SOGS Elections

Gender Concerns Commissioner

The position of Gender Concerns Commissioner was recently vacated and a by-election will be held during the August Council Meeting (August 27th, 2020). 

Elected candidates are expected to serve from August 28, 2020 until the end of the current term on October 31, 2020. 

SOGS members in good standing wishing to nominate themselves to this position must send their nomination (and an optional 1-page election poster/platform for inclusion in the SOGS Council mail-out) to the Speaker ( no later than August 18 at 4:00 pm EST.

A brief description of the position and more information about the SOGS Gender Concern Commissioner’s duties (primarily under Bylaws 2.2.5 & 2.2.6 in the SOGS Constitution & Bylaws) can be found at

Should you have questions about any of these positions, please feel free to contact the SOGS President ( or the SOGS Speaker ( directly. 


SOGS 2020 Presidential By-Election

A by-election for the position of SOGS President has been triggered and will take place Tuesday, July 14th, 2020, 6:00pm at a General Meeting (GM) via Zoom. Below you will find more information.

Missed the Presidential By-Election Town Hall on Tuesday, July 14, 2020? Watch the presentations and the question and answer period.

How was a by-election triggered?

At the June 25th SOGS council, a petition to recall SOGS President Jina Kum was presented, discussed, and approved by council. Since the membership is the body that elects the President, it is also up to the membership to decide whether the President should continue in their office or be replaced, and that decision is made via a by-election. In accordance with bylaw, “The recalled President is automatically a candidate unless they withdraw.” 



In accordance with bylaw, the by-election is held ten (10) business days following the approval of the recall petition. After discussion with the Speaker and the Deputy CRO, a July 14th GM was agreed upon to account for the university holiday closure in early July.

How does the by-election work??

In a by-election for SOGS President, the nomination and campaign period take place concurrently over the five (5) business days leading up to the GM. All SOGS members are entitled to attend this GM and all SOGS members in attendance are entitled to vote in the by-election.

The election portion at the GM will operate like Vice-Presidential elections. Candidates will have the opportunity to provide opening statements and then take any questions from SOGS members. More information about the GM, including the package, will be provided by the Speaker seven (7) business days prior. 

When does the nomination/campaign period begin and end?

In accordance with bylaw, nominations will be accepted from Tuesday, July 7th to Tuesday, July 14th at 12:00 am (midnight). Once the CRO receives a nomination form from a potential nominee, they can begin campaigning as a candidate.

The Presidential Nomination form is available here. Nomination forms should be sent to for approval.

Nomination forms are also found at

How does campaigning work?

After being briefed by the CRO, candidates can use social media, email, and websites to promote their platform. Posters and flyers on campus are also permitted (but it may not be the best means of campaigning due to the pandemic). Candidates must acquire SOGS member information from publicly available resources for any direct contact. Lastly, all campaigning materials must be taken down at midnight, July 14th

What is SOGS’ role in campaigning?

SOGS can display candidate bios on its website if the candidates choose to provide the information. Beyond that, SOGS remains neutral and is prohibited from promoting any specific candidate. This includes any discussion of the candidates in the SOGS Discord Server titled “SOGS Virtual Grad Space.”

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the SOGS Chief Returning Officer, Martin Ross, at


Yousuf Hasan (PhD, Philosophy)

Candidate Statement:

Hi Everyone! I’m running for SOGS President to give voice to graduate student concerns during these unprecedented and difficult times. The pandemic has severely exacerbated the challenges we were already facing as graduate students, especially students with disabilities, international students, racialized students, Indigenous students, our LGBT+ community, and all who need our support and care the most. I believe I can effectively lead SOGS to succeed in bringing about positive changes at Western. Please see my immediate and long-term plans below. 

Leadership and Community Experiences:

  • SOGS GradCast Radio Host (2 Terms)
  • President of Philosophy Graduate Student Association (1 Year)
  • Wellness and Social Committee Chair (2 Years)
  • K-12 Education Outreach Chair (4 Years)
  • Mentor Program (4 Years)
  • Welcoming Committee for Prospective Graduate Students (4 Years)

My Plans and Vision for SOGS:

  • COVID-19 Relief: Summer Fund Creation for the Most Vulnerable of Us i.e. Students with Disabilities, International Students, and Students Facing Extenuating Burdens. 
  • Accessibility and Support: “Return to Campus” Plan to be made more Inclusive for Students with Disabilities. Available Aids Prioritized while we Fight for Ontario’s Disability Support to be Equitable.
  • Racial Equity: Improve Town Halls: Allow Students to Participate and Engage Live in the Public Conversation. Having Regular Town Halls on Anti-Racism with Progress Reports. 
  • Domestic Abuse Prevention: Expand Online Supports and make them more Accessible.
    Introduce Easy-to-Implement Online Safety Plans for Students in Distress 
  • Staff Care: Wellness Initiative

My Vision for SOGS Video:
My Platform Outline:

Jina Kum (PhD, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine)

Candidate Statement:

During my term as SOGS President since May 2019, it has been the most challenging time for me having led SOGS through the Student Choice Initiative, the PS752 tragedy, and now the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these challenges, I have been able to accomplish numerous goals to benefit graduate students at Western. I have worked hard to better SOGS on all fronts, internally and externally. As the current SOGS President and previous Vice-President Academic, I have always prioritized SOGS and the membership’s interests to ensure we all have a more positive graduate student experience at Western.

Successes include:

  • Surviving the era of optional membership (Student Choice Initiative) with one of the highest membership rates in Ontario (~97%)
  • Leading my team that secured over $300,000 in external funding
  • Creating more bursaries for graduate students, especially for international students, students impacted by OSAP cuts, and students in crises
  • Co-leading Western’s Anti-Racism Working Group (Final report can be found here)
  • Expanding SOGS Food Bank Program
  • Creating the Thesis Completion Fund program for Year X students
  • Creating SOGS Academic Peer Advisor position
  • Changing vacation time regulations to benefit graduate students

My on-going priorities include:

  • Expanding financial support for graduate students
  • Empowering women, marginalized groups, people with disabilities, and BIPOC communities
  • Enhancing collaboration with Indigenous Student Centre
  • Implementing sustainable solutions for SOGS and services grounded on equity, diversity, and inclusivity principles
  • Working with other organizations to lobby for student rights at the provincial and national level

We need to advocate for ourselves. Let’s continue our advocacy journey together.

Facebook page: Stick with Jina for SOGS President (@Stick.with.Jina) (


Twitter: @Stick_with_Jina

kirstyn seanor (PhD, Library and Information Science)

Candidate Statement:

I’m running for SOGS President because I want to be part of the amazing advocacy and service that SOGS provides its members. My platform promotes getting back to basics to ensure a strong foundation for the great work SOGS does and can build upon going forward. This platform has three pillars: listen, learn, and lead.

I have served SOGS as a VP Advocacy, Pride Commissioner, Committee Member, and Councillor. Some of the work I’m proudest of is launching Graduate Peer Support, the Food Bank Program, Council summaries, and the public Dropbox. More recently, I have served on the Structural Review Committee and proposed the Human Resources Committee.


  • Develop policy proposals based on research and additional consultation, particularly to build anti-oppression initiatives.
  • Prioritize Committee-led initiatives and motions.
  • Reform Council to facilitate additional participation.
  • Target outreach to members who are historically distanced from standard SOGS activities, either through physical location, distance education, or program structure.
  • Coordinate with PSAC 610 to advocate for TAs.


  • Identify or develop additional scholarships and awards (financial or non-financial) relevant to our membership.
  • Investigate the feasibility of project management software to support project and team management.
  • Collaborate with committees to clarify the powers afforded to the Executive under for “administration of the day-to-day affairs.”


  • Develop a yearly plan to serve as a pilot case for a larger strategic plan. 
  • Coordinate with the Human Resources Committee to identify improvements for our staff.
  • Expand training opportunities for our officers, volunteers, and staff.
  • Review portfolios to identify gaps in service or potential roles to develop.




Twitter: @kirstynASDF

SOGS 2020 Vice-Presidential Elections

Want to be more involved with SOGS? Want to be an active member of the executive team? Want to give back to your peers and help make graduate student life at Western University the best it can be?

At April 2020 council all Vice-President positions will be up for election! Elected candidates will take office on May 1, 2020. Executive positions are paid and run for 12-months (until April 30, 2021). To nominate yourself, email by April 21, 2020 at 11:59pm. 

Vice-President Positions

The Vice-President Academic co-ordinates a number of academic programs and services offered by the Society, including the Western Research Forum and GradCast, the official radio show of SOGS. This VP also meets regularly with the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Students, and with other university bodies, to discuss academic issues and concerns. The VP Academic oversees the SOGS Peer Advisor for Academic Matters program. The Academic Committee and the GradCast Editorial Board operate in this VP’s portfolio. 
The full duties of the VP Academic are listed in section 2.1.4 of The Society’s bylaws and at

To learn more, contact the VP Academic (

The Vice President Advocacy works with and oversees the SOGS Equity, Sustainability, Graduate Student Issues, and Graduate Peer Support committees. The VP Advocacy portfolio focuses on graduate student issues, equity concerns, accessibility and inclusivity and improved partnerships with campus and community partners, including the Canadian Federation of Students. This VP contributes to graduate student life by planning Graduate Student Wellness week in October with VP Student Services. 
The full duties of the VP Finance are listed in section 2.1.3 of The Society’s bylaws and at
To learn more, contact the VP Advocacy (

The Vice-President Finance has primary oversight over the finances of the Society. This VP works with the Society’s Accounting Manager and external accountant to manage the Society’s finances and prepares the annual budget. This VP also oversees the operation of the Grad Club, our graduate student pub, and administers various financial aid programs. The Finance Committee, Grad Club Committee, and the Bursaries and Subsidies Committee operate in this VP’s portfolio. 
The full duties of the VP Finance are listed in section 2.1.6 of The Society’s bylaws and at

To learn more, contact the VP Finance (

The Vice-President Student Services oversees the SOGS Health Plan Graduate Peer Support, and Orientation and Social committees. This VP contributes to graduate student life by planning fall orientation events, works with VP Advocacy to run Graduate Student Wellness week in October, and meets with Western stakeholders to improve graduate student services.
The full duties of the VP Student Services are listed in section 2.1.5 of The Society’s bylaws and at

To learn more, contact the VP Student Services (