. More information on what experiential learning here.

Professional Development Opportunities

The Graduate Student Internship Program is a new experiential learning initiative that allows students in research-based graduate programs to enhance their employability, expand their networks, and explore potential careers through paid internships. Western is one of the few universities in Ontario that offers a Graduate Student Internship Program specifically for research-based graduate students.

To be eligible, students must be domestic students registered in a research-based program which does not include a mandatory internship, co-op, practicum, or placement component. Applicants must submit a signed Document of Support along with each application.

Additional details are available online (grad.uwo.ca/internship) or by emailing gradEL@uwo.ca.

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Announcing the OCUFA Fellowship in Higher Education Journalism

The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) is excited to announce the $10,000 OCUFA Fellowship in Higher Education Journalism.

 In recent years, there has been a marked shortage of informed investigative reporting on Canadian higher education issues in the Canadian media. The OCUFA Fellowship in Higher Education Journalism is intended to help address this gap, and support those wishing to pursue in-depth journalism on higher education.

The Fellowship is open to full-time, part-time, and freelance journalists, including students, who wish to pursue an investigative research project in the area of Canadian higher education. Applications focusing on any topic within this area are welcomed, including public policy, labour relations, the academic labour market, governance, financing, teaching, research, librarianship and information management, demographics, education quality, free speech and academic freedom, equity and diversity, indigeneity, and reconciliation.

The deadline for applications is January 25, 2019. The Fellowship is valued at $10,000 and administered by OCUFA, with the first half payable at the start of the project and the second half upon completion. The winner will have to complete and publish and/or broadcast the project within a year of being granted the Fellowship. OCUFA will not exercise any editorial control or judgment over the work produced.

To learn more about the fellowship and to apply, please visit: https://ocufa.on.ca/awards/journalismfellowship

If you have any questions, or require further information, contact Ben Lewis at blewis@ocufa.on.ca

Do you want to get involved in the largest scientific festival in Canada? Science Rendezvous is a Canada‐wide festival that takes science out of the lab and onto the streets. We are now actively recruiting graduate students to join the Organizing Committees to assist in the planning of the event, which will be held on May 11, 2019.

Visit the website for more information.  International students can apply. Any graduate student in any department can apply.

On-Campus Support

 

Need someone to talk to that won’t judge you? The Graduate Peer Support committee members are here for you. Whether you need to talk about life or school, SOGS has your back. Come to the SOGS office every Wednesday from 2:30 to 4PM for coffee, a char, and a shoulder to lean on.  #NoPressureJustSupport 


SOGS Committees

GradCast: Are you interested in presenting your research on the radio? That’s right, the radio! We want to HEAR from you!

Interested in joining one of SOGS’ committees? Learn more about the committees here. Email the committee chair for more information. Due to reaching member capacity, some committee have waitlists.

SOGS Services

SOGS Monthly Trivia

November Trivia Winners: Donna Swapp | Khadija Ahmed | Phuong Vu

Please come to the SOGS office with your student ID to pick up your Grad Club gift voucher!

December trivia question: What is the name of the winter dance upcoming in January?

Email sogs.communications@uwo.ca your answer.

November 2018 Council Summary

Announcements

  • The next council meeting will be on JANUARY 31  in MC 110.
  • Speaker’s Corner will happen at 4-5 pm prior to Council meetings. If you have questions regarding Council protocols or about motions in the package, this is your opportunity to ask the Speaker before the meeting.

Upcoming SOGS Events:

  • Ugly Sweater Party (Dec 6: 7:30 pm-11 pm @ the Grad Club): Tickets are $5, which includes: a themed cocktail, gingerbread house or cookie decorating, trivia participation, and access to prizes! Tickets are available at the SOGS office (MC 8).
  • B.Y.O.C.  Bring Your Own Crafts – Monday, December 10 @ the Grad Club, 7 pm
  • December Board Game Night: December 19th @ the Grad Club, 7pm-11 pm.
  • January Orientation “Snowball” Dance: January 18th @ the Grad Club, 8 pm-11 pm.
  • The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has drop-in hours starting Nov 21 to Dec 13 in Student Health Services (UCC, room 11).
  • CMHA is also soliciting feedback and ideas on mental health literacy initiatives. If you or someone you know has any ideas or suggestions to improve mental health literacy on campus, please email services@sogs.ca and VP Student Services, Jeremy Johnston, will forward that information to our CMHA contacts.
  • Western Research Forum abstract call-out during the last week of November.
  • GPS committee: The drop-in peer support program continues on Wednesdays from 2:30-4:00 pm in the multi-purpose room, SOGS office (MC 8).
  • Dissertation drop-in will continue on Friday’s from 10am-3:45pm. Bring your lunch, coffee and snacks, and write in a stress-free space all day in the SOGS multi-purpose room.

Motions

This was a busy meeting, with a wide variety of motions on the agenda.

