September 2015

SOGS Update, the official monthly electronic newsletter from SOGS, keeps you up to date on issues and events affecting graduate students at The University of Western Ontario. If you are looking for previous issues of SOGS Update please contact the office.

For updates on events, issues and discussion relevant to graduate students and Western between editions of the newsletter, consider the following options:

Do you have a news item or announcement you would like to have included in the next SOGS Update? Email for more information!


Items in this month’s newsletter: 

SOGS Studentcare Banner

Important Term Deadlines

Health Plan Opt-IN and Opt-OUT deadline is September 30, 2015.
Opt-IN forms must be completed and submitted along with payment to the SOGS office by the deadline.  Forms can be found in the SOGS office or online:
Opt-OUTs must be completed online by the deadline:

Fall 2015 SOGS Bursaries’ deadline is September 30, 2015.
Applications must be completed by the deadline online:

Temporary Change to SOGS General Inquiries Email

It has come to our attention that some students are having issues contacting us through the email address. We had attempted to set-up mail forwarding while our office manager is on vacation, and it is sadly not working as well as had been hoped.

Until September 30, we advise that you use the alternate contact email for any general inquiries.

Post-residency & Post-funding Fees Survey

The post-residency and post-funding fees survey is open through September 15, 2015.

In 2014, over 1400 Western graduate students participated in a referendum that asked whether or not the Society of Graduate Students should pursue the implementation of post-residency fees at Western. The answer was a resounding “Yes.” We are continuing to strive to achieve this mandate. Post-residency fees are common practices at most universities in Canada. The implementation of this tuition structure varies, but the general principle is that once students have completed their coursework and have defended their dissertation prospectus they no longer pay full tuition.

Equity Resource Fair

You’re invited to the very first Equity Resource Fair brought to you by your SOGS Equity Committee. Join us on on Oct 14 from 1:00pm – 5:00pm in the International and Graduate Affairs Building atrium for an afternoon of snacks, poster presentations from your fellow graduate students and to meet the many wonderful resources available to you at Western and in the London community. We want to connect you with resources to assure your overall well-being is supported and taken care of beyond your academics!

More information regarding the resource fair will be made available later this month. This is a drop-in event open to all students. Any questions please email Melanie Stone or Taniya Nagpal


Call for SOGS Executive and Officer Nominations

Nominations for several SOGS Executive and Officer positions are now open, to be elected at September Council. By-elections will be help for the positions of VP Academic and Ombudsperson, along with regularly scheduled elections for VP Finance and VP Student Services.

For more information, or to nominate yourself for any position, please contact SOGS President, Tamara Hinan (

All nominations must be sent in by 5pm on Tuesday, September 15th.

Call for New Members for SOGS Policy Committee

Our work draws on the expertise of students from across different faculties with rewarding networking and professional development opportunities within the society. The committee’s current priority involves compiling an official policy manual for SOGS along with supporting project initiatives of other committees.
All interested graduate students who would like to join the SOGS Policy Committee for the 2015-2016 academic year, kindly get in touch with Andi Ghosh (Chair) at

Call for Volunteers for Child Minding Program for SOGS Council & Committee Meetings

Call for volunteers! Join us in forming the very first Informal Child Minding program for SOGS council and committee meetings. Be a support for your fellow peers by volunteering to provide free childminding so students who have parental responsibilities can still participate in evening council and committee meetings. You’ll have the opportunity to help kick start this program and of course work with children.

For more information please email, if you’re interested in volunteering please email Taniya Nagpal at to get started with the registration process. Commitment is only 1-2 hours a month. Thank you!

“What is Feminism” Discussion Group Series & the Women’s Concerns Commission

Thank you to everyone who attended the last What is Feminism discussion group, discussing Feminism in the Classroom and Workplace! We will be hosting our third discussion this semester so stay tuned for more information.

In the mean time if you would like to join the Women’s Concerns Commission please email Taniya Nagpal at we would love to have you on board!

SOGS International Exchange Banner

ISIC Cards

ISIC card distribution is tentatively scheduled for September 16 & 17 in the Grad Club. More details will be shared here and on social media as they are confirmed. Be sure to bring your student card!

Psst… did you know that your student ID or ISIC ID, when paired with proof of address such as a utility bill or “correspondence issued by a school, college or university”, can be used as proof of identity for voting

Household Item Raffle at the International Students Social

To all new International Graduate Students: On September 23rd during your social hosted by the International Graduate Students Issues Committee, we have a wonderful gift for you from your fellow graduate students! This past summer, graduate students collected household items such as toasters, comforters, blenders and more to donate to our International Graduate Students and Families Drive! We know that coming to Canada and the Western community must be a big change, and your peers want to support you during this transition. When you arrive at the social, these items will be available for you to pick up based on a raffle system so please arrive early to get your number. If you have any questions please email Taniya Nagpal See you there!

Thank you to all those who donated, your donations will be distributed on the 23rd and have also been distributed in the Platts Lane Community to support our students with families! Congratulations to the Chemistry Department for bringing in the most donations, you’ve won a Night at the Grad Club.


Queer Caucus Social

Graduate students, faculty and staff! Join Queer Caucus in kicking off a new school year at the Grad Club on Wednesday September 23rd at 4:30 PM.

Bring a friend, bring your partner(s)!

Welcome to any romantic, sexual and gender minority, as well as allies. This is a safe space event.

