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.

You can also follow SOGS on twitter and facebook to get updates on events and issues relevant to graduate students and Western between editions of the newsletter.

Items in this month's newsletter: 


Solidarity with CUPE 3902 and CUPE 3903

As representatives of graduate students at Western and a member of the National Graduate Caucus (NGC) of the Canadian Federation of Studies, SOGS stands in solidarity with CUPE 3902 at the University of Toronto and CUPE 3903 at York University.  

Messages of support from the NGC to these locals can be found here and here



Western's Indigenous Awareness Week – March 16-21, 2015

 Western's Indigenous Awareness Week is March 16th to 21st.  Indigenous Awareness Week is an exciting premiere that will offer many opportunities for current and prospective students, faculty, staff, and community partners to come together and celebrate Indigenous peoples' contributions to postsecondary learning through cultures, arts, and scholarship. It is also an opportunity to learn and share information about Indigenous perspectives and initiatives and engage with Indigenous communities and allies both on and off campus.

See the schedule event and learn more here


SOGS 2015 Childcare and Travel Subsidies Deadline is April 30 

Winter 2015 SOGS Child Care and Travel Subsidies deadline is April 30. Original receipts must accompany the application form. Forms can be found in the office or online:

SOGS apologizes for the delay in releasing the Winter 2015 Bursaries. The Registrar's office has confirmed the modifications to the adjudication system will be completed mid-March.


Western Research Forum – March 21st 

This year's Western Research Forum will take place on March 21st (Saturday) 9:30am – 6pm at the Grad Club. 

The Academic Committee has invited two speakers to giving an opening talk and a closing talk at the research forum.

Dr. Tania Murray Li (Professor of Anthropology at UofT) will deliver a lecture titled "Work, Welfare and Abandonment in Precarious Times". (10am, March 21st, Grad Club).

Dr. Charles Weijer (Professor at the Rotman Institute of Philosophy) will deliver a lecture titled "Recent advances in research ethics: Developing the first ethical guidelines for cluster randomized trials". (5pm, March 21st, Grad Club)

Check out our webpage for more detailed information about the talks.

All graduate students are invited to attend the WRF! Please go to and search "Western Research Forum 2015" to make RSVP.


125th Anniversary Scholarship

The deadline to apply for the SOGS 125th Anniversary Scholarship is coming up. More information can be found on the SOGS website at

Applications are assessed by the Academic Committee based on grade point average and contributions to the academic community. In addition, the applicant must demonstrate that he or she receives less in funding from scholarships and bursaries than she or he is paying in tuition fees. There are four scholarships of $1250.00 each available. Apply by submitting a hard copy of the application to the SOGS office by 4pm on March 27th 



Post-Residency Fees Campaign

For two years the Society has been trying to engage the University on the topic of post-residency fees, or reduced tuition rates for students who have defended their prospectus and are in the research stages of their degree. Last year over 1400 members of the Society participated in a referendum that overwhelmingly mandated that the Society pursue this issue further. Our next step was to collect over 800 signatures and attempt to present these to the University's Board of Governors as a way of opening a conversation about post-residency fees. This has not yet led to any serious attempt at negotiation or produced any concrete results.

This has become a crucial issue as Western does not provide funding past the fourth year of the program, sessional and TA positions do not come close to covering the cost of annual tuition, and scholarships have now been restricted to students still in their "funding period." Since the average dissertation in takes 5 to 6.5 years to complete, this is a catastrophic situation for upper-year scholars, and most especially for international students who are not able to access external employment or private loans and risk losing their student visas if they cannot pay upwards of $15,000 by themselves if they enter their fifth year.

A Wordpress page has been set up to help spread the word about the post-residency fees campaign at You can contact the campaign organizers, and help us plan and share your thoughts in advance of the General Assembly the Executive is planning for the first week of April, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Free Tax Filing for SOGS Members

Through our membership with the Canadian Federation of Students, all SOGS members can file their taxes online for free through using the promo code FAY1493


Call for Papers/Posters/Performances -- Queer Research Day 2015

The Sexuality and Gender Research Group will be holding the fifth annual Queer Research Day on Wednesday, April 15, from 9:30am to 5:30pm. We welcome both papers (15 - 20 minute oral presentations) and posters. We also welcome proposals for artists' performances, film screenings, musical events, and other forms of queer work taking place on campus or in the local community.

