RELEASE: GSS Recommends Reforms to UBC’s Board of Governors

on September 3, 2015
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Vancouver, BC – This morning, the Graduate Student Society of UBC Vancouver (GSS) addressed an open letter to Acting Board Chair Alice Laberge articulating the concerns of graduate students regarding the lack of transparency in the functioning of UBC’s Board of Governors. The letter also addresses the Board’s lack of communication and direct interaction with the Graduate Student Society.

The recent statement by the secretary of the Board denying the occurrence of a meeting of the Board of Governors, a vote of confidence by the Board in support of its Chair before the current fact-finding process was launched and had reported its findings, and discussion by the Board to ban all recordings at Board meetings are examples of what is concerning to graduate students about the practices of the board. The GSS does not believe that such practices reflect UBC values such as integrity, public interest, mutual respect, and equity.

“Overall communication by the Board to the GSS has been limited to one phone call and one letter in a span of at least three years,” states Tobias Friedel, President of the Graduate student society. “With student members of the Board having a fiduciary duty to UBC, they are not fully accountable to the students who elected them.”

“The GSS is committed to building an open, respectful, and constructive relationship with the Board of Governors,” Friedel adds. To further that goal the GSS attached a list of suggestions to the Board on how to improve student engagement and transparency in Board practices.

For more information, please contact Tobias Friedel, President of the Graduate Student Society of UBC Vancouver, at

The Graduate Student Society of UBC Vancouver (GSS) is an independent student society that advocates for over 10,000 graduate students at UBC Vancouver to the administration of UBC and all government levels to enhance the graduate student experience. The GSS was incorporated under the Society Act of BC in 1982. For more information, visit


For more information or to arrange an interview:
Tobias Friedel
President, Graduate Student Society

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RELEASE: GSS Recommends Reforms to UBC’s Board of Governors