August 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

Family Picnic at Gibbons Park on Saturday, August 18, 2018. Bring your friends and family for a fun afternoon at the park. For those with small children, games will be provided by Western Recreation. Need to cool off? Bring your swimsuits so you can cool off at the splash pad nearby. Buy your $5 tickets at the SOGS office, Middlesex College, Room 8. Your choice of main: veggie burger, beef burger, beef hotdog. SOGS will be set up at PICNIC SPOT #3 (see map below). More information about Gibbons Park here.

Gibbons park map:

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yoga on UC Hill. Bring your own mat, towel, and water on August 14. Free event for all.

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Have a thesis you need to finish? Don’t stay home and procrastinate. Seriously. Don’t. We know it’s hard; we’ve been there (or are still are there,  finishing grad school…while working/volunteering at SOGS).

Come to the SOGS office every Friday and work in our spacious multipurpose room. Bring your own lunch, or eat at the Grad Club: it’s up to you! August dissertation drop-in dates: 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st.

SOGS: No pressure, just support. #GetErDone

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Board Game night: August 15th.

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Events in London:

If you can’t beat the heat, get comfy outside watching movies FOR FREE at Victoria Park. BYOB chairs, snacks, and refreshments.

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Wortley Village Jazz & Blues Festival: August 19, 2018

NEW in 2018 – 10 live bands featuring local musicians!
Over 4 hours of non-stop entertainment!
NOW 5 Stages including one on the Green!
FREE! Your donations make next year happen!
Bring a lawn chair. Hope for sun! Expect to be entertained!

More information about the bands playing, visit here.

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SILENCED MEMORIES – A Thesis Project Exhibition, Ulises Unda
Reception: Thursday, August 9 / 7-9PM
Satellite Project Space (121 Dundas St)

In this exhibition, former refugees, massacre survivors, and their younger relatives tell us about their wartime experiences of violent repression, massacres, and forced exile by the US-backed Salvadoran military. More information here.

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GET INVOLVED:

 

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; work with VP Advocacy to 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 Bonn (president@sogs.ca). Submit your candidate statement to the SOGS council Speaker, Lola Wong (speaker@sogs.ca) by September 18th.

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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 Graduate Student Wellness week in October with VP Student Services, 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 Bonn (president@sogs.ca). Submit your candidate statement to the SOGS council Speaker, Lola Wong (speaker@sogs.ca) by September 18th.

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Call for SOGS committee members & volunteers:

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Need to de-clutter your home? Don’t throw away perfectly good household items or give them to for-profit stores like Value Village; instead, bring them to the SOGS office (Middlesex College, room 8) during the month of August and help incoming international graduate students set up their new homes with your gently used, unwanted stuff. The department that donates the most individual items to the drive wins a $200 gift card to the Grad Club (that’s a lot of beer and nachos!). 

Items that could be donated: clean linens, pillows, towels (*no stains*) / small kitchen appliances like toasters, coffeemakers, blenders, etc., / lamps / small decorative items / glassware, bakeware, dishes, utensils / winter clothes / children’s toys / office gear /  vacuums / and much more… (Please do not bring large furniture to the office – students have to be able to easily transport your donated goods.)

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It’s finally here! Our Society of Graduate Students at Western University Graduate Student Cookbook contest: “Living on a Tight Budget”–in partnership with Western Libraries – Western University,Wellness Education Centre – Western University,Western Dietitian Services, and SGPS–will run until an extended date of August 31.

Submit your recipe (& photo and/or video) to gps@sogs.ca to be included in the Scholarship @ Western Cookbook set to launch during Graduate Wellness Week (Oct 1-6). POST your recipe (+ photo & video – yes, of you making the recipe!) on the GPS page for a chance to win a $100 Grocery Gift card. The post with the highest number of shares/likes will win the gift card!

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IMPORTANT DEADLINES:

Travel subsidy form / Professional Placement subsidy form + Letter for placement template form / Childcare subsidy form

SOGS Services

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Want to nominate a TA that is amazing? Now’s your chance. Undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff may nominate a Graduate Teaching Assistant. Winners will be notified in the spring 2019 term, with a fancy award ceremony and luncheon to follow. Vote for your favourite GTA here. More information about the GSTA awards here. VOTE UNTIL SEPTEMBER 15, 2018.

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Initiatives on Campus:

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.

