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Elections timeline

Nominations for the position of President are received in March. All SOGS members may vote in the Presidential election. The election is overseen by the Chief Returning Officer. If there is only one candidate, they are acclaimed to the position. For more information on the role of President, please consult Bylaw 2.1.2

Nominations for the Vice President positions are staggered. Nominations are received during the month of the election, and must be submitted to the Council Package; submissions must be received by the Speaker two Tuesdays prior to the monthly Council meeting. The election takes place at Council and votes are cast by departmental Councillors. If there is only one candidate for any position, they are acclaimed to the position. For more information of the Vice President roles, please consult Bylaws 2.1.3 – 2.1.6


Position Month of election Day of taking office
President March May 1
VP Academic April May 1
VP Advocacy September October 1
VP Finance April May 1
VP Student Services September October 1


Current Executive Officers

Statements from the 2017-2018 Executive:

President Mary Blake Bonn

Mary Blake Bonn is 4th-year PhD Candidate in Music Theory, and has been SOGS President since May. Before taking office as President, she served as a SOGS Councillor and committee member, and was also on PSAC Local 610’s executive committee. During her term as President, Mary Blake’s projects have included building SOGS’s relationships with federal and provincial politicians, maintaining strong working relationships with university administrators, and revising the SOGS Policy Manual. She also collaborates with the four Vice-Presidents on their projects and oversees the day-to-day operations of the Society. In addition to her work with SOGS, Mary Blake volunteers in the London community as an environmental lobbyist. If you have questions or would like to get in touch, feel free to contact her at president@sogs.ca.

Please see section 2.1.2 of our Bylaws for a full description of the obligations of the President.


VP AcademicJina Kum


Jina’s role as VP Academic is to ensure graduate students’ academic-related interests and concerns are represented by coordinating academic programs. These include Gradcast, Western Research Forum, the Graduate Student Teaching Awards, and the Joint Fund for Graduate Research. She is excited to work closely with graduate students, the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and other academic affiliates and stakeholders to discuss various academic issues.

Please see section 2.1.4 of our Bylaws for a full description of the obligations of the VP Academic.


VP Advocacy | Vanessa Lilly


Vanessa Lilly is a PhD student in Women’s Studies and Feminist Research. She is happy to be in the role of VP Advocacy with an active portfolio of committees with keen members. With a number of important events and projects already underway, she is excited to foster relationships with key partners on campus and in the community to ensure initiatives continue to thrive and grow on the great foundation that has been built.

This portfolio focuses on graduate student issues and equity concerns. Vanessa’s priorities in this role are knowledge management; accessibility and inclusivity; and, improved partnerships with campus and community partners, including the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS).

Please see section 2.1.3 of our Bylaws for a full description of the obligations of the VP Advocacy.


VP Finance | Laura Cabral


Laura is a 3rd year PhD candidate in Psychology. Before Laura was elected to the VP Finance position in September, she was very active in SOGS, serving on the Health Plan committee, Subsidies & Bursaries committee, Grad Club committee, and Canadian Federation of Students committee. Laura plans to help SOGS budget sustainably and increase communication and transparency for members. Laura is also working to renovate the Grad Club.

Please see section 2.1.6 of our Bylaws for a full description of the obligations of the VP Finance.


VP Student Services | Madison Bettle


Madison Bettle is a PhD candidate in the Department of English Literature. For three years, she’s been the VP Student Services because she clearly cannot get enough of advocating on behalf of graduate students. She’s a big supporter of the Grad Club and is all about SOGS Social Media. She would very much like it if you liked the SOGS Facebook page and followed SOGS on Twitter.

Some of her projects over the years include: the Wellness Joint Fund, the OSC Social Fund, the creation of the Grad Life Committee and Grad Orientation Planning Committee, the INTL Grad Student Guide to Western, and the transformation and expansion of SOGS Orientation.
If you ever have any questions about the Bus Pass, Health Plan, Orientation & Social Committee, or International Graduate Student Issues Committee, please don’t hesitate to contact her: services@sogs.ca.
Please see section 2.1.5 of our Bylaws for a full description of the obligations of the VP Student Services.