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.


SOGS Referendum Results - Question on Post-Residency Fees

At Council last week the CRO, Cindy Zhang and the DCRO, Martin Lefebvre announced the results for the recent referendum on post-residency fees.

The question was: "Are you in favour of a fifty (50) percent reduction in tuition fees for all graduate students once they reach the post-residency phase of their degree, that is to say, the completion of course work and the formal commencement of their thesis or dissertation project."

"Yes" vote: 1324 = 93.8%

"No" vote: 88 = 6.2%

Total votes: 1412~26% of SOGS members

The results were passed by Council and we await the final and formal announcement of the results by the CRO and DCRO once the period outlined in SOGS procedure has passed.

The results of the referendum are non-binding upon Western, but the turnout of votes is unprecedented in recent SOGS history. It empowers SOGS to seek post-residency fees from Western.


Nominations Open for Two VP Positions

Elections for the positions of Vice-President Student Services and Vice-President External & Communications will be held at the SOGS Council meeting on April 24th. For more information about the positions, or to nominate yourself, please contact the Speaker, Christopher Shirreff, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Nominations will close at 5pm on April 15th.


Columbia Employee Store invite for SOGS Students and Staff

Wonderful news! SOGS has secured a special offer from Columbia sportswear. We are being offered employee pricing on Columbia, Mountain Hard Wear, SOREL and Montrail.

The invitation is valid from March14th – April 13th, 2014. This time frame allows the SOGS staff and graduate student a chance to shop  more than once at the store if they choose.  All details and instructions for your employees/students are included on the invitation letter. (The letter is also available in the SOGS Office.)

You can bring your immediate family with you when you shop; however, the invite is NOT transferable.

To gain entrance to the store, you will need to bring a printed copy of the invitation (no cellphone versions please), along with the current SOGS bus pass and UWO ID card.  The store accepts all forms for payment except AMEX and personal cheques.

This is brought to you by your SOGS Executive.

SOGS: Bursaries, Bus Passes, and Subsidies

Summer bus passes for full-time students will be available in the SOGS office starting April 14.

A total of $35,000 was awarded for the SOGS Winter 2014 Bursary Program. Congratulations to the 30 OSOTF and 10 OOP Bursary Award recipients!

SOGS Winter 2014 Travel & Child Care Subsidies' deadline is April 30


Membership Advisory: Grants Not Loans

Dear Members,

With the tabling of the Newfoundland and Labrador 2014 budget this afternoon, the face of post-secondary education and funding in Canada is being changed. The Newfoundland and Labrador government has announced, along with a continued tuition fee freeze, the replacement of all provincial student loans with grants.

This move is a direct victory after years of coordination, demonstrating that accessible and affordable post-secondary education is a realistic and important goal of students working together.

Please see the attached release for more information.

NL government to reduce student debt burden by replacing all student loans with grants (PDF)

Jessica McCormick
National Chairperson | Présidente Nationale
Canadian Federation of Students | Fédération canadienne des étudiantes et étudiants
w. 613.232.7394 x 221
e.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
t. @jessmccormick


File Your Taxes for Free with Ufile

As members of the Canadian Federation of Students, SOGS members can file their taxes for free with Ufile.

Just follow this link for instructions.



GradCast Information

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

Do you want to be a guest on GradCast? If so, e-mail James Goacher at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a short description of what you do at UWO and why it's darn interesting!

Follow GradCast on Facebook:

Listen to our clip


TAKE A GOOD LOOK: Your SOGS Health Plan Vision Benefits

Students covered by the SOGS Health and Dental Plan benefit from coverage that includes:

Eyeglasses (including Prescription Sunglasses), Contact Lenses, & Eye Exams: $200 per 24 month period

Laser Eye Surgery: $150 per policy year

Plus: The Studentcare Vision Network Saves You Even More Money!

Studentcare, the SOGS Health Plan provider, has set up a network of vision care professionals to offer you added vision coverage over and above the coverage provided by your student plan. These eye care providers have agreed to reduce the cost of their services for SOGS Health Plan members. Network savings work in combination with your insured benefits so that you can save more money.

Guaranteed Price Limit on Eye Exams: Independent specialists who are part of the Studentcare Vision Network will charge no more than $50 for eye exams, which is lower than the usual market price. You must show your student ID card to be eligible for the network price limit.

