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 |
  • 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 |
    Co-chair: Victoria O’Meara |
  • Graduate Student Teaching Awards Committee
    Chair: Katee Van Campen |
  • 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 |
    Co-chair: Melanie Stone |
  • The Graduate Student Issues Committee (GSIC) is concerned with general advocacy, issues, and campaigns.
    Chair: Alex Yan |

Portfolio of VP Finance

Portfolio of the VP Student Services

Reporting to the Speaker/CRO

  • Bylaws and Constitution Committee
    Chair: Martin Lefebvre |
  • Appeals Review Commission
    Chair: Vacant

Committee Details


Health Plan Committee (HPC)

Mission Statement/Mandate

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.

Get Involved

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 or call 1-886-358-4435.


International Graduate Student Issues Committee (IGSIC)

Mission Statement/Mandate

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.

Example Projects

IGSIC invited Elizabeth Long, an Immigration Lawyer from Toronto, to give a seminar on Immigration and Permanent Residence. You can watch the full seminar and see the presentation slides she used. IGSIC is planning to invite her back next semester when the Immigration law potentially changes depending on the election.

Get Involved

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: 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)

Mission Statement/Mandate

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.

Get Involved

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.

For more information, please contact the OSC Chair or the VP Student Services. We also strongly encourage SOGS students to like our Facebook page:

All tickets for events associated with the OSC will usually be sold, unless otherwise stated, at the SOGS Office (UCC 260).