Past Council Summaries

August 2020

For the August Council package, see here.

The next Council meeting will take place September 24, 2020 on Zoom.

Speaker’s Corner: 5-6pm (prior to Council meetings, last Thursday of the month) on Zoom. For all Council related matters or to attend Speaker’s Corner, contact speaker@sogs.ca.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
  • Join the SOGS Discord server for Virtual Events
  • Stay tuned for more information about upcoming Orientation 2020 (Sept 14 – 19) events.
SELF-CARE AND SUPPORT:
 SOGS FINANCIAL SUPPORT AND FUNDS:
ELECTIONS:
  • Gender Concerns Commissioner –  Congratulations to Francesca Alexander!
MOTIONS:
  • Motion 1:  Permits SOGS to pay our current VP Finance for their time as our interim VP Finance during the month of July 2020.
  • Motion 2: Directs SOGS to pay the legal fees of the Administrative Coordinator accrued from May to June 2020.
  • Motion 3: Authorizes SOGS to compensate the 2019-2020 Chief Returning Officer for additional labour related to the 2020 Presidential By-Election.

July 2020

For the full July Council Meeting package, see here.

The next Council meeting will take place August 27, 2020 on Zoom.

Speaker’s Corner: 5-6pm (prior to Council meetings, last Thursday of the month) on Zoom. For all Council related matters or to attend Speaker’s Corner, contact speaker@sogs.ca.

Upcoming Events
Self-Care and Support
 SOGS Financial Support and Funds
Elections
  • VICE-PRESIDENT FINANCE: Becky Horst was acclaimed! Congratulations!
  • OMBUDSPERSON: Amelia Yuan was elected! Congratulations!
  • Call for nominations:
    • SOGS Gender Concerns Commissioner: SOGS members in good standing wishing to nominate themselves to the position of SOGS Gender Concerns Commissioner 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 August 18, 2020 at 5:00 pm EDT. More information at sogs.ca/non-executive-positions
Motions
  • Motion 1:  Allows summer term subsidies to applied to via an online format
  • Motion 2: Allows one member of the BSC to take on adjudication of summer term subsidies IF the position of administrative coordinator is not filled by August 30th
  • Motion 3: Allows SOGS to use a portion of the health plan credit to pilot StudentCare’s Empower Me program
  • Motion 4: Approves the Executive to draft a letter to Western Parking Services on behalf of graduate students
  • Motion N05: SOGS Executive to release two letters from McKenzie Lake lawyers to the SOGS membership 

July 2020

For the full July General Meeting package, see here.

The next Council meeting will take place July 30, 2020 on Zoom.

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

Upcoming Events:
Self-Care and Support
 SOGS Financial Support and Funds
Elections
  • PRESIDENTIAL BY-ELECTION: kirstyn seanor was elected as the SOGS President for the remainder of the 2020-2021 year.
  • Call for nominations:
    • VP Finance By-Elections: SOGS members in good standing wishing to nominate themselves to the position of SOGS VP Finance 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 21 at 5:00 pm EDT. More information at sogs.ca/executive-positions/
    • SOGS 2020-2021 Ombudsperson – SOGS members in good standing wishing to nominate themselves to the position of SOGS Ombudsperson 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 21 at 5:00 pm EDT. More information at sogs.ca/non-executive-positions/.
Motions
  • The General Membership voted to allow the “in camera” minutes from the February 2020 AGM to be made public with all names and financial information redacted. 
  • The General Membership voted to permit for the recording and sharing of the Presidential candidates’ statements and Q&A period of the by-election online (website and social media).
  • The General Membership voted to strike specific sections (as outlined in final version of motion) from the July GM President’s Report.

June2020

For the full June Council package, see here.

The next Council meeting will take place July 30, 2020 on Zoom.

