Who We Are

Over the years, SOGS has evolved, growing in membership and expanding its services and benefits to consistently enhance graduate student quality of life at Western University. Started in 1963, SOGS was initially a social club that hosted a weekly pub night in the attic of Somerville House. Today, SOGS is so much more; it is a student government, an advocacy organization, and a student union.

Student Government

SOGS is a democratic student government that entrusts elected Executive Officers and Council members with running the Society’s day-to-day and long-term affairs. SOGS Council represents all faculties and departments at Western University. SOGS is accountable to its membership.

Advocacy Organization

As a not-for-profit organization, SOGS negotiates and operates core services, such as the graduate student health & dental plan and bus pass program. It also engages in advocacy initiatives in order to ensure the best #GradLifeWesternU possible.

Historically, SOGS has always been an advocate, representing graduate student interests on- and off- campus, working with local, government, and university officials. To ensure SOGS advocates for its diverse membership, SOGS Commissioners (Accessibility, Gender Concerns’, Indigenous, Pride, and Racial Equity and Inclusivity) connect with the specific constituency groups to bring issues and concerns about contemporary graduate student life to the forefront.

Student Union

Having joined the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), Canada’s largest student union, as Local 47 in the 1980s, SOGS is also a student union. By paying into CFS, SOGS members have a voice and collective representation at the national and provincial levels. SOGS stands in solidarity with 63 other student unions in Canada!

At Western, SOGS works with its sister organizations, PSAC 610 (TA union) and the University Students’ Council (USC; represents undergraduates) in order to better student life on campus.

What is #GradLifeWesternU?

Action. Support. Community.

SOGS endeavours to  represent graduate student interests on campus and create a safe, supportive, and active community for all members. In order to bring graduate students together from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds, SOGS hosts many subsidized social events throughout the year, often at the Grad Club.

SOGS also has a wide-variety of ways you can actively get involved and represent your interests on campus, such as:

  • joining one of its many committees,
  • becoming a councillor, and/or
  • being elected as an executive or non-executive officer