$75 Off Prescription Eyeglasses:When visiting an independent specialist who is a member of the Vision Network, you can take advantage of 30% (up to $75) off the regular price of prescription eyeglasses (lenses with frames).

Up to $200 Off Laser Eye Surgery: LASIK MD offers a discount of $50 per eye on Standard LASIK, and $100 per eye on Advanced Custom Wavefront. A student financing plan is also now available.

A Better Way to Buy Eyewear: is Canada's largest online retailer of contact lenses and eyeglasses. As a Health Plan member, you can say goodbye to headaches and eye strain by receiving an additional 10% off selling prices. Just visit and enter coupon code STUDENTCARE at checkout.

For additional coverage information, visit and navigate to the UWO SOGS webpages, or call the Member Services Centre at 1 866 358-4435 between 9 am and 5 pm on weekdays.


SOGS End of Year Party Heats up Grad Club on April 7!

After the coldest winter in recent memory, come to the hottest grad student party at the end the academic year! Celebrate in the cozy company of friends and colleagues. Enjoy a warm, delicious dish of grad club grub with a nice drink or two. Play some intensely fun games and win awesome prizes!

Monday, April 7th @ 6:30 PM
The Grad Club
Lower Level, Middlesex College
Only $5 per student/ guest
Meal and drink ticket included.

Each student may bring up to one guest only. Tickets now available at the SOGS office, UCC 260. SOGS reserves the right to cancel an event if not enough people sign up. Hurry! Only a limited number of tickets is available.

For inquiries, call 519-661-3394, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or visit the SOGS office. This event is brought to you by your SOGS Orientation and Social Committee.


SOGS Members Hitting the Trails Another Hit Activity

Grad students enjoyed an awesome SOGS Cross-Country Skiing Event at nearby Circle R Ranch on March 1. Watch out for announcements on other exciting social activities from your fun loving SOGS Orientation and Social Committee!


This is Going to be a Blast!

Coming soon for international grad students. Watch out for announcements! Visit for a sneak peek.


2014 Robert Macmillan Graduate Research in Education Symposium

When: Thursday April 10th, 2014 3:30pm–9:00pm
Where: Western University, Faculty of Education (Althouse) 1137 Western Road

Connect with others in the field of education- related research and get up-to-date on the latest research being produced by the graduate department at Western University's Faculty of Education!

Go to education/research__events/graduate-symposium/index.html and RSVP today!

Don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity to gain insight into the latest research in education!

For any inquiries, please contact Irene at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Jacob at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , the symposium coordinators.



The Bylaw and Constitution Committee (BCC) and the Policy Committee (PC) are looking for members!

These are two very important committees for the Society as they conduct reviews of the SOGS governing documents and present recommendations to Council.

The BCC is currently undergoing a yearly good-governance review of the SOGS Bylaws. Any member who wants to learn more about the Bylaws, and how they inform SOGS governance, may want to consider writing to their chairperson, Martin Lefebvre ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or the Speaker, Chris Shirreff ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

The Policy Committee are currently compiling the disparate Council policies (motions that bind the Society to follow certain directives from Council) into an easy to use Policy Manual. Folks that have a desire to learn more about the Society's history may be interested. The PC chairperson is Alison Shott ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) and you can also write to the President, Kevin Godbout ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).


Come Visit the Grad Club

Visit the Grad Club

Congratulations to all of the Canadian Olympic athletes who competed in Sochi. You represented our country well and made us proud.

Fall Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday
8:00am to 12:00AM

10:00am to 3:00pm


Free parking after 8pm.

Upcoming Entertainment at the Grad Club


Watch English Premier Soccer at the Grad Club!

Sponsored by Carlsberg. Enter to win a Premier League team jersey of your choice. Ask your server for more details.

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 Indian Buffet (South Asian)

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

Thursday Create Your Own Pasta

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.

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.


March 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 April 8th. Winners will be notified by email, and their names will be posted in next month's newsletter.

March/April Question: What happens at the Grad Club every Tuesday night at 8PM when you can enjoy delicious food and drink, awesome fun, and sweet prizes including Grad Club Gift Certificates?

February Winners:

  1. Yunyi Zhang
  2. Jennifer Victoria McDonald
  3. Neven Vulic
  4. Jasdeep Saini
  5. Catherine Alderson
  6. Michael Pest
  7. Rubaiat Ameena Mithila
  8. Kevin Vuong
  9. Kathleen Larion
  10. Philippe Gauthier


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, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wednesday: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm