Our Society

We are your Graduate Student Society – Run by graduate students, for graduate students.

Our executive team of five graduate students, together with the GSS council, committees, and staff, lead the society to provide support, resources, political advocacy and social events to connect grad students across campus with each other, the university, and with the government.

Mission Statement

The Graduate Student Society of UBC Vancouver represents and advocates on behalf of all UBC Graduate Students to the University, the Government, and the public. We provide academic, professional, social, and recreational services to our members, and act as stewards of the Thea Koerner House Graduate Student Centre.

The Grad Student Voice

We represent the 10,000 grad students at UBC, bringing key issues to the university and to government to improve the grad student experience.

Providing Grad Services

Whether you’re looking for academic, personal, or career support during your degree, we help ensure you get the most out of your time at UBC.

Connecting Grads

Building community is key. We offer a host of events, classes, and other opportunities year-round to connect with grad students across campus.

9500  Graduate Students
0  Councillors
0  Student Executives

Constitution, Policies & Strategic Plan

Our constitution, policies, bylaws, and strategic plan together compose the core objectives, principles, and rules that guide our day-to-day work and codify how the GSS functions. Everything we do is built upon these core documents that outline our work and how we run the Society.


Our constitution outlines the fundamental objectives of the Society to support graduate students, from removing financial and physical access barriers to graduate education at UBC to ensuring adequate housing and childcare, being the voice of graduate students on campus, and coordinating interdepartmental graduate student activities.

Bylaws & Policies

Our bylaws and policies codify the rules that outline how we run and guide our day-to-day work at the GSS. Everything we do – from how we organize Council, committees, and referendums, to how we manage our spaces and partnerships is guided by our bylaws and policies.

Strategic Plan

Our Strategic Plan identifies the Society’s current areas of focus and its key initiatives arising from these areas, both to improve the lives of graduate students and improve the GSS as an organization.


The following BC provincial acts relate to student government and further inform the structure of the GSS as a society, as well as our work within the University.

Our History

1960 | The GSA Begins

In 1960, the first graduate student body at UBC was created, and was called the GSA (Graduate Students’ Association). Joe O’Donnell was elected as its first president, and Leon Koerner, a foundational philanthropist residing at UBC announced that he would gift what is now Leon & Thea Koerner House to the GSA to become the Graduate Student Centre.

1962 | Thea Koerner House Opens

In 1962, Thea Koerner House was opened, and became the Graduate Student Centre under the leadership of then-president Bob McAndrew.

The building, generously supported by Leon Koerner, was awarded the Massey Gold Medal for its outstanding architectural design, and was considered to demonstrate the best architecture in Canada at the time.

1982 | The GSS is Formed

In 1982, the Graduate Student Society (GSS) was formed, integrating the administration of the Graduate Student Association and the Graduate Student Centre to create a unified society. With the GSS, all graduate students became members of the society simply by being registered in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

2016 | The GSS Loft

After the completion of the AMS Nest in the centre of campus, the Graduate Student Society obtained the GSS Loft – a dedicated space for graduate students to socialize, study, and work on the 4th floor of the Nest. Located in Rm. 4202, the GSS Loft is used for grad student events and meetings, as well as a central space for grad students to lounge or get some work done.

The GSS Today

The GSS has grown to represent the 10,000 graduate students at UBC Vancouver, and continues to promote the interests of graduate students through its services, student support and political initiatives, and hosting of social events. Thea Koerner House, which has been the home of the Society since it opened in 1962, remains the centre of our work and graduate student life on campus.


Annual Reviews

Strategic Plan

Council Minutes

For further past Council minutes, please email info@gss.ubc.ca

Financial Statements

For further information, please email info@gss.ubc.ca

Past Executives

  • Kimani (Philip) Karangu – President
  • Nicolas Romualdi – VP University & Academic Affairs
  • Alireza Kamyabi – VP External Relations
  • Sarah Park – VP Students
  • Tayo Olarewaju – Financial & Executive Oversight Officer
  • Nicolas Romuladi – President
  • Tarique Benbow (Razi Bayati until August 2019) – VP University & Academic Affairs
  • Sara Hosseinirad – VP External Relations
  • Pouya Rezaeinia – VP Students
  • Kimani (Philip) Karangu – Financial & Executive Oversight Officer
  • John Ede – President
  • Sara Izadi-Najafabadi – VP University & Academic Affairs
  • Gurjot Singh – VP External Relations
  • Pouya Rezaeinia – VP Students
  • Kimani (Philip) Karangu – Financial & Executive Oversight Officer
  • Taran Dhillon – President
  • Teilhard Paradela – VP University & Academic Affairs
  • Hannah Murray – VP External Relations
  • Arezoo Alemzadeh Mehrizi – VP Students
  • Dante Mendoza – Financial & Executive Oversight Officer
  • Genevieve Cruz – President
  • Mahshid Ghaffartehrani – VP University & Academic Affairs
  • Nicholas McGregor – VP External Relations
  • Jennifer DeBoer (May 2016 – January 2017) & Taran Dhillon (February – April 2017) – VP Students
  • Dante Mendoza – Financial & Executive Oversight Officer
  • Tobias Friedel – President
  • Enav Zusman – VP University & Academic Affairs
  • Bingyu (Gloria) Liu – VP External Relations
  • Kevin Mehr – VP Students
  • Xiaolei Deng – Financial & Executive Oversight Officer
  • Colúm Connolly – President
  • Kevin Mehr – VP University & Academic Affairs
  • Daniel Wood – VP External Relations
  • Tobias Friedel – VP Students
  • Min Xia – Financial & Executive Oversight Officer

Study Room, Thea Koerner House, UBC

GSS Loft, Rm. 4202 of AMS Student Nest, UBC

Leon’s Lounge, Thea Koerner House, UBC

Thea’s Lounge, Thea Koerner House, UBC

Penthouse, Thea Koerner House, UBC