Response to the provincial government’s financial update: The President asked for a mandate from SOGS to make a public statement condemning the provincial government’s recent decision to cancel three proposed satellite campuses and a new French-language university in Ontario. The motion passed.

2017–18 Surplus: A number of motions were passed relating to the allocation of SOGS’s operating surplus from the 2017–18 fiscal year. The Finance Committee prepared a recommendation based on requests they had a received, and Council approved the Finance Committee’s recommendation. The items in the recommendation varied from purchasing boardroom chairs for the new SOGS office to hiring a graduate student to perform a research project on grad student well-being. A separate motion from the VP Academic was passed to create two graduate student positions designated for assisting with academic appeals. More details about the various initiatives to be funded through the surplus will follow. A motion was also passed requesting transparency with regards to budget and surplus recommendations.

Indigenous bursary: A motion was passed formally creating a bursary designated for Indigenous graduate students, funded through a donation from Studentcare, our current healthcare broker. The first bursary will be awarded in the 2019–2020 academic year.

Fair Trade and Direct Trade Coffee: Council passed a motion from the VP Finance formalizing SOGS’s commitment to offering fair trade or direct trade coffee at the Grad Club.

Bylaw changes: The bylaws and constitution committee put a series of motions on the agenda. The changes provided clarification on several points, particularly the membership and role of the Appeals Review Commission.

Freedom of Expression Speaker Series: In light of the recent decision by the provincial government, Councillor Colin Couper proposed that SOGS strike an ad hoc committee tasked with organizing a speaker series on free speech and freedom of expression. The motion passed. A call for members will go out shortly.

Feedback wanted

SOGS is seeking feedback on the following topics:

International tuition: Starting in September 2018, international PhD students pay domestic tuition instead of international tuition. There have been reports that after this change, some international PhD students’ take-home pay decreased. If students are in this situation, they are encouraged to contact Dr. Linda Miller, Vice-Provost (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) at lmiller@uwo.ca

Vacation time: Currently, graduate students are entitled to two weeks of vacation time per school year (in addition to statutory holidays and standard university closures). SOGS would like to know if grad students feel that this is sufficient. Those who would like to provide feedback may do so by contacting the VP academic at academic@sogs.ca.

Discovery credit: Currently, undergraduate students at Western have the option of taking a course outside of their major on a pass/fail basis, called a discovery credit. Discovery credit provide students with a lower-risk opportunity to explore a new area. SOGS would like to know if graduate students would like to see this option made available to them. Members are encouraged to weigh in by emailing the VP academic at academic@sogs.ca.

Language requirements: Some programs require graduate students to demonstrate reading proficiency in a second and third language. Currently, Western has a French reading course and a German reading course that provide the means to fulfill language requirements. However, these courses are often not offered and grad students are pursuing language study elsewhere, often at their own expense. If it would be useful to grad students in your program for the French and German reading courses to be offered every summer, please contact Councillor Diana Wu (dwu328@uwo.ca) with information about the requirements in your program and the barriers students have faced.

Call for Nominations

Graduate Education Council: Representatives from Ivey and Law still needed to sit on the GEC. Meetings are once per term. Contact president@sogs.ca for more information.

SOGS Presidential Election: Call for Nominations will be open January 7-18, 2019. Balloting will be January 29-30, as per the University Secretariat. More information to come.

November 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!


UPCOMING SOGS EVENTS:

Need a new date night option? Want to learn how to cook a fancy vegetarian meal? Need a break from all that dissertating? Join the Orientation and Social committee for a night of culinary fun at the Loblaws at Masonville. Cooking class is two-hours in duration, and you get to eat the food you make! Tickets are $20 per person. You can bring guests with you.

 

If you didn’t make it to the Columbia employee store in October, SOGS and Columbia Sportswear are arranging three bus trips from Middlesex College to the Columbia employee store in late November. To reserve your seat on one of the three buses, come to the SOGS office (MC room 8) and pay for your $2 ticket. See the SOGS website and Facebook for more information. You will get a paper invitation from the SOGS office when you reserve your bus ticket.

Please be advised that you are NOT permitted to bring any backpacks in the store – please leave them at home or in your office.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENT EVENTS:

Monday, November 12: Want OHIP for all students? Think international students should have access to OHIP? Come to the short talk about the Fairness for International Students campaign with Canadian Federation of Students representatives.

Please note that CFS will be at the Grad Club all day on Monday, November 12 to discuss the Fairness for International Students campaign. 

Wednesday, November 14: If you are an international graduate student with plans to stay in Canada after the completion of your studies, come to the second SOGS immigration seminar this term and learn about the process from immigration specialist, lawyer Greg Willoughby of Only Immigration. Tickets are free, but must be reserved on Eventbrite. See Facebook for more details.

IESC EVENTS:

 

US Visa Information Session:

Wednesday November 14th

If you are planning on travelling to the U.S. or are interested in studying or working temporarily in the U.S., then you will not want to miss this presentation. It will cover different U.S. Visa classifications such as “B1/B2” (business/pleasure), “F & J” (student and exchange visitors), “H” (temporary worker) and “TN” (NAFTA professionals).

