March 2018 Council Summary

The following provides a brief summary of the recent Council meeting on March 29. The complete Council package, which includes the agenda and reports, can be accessed here. Full minutes of the meeting will be available in the April 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).

GUEST SPEAKER

Western Libraries is undergoing physical and structural renovations and working on a 25-year Master Plan. They are looking for community in-put on what students would like to see. Submit your input to Catherine Steeves (Vice-Provost, Chief Librarian): csteeves@uwo.ca.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Please see the SOGS Facebook page for a full list of our events.

EVENTS:

SOGS-SAGE-Indigenous Education End of Term Lunch (April 4):
https://www.facebook.com/events/545870272464835/

Stitch & Bitch @ the Grad Club (April 9):
https://www.facebook.com/events/554554484928599/

LGBTQIA+ Discussion Group – SOGS Office, 2-3pm

GradCast-themed Trivia @ the Grad Club (April 11) – 7pm

SOGS April Board Game Night (April 18):
https://www.facebook.com/events/197928897479732/

SOGS End of Term Karaoke Bash (April 27) – 7pm @ the Grad Club

UPDATES:

  • SOGS is working on setting up a London North Centre Candidates’ Debate with the USC leading up to the provincial election.
  • Encourage undergraduate students to nominate their Graduate Teaching Assistants: https://qsharingeu.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0iTlrrzvgX7ijm5
  • Launch of the International Graduate Student Not All the Same profile end of April.
  • Graduate Peer Support (GPS) working with the WEC to have permanent GPS times.
  • VP Advocacy working with SGPS and SSD to launch Academic Coaching for graduate students.
  • The NEADS National Awards Program deadline is April 30. Application here.

MOTIONS PASSED:

1) Motions arising from the President:

Whereas the SOGS Executive and the Western Student Senators have been working toward increased collaboration;
Whereas the 2018–19 SOGS budget includes $500 to support the work of the Western Student Senators;
BIRT SOGS enter into the formal partnership with the Western Student Senators outlined in Appendix A;
BIFRT the BCC make any relevant changes to the SOGS bylaws.

2) Motions arising from the Executive:

Whereas Western’s Mental Health Strategic Plan states that it will:
—> “develop a mental health and wellness strategic plan for faculty and staff”;
—> “engage in ongoing opportunities for staff and faculty across campus … to collaborate on initiatives supporting student mental health and wellness”
—> “continue to support students who have innovative ideas to promote health and wellness on campus”
—> “build literacy on the continuum of mental health”
—> “increase opportunities for staff, faculty, student leaders, teaching assistants, and leaders at Western to receive mental health and suicide prevention training that will help to effectively identify and respond to a student with mental health concerns”
—> “develop a sub-committee of the Student Mental Health and Wellness Advisory Committee to address the issues raised during consultation pertaining to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows at Western”
—> “Increase campus mental health promotion and awareness initiatives designed for students in professional programs and graduate studies”
—> “encourage professional faculties and graduate programs to address challenges with isolation and unique stressors experienced in graduate and professional training programs”
Whereas SOGS would like to keep Western University, the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Graduate Administrators, Graduate Chairs, and Graduate Supervisors accountable to the Plan;
Whereas SOGS Council accept the following “first step” proposal in regards to partnering with SGPS, Equity and Human Rights, the Ombudsperson, Student Experience, and Middlesex Crisis for formalized Grad Chair, Grad Admin, and Grad Supervisor training.
BIRT SOGS Council request that the SOGS Executive carry forward the proposal to SGPS for further consultation.
BIFRT SOGS Council request that the SOGS Executive request that SGPS take the proposal to higher channels (e.g. Senate) to begin formalizing standardized and “strongly encouraged” training for graduate administrators and faculty.

