GSS Haiku Competition Spring 2021

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Calling all poets and Haiku-enthusiasts! Spring is here and we’re feeling sentimental. Tell us about all your big grad student feels in tiny 5-7-5 haiku form, get some laughs, and maybe even win a prize!

Theme: Grad Students in Spring

Do you have a love for language? A preference for poetry? A hankering for haiku? Send us your silliest haiku poetry about springtime, your grad student experience, just whatever those big feels are! Submit your poetry for the chance to win a prize and the honour of having your poem displayed on our website and social media, plus the prestige, of course. How about something to start you off?


Title: Zoom Class Feels

Springtime poetry;

Open up about that time

You forgot to mute

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  • All UBC Vancouver Graduate students are invited to participate
  • Maximum 3 entries per person
  • The judges will be taking in consideration the following: creativity, humour and adherence to the 5-7-5 syllable haiku rule!
  • Entries can be in text or images of text in .jpeg or .png format
  • By submitting your photo to the contest, you agree that your content is original and not plagiarized; and as the author, you retain all rights to the creative material, and grant the GSS a non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual license to display your poem in social media, marketing publications, on our website or elsewhere.
  • Please keep your poetry family-friendly!

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  • Submit your photo via Instagram DM (UBCGSS) or to
  • Submissions must include your name, email, name of your program, poem title, and poem itself
  • Submissions close at noon on March 26, 2021

Prize: $25 gift card of your choice and a feature on GSS social media and newsletter!


*Winner will be contacted via email and posted on Social Media as well as the GSS Newsletter


Contact Us: If you have questions, please contact or


Notice of Disqualification: 2021 GSS Elections

The GSS Elections Committee has served a notification of disqualification to candidate Remzi Fuentes for the 2021 GSS Executive Elections.

This decision was made as a result of violations of elections policy and in the interest of preserving the integrity of the elections by ensuring fairness for all candidates.

Please note that this does not affect the elections process. The current ballot  will remain open until March 12 and graduate students will still be able to vote as normal.

If you have questions please contact the Electoral and Student Engagement Officer: email

GSS AGM 2020 – 2021

Calling ALL Graduate Students!

We invite you to the Graduate Student Society’s Annual General Meeting! This year we will be holding both the 2020 and 2021 meetings on the same evening. All graduate students at UBC Vancouver are members of their Graduate Student Society, and the AGM is your opportunity to make important collective decisions for the society and to hear about the Society’s work in 2019 and 2020.


For the first time we will be hosting the meeting online via Zoom:

Thu, March 18, 2021

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM PDT


Presentations and discussions will be made on:

  • GSS Year in Review – what did the Society accomplish this year?
  • GSS Executives’ Work – what did our executives get up to?
  • Financial Statements
  • Appointment of Auditor


Graduate Students of UBC Vancouver: Your presence at the AGM is important. It allows us to secure  quorum and vote on important issues!

To thank you for making your voice heard, attendees will be entered to win some amazing raffle prizes of up to $250 value! (You must attend the AGM to be entered).


Make sure your attendance and student # are registered, and RSVP your attendance here!



2020 AGM Agenda (draft)

2021 AGM Agenda (draft)


Supporting Documents

Grad Life Through a Lens 2021

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1610649447718{border-bottom-width: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 30px !important;}”]Lucia Lam: Winner of the Winter 2020 Photo Contest[/vc_column_text][ultimate_spacer height=”10″][vc_column_text]

Graduate student life is better when it’s shared with friends and peers. Grad Life through your Lens is a competition that is about sharing. Sharing the experiences of campus life with other graduate students by capturing one of the moments of beauty, humour or friendship that make up graduate student life. We want images that capture your experiences at UBC!


Theme: Graduate Student Impact

Do you have an image that captures the essence and impact of your graduate research/studies? This could show off the outcomes of research, the impact on individuals, or even the way graduate study affects you personally. Just be creative. Enter the 2021 GSS Graduate Impact Competition to win a prize , and the opportunity and prestige to see your image displayed on and off campus. This competition is open to all UBC-Vancouver graduate students in both thesis- and course-based programs.


