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Job: Privacy Officer

Appointment Status: Part-time position
Start Date: May 1, 2022
Number of Positions: 1
Hours per Week: 6-10 hours/week, 180 hours in total.
Wage: $22.67 per hour
Employee Group: Non-Union
Application Deadline: March 28, 2022

Note: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We encourage qualified candidates to apply early.

Summary

Become an integral member of UBC GSS and contribute to the wellbeing of the graduate student community! As a Privacy Officer, the student will work closely with GSS Executives and Staff to revamp and further develop the Society’s Privacy Policy and Personal Information Protection Guidelines. The ideal applicant is a JD candidate from the Allard School of Law with a background and strong familiarity with provincial privacy regulations and legislature, particularly BC PIPA. Experience working with BC PIPA in the context of the organizational privacy policy is an asset.

How to apply:

Please submit a cover letter and resume (PDF) that details experience and training specifically relevant to the requirements of the position.

We thank all candidates in advance for their interests in the position. However, only those selected for interviews will be contacted. No phone calls or follow-up emails, please.

Privacy Officer – Summer 2022 Detailed Job Description:

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

· Fulfill all the Society’s privacy-related obligations, not limited to those outlined in these Guidelines and the Society’s Privacy Policy.

· Receive the appropriate training, including training in the following:

I. The operations of the UBC Graduate Student Society

II. The requirements of the BC Personal Information Protection Act

III. The content of these Guidelines, the Society’s Privacy Policy, the Society’s Privacy Charts, and any other applicable documents, iv. the terms of the GSS Access to Member Personal Information Memorandum of Understanding

IV. Requesting a webinar training session from the BC Government, and obtaining certification in all the following workshops:

§ Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA)

§ Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs), and

§ Information Incidents, including Privacy Breaches

V. Completing the UBC Privacy & Information Security Fundamentals Training,

VI. Reviewing the following, and any other applicable guidelines, issued by the Office of the BC Privacy Commissioner (OIPC BC):

§ A Guide to B.C.’s Personal Information Protection Act

§ Developing a Privacy Policy Under PIPA

§ Guide to the Personal Information Protection Act (BC Ministry of Citizens’ Services)

VII. Reviewing UBC’s Encryption Guidelines

VIII. Accessing legal counsel where necessary, GSS Protection of Personal Information Guideline GSS Protection Of Personal Information Guideline Up to date as of April 28, 2021 23 OF 23

IX. Performing an annual Privacy Management Self-Assessment and other audits,

X. Conducing a Privacy Impact Assessment,

XI. Responding to a privacy breach and privacy-related complaints per the protocol, and

XII. Training other employees on the Society’s obligations under PIPA.

· Update all GSS privacy-related practices and documents annually where necessary, including this Guideline and the GSS Privacy Policy.

· Contact OPIC BC for more information on their obligations under PIPA.

TRAINING AND ORIENTATION

· The student will receive an orientation introducing them to the GSS from the President covering areas including the general structure and function of the Society as well as housekeeping rules such as security, health, and safety guidelines (including those implemented for COVID-19)

· The President and VP External will provide an overview of the GSS Data Privacy Policy Development Project including tasks, deadlines, and deliverables.

SUPPORT AND EVALUATION

· Works under the direction of the President and works closely on administrative matters with the General Manager

· The student will have weekly check-in meetings with the President, GSS Privacy Officer and VP External.

· At the end of the period and after the completion of the individual tasks/projects, there will be an exit interview and debrief on deliverables. This is an opportunity discussion, suggestions for improvements and recognition of success

WORKPLACE SKILLS AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

For students interested in working in public policy, advocacy, technology, government, NGOs and grassroots organizations, or interested in pursuing a career in law, legislation or public office, this experience will be invaluable. This work provides real-world opportunity and practical experience, touching on all aspects of legislation and public policy – from research to policy development to meeting with various stakeholders within an organization.