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

Upcoming Events:
Self-Care and Support
 SOGS Financial Support and Funds
Elections
  • Effie Sapuridis was acclaimed as the 2020-2021 SOGS Speaker.
  • Call for nominations: SOGS 2020-2021 Ombudsperson – SOGS members in good standing wishing to nominate themselves to the position of SOGS Ombudsperson 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 14 at 5:00 pm EDT.
Motions
  • Council passed a motion to allow one member of the Bursaries and Subsidies Committee to organize the Winter term SOGS subsidy applications.
  • Council voted to formally release all SOGS members and staff from Non-Disclosure Agreements signed on and prior to June 25th, 2020, to have the Executive and relevant committee chairs collaborate on an appropriate solution for protecting personal information, and to have the Executive recommend a solution for wide-spread implementation by August Council. 
  • Council voted to approve the petition to recall the 2020-2021 SOGS President.
  • Council voted to change the title of the Women’s Concerns Commissioner to the Gender Concerns Commissioner.
  • Council voted to give the Acting Speaker a one-time payment from the SOGS Speaker stipend for her service in the role from May 2020-June 2020.
  • A motion to change the VP Finance Bylaws was tabled to the Bylaws and Constitution Committee for review until August Council.

May 2020

For the full May Council package, see here.

The next Council meeting will take place June 25, 2020 on Zoom.

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

Upcoming Events
Self-Care and Support
SOGS Financial Support and Funds
Elections
  • Call for nominations: SOGS 2020-2021 Speaker – nominations for the position of SOGS Speaker should be submitted to executive@sogs.ca by 11:59PM EDT on Monday, June 15th.
  • There are two vacancies on the Graduate Education Council for grad student representatives from Arts and Ivey. If you are from one of these departments and are interested, email president@sogs.ca 
Motions
  • Council approved the awarding of honoraria to 2019-2020 committee chairs and outgoing Vice Presidents.
  • Council voted to allocate funds to additional bursaries for the 2020 Summer term given the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Council voted to apply and enter into the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) Covid-19 relief benefit through the Federal Government to assist in covering Grad Club operating costs.
  • Council voted to extend the contract of our current financial auditor for the current cycle, and to go to tender for auditing services once the current auditing cycle is complete.
  • Council voted to form an ad-hoc Human Resources committee.
  • Council voted that the Executive send a letter on behalf of SOGS in support of postdocs, pending approval from PSAC 610.
  • Council approved changes to the Society policies to allow employees to submit complaints directly to the Ombudsperson.
  • Council voted to give ex-officio Observerships on Council to the Accounting Manager, Administrative Coordinator, Communications Administrator, and Grad Club Manager.
  • Council voted to have the Executive submit documentation of legal and HR fees that have accumulated since May 1, 2019 for the next Council package.
  • Council voted to offer the Administrative Coordinator a full-time salaried contract, and to extend her current contract until a new contract can be negotiated.
  • Council voted to have the Executive approve this year’s annual pay raises for salaried staff members.
  • Council voted that the VP Academic will temporarily take over Human Resources and Personnel supervision, until such time as office tensions have been mitigated.
  • Council approved updates to the GradCast Editorial Board and VP Academic Bylaws.
  • Council approved updates to the Bylaws reflecting motions passed at January and February Council. 
  • Council approved that Summer 2020 bursaries can be applied to via an online format.

2020 Annual General Meeting

For the full AGM package, see here.

The next Council meeting will take place March 26th in MC, room 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 Karaoke Night Friday, March 20 at the Grad Club. FREE. 
  • Board Game Night Wednesday, March 18 at 7pm at the Grad Club. FREE.
  • Trans and Nonbinary Education, Awareness, and Advocacy Day Thursday, March 12 6-9pm
Self-Care and Support
  • SOGS Peer Advisor for Academic Matters: Ariana Potichnyj (advisor.academic@sogs.ca)
  • Graduate Peer Support (GPS) Drop-In Sessions  Every Thursday from 12-2pm in the SOGS Multipurpose room. If you need someone to talk to, or practical advice about the pressures of grad life, come and talk to our trained committee members who can offer resources or just an ear. Coffee and snacks provided.
  • 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
  • Vice Presidents – SOGS Vice-President Elections will take place in April
  • Members were elected to the Ad-hoc committee for the SOGS Pilot project for Executive Compensation (SPEC). Positions on this committee are still available – contact the SOGS Speaker if you are interested in joining.
Business:
  • A motion was passed to change the wording in article 1.6.1.4. of the Constitution to clarify that Executive Officers, the Speaker, and the Ombudsperson may not hold another position on Council, including a Councillor or alternate Councillor position.
  • The membership approved the SOGS and Grad Club budgets for 2020-2021, as well as a Student Choice Initiative Contingency budget.
  • A motion was passed for SOGS to publicly endorse the Western University National Student Walkout for Wet’suwet’en on March 4.
  • Executive officers, non-Executive officers, and committee chairs presented reports on their activities. See the AGM package for more details. 
  • The SOGS office staff made a statement regarding ongoing issues and announced their decision to withdraw their labour.
  • A motion was passed to allow the SOGS staff excused absences from the AGM until the next meeting of SOGS Council to support on-going labour negotiations.

February 2020

For the full February Council package, see here.

The next Council meeting will take place March 26th 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:
  • SOGS Annual General Meeting  Thursday, February 27th in Middlesex College 110 at 6pm **bring your Western ID to sign in!**
  • Graduate Wellness Workshop: On The Road To Resilience Thursday, February 18, 2020 @ 4pm in Middlesex College, room 110
  • Monthly Karaoke Night Friday, February 21 at 8pm at the Grad Club. FREE.
  • Board Game Night Wednesday, February 19 at 7pm at the Grad Club. FREE.
  • Upcoming ski/tubing trip to Boler Mountain. Saturday, February 22. Tubing is $15 per person. Skiing (includes lift ticket, rental, and lesson) for $60 per person. Each SOGS member can bring up to 4 guests. Tickets are available in the SOGS office. *Ski tickets are limited*
  • Family Craft Night: Learn How to Make Slime! Monday, February 24, 2020 from 5-7pm at the Grad Club
  • Graduate Wellness Workshop: The Imposter Syndrome – Tuesday, February 25, 2020 @ 4pm in Middlesex College, room 110
  • Disney Trivia – Wednesday, February 26 at 7pm. Hosted by our own VP Finance, Madison Bettle. All Disney owned-franchises are fair game at this special edition of trivia (i.e., Pixar and Star Wars)
Self-Care and Support
  • SOGS Peer Advisor for Academic Matters: Ariana Potichnyj (advisor.academic@sogs.ca)
  • Graduate Peer Support (GPS) Drop-In Sessions  Every Thursday from 12-2pm in the SOGS Multipurpose room. If you need someone to talk to, or practical advice about the pressures of grad life, come and talk to our trained committee members who can offer resources or just an ear. Coffee and snacks provided.
  • 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
  • Indigenous Commissioner – Danica Pawlick Potts was acclaimed as SOGS Indigenous Commissioner
Motions
  • Council passed a motion to move the International Graduate Student Issues Committee under the VP Advocacy’s portfolio and to move the Graduate Peer Support Committee under the VP Student Services’ portfolio starting May 1
  • Council approved new Bylaws explaining process for awarding the Outgoing Vice-President Transition Honoraria
  • Council voted to raise the Grad Club Levy from $1.77/term to $3.33/term, and approved that up to 50% of the levy can be used towards Grad Club operations.
  • Council approved the SOGS and Grad Club budgets for 2020-2021, as well as a Student Choice Initiative Contingency budget.
  • Council approved that any Grad Club 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 surpluses be put towards the Grad Club’s debt to SOGS

January 2020

For the full January Council package, see here.

The next Council meeting will take place Thursday, February 13, 2020 in MC 110 at 6 pm.