What you bring: Current Western graduate student / Evidence of teamwork, creative thinking and presentation skills / Any translational research, commercialization or entrepreneurship experience

What we offer : A $1,500 award, one term of training and a certificate of completion / Expertise in commercialization, entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer / Training for up to three teams of three

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, August 12, 2018.

The program is expected to start the week of September 11, 2018. More information here.

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UPCOMING EVENTS: 2018-19 Fall Orientation/2018 Wellness Week

Want to be extra prepared for Fall 2018 Orientation? Review the new SOGS 2018-19 handbook HERE.

Schedule breakdown:

September 10:
Family BBQ (5:00-7:00pm @ the Grad Club). $5 for adults and free for children under 12. Includes: hamburger/hot dog (veggie option), fries, veggies, games, and prizes! Tickets will go on sale in August.

Stitch & Bitch (7pm @ the Grad Club). FREE. Come out and craft with us! Refreshments provided.

September 11:
International Grad Meet & Greet (3:00-5:00pm @ the Grad Club). FREE. Register HERE. Refreshments provided. Prizes to be won!

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

September 12:
Welcome to YOUR Grad Club (3:00-6:00pm @ the Grad Club). FREE. Grad Student Associations/Councils (President, Chair, Rep) sign up HERE. Refreshments provided; games and prizes to be won!

Board Game Night (7:00pm @ the Grad Club). FREE. Appetizers, drink special, and games galore!

September 13:
Amazing Race: SOGS Edition 
(1:30-3:30pm starting @ the Grad Club). FREE. Register HERE. Winning teams: 1) $200 Grad Club certificate 2) $150 Grad Club certificate 3) $100 Grad Club certificate. ALL participants (except winners) receive $5 Grad Club certificate.

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!

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!

Bonfire Night (8:00pm @ the Grad Club). $5. Ticket includes moving screening (Shrek), popcorn, s’more making, hot dog, and corn on the cob. Prizes to be won! Tickets will go on sale in August.

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.

SOGS 50th Anniversary Party (8:30pm @ the Grad Club). $5. Ticket includes pub food, drink ticket, and prizes! Tickets will go on sale in August.

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SOGS MONTHLY TRIVIA:

July trivia winners: Ben Corrigan / Marina Lazarakos / Kyra Simone

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

August trivia question: What elections will take place at September council? (Email your answer to sogs.communications@uwo.ca)

 

July Council Summary

The following provides a brief summary of the recent Council meeting on June 28. The complete Council package, which includes the agenda and reports, can be accessed here. Full minutes of the meeting will be available in the August 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 next Council meeting will be on August 30, 2018 at 6pm on the Grad Club patio.
SOGS is going to Wonderland on July 28! There are still tickets left in the SOGS Office (MC 8). TOMORROW (Friday, July 27) is the last day to purchase them. Hurry!
March with SOGS and PSAC 610 in the London Pride Parade on Sunday, July 29!
Thesis Completion Fund applications due to the SOGS Office (MC 8) by July 31 @ 4pm.
Please help SOGS complete our Department Graduate Student Association/Council list.
Graduate Student Cookbook Contest! Submit to gps@sogs.ca and post your recipe on social media by August 31 to win!
Need SOGS to attend your September Department Orientations? Contact sogs.communications@uwo.ca.
Please share this SOGS Council Summary with your members via email and/or social media.

Events
SOGS goes to Wonderland (July 28)
March with SOGS and PSAC 610 in the London Pride Parade! (July 29)
Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream/Tie-Dye (Aug 2)
Yoga on UC Hill (August 14)
August Board Game Night (August 15)
Family Picnic (August 18)
SOGS Orientation (September 10-15) is planned!
Graduate Wellness Week (Oct 1-6)

Updates
Empower Me:
Graduate Wellness Week (Oct 1-6): “Living on a Tight Budget”: Graduate Student Cookbook contest deadline extended until August 31 to gps@sogs.ca.
SOGS Orientation (Sept 10-14): join the Facebook Event page and SHARE WIDELY.
Graduate Peer Support (GPS) will launch weekly drop-in peer support starting Wednesday, September 19 from 2:30-4:00pm.
Looking for department-specific graduate student upstander training? Contact Melanie Stone (wcc@sogs.ca), our Women’s Concerns Commissioner who recently ran upstander training for 20 graduate students. Stay tuned for Sexual Violence Awareness Week in October and a “Times Up” event.
Are you a graduate student parent? Contact Melanie Stone (wcc@sogs.ca) to get involved with our Graduate Student Parent Advocacy Group!
The Equity Committee will be launching its Annual International Graduate Student Household Drive the week after Orientation.
The Sustainability Committee is looking for new members: srakhimb@uwo.ca.

Elections

Ombudsperson: Adam Roy (returning Ombudsperson acclaimed)

Relevant Motions Passed:

Executive:

Whereas a motion was passed in 2016 to start the Council year in September;
Whereas the implementation of this change was delayed because of difficulties in communication;
BIRT as of September, 2018, the Council year continue to begin in October.

Health Plan Committee (“Empower Me“)

Whereas the HPC has begun its research for the 2019-2021 SOGS Health & Dental Plan tendering process;
Whereas the HPC has been presented with a new program “Empower Me” that would provide supplementary services to the SOGS Health & Dental Plan at an additional cost of $4.20 (plus tax) per student;
Whereas the HPC desires to solicit formal feedback from SOGS Councillors regarding the potential implementation of this program;
BIRT Councillors distribute the “Empower Me” document to their constituents with the intention of collecting feedback on the program;
BIFRT Councillors bring constituent feedback on “Empower Me” to August Council.

July 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

Free goddess yoga for everyone! July 5, 8:30AM-9:10AM @ Innovation Works London (201 King Street)

Thesis Writing Time July 6, 13, 20, 27 @ The SOGS office/ 10AM – 3:45PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

yoga on UC Hill July 10 @ 7PM

SOGS goes to CANADA’S WONDERLAND! Saturday, July 28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOARD GAME NIGHT – 7PM / July 18 @ The Grad Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream & Tie Dye – July 24 @ The Grad Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LONDON PRIDE PARADE – July 29. Come out and support London’s LGBTQIA+ community.

Wear purple, be PROUD. Snap a pic, tag #westernupride and show your pride!

Beginning July 3 until July 29, Western’s Pride banner will be travelling across campus. Schedule: Grad Club (July 9 – 13) / UCC (July 16 – 23) 

 

LIVING ON A TIGHT BUDGET – Graduate Student Cookbook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: SOGS OMBUDSPERSON

Members interested in running for SOGS ombudsperson have until the July Council package report deadline (July 17th) to nominate themselves. Candidates running for Ombudsperson should send their nomination to the Speaker (speaker@sogs.ca). Candidate statements will be published in the July Council package. The election will be held at July Council (Thursday, June 26, 2018).

From the SOGS Pride Commissioner:

London’s Pride Festival will be from July 19-29! We will be attending events throughout the week, if you are interested in joining us please email pride@sogs.ca and we will make sure you are on the mailing list. We are also looking for individuals interested in presenting their research on topics related to LGBTQIA+ community at the Pride Festival. If you are interested please email pride@sogs.ca.

From SOGS Accounting Manager:

SOGS is proud to announce that $421,608.00 was awarded in Bursaries and Subsidies for the 2017-18 academic year:

  • $6,000 awarded in 125th Anniversary Scholarships
  • $9,600 awarded for Child Care Subsidies
  • $66,508 awarded for Travel and Placement Subsidies
  • $14,000 awarded for Graduate Student Teaching Awards
  • $325,500 awarded in Bursaries

The Summer OSOTF & OOP Bursaries have been Awarded!  A total of $108,000 was awarded to 72 of our Members!  Congratulations to the Winners!

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SOGS FUNDING

ARE YOU A YEAR “X” STUDENT? IF SO, READ THIS…

Thesis Completion Fund:

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 and 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 students.

The application (please print one-sided only to help with distribution during adjudication) is due in paper form no later than July 31, 2018 at 4 pm to The Society of Graduate Students, Middlesex College, Room 8, Western University, London, ON N6A 5B7.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to e-mail SOGS VP Academic, Jina Kum, at academic@sogs.ca.

Please note that award will be adjudicated by a committee comprised of SOGS members, whom have signed the Confidentiality Agreement to protect applicant’s confidentiality and privacy. SOGS confidentiality agreement document (PDF)

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GET INVOLVED

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR THE 2018 SOGS ORIENTATION IN SEPTEMBER! To sign-up to be a volunteer, please email services@uwo.ca.

SOGS International Graduate Student Orientation: Volunteers needed! September 11

Call for SOGS committee members & volunteers:

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SOGS Services

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CAMPUS NEWS

Western is moving to a smoke-free campus in a three-step process:

1.  Now – more clear air around campus – no smoking within 10 metres of buildings;
2.  July 1, 2018 – smoking will be allowed in designated areas only;
3.  July 1, 2019 – smoke-free campus.