By the end of the work term, the Policy Assistant will have gained:

· Expertise with the provincial privacy legislation and its requirements

· Experience in research and development of privacy policies

· Practical knowledge in legislative drafting

· Deeper understanding of policy development and the challenges surrounding it

· Experience in communication of policy ideas to staff, executives, and counsellors

· Experience working with legal professionals on document revision

· Skills in risk and liability assessment and mitigation

· Experience developing Privacy Impact Assessments

· Skills to communicate succinctly and effectively

· Confidence in leadership skills by taking the initiative on developing policy ideas

· Effective time management and prioritization skills by managing research, deliverables, and meetings

· The opportunity to develop items for their academic portfolio (e.g., privacy policy)

GENERAL QUALIFICATIONS

· A passion for policy development, especially in privacy law

· Strong willingness to learn about laws, policies, and practices surrounding personal information protection

· Experience in legal writing, especially legislative drafting

· Familiarity with BC’s Personal Information Protection Act

· Excellent team player and self-motivated learner

· Strong time management and project coordination skills

· Strong written and verbal communication skills

· Excellent attention to detail

· Experience working with Microsoft Office

· Preference will be given to JD Candidate

ABOUT THE GSS

The GSS (Graduate Student Society) serves the 10,000 graduate students at UBC Vancouver, helping them have the best experience possible during their studies. We connect graduate students with campus resources, opportunities, and social events. We provide everything from individual support for students, to advocacy at provincial and federal levels on the most important issues graduate students face. The GSS is located at Thea Koerner House, which has been the centre of graduate student life on campus since it was opened in 1962.

Ensuring an inclusive and diverse workplace is a key value of the GSS. We welcome people of diverse backgrounds, abilities, and perspectives, and are proud to promote a supportive work environment.

Job: External Policy Assistant

Appointment Status: Part-time position
Start Date: May 1, 2022
Number of Positions: 1
Hours per Week: 10-20 hours/week, 300 hours in total.
Wage: $27.22 per hour
Employee Group: Non-Union
Application Deadline: March 28, 2022

Note: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We encourage qualified candidates to apply early.

SUMMARY

The student will work closely with the Vice-President External and the GSS Executives to develop policy reports and recommendations to be presented to local, provincial, and federal government officials as well as external organizations as they relate to GSS advocacy campaigns. The ideal candidate would have a passion for data-driven advocacy to benefit graduate students, excellent communication skills and a willingness to learn about laws and policies governing research and innovation as well as graduate student life and funding.

How to apply:

Please submit a cover letter and resume (PDF) that details experience and training specifically relevant to the requirements of the position.

We thank all candidates in advance for their interest in the position. However, only those selected for interviews will be contacted. No phone calls or follow-up emails, please.

External Policy Assistant – Summer 2022 Detailed Job Description:

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

· Research and develop policy reports and recommendations related to ongoing GSS campaigns and advocacy efforts at the university and government level

· Meet with various stakeholders including student societies, NGOs, university administration and governmental organizations

· Conduct research across the higher education sector to identify policy issues and best practices to recommend application to the GSS

· Assist the VP External with managing advocacy campaigns, engaging stakeholders, and setting up meetings

· Provide research support to the GSS executives, including assistance with the preparation of communications materials, speaking notes, and policy papers

· Help manage relationships with internal and external stakeholder contacts, including keeping track of collaborative projects with various organizations engaged with the GSS

· Other duties as required

TRAINING AND ORIENTATION

· The student will receive an orientation introducing them to the GSS from the General Manager covering areas including the general structure and function of the Society as well as housekeeping rules such as security, health, and safety guidelines (including those implemented for COVID-19)

· The Communications and Marketing Director will introduce the communication channels of the Society with various stakeholders.

· The VP External will provide an overview of stakeholder organizations and the related current policy and advocacy campaigns being worked on by the Society

· The VP Academic & University Affairs will provide an overview of the advocacy campaigns and policy issues within the university

NETWORKING AND MENTORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

· Meeting with federal and provincial legislators, MPs, and MLAs to advocate for graduate students.

· Working closely with GSS and AMS executives as well as student representatives from other post-secondary institutions across British Columbia and Canada to lobby for student interests.

· Attending general meetings with student alliance organizations such as Alliance of BC Students, ThinkGrad and Canadian Association for Graduate Studies to coordinate advocacy efforts.

· Opportunities to join the VP External in lobbying trips at the provincial and federal levels.

SUPPORT AND EVALUATION

· Ongoing supervision is provided by the VP External.

· The student will have bi-weekly check-in meetings with Communications and Marketing Director who will provide guidance and advice for professional development of the student.

· The student will work collaboratively and closely with the VP External in a team effort to advocate for graduate student interests.

· At the end of the period and after the completion of the individual projects, there will be a general debrief about the role. This is an opportunity for discussion, suggestions for improvements and recognition of success.

WORKPLACE SKILLS AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

For students interested in working in public policy, advocacy, government, NGOs and grassroots organizations, or interested in pursuing a career in law, legislation or public office, this experience will be invaluable. This work provides real-world opportunity and practical experience, touching on all aspects of legislation and public policy from research and policy development to lobbying and meeting with various stakeholders and public officials.

By the end of the work term, the External Policy Assistant will have gained:

· Experience in research and development of policy reports and recommendations

· Practical knowledge in data-driven advocacy

· Experience in communication of policy ideas to university administration and public officials

· Experience running an advocacy campaign

· A good understanding of government relations, especially pertaining to the advanced education sector

· Deeper understanding of higher education policy and challenges surrounding it

· Skills to communicate succinctly and effectively

· Confidence in leadership skills by taking the initiative on developing policy ideas

· Effective time management and prioritization skills by managing submission deadlines, meetings, and policy research work

· The opportunity to develop items for their academic portfolio (e.g., policy reports)

GENERAL QUALIFICATIONS

· A passion for research and data-driven advocacy

· Strong willingness to learn about laws and policies surrounding graduate student research and academic development

· Experience in analytical report writing and policy research

· Knowledge of, or interest in, higher education policy / public policy

· Excellent team player and self-motivated learner

· Strong time management and project coordination skills

· Strong written and verbal communication skills

· Excellent attention to detail

· Experience working with Microsoft Office

· Preference will be given to UBC Graduate students

ABOUT THE GSS

The GSS (Graduate Student Society) serves the 10,000 graduate students at UBC Vancouver, helping them have the best experience possible during their studies. We connect graduate students with campus resources, opportunities, and social events. We provide everything from individual support for students, to advocacy at provincial and federal levels on the most important issues graduate students face. The GSS is located at Thea Koerner House, which has been the centre of graduate student life on campus since it was opened in 1962.

Ensuring an inclusive and diverse workplace is a key value of the GSS. We welcome people of diverse backgrounds, abilities, and perspectives, and are proud to promote a supportive work environment.

Job- Systems Development Assistant

Appointment Status: Part-time position
Start Date: May 1, 2022
Number of Positions: 1
Hours per Week: 10-20 hours/week, 300 hours in total.
Wage: $22.67 per hour
Employee Group: Non-Union
Application Deadline: March 28, 2022

Note: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We encourage qualified candidates to apply early.

Summary

Become an integral member of the Graduate Student Society in the development and management of the GSS’ online systems. Working with the Marketing and Communications Director you will be furthering the GSS brand and delivering the Society’s goal of engaging the UBC graduate student community with our work.

How to apply:

Please submit a cover letter and resume (PDF) that details experience and training specifically relevant to the requirements of the position.

We thank all candidates in advance for their interest in the position. However, only those selected for interviews will be contacted. No phone calls or follow-up emails, please.

Systems Development Assistant – Summer 2022 Detailed Job Description

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Systems Development for Internal Communications:

· Planning, design, implementation, configuration, maintenance and optimization of current and new online systems

· Makes use of digital or online services and tools to improve day-to-day operational processes (e.g. Microsoft Teams for remote internal communications, Microsoft’s Power Automate to streamline reimbursement or payment processing and timesheet submission systems)

· Participates in IT projects, including acting as technical lead / subject matter expert for assigned projects

· Researches and identifies potential trends and applications to enhance GSS internal processes

· Troubleshoots technical issues in internal communications systems as they arise

· Other duties as required

Website Development:

· Helps develop new tools and functionality for the GSS web presence, e.g. e-commerce or online bookings systems

· Performs website updates through the WordPress platform

· Researches and identifies potential applications, plugins, and other technologies to enhance GSS web experience

· Other duties as required

TRAINING AND ORIENTATION

· The student will receive an Orientation to the work of the GSS from the General Manager covering areas like the structure of the team, function of the society as well as practical areas like health and safety.

· The Communications and Marketing Director will provide an orientation to the web and digital communications activities of the Society, and design guidelines.

· Ongoing training and supervision is provided by the Communications and Marketing Director

NETWORKING AND MENTORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

· Experience working in a communications environment, meeting other communications / IT / web professionals on campus and gathering knowledge from professional staff.

· Working with graduate student executives. An opportunity to understand more about their work and how student run societies operate

· The opportunity to attend in house training and events organized for graduate students.

· General career mentorship from the Communication and Marketing Director in areas such as: interacting successfully with staff and faculty, developing a portfolio, and advice about future job applications.

SUPPORT AND EVALUATION

· The student will work in the same office as the Communications and Marketing Director and communication, questions, ideas and suggestions are encouraged. They are an essential part of a good communications team.

