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!

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.

June 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 July 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 July 26, 2018 at 6pm on the Grad Club patio.
Need SOGS to attend your September Department Orientations? Contact sogs.communications@uwo.ca.
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 to win!
Please share this SOGS Council Summary with your members via email and/or social media.

Events

Yoga on UC Hill (June 12, July 10, August 14)
LGBTQIA+ Discussion Group (July 11): Engaging with Pride through History (2:00-3:00pm).
Out in the Sun with the Western Community (July 16): Pride Flag raising ceremony and free ice cream!
Indigenous Graduate Student Lunch and Meet & Greet (July 17): Stay tuned for event link!
Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream/Tie-Dye (July 24)
SOGS goes to Wonderland (July 28)
See the SOGS Pride page for July Pride Events from our Pride Commissioner and at Western University.
SOGS Orientation (September 10-15) is planned! Please share this information with your members.
Graduate Wellness Week (Oct 1-6) is planned! Stay tuned for the formal calendar in July.

Updates
SOGS Orientation is around the corner! Join the Facebook Event page and SHARE WIDELY.
PSAC 610 UHIP Assistance Fund (July 3) – all international students can apply to this!
PSAC 610 MEETING WITH PARENT UNION WITH CLC PRESENT ON JULY 24 at 5:30pm in SSC 2050. ALL MEMBERS ENCOURAGED TO COME TO SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL!
Thesis Completion Fund Application due July 31, 2018 at 4pm to the SOGS Office (MC, Room 8).
We’re looking for anyone doing research on LGBTQIA+ to share their research at the Pride Parade in July! Contact pride@sogs.ca.
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!
Equity Committee will be launching its Annual International Graduate Student Household Drive.
Graduate Peer Support (GPS) will launch weekly drop-in peer support starting Wednesday, September 19.
Graduate Wellness Week (Oct 1-6) is planned! Keep an eye on social media for the event page. See last year’s line up if you’re interested! Informal calendar here.
We’re looking for anyone doing research on LGBTQIA+ to share their research at the Pride Parade in July! Contact pride@sogs.ca.
Health Plan Committee: 2017-2018 Survey Results. Please share the Empower Me document with your departments.
Campus Rec Survey Results (15-16): in summation: we’re going to be partnering with Campus Rec more!
Athletics Rep working on putting together a roundtable on graduate student use of SRS (Campus Rec).

Elections

VP Academic – Jina Kum (re-elected)
Speaker – Lola Wong, previous interim Communications Administrator (newly elected)

Relevant Motions

Whereas the GSTA Committee received over 1000 nominations during the 2017-2018 academic year.
BIRT the motion “all nominees for TA awards receive a certificate that can be added to a teaching Dossier; all nominees for TA Awards receive a copy of anonymized comments pending release by their nominees” passed at Council in January 2016 be amended to read “all nominees for GSTA awards receive a certificate [upon request within 1 year of when feedback was returned] that can be added to a teaching Dossier if nominations are legitimate; all nominees for GSTA Awards receive a copy of comments (anonymized where necessary) pending release by their nominees [via automated e-mail].”

Passed unanimously.

Whereas the 125th Anniversary Scholarship has a deadline on March 30th.
Whereas the 125th Anniversary Scholarship deadline is placed in silo, and does not fit well with the academic terms and other deadlines (ex. Subsidies and Bursaries Application deadline)
BIRT that the official deadline for the 125th Anniversary Scholarship be changed to April 30th.

Passed unanimously.

May Council Summary

The following provides a brief summary of the recent Council meeting on May 31. The complete Council package, which includes the agenda and reports, can be accessed here. Full minutes of the meeting will be available in the  June 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 June 28, 2018 at 6pm on the Grad Club patio.

Need SOGS to attend your September Department Orientations? Contact sogs.communications@uwo.ca.

SOGS June Elections! If you’re interested in running for VP Academic, please send your nomination to speaker@sogs.ca. If you’re interested in running for SOGS Speaker, please send your nomination to executive@sogs.ca. For more information, see here.

Please help SOGS complete our Department Graduate Student Association/Council list.

Please ensure that you share this SOGS Council Summary with your members via email and/or social media.

