March 2018 Council Summary

The following provides a brief summary of the recent Council meeting on March 29. The complete Council package, which includes the agenda and reports, can be accessed here. Full minutes of the meeting will be available in the April 2018 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 Communications Administrator (sogs.communications@uwo.ca) or the Speaker (speaker@sogs.ca).

GUEST SPEAKER

Western Libraries is undergoing physical and structural renovations and working on a 25-year Master Plan. They are looking for community in-put on what students would like to see. Submit your input to Catherine Steeves (Vice-Provost, Chief Librarian): csteeves@uwo.ca.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Please see the SOGS Facebook page for a full list of our events.

EVENTS:

SOGS-SAGE-Indigenous Education End of Term Lunch (April 4):
https://www.facebook.com/events/545870272464835/

Stitch & Bitch @ the Grad Club (April 9):
https://www.facebook.com/events/554554484928599/

LGBTQIA+ Discussion Group – SOGS Office, 2-3pm

GradCast-themed Trivia @ the Grad Club (April 11) – 7pm

SOGS April Board Game Night (April 18):
https://www.facebook.com/events/197928897479732/

SOGS End of Term Karaoke Bash (April 27) – 7pm @ the Grad Club

UPDATES:

  • SOGS is working on setting up a London North Centre Candidates’ Debate with the USC leading up to the provincial election.
  • Encourage undergraduate students to nominate their Graduate Teaching Assistants: https://qsharingeu.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0iTlrrzvgX7ijm5
  • Launch of the International Graduate Student Not All the Same profile end of April.
  • Graduate Peer Support (GPS) working with the WEC to have permanent GPS times.
  • VP Advocacy working with SGPS and SSD to launch Academic Coaching for graduate students.
  • The NEADS National Awards Program deadline is April 30. Application here.

MOTIONS PASSED:

1) Motions arising from the President:

Whereas the SOGS Executive and the Western Student Senators have been working toward increased collaboration;
Whereas the 2018–19 SOGS budget includes $500 to support the work of the Western Student Senators;
BIRT SOGS enter into the formal partnership with the Western Student Senators outlined in Appendix A;
BIFRT the BCC make any relevant changes to the SOGS bylaws.

2) Motions arising from the Executive:

Whereas Western’s Mental Health Strategic Plan states that it will:
—> “develop a mental health and wellness strategic plan for faculty and staff”;
—> “engage in ongoing opportunities for staff and faculty across campus … to collaborate on initiatives supporting student mental health and wellness”
—> “continue to support students who have innovative ideas to promote health and wellness on campus”
—> “build literacy on the continuum of mental health”
—> “increase opportunities for staff, faculty, student leaders, teaching assistants, and leaders at Western to receive mental health and suicide prevention training that will help to effectively identify and respond to a student with mental health concerns”
—> “develop a sub-committee of the Student Mental Health and Wellness Advisory Committee to address the issues raised during consultation pertaining to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows at Western”
—> “Increase campus mental health promotion and awareness initiatives designed for students in professional programs and graduate studies”
—> “encourage professional faculties and graduate programs to address challenges with isolation and unique stressors experienced in graduate and professional training programs”
Whereas SOGS would like to keep Western University, the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Graduate Administrators, Graduate Chairs, and Graduate Supervisors accountable to the Plan;
Whereas SOGS Council accept the following “first step” proposal in regards to partnering with SGPS, Equity and Human Rights, the Ombudsperson, Student Experience, and Middlesex Crisis for formalized Grad Chair, Grad Admin, and Grad Supervisor training.
BIRT SOGS Council request that the SOGS Executive carry forward the proposal to SGPS for further consultation.
BIFRT SOGS Council request that the SOGS Executive request that SGPS take the proposal to higher channels (e.g. Senate) to begin formalizing standardized and “strongly encouraged” training for graduate administrators and faculty.

3) Motion arising from the Vice-President Student Services

BIRT SOGS ratify the HPC Policy Document (see Council Appendix)
BIRT SOGS ratify the OSC Policy Document (see Council Appendix)

4) Motions arising from Other Committees:

1. Motions from the Policy Committee:

i) BIRT the Society replace Section 3.5 of the Society’s Constitution, Bylaws and Policy Documents with the version of Section 3.5 as submitted by the Policy Committee.
ii) BIRT the Society adopt the Policy Committee Policy as submitted by the Policy Committee.

5) Motions introduced from the floor:

BIRT the SOGS exec write a second letter of support for Western’s GTAs.

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