March 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 Vice-President Elections
  • We’re Hiring! Job Opportunity with SOGS
  • Free Tax Filing
  • Columbia Sportswear Employee Store Invitation
  • VRCADIA SOGS Member Discount
  • SOGS Funding Opportunities
  • SOGS Support Programs
  • Academic Life: Opportunities & Initiatives
  • International Women’s Day Events
  • Political Events
  • Campus Events
  • Campus Events: International Students
  • Monthly Trivia 

SOGS Vice-Presidential Elections

Want to be more involved with SOGS? Want to be an active member of the executive team? Want to give back to your peers and help make graduate student life at Western University the best it can be? At April council next month all Vice-President positions will be up for election! Elected candidates will take office on May 1, 2019. Executive positions are paid and run for 12-months (until April 30, 2020). To nominate yourself, email:

Learn more about each Vice-President position here: Not enough information? Email our current president, Mary Blake Rose at, and she will be happy to answer all of your questions. If you want position-specific information, email the current Vice-President corresponding to the position (see below).You can also pop in to the SOGS office (MC, rm 8) and the office staff will also be more than happy to talk with you about how SOGS.

The Vice President Academic ( co-ordinates a number of academic programs and services offered by the Society, including the Western Research Forum, and the Graduate Student Teaching Awards. This VP also meets regularly with the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Students, and with other university bodies, to discuss academic issues and concerns. The Academic Committee, Graduate Student Teaching Awards Committee, and the Gradcast Editorial Board operate in this VP’s portfolio.

The Vice President Advocacy ( works with and oversees the SOGS Equity, Sustainability, Graduate Student Issues, and Graduate Peer Support committees. The VP Advocacy portfolio focuses on graduate student issues, equity concerns, accessibility and inclusivity and improved partnerships with campus and community partners, including the Canadian Federation of Students. This VP contributes to graduate student life by planning Graduate Student Wellness week in October with VP Student Services and oversees SOGS weekly Graduate Peer Support drop-in.

The Vice President Finance (finance@sogs.cahas primary oversight over the finances of the Society. This VP works with the Society’s Accounting Manager and external accountant to manage the Society’s finances and prepares the annual budget. This VP also oversees the operation of the Grad Club, our graduate student pub, and administers various financial aid programs. The Finance Committee, Grad Club Committee, and the Bursary and Subsidy Committee operate in this VP’s portfolio. 

The Vice President Student Services oversees the SOGS Health Plan, International Graduate Student Issues, and Orientation and Social committees. This VP contributes to graduate student life by planning fall orientation events, works with VP Advocacy to run Graduate Student Wellness week in October, and meets with Western stakeholders to improve graduate student services.

Job Opportunity with SOGS

Need some extra cash? Want to learn more about SOGS student government? SOGS is hiring a graduate student for a part-time, limited term contract. The successful candidate will update our Motions Database (i.e., data entry) at their own pace to suit their own schedule! SOGS will not set the hours you work, you will!

How to apply: Submit a Statement of Interest (250-words) to and by 4pm on March 20.

Free Tax Filing!

Need to file your taxes, but don’t want to pay someone to do it? Do it yourself! Because SOGS is Local #47 of the Canadian Federation of Students, SOGS members get to file their taxes for FREE with!  Use code: CFS1981.

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. Locate 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 or

Columbia Sportswear Employee Store Invitation

Columbia Sportswear is offering employee store pricing to SOGS members from March 8 – 31, 2019.

Bring up to 4 guests with you! Get to the store on your own. Bring your student ID and show this invitation.

