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).


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)

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.


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.


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


Thursday, March 8, 2018: IGSIC Goes to Global Cafe

Monday, March 12, 2018: Stitch & Bitch @ the Grad Club

Tuesday, March 12, 2018: Crisis Satellite Drop-in

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)

Wednesday, March 22, 2018: SOGS March Board Game Night

Thursday, March 22, 2018: IGISC End of Term Party BBQ

Monday, March 26, 2018: USC Tax Clinic for GRAD STUDENTS

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.


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.


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 “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 “shall promote the Society’s willingness to give such support”; ” be removed from the SOGS bylaws.
BIFRT “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 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 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 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 be re-numbered as, and amended to read: 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, and is responsible for maintaining said document in compliance with bylaw, 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.

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