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 the monthly newsletter.

Twitter: @WesternSOGS.

Facebook: Society of Graduate Students.  


SOGS Summer Office Hours

SOGS SUMMER Office Hours are 9:00 – 4:00 Monday to Thursday, and closed at NOON on Fridays.


Fall Bus Pass Distribution Starts August 18th

Fall bus pass distribution starts August 18th.  You can pick up your bus pass in the SOGS office (UCC 260), during SOGS office hours.  Please make sure to bring your student ID in order to collect your pass.  

On September 2 - 4, the SOGS office will remain open until 6PM for bus pass distribution. 


SOGS Health & Dental Plan Opt-In/Opt-Out Period is September 1-30 

If you are already covered by another an extended health plan (this does not mean your provincial health care plan – e.g., UHIP or OHIP), then you may choose to opt-out of the SOGS plan.

Opt-in and Opt-out deadline is the last business day of the first month of your enrolment term. If you still choose to opt-out and do so by the deadline you will receive a refund of the health plan premiums (excluding administration fees) you were billed on your tuition fee bill.

You should know that your student health and dental plan includes benefits specially designed for student needs. You may find it to your advantage to remain enrolled in both this plan and your other extended health plan in order to increase your total coverage by coordinating the benefits of the two plans.

If you still choose to opt-out and do so by the deadline you will receive a refund of the health plan premiums you have been billed on your tuition fee bill.

If you are enrolled in September, you can opt-out from September 1 – 30.

If you are first enrolled in January, you can opt-out from January 1 – 31.

If you are first enrolled in May, you can opt-out from May 1 – 31.

For further information on the SOGS Health & Dental Plan, you can visit the SOGS Benefits Page or Contact the VP Student Services, Tamara Hinan, at:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


CFS Pre-Budget Submission to the House of Commons 

Each year the Federation Canadian Federation submits recommendations to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance during pre-budget consultations.  This year the Federation offered solutions focusing on student debt, research and innovation, and youth employment.

The full submission can be viewed at the CFS website


Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care Advocating During Municipal and School Board Elections 

The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC) stands for for affordable, high quality, universal child care – an issue important for many SOGS members.  

In the upcoming municipal and school board election – October 27th, 2014 – OCBCC is working to ensure that all communities try and build relationships with the candidates running for counsellor and school board trustee.

The importance of building these relationships with the candidates is because from now on it is the responsibility of the municipalities to decide on how your funding is distributed.

If you are interested in becoming involved with the Coalition, more information can be found at their website,, or you can click on the "Get Involved" tab at and sign up. 


Orientation Events September 16, 17, and 18 at the Grad Club 

The Orientation Committee is planning some great events for September: 

Sept. 16th: Ice-Cream Social from 2 - 4 at the Grad Club Patio
Sept. 17th
: Welcome Back BBQ from 6 - 8 at the Grad Club
Sept. 18th
: New Student Party from 7 - 9 at the Grad Club

More details will be sent out by email as the dates approach!  


Graduate Student Teaching Awards Committee Now Accepting Nominees for Summer 2014

The Graduate Student Teaching Awards Committee is now accepting nominations for Summer 2014 awards.  Nominations will close September 22nd and will be adjudicated at the beginning of May 2015.

The form for nominations can be found here


SOGS Awarded $40,500 in Bursaries during Summer 2014

SOGS is proud to announce a total of $40,500 was awarded in Bursaries for the Summer 2014 term! Congratulations to all the winners!


Child Care and Travel Bursaries Still Available

SOGS Child Care and Travel Subsidies are still available. The deadline is August 31, 2014 and the applications are available in the SOGS office or on the SOGS website:


Call-Out for Aboriginal/Indigenous Commissioner Nominees 

Ha Are you interested in working to foster a sense of community and build relations amongst Aboriginal/Indigenous graduate students on campus; represent and promote Aboriginal/Indigenous worldviews, research methodologies, theories and the policies affecting Indigenous research; and 3. Facilitate a smoother transition into graduate studies and improve the overall education experience for Aboriginal/Indigenous graduate students?

The position of SOGS Aboriginal/Indigenous Commissioner is currently vacant. The full Terms of Reference for the position can be found here.  If you have any questions about the position, or would like to nominate yourself for it, please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .   

The Executive would also like to thank Andrew Judge for his great work the past year-and-a-half as the first SOGS Aboriginal/Indigenous Commissioner. 


Partners in Health (PIH): Western 

PIH Western is looking for executive team members!

