June 2019 Council Summary

For the full June Council package, see here.

The next Council meeting will take place July 25th in MC 110.

Speaker’s Corner: 4-5pm (prior to Council meetings, last Thursday of the month) @ the Grad Club. For all Council related matters, contact speaker@sogs.ca.

Upcoming Events:

  • Monthly Bring Your Own Crafts: July 8th, 7pm @ the Grad Club
  • Monthly Board Game Night: July 17th, 7pm @ the Grad Club
  • Monthly Karaoke Nights: July 19th, 7pm @ the Grad Club
  • VRcadia event July 25 (after council) (8pm – ?). Refreshments will be provided. VRcadia is the VR event space at Richmond St. and Oxford St. The owner is a previous SOGS member. Entire space will be booked off for SOGS members.
  • SOGS goes to Canada’s Wonderland! Saturday, August 17 (8am-8pm). $65 per person. Buy your tickets at the SOGS office AFTER the long weekend. 

Self-Care and Support

  • SOGS Peer Advisor for Academic Matters: Ariana Potichnyj (advisor.academic@sogs.ca)
  • Graduate Peer Support (GPS): drop-in will resume in the fall.
  • Dissertation drop-in: Fridays from 10am-3:45pm. Bring your lunch, coffee and snacks, and write in a stress-free space all day in the SOGS multi-purpose room.

 SOGS Financial Support and Funds

Elections

  • Speaker: Lola Wong was acclaimed as the new SOGS Speaker
  • Call for SOGS Ombudsperson nominations (election to take place at July Council): SOGS members in good standing wishing to nominate themselves to the position must send their nomination (as well as an optional 1-page election poster/platform for inclusion in the SOGS Council mail-out) to the Speaker (speaker@sogs.ca) no later than July 16th  at 5:00 pm EDT. 

Motions

  • A motion was passed to create the position of Racialized Students’ Commissioner.
  • A motion was passed to provide an honorarium to the GSTA Committee Chair for his service in May-June 2019.
  • A motion passed to delay the start of the Research Assistant position until January 2020.
  • A motion to restructure and update Section 3.6 “Other Policies” and to relocate these policies into a new Chapter 4 entitled “Position Statements” was passed.
  • Motions were passed to extend the Freedom of Expression committee’s term to Fall 2019 in order to plan and execute a Freedom of Expression event in mid-to-late September, and to allocate $200 from the President’s discretionary fund to this September event.
  • A motion was passed to charge HST on SOGS membership dues.

June 2019 Newsletter

The Update, the official monthly electronic newsletter from SOGS, keeps you up to date on issues and events affecting graduate students at Western University.

Between editions of the newsletter, you’ll find updates on Facebook,  Twitter, the IGSIC Facebook page and on our events calendar!

We’re back to our magazine-style newsletter layout (PDF), so click the newsletter front page below to read the issue in full. All links to external websites in this issue are live and appear in blue.

Quick link: June 2019 Newsletter

May 2019 Council Summary

Read the Council Summary

For the full May Council package, see here.

The next Council meeting will take place June 27th in MC 110.

Speaker’s Corner: 4-5pm (prior to Council meetings, last Thursday of the month) @ the Grad Club. For all Council related matters, contact speaker@sogs.ca.

Upcoming Events:

  • Breaking the Fast BBQ End of Ramadan Celebration: Thursday June 6th, 5-7pm @ the Grad Club.
  • Monthly Bring Your Own Crafts: June 10th, 7pm @ the Grad Club
  • Monthly Board Game Night: June 19th, 7pm @ the Grad Club
  • Monthly Karaoke Night: June 21st, 7-10pm @ the Grad Club

Self-Care and Support

  • SOGS Peer Advisor for Academic Matters: Ariana Potichnyj (advisor.academic@sogs.ca)
  • Graduate Peer Support (GPS): drop-in on Tuesdays (5:30pm-6:30pm) in MC 17 will resume in the fall.
  • Dissertation drop-in: Fridays from 10am-3:45pm.

SOGS Financial Support and Funds

Elections

  • Ombudsperson: SOGS has elected a new Ombudsperson: Martin Lefebvre
  • Call for SOGS Speaker nominations: SOGS members in good standing who wish to nominate themselves to the position of Speaker must send their nomination (and an optional 1-page election poster/platform) to the SOGS Executive (executive@sogs.ca) no later than June 18th at 4:00 pm EDT.

Motions

  • A motion was passed to sign a five-year agreement with SOGS’ current health care provider/broker.
  • A motion was passed to update the Policy Committee Bylaws (2.9.5.11.) to reflect current practice so that the Policy Committee is no longer responsible for maintaining the motions database.
  • A motion was passed to use the remaining 2015-2016 surplus funds ($2180.04) to host one staff event and one event with its wider membership to raise awareness and secure support in the face of the Student Choice Initiative. Any remaining funds from this amount will be used towards SCI expenses.
  • A motion was passed to strike an ad hoc committee to encourage graduate students to remain part of the SOGS membership and to promote the “Stick with SOGS” campaign.
  • A motion was passed to strike an ad hoc committee to assist the Women’s Concerns Commissioner with planning the Take Back the Campus March during October’s Consent and Sexual Violence Awareness Week.

May 2019 Newsletter

The Update, the official monthly electronic newsletter from SOGS, keeps you up to date on issues and events affecting graduate students at Western University.