· Weekly opportunities to meet one on one with supervisor to discuss performance.

· At the end of the period and possibly after the completion of individual projects there will be a general debrief about the role. This is an opportunity for discussion, suggestions for improvements and recognition of successes.

WORKPLACE SKILLS AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

For students interested in working in systems design or IT communications fields, working as part of a team delivering integrated business systems is invaluable. This work provides hands on experience that relates directly to real world jobs in the communications or system design fields.

By the end of the work term, the Systems Development Assistant will have gained:

General Skills:

· Experience of working in a professional office environment, serving the needs of graduate students

· Enhanced communication skills. By being a member of a team, the System Administration Assistant will enhance their listening skills and ability to communicate ideas clearly.

· Increased confidence in leadership skills by taking the initiative on developing online and IT projects independently

· Effective time management skills by managing deadlines and learning how to prioritize urgent items.

· Students will learn to problem solve proactively to research meet deadlines and support campaigns.

Specific skills in this role:

· Hands-on experience of working on internal communications or business systems for an organization

· Experience in design and development of technical internal communications and functionality, data management, as well as user interface and user experience design

· Deeper knowledge and understanding of researching and utilizing systems and tools to digitalize and enhance operational processes for businesses

· Experience of web design and the development of web functionality

· The opportunity to develop items for a portfolio, that can support coursework or future job applications, for example a specific module or design element on an intranet or a website

GENERAL QUALIFICATIONS

General:

· A UBC graduate student preferred

· Excellent team player and self-motivated learner

· Superb computer and systems development skills

· Strong time management and project coordination skills

· Strong written and verbal communication skills

· Excellent Attention to detail

· Ability to work independently with minimal supervision

Systems Development:

· Interest in or aptitude for computing or IT support, problem-solving through computational thinking, or data management

· A minimum of basic knowledge or skills in computer systems preferred

· Experience working with Microsoft services: Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Exchange, Power Automate, SharePoint Administration would be a bonus

Website Management:

· Must have experience working with content management systems such as WordPress and plugins

· A minimum of basic skills in writing PHP, HTML and CSS

ABOUT THE GSS

The GSS (Graduate Student Society) serves the 10,000 graduate students at UBC Vancouver, helping them have the best experience possible during their studies. We connect graduate students with campus resources, opportunities, and social events. We provide everything from individual support for students, to advocacy at provincial and federal levels on the most important issues graduate students face. The GSS is located at Thea Koerner House, which has been the centre of graduate student life on campus since it was opened in 1962.

Ensuring an inclusive and diverse workplace is a key value of the GSS. We welcome people of diverse backgrounds, abilities, and perspectives, and are proud to promote a supportive work environment.

A Joint Letter Addressing Student Safety as Omicron Surges

Dr. Henry and Minister Kang,

As many students in this province are set to return to campus for in-person learning, the extraordinary spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant represents a real and continued threat to the safety of post-secondary students and staff, specifically those who are immunocompromised. We, the undersigned, strongly urge the Provincial Health Officer to change the guidance issued to post-secondary institutions on December 21st, 2021, which “strongly recommend[s] continuation of on-campus instruction for post-secondary institutions in January 2022.”[[1]]

Since the Provincial Health Officer’s guidance to post-secondary institutions was issued in mid-December, the COVID-19 situation in BC has drastically changed. As of January 20th, the total number of COVID-19 cases in British Columbia was 305,715.[[2]] The number of active cases in the province as of January 20th was 37,430, with a total of 2,520 deaths to date.[[3]] In Canada as a whole, the total number of cases has increased to ​​2,868,862, with 32,220 deaths.[[4]] The Omicron variant has shown “evidence of increased transmissibility,” as well as the risk of reinfection for those who have previously contracted a former variant of COVID-19.[[5]] The highly transmissible Omicron variant poses a serious threat to many student demographics.

Post-secondary institutions must take an approach that acknowledges local health conditions, the size of their institution, and the needs of students and staff who are immunocompromised or living with those in high risk categories. For the safety of all students and British Columbians, institutions need to maximize their hybrid learning capabilities and allow students to attend online or in-person, depending on their own comfort levels and circumstances .

Post-secondary institutions look to the Provincial Health Officer for direction when making decisions related to COVID-19. The current guidance encourages institutions to take an approach that will result in an unsafe environment for students and staff. Every student navigates post-secondary education differently, and while there are those who prefer the in-person model, there are many students who face great risks to their health and safety by coming to campus.