The presentation will be followed by a question and answer period. This session will be presented by representatives from the U.S. Consulate General in Toronto.

Click here for more Information and to register.

SOGS RECURRING EVENTS:

ELECTIONS/NOMINATIONS:

 

SOGS Graduate Student Teaching Assistant (GSTA) award survey will be open on December 1, 2018 and will close on January 15, 2019. Nominate a teaching assistant here (as of Dec 1).

 

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES:

SOGS, SGPS & Western Student Experience sponsor the Wellness Joint Fund, which provides the graduate community (graduate departments, graduate student associations/councils, graduate students, and faculty) funding and resources to host and plan wellness events. If you would like to plan a wellness event, and require some funding, please fill out the application, and email it to SOGS’ VP AdvocacyApplications are due at least 30 days prior to the planned event. 

Notes:

  • Please note that all applications MUST include a letter or intent, a detailed budget, and a proposed schedule of the event.
  • Priority given to on campus events and those that benefit the most people.
  • Recipients are required to provide receipts and return unused funds within one month of the completion stated on the application.

 

The Thesis Completion Fund is a collaborative, one-time awards program between SOGS and Public Service Alliance of Canada Local 610 (PSAC 610) to help members of the Society of Graduate Students. Based on academic merit, research excellence, and financial need, its aim is to provide assistance to graduate students beyond the end of their funding packages. SOGS and PSAC 610 advocate for proper funding according to the needs of each graduate student.
*Applicants must be outside their funding period at the time of application submission*

Fill out the application form and submit it to the SOGS office (MC room 8) by December 7, 2018. For more information on the Thesis Completion Fund, visit the SOGS website.

 

IMPORTANT DEADLINES:

If you have health care expenses to claim with the SOGS health plan insurer from the 2017-18 academic year, do so by November 29, 2018. Please note that you will have to submit your claims through the app (fastest route), or at the SOGS office (sent via Courier every Tuesday), or by mail on your own (note: due to rotating strikes at Canada Post, mail services have been delayed). If you need help submitting a claim, please visit the SOGS website.

 

RESEARCH INITIATIVES:

If you want your opinion on Experiential Learning for graduate students at Western to be heard, fill out the feedback form. More information on EL at Western here. 

Interested in entrepreneurship but don’t have an idea?

Consider Proteus – a four-month long competition that challenges you to create a commercialization plan for 1 of 3 technologies developed out of Ontario’s research institutions. More information here. 

Looking to add value to your graduate degree and to your research? Join Western’s cohort of Graduate Student Innovation Scholars! Receive a participation award of $1,500. Apply your discipline-specific knowledge and develop expertise in entrepreneurship, commercialization and knowledge transfer with hands-on training. Apply your knowledge. Apply today.

How to apply

• Submit your CV, a 200-250-word statement of interest and a cover letter

• Supervisor’s sign-off

• Submit your application to sis@uwo.ca

Applications can be submitted now and are due by midnight on Sunday, December 9, 2018.

Interviews will be conducted the week of December 17.

The program is expected to start in January.

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GET INVOLVED

  • Call for SOGS committee members & volunteers
    • Bursaries & Subsidies Committee – Students from the Arts & Humanities
    • Graduate Education Council: Education and Engineering need representatives.

 

SOGS MONTHLY TRIVIA:

October trivia winners: Seva Ioussoufovitch | Tristan Kuehn | Natasha DesRochers

November trivia question:

What are the two (2) funding opportunities advertised in this month’s trivia? (Name both.) Email your answer to sogs.communications@uwo.ca 

 

 

 

 

November General Meeting Summary

Summary for General Meeting held November 1st, 2018

Freedom of Expression Policy

(Discussion based on October 23 Policy Draft from Provost’s Ad Hoc Committee on Freedom of Expression website.)

 

Presentation:

  • President Rose reported on the current draft of the Freedom of Expression Policy
  • This is still a draft (needs to be passed through Senate and approved by the Board of Governors)
  • Draft and updates are available at provost.uwo.ca/freedomofexpression/
  • Questions about the draft policy can be addressed to speaker@sogs.ca or president@sogs.ca

Discussion/Questions:

  • When or how does the university intervene if someone is interfering or preventing another from their freedom of expression?
    • Response: The University only needs to intervene if protest, etc. is preventing someone’s freedom of expression. It is important to note that this is not intended to stop anyone from protesting.
  • Why are the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association and the Clinical Teachers Association named in the last paragraph and not other groups with collective agreements?
    • Response: These collective agreements are provided as examples because they discuss academic freedom in detail.

 

Motion for Ad Hoc Freedom of Expression Presentation committee:

  • A motion was brought forth from the floor to form an ad hoc committee that would organize presentations on the subject of freedom of expression, related political trends and academic concepts, and the responsibilities and standards that students, academics and citizens should hold themselves to.
  • Some of those in attendance voiced their support of this idea, but the meeting did not have quorum and we were unable to vote on the motion.
  • The Speaker recommended to bring this motion to November council.

Questions and discussion of what would happen in the event of a UWOFA strike:

  • If no agreement is reached, you will receive an email notifying you of a labour disruption (do not assume there is a strike if it hasn’t been communicated).
  • In the event of a labour disruption:
    • GTAs and any other contract workers who are not members of UWOFA would be expected to continue with any duties outlined in their Duties Specification Agreement, but should not take over responsibility for the professor’s duties.
    • There would be no disruption to GTA salaries or to non-TA employment that is covered by a valid, signed contract.
    • Those in courses would continue with readings and expect to hand in assignments. Do not assume that there will be a change in the course calendar unless you receive notification otherwise.
    • Those scheduled to defend their dissertation or thesis would be re-enrolled for the next term with TDO status (so would not need to pay any additional tuition).

October 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

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WELLNESS WEEK (OCTOBER 1-5) EVENTS

Attention all graduate students: This week (Oct 1-5) is Graduate Wellness Week. SOGS has lots of events, some with free lunch, and seminars for your to attend! Please see above schedule, the SOGS website, and Facebook for more details.

Come to the SOGS office (MC, room 8) to pick up your *FREE* fitness class passes for Campus Recreation and tickets to the Windsor vs. Western football game (7pm, Thursday, October 4).

Attention International Students: For those of you NOT going on the Saturday, October 6 day trip to Niagara Falls, the IESC is hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner. Tickets are $8. (See IESC link below)

Monday

Therapy Dogs for Grad Students: 2:00-3:30pm at Health Services

Stitch & Bitch: 7-9pm at the Grad Club
Tuesday

Immigration Seminar – INTL Grad

TA Wellness: Chair Massages & PRIZES: 5:30-8:30pm @ the Grad Club.
Wednesday

Financial Literacy in Grad School (FREE pizza!): 11am-1pm in IGAB Atrium.

Family Arts & Crafts Night (rock painting!): 5-7pm @ the Grad Club
Thursday

SOGS Grad Wellness Forum (FREE LUNCH): 11am-2:30pm in IGAB Atrium.
Friday

Sleep Hygiene Workshop: 10:30am-12pm in NCB 117 – WIN A GIFT PACK!

Graduate Fitness Cycling Class: 2:30-3:30 at Campus Recreation

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Other key events to note:

Time Management in Grad School: Monday, October 1: 10:30am-12:00pm in WSSB 3134

Staying Motivated in Grad School: Tuesday, October 2: 10:30am-12:00pm in WSSB 3134

Writing Grant Proposals in Graduate School: Wednesday, October 3: 10-11:00am in WSSB 3134 (register through Western Career Central under “Writing Support Centre”)

Canada Up in Smoke (Cannabis): Monday, October 1: 6:30-8:30 (SEB 1200)

Student Success Centre (SSC) Career Fair: Tuesday, October 2: 10am-3pm in Mustang Lounge

Trivia Night @ the Grad Club: Tuesday, October 2: 7pm

Mood Walk with Kin!: Wednesday, October 3: 1:30-2pm (WEC)

IGSIC Goes to Global Cafe: Thursday, October 4: 3-5pm in the IGAB Atrium.

Rick McGhie Night: Thursday, October 4: 7pm @ the Grad Club

Thesis Writing: Friday, October 5: 10am-3pm in MC Room 8

Graduate Wellness Walk: 12-1pm outside NCB – BRING PROPER OUTDOOR WEAR.

SOGS Goes to Niagara Falls: first bus sold out; those on the waiting list will receive an email about our second bus. FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE!

IESC Thanksgiving meal: Saturday, October 6: 4:30-6:30pm @ Ontario Hall.

 

NOTE: Immigration seminar room change to Kresge Building, room 106

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October Events

Come to the Grad Club Wednesday and Thursday (Oct 3-4) with your student card (11am-4pm) to get your ISIC card.

Attention all international graduate students! Bring your friends and family for a night of bowling @ Bowlerama Royale.

Tickets available in the SOGS office, MC room 8.

Tickets available at the SOGS office – MC, room 8

Please be advised that SOGS will have bus trips to the store in November. Watch out for the October newsletter and dates.

This trip is the early fall sale and you will have to get there on your own.

No backpacks allowed in the store.

Halloween Events

GET INVOLVED

SOGS council

WANT TO REPRESENT YOUR DEPARTMENT AT SOGS MONTHLY COUNCIL? If so, please get nominated by either a executive member of your graduate student association/  or / by 4 of your peers if your department does NOT have a graduate student association.

Here is the 2018-19 councillor nomination form. Please submit these to the SOGS office.  

When your department’s representative attends council each month (except for December), your department accrues money for each of the 11 council sessions. This fund of money is paid out in January of each year, in the form of a cheque, to your department’s graduate student association (or department if there is no graduate student association). These funds can be used, for example, to pay for social events and scholarly activities within your own department. The more your representatives attend council, the more grant funds your department will receive. If your department doesn’t participate at council, you don’t get any money.

Please be advised SOGS determines your department’s number of representatives by enrolment numbers, which we won’t have until the end of September. In the mean time, it is *probably* safe for you to look at the 2017-18 numbers in the interim here.

More information about SOGS council. 

ATTENTION (NEW) COUNCILLORS FOR THE 2018-19 ACADEMIC YEAR: MANDATORY COUNCILLOR ORIENTATION IS ON OCTOBER 18 @ 6PM IN MIDDLESEX COLLEGE, ROOM 105B. *PIZZA DINNER AND REFRESHMENTS* WILL BE PROVIDED. 

IMPORTANT DEADLINES

Please be advised that the deadline to OPT-IN or OPT-OUT of the health plan has passed (dead line was September 30). 

SOGS COMMITTEES

GradCast: Are you interested in presenting your research on the radio? That’s right, the radio! We want to HEAR from you!

Sustainability Committee

Graduate Student Issues Committee

Graduate Student Teaching Assistant Award (GSTA) Committee

Finance Committee

Grad Club Committee

Bursaries & Subsidies Committee

Graduate Peer Support (GPS) Committee

SOGS Services

Food Bank Program for Non-TA members
Joint Wellness Fund
Joint Fund for Graduate Research
SOGS’s Financial Assistance Programs

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SOGS MONTHLY TRIVIA

SEPTEMBER TRIVIA WINNERS: Ornela Kljakic | Rabia Gill |  Emily Macil Murrell

Pick up your prize (GC voucher) at the SOGS office!

OCTOBER TRIVIA:

What are the four commissioner positions being elected at October council? (Email your answer to sogs.communications@uwo.ca)

 

 

September 2018 Council Summary

The following provides a brief summary of the recent Council meeting on September 27. The complete Council package, which includes the agenda and reports, can be accessed here. Full minutes of the meeting will be available in the October 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 next Council meeting will be on October 25, 2018 at 6pm in MC 105B.

New Councillor Orientation: PIZZA! October 18. 

If you are interested in running for the SOGS Commissioner positions (Accessibility, Indigenous, Pride, and Women’s Concerns), submit your nomination statements to speaker@sogs.ca by October 18. If you have questions about these positions, contact the Executive or the current Commissioners.

Announcements:
 SOGS Graduate Wellness Week (Oct 1-6)Facebook Event (Share!)
GradCast Recruitment: Oct 5, 4pm (until closing) @ the Grad Club.
GRADtoberfest: Oct 11, 7-9pm @ the Grad Club. Tickets ($5) available in the SOGS Office.
SOGS Halloween Board Game Night: Oct 17 @ 7pm @ the Grad Club.
Family Halloween Night: Oct 30, 5-7pm @ the Grad Club. Tickets ($5) available in the SOGS Office.
Harry Potter Trivia Night @ the Grad Club: Oct 30, 7pm @ the Grad Club.
Dissertation Drop-in will continue on Fridays in the SOGS Office (MC Room 8).
Graduate Peer Support (GPS) drop-ins every Wednesday from 2:30-4:00pm in the SOGS Office.

Guest Speaker:

Student Success Centre (Experiential Learning)
– What feedback do you have on the co-curricular definitions of  teaching assistantship, research assistantship, student  government, and professional development?
– Does the curricular typology reflect the opportunities in your  program/department?
– Do the typologies accurately capture both the undergraduate and  graduate experience?
Contact: hwakley@uwo.ca and lisa.dale@uwo.ca to submit your feedback.

Elections
VP Student Services: Jeremy Johnston (acclaimed)
VP Advocacy: Wesam AbdElhamid Mohamed (acclaimed)

Report from VPSS (2015-2018)
VP Bettle submitted her final report for her 3 year-5 month term as VP Student Services. She thanks everyone for all their support over the years! See her 3+ page and transitional manual (draft) in the September Council package.

President:
Free Speech Committee – Consultation Sessions

Tuesday, October 2 – 1-3
Wednesday, October 3: 2:30-4:30
Thursday, October 4: 9:30-11:30
Friday, October 5: 1:30-3:30

VP Academic
Graduate student vacation days: discussion about moving it from 2 weeks to 3 weeks. Feedback? Email academic@sogs.ca.
Leave of Absence: Current policy states that students have a maximum of 3 terms. SGPS talking about enforcing this rule. Feedback? Email academic@sogs.ca.
SOGS Academic Appeals: VP Academic meets with dozens of students on a regular basis and this is becoming unsustainable. We are looking for

VP Advocacy
Outgoing VP Advocacy, Vanessa Lilly, thanks everyone for all their support! Shout out to the Commissioners, Committee Chairs, Committee members, Executive, and full-time staff.

Pride Commissioner (Patrick Hill)
If you’re interested in running for Pride Commissioner, contact pride@sogs.ca.

PSAC 610
Running a TA Wellness Event during Graduate Wellness on October 2, 2018. Contact communications@psac610.ca for how to get involved with the GTA Union!

September 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!

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EVENTS

Attention all new and returning graduate students: SOGS is not only hosting the most elaborate fall orientation yet, loaded with tons of events and prizes, but is also celebrating its 50th anniversary. All event tickets can be purchased in the SOGS office in Middlesex College, room 8. Hurry before they sell out!

SOGS 50th ANNIVERSARY EVENTS:

Friday, September 14

Come one, come all!

SOGS is pumped to be hosting a 50th anniversary orientation week dance party for all graduate students at the Grad Club. Join us for a night of eating, drinking, and dancing. The Grad Club will be transformed into a nightclub equipped with lights, lasers and music by DJ Jade.

Tickets are $5 and include a selection of yummy greasy snacks, a drink ticket for a special 50th anniversary cocktail, and prizes. Additional drink tickets ($3) for domestic beer, house wine, and a selection of shots.

 

Saturday, September 15

We know it’s a Saturday, and you are probably going to be out late the night before at the SOGS 50th Anniversary orientation dance party mingling and imbibing with friends old and new, but chances are you’ll be on campus at the library writing or in the lab running experiments anyway, so join us for a “picnic basket” lunch (sandwiches, wraps, salads and more) at the Grad Club.

C’mon, celebrate 50 years of advocating for graduate students with us.

$15 tickets can be purchased at the SOGS office. 

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SOGS FALL ORIENTATION EVENTS:

 Monday, September 10

Want to bring your family to campus to show them your new academic digs?

Not a new student, but want to come meet new people and get fed?

If so, please join SOGS for the kick-off of orientation week at its FAMILY BBQ @ the Grad Club from 5-7pm.

Your choice to hamburger, hotdog, or veggie option. CHILDREN are FREE!!! Games and craft activities for children (or those adults who want to get their craft on.) In addition to food and activities for kids, SOGS’ OSC committee will also be hosting a tie-dye event.

Get fed, colourful, and messy with us. $5 tickets can be purchased in the SOGS office. 

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Into fibre crafting? Yasss. Come to the Grad Club @ 7pm. Free event. 

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Tuesday, September 11

International Grad Student Meet & Greet (3:00-5:00pm @ the Grad Club). FREE. Register HERE. Refreshments provided. Prizes to be won!

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Trivia Night (7:30pm @ the Grad Club). FREE! Prizes to be won.

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Wednesday, September 12

Bring your graduate association to the Grad Club from 3-6pm for drink samples, appetizers, and the announcement of the winner of the 2018 Equity Committee’s annual household donation drive!

Sign-up your graduate student association here.

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Wanna play games with your friends? Come to the Grad Club on the third Wednesday of every month and play some of the 60+ games SOGS now has in its board game collection. See Facebook for more details. Movie theatre popcorn will be served.

This event is free.

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Thursday, September 13

Amazing Race: SOGS Edition (1:30-3:30pm starting @ the Grad Club). FREE for all. Don’t wither away in your office or lab. Come out, run around campus, get sweaty, have fun, and then cool off at the Grad Club patio with your peers.  Register HERE.

PRIZES: FIRST PLACE – $200 Grad Club certificate / SECOND PLACE –  $150 Grad Club certificate / THIRD PLACE – $100 Grad Club certificate. Wowza, that’s a lot of beer and nachos for post-race cool down…

ALL participants (except winners) receive $5 Grad Club certificate.

Top 3 winning teams receive complementary tickets to the SOGS BON FIRE NIGHT event. 

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IGSIC Goes to Global Cafe (3:00-5:00pm in the IGAB Atrium). FREE. The International Graduate Student Issues Committee (IGSIC) attends and sponsors the IESC’s Global Cafe as a way to welcome and connect with incoming and returning international graduate students. Trivia Contest to win prizes!

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Know Your Union (PSAC 610(5:00-7:00-pm @ the Grad Club). FREE.

Come out and enjoy appetizers and refreshments so you can get to know your Graduate Student Union!

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Want to eat summertime foods like corn on the cob, hotdogs, s’mores, and movie theatre popcorn? Want to stare into the depths of a bon fire while you imbibe? Want to watch a screening of Shrek, the ogre pal you wish you had?

If you said yes to two or more of these questions, the SOGS annual BONFIRE NIGHT at the Grad Club is the event for you.

$5 tickets can be purchased at the SOGS office. Hurry before it’s too late.

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Friday, September 14

Indigenous Graduate Student Meet & Greet (12:30-3:00pm). FREE. Lunch at Indigenous Services to welcome you to the space and then a Tour of the SOGS Office (Middlesex College, Room 8) and the Grad Club! Register here.

