January 2018 Council

The following provides a brief summary of the recent Council meeting on January 25. The complete Council package, which includes the agenda and reports, can be accessed online. Full minutes of the January Council meeting will be available in the February 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).

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The SOGS Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place on Thursday, February 15 at 6:00pm. Location MC105B.

The SOGS Office will be MOVING to Middlesex College (MC) and therefore will be closed from February 22 to February 28. It will tentatively re-open on March 1, 2018.

The SOGS February Council will be held on Thursday, March 1 at 6:00pm. Location MC 105B. Celebration for SOGS’ Grand Opening will take place after February Council.

ELECTIONS

The Appeals Review Commission (ARC) (under the Speaker’s portfolio) is now full.

The SOGS Presidential Election is around the corner! Keep an eye on our website, social media, and newsletter.

IMPORTANT UPDATES

  • Please spread the word regarding our “Not All the Same” campaign: http://nats.sogs.ca/. The next profile that will be released is on international students.
  • Please encourage Year X colleagues to come forward so that SOGS can offer support and mediation.
  • The Mental Health Strategy (2017-2020) will be sent out to the larger community for feedback on Monday, January 29. Keep an eye on your email!
  • Please encourage colleagues who have experienced issues with their supervisors to come forward so that SOGS can offer support and mediation.
  • University of Toronto has eliminated international fees for international graduate students (they now pay domestic fees). We will continue to pursue this ask at the administrative level.
  • As of July 1, 2019, Western University will (this will not impact the Indigenous community on campus) begin to phase out of smoking-designated spaces will begin in an effort to be a smoke-free campus.
  • PSAC 610 Bargaining Updates: If anyone has worked more than 140 hours, please come forward so that the Union can grieve on your behalf. According to the PSAC 610, more than half of TAs work overtime. Keep informed here: https://www.psac610.ca/
  • Ontario’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development has released its new Strategic Mandate: http://provost.uwo.ca/provost/Western-SMA2-Final-2017.pdf.

IMPORTANT DATES

Monday, January 29, 2018: SOGS LGBTQIA Board Game Night
https://www.facebook.com/events/213381685876940/

Wednesday, January 31, 2018: Bell Let’s Talk
https://www.facebook.com/BellLetsTalk/

Thursday, February 1, 2018: CFS Day of Action and PSAC 610 Mobilization (6-8pm) at the Grad Club.

Monday, February 12, 2018: SOGS Stitch & Bitch @ the Grad Club.
https://www.facebook.com/events/192430961311707/

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
LGBTQIA Discussion Group SOGS Board Room (UCC 260)

Thursday, February 15, 2018
The SOGS Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place on Thursday, February 15 at 6:00pm. Location MC105B.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
SOGS February Board Game Night: https://www.facebook.com/events/173546413253211/

Friday, March 16, 2018: The SOGS Western Research Forum. Location TBD. Keep an eye on the website for updates: http://sogs.ca/member-services/western-research-forum/

Mid-March: Winter Graduate Student Teaching Award Nominations released.

COMMITTEE PROJECT UPDATES

Grad Club Committee: Received quote for Grad Club renovation: $400,000. Unfeasible. Will save the Grad Club levy for the next year and design a business plan before moving forward.

IGSIC Committee: Pending approval of SOGS Council, IGSIC will send out its survey by the end of January. Please inform international graduate students to keep an eye on their emails.

Health Plan Committee: Studentcare should release its survey by the end of January. Please keep an eye on your email.

IGSIC: Will begin assessing the feedback it received from its survey.

Equity Committee: Working on another Consent and Compassion Forum under the portfolio of Sexual Violence and Prevention and Education.

IMPORTANT MOTIONS PASSED

Motion 6 SOGS Budget (VP Finance)
BIRT Council approve the SOGS and Grad Club 2017-18 budgets.

Motion 1 (SOGS President)
Whereas $1500 from the 2015–16 surplus were allocated for a fundraising event held in November 2016;
Whereas $1119.09 remain from this allocated amount;
Whereas the SOGS office staff are in need of new, more supportive office chairs;
BIRT the $1119.09 remaining from the 2015–16 surplus allocation “Thesis Fund: Fundraising Event” be used to purchase new office chairs for the SOGS office.

Motion 3 Clarifying the Intent of the Placement Subsidy (VP Finance)
Whereas there is confusion regarding the original intent of the placement subsidy;
Whereas the VP Finance wishes to clearly communicate the vision for the placement subsidy before adding it to the 2018-2019 budget;
BIRT council adopt the placement subsidy as described in the Appendix.