Western’s smoking policy is meant to protect people from second-hand smoke, and create a healthier, cleaner campus for those who live, study, work and visit here.  A move to a smoke-free campus will offer challenges to some members of our community but the health and wellbeing of our community will improve as we go smoke-free. For smokers who wish to quit, help is available. Information about smoking cessation support.

 

Parking and construction: Find information about parking issues resulting from summer construction here.

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SOGS TRIVIA & CONTESTS

  • SOGS June trivia contest winners. Pick up your prize (GC voucher) at the SOGS office.
    • Gargi Jaju
    • Chantal Lemire
    • Chandell Gosse
  • Trivia question for July: 

 

April Council Summary

The following provides a brief summary of the recent Council meeting on April 26. 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).

Announcements

The next Council meeting will be on May 31 at 6pm on the Grad Club patio. We are trying to make this a tradition!

Reminder about Karaoke Night happening tomorrow at the Grad Club:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1612389778815442/

SOGS LGBTQIA+ Board Game Night & Jazz (May 9)

Do not forget to vote in PSAC 610 voting sessions tomorrow, Friday, April 27 in AHB 1R40.

Elections

VP Academic: Jina Kum has been acclaimed as interim VP Academic (until June, when the election will need to be held again).

VP Finance: Laura Cabral has been acclaimed as VP Finance.

Events

Breezing Through Graduate School (May 3)
Student Experience has offered to provide information to students on Learning Skills, Writing Support Centre, and Psychological Services. This is also an opportunity for students to ask questions regarding their navigation through graduate school.

SOGS LGBTQIA+ Board Game Night & Jazz (May 9)

LGBTQIA2S+ – Graduate Student Group (May 10 – June 14)

Stitch & Bitch @ the Grad Club (May 14)

Mindfulness for Graduate Students (May 15 – June 26)

SOGS Summer Orientation Board Game Night (May 16)

SOGS-IGSIC Summer Orientation – Global Cafe (May 17)

Executive Reports

  • VP Academic:
    • More than 900 TA nominations were received. The majority of the Academic Joint Fund has been used.
  • VP Advocacy:
    • Sustainability Committee needs more members!
    • Inclusive Washroom posters: if any washrooms are not properly posted, please contact Equity or advocacy@sogs.ca.
    • Parking Services: working on drafting another letter to address the increasing costs.
  • VP Finance
    • Meeting with Alumni Relations: the Grad Club is eligible for funds; if we name the Board Room, we could possibly receive $100,000.
    • Working on updating the coffee station in the Grad Club.
  • VP Student Services
    • Please ensure you tell your members that Fall Orientation will run from September 10 to September 15. Once details are finalized, graphics will be sent out.
    • Graduate Wellness Week is currently be finalized in partnership with all stakeholders and SOGS Committees.
    • Please subscribe to the Facebook Events page to stay up to date on the events that SOGS hosts throughout the year.
  • Accessibility Commissioner
    • Looking into SSD accommodations on graduate course syllabi; in contact with SGPS. They have responded by stating that it will be brought up at Senate. Working with Lorraine Davies to have this implemented by Fall term.

Passed Motions

All SOGS Committee Chairs were granted their $500 honourarium for their excellent work done over the past fiscal year.

BIRT Council ratifies the IGSIC policy document. (See Appendix 1 of the Council package).

BIRT SOGS sponsor this year’s Pride Parade in the amount of $1000 from the Commissioner line item to match Western University’s donation.

Please look to the next version of the Bylaws & Constitutions document in the coming month for changes.

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: SOGS VP Academic and SOGS VP Finance

This is a notice sent on behalf of SOGS Council Speaker:

This is a reminder that the positions of VP Academic and VP Finance are up for election this month at SOGS April Council meeting.

The position of VP Academic: 2 month term expiring in June 2018.

The position of VP Finance: 12 month term expiring in April 2019.

SOGS members in good standing wishing to nominate themselves must send their nomination (as well as an optional 1 page election poster/platform for inclusion in the SOGS Council mail-out) to the Speaker (Speaker@Sogs.ca) no later than April 17th at 11:59pm EDT.

Martin R. Lefebvre

SOGS Speaker

Please direct any questions to the Speaker, Martin Lefebvre, speaker@sogs.ca

For more information on the elections process, consider consulting the SOGS Constitution & Bylaws available at http://sogs.ca/documents/

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.

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.

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.

 

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