Events

Yoga on UC Hill (June 12, July 10, August 14)
Thesis Monthly Writing – SGPS & SOGS (June 1, June 8, June 15, June 22, June 29)
SOGS goes to Grand Bend! (June 23)
Please keep an eye on the SOGS Pride page for June Pride Events from our Pride Commissioner.
SOGS Orientation (September 10-14) is planned! Please share this information with your members.

Updates

Don’t forget to vote! For more information, check out Elections Ontario.
Thesis Completion Fund Application due July 31, 2018 at 4pm to the SOGS Office (Middlesex College, Room 8).
Congratulations to the SOGS GSTA 2017-2018 Winners!
Academic Joint Fund has started its new fiscal year!
Women’s Concerns Commissioner will be releasing Graduate Upstander Training and Parenting Advocacy group.
Equity Committee will be launching its Annual International Graduate Student Household Drive.
Graduate Peer Support (GPS) will be launching drop-in peer support.
Western and SOGS are aiming to make The Grad Club “zero-waste” by 2050.
Graduate Wellness Week is almost done! If you have ideas of what you’d like to see, contact services@sogs.ca.
Happy #AccessAbility Week! Language on grad student accommodations on grad syllabi to come in September. Contact accessibility@sogs.ca.
We’re looking for anyone doing research on LGBTQIA+ to share their research at the Pride Parade in July! Contact pride@sogs.ca.

Elections

SOGS Athletics Representative – Tomas Fabian

Motions Passed

Motions arising from the President/Executive

President

Whereas graduate students pay fees that support sports and recreation at Western;
Whereas the Director of Sport and Recreation Services has expressed interest in increasing collaboration with graduate students;
Whereas communication between SOGS and SRS has proven difficult;
BIRT SOGS elect an Athletic Representative to serve on a 5-month trial basis from June 1, 2018 through October 31, 2018.
BIFRT the Athletics Representative act in a volunteer capacity as a lision between SRS and SOGS;
BIFRT the Athletics Representative provide monthly reports to Council, either in person or in voting.

Passed unanimously.

Whereas the following bylaw changes have been mutually agreed upon by the President of the Society and
the Bylaws and Constitution Committee;
Whereas these changes reflect and clarify the duties of the President of the Society;
BIRT bylaw 2.1.2.13 be amended to read:
2.1.2.13 shall maintain organizational documents that reflect the mandate, operations, and needs of the
Society, and shall update them annually
BIRFT bylaw 2.1.2.15 be revised to read:
2.1.2.15 shall represent the Society as necessary (or designate an appropriate representative)
2.1.2.15.1 at meetings of campus organizations (including, by not limited to, the University Student’s
Council, The MBA Association, the PSAC 610, the UWO Faculty Association and the UWO Staff
Association).
2.1.2.15.2 at meetings with University Administrators
2.1.2.15.3 in any external context, including media and government relations.

Passed unanimously.

VP Finance

Whereas the previous [travel] subsidy form made it difficult for students who were travelling during the
conference deadline.
BIRT Students apply for the travel subsidy in the term of their last day of travel.

Passed unanimously.

Whereas the previous [childcare] form hasn’t asked members to declare other forms of childcare subsidies
BIRT the new form includes a line that asks if members have applied for other childcare subsidies and where
they have applied.

Passed unanimously.

Whereas the travel subsidy form is unclear;
BIRT we include a line on the form that says that preference will be given conference presenters.

Passed unanimously.

October 2017: Council

The following provides a brief summary of the recent Council meeting on October 26. The complete Council package, which includes the agenda and reports, can be accessed online. Full minutes of the October Council meeting will be available in the November 2017 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 office or the Speaker.

GUEST SPEAKER

‪This week is Open Access Week! Support Western University Libraries by finding out more here or asking them questions. Concerns about Elsevier acquiring Bepress? Contact Kristen Hoffmann (khoffma8@uwo.ca). She can provide you a list of additional resources about Elsevier, bepress, and OJS. #OpenAccess‬

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Welcome New Councillors! New Council packages were made available at Council. It is available here: Council Orientation 2017.