Motion 4 Placement Subsidy Funding (VP Finance)
Whereas there is additional money to be spent from the 2015-2016 surplus and $2,000 of the unspent money was allocated to the Reception Fund- Academic Portfolio Joint Fund;
Whereas the budget for the Academic Joint Fund was increased for the 2017-2018 fiscal year and is not projected to be overdrawn;
Whereas the placement subsidy is currently funded using the previous year’s surplus and there was no surplus in 2016- 2017;
BIRT the $2,000 dedicated to the Reception Fund- Academic Joint Fund from the 2015-2016 surplus be reallocated to the placement subsidy;
BIFRT the Subsidies and Bursaries Committee allocate the additional $2000 to applications received in the 2017-2018 year.

Motion 5 Naylor Report (VP Finance)
Whereas funding for science remains an important issue for both graduate students at Western and Canada at large;
Whereas the Government of Canada commissioned a review of funding for science and scholars that resulted in the Fundamental Science Review, which makes 35 recommendations to better support science in Canada;
Whereas the Science and Policy Exchange has written an open letter to support the implementation of the proposals in the Fundamental Science Review and engaged in a #Students4theReport advocacy campaign;
BIRT the Society of Graduate Students support the Science and Policy Exchange in their advocacy;
BIRT the Society of Graduate Students sign the open letter attached in the Appendix;
BIRT the Society of Graduate Students allow the Science and Policy Exchange to use the Society of Graduate Student’s logo on their website (e.g. http://www.sp-exchange.ca/students4thereport/) alongside the logos of other student associations.

Motion 9 (VP Student Services)
Whereas the International Graduate Student Issues Committee (IGSIC) wishes to obtain data on current international graduate students in the hope of improving their overall student experience;
Whereas IGSIC will report on the survey results in an Executive Summary to Council;
BIRT Council approves IGSIC’s international graduate student survey.

 

SOGS 2018 Annual General Meeting

 

Graduate Students & SOGS members are invited to attend the SOGS Annual General Meeting on Thursday, February 15th, 6pm, Middlesex College, Room MC 105b.

Sign in begins at 5:30 pm.

The AGM package with documents for review is available online:http://tinyurl.com/ycamlwou

If you are unable to attend, please find a proxy to attend on your behalf, fill out the form on the last page of the AGM Package and have them give it to the Speaker at the beginning of the meeting.
(Direct link to form: http://tinyurl.com/ycroxp9m)

January extended hours for Bus Pass pick up!

SOGS opens on Monday, Jan 8 & will have extended hours the first week to accommodate students with schedules beyond regular office times:

  • Monday, January 8, 2018:  9 am – 6 pm
  • Tuesday, January 9, 2018:  9 am – 5 pm
  • Wednesday, January 10, 2018:  8 am – 6 pm
  • Thursday, January 11, 2018:  9 am – 5 pm
  • Friday, January 12, 2018: 9 am – 5 pm
  • Monday, January 15, 2018: 9 am – 5 pm
  • Tuesday, January 16, 2018: 9 am – 5 pm

DECEMBER 2017: 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!

Links are underlined and active in PDF.

DOWNLOAD THE SOGS UPDATE DECEMBER 2017 ISSUE


Email sogs.communications@sogs.ca for more information or to submit newsletter content.

Winter Bus Pass pickup starts Monday, Dec 11, noon

Students without a WesternONE tap card can pick up a paper pass for the winter term staring

Monday, Dec 11, noon

 

In addition, SOGS will have extended hours the first week to accommodate students with hours beyond our regular office hours of 9 am to 4 pm:

  • Monday, January 8, 2018:  9 am – 6 pm
  • Tuesday, January 9, 2018:  9 am – 5 pm
  • Wednesday, January 10, 2018:  8 am -6 pm
  • Thursday, January 11, 2018:  9 am – 5 pm
  • Friday, January 12, 2018: 9 am – 5 pm
  • Monday, January 15, 2018: 9 am – 5 pm
  • Tuesday, January 16, 2018: 9 am – 5 pm

Subsidy and Bursary Deadlines

Subsidy applications must be provided by the last business day of each term.

This term’s deadline for applications is December 22.

*REMEMBER: The SOGS office only accepts hard copy subsidy applications. Because SOGS is a non-profit organization, we require original receipts. We cannot accept per-diems.

More information can be found at sogs.ca/member-services/financial-support/#subsidies

 

SOGS Bursary deadline dates are September 30, January 31, and May 31.

Applications are completed online through the SGPS Graduate Student Portal. More information can be found at sogs.ca/member-services/financial-support/#bursaries

November 2017: Council

The following provides a brief summary of the recent Council meeting on November 30. The complete Council package, which includes the agenda and reports, can be accessed online. Full minutes of the November Council meeting will be available in the January 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 office or the Speaker.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The SOGS Western Research Forum will tentatively take place on Friday, March 16, 2018. Call for abstracts are due December 25 through http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/wrf/.

SOGS Council does not meet in December.

The next Council meeting will take place on January 25, 2017. Location TBD.

The SOGS Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place on Thursday, February 15 at 6:00pm. Location TBD.

The SOGS February Council will be held on Thursday, March 1 at 6:00pm.

ELECTIONS

Chief Returning Officer (CRO) (responsible for overseeing the SOGS Presidential Election): Stephanie Dennie.

UPDATE ON PSAC 610 BARGAINING

  • Bargaining asks:
    • Real wage increases
    • Appointments
    • Tuition rebate
    • Benefits
    • Hours of work/overtime
  • Please keep up-to-date on bargaining updates on the PSAC 610 website (psac610.ca) and PSAC 610 social media (@PSAC610).
  • If you have questions or concerns about bargaining, please contact gta.bt@psac610.ca.

IMPORTANT DATES

November 21 – December 21: CRISIS SATELITTE (Middlesex Crisis) Drop-In: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays from 5-9pm in Health Services.

December 7 (7:30pm) @ the Grad Club. Purchase your tickets ($5) in the SOGS Office (UCC 260). The NOT ALL THE SAME campaign will formally launch at this event. Please encourage your friends and colleagues to attend:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1472319399547421/?ti=icl

December 22 – SOGS Subsidy Deadline is due December 22. Subsidy applications must be submitted in hard copy.

SOGS will send out an announcement when the new paper bus passes will be available for the winter term.

January 3 – Winter Orientation hosted by SGPS for incoming new graduate students.

IMPORTANT MOTIONS PASSED

Whereas SGPS has recently directed graduate chairs to communicate to year X graduate students threatening them with removal from the program if they have not completed by a certain date;

Whereas Year X students continue to pay full tuition to Western despite not making significant uses of university resources;

Whereas this time limit particularly disadvantages students with financial need or family or mental health barriers;

BIRT Council oppose this imposition of time limits on Year X students

BIFRT Council ask that the Executive strongly oppose this practice in meetings with SGPS.

COMMITTEE PROJECT UPDATES

IGSIC Committee: Will be sending out a general satisfaction survey to international graduate students within the month.

GSIC Committee: Will be sending out a one-question survey regarding the current issues facing graduate students at Western.

Health Plan Committee: looking for feedback on whether or not to remain in two-year contracts at a two-year rate guarantee or to potentially look into extending the contract.

Grad Club Committee: Stitch & Bitch second Monday of every month! The Grad Club Bar is rotting – we need to do something about it.

Option A: $15,000 for millwork + other plumbing/bar/electrical costs + 25% contingency fee = $150,000.

Option B: $25-35,000 + cabinets, finishing = $100,000. Plumbing + electrical: $50,000. Rebuild storage room: $12-15,000. Demo bar + build bulkhead = $7,500. Flooring: $5000. + %25 contingency fee = $225,000 – $250,000.

NOVEMBER 2017: 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!

DOWNLOAD THE SOGS UPDATE DEC 2017 ISSUE

Links are underlined and active in PDF, and a detailed index is below.

Email sogs.communications@sogs.ca for more information or to submit newsletter content.

Petition: Support for International Students

Petition for Full and Equal Access for International Students at the University of Western Ontario

NOTE: Since this petition was first started, Western has since declared (March 14, 2018) that International PhD students will be charged *domestic* tuition as of September 1, 2018. 

  • Whereas international students already pay tuition fees that are 3 to 4 times higher (2.5 higher at Western University) than fees charged to domestic students for the same education; and
  • Whereas international student’s tuition fees are deregulated in Ontario, and in some cases these fees are raised by 20 per cent in a year (5% at Western University); and
  • Whereas institutions continue to use differential tuition fees for international students as a revenue generating strategy due to lack of adequate government funding; and
  • Whereas in 1994, the Ontario government disqualified international students from the Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP) and;
  • Whereas international students studying at universities must enroll in a private health insurance program – the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) – which costs between $600.00 and $2000.00 per year. This for-profit health insurance plan provides limited health coverage that is not accepted universally by physicians, hospitals and clinics in Ontario; and
  • Whereas provinces like British Columbia, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia currently include international students on their provincial health insurance programs; and
  • Whereas international students contribute over $4.4 billion annually to the province’s economy through paying tuition fees, basic living expenses and consumer spending; and
  • Whereas international students are not eligible for federal funding from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHR) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) except for Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

We the undersigned petition the administration at the University of Western Ontario to support the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario’s call and Petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to:

i. Petition the University of Western Ontario’s administration to stop unfair practice of deregulated tuition fee hikes for international students and support the call by the Canadian Federation of Students Ontario to call on the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to increase funding; and

ii. Petition the University of Western Ontario to petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to restore OHIP coverage for international students.

iii. Petition the University of Western Ontario to petition Minister Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, to extended eligibility for Canada’s three funding agencies (NSERC, SSHRC, and CIHR) to international students.

 

Support for International Students

  

Petition for Full and Equal Access for International Students at the University of Western Ontario

• Whereas international students already pay tuition fees that are 3 to 4 times higher than fees charged to domestic students for the same education; and
• Whereas international student’s tuition fees are deregulated in Ontario, and in some cases these fees are raised by 20 per cent in a year; and
• Whereas institutions continue to use differential tuition fees for international students as a revenue generating strategy due to lack of adequate government funding; and
• Whereas in 1994, the Ontario government disqualified international students from the Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP) and;
• Whereas international students studying at universities must enroll in a private health insurance program – the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) – which costs between $600.00 and $2000.00 per year. This for-profit health insurance plan provides limited health coverage that is not accepted universally by physicians, hospitals and clinics in Ontario; and
• Whereas provinces like British Columbia, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia currently include international students on their provincial health insurance programs; and
• Whereas international students contribute over $4.4 billion annually to the province’s economy through paying tuition fees, basic living expenses and consumer spending; and
• Whereas international students are not eligible for federal funding from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHR) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) except for Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

We the undersigned petition the administration at the University of Western Ontario support the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario’s call and Petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to:
i. Petition the University of Western Ontario’s administration to stop unfair practice of deregulated tuition fee hikes for international students and support the call by the Canadian Federation of Students Ontario to call on the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to increase funding; and
ii. Petition the University of Western Ontario to petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to restore OHIP coverage for international students.
iii. Petition the University of Western Ontario to petition Minister Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, to extended eligibility for Canada’s three funding agencies (NSERC, SSHRC, and CIHR) to international students

**your signature**

278 signatures

Share this with your friends: http://sogs.ca/2017/11/08/petition-support-for-international-students/

   

 

 

Latest Signatures
278 Ms Ahir R. Mar 25, 2018
277 Mr Ketan G. Mar 24, 2018
276 Mr Peter V. Mar 24, 2018
275 Ms Claire B. Mar 23, 2018
274 Mr Biruk F. Mar 23, 2018
273 Mr Craig F. Mar 23, 2018
272 Mr Matthew H. Mar 23, 2018
271 Ms Ameek S. Mar 23, 2018
270 Mr Ameen M. Mar 21, 2018
269 Mr Furqan M. Mar 20, 2018
268 Mr Sohail K. Mar 20, 2018
267 Mr PRANAV C. Mar 20, 2018
266 Mr Ivan V. Mar 19, 2018
265 Ms Huilan Y. Mar 19, 2018
264 Mr Fengke C. Mar 19, 2018
263 Mr Felipe R. Mar 19, 2018
262 Ms Federica G. Mar 19, 2018
261 Mr Mayur J. Mar 15, 2018
260 Mr Xinyu Y. Mar 15, 2018
259 Ms Suhasini T. Mar 09, 2018
258 Mrs pei X. Mar 08, 2018
257 Ms Yu S. Mar 08, 2018
256 Ms Sara w. Mar 08, 2018
255 Ms Freja J. Mar 08, 2018
254 Mr Sina F. Mar 08, 2018
253 Ms Barbara S. Mar 08, 2018
252 Mr Filippos P. Mar 07, 2018
251 Mr AKSHAYKUMAR B. Mar 06, 2018
250 Ms Heather S. Mar 06, 2018
249 Ms Diana W. Mar 06, 2018
248 Ms Alice S. Mar 06, 2018
247 Ms Alexandra I. Mar 06, 2018
246 Ms Dilek G. Mar 06, 2018
245 Miss Aria W. Mar 06, 2018
244 Miss Andisheh Y. Mar 05, 2018
243 Mr John R. Mar 05, 2018
242 Miss Melina B. Mar 05, 2018
241 Mr Yawo K. Mar 05, 2018
240 Mr Khaled A. Mar 05, 2018
239 Mr Aditya V. Mar 05, 2018
238 Ms Diana F. Mar 05, 2018
237 Mr Raj T. Mar 05, 2018
236 Miss Sandra P. Mar 05, 2018
235 Mr David P. Mar 05, 2018
234 Ms Cecilia C. Mar 05, 2018
233 Ms Ezinne N. Mar 05, 2018
232 Ms Béatrice C. Mar 05, 2018
231 Ms Jaclyn R. Mar 05, 2018
230 Ms Marie G. Mar 05, 2018
229 Ms Sudesna C. Mar 05, 2018