  • All UBC Graduate students are invited to participate.
  • No more than 3 entries per person.
  • The judges will be taking in consideration the following: creativity, composition and relevance to the topic/theme.
  • Use common file formats (jpeg, gif, png, tiff) and a max. of 5 MB per photo. Make sure you retain a high-resolution copy of your photographs to ensure we can properly display them.
  • By submitting your photo to the contest, you must agree that you have permission to take the photo of the selected location, intellectual and/or artistic copyright, and individuals, and have their permission to enter the photo in this contest; and as the photographer, you retain copyright to the photo submitted, you grant the GSS a non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual license to display your submitted images and use them in future marketing publications, on our website or elsewhere.
  • Judges reserve the right to exclude any photos that are deemed inappropriate and/or are a violation of Canadian Copyright laws.
  • Please do not submit photos of children unless there’s given consent.


  • Submit your photo via Instagram DM (UBCGSS) or to
  • Submissions must include your name, title of the photo (description), location the photo was taken, and the name of your program.
  • Submissions close at noon on February 15th, 2021

Prize: photo displayed in the GSS Loft as well as website plus $100 Gift Card

*Winner will be announced via email and posted on Social Media as well as the GSS Newsletter

Contact Us: If you have questions, please contact


University Announces Funding Boost for PhD Students


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!



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

Graduate Student Societies of BC welcome much-needed investment in SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships


Graduate Student Societies of British Columbia, representing over 18,000 graduate students from across the province, welcome the announcement of a $26 million investment in SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships by the federal government of Canada.

This funding will support 540 doctoral student researchers in areas of critical social importance, such as the effects of climate change; the development of sustainable food systems; Indigenous languages; law and environmental revitalization; the impacts of chronic and recreational cannabis use; and psychological resilience from past traumas.

PDF copy of the story

“Graduate research funding in Canada has been stagnant for far too long. Graduate students are the backbone of Canada’s research and innovation sector and its future. We are very pleased to see this much-needed investment in SSRH Doctoral Fellowships” said Alireza Kamyabi, Vice-President External Relations at UBC Graduate Student Society. “Now more than ever, we are seeing the importance of understanding how our society and social institutions function. Our graduate student researchers in social sciences and humanities are driving those projects, and we’re glad to see them be supported.”


GSSBC acknowledge that more action is needed to revamp Canada’s research sector and will continue to work with allies across the Canada to advocate for necessary investments in social sciences and humanities research funding.


“We are so appreciative that the government is recognizing the important work that needs to be done in order to further understand and rectify these large-scale issues. Funding is a necessity for graduate students to continue such important work and allows them to increase their focus on research instead of worrying about how to make ends meet. We know that graduate students will rise to the challenge that large-scale issues pose and we are grateful for the governments support”

Abby Dooks, Director of External Relations, University of Northern British Columbia GSS[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Graduate Student Societies of BC call for more support for graduate education

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner css=”.vc_custom_1602611815690{margin-bottom: 20px !important;border-bottom-width: 20px !important;padding-top: 20px !important;}”][vc_column_inner][ultimate_heading main_heading=”Government policies must take into account key differences between undergraduate and graduate education” heading_tag=”h4″ alignment=”left” margin_design_tab_text=”” main_heading_margin=”margin-bottom:20px;”][/ultimate_heading][dt_fancy_separator][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner css=”.vc_custom_1602612115662{border-bottom-width: 20px !important;}”][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text][Vancouver, BC – October 13, 2020]

Media Release


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]Graduate Student Societies of British Columbia, representing over 18,000 graduate students from across the province, is today calling on all political parties in BC to commit to a program of improved and more consistent support for graduate students.

Despite the significant negative impacts that the pandemic has had on graduate programs and research in BC, graduate students have been left with little support by the province. Students are now calling on the political parties of BC to recognize that graduate students are distinct from undergraduates in key ways and require support that takes these differences into account. It is clear that the differing needs and supports important to graduate students have not been historically well-recognized by provincial education policymakers, and while this is an old problem, during the ongoing pandemic it has had the consequence of leaving large numbers of graduate students in a vulnerable financial position.

The Graduate Student Societies of British Columbia urge the parties vying to form the next government to adopt three policies that will help graduate students deliver innovative research that benefits the entire Province:


1) Expand the B.C. Graduate Scholarship and make it a permanently funded program.

