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Committees + Taskforces

GSS committees work to enhance graduate student life at UBC. Each focuses on a specific part of the society’s day-to-day operations and allow you to have a say in how we run different parts of our work. If you’re interested in the events we run, you can join the Services Committee. If you want to understand more about finance and accounting, then there’s the House Finance Committee. Alongside the specific areas of work being part of a Committee has other benefits like:


  • Making connections with grad students from other programs.
  • Developing teamwork and leadership
  • Improving your administrative skills
  • Helping you understand student government
  • Provide evidence of these skills for your CV

All the committee meetings are open to current UBC graduate students. You can join a Committee or if there are no vacancies on the Committee that you are interested in, you are welcome to attend meetings as a non-voting member.

  • If you’d like to join a committee or for more information, please email aa@gss.ubc.ca.

Notes: The GSS President is an ex-officio member of all committees (except for the Executive Oversight Committee). By default, the committees are chaired by the respective GSS Student Executive member; the GSS Council may appoint a different chair as needed.

Our Committees

+Code and Policy
We review the GSS Constitution, Bylaws, and Policy Manual to make sure they’re up to date and effective. These are the documents that define how the GSS operates. Having well-written bylaws and policies help the society run effectively and make sure we reflect our members’ opinions. We work on a wide range of projects, for example we’ve just finished making changes to the Society’s bylaws to make sure we comply with changes to the law in British Columbia.

We’re always interested in hearing from students who would like to join us or find out more about our work.

Working with us you can:

  • Gain experience interpreting policy.
  • Make sure the Societies policies and goals are aligned.
  • Help make sure the society has policy documents that provide a clear framework for discussion and decision making.
  • Get an understanding of how not for profit organizations operate

Time requirements

The Committee meets once a month and meetings last around 2 hours.

+Academic and External Affairs Committee
We tackle a host of academic and personal issues that are important to the lives of graduate students at UBC. These include mental and physical wellness, supervision and funding.

In particular we work to organize, administer and analyze the annual GSS Student Satisfaction Survey. We endeavor to improve the quality of data each year by refining the questions, trying to maximize participation and conducting detailed analysis. We’re also there to help the Society lobby effectively within the University and outside.

We’re always interested in hearing from students who would like to join us or find out more about our work, particularly if you’re interested in statistics and data analysis.

Working with us you can:

  • Tackle academic and personal issues that are important to graduate students
  • Get an understanding of higher education policy on the university, provincial and federal levels
  • Get experience of data analysis and preparing surveys
  • Develop teamwork and leadership skills
  • Get a better understanding of student government

+Elections Committee
We run the GSS’s annual society elections and referenda, organising online voting for GSS membership, publicising candidate nominations and helping candidates navigate the elections process. We have completed the organisation of the GSS referendum (September 2018), which amended our constitution and bylaws, as to bring them in line with the new BC Societies Act.

We are always interested in hearing from students who would like to join us or to find out more about our work. The contact information is elections@gss.ubc.ca

Working with us you can:

  • Get experience of organizing and running elections
  • Get experience of how to engage students in marketing and promotional activities
  • Actively participate in student democracy
  • Engage with graduate students
  • Develop teamwork and leadership skills
  • Get a better understanding of student government

The monthly time commitment for Elections committee is:

  • 3 hours (2 hours for monthly meeting and 1 hour for communication activities) outside election periods
  • 6 hours (2 hours for biweekly meeting and 2 hours for elections organization activities) during elections seasons (January to April)

+Governance and Accountability
Governance and Accountability Committee

We ensure that the GSS runs effectively as an organization by meeting the goals of our strategic plan. We oversee the performance of all other GSS standing committees and the Financial and Executive Oversight Officer to safeguard the long-term health of the society.

We also perform an on-going review of the governance structure of the GSS, identifying gaps and proposing solutions and improvements.

We’re always interested in hearing from students who would like to join us or find out more about our work.

Working with us you can:

  • Get an understanding of student government and have the possibility to interact with multiple bodies of the GSS.
  • Get experience of organizational strategic planning and goal setting.
  • Get experience of monitoring and evaluation of organizational goals.
  • Learn about corporate governance of non-profit societies.
  • Develop teamwork and leadership skills

+Executive Oversight Committee
We provide constructive performance review of our elected executive and help resolve any concerns or problems about the way the executive functions.

Working with us you can:

  • Help make sure the GSS runs smoothly
  • Get practical experience of student government
  • Acquire teamwork and leadership skills

+House Finance Committee
We work to ensure the financial stability and accountability of the GSS. We organize the annual audit, prepare and monitor the budget, and create the annual business plan. In addition to all matters financial, we are also responsible for overseeing the use of the facilities of the Graduate Student Centre.

Working with us you can:

  • Gain experience of managing budgets and financial procedures
  • Gain an understanding of how not for profit organisations operate
  • Play a role in deciding how the GSS spends its resources
  • Develop teamwork and leadership skills

+Human Resources
We ensure that the Society’s staffing needs are met, by taking an active part in recruitment. We also make sure that permanent and student staff are receiving appropriate evaluation.

Working with us you can:

  • Gain experience of human resources, including staff recruitment and planning
  • Make sure the GSS has the right staff to support students on campus
  • Develop teamwork and leadership skills
  • Give you an understanding of how not for profit organisations operate

+Services
We plan programs and events for the Society. At the GSS this can mean anything from laser tag and wine tours to professional development events or language classes. We always try to ensure that what we organize enhances the campus and community experience of UBC graduate students and their families.

Working with us you can:

  • Help shape the events we run for graduate students
  • Get experience planning and budgeting for events
  • Develop teamwork and leadership skills
  • Give you an understanding of how not for profit organisations operate

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Join our Committees