Don’t have a car? Don’t worry – you can take the LTC bus to the store!  If you’re on campus, take the #10 Wonderland Road bus from Natural Science (stop #1222) to White Oaks Mall (stop #2733). From the mall (stop #3016), take #30 Cheese Factory Road via Newbold bus to Commerce at Max Brose (stop #2613) and walk 3 mins to 1425 Max Brose Drive! See the bus map here. To plan your off-campus trip, use the LTC’s Trip Planner on their website.  *PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THERE HAVE BEEN SOME ROAD CLOSURES AND YOU SHOULD DOUBLE CHECK GOOGLEMAPS*

Columbia Sportswear Employee Store
1425 Max Brose Drive
London, ON
N6N 0A2

VRCADIA: SOGS Members Discount

Want to try Virtual Reality gaming but think it’s too expensive? VRCADIA is offering SOGS members a $5 discount off the price of an hourly rate! Come to the SOGS Office (MC, rm 8) and grab your discount card. Bring your UWO ID card + the discount card to VRCADIA for $5 off. One per student per visit.

SOGS Funding Opportunities

If you have a child in daycare, lived out of town as a result of a mandatory professional placement, and/or travelled to present your research at a conference or to complete research for your thesis, consider applying for one of our SOGS subsidies.

How to apply: 

  • download the corresponding application form(s) (childcare, professional placement + letter template for the placement, and travel) and fill it out
  • collect all your original receipts
  • drop off your application in hardcopy before the deadline to the SOGS office (Middlesex College, room 8)

The Bursaries and Subsidy committee will review and adjudicate applications in May. You will be notified via email regarding the status of your application in the spring.

Please note that because these are subsidies, SOGS cannot accept applications without original receipts. This means that SOGS cannot fund childcare, professional placements, or travel prior to you attending/paying for expenses associated with each application.

SOGS Support Programs

Need someone to talk to about life, grad school, mental/physical self-care, or anything else? The Graduate Peer Support committee hosts Graduate Peer Support Drop-in each Tuesday from 5:30-6:30pm in Middlesex College, room 17. All are welcome.

Don’t want to write at home where distraction and procrastination live? Don’t have a great on-campus workspace? Come and write with us! SOGS hosts a weekly dissertation drop-in whereby you can come and go and work at your own pace. Bonus: The Grad Club is across the hall where you can get all the snacks and drinks, plus they always have a weekly lunch special! Please note: This is not a workshop, this is a drop-in where you can work and write at your own pace.

Do you want to host a wellness event for graduate students in your department? SOGS can help: Apply for the Wellness Joint Fund, and SOGS can help pay some of the costs associated (up to $250 per event). Events can be on or off campus. Applications are due at least 30 days prior to the event.

“Wellness event” is a loose term: This can mean something obvious like hosting a yoga class or bringing a guest speaker in to teach/speak about some form of wellness, mindfulness and/or self-care, but it can also be something less traditional like a social event that brings students together out of the lab/office for some much-needed fun away from research/thesis/lab work.

How to apply:

Need a temporary loan? Have an emergency? SOGS can loan its members in good standing up to $1000 interest-free for an emergency. Fill out the application form and bring it to the SOGS office.

Please note that in order for SOGS to release the loan to a member, it must obtain post-dated cheques from the applicant (one post-dated cheque for funds under $1000 with a repayment schedule of one month, and three post-dated cheques for loans of $1000 with a repayment schedule of three months).

Academic Life: Opportunities and Initiatives

SOGS Annual Western Research Forum!


Want to give feedback regarding your experience at Western in your graduate program? This year Western University is hosting the Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey (CGPSS). Email invitations to complete the survey have been/will be sent to your official UWO email address. Help make grad life better for future students.

Coding, Decoding, Recoding: The 21st Annual Graduate Student Conference presented by Comparative Literature, Hispanic Studies, and Theory & Criticism. All are welcome to attend.

WSRC Needs Graduate Student/Post-doc Judges

The Western Student Research Conference (WSRC) is looking for graduate student and post-doctoral judges to adjudicate undergraduate research presentations. WSRC is Western’s annual undergraduate, multidisciplinary conference that showcases undergraduate research being conducted across the province. The WSRC will take place on March 29, 2019 in the Physics & Astronomy Building and University College.

