Welcome, and welcome back to one of the most beautiful campuses in the world! Today is page one of a new school year of graduate studies. UBC is where your commitment to learning is strengthened and refined. It is the place where graduate students transition into decision makers and leaders who work hard to make this world a better place to live. But this is not easy, it’s not supposed to be – there will be challenging times, moments of frustration, eagerness to get out of the lab, class, study-room.
I must share with you that, not very long ago I had the same excitement about the journey you all are going here. A journey in which you will face new challenges, learn new skills, meet new people from all over the world and make new friends, find life partners, this journey will be what you want to make of it. There will be surprises all along the way. Remember: Magic happens when we meet people.
The Graduate Student Society (GSS) is driven by graduate students. We organize student led events, we represent students in pressing university issues, and we lobby for policies in the provincial and federal government. In the GSS we strive to create a community that is inclusive, diverse, and responsive to the needs of graduate students. Making new friends, implementing new ideas, organizing successful events, giving back to the community or start a political career, these are few among many reasons that motivated our previous members. Find your reason and step up to be part of this amazing society.
Last, each graduate student has a different journey, but no matter where we go, no matter where we come from, and no matter how long we stay, we must first acknowledge the place we are in. The UBC campus was built on unceded land. As we begin this new journey, let us be reminded that the land we stand on is the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Musqueam people. We are all grateful visitors on this place, and with all the knowledge, wisdom and experience we receive on this land, we will shape the beautiful future of the generations to come.