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
    • Board Game Night – Wednesday, February 19 at 7pm. Try out some of the 60+ board games in our vault!
    • Karaoke Night @ the Grad Club – 8pm on Friday, February 21. 
    • Upcoming ski/tubing trip to Boler Mountain. Saturday, February 22. More information TBA. Tickets will be made available in the SOGS office. 
    • Disney Trivia – Wednesday, February 26 at 7pm. Hosted by our own VP Finance, Madison Bettle. All Disney owned-franchises are fair game at this special edition of trivia (i.e., Pixar and Star Wars)
    • A Thriving Graduate Student Experience – Two Open Space Meetings for Graduate Students on Tuesday, February 4th, 12:00 p.m. IGAB Atrium and Thursday, February 6th, 6:00 p.m. UCC Room 056. This is an opportunity to share ideas about how to create the best graduate student experience at Western.
Self-Care and Support
  • SOGS Peer Advisor for Academic Matters: Ariana Potichnyj (advisor.academic@sogs.ca)
  • Graduate Peer Support Drop-Ins: Every Thursday from 12-2pm in the SOGS Multipurpose room. If you need someone to talk to, or practical advice about the pressures of grad life, come and talk to our trained committee members who can offer resources or just an ear. Coffee and snacks provided. See the drop-in schedule here
  • 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
  • Call for Nominations: SOGS Indigenous Commissioner (by-election)
    Those interested, please contact speaker@sogs.ca.
  • SOGS Presidential Election: Polls will open at 8 am on February 4 and will close at 8 pm on February 5, 2020.
  •  Graduate Student Visioning Committee: AJ Wray elected as Graduate Student at Large
Motions
  • Council passed a motion to schedule the next SOGS Council meeting on February 13, 2020 and the SOGS Annual General Meeting on February 27, 2020.
  • Council voted to task the SOGS Speaker with updating the SOGS Motions Database.
  • A motion from the SOGS Sustainability Committee was passed requesting the SOGS Executive write a letter in support of an initiative from graduate student, Brendon Samuels, who has  provided evidence of bird collisions to building as a concern for the biodiversity and natural landscape of Western University. This motion also requests SOGS disseminate the Petition to Secure a future for Nature and Biodiversity on Western’s campus (https://forms.gle/xiD95arnqdDLU8XV9) to all of SOGS’ media platforms.
  • Council passed a motion to adjust departmental grant calculations and to update the bylaws to reflect the change.
  • Council passed motions with recommendations from the Finance Committee regarding SOGS Executive and Non-Executive compensation, as well as an honorarium for an optional one-month training period by outgoing SOGS Vice-Presidents.
  • Council passed a motion presenting a modification to the 2019-2020 budget, specifically a new line item entitled “Capital purchases” after the Finance Committee had discovered the line item had been created to accommodate the purchase of iPads for SOGS Executive use. This motion also tasks the Finance Committee to ensure incoming executives are aware of the procedure for modifying the current budget.

November 2019

For the full November Council package, see here.

The next Council meeting will take place January 30th 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:
  • Grad Club 40th Anniversary: Members Appreciation Event casual drop-in event on Monday, December 2 at 4pm. Bring your UWO ID with you to pick up your newly minted Grad Club membership card. These cards will give you access to “Membership Mondays”, which includes 50% off a select appetizer menu every Monday after 6pm. FREE. More information on our Facebook event page. 
  • The Future Is Accessible Lunch  Tuesday, December 3 from 11am-1pm in the SOGS Office. Registration is required – reserve your spot here
  • SOGS Annual Ugly Sweater Party Wednesday, December 4 at 7-11pm at the Grad Club. Tickets available in SOGS office ($5 for SOGS members, $10 for non-members)
  • Board Game Night Wednesday, December 18 at 7pm at the Grad Club. FREE.
  • Monthly Karaoke Night Friday, December 20 at 8-11:30pm at the Grad Club. FREE.
Self-Care and Support
  • SOGS Peer Advisor for Academic Matters: Ariana Potichnyj (advisor.academic@sogs.ca)
  • Graduate Peer Support (GPS) Drop-In Sessions every Tuesday and Thursday from 5-7 pm in the Western Interdisciplinary Research Building, room 1110. (@Western.SOGS facebook.com/events/2290381097940907/) December 3rd & 5th are the last dates for this term.
  • 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.
Elections
  • Chief Returning Officer – Martin Ross was acclaimed as Chief Returning Officer
  • Pride Commissioner – Broderick Clement-Thorne was acclaimed as SOGS Pride Commissioner
  • A number of new committee members were ratified, including new members of the Appeals Review Commission.
Motions
  • Council passed motions to adopt a number of surplus recommendations from the Finance Committee. These recommendations include: 
    • Five $500 OSAP bursaries ($2500)
    • Additional funding for the SOGS archivist position ($650)
    • An Executive discretionary fund ($1000)
    • Purchase of a professional camera and accessories ($1500)
    • Purchase of an accounting laptop ($800)
    • Restoring funding to the 2019-2020 Bursaries and Awards line item that was reduced due to SCI predictions ($14000)
    • Additional funding to the Professional Legal Fees line item ($2500)
  • Council voted to recommend a revision to the Society’s Constitution for the 2020 AGM to specify that Executive Officers, the Speaker, and the Ombudsperson may not serve as Councillors or Alternate Councillors.
Committee Reports
  • The ad-hoc SOGS Structure Review Committee reported their findings on the structure of SOGS in relation to other graduate student associations in Canada. Their final report is available here.
  • The Bylaws and Constitution Committee submitted a report on their findings regarding the issue of Executive Voting Rights in response to a motion that was referred to the committee for review at September Council. The full report is available in the Council package.