Post-secondary institutions have been refining hybrid learning since the beginning of the pandemic. In the midst of the Omicron surge, post-secondary institutions must continue to utilize these online and hybrid learning models that help ensure the safety and well-being of all students. We believe the Provincial Health Officer should be encouraging them to do so.

Signed,


[[1]] Provincial Government of British Columbia, Ministry of Health, Office of the Provincial Health Officer, December 21, 2021, https://adm.viu.ca/sites/default/files/1217020-letter-to-psi-presidents-dec-21-2021-%28003%29.pdf (accessed January 12, 2022)

[[2]] Government of Canada, “COVID-19 Daily Epidemiology Update”, January 17, 2022 https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/epidemiological-summary-covid-19-cases.html?stat=num&measure=total&map=pt#a2 (accessed January 12, 2022)

[[3]] Ibid

[[4]] Ibid

[[5]] Government of Canada, “SARS-CoV-2 variants: National definitions, classifications and public health actions”, December 23, 2021, https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals/testing-diagnosing-case-reporting/sars-cov-2-variants-national-definitions-classifications-public-health-actions.html#a3 (accessed January 12, 2022)

JOB- ELECTORAL & STUDENT ENGAGEMENT OFFICER

Appointment Status: Part-time position
Start Date: May 1, 2022
Number of Positions: 1
Hours per Week: 5 hours/week, 100 hours in total.
Wage: $22.67 per hour
Employee Group: Non-Union
Application Deadline: March 28, 2022

Summary

This role will allow you to play a crucial role in running the elections cycle and building connections for the GSS across campus.

You will oversee the electoral processes such as the nominating, campaigning, and voting periods. You’ll work with the Executives on projects throughout the year, but your most important role will be leading various aspects of the election process, encouraging individuals to nominate themselves for election, and inspiring graduate students to vote for the next group of student leaders.

How to apply:

Please submit a cover letter and resume (PDF) that details experience and training specifically relevant to the requirements of the position.

We thank all candidates in advance for their interest in the position. However, only those selected for interviews will be contacted. No phone calls or follow-up emails, please.

Electoral and Student Engagement Officer – Summer 2022 Detailed Job Description

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

We are a community, and we strive to be welcoming to every graduate student. We represent the needs of 10,000 UBC graduate students by advocating for their interests and providing opportunities for their social and professional development. In this role you will be engaging with graduate students about each of these distinct aspects of our work, with an emphasis on the election process, to help raise awareness of the Society’s role.

The Electoral and Student Engagement Officer (ESEO) will work under the joint supervision of the Elections Committee, the Communication and Marketing Director, and the Vice President (VP) Students Executive in developing and managing the electoral process, including nominations, campaign period, voting process, election results, as well as enhancing student engagement.

You will:

· Support and promote the nomination, and campaign period for GSS elections, following the protocols laid out in the GSS Elections Handbook. ESEO will be working closely with the GSS Marketing & Communications department.

· Manage the GSS online ballot

· Present the election results to GSS council and make recommendations on the election process

· Manage complaints or appeals filed alongside the Elections Committee and submit explanation of rulings to GSS council

· Develop and carry out strategies for graduate student engagement with GSS. For example:

◦ Raise awareness of the work, purpose, accomplishments, and mission of GSS

◦ Provide input and suggestions on communications and student engagement planning, in relation to key projects like the annual GSS student survey and Elections

◦ Collaborate closely with VP Students and VP academics in support of the GSS advocacy and outreach work

· Other duties as required

TRAINING AND ORIENTATION

· Introduction to the GSS, its work, and its structure

· Introduction to the appropriate departments of the GSS relevant to various aspects of this position

· An overview of the election guidelines and policies as established by the GSS, by the committee chair

· Relevant documents describing election guidelines will be provided

· Training for using the SimplyVoting program to ensure the required access to oversee the GSS election

· Orientation by the VP Students to relevant projects focused on increased graduate student engagement with the GSS

· Introduction to the Society’s goals for enhancing student engagement in order to develop appropriate strategies

FEEDBACK AND ONGOING SUPPORT

The ESEO will be working closely with the Elections Committee, VP Students and Communications and Marketing Director, and communication and discussion is actively encouraged.

The ESEO will have regular opportunities to meet with supervisors to discuss performance and raise any issues. They will also be included in the formal Work-Learn feedback mechanisms.

Additionally, the ESEO will be a member of the Elections Committee and will be able to attend meetings and call on the Committee’s expertise to assist with project work.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

· Opportunities for honing multitasking skills and handling deadlines

· Opportunities for practicing conflict resolution and enhancing communication skills.