As per tradition, SOGS will host a Welcome Reception at the Grad Club after Council for New Councillors.

The next Council meeting will take place on November 30, 2017 at 6pm in UCC 56.

SOGS Council does not meet in December.

New Councillor Presentation

The full Councillor Presentation (PPT) is available New Council.

See this example Councillor placard for the most important Roberts Rules to keep in mind for Council.

Important takeaways for future Councils:

  • Always read the Council package!
  • Attend meetings and send info to your departments – this is how you get your SOGS Departmental funding!
  • Sign In/Out sheet – this is how we keep track of attendance!
  • Don’t forget to send alternates if you can’t make it!
  • Be respectful!
  • Have questions about Council? Contact the SOGS Speaker.

Elections

Acclaimed positions:

While we set up our Commissioners’ emails, please contact advocacy@sogs.ca in the meantime.

Indigenous Commissioner: Tara Hedican (indigenous@sogs.ca)

Pride Commissioner: Patrick Hill (pride@sogs.ca)

Women’s Concerns Commissioner: Melanie Stone (wcc@sogs.ca)

Accessibility Commissioner: Martin Ross (accessibility@sogs.ca)

Dates of Importance

October 23-27: Sexual Violence Awareness Week
http://safecampus.uwo.ca/sexual_violence/

October 23-27: Fair Employment Week
Video from our Joint event: https://www.facebook.com/Western.SOGS/videos/1468042123250951/

October 30 (7pm): Harry Potter Trivia Night
https://www.facebook.com/events/2406491856242704

November 9: IGSIC goes to Global Cafe! IGSIC will have a petition created by CFS for INTL graduate students as well as its own INTL Student Experience survey.  All INTL graduate students are encouraged to join the IGSIC Facebook group: @Western.IGSIC.SOGS

November 13: Open House Reveal of the Access Lab in Weldon

November 14: First official Stitch & Bitch Post Graduate Wellness Week.
http://sogs.ca/member-services/the-grad-club/

November 14: “Life in the Margins: Supporting International Gay Students” as part of International Week 2017. http://www.internationalweek.uwo.ca/ourpride.html

November 21 – December 21: CRISIS SATELITTE (Middlesex Crisis) Drop-In: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays from 5-9pm in Health Services.

November 15 (7pm): Board Game Night – FREE apps
https://www.facebook.com/events/1615042635225897/

November 18-26: Indigenous Awareness Week
http://indigenous.uwo.ca/universitywide/indigenousweek/index.html

November 21 – December 21: CRISIS SATELLITE (Middlesex Crissi) Drop-In: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays from 5-9pm in Health Services.

November 23 (6pm): IGSIC End of Term Party ($5). Tickets will be available in November.

November 23 (6-8pm): Pottery Painting at Crock-A-Doodle. FREE. Family friendly. $5 chosen pottery piece. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/pottery-painting-at-crock-a-doodle-tickets-39169264324

 

September 2017: Council

The following provides a brief summary of the recent Council meeting on September 28. The complete Council package, which includes the agenda and reports, can be accessed online. Full minutes of the September Council meeting will be available in the October 2017 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 office or the Speaker.

Continue reading

August 2017: Council Summary

The following provides a brief summary of the recent Council meeting on July 27. The complete Council package, which includes the agenda and reports, can be accessed online. Full minutes of the July Council meeting will be available in the August 2017 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 office or the Speaker.

Continue reading

July 2017: Council Summary

The following provides a brief summary of the recent Council meeting on July 27. The complete Council package, which includes the agenda and reports, can be accessed online. Full minutes of the July Council meeting will be available in the August 2017 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 office or the Speaker.

Continue reading

June 2017: Council Summary

The following provides a brief summary of the recent Council meeting on June 29. The complete Council package, which includes the agenda and reports, can be accessed online. Full minutes of the June Council meeting will be available in the July 2017 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 office or the Speaker.

Continue reading

May 2017: Council Summary

The following provides a brief summary of the recent Council meeting on May 25. The complete Council package, which includes the agenda and reports, can be accessed online. Full minutes of the May Council meeting will be available in the June 2017 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 office or the Speaker.

Continue reading