A major part of SOGS’ mandate is advocacy work, with a particular focus on collective advocacy to improve conditions for SOGS’ diverse membership. Our Committees are the grassroots foundation of SOGS’ advocacy work. Any graduate student member of SOGS is eligible to join a committee.
What kind of work do our committees do? They oversee the operations of the Grad Club; they manage the Society’s finances and health plan; they coordinate the Graduate Student Teaching Awards, the Western Research Forum, and the Western Journal of Graduate Research; they help international graduate students; they develop the Society’s Policy Manual, Bylaws, and Constitution; and they work on issues pertinent to graduate students.
Although it may look like a lot, serving on a SOGS committee usually takes very little time. To express appreciation for the work of our committees, SOGS gives every SOGS committee member a $5.00 voucher for the Grad Club for every meeting attended.
The following standing committees are presently active:
Portfolio of the President
- The Policy Committee reviews existing SOGS policy and drafts new policy to fill request or need. The committee’s current priority involves compiling an official policy manual for SOGS.
Chair: Andi Ghosh | email@example.com
- An ad hoc task force to advocate for changes in graduate student funding models.
Portfolio of the VP Academic
- Academic Committee
Co-Chair: Chandell Gosse | firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-chair: Victoria O’Meara | email@example.com
- Graduate Student Teaching Awards Committee
Chair: Katee Van Campen | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Western Graduate Review Editorial Board (GradCast)
Chair: Alexander Moszczynski
Portfolio of the VP External Affairs & Communications
- The Equity Committee (EC) deals with issues of human rights, discrimination, and accessibility.
Co-chair: Taniya Nagpal | email@example.com
Co-chair: Melanie Stone | firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Graduate Student Issues Committee (GSIC) is concerned with general advocacy, issues, and campaigns.
Chair: Alex Yan | email@example.com
Portfolio of VP Finance
- Bursaries and Subsidies Committee
Chair: Eric Diehl | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Finance Committee
Chair: Alexandre Scott | email@example.com
- Grad Club Committee
Chair: Stephanie Dorman | firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Sustainability Committee (SC) [external link] communicates fundamental concepts in sustainability to students in a fun and stress-free setting.
In addition to their website, they manage a Facebook group.
Chair: Joanna Konopka | email@example.com
Portfolio of the VP Student Services
- The Health Plan Committee (HPC) is a SOGS committee responsible for interviewing and hiring the SOGS Extended Health Plan provider.
Chair: Richard Harris | firstname.lastname@example.org
- The International Graduate Students’ Issues Committee (IGSIC) deals with concerns particular to international graduate students.
Chair: Ladan Eskandarian | email@example.com
- The Orientation and Social Committee (OSC) is a SOGS committee devoted to organizing Fall Orientation and social events throughout the year.
Chair: Jessica Johnston | firstname.lastname@example.org
Reporting to the Speaker/CRO
- Bylaws and Constitution Committee
Chair: Martin Lefebvre | email@example.com
- Appeals Review Commission
Health Plan Committee (HPC)
The Health Plan Committee (HPC) is a SOGS committee responsible for interviewing and hiring the SOGS Extended Health Plan provider. During non-contract years, the HPC sometimes chooses to facilitate a Health Plan survey to solicit feedback on the current provider. Depending on the committee, the HPC also seeks to explore mental health issues as experienced by graduate students.
If you would like to be a member of the HPC, or if you would like to suggest a health-related issue for the committee to explore, please contact the HPC Chair.
For general information regarding your Extended Health Care, please contact the SOGS Office or the VP Student Services. For detailed information regarding your Extended Health Plan, please visit ihaveaplan.ca or call 1-886-358-4435.
International Graduate Student Issues Committee (IGSIC)
The International Graduate Student Issues Committee (IGSIC) is a SOGS committee which explores and addresses the concerns of incoming and returning international graduate students. IGSIC also organizes a number of social functions throughout the year in order to foster a strong community between international students. International students are also more than welcome to take part in the Orientation and Social Committee (OSC) events.
If you are interested in getting involved with the committee, or wish to put forward suggestions for pursuing issues concerning international graduate students or potential events, please contact the IGSIC Chair or the VP Student Services. We also strongly encourage SOGS International Graduate Students to join the committee’s Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Western.SOGS.IGSIC/ for up-to-date information.
All tickets for events associated with IGSIC will usually be sold, unless otherwise stated, at the SOGS Office (UCC 260). In order to purchase tickets for IGSIC events, you must be an international student.
Orientation and Social Committee (OSC)
The Orientation and Social Committee (OSC) is a SOGS committee devoted to organizing Fall Orientation and social events throughout the year. It is also responsible for producing and distributing the SOGS Handbook/Dayplanner (which can be picked up, along with the bus pass, in the SOGS Office – UCC 260 in early September). The OSC is also devoted to supporting The Grad Club by hosting the majority of its events there.
Orientation: Each year, the OSC/SOGS participates in the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS)’s Orientation for new students. The OSC also organizes Fall Orientation (usually in the third week of September) for incoming and returning students (the majority of which takes place at The Grad Club). Fall Orientation usually includes a New Student Party, the distribution of the Canadian Federation of Students ISIC Cards (International Student Identity Cards), along with food, games, and prizes.
Social Events: Each year, the OSC hosts a number of events such as Wonderland, London Knights games, Film screenings, Karaoke, and monthly Board Game nights.
All tickets for events associated with the OSC will usually be sold, unless otherwise stated, at the SOGS Office (UCC 260).