To establish better support for UBC graduate students on the Vancouver Campus, the Graduate Student Society of UBC Vancouver (GSS) has passed motions to revise its bylaws at the Special General Meeting on December 11, 2014.
With unanimous votes in favour of the first motion from the graduate students in attendance, the resulting changes to the GSS Executive team will be as follows:
- Re-orientating Vice-President Services to Vice-President Students: to strengthen support of graduate student organizations and facilitate collaboration and community across the University
- Splitting Vice-President Academic and External Affairs to Vice-President Academic and University Affairs, and Vice-President External Relations: to facilitate better on-campus relations (e.g. student-supervisor relations and minimum stipends for all UBC graduate students), and advocacy to government (e.g. provincial graduate student scholarship or the U-Pass BC Program)
- Removing Vice-President Administration: to hire a full-time staff member with the specific skill set to manage human resources and building maintenance, thereby alleviating liability issues, increasing professionalism in the GSS’ interactions with UBC and outside contractors, and ensuring timely completion of building projects
- Transitioning Vice-President Finance to Financial and Executive Oversight Officer: to tie in this mainly administrative portfolio with the overseeing of the Executive team, aid the Executive in budgets and goal setting for the year, and lead to a better understanding and accountability of Executives at the Council; the Financial and Executive Oversight Officer will be elected from the GSS Council
“Like many other student unions or societies, the GSS is constantly evolving to better cater to the student population,” says Colúm Connolly, President of the Graduate Student Society of UBC Vancouver. “We believe the changes to the Executive structure of the Society will improve our support for graduate students and advocacy as their voice at UBC Vancouver.”
A second motion was passed at the Special General Meeting to extend the term of the current Executive from March 19, 2015 to the last day of April 2015. The dramatic increase in voter turnout last year was largely attributed to having run the election with the AMS. With the AMS holding their elections and Executive turnover much later in 2015, the GSS will revise its term of office and coincide its annual elections and Executive turnover with those of the AMS.
For more information and to arrange an interview, please contact Colúm Connolly, President of the Graduate Student Society of UBC Vancouver, at firstname.lastname@example.org.