· Practice leadership and management skills by planning and facilitating elections procedures.

· Gaining experience with student government body, policy, and elections procedures.

· Gain experience with student outreach and maximizing engagement through digital and physical mediums.

· Gain experience organizing and budgeting events such as meetings for the election’s candidates, debates, as well as non-elections-related events such as focus groups, and more.

· Gain experience by assisting the measurement and evaluation of student communication channels to inform their ongoing development and improve student engagement.

NETWORKING AND MENTORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

· Working with the GSS Executive team. An opportunity to learn more about their work and how student-run societies operate.

· Working closely with the GSS Elections Committee. An opportunity to learn how to manage elections and voting and help prepare/organize the candidates.

· General career mentorship from the Communication and Marketing Director in areas such as: interacting successfully with staff and faculty, developing a portfolio, and advice about future job applications.

· Potential for forming collaborations with external partners of the GSS, student societies, and other relevant institutions.

· Opportunities to join the VP Students GSS Executive in engaging the graduate student community at UBC.

· At the end of the Elections period and possibly after the completion of individual projects there will be a general debrief about the role. This is an opportunity for discussion, suggestions for improvements and recognition of successes.

SUPPORT AND EVALUATION

· The student will work in the same office as the Communications and Marketing Director and communication, questions, ideas and suggestions are encouraged. They are an essential part of a good communications team.

· Weekly opportunities to meet one on one with supervisor to discuss performance and to set work for the upcoming period

· At the end of the period and possibly after the completion of individual projects there will be a general debrief about the role. This is an opportunity for discussion, suggestions for improvements and recognition of successes.

WORKPLACE SKILLS AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Students meeting the requirements will go through an interview process. Feedback of the interview will be provided to successful candidates for personal growth.

For students interested in working in public policy or educational administration, this position provides intimate exposure with student government and the execution of election protocols, as well as the opportunity to provide input into the protocol’s refinement.

Furthermore, student engagement is an important aspect of this work. The ESEO will also gain experience in event planning and organization, ranging from elections, debates, focus groups, and more.

GENERAL QUALIFICATIONS

Qualifications:

· A UBC graduate student preferred

· Eligible for the UBC Work Learn Program

· Knowledge of the GSS executive positions and electoral processes, including nominations, campaigning and voting, an advantage

· Ability to work efficiently both in the office and in a remote environment

Elements needed by a graduate student for a great fit:

· Excellent team player, self-motivated and a quick learner

· Demonstrated leadership, time management, and organizational skills

· Effective interpersonal and communication skills

· Problem resolution skills and strong critical thinking skills are strong assets

· Conflict resolution skills and/or willingness to learn is an asset

· Excellent attention to detail

ABOUT THE GSS

The GSS (Graduate Student Society) serves the 10,000 graduate students at UBC Vancouver, helping them have the best experience possible during their studies. We connect graduate students with campus resources, opportunities, and social events. We provide everything from individual support for students, to advocacy at provincial and federal levels on the most important issues graduate students face. The GSS is located at Thea Koerner House, which has been the centre of graduate student life on campus since it was opened in 1962.

Ensuring an inclusive and diverse workplace is a key value of the GSS. We welcome people of diverse backgrounds, abilities, and perspectives, and are proud to promote a supportive work environment.

Graduate students call on federal government to utilize university residence isolation plans as an equitable alternative to mandatory hotel stay for arriving international students

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Eight graduate student societies and associations, representing 91,000 graduate students across Canada, are calling on the federal government to approve university-administered quarantine plans at university residences as an equitable alternative to 3-day mandatory hotel stay for arriving international students.[/vc_column_text][ultimate_spacer height=”15″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″ css=”.vc_custom_1615766077586{background-color: #008186 !important;}”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][ult_content_box bg_color=”#008186″ box_shadow=”horizontal:px|vertical:px|blur:px|spread:px|style:none|” hover_box_shadow=”horizontal:px|vertical:px|blur:px|spread:px|style:none|”][vc_column_text]

Read Graduate Students’ Joint Letter to the Federal Government 

[/vc_column_text][/ult_content_box][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_spacer height=”15″][vc_column_text]On February 21st, 2021, Canada introduced new restrictions on international travel requiring all travellers arriving in Canada to isolate in a federally-approved hotel for three days at their own expense. While restrictions on international travel to Canada are required to ensure safety and wellbeing of travellers and residents, we believe the unequitable barriers to entry to Canada must be mitigated for those that must enter the country for essential travel.