3) Motion arising from the Vice-President Student Services

BIRT SOGS ratify the HPC Policy Document (see Council Appendix)
BIRT SOGS ratify the OSC Policy Document (see Council Appendix)

4) Motions arising from Other Committees:

1. Motions from the Policy Committee:

i) BIRT the Society replace Section 3.5 of the Society’s Constitution, Bylaws and Policy Documents with the version of Section 3.5 as submitted by the Policy Committee.
ii) BIRT the Society adopt the Policy Committee Policy as submitted by the Policy Committee.

5) Motions introduced from the floor:

BIRT the SOGS exec write a second letter of support for Western’s GTAs.

SOGS Stands with PSAC 610!

Please see the official letter in support of PSAC 610 here.

March 7, 2018
Paul Jenkins, Chair, Board of Governors
Western University
and
President Amit Chakma
Western University

Dear Mr. Jenkins and President Chakma,

On behalf of the Society of Graduate Students, we are writing to express support for the bargaining efforts of Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs). We urge Western University to acknowledge graduate students’ contributions to teaching excellence at Western by committing to improving GTA funding.

Poverty among graduate students, including GTAs, is a major stressor precluding us from succeeding. GTAs are unable to afford basic living expenses, with many incurring debt to cover their costs. Accelerated increases in tuition, combined with decreases in real income, exacerbate the situation, making poverty prevalent among Western’s graduate students.

Many SOGS members are GTAs, or are former GTAs now beyond their funding period. When beyond the fourth year of a doctoral program or the second year of a master’s program, we lose our scholarships, and in many cases, our opportunity to work as GTAs or research assistants. We must often seek other employment, extending our time to completion or forcing withdrawal from the program.

We urge Western to seriously review the demand for an extended employment period. GTAs work hard to support undergraduate students’ education as a part of their student experience. It is time for
Western to extend its public mandate of providing the “best student experience” to graduate students, by offering them fair wages and working conditions.

We find it troubling that Western has discontinued the health and financial assistance benefits of GTAs during bargaining. Without the Extended Health Plan and Financial Assistance Fund, members may
experience personal emergencies related to unaffordable health and dental care, or food insecurity, as illustrated by the extensive use of foodbanks by graduate students at Western.

On March 1, 2018, SOGS Council unanimously mandated that it will support GTAs in bargaining. The graduate student body expresses solidarity with PSAC 610 GTAs in their efforts to advance all graduate student conditions, and it is the position of SOGS that no graduate student shall take up the work of a GTA who engages in legal withdrawal of their labour.

We trust that as a renowned research institution, Western University appreciates the gravity of this mandate, and will make efforts to improve the working and living conditions of GTAs.

Sincerely,
Mary Blake Bonn, SOGS President
Jina Kum, SOGS VP Academic
Vanessa Lilly, SOGS VP Advocacy
Laura Cabral, SOGS VP Finance
Madison Bettle, SOGS VP Student Services

MARCH 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 MARCH 2018 ISSUE


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

February 2018 Council

The following provides a brief summary of the recent Council meeting on March 1. The complete Council package, which includes the agenda and reports, can be accessed here. Full minutes of the meeting will be available in the March 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

Next Council will be on March 29 in UCC 39.

The SOGS Office has officially MOVED to Middlesex College (MC) Room 8. We will be hosting an open house on March 14. Keep an eye on social media for more details.

Satellite Drop-in (March 12 – April 13)
https://www.facebook.com/events/2076677009222070/

Please send your feedback to services@sogs.ca on the most recent draft of Western’s Mental Health Strategy.

Please sign the petition in support of International students.

Please see the SOGS Facebook page for a full list of our events.

GUEST SPEAKERS

The Open Space Strategy is currently in the works. Please see the full plan here. If you have any questions/concerns, please contact openspace@uwo.ca.

ELECTIONS

There was one nomination in the SOGS Presidential Election. Mary Blake Bonn, the current SOGS President, has been acclaimed.

