SOGS Commissioners are advocates who are accountable to a specific sub-group of SOGS members who identify with a given constituency group. Commissioners help to foster a sense of community within their constituency groups and in the wider campus community. They may refer students to services available on campus and in the wider community and help facilitate an easier transition to graduate school for incoming students.
Commissioners usually hold meetings with their constituency group once per semester. These meetings are to facilitate community engagement and recognition, as well as provide the opportunity for constituents to raise concerns they would like the Commissioner to investigate.
Commissioners are elected at October Council to take office November 1 for a one year term. If you would like further information or would like to get involved with advocacy (as a constituent member or as an ally), you may contact the Commissioners or the Speaker.
Accessibility Commissioner | Martin Ross
The Accessibility Commissioner advocates on behalf of differently abled SOGS members. Their primary role is to work towards greater accessibility and inclusivity for those with mental and/or physical conditions that have historically been insufficiently accounted for within society.
Find out more about the Accessibility Commissioner’s projects here.
Pride Commissioner | Patrick Hill
The Pride Commissioner advocates on behalf of the LGBTQIA+ SOGS members. In addition to representing the community’s interests at SOGS Council meetings, the Pride Commissioner helps connect students to resources, supports local LGBTQIA+ events, and seeks out ways to support LGBTQIA+ individuals.
Find out more about the Pride Commissioner’s projects here.
Aboriginal/Indigenous Student Commissioner | Tara Hedican
The Indigenous Commissioner collaborates with community partners to promote a supportive learning environment for Aboriginal/Indigenous students. They represent and promote Aboriginal/Indigenous worldviews, research methodologies, and interests. Additionally, they foster a sense of community and build relationships in keeping with Aboriginal/Indigenous priorities and culture.
Find out more about the Indigenous Commissioner’s projects here.
Women’s Concerns Commissioner | Melanie Stone
The Women’s Concerns Commissioner advocates on behalf of female identifying SOGS members. The Women’s Concerns Commissioner connects students to campus or community resources, voices any concerns or interests at SOGS council meetings and is a member of the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Committee. The Commissioner works with other graduate students to bring activities/events/campaigns to create a safe and inclusive space to share concerns or opinions and work together to improve the graduate student experience at Western.
Find out more about the Women’s Concerns Commissioner’s projects here.