SOGS Update Newsletter
SOGS Update, the official monthly electronic newsletter from SOGS, keeps you up to date on issues and events affecting graduate students at The University of Western Ontario. If you are looking for previous issues of SOGS Update please contact the office.
Letter from SOGS lawyer
Please find a copy of the letter provided to all present SOGS Councillors Thursday, November 28. In contains information SOGS's lawyer, Sheldon Inkol from Blaney McMurtry felt was important to communicate to SOGS members. The SOGS Executive has followed and will continue to follow the counsel contained in this letter.
Claims incurred before Aug. 31, 2013 must be mailed directly to Sun Life and be received by Nov. 29, 2013. You can also submit claims to the SOGS office, but you must do so by Nov. 25.
SOGS Health & Dental Plan Members have travel insurance as part of the Plan:
• Coverage up to 120 days per trip and up to a maximum of $5,000,000 per incident
• $1,500 for trip cancellation and $5,000 for trip interruption in the event of a medical emergency
• Extended coverage for academic travel
Your coverage includes hospital, physician, and other services for emergency treatment of an injury or illness while traveling outside of the province in which you reside (including international travel). It covers reasonable and customary charges, which are in excess of the provincial health-care allowance.
Please note: Travel health coverage does not apply to international students, including US students, travelling to their home country. You must also have Canadian provincial health-care coverage or equivalent coverage (e.g. UHIP) to make travel claims.
As many of you may have heard, there is currently a legal action against the Society. The plaintiff in this action is a member of the Society, represented by Andrew Monkhouse of Monkhouse Law. The Society, via its insurance policy through Travelers, is represented by Jason Mangano and Sheldon Inkel from the legal offices of Blaney McMurtry.
I have consistently acted on the advice of counsel to avoid discussing the legal action in a public forum. This includes the particulars of SOGS's response to the claim's allegations. I do this in the best interests of the Society and its members. To discuss any legal matter involving SOGS publicly undermines the Society's ability to defend itself successfully and puts several of our members at great personal risk. The details of defense preparation and/or any settlement offers will be appropriately discussed between SOGS's legal counsel and the defendants.
This past November 1-3 the inaugural Ontario Graduate Student Symposium took place at the Sheraton Hotel in Hamilton, Ontario. Western sent nine students to the symposium, which was one of the larger groups from any University. Over 100 graduate students from across the province attended the event.
As the Ontario Graduate Caucus (OGC) Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students, I was delighted to welcome the participants to the event, which I helped organize alongside the Vice-Chair of the OGC, Justine DeJeagher as well as a number of elected officers and staff from CFS Ontario.
On Friday night, we had the pleasure of Dr. Jorge Cham delivering a humorous keynote on the subject of his creation, PhD Comics. Some SOGS members may remember the screening of the PhD Comics Movie from a couple years ago organized by the Society.
Saturday was reserved for a day of workshops on various graduate student issues. The topics included: childcare, mental health, a workshop on the 3MT contest, the privatization of campuses, academic worker rights, open access and organizing graduate students. I delivered the privatization of campuses workshop alongside James Compton, an Associate Professor from Faculty of Information Sciences.
As we closed the event on Sunday with a keynote from Dr. Katie Gibbs of Evidence for Democracy, I believe everyone in attendance had benefited from a weekend where we shared skills and knowledge that can improve the lives of graduate students in this province. The symposium ended with a promise to ensure we took our new found knowledge and turned it into positive action.
Ontario Graduate Caucus Chairperson of the CFS
Since May, several SOGS members have come together and have worked to develop a campaign on Post-Residency Fees, which are tuition fee reductions in the later stages of a graduate degree (thesis or dissertation).
This campaign has begun, and members of the committee are visiting graduate students at their offices to tell their colleagues about post-residency fees.
From the Ad Hoc Committee on Post-Residency Fees
GradCast is the Society of Graduate Students' radio show and features candid interviews with graduate students. Listen live every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 6pm on CHRW 94.9FM or www.chrwradio.com.
Follow GradCast on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sogsgradcast
The Society is seeking nominees to the position of CRO.
The position of CRO is defined in the SOGS Bylaws. The CRO is required to monitor and organize votes on referenda and presidential elections.
At the Ontario Graduate Student Symposium the Canadian Federation of Students and their partners at the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) launched a major campaign for graduate students related to issues of mental health, bullying and harassment.
The press release for this campaign can be found here: http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1256867/ontario-graduate-students-launch-campaign-to-address-bullying-and-harassment.
The first phase of the campaign entails a survey, which will collect data to shape the picture of current mental health challenges Ontario graduate students may be facing. The survey can be found here: www.cfsontario.ca/NotintheSyllabus.
Please take a moment to fill out the survey!
Students who feel that they may have concerns about alcohol or drug use do have access to resources at Western. It can be difficult to share one's challenges with others, but the AA meetings at Western may be able to provide that space. The meetings occur weekly, Friday at 2:30pm in University College room 287.
Please find information on a mental health initiative below:
The Council of Ontario Universities (COU) is pleased to announce the launch of a new social media competition, Mental Health 2.0 (www.mentalhealth20.ca). They are asking students at any publicly funded institution to submit their ideas for social media campaigns that promote mental health. Entrants can work individually or in teams, and can choose from a variety of accessible formats to submit their work. They ask that they send:
1. a sample of the content they would use or a description of content they would produce, and
2. a brief explanation of how they would reach their target audiences.
COU is offering the following prizes: $1,500 for first place, $1,000 for second place, $500 for third place.
The SOGS Fall 2013 Travel & Child Care Subsidies deadline is December 20, 2013. Applications can be found on our website: http://www.sogs.ca/index.php/benefits/financial-assistance and must be submitted to the SOGS office with ORIGINAL receipts.
The Grad Club serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, Monday to Friday. There are still some dates available to host a Holiday Season party. Contact Marc at 519-661-2111 Ext: 86386.
Fall Hours of Operation
Monday to Friday
8:00am to 12:00AM
10:00am to 3:00pm
Free parking after 8pm.
Order a Spearhead product and enter a chance to win a Spearhead office fridge. No purchase necessary.
Watch English Premier Soccer at the Grad Club!
The Grad Club will be showing English Premier Soccer Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings starting at 10AM. Join us and get a chance to win some prizes. Enter to win a Premier League team jersey of your choice. Ask your server for more details. Sponsored by Carlsberg.
Get your VanHoutte coffee card
Buy ten coffees and get one free.
Tuesday Chinese Buffet
Served from 11:30AM - 1:30PM. $9.50 one trip.
Wednesday East Indian Buffet
Every Wednesday the Grad Clubs serves an East Indian Buffet, 11:30AM-1:30PM.
Every Thursday, create your own Pasta. 11:30AM - 2:00PM.
Friday Theme Buffet
Served from 11:30AM - 1:30PM. $9.50.
Monday Open Mic
Monday Mill St Open Mic with Mike. Starting September 9, 2013.
Every Tuesday @ 8pm. Come join the fun and win prizes including Grad Club gift certificates.
Thursday "Rick McGhie"
Every Thursday, 8:00pm-11:00pm enjoy the music of Rick McGhie.
Book the Goblet
To reserve The Goblet of Knowledge for your upcoming defense party, call Marc Extension 86386.
For more info, visit the Grad Club Online.
November Question: Name one special offer or discount from a London or UWO establishment that you can get from a SOGS handbook coupon.
- Joel Castelli
- Komal Shaikh
- Neven Vulic
- Koosha Azhie
- Maysam Shahedi Bagh Khandan
- A. Z. M. Ariful Islam
- Stephanie Yee-Ching Mok
- Catherine Alderson
- Seyyed Behrang Dadfar
- Naemeh Assadat Naghavi Alhosseini Abizani