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UPCOMING EVENTS:

EVERY WEDNESDAY (Starting September 12)

EVERY FRIDAY

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October 1 – 6

Saturday, October 6

If you’ve always wanted to see one of the natural wonders of the world but haven’t had the chance, this is the trip for you. A bus departing the front of Middlesex College at 8:30am will take you to Niagara Falls and bring you back for at 6pm. Tickets are $20, which covers the cost of the bus. Once in Niagara Falls you will be on your own, free to explore what the city and the falls has to offer. If you’re not sure what to do once there, please visit the Niagara Tourism website.

SOGS will provide a small snack bag and bottle of water for the bus.

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Tuesday, October 9

Attention all INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE STUDENTS: IGSIC is hosting a bowling night at Bowlerama Royale from 7-9pm. $10 tickets can be purchased at the SOGS office. Ticket includes 2-hours of bowling and shoe rental.

Students will make their own way to the location (take the #2B bus).

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GET INVOLVED:

ATTENTION ALL GRADUATE STUDENTS!!! Do you want to give back to your student government? Do you want to try your hand at being involved with SOGS at the executive level? Are you politically-minded? If so, please be advised that the election for VP Advocacy and VP Student Services will take place at September council. If you want to run for either one of these executive positions, please send the SOGS Speaker, L. Wong (speaker@sogs.ca) your 1-page candidate statement/platform by September 18th.

 

VICE-PRESIDENT ADVOCACY

Want to work at SOGS and advocate for your peers at Western? Run for Vice-President Advocacy. Position held October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019. This is a compensated position.

Portfolio of VP Advocacy includes, but is not limited to: working with and overseeing the SOGS Equity, Sustainability, Graduate Student Issues, and Graduate Peer Support committees; contributing to graduate student life by planning events like the annual Household Donation Drive, as well as overseeing SOGS weekly Graduate Peer Support drop–in; and attending monthly council and delivering reports about the VP Advocacy position.

To know more about the specifics of the VP Advocacy position, please refer to the SOGS Constitution and Bylaws document (p. 20-22). Have questions? Feel free to contact our current VP Advocacy, Vanessa Lilly (advocacy@sogs.ca), or the SOGS President, Mary Blake Rose (president@sogs.ca).

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VICE-PRESIDENT STUDENT SERVICES

Want to work at SOGS and contribute to the quality of life of your peers at Western? Run for Vice-President Student Services. Position held October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019. This is a compensated position.

Portfolio of VP Student Services includes, but is not limited to: overseeing the SOGS Health Plan, International Graduate Student Issues, and Orientation and Social committees; contributing to graduate student life by planning fall orientation events; run Graduate Student Wellness week in October; meet with Western stakeholders to improve graduate student services; and attend monthly council and delivering reports about the VP Student Services position.

To know more about the specifics of the VP Student Services position, please refer to the SOGS Constitution and Bylaws document (p. 20-22). Have questions? Feel free to contact our current VPSS, Madison Bettle (services@sogs.ca), or the SOGS President, Mary Blake Rose (president@sogs.ca).

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SOGS council:

WANT TO REPRESENT YOUR DEPARTMENT AT SOGS MONTHLY COUNCIL? If so, please get nominated by either a executive member of your graduate student association/  or / by 4 of your peers if your department does NOT have a graduate student association.

Here is the 2018-19 councillor nomination form. Please submit these to the SOGS office.  

When your department’s representative attends council each month (except for December), your department accrues money for each of the 11 council sessions. This fund of money is paid out in January of each year, in the form of a cheque, to your department’s graduate student association (or department if there is no graduate student association). These funds can be used, for example, to pay for social events and scholarly activities within your own department. The more your representative(s) attends council, the more grant funds your department will receive. If your department doesn’t participate at council, you don’t get any money.

Please be advised the SOGS determines your department’s number of representatives by enrolment numbers, which we won’t have until the end of September. In the mean time, it is *probably* safe for you to look at the 2017-18 numbers in the interim here.

More information about SOGS council. 

 

SOGS committees:

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ANNOUNCEMENTS:

ATTENTION INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: Need stuff for your apartment? Don’t worry, SOGS has you covered. After a month of donations from across campus, SOGS is pleased to announce that it will distribute the hoard of gently used household items on SEPTEMBER 17 from 11am to 2pm at the SOGS office (Middlesex College room 8). FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED.

SOGS will announce the winning department of the drive (Prize: $200 Grad Club gift card) at the Meet Your Grad Club event on September 12.

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IMPORTANT DEADLINES:

If you know an AMAZING teaching assistant who taught in the SUMMER 2018 TERM, please nominate them and fill out our survey. Students, faculty, and staff may nominate TAs (one nomination per TA per nominator). In the Spring 2019 term, SOGS and SGPS, and PSAC local 610 will host the GSTA Award ceremony with a fancy lunch and a monetary prize for each winner.Vote for your favourite GTA here. More information about the GSTA awards hereVOTE UNTIL SEPTEMBER 15, 2018, 11:59PM. 

