February 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 Presidential Election Update
  • SOGS Annual General Meeting – February 12, 2019 @ 6pm, NCB room 117
  • SOGS Events
  • Academic Opportunities & Initiatives
  • SOGS Support Programs
  • Funding Opportunities
  • Campus Events
  • Campus Events: International Students
  • Local Events
  • Campus Resources
  • Free Tax Filing
  • SOGS Surveys
  • Monthly Trivia

2019 SOGS Presidential Election

Update (February 7, 2019): Election Results

Congratulations, Jina Kum! She will take on her new role as President of SOGS on May 1, 2019.

SOGS thanks both Wesam AbdElhamid Mohamed and Jina Kum for their robust and thoughtful campaigns.

Voter turnout: 638 (10.3%) of 6193 votes.
Jina Kum received 345 (54.6%) votes.
Wesam AbdElhamid Mohamed received 287 (45.4%) votes.
6 (0.9%) abstained.


Tuesday, February 5th (until 8pm) is the LAST day to vote for the next SOGS president. 

VOTE: https://westernuniversitysecretariat.simplyvoting.com/

Annual General Meeting

Each year SOGS hosts its Annual General Meeting (AGM). This is the council session where all SOGS members are welcome to attend, and will learn about what SOGS has been up to in the past year and what will be happening in the coming months. Additionally, the SOGS annual budget is voted on during the AGM.

If you want to attend, bring your UWO student ID with you to be signed in/verified as a SOGS member.

If you can’t attend, but want voting rights, each person in attendance can act as proxy for two (2) absent SOGS members.

Review the SOGS 2019 AGM package here. (Note: the proxy form is on the last page of the package. Fill it out and have your proxy bring it with them on the 12th.)

Social Events

Don’t have a car? Don’t worry – you can get to Boler Mountain on the London city bus! Quick route from Natural Science: https://goo.gl/maps/Ac5F2KvEGM22. For more information about bus routes, please visit: londontransit.ca

Notes: Helmets are provided. Dress appropriately. Make your own way to Boler via car or bus. Hot chocolate provided after tubing. Must be a minimum of 42 inches in height to ride. More information: https://www.bolermountain.com/tubing/.

Get your tickets at the SOGS office – Middlesex College, room 8. Cash only, please.

Academic Opportunities & Initiatives

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Want to publish non-academic writing and art? Consider getting in touch with PRISM: Western’s Queer Arts Magazine, which highlights queer expression. More information: https://www.facebook.com/prismUWO.


Visit the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences website to register or renew your membership today: https://csmb-scbm.ca/membership/.


Graduate Students! There is still time to submit an application to the 2019 CAGS Award for Outstanding Graduate Mentorship.

Outstanding mentors inspire their graduate students to be creative in their thinking, to push their research in new directions, and to make a positive impact on the future.

This award recognizes graduate faculty members with a record of excellent mentorship of graduate students under their supervision. A total of twelve (12) outstanding mentors will be profiled in this year’s competition, with the winner receiving a special prize package!

If a mentor has made a difference in your graduate student community, please consider nominating them today.

For more information regarding the prize, eligibility, and the nomination process, please visit our website: https://cags.ca/outstanding-graduate-mentorship/.

NOTE: Competition closes 5:00 PM (EST), 15 February 2019!


Interested in learning what Zotero can do? The FIMS Graduate Library is hosting a Zotero workshop on Tuesday, February 12th from 12:00pm – 1:00pm! Come to the FIMS Graduate Resource Library to sign up!

SOGS Support Programs

More information here.

Download the SOGS Emergency Loan application for here.

Download the application form here. More information on our website.

No pressure, just support. Come and hang with us in a stress-free, judgement-free space.

Funding Opportunities

If you are a part-time graduate student, this award might apply to you. More information: http://sogs.ca/awards/.


Have a wellness event you want to plan for your department? We can help! Find out more here.

Campus Events

Want to learn more about the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS)? (FYI: SOGS is local 57.) Need an International Student Identity Card (ISIC)? Want to get more active in the political climate affecting students? Join CFS at the Grad Club on February 12 & 13!

Special Coffee House event at the Grad Club in the evening of the 13th. Express yourself. Eat snacks. Get involved with the student movement.

More information here.


Your PSAC 610 local women’s committee will be hosting a town-hall-style meet and greet on February 6th from 7 PM – 10 PM at the GRAD CLUB. Come out to socialize, snack, and drink with your fellow TAs and postdocs, and to learn more about your rights and the opportunities available to you through Western. There will also be prizes and raffles available! Win tickets to a local Paint Night and Western’s own production of The Vagina Monologues!



Campus Events: International Students

Working in Canada (Regulations for International Students)

Date: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 | Time: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm | Location: International and Graduate Affairs Building | Room: Chu Centre, 2nd floor | Cost: Free

This IESC workshop will review immigration regulations that are related to international students which may allow you to work while you study in Canada. We will discuss on-campus and off-campus work, Co-op Work Permits, Post-Graduation Work Permits, and Open Work Permits for spouses of International Students. Information will be presented by an RCIC. | Register here!


International Graduate Students, are you interested in learning more about becoming a permanent resident of Canada? Join the Society of Graduate Students (SOGS) and the International and Exchange Student Centre (IESC) for this FREE Immigration Seminar. During this seminar you will learn more about the Express Entry system, Canada’s economic immigration programs, and the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).

Please register early as seating is limited! Register here.

Off-campus Community Events

Join amateur silkscreening master Megan Arnold at Good Sport on Saturday, February 9th between 12-4pm for a drop-in vegan-friendly edible screen-printed valentine workshop. Valentine design and all materials will be provided. Participation by donation, suggested $5 per valentine sheet. More information here.



Free Family Fun Night

Free Family Fun Night is an opportunity for all families to engage in hands-on learning and exploration at the London Children’s Museum. Exhibits and programs allow families to explore history, science, art and culture in a safe and inclusive environment.

Enjoy an evening of free admission. Spend quality time together as a family, learn something new, and of course, play!

DATES: February 7, 14, 21, and 28 from 5:00-8:00pm. More information here

Campus Resources

The Office of Human Research Ethics has an open door policy!  Through online resources and office hours, they are available to help.  At any stage of your project, don’t hesitate to reach out and discuss your questions.


FREE Tax Filing

The Canadian Federation of Students negotiated with UFile.ca to offer students free online tax filing.  Although the service starts at $15.95 per use, members of the Federation are provided with a code to access UFile.ca for free all year round.

Students can use UFile.ca to file taxes for their spouses, partners or dependents. The service is also available in French at impôtexpert.ca.

How to File

To file for free, members must:

  1. Sign in to a new or existing UFile account for the current tax year
  2. Enter tuition fees and months at school (must file T2202a)
  3. Local the “Special Offer” form in UFile’s left hand navigation
  4. Enter the special offer code: CFS1981

(note: entering the code CFS1981 at check-out will not discount the tax file, the student must enter the code in the Special Offer section.)

For the full instructions, please direct members to www.ufilefree.ca or www.impotexpertgratuit.ca.

SOGS Survey Results & Winners

Grad Club Committee Coffee Survey: Results TBA.

Winners: If you won a prize for filling out the coffee survey, please come to the SOGS Office (MC, rm 8) and pick up your Grad Club vouchers.


Graduate Student Issues survey:

  • 2017-2018 Graduate Student Issues Committee Surveyprimary concern was graduate student parking & supervisor issues.
  • Survey results
  • Conclusion:
    • Parking on campus is a headache for all students and visitors. For graduate students who commute, work off campus or have to drive children/family members, a lack of available parking spots is problematic. Main campus parking problem for graduate students: Western oversells its parking lot spots, which means spots are not guaranteed.
    • At Western the “student-supervisor relationship” is not well-defined, which means that this relationship varies across campus. Factors of this relationship: A supervisor’s style of mentorship and the student’s willingness to work under that framework. SGPS has a “license” system that limits how many students a professor can mentor, based on tracking: 1) how many of those students graduated on time and 2) how many complaints a faculty member receives from their students.


For more information about SOGS’ surveys, please visit our website.

Monthly Trivia

January Trivia Winners: 

  • Arzoo Sethi
  • Hema Sharma
  • Rebecca Dang

Please come to the SOGS office with your student ID to pick up your Grad Club gift voucher!

Which Western stakeholder is SOGS partnering with to present the upcoming Immigration Seminar?

Email sogs.communications@uwo.ca your answer.

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