Help us out and RSVP to Lisa ( or Kristianne (

If you’re not already on the Queer Caucus mailing list and would like to be included, please email Susan Knabe ( or Wendy Pearson  (


SOGS Campus Recreation Banner


Healthy Living with Dr. Shauna Burke

On September 23rd the Western Canadian Obesity Network invites you to bring your lunch and join a discussion about healthy living. Dr. Shauna Burke will be providing the talk at 11:45am in the Chu Centre at the International and Graduate Affairs Building. Great opportunity to network with other graduate students!

RSVP or send any inquires to

Columbia Sports Employee Store Discount

Western University Society of Graduate Students (SOGS) and staff are invited to access the Columbia Sports Employee Store from September 21st – October 25th, 2015!

What’s there and what are my savings?

  • Employee store pricing averages 50% off MSRP (wholesale).
  • Includes all brands in the Columbia Sportswear family of brands
  • 14,000 sq. feet of each brand’s most popular styles and sizes.
  • prAna is our newest brand to join the Columbia portfolio
  • FALL product is NOW in the store.  Be sure to come early and visit the store often to get the best selection on styles and sizing!

How do I participate / how do I get these deals?

  • Show a copy of the invite letter (available online) at the reception desk upon entry.  You may reuse the invitation as often as you wish during this time frame.
  • Show your 2015/16 Western Bus Pass & Western student ID card.
  • This invite is non-transferable but you are welcome to bring your family with you (up to 4 guests).

What are the location & hours?

1425 Max Brose Dr. London Ontario, N6N 0A2
Hours:  M-Fri. 10-7 pm | Sat. 10-6 pm | Sun. 11-5 pm

 SOGS Pharmacy Banner

Orientation and Social Committee (OSC) Public Events

Fall Orientation

Wednesday, September 16

Pick up your $2 OFF BEAVERTAIL COUPON @ The Grad Club @ 2pm

Board Game Night @ The Grad Club @ 6pm – Drinks and Food! 

Thursday, September 17

NEW STUDENT PARTY @ The Grad Club – Buffet dinner, games, and prizes!

Tickets are $5 and can be picked up @ the SOGS Office (UCC 260) 

Friday, September 18

Grad Club Olympics: FREE Registration @ Teams of four (4) compete for prizes!

Bonfire Night @ The Grad Club – Hot dog, corn on the cob, smores, prizes & screening of SHAUN OF THE DEAD! Tickets are $3 and can be picked up @ the SOGS Office (UCC 260).

Upcoming Events

The OSC is currently selling tickets to the London Knights Home Opener on September 25 ($19.50 each) and Western Mustangs Homecoming (Football) on September 26 ($25 each). Tickets can be purchased at the SOGS Office (UCC 260).

To stay up-to-date on upcoming events, please like the OSC’s Facebook page:

For more information about the above events, please contact


International Students Fall BBQ

For International Graduate Students Only

The International Graduate Student Issues Committee (IGSIC) is hosting a Fall BBQ on September 23, 6:30pm @ The Grad Club. Tickets are $5 (guests welcome: $10). IGSIC is also hosting a trip to Niagara Falls on October 17. Tickets are $25 (transportation). All tickets can be purchased in the SOGS Office (UCC 260). International students, please join the Facebook group for future events:

The BBQ will also feature a household item raffle.

For more information on any of the above, please email

Board Game Night

Every third Wednesday of the Month the OSC is hosting Boardgame night starting at 6:00PM. You can purchase a bottle of Bud Light, Shock Top or Goose Island IPA for $3.50.



At the Grad ClubGrad Club 

Look for our ad in The Gazette
for coupons and discounts

Dinner & Movie
Purchase one of our dinner special
and you can purchase a Western Film movie
for $3.50. Voucher is good for any movie.

Monday Dart Night at The Grad Club
Starting September 14th at 8:00PM
Prizes and fun

Board Game Night

Every third Wednesday of the Month the OSC is hosting Boardgame night starting at 6:00PM. You can purchase a bottle of Bud Light, Shock Top or Goose Island IPA for $3.50.

Fall Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday – 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM (midnight)
Saturday – closed
Sunday – closed.

The Grad Club will open on weekends for events or conferences
Call 519-661-2111 ext 86386 or e-mail to set up your event.

Free parking after 7:30 PM.

Get Your VanHoutte Coffee Card

Buy ten coffees and get one free.


Trivia Tuesday: 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Come early to get a good seat

Every Thursday: Mill St presents Rick McGhie – 8:00 PM start

Lunch Specials

Tuesday – 11:30am – 1:30PM
Pad Thai or Buffalo Chicken Wrap – vegetarian options available

Wednesday – 11:30am – 1:30PM – $10.25 one trip
Indian Buffet (South Asian Cuisine)

Thursday – 11:30am – 1:30pm – $8.50
Create your own Pasta; gluten free pasta available

Friday – 11:30AM – 1:30PM
Patio BBQ 

You can find all of our lunch and dinner specials on the Grad Club website

Book the Goblet

To reserve The Goblet of Knowledge for your upcoming defense party, call Marc 519-661-2111 ext 86386.

SOGS Hospitality Services


Each month, SOGS hosts a trivia contest featuring information from our annual day planner or our website. Correct answers are entered into a drawing and five students will win a certificate to the Grad Club! Please email your response to by September 30. Winners can pick up their GC certificates in the SOGS office during regular office hours, and their names will be posted in next month’s newsletter.

September Question:

This newsletter calls for nominations for four SOGS positions. Which sections in the Bylaws  describe the duties of these four positions?

August Winners:

Congratulations to our August winners:

  • Taylor Strande
  • Amanda Lynn Evans
  • Kristen Wallentinsen
  • Arman Didandeh
  • Sonja Teichert
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