UPCOMING DATES/EVENTS

Thursday, March 8, 2018: IGSIC Goes to Global Cafe
https://www.facebook.com/events/576210599384302/

Monday, March 12, 2018: Stitch & Bitch @ the Grad Club
https://www.facebook.com/events/325889521252136/

Tuesday, March 12, 2018: Crisis Satellite Drop-in
https://www.facebook.com/events/2076677009222070/

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 – LGBTQIA Discussion Group
2:00-3:00pm, SOGS Office (Middlesex, Room 8)

Friday, March 16th, 2018: SOGS Western Research Forum
Location: P&A and NCB. Keep an eye on the website for updates.

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

Tuesday, March 20, 2018
GPS Event – Keep an eye on the Facebook page for updates.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018: Income Tax Session for INTL Grad Students (Sponsored by IGSIC)
https://www.facebook.com/events/1820050458289108/

Wednesday, March 22, 2018: SOGS March Board Game Night
https://www.facebook.com/events/169468083835758/

Thursday, March 22, 2018: IGISC End of Term Party BBQ
https://www.facebook.com/events/332379123921158/

Monday, March 26, 2018: USC Tax Clinic for GRAD STUDENTS
https://www.facebook.com/events/559757401045546/

Late March/April
Women’s Concerns Commissioner working on an Upstander event, specifically on sexual harassment.

Late March/April
Pending the London Knights Playoffs schedule, the OSC will be hosting an event which will include game ticket and refreshments.

IMPORTANT UPDATES

The UCC Fee: $3.57 for the Ombudsperson, $5.61 for Community Legal Service, and $32.43 directly to the UCC. From here, the UCC and SOGS will partner more regularly to discuss student fees. For more information, please contact executive@sogs.ca.

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 in late March.

PSAC 610 Bargaining Updates: Please sign the petition to support Western GTAs.

Studentcare has received more than 500 respondents to the Helath Plan Survey. In about a month, Studentcare will meet with the HPC to discuss the data.

GSIC is currently working on creating a report based on the data received from its survey on Graduate student issues.

MOTIONS:

1) Motions arising from the President/Executive
I. VP Academic:
Whereas the Academic Committee has been responsible for hosting the Western Research Forum and Western Journal of Graduate Research;
Whereas historically, requests from graduate students for support for academic events on campus is through the Joint Fund;
Whereas one member from SOGS, SGPS, and Research Western assess the Joint Fund using a score sheet;
BIRT the bylaw 2.9.5.1.4: “shall receive written requests from graduate students for support for academic events on campus (these events may be sponsored by graduate groups, faculty/departments, or other on-campus groups)”; be removed from the SOGS bylaws.
BIFRT 2.9.5.1.5: “shall promote the Society’s willingness to give such support”; ” be removed from the SOGS bylaws.
BIFRT 2.9.5.1.6: “shall recommend to the Executive financial help for such requests using the following policy: that the subject of the academic event can be shown to be of interest to a large body of graduate students. The committee will consult with the Vice-President Finance on such expenditures” be removed from the SOGS bylaws.

Motion passed unanimously.

II. VP Finance

Whereas it is SOGS’s 50th Anniversary this year;
Whereas SOGS is planning a 50th Anniversary party in September in conjunction with orientation;
Whereas the party is going to involve a substantial amount of work, including identifying past presidents and sponsors;
Whereas a formal ad hoc committee can provide support and accountability for the preparation of the 50th Anniversary party;
BIRT a SOGS 50th Anniversary Ad-Hoc Committee be struck to plan SOGS 50th Anniversary;
BIFRT the VP Finance serve as the executive liaison for the committee.

Motion passed unanimously.

III. VP Advocacy

Whereas OurTurn, a national student movement to end campus sexual violence is a grassroots student movement whose advocacy efforts align with the interest and safety of SOGS members;
Whereas OurTurn responds to the shortcomings of Bill 132 and is addressing survivor rights and minimum standards for campus sexual violence;
Whereas OurTurn is seeking support from SOGS;
BIRT that council approve support for OurTurn movement through the use of the SOGS logo in the OurTurn letter to Minister Hunter.

Motion passed unanimously.