The WSRC is currently looking for MA, PhD and post-docs (as well as faculty) to be conference judges for the following presentation times on the 29th:

  • 10:00am-12:00pm
  • 1:00pm-2:00pm
  • 2:00pm-2:30pm

Lunch will be provided! If you are interested, fill out this Google Form. If you have any questions, email:

Competition open for Canadians: Foreign Government Awards Program – Korea, 2019-2020

The Government of the Republic of Korea is offering scholarships at the Master’s and PhD level for study or research in a variety of fields including Korean studies, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering. Scholarships are tenable from September 1, 2019.

  • Program name: Foreign Government Awards Program – Korea
  • Funding organization: Government of the Republic of Korea
  • Target audiences: Canadian students and researchers
  • Number of scholarships: 6
  • Duration: 2 years at the Master’s level and 3 years at the doctoral level
  • Inclusions: Airfare, tuition fees, language training, living allowance, and other eligible expenses
  • Deadline: March 22, 2019

For program and application details, visit: Foreign Government Awards Program – Korea. Read a testimonial from a former recipient.

All inquiries regarding this scholarship program should be directed to: or 613-237-4820.

Subscribe to the International Scholarships RSS feed to be kept informed of competition launch dates and other news relating to the International Scholarships Program of Global Affairs Canada.

International Women’s Day Events

IWD Trivia at the Grad Club

We want to celebrate women and transgender women of the past, present and future this International Women’s Day. Join us for a trivia game about influential women and transgender women from around the world. Share stories about your favourite women and transgender women. There will be appetizers and pitchers of beer to share.

This is also a forum at which female and female-identifying grad students can share issues and concerns with the SOGS Women’s Concerns Commissioner, Jackie Reed.

Friday, March 8 | 7:30-10:30pm @ The Grad Club


Join the USC and The Gender Equality Network for US-SHE an international women’s day celebration on Friday, March 8, 7pm @ The Wave in the UCC. Tickets: $15. More information here. Tickets are on sale in the UCC this week.

Political Events:

Province Wide Student Walk Out

SOGS, which is Local #47 of the Canadian Federation of Students, will be participating in the CFSON Student Walk Out.

WHEN: Wednesday, March 20 at 12 pm (noon)


Join students from across the province in a walk out on Wednesday March 20 at 12 pm to demonstrate to the Ontario government that we will not tolerate their attacks on students.

Students are walking out of the classes and calling on the government to:

• Provide More Grants NOT loans,
• Eliminate Tuition Fees for ALL Students,
• Increase Public Funding for Public Education,
• Protect Students’ Independent Voices, and
• Demand the Right to Organize.


Jeff Yurek (PC), MPP St. Thomas, has supported Doug Ford’s cuts to OSAP. We need MPPs to know that fighting against students is a losing battle. We stand for universal free education with no upfront costs, debt forgiveness for everyone who holds student loans, and the legal right for students to organize. Education is a right, for everyone.

Students will be demonstrating at Yurek’s office on Friday March 8th at 11:30 a.m. There is a bus leaving Western, and another bus leaving Fanshawe at 11 on Friday March 8th. Call 519-452-4205 or e-mail to reserve a seat. Return time will approximately be 1:30 p.m.


Campus Events:


Campus Events: International Students

Join Western International to learn more about the Canadian Tax system, how to files your taxes and what documents are needed, what are the benefits, and more!

Please register here:

Monthly Trivia

February Trivia Winners:

  • Tom Gagen
  • Vanessa Sperduti
  • Nima Nalin

Congrats to the trivia winners! Please come to the SOGS office to pick up your prize of a voucher for the Grad Club.

March trivia question: What is SOGS’ Canadian Federation of Students local number? (Hint: It’s listed in this month’s newsletter)

Email your answer to: Correct answers will be entered to win a $10 gift card for the Grad Club.







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