Graduate students are a group that must enter Canada to be able to partake in their studies, which is primarily research which takes place in research facilities on and around campuses.

As organizations advocating on behalf of graduate students, our priority is the health and safety of our respective student bodies and broader community. We believe university residences’ isolation programs are a safe, equitable and affordable alternative to mandatory 3-day hotel stay for international graduate students who must enter the country for their research and studies.[/vc_column_text][ultimate_spacer height=”15″][vc_column_text]“We believe there is an opportunity here to utilize university residence isolation programs as a safe and affordable alternative to mandatory hotel stay that will reduce costs for students and allow for greater utilization of hotel space for other arriving groups. Our university residences’ quarantine plans have proven to be safe and effective programs so far and we think approving them would be beneficial especially as we see universities start to re-open and more students arrive in Canada”.
– Alireza Kamyabi, Vice-President External Relations, Graduate Student Society of University of British Columbia Vancouver

“International graduate students are key contributors to the academic mission of Canadian universities, and we need to reduce travel-related barriers so they can begin or continue their studies here. Our universities’ federally-approved isolation packages are the ideal compromise between affordability, safety, and accessibility for these students.”
– Marc Waddingham, President, University of Alberta’s Graduate Student Association,

“It’s already difficult for international students to adjust to a foreign country. In addition to that, incoming international students face high financial stress due to increased payments that are required to start a life in a new home country. Forcing students to also pay a minimum of $2,000 for a hotel room stay is creating more financial barriers for students, especially when universities are prepared to receive international students during the pandemic and have government approved quarantine plans in place.”
– Humaira Inam, President, University of Saskatchewan’s Graduate Students’ Association[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Read the letter to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and the Minister of Health

Letter[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

AMS, GSS Meet Provincial Legislators

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The GSS is joining the AMS this week to meet with members of the BC Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and discuss the most pressing issues facing students. The group, led by AMS VP External Affairs Kalith Nanayakkara, and GSS VP External Affairs Alireza Kamyabi, will address topics including housing affordability, support for the post-secondary sector in BC, access to Higher Education (particularly for indigenous students), and additional funding for sources for students.

GSS VP External, Alireza Kamyabi says: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to meet with so many members of the legislative assembly to discuss real problems of affordability and access but also to emphasise that students have an important role to play in ensuring the Provincial economy flourishes in a post COVID world.”[/vc_column_text][ultimate_spacer height=”15″][vc_single_image image=”24706″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_spacer height=”15″][vc_column_text]The specific policy proposals recommended by the Societies include:

  • Include students in rental support programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Make certain that there are predictability measures for international students in terms of tuition fees and ancillary costs through the Tuition Limit Policy.
  • Invest in affordable housing for Indigenous people and communities.
  • Include non-STEM disciplines in the BC Graduate Scholarship and establish permanent funding for the scholarship.
  • Expand the BC Access Grant to include graduate students.

[/vc_column_text][ultimate_spacer height=”15″][vc_column_text]Ali continues: “Extending the BC Access Grant to include graduate students, and making the very successful BC Graduate Scholarship a permanent program that can also support students outside STEM disciplines would make a tangible difference to graduate students. These changes would also support research in host of priority areas for the Province.

Housing affordability is a perennial problem for students, that has only been made worse by COVID-19. Ensuring they are included in available rental support programs during the pandemic would help students manage the immediate uncertainties.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

University Announces Funding Boost for PhD Students

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The University has approved an increase in  the annual minimum guaranteed funding package for PhD students, which will be $22000 from September 2021. The current package is $18000.

This welcome increase in a consistent source of income will particularly help the most financially vulnerable students.

This change will bring this core funding above the poverty line benchmark set by the Government of British Columbia at $20,000 per person.

Increasing the minimum stipend was once of the main recommendations from the GSS’s 2019 presentation to the Board of Governors, which was informed by the GSS Student Satisfaction Survey and the GSS 2019 Funding Survey. The responses to the latter survey reinforced the financial challenges graduate students face, with 60% of respondents reporting difficulties managing basic expenses, and signaling the cost of housing as a particularly heavy burden.

This change was driven by a collaborative effort between the Graduate Student Society and the Faculty of Graduate Studies, who have worked with campus partners, to develop this proposal and to ensure that making this change would not adversely affect access to graduate programs, or any student’s existing funding supports.