Co-founded by Harvard physicians, anthropologists, a theologist, a digital media businessman and a construction company owner, PIH is dedicated to health equity with a "whatever it takes" perspective. PIH values not only medicinal healing, but also focuses on local empowerment, cultural competence and a sustainable management program. As such, it has received unparalleled praise from the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and other such prestigious organizations. PIH does have a sister organization, Partners in Health Canada (PIHC), whose main advocator is the musician group Arcade Fire. Two years ago, the first Students for Partners in Health chapter in the world was created at McGill University. Since then, 10 university chapters across Canada have begun and are reaching out to students who share a passion for this mission of health equity, regardless of educational background.

Check out to learn more, and email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn how to apply to be an executive member!


Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM)

UAEM Western is looking for executive team members!

Ten years ago, the original UAEM founders (3 medical students and 3 lawyers from Yale University) worked with Doctors Without Borders and with Yale University's HIV researchers that helped bring down the price of HIV drugs in sub-Saharan Africa by 96% - making HIV treatment widely affordable in developing countries. As a completely student-run organization, human rights students, policy students, writers, biologists, economists and students from many different faculties, have collaborated to promote affordable access to drugs, diagnostics, devices and vaccines in developing countries by changing norms and policies at academic institutions. We also work to ensure that university research addresses the needs of people around the world by advocating for academic research on neglected diseases of the bottom billion.

Check out to learn more, and email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn how to apply to be an executive member!


Support for Alex Sodiqov, U of T PhD Student Detained in Tajikstan

At its July Meeting, the SOGS Council passed a motion in favour of Alex Sodiqov – a University of Toronto PhD Candidate in Political Science – being released from Tajikstan, where he has been held since June 16, 2014.  

For information on this issue can be found in this video.  Updates on his case and detainement can be found at:


Continuum Health Plan Available for Graduating Students

Continuum is a program that offers students a chance to continue on with their insurance benefits after they graduate. It's a great opportunity for those who do not have an employer's plan to transition to, as there are no medical examinations required (i.e. guaranteed acceptance on the plan) if they apply within 30 days, plus affordable rates and month-to-month payment, so there is no long term commitment. It's great for filling the gap between the time they are a student, and the time they are employed.

More information can be found at:


London Pride a Huge Success! 

Pride London was a huge success this year! The 10 consecutive days of entertaining and educational events were well-attended by many. The Pride parade, in particular, had 110 floats compared to 70 floats last year. Many people lined the street to watch and were able to see Western's fabulous float (see attached photos). After the parade was finished, Victoria Park was crowded with many people who enjoyed live music, hot air balloon rides, food, friends, and access to queer-friendly vendors and educational materials. To view photos from this year's Pride, and for more information please visit:


Committee Call-Outs!

The Orientation and Socials Committee is looking for new members. If interested, please contact VP Student Services, Tamara Hinan, at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  The Policy Committee is also looking for new members.  If interested, please contact President Kevin Godbout at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SOGS members can join committees throughout the year, so if you are interested in becoming involved, please check out the list of SOGS committees and contact the executive or chair for more information.  


Come Visit the Grad Club

Visit the Grad Club

Check out the Grad Club new website:

Upcoming Events:

August 16th Grad Club Golf Tournament.  Includes:

  • 18 holes of golf with golf cart at Oxbow Glen Golf Course
  • Bag lunch with soft drink
  • Deluxe dinner buffet at the Grad Club
  • Golf Prize
  • $80.00 per person

Summer Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday
8:00am to 10:00PM

Saturday and Sunday. 

Free parking after 8pm.

Get your VanHoutte coffee card

Buy ten coffees and get one free.

Wednesday Indian Buffet (South Asian)

Every Wednesday the Grad Clubs serves an East Indian Buffet, 11:30AM-1:30PM. $10.25, one trip.

Thursday Create Your Own Pasta

Every Thursday, create your own Pasta. 11:30AM -1:30PM. $8.50.

Friday Theme Buffet

Served from 11:30AM - 1:30PM. $10.25, one trip.

Monday Open Mic

Monday Mill St Open Mic with Mike.

Tuesday Trivia

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.


 August Trivia Question

April Trivia pic Each month, SOGS hosts a trivia contest featuring information from our annual Dayplanner. 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 September 12. 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.

August Question: Which cartoon character appears on the front page of the Grad Club website?

July Winners:  

  • Sonja Teichert
  • Kimberly Visser
  • Nicole Talsma
  • Michelle Flisar
  • Nicole Talsma
  • Shirley Ngai
  • Parisa Alvandi
  • Katelyn Mather
  • Sonam Yadav
  • Deana Schwarz
  • Neven Vulic


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!


University Community Centre
Room 260
The University of Western Ontario
London, ON  Canada N6A 3K7

p: (519) 661.3394 (or Ext. 83394)
f: (519) 661.3374

Office Hours
Monday to Thursday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm