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The GSS Logo

The design that forms the centerpiece of the GSS logo, based on a traditional spindlewhorl, is created by renowned Musqueam artist Susan Point, and it encapsulates many of the things that matter most deeply to the Society.

“As I contemplated a new design to embody the spirit of the UBC Graduate Student Society, I felt that it is not only important to represent Musqueam traditional territory, but as well as the diversity of all the students who come to UBC past, present and future from all corners of the world.

I’ve created a design with no end and no beginning, this spindle whorl design illustrates the unwavering passing of time and successive generations. Each geometric moment on the whorl is identical to the one before it and the one that follows. Whether the marks indicate seconds, days, years or millennia the pace never changes.

It also is a symbol for the people, we are all the children of Mother Earth, no matter our homeland. The people’s faces are embraced in a geometric flower motif to represent the beauty and fragility of Mother Earth, A reminder that everything we work hard towards, must include a respect and duty to our beautiful planet. The faces are in a circle, a metaphor for a strong community and friendships.”

—Susan Point, 2019

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.


Council Minutes

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