June 2017: Council Summary

The following provides a brief summary of the recent Council meeting on June 29. The complete Council package, which includes the agenda and reports, can be accessed online. Full minutes of the June Council meeting will be available in the July 2017 Council package.

This summary is provided to increase transparency, and to support Councillors in completing their obligations under Bylaw 2.3.5; “shall regularly communicate with his or her constituents concerning the activities, programs, and decisions of the Society”.

If you have any questions, please contact our office or the Speaker.

You may jump to the relevant section:


  • Thank you to our guest speakers, StudentCare, for coming to speak with our Councillors. A friendly reminder that information about our health care plan is available:
    • In our Office (UCC 260)
    • By calling the Member Services Centre at 1 866 358-4435, Mon. – Fri. from 9 am to 5 pm
    • Online (studentcare.ca), including an online chat option
  • Congratulations to Martin Lefebvre on his election to the role of Speaker. Many thanks to our outgoing Speaker, Chris Shirreff, for his years of service to the Society.
  • Please note that elections for for the position of Accessibility Commissioner has been delayed due to July Council to account for how the scheduling of this evening’s meeting played out.
  • PSAC 610 invites you to support postdocs at Western by:
    • Joining in the letter writing campaign
    • Putting up posters around campus
    • Distributing buttons
    • Displaying postcards
    • Tweeting your support of postdocs to @PresWesternU, such as retweeting @PSAC610
    • Please contact postdocchief@psac610.ca or presidentelect@psac610.ca for more information

Upcoming dates of importance

  • July 20-30: London Pride
  • August 11-13: PSAC 610 hosts the Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions (CGEU)

Motion decisions

Reminder: Motions generally include several clauses providing the background or justification of a motion followed by one or several resolutions. The resolutions are the specific actions being proposed. For brevity, resolutions use the initialisms BIRT (be it resolved that) and BIFRT (be it further resolved that).

Motions arising from the President/Executive

Motion 1 (Executive)


Whereas the Executive recognizes that all students have the right to access education;
Whereas the Executive believes that SOGS should be a model for Western University;
Whereas SOGS ran a surplus in the 2015-16 fiscal year;
BIRT SOGS donate $1000 to the Access Lab Improvement Project.
BIFRT this money come from 2015-16 surplus.
BIFRT the SOGS Executive draft a letter to the relevant university administrators expressing concern that the Access Lab Improvement Project be funded by donations.


Motion 2a (Executive)


BIRT the SOGS 2017-18 budget be amended to list $6000 under the Joint Fund line item.


Motion 2b (Executive)


BIRT a new line item be created to add $500 for Pride.


Motion 3 (Executive)


Whereas SGPS has reached out to SOGS about participating in an Ontario-wide graduate research conference;
Whereas SGPS has requested that a group of graduate students be formed to discuss this possibility;
BIRT an ad hoc committee be struck to discuss SOGS’s involvement in the Ontario-wide graduate research conference.
BIFRT the following terms of reference be adopted for the committee.

Terms of reference:

  • The committee shall elect a chair from amongst its members
  • The committee shall investigate the costs and benefits of participating in an Ontario-wide graduate research conference;
  • The committee shall explore the ways in which SOGS could be involved in this event;
  • The committee shall report its findings to SGPS via the VP Academic;
  • Those interested in joining the committee shall contact the VP Academic at academic@sogs.ca.


Motion 4 (Executive)


Whereas SOGS volunteers (Councillors, Committee members, Chairs, Commissioners) do excellent work on behalf of graduate students and there is no formal recognition of their work to present to future employers;
BIRT SOGS formally recognize the work of SOGS volunteers in the form of a signed letter describing the specific efforts and initiatives of the volunteer;
BIFRT the Chair, the Vice President, or the President—at the request of the volunteer—write and sign a formal letter—at the Chair’s, Vice President’s, or President’s own discretion—that accurately reflects the work of the volunteer;
BIFRT SOGS take formal steps towards visible professionalization external to Western; for example, a LinkedIN account that students can connect with as an additional form of recognition of their work, an online archive of previous committee members on the SOGS website, or any other forms of visibly recognized professionalization means.


Motion 5 (VP Advocacy)


Whereas our Pride Commissioner has reported on the difficulty of finding respectful and meaningful LGBQT+ resources across campus;
Whereas these reports suggest that the efforts of LGBQT+ community members and allies across campus are not being adequately celebrated and promoted;
Whereas this is emblematic of a recurring lack of visible support to LGBQT+ communities on the part of Western University;
Whereas London Pride provides a range of benefits to LGBQT+ community members and London more widely, such as: educational events and materials, employment opportunities, local advertising, social support, and tourism.
Whereas Fanshawe and CHRW have contributed $10,000+ and $2500 to London Pride 2017 respectively;
Whereas Western University has only contributed $1000 to London Pride 2017;
BIRT SOGS match Western University’s contribution to Pride London 2017 ($1000);
BIFRT these funds be taken from the special projects fund that was created out of the 2015-2016 surplus;
BIFRT the SOGS Executive draft an open letter to the appropriate Western contacts explaining that this contribution is a call to action for Western to better develop and promote LGBQT+ supports and resources, and this letter be made available to our members.


Motion 6 (VP Advocacy)


BIRT the following be added to the duties of the VP Advocacy: “Shall serve as liaison to the Commissioners and assist them in the performance of their duties.”


Motion 7 (VP Advocacy)


BIRT the following be added to the duties of Commissioners: “Shall be voting ex-officio members of the Equity Committee”.
BIFRT the following be added to the Equity Committee bylaws: “Shall have the Commissioners as voting ex-officio members”.


Motions arising from Other Committees

Motions 8 (BCC)


BIRT the following be added to the Bylaws as Bylaw “No person may run simultaneously for multiple concurrent Council-elected positions.”

Motion 9 (BCC)


BIRT the following be added to the Bylaws: Graduate Peer Support Committee GPS committee will have a chair who shall be known as the coordinator of the committee. GPS is focused on graduate student wellness through providing community space, events and funding opportunities. shall coordinate the Graduate Peer Support program, shall coordinate the Wellness Joint fund shall coordinate the SOGS Food Bank shall liaise with Wellness Ambassadors.


Motion 10 (BCC)


BIRT the words “Executive or” be added to Article of the Constitution.


New business

Motion 11 (President)


Whereas discussions are currently underway regarding the restructuring of Western’s libraries;
Whereas libraries play an integral role in graduate research, which is a central part of the world-class research environment that Western strives to create;
Whereas changes to the libraries’ structure could involve changes in the availability of library services such as discipline-specific research assistance;
BIRT the SOGS Executive investigate and report back to Council on the proposed changes to the structure of Western’s libraries;
BIFRT the SOGS Executive draft an open letter articulating the importance of Western’s library services for graduate research and expressing

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