The BCGS program, introduced by the BC government in 2018, has provided merit-based funding to hundreds of graduate students across the province, enabling them to continue their research programs with financial peace of mind. However, unless extended, the fund is set to expire in 2021. We would like to see the program become a permanent feature of the graduate education landscape and have it expanded to include students in non-STEM disciplines.


2) Widen the eligibility criteria of the BC Access Grant to include graduate students.

Given their extended years of education and the increasing cost of tuition, the burden of student debt on graduate students is significantly higher than undergraduates1. Despite this fact, there are no needs-based grants for graduate education in BC even though a program exists for undergraduates. Allowing graduate students to apply for funding under the newly created BC Access Grant would, as the name suggests, improve access to education for those struggling with financial barriers to graduate studies.


3) Recognize, and take into account through policymaking, the distinct needs of graduate students and the critical role they play in promoting the social and economic development in the province.

The educational context in graduate programs is vastly different from those found
in undergraduate programs. Political parties in BC need to recognize that a one-size-fits-all approach to supporting post-secondary education is not optimal, and that support for graduate programs needs to take into account the distinct characteristics of graduate students, from financing to motivation to demographics. In particular, graduate programs are research intensive, enroll a large proportion of international students (with top international talent recruited to BC from around the world), and have many participants with new families and young children. It is also important to apply these insights to a broader range of government policies in order to better serve graduate students during their period of study.


Here is what graduate student leaders across BC have to say about these proposed policy changes:

“Graduate students create vast society-wide benefits with their research often leading to the creation of new technologies, new businesses and new ways of understanding our society, and they pass that new knowledge on as teachers in many programs. Introducing these changes would demonstrate that the Province appreciates the value of the contributions graduate students make and would be an investment in BC’s knowledge economy.”Alireza Kamyabi, University of British Columbia Graduate Student Society

“These are reasonable and eminently achievable policy goals that will provide increased financial security and predictability to graduate students across the province without giving headaches to those drawing up government budgets in Victoria.

We’re often overlooked in conversations about post-secondary education, but graduate students give up years of employment income and other opportunities in order to develop their research skills and keep BC at the forefront of the new knowledge-based economy, often juggling full time study with family responsibilities. These changes would put them on a more secure financial footing and allow them to focus less on debt and bills, more on their research and teaching.” Matt McDonald, The Graduate Student Society at Simon Fraser University

“Graduate students contribute so much to their universities and to the development of their society, in general – We are teachers, researchers, our work is published and can achieve academic clout for their institutions to boost their popularity—We can discover new methods scientifically, politically, or otherwise that can contribute to how policy is formed and what technological advances are made… It is very important that Graduate Students’ vote for a leader who will recognize our uniqueness in contributions as well as needs.”Abby Dooks, Northern British Columbia Graduate Student Society

“Graduate students are much more likely to have families of their own relative to
undergraduate students. The need to support families is already a significant barrier to
graduate education and the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified this. Improving the
accessibility and affordability of childcare is one very easy and effective way to support
graduate students, however, the unique labour market situation of graduate students must also be a consideration in the on-going pandemic relief efforts.”Drake T. Rushford, University of Victoria Graduate Students’ Society

About Graduate Student Societies of British Columbia

Graduate Student Societies of British Columbia is composed of the University of British
Columbia Graduate Student Society, the Graduate Student Society at Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria Graduate Students’ Society and the Northern British Columbia Graduate Student Society, together representing over 18,000 students in BC. These four organizations are registered under the BC Societies Act and are tasked with providing services to, and advocating on behalf of, the graduate students attending their respective institutions.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]

GSS AGM 2020

Calling ALL Graduate Students!

We invite you to the Graduate Student Society’s Annual General Meeting- 2020. All graduate students at UBC Vancouver are members of their Graduate Student Society. The Annual General Meeting, is your opportunity to make important collective decisions for the society and to hear about the Society’s work in 2019.

For the first time we will be hosting the meeting online via Zoom:

Thu, October 15, 2020

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM PDT

Presentations and discussions will be made on:

  • AGM Agenda
  • Financial Statement
  • AGM Minutes – March 2019
  • Appointment of Auditor

Graduate Students of UBC Vancouver: Your presence at the AGM is important. It allows us to secure  quorum and vote.



Supporting Documents

2020 AGM Agenda

 2019 FInancial Statements

2019 AGM Minutes

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