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SOGS ONLINE FALL BURSARY: Apply online. Deadline: September 30, 2018 at 11:59pm.

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SOGS Services:

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SOGS MONTHLY TRIVIA:

AUGUST TRIVIA WINNERS: 

  • Katherine Anne MacCormack
  • Christina Chung
  • Summer Thorp

Pick up your prize (GC voucher) at the SOGS office!

SEPTEMBER TRIVIA:

What anniversary is SOGS celebrating? (Email your answer to sogs.communications@uwo.ca)

 

 

 

 

August Council Summary

The following provides a brief summary of the recent Council meeting on August 30. The complete Council package, which includes the agenda and reports, can be accessed here. Full minutes of the meeting will be available in the September 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 next Council meeting will be on September 27, 2018 at 6pm in MC 105B.

If you are interested in running for VP Advocacy for VP Student Services, submit your nomination statements to speaker@sogs.ca by September 18. If you have questions about these positions, contact the Executive.

Announcements
GET EXCITED FOR SOGS Orientation (Sept 10-14)! Buy your tickets in the SOGS Office!
Graduate Peer Support (GPS) will launch weekly drop-in peer support starting Wednesday, September 19 from 2:30-4:00pm. Email gps@sogs.ca if you have any questions.
Thesis Drop-in on Fridays in the SOGS Office (MC Room 8)!
Graduate Student Cookbook Contest! Submit to gps@sogs.ca and post your recipe on social media by September 3 to win!
Summer Graduate Student Teaching Award Nomination period is open! Nominate here.
Annual International Graduate Student Household Drive – accepting donations until Aug 31. The department with the most donations will win a Night at the Grad Club ($200 Grad Club certificate).
Please help SOGS complete our Department Graduate Student Association/Council list.
Fifth Annual BUG DAY at the Children’s Museum on September 8.
GradCast will be having a recruitment event on October 5.

Events
SOGS Orientation (September 10-14)
Graduate Wellness Week (Oct 1-6)

Updates
Empower Me:
Councillors are encouraged to still gather feedback from their members. The HPC will aim to collect more information and present it to Council and potentially look into having a public event where Studentcare can present on this program.
Graduate Wellness Week (Oct 1-6): The keynote for the Wellness Forum will be the new AVP Student Experience: Jennie Massey. The IGSIC bowling trip needed to be pushed back until the following week.
IGSIC will be presenting its INTL Satisfaction Survey Summary in September.

Relevant Motions Passed:

Motion 11 (VP Student Services)
[see Appendix 4 for “Wellness Committee Proposal”]

Whereas graduate students in 2015 SGPS-run focus groups identified the need for grad-specific mental
health resources, greater recognition of student diversity, and informal systems, practices, and “safe spaces” to promote wellness that are not problematized or stigmatized, as well as the need for a formal, top-down cultural shift in graduate school;

Whereas the 2018 Western University’s Mental Health and Wellness Committee identified, among many
other factors, “Culture of Graduate Education” for distinguishing graduate student mental health from
undergraduate;

Whereas recent studies show that graduate students are six times more likely to experience depression and anxiety compared to the general population;

Whereas SOGS needs a dedicated committee devoted to the visibility of graduate student mental health and wellness needs, as well as for the education of the greater Western community, in regards to devoting more resources to graduate students;

Whereas the SOGS VP Student Services has solely, for the last three years, overseen the portfolio of
graduate student mental health;

BIRT SOGS create a Wellness Committee within the portfolio of the VP Student Services in the next fiscal
(2019-2020) year pending the recommendation of the finance committee and the approval of the Wellness Committee funds in the 2019 AGM;

BIFRT the “Graduate Wellness Week” line item within the VP Student Services portfolio be renamed
“Graduate Wellness Committee” to reflect the change.

BIFRT the Finance Committee discuss and make a recommendation to Council in October for how to
proceed with the requested line item changes.

BIFRT should the Finance Committee’s recommendation meet with Council’s approval, that the creation of the Wellness Committee be included in the February 2019 AGM fiscal budget.

Motion 12VP Student Services and VP Advocacy

Whereas the election of the Vice Presidents to the Society’s executive should align with the completion of the major responsibilities of each portfolio;

Whereas the VP Student Services (in January 2015) and VP Advocacy (then External) (in April, 2016) election dates were altered (May to September) to better align with each portfolio’s projects;

Whereas the VPSS portfolio has altered significantly with the placement of the Graduate Orientation Handbook under the Communications Administrator, and the occurrence of Graduate Wellness Week during the first week of October;

Whereas the VP Advocacy portfolio should align with SOGS’ advocacy project preparation (eg. Pride Parade, Sexual Violence Awareness, Indigenous Awareness, etc) and the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS)’ conference dates;

BIRT the election of the VP Student Services and VP Advocacy occur at April Council, to take office May 1.

BIFRT the by-election for the VP Student Services and VP Advocacy be held in September, 2018.