November 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!


Need a new date night option? Want to learn how to cook a fancy vegetarian meal? Need a break from all that dissertating? Join the Orientation and Social committee for a night of culinary fun at the Loblaws at Masonville. Cooking class is two-hours in duration, and you get to eat the food you make! Tickets are $20 per person. You can bring guests with you.


If you didn’t make it to the Columbia employee store in October, SOGS and Columbia Sportswear are arranging three bus trips from Middlesex College to the Columbia employee store in late November. To reserve your seat on one of the three buses, come to the SOGS office (MC room 8) and pay for your $2 ticket. See the SOGS website and Facebook for more information. You will get a paper invitation from the SOGS office when you reserve your bus ticket.

Please be advised that you are NOT permitted to bring any backpacks in the store – please leave them at home or in your office.


Monday, November 12: Want OHIP for all students? Think international students should have access to OHIP? Come to the short talk about the Fairness for International Students campaign with Canadian Federation of Students representatives.

Please note that CFS will be at the Grad Club all day on Monday, November 12 to discuss the Fairness for International Students campaign. 

Wednesday, November 14: If you are an international graduate student with plans to stay in Canada after the completion of your studies, come to the second SOGS immigration seminar this term and learn about the process from immigration specialist, lawyer Greg Willoughby of Only Immigration. Tickets are free, but must be reserved on Eventbrite. See Facebook for more details.



US Visa Information Session:

Wednesday November 14th

If you are planning on travelling to the U.S. or are interested in studying or working temporarily in the U.S., then you will not want to miss this presentation. It will cover different U.S. Visa classifications such as “B1/B2” (business/pleasure), “F & J” (student and exchange visitors), “H” (temporary worker) and “TN” (NAFTA professionals).

The presentation will be followed by a question and answer period. This session will be presented by representatives from the U.S. Consulate General in Toronto.

Click here for more Information and to register.




SOGS Graduate Student Teaching Assistant (GSTA) award survey will be open on December 1, 2018 and will close on January 15, 2019. Nominate a teaching assistant here (as of Dec 1).



SOGS, SGPS & Western Student Experience sponsor the Wellness Joint Fund, which provides the graduate community (graduate departments, graduate student associations/councils, graduate students, and faculty) funding and resources to host and plan wellness events. If you would like to plan a wellness event, and require some funding, please fill out the application, and email it to SOGS’ VP AdvocacyApplications are due at least 30 days prior to the planned event. 


  • Please note that all applications MUST include a letter or intent, a detailed budget, and a proposed schedule of the event.
  • Priority given to on campus events and those that benefit the most people.
  • Recipients are required to provide receipts and return unused funds within one month of the completion stated on the application.


The Thesis Completion Fund is a collaborative, one-time awards program between SOGS and Public Service Alliance of Canada Local 610 (PSAC 610) to help members of the Society of Graduate Students. Based on academic merit, research excellence, and financial need, its aim is to provide assistance to graduate students beyond the end of their funding packages. SOGS and PSAC 610 advocate for proper funding according to the needs of each graduate student.
*Applicants must be outside their funding period at the time of application submission*

Fill out the application form and submit it to the SOGS office (MC room 8) by December 7, 2018. For more information on the Thesis Completion Fund, visit the SOGS website.



If you have health care expenses to claim with the SOGS health plan insurer from the 2017-18 academic year, do so by November 29, 2018. Please note that you will have to submit your claims through the app (fastest route), or at the SOGS office (sent via Courier every Tuesday), or by mail on your own (note: due to rotating strikes at Canada Post, mail services have been delayed). If you need help submitting a claim, please visit the SOGS website.



If you want your opinion on Experiential Learning for graduate students at Western to be heard, fill out the feedback form. More information on EL at Western here. 

Interested in entrepreneurship but don’t have an idea?

Consider Proteus – a four-month long competition that challenges you to create a commercialization plan for 1 of 3 technologies developed out of Ontario’s research institutions. More information here. 

Looking to add value to your graduate degree and to your research? Join Western’s cohort of Graduate Student Innovation Scholars! Receive a participation award of $1,500. Apply your discipline-specific knowledge and develop expertise in entrepreneurship, commercialization and knowledge transfer with hands-on training. Apply your knowledge. Apply today.

How to apply

• Submit your CV, a 200-250-word statement of interest and a cover letter

• Supervisor’s sign-off

• Submit your application to

Applications can be submitted now and are due by midnight on Sunday, December 9, 2018.

Interviews will be conducted the week of December 17.

The program is expected to start in January.



  • Call for SOGS committee members & volunteers
    • Bursaries & Subsidies Committee – Students from the Arts & Humanities
    • Graduate Education Council: Education and Engineering need representatives.



October trivia winners: Seva Ioussoufovitch | Tristan Kuehn | Natasha DesRochers

November trivia question:

What are the two (2) funding opportunities advertised in this month’s trivia? (Name both.) Email your answer to 





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