September 2018: 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!



Attention all new and returning graduate students: SOGS is not only hosting the most elaborate fall orientation yet, loaded with tons of events and prizes, but is also celebrating its 50th anniversary. All event tickets can be purchased in the SOGS office in Middlesex College, room 8. Hurry before they sell out!


Friday, September 14

Come one, come all!

SOGS is pumped to be hosting a 50th anniversary orientation week dance party for all graduate students at the Grad Club. Join us for a night of eating, drinking, and dancing. The Grad Club will be transformed into a nightclub equipped with lights, lasers and music by DJ Jade.

Tickets are $5 and include a selection of yummy greasy snacks, a drink ticket for a special 50th anniversary cocktail, and prizes. Additional drink tickets ($3) for domestic beer, house wine, and a selection of shots.


Saturday, September 15

We know it’s a Saturday, and you are probably going to be out late the night before at the SOGS 50th Anniversary orientation dance party mingling and imbibing with friends old and new, but chances are you’ll be on campus at the library writing or in the lab running experiments anyway, so join us for a “picnic basket” lunch (sandwiches, wraps, salads and more) at the Grad Club.

C’mon, celebrate 50 years of advocating for graduate students with us.

$15 tickets can be purchased at the SOGS office. 



 Monday, September 10

Want to bring your family to campus to show them your new academic digs?

Not a new student, but want to come meet new people and get fed?

If so, please join SOGS for the kick-off of orientation week at its FAMILY BBQ @ the Grad Club from 5-7pm.

Your choice to hamburger, hotdog, or veggie option. CHILDREN are FREE!!! Games and craft activities for children (or those adults who want to get their craft on.) In addition to food and activities for kids, SOGS’ OSC committee will also be hosting a tie-dye event.

Get fed, colourful, and messy with us. $5 tickets can be purchased in the SOGS office. 


Into fibre crafting? Yasss. Come to the Grad Club @ 7pm. Free event. 


Tuesday, September 11

International Grad Student Meet & Greet (3:00-5:00pm @ the Grad Club). FREE. Register HERE. Refreshments provided. Prizes to be won!


Trivia Night (7:30pm @ the Grad Club). FREE! Prizes to be won.


Wednesday, September 12

Bring your graduate association to the Grad Club from 3-6pm for drink samples, appetizers, and the announcement of the winner of the 2018 Equity Committee’s annual household donation drive!

Sign-up your graduate student association here.


Wanna play games with your friends? Come to the Grad Club on the third Wednesday of every month and play some of the 60+ games SOGS now has in its board game collection. See Facebook for more details. Movie theatre popcorn will be served.

This event is free.


Thursday, September 13

Amazing Race: SOGS Edition (1:30-3:30pm starting @ the Grad Club). FREE for all. Don’t wither away in your office or lab. Come out, run around campus, get sweaty, have fun, and then cool off at the Grad Club patio with your peers.  Register HERE.

PRIZES: FIRST PLACE – $200 Grad Club certificate / SECOND PLACE –  $150 Grad Club certificate / THIRD PLACE – $100 Grad Club certificate. Wowza, that’s a lot of beer and nachos for post-race cool down…

ALL participants (except winners) receive $5 Grad Club certificate.

Top 3 winning teams receive complementary tickets to the SOGS BON FIRE NIGHT event. 


IGSIC Goes to Global Cafe (3:00-5:00pm in the IGAB Atrium). FREE. The International Graduate Student Issues Committee (IGSIC) attends and sponsors the IESC’s Global Cafe as a way to welcome and connect with incoming and returning international graduate students. Trivia Contest to win prizes!


Know Your Union (PSAC 610(5:00-7:00-pm @ the Grad Club). FREE.

Come out and enjoy appetizers and refreshments so you can get to know your Graduate Student Union!


Want to eat summertime foods like corn on the cob, hotdogs, s’mores, and movie theatre popcorn? Want to stare into the depths of a bon fire while you imbibe? Want to watch a screening of Shrek, the ogre pal you wish you had?

If you said yes to two or more of these questions, the SOGS annual BONFIRE NIGHT at the Grad Club is the event for you.

$5 tickets can be purchased at the SOGS office. Hurry before it’s too late.


Friday, September 14

Indigenous Graduate Student Meet & Greet (12:30-3:00pm). FREE. Lunch at Indigenous Services to welcome you to the space and then a Tour of the SOGS Office (Middlesex College, Room 8) and the Grad Club! Register here.




EVERY WEDNESDAY (Starting September 12)



October 1 – 6

Saturday, October 6

If you’ve always wanted to see one of the natural wonders of the world but haven’t had the chance, this is the trip for you. A bus departing the front of Middlesex College at 8:30am will take you to Niagara Falls and bring you back for at 6pm. Tickets are $20, which covers the cost of the bus. Once in Niagara Falls you will be on your own, free to explore what the city and the falls has to offer. If you’re not sure what to do once there, please visit the Niagara Tourism website.

SOGS will provide a small snack bag and bottle of water for the bus.


Tuesday, October 9

Attention all INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE STUDENTS: IGSIC is hosting a bowling night at Bowlerama Royale from 7-9pm. $10 tickets can be purchased at the SOGS office. Ticket includes 2-hours of bowling and shoe rental.

Students will make their own way to the location (take the #2B bus).



ATTENTION ALL GRADUATE STUDENTS!!! Do you want to give back to your student government? Do you want to try your hand at being involved with SOGS at the executive level? Are you politically-minded? If so, please be advised that the election for VP Advocacy and VP Student Services will take place at September council. If you want to run for either one of these executive positions, please send the SOGS Speaker, L. Wong ( your 1-page candidate statement/platform by September 18th.



Want to work at SOGS and advocate for your peers at Western? Run for Vice-President Advocacy. Position held October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019. This is a compensated position.

Portfolio of VP Advocacy includes, but is not limited to: working with and overseeing the SOGS Equity, Sustainability, Graduate Student Issues, and Graduate Peer Support committees; contributing to graduate student life by planning events like the annual Household Donation Drive, as well as overseeing SOGS weekly Graduate Peer Support drop–in; and attending monthly council and delivering reports about the VP Advocacy position.

To know more about the specifics of the VP Advocacy position, please refer to the SOGS Constitution and Bylaws document (p. 20-22). Have questions? Feel free to contact our current VP Advocacy, Vanessa Lilly (, or the SOGS President, Mary Blake Rose (



Want to work at SOGS and contribute to the quality of life of your peers at Western? Run for Vice-President Student Services. Position held October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019. This is a compensated position.

Portfolio of VP Student Services includes, but is not limited to: overseeing the SOGS Health Plan, International Graduate Student Issues, and Orientation and Social committees; contributing to graduate student life by planning fall orientation events; run Graduate Student Wellness week in October; meet with Western stakeholders to improve graduate student services; and attend monthly council and delivering reports about the VP Student Services position.

To know more about the specifics of the VP Student Services position, please refer to the SOGS Constitution and Bylaws document (p. 20-22). Have questions? Feel free to contact our current VPSS, Madison Bettle (, or the SOGS President, Mary Blake Rose (


SOGS council:

WANT TO REPRESENT YOUR DEPARTMENT AT SOGS MONTHLY COUNCIL? If so, please get nominated by either a executive member of your graduate student association/  or / by 4 of your peers if your department does NOT have a graduate student association.

Here is the 2018-19 councillor nomination form. Please submit these to the SOGS office.  

When your department’s representative attends council each month (except for December), your department accrues money for each of the 11 council sessions. This fund of money is paid out in January of each year, in the form of a cheque, to your department’s graduate student association (or department if there is no graduate student association). These funds can be used, for example, to pay for social events and scholarly activities within your own department. The more your representative(s) attends council, the more grant funds your department will receive. If your department doesn’t participate at council, you don’t get any money.

Please be advised the SOGS determines your department’s number of representatives by enrolment numbers, which we won’t have until the end of September. In the mean time, it is *probably* safe for you to look at the 2017-18 numbers in the interim here.

More information about SOGS council. 


SOGS committees:




ATTENTION INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: Need stuff for your apartment? Don’t worry, SOGS has you covered. After a month of donations from across campus, SOGS is pleased to announce that it will distribute the hoard of gently used household items on SEPTEMBER 17 from 11am to 2pm at the SOGS office (Middlesex College room 8). FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED.

SOGS will announce the winning department of the drive (Prize: $200 Grad Club gift card) at the Meet Your Grad Club event on September 12.



If you know an AMAZING teaching assistant who taught in the SUMMER 2018 TERM, please nominate them and fill out our survey. Students, faculty, and staff may nominate TAs (one nomination per TA per nominator). In the Spring 2019 term, SOGS and SGPS, and PSAC local 610 will host the GSTA Award ceremony with a fancy lunch and a monetary prize for each winner.Vote for your favourite GTA here. More information about the GSTA awards hereVOTE UNTIL SEPTEMBER 15, 2018, 11:59PM. 


SOGS ONLINE FALL BURSARY: Apply online. Deadline: September 30, 2018 at 11:59pm.


SOGS Services:




  • Katherine Anne MacCormack
  • Christina Chung
  • Summer Thorp

Pick up your prize (GC voucher) at the SOGS office!


What anniversary is SOGS celebrating? (Email your answer to





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