October 2019

October 2019 Council Summary

For the full October GM/Council package, see here.

The next Council meeting will take place on November 28 in MC 110.

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

Upcoming Events:
  • Family Halloween Party: Monday, Oct. 28 @5pm. Costume party for the little ones + pumpkin carving + costume contest and loot bags for kids + parents in costume get a free cocktail! Pizza party. $5 per SOGS member and $10 for non-members, kids are free. See our Facebook event for more details.
  • Harry Potter Trivia: Wednesday, October 30 @7pm at the Grad Club. There will be a special Harry Potter-themed appetizer menu.
  • Monthly Karaoke Night: Friday, November 15 at 7 pm
  • Board Game Night: Wednesday, November 20 at 7 pm. We have over 60 board games, so there is something for everyone.
  • Beers and Peers networking event: Wednesday, November 20 from 6-8 pm at the Grad Club.  
Important Deadlines:

2018-2019 HEALTH CLAIMS must be sent to the insurance company by November 30. If you mail them out at the SOGS office, you will need to bring them in by mid-November to ensure they are processed in time.

Self-Care and Support
  • SOGS Peer Advisor for Academic Matters: Ariana Potichnyj (advisor.academic@sogs.ca)
  • Graduate Peer Support (GPS): Drop-In Sessions every Tuesday and Thursday from 5-7 pm in the Western Interdisciplinary Research Building, room 1110. (@Western.SOGS facebook.com/events/2290381097940907/)
  • Dissertation drop-in: Fridays from 10 am – 3:45 pm. 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
New Commissioners for the 2019-2020 Council year
Call for Nominations

SOGS members in good standing wishing to nominate themselves to any of the following positions must send their nomination (and an optional 1-page election poster/platform) to the Speaker (speaker@sogs.ca) no later than November 19 at 5:00 pm EST.

  • SOGS Pride Commissioner
    The Pride Commissioner advocates on behalf of the LGBTQIA+ SOGS members. In addition to representing the community’s interests at SOGS Council meetings, the Pride Commissioner helps connect students to resources, supports local LGBTQIA+ events, and seeks out ways to support LGBTQIA+ individuals.
  • SOGS Chief Returning Officer
    The role of SOGS Chief Returning Officer (CRO) is primarily to oversee elections and referenda. For more details please see the latest Constitution and Bylaws document, particularly sections 2.2.3, 2.4, 2.19.3.3, and 3.3. If you have questions about the position, please contact speaker@sogs.ca.
  • Members for the Appeals Review Commission
    The role of the Appeals Review Commission is to rule on appeals relating to presidential elections and referenda. For more details please see the latest Constitution and Bylaws document, particularly sections 2.4.2., 2.4.10, 3.2.7, 3.2.8, and 3.3.1. If you have questions about the position, please contact speaker@sogs.ca.
Motions
  • A motion was passed to revise Bylaw 2.15.4.4. to read: “Written minutes must be recorded by an office staff member or Executive member in attendance at the meeting. The minutes shall be presented at the next Council meeting.”
  • A motion was passed approving a letter in support of Western Librarians and Archivists to be sent on behalf of SOGS in by the Executive Committee to Western’s President, Provost, and Chair of the Board of Governors.
  • A motion was passed to revise bylaw 2.2.6.5 to adjust Commissioner reporting times in the Fall term to support and align reasonable expectations of newly elected incumbents. (Commissioners are elected in October.)
  • A motion was passed to ratify the updated Grad Club Policy document. The policy was updated include language for Non-Disclosure and Code of Ethics documents. 
  • A motion submitted from the floor was passed to extend the Freedom of Expression ad-hoc committee term to September 2020.