2) Motions arising from Other Committees
I. Motions from the Bylaws and Constitution Committee
Whereas it has been the practice to allow SOGS councillors to alternate into vacant council seats,
Whereas there are some distinctions between the processes involved for alternating into vacant vs. filled council seats, and
Whereas the Bylaws and Constitution committee has been directed by Speaker’s Ruling to ensure that the governing documents of the Society properly reflect these processes,
BIRT bylaw 2.15.3.12.1 be amended to read: An alternate Councillor is a member of the Society that has been appointed by their department/unit/constituency to serve as a: 1. Filled-seat alternate Councillor, who replaces a Councillor from their department/unit/constituency that intends to miss one or more consecutive meetings of Council, or 2. Vacant-seat alternate Councillor, who serves as an interim representative for their department/unit/constituency in the event that there is a vacant Council seat. An alternate Councillor, in either case, will assume all the responsibilities of a Councillor (as detailed in bylaws….) for the duration of their tenure.
BIFRT bylaw 2.15.3.12.2 be amended to read: A filled-seat alternate Councillor will be recognized by Council only if they present a completed copy of the official Society “Filled-Seat Alternate Councillor Form” to the Speaker prior to the Council meeting at which their temporary tenure is to begin.
BIFRT the following be added to section 2.15.3.12: 2.15.3.12.3 A vacant-seat alternate Councillor will be recognized by Council only if they present a completed copy of the official Society “Vacant-Seat Councillor Alternate Form,” to the Speaker prior to the Council meeting for which their temporary tenure is to apply.
BIFRT the current bylaw 2.15.3.12.3 be re-numbered as 2.15.3.12.4, and amended to read:
2.15.3.12.4 An alternate Councillor shall count for quorum, and toward attendance for the purpose of their departmental grant.

Motion passed unanimously.

II) Motions from the Policy Committee
Committee Policy
(1) Whereas each committee is responsible for having its own policy document in compliance with bylaws 2.9.4.1, and is responsible for maintaining said document in compliance with bylaw 2.9.2.10, and the GradCast editorial board has conducted a review and appropriately updated its’ policy document,
BIRT council approve the GradCast Editorial Board Policy Document to be included in the unified documents of the Society. (See Appendix 3)

Motion passed unanimously.

ii) Policy Document
(1) BIRT the Society replace Sections 3.1, 3.2, and 3.4 of the Society’s Constitution, Bylaws and Policy Documents with the corresponding Sections 3.1, 3.2, and 3.4 of the Policy Committee’s proposed “Chapter 3: Operations Policies” document.

Motion passed unanimously.

3) Motions from Individuals:

I) PSAC 610

Whereas PSAC 610 Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) Bargaining Unit members are also SOGS members,
Whereas PSAC 610 is currently bargaining with the employer advancing demands mandated by the GTAs
BIRT in the event the graduate teaching assistants bargaining unit at western withdraws their labour, it is the position of SOGS that no Non-TA graduate student shall perform duties of the GTA bargaining unit’s work, as it will undermine the advancement of all graduate student conditions,
BIFRT the Executive shall write an open letter to the University stating its position of support of the GTA’s bargaining efforts and imploring the University to respon fairly to GTA’s demands,
BIFRT the SOGS shall facilitate a dialogue between graduate students associations and PSAC 610 representatives, including contacting councillors directly to organize meeting with the graduate students.

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’ve Moved!

Read about our move in the Western Gazette.

Step inside the new SOGS Office (360) here.

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people sitting and indoor

“Undergraduates essentially call the UCC home. … Now that both the SOGS office and the Grad Club will be housed in one location …, we believe SOGS will have greater visibility given the kind of traffic the Grad Club receives on a daily basis.”

“Since Middlesex College is already visually associated with the Grad Club, SOGS (and graduate student life as a whole) will soon be associated with the building as well”.

The move coincides with SOGS’ 50th anniversary:

“In September when alumni return, we can show them the new office space. … [This] will be very sentimental for SOGS executives from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s to return to see their primary goal realized.”

 

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)