The increase in minimum funding, coupled with the recent implementation of the President’s Academic Excellence Initiative Award (PAEI), which was also a direct outcome of the advocacy efforts of the GSS, ensures an improvement in affordability for all PhD students, and most significantly for those in the most need. The PAEI was rolled out in Summer of 2020, covering 17% of the tuition cost after awards, and will increase to 25% effective September 2021.

GSS VP Academic and University Affairs Nicolas Romualdi comments: “We’re delighted to see the University endorsing a policy that will support graduate students in such a significant way. It was heartening to see the broad cross campus support for making this change quickly from faculty and administration alike.

Increasing this core funding is the best and most equitable way to ensure that students across all programs, and from all backgrounds can afford graduate studies at UBC.  

We believe that funding graduate students benefits the entire University Community, as it allows students to focus their efforts on research rather than finding ways to make ends meet.

I would like to personally thank the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and her team for all the effort that went into the analysis of this proposal. I would also like to thank my predecessor, Tarique Benbow, for the work done to create and carry out the 2019 GSS Funding Survey, whose results continue to inform and support our advocacy efforts in this area.” [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

GSS Council Summary – December 2020

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Welcome to the summary of GSS Council on December 10, 2020 (December’s Council happens on the 2nd Thursday instead of the 3rd to allow our Councillors to take a break for the holidays, even though that might not involve travel this year!).

Congratulations to our new Councillor(s): Bethany Adair (Medical Geneticfs), Taryn Scarff (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries), William Canero (School of Community and Regional Planning), and the re-election of Virginia Pichler (Microbiology and Immunology).

We also welcome a lot of new and renewed Affiliated Organizations: Chemical and Biological Engineering (CHBE) Graduate Student Council, GrasPods (BC Cancer Graduate Student and Post Doctoral Fellow Society), Geography Graduate Student Association, Institute of Ocean and Fisheries Graduate Student Society, and IDEAS (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access and Safe Space).


 

Council heard several important guest presentations, including:

  • one from our very own Dean Susan Porter from the Faculty of Postdoctoral and Graduate Studies about the Graduate Life Centre project and the successful advocacy to increase minimum funding for PhD students;
  • the annual audit presentation from our accountants (our paperwork got a shoutout);
  • and a set of presentations from StudentCare, the company that provides your Extended Health & Dental Plan, on some possible options for a legal representation service for students

Council passed a “consent agenda”, a set of bylaw amendments previously approved for the 2020 AGM to be included in the upcoming referendum, and some larger ones separately also for referendum. These included proposed changes that are small and “housekeeping” in nature like how we edit our Policy Manual typos (exciting!), to larger proposals such as a new fee to maintain the GSS Graduate Student Financial Aid, an emergency fund for graduate students that are in financial distress. All these proposed amendments can be found in the Council minutes and will appear in the upcoming referendum in early 2021. Other discussion maters included updates on the VP University & Academic Affair, Nicolas Romualdi, and his office’s work setting remote invigilation policies, a financial update from Financial and Executive Oversight Officer Tayo Olarewaju, debate on endorsing the #StudentsforLoujain campaign, and updates on committee goals from the Governance & Accountability committee.

As always, minutes will be available once approved on the GSS website for more details. The next meeting will be on Thursday, January 21, 2021. All graduate students are welcome to attend!

 

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BC Provincial Government forms Cabinet

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]On November 26, 2020, the provincial government swore in its new Executive Council under the leadership of Premier John Horgan.

The UBC AMS and GSS would like to congratulate all new cabinet members on their appointments and specifically, their commitment towards providing British Columbia with leadership throughout these unprecedented times. Additionally, we would like to congratulate Minister Anne Kang, a former AMS and GSS member, on their appointment to the role of Minister of Advanced Education, Skills, and Training.

We look forward to working with them and their ministry towards making certain that post-secondary students are supported during these unsure times. We would also like to thank Minister Melanie Mark for their leadership in the past three and a half years as Minister of Advanced Education, Skills, and Training. We look forward to seeing their accomplishments as the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sports.

More locally, we would like to extend our congratulations to MLA David Eby on their reappointment to Attorney General of British Columbia and their new appointment to Minister responsible for Housing. We look forward to continuing to work with MLA David Eby on multiple affordability and accessibility priorities.

UBC GSS and AMS are excited to continue to work with the provincial government in our collective effort towards creating a more accessible and affordable post-secondary education system for all British Columbians.

 


For Media Inquiries:

Eric Lowe
Communications & Marketing Manager

Ben Hill
Communications Director
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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