We will once again be holding QRD in Stevenson 3166, as well as locating the poster display in the space outside 3166. Lunch will be provided. Everyone is welcome!

Faculty and graduate students are welcome to participate or just to attend. If you are interested in presenting, please email a brief abstract with title or a brief description of your paper, poster or other proposal to either Susan Knabe ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or Wendy Pearson ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). We hope to include presentations on a wide variety of topics from a broad range of disciplines. The deadline for receiving proposals is April 6, 2015.

Please feel free to pass this email on to students and colleagues who may be interested.


Call-Out for Panelists to be on a Academia and Motherhood Panel

The Women's Concerns Commission is working on preparing a panel, Academia and Motherhood, which will take place in the near future. If there are any staff or students who would like to participate as panel mothers to share their experiences of managing motherhood and their academic responsibilities, we would love to have you! Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested and for more information. Stay tuned for the upcoming Academia and Motherhood panel, we hope to see you there!


Graduate Student Input on Sexual Violence Prevention Education

SOGS is in discussions with SGPS about creating graduate-specific consent culture and sexual violence prevention education, in order to create a safer and more equitable campus.

On March 19-20 the Canadian Federation of Students will having a national conference inviting students to come together and strategize how to combat sexual violence on their campuses, improve reporting sexual violence and increase consent related education.  SOGS's Women's Concerns Commissioner will be attending.  If you have any input about ideas/questions/concerns to be represented at the conference, or ideas for graduate-specific sexual violence education prevent, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Updated Equity Resources List

The SOGS Equity Committee is in the process of creating a user-friendly guidebook of equity and mental health resources on Western's campus and in the London Community.

As part of this work, a list of resources and supports is being compiled on the SOGS website.  You can find them at:  If there are additional resources you'd like more information about, please contact the committee's chair at:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Responses to the Open Letter on Stephen S. Poloz's Lecture

The SOGS Executive received a number of responses to the Open Letter on Stephen S. Poloz's Lecture.

We have addressed these responses and expanded on our concerns related to Poloz speaking on campus.  The full responses, as well as the original letter, can be found at:


A Message from PSAC Local 610 

Members of both CUPE 3902 at the University of Toronto and CUPE 3903 at York University have been on strike since early March. PSAC Local 610 strongly supports these unions in their struggles to bargain for fair contracts with their Employers. As a show of solidarity, the Local will be renting vans to travel to Toronto and to support striking workers on the picket lines at U of T and York on Friday, March 13th. Our exact time of departure is TBD, but we will be leaving early in the morning and not returning until the early evening.

If you are currently a member of the Local and have yet to fill out the bargaining survey, which helps the Local to determine what demands to bring to the table when it negotiates a new contract with the Employer this summer, you can do so at the following link: Members that complete the survey by March 10th will be eligible to win an iPad Air and gift certificates to the book store and Grad Club.


Columbia Employee Store Invitation March 21st - April 19th, 2015

SOGS members are invited to shop at the Columbia Employee Store from March 21st – April 19th, 2015.

This offer includes:

  • SOGS members (all Western graduate students) are welcome to bring up to 4 family or 4 friends with them when they shop – although the invite is not transferable.
  • To gain entrance to the store, members need to bring a printed copy of the invitation (no cellphone versions please), along with their UWO student ID and SOGS-issued bus pass
  • Wholesale pricing is applied store-wide and conveniently marked on every product tag.
  • The store is stocked with inline, current season products from the entire Columbia Sportswear family of brands - Columbia, Mountain HARD WEAR, SOREL, and Montrail.
  • The store accepts all forms of payment (cash, debit, credit) except AMEX and personal cheques.

Learn more and print out your invitation at:




Psychological Services Group Offerings Winter 2015

Psychological Services at the Student Development Centre is pleased to offer FREE Psychological Skills Groups to current Western students.

We are offering a variety of multi-week psychological skills groups during the Winter 2015 term. Online registration is now available for the following groups:

Managing Anxiety and Stress Group (offered on two different dates)

Emotion Regulation Group

Social Anxiety Group

Mindfulness Meditation Drop-in Sessions

TALK: Talk About Life in Canada (Presented by International & Exchange Student Centre & Student Development Centre. Registration is not required for the TALK group)

For descriptions, dates, times, locations and registration procedures, please visit:

For more information check out our Frequently Asked Questions page at

Registration is required. Space is limited.


Robert Macmillan Graduate Research in Education Symposium 

We invite you to join us in celebrating the 6th Annual Robert Macmillan Graduate Research in Education Symposium at the Faculty of Education, Althouse College, on Wednesday, April 1, 2015, between 3:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. The theme of this year's event is 'Research Innovations in Education: Implications for Practice and Learning.'

The goal of the Symposium is to showcase and support the projects, conceptual research, and inquiries in progress at all levels of study from beginning Masters' students through to final Doctoral presentations.

Please visit this link to confirm your attendance:

Sincerely, The Robert Macmillan Graduate Research in Education Symposium Committee


Engineers Without Borders Annual Art Auction – March 26th 

Western Engineers Without Borders (EWB) in holding their annual art auction on March 26th. Profits from the event go toward sending a student overseas to work in Ghana with Voto Mobile, a mobile phone engagement company that works to reduce communications barriers.

Tickets are $40 for students. For more information check out


GSTA Committee Call-Out

The Graduate Student Teaching Awards are assessed by the GTSA Committee at the end of the school term. If you are interested in chairing or being part of this committee, please email the VP Academic at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The bulk of the work will take place in April and May as we advertise for nominations and evaluate them, and liase with the University to hold an Awards Banquet in early May.




Come Visit the Grad Club

Visit the Grad Club

Check out the Grad Club website:


St Patrick’s Day Celebration
Food & Beverage Specials
St Patrick’s Day Themed Trivia – 8PM Start
Tuesday March 17th

Live & Free Jazz at the Grad Club
Live Jazz with The Ushers
Monday March 30th

Wellington Brewery Promotion
Purchase a Quick Brown Fox and enter to win a prize
no purchase necessary – must be 19 or over to enter – see your server for details

Mill St Promotion
Join us on Thursdays for Rick McGhie and enter to win a Mill St Les Paul electric guitar 
8:00 PM start

Hours of Operation

Monday – 8:00AM – 11:00PM

Tuesday to Friday – 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM

Saturday – 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Sunday – closed.

Free parking after 7:30 PM.

Get your VanHoutte coffee card

Buy ten coffees and get one free.


Trivia Tuesday: 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Come early to get a good seat

Every Thursday: Mill St presents Rick McGhie - 8:00 PM start


Tuesday - Lunch special Pad Thai or Buffalo Chicken Wrap - vegetarian options available 11:30am - 1:30PM

Wednesday - Lunch Special Indian Buffet (South Asian Cuisine) 11:30am - 1:30PM - $10.25 one trip

Thursday - Lunch Special Create your Pasta - 11:30am - 1:30pm - $8.50
Gluten free pasta available

Friday Themed Buffets starting Friday September 26th - 11:30AM - 1:30PM

You can find all of our lunch and dinner specials on the Grad Club website


MizPiz App 

Download the MizPiz app on your Android to see our menu and get special coupons


Book the Goblet

To reserve The Goblet of Knowledge for your upcoming defense party, call Marc Extension 86386.



March Trivia Question

April Trivia pic Each month, SOGS hosts a trivia contest featuring information from our annual day planner or our website. Correct answers are entered into a drawing and ten students will win a certificate to the Grad Club! Please email your response to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by March 31st. Winners can pick up their GC certificates in the SOGS office during regular office hours, and their names will be posted in next month's newsletter.

March Question:  What is the title of one of SOGS's four commissioners?

February  Winners:  

  • Susanna George
  • Emily Nichols
  • Julie Nord
  • Dana Gold
  • Galyna Grynkiv
  • Chad Walker
  • Sonya Teichert  
  • Chelsea Vaters 
  • Sali Farhan  
  • Taylor Strande   


Do you have a news item or announcement you would like to have included in the next SOGS Update?   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information!


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