Council

Council is the governing body of SOGS. It is comprised of the following:

Members from any department where there is a graduate student organization must be appointed/elected by this organization in order to become a Councillor.  Members from departments that do not have a graduate student organization must collect the signature of two other members from that department who are in good standing in order to become a Councillor.  If you have questions about whether your department has a graduate student organization, or how elections proceed after signatures are collected in departments without one, please contact your department’s graduate administrator.

What would you like to learn more about?

Attending Council

Council is generally held the last Thursday of each month. Council is not held in December. Any date changes must be approved by Council the previous month. Council time and location information is maintained in our Events calendar.

Any full or associate member is given the right to speak at Council. Non-Council or non-Society members may be denied the right to speak as per the Speaker’s judgment.

We suggest Councillors and attendees arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the meeting so as to have sufficient time to sign in and grab refreshments.

We encourage members to attend all council meetings, but recognize that this is not always possible.  If you are unable to attend either a Council Meeting or a General Meeting, please seek someone else in your department to attend as an alternate for the Council date in question. To have this other student recognized at Council, please fill out the proxy form in advance and have your alternate bring it to council with them.

Joining Council

The Council year begins with the October meeting (October 29). Please submit a Councillor Nomination Form to the SOGS office.

Serving as a Councillor enables you and your colleagues to voice your concerns and to raise the issues that matter to you. Meetings are held eleven times per year, and average a couple of hours in length. Being a Councillor enables you to learn more about issues affecting graduate students, both at Western and beyond – and provides an opportunity to meet with graduate students from other departments.

Becoming an active part of SOGS Council can benefit your department’s graduate students. At the end of each term, the Society issues Departmental Grants to those departments who send representatives to Council meetings. Council is the “House of Commons” of SOGS. At Council, decisions are made about SOGS’ policies and practices, including the health plan and the Grad Club.

Departmental Grants reward Council attendance; the amount of the grant reflects how many meetings each department has had Council representation at. Grants are issued at a rate of $3.00 per full-time equivalent student, pro-rated to departmental Councilor attendance. Departments with less than ten full-time equivalent students will receive a minimum of $20.00 per term based on a representative attending 100% of SOGS Council meetings per term. How your department’s students use the grant money is entirely up to you as a group.

Please contact the office if:

  • you are interested in becoming a Councillor,
  • you are a Councillor and wish to take a leave of absence, or
  • you are a Councillor and wish to resign.

Elections timetable

Our Departmental Councillors are all elected at the start of the Council year. The following table describes the election dates for other positions within Council.

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
Speaker June July 1
Chief Returning Officer November January 1
Commissioners October November 1
Appeals Review Commission January February 1

Council Seats

If you’re curious to know who your recent Council representative is, please contact your departmental council or consult the attendance report in a recent Council package.
The allocation of Council seats for the 2015-2016 year is detailed below. Information is also provided if there are seats that are not currently filled; if no further information is provided, it means that all Council seats for a given department are presently filled.

Department Number of Seats
American Studies 1 [unfilled]
Anatomy & Cell Biology 2
Anthropology 2
Applied Mathematics 1
Astronomy & Physics 2
Biochemistry 2
Biomedical Engineering 2 [unfilled]
Biology 5
Business (PhD) 2
Business (Mgmt) 2 [unfilled]
Chemistry 3
Classical Studies 1
Communication Sciences & Disorders 3
Comparative Literature 1
Computer Science 3 [2 unfilled]
Earth Sciences 2
Economics 2 [unfilled]
Education 5
Education (professional) 17 [unfilled]
Engineering 17 [4 unfilled]
English 2
Environment & Sustainability 1
Epidemiology & Biostatistics 2
Family Medicine 1 [unfilled]
Financial Economics 1
Food & Nutrition 1 [unfilled]
French 1
Geography 2
Health & Information Science 1
Health & Rehabilitation Studies 4
Hispanic Studies 1 [unfilled]
History 2
Journalism 1 [unfilled]
Kinesiology 4
Law & Legal Studies 1
Library & Information Sciences (Masters) 4
Library & Information Sciences (PhD) 1
Linguistics 1 [unfilled]
Mathematics 1
Media Studies (Masters) 1 [unfilled]
Media Studies (PhD) 1
Medical Biophysics 2 [unfilled]
Microbiology & Immunology 2
Music & Popular Music 4
Neuroscience 2 [1 unfilled]
Nursing 3 [unfilled]
Occupational Therapy 3
Orthodontics 1 [unfilled]
Pathology 1
Pharmacology & Physiology 2
Philosophy 2 [unfilled]
Physical Theraphy 4
Political Science 2 [1 unfilled]
Professional communication & management (GPCM) 1 [unfilled]
Psychology 4
Public Administration 1
Public Health 1
Social Work 1
Sociology 2
Statistics 2 [unfilled]
Surgery 1 [unfilled]
Theology 1 [unfilled]
Theory & Criticism 2
Visual Arts 1
Women’s Studies 1
SOGS President 1
Total 157 [53 unfilled]