Between editions of the newsletter, you’ll find updates on Facebook,  Twitter, the IGSIC Facebook page and on our events calendar!

We’re back to our magazine-style newsletter layout (PDF), so click the newsletter front page below to read the issue in full. All links to external websites in this issue are live.

May 2019 newsletter: READ MORE HERE.

April 2019 Newsletter

 

SOGS Update, the official monthly electronic newsletter from SOGS, keeps you up to date on issues and events affecting graduate students at Western University.

Between editions of the newsletter, you’ll find updates on Facebook,  Twitter, the IGSIC Facebook page and on our events calendar!


Newsletter Contents:

  • 2019 SOGS Vice-President Elections
  • We’re Hiring…Again! Job Opportunity with SOGS
  • Graduate Student Teaching Awards
  • Funding Opportunities
  • Support Programs
  • Changes to OHIP+
  • Events
  • The Grad Club
  • Academic Opportunities
  • Free Tax Filing
  • Volunteers Needed: SOGS Committee Call-Out 
  • Monthly Trivia

Continue reading “April 2019 Newsletter”

March 2019 Newsletter

SOGS Update, the official monthly electronic newsletter from SOGS, keeps you up to date on issues and events affecting graduate students at Western University.

Between editions of the newsletter, you’ll find updates on Facebook,  Twitter, the IGSIC Facebook page and on our events calendar!


Newsletter Contents:

  • 2019 SOGS Vice-President Elections
  • We’re Hiring! Job Opportunity with SOGS
  • Free Tax Filing
  • Columbia Sportswear Employee Store Invitation
  • VRCADIA SOGS Member Discount
  • SOGS Funding Opportunities
  • SOGS Support Programs
  • Academic Life: Opportunities & Initiatives
  • International Women’s Day Events
  • Political Events
  • Campus Events
  • Campus Events: International Students
  • Monthly Trivia 

Continue reading “March 2019 Newsletter”

We The Students – Student Choice Initiative

On January 17, 2019, Merrilee Fullerton, Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities, announced a series of proposed changes to OSAP funding, university tuition fees, and student ancillary fees.

This announcement included:

  • A guaranteed 4 per cent cut in institutional funding;
  • A reduction in non-repayable grants and an increase in student loans;
  • An attack on students’ unions ability to represent and service their members;
  • The elimination of the 6-month grace period for loan repayment.

News coverage:


Students’ unions serve students in a number of significant ways, including:

  • Coordinating health and dental insurance plans;
  • Providing transit passes for students;
  • Running essential support services such as peer support, equity centres (e.g Pride centres), sexual violence support centres, food banks, etc.;
  • Providing academic support and advocacy services;
  • Creating volunteer and job opportunities for students;
  • Operating non-profit commercial services, such as book stores, restaurants, cafes and food services.

What does this mean for SOGS?: Graduate students will be able to opt out of any non-essential ancillary fee, which includes SOGS membership dues. 

SOGS membership dues fund:

  • Administration of the health/dental plan and the LTC bus pass program;
  • Advocacy initiatives on and off-campus;
  • Awards – Thesis Completion Fund, Peggy Collins Memorial Award;
  • Bursaries each term for Canadian and international students;
  • Committees;
  • Commissioners stipend for the Accessibility, Indigenous, Pride, and Women’s Concerns Commissioners;
  • Elected executive stipend;
  • Elected commissioner stipends;
  • Emergency Loan program for graduate students;
  • GradCast radio show (CHRW 94.9 – every Tuesday) – SOGS official radio show for graduate student by graduate students;
  • Graduate Student Teaching Awards;
  • Ombudsperson stipend;
  • Orientation week in September and January;
  • Operation of the SOGS office (includes staffing, supplies and building services/fees);
  • Non-TA foodbank;
  • Student Government (i.e., SOGS monthly council) and the departmental grants issued to each department annually for councillor attendance at monthly council (which helps pay for activities and events for graduate student associations across campus);
  • Scholarships: 125th Scholarship
  • Student advocacy and membership in the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) (includes attendance at various CFS meetings provincially and the national AGM);
  • Subsidies: Travel, Childcare, and Professional Placement;
  • Subsidized social and cultural events for students (and their families) on and off-campus throughout the year;
  • Wellness week in October;

SOGS also provides students with:

  • A well-rounded campus life;
  • Academic and wellness supports;
  • Academic appeals advocacy;
  • Advocacy for minority students;
  • A voice with local government representatives;
  • Connections with campus stakeholders, departments, campus organizations, and the TA/Postdoc union (PSAC Local 610);
  • Infrastructure of support, both academic and financial;
  • New student orientation events which bring new students together, fostering a positive graduate student experience;
  • Representation at Western University with administration;
  • Social and community programming;
  • New international student outreach;
  • Services for visiting and exchange students;
  • Support for at-risk graduate students.

If you DO NOT agree with the recent changes to Ontario university education funding, join the cause and sign the CFS-ON letter being sent to Premier Doug Ford, MPP Dr. Merrilee Fullerton (Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities), and your local MPP. 

Sign the letter here.


In addition, consider signing the March For Students Rights postcards and letter to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario available in the SOGS office (MC room 8).

   


Opinion Pieces and Editorials:

Press Releases:


Resources: