President’s Note

2023 President's Letter

Dear Incoming Graduate Students, 

Welcome to the University of British Columbia (UBC) and congratulations on your acceptance to this prestigious university! You have worked tirelessly to get here, and all the hard work has finally paid off. You are now a student at one of the topmost universities in the world, a place where academic excellence meets boundless opportunity. 

As the President of Graduate Student Society (GSS) of UBC Vancouver, it is an honour to introduce you to the GSS. The GSS is run by and for the over 10,000 graduate students here at UBC. We have full-time staff, part-time staff and elected executives all working hard to advocate for and promote the academic, social and cultural interests of all Graduate Students. From engaging networking events to enlightening workshops, from uplifting social gatherings to impactful community initiatives, we are here to enrich your academic journey and foster an atmosphere where you can flourish. We are here to support you and create a sense of belonging that extends beyond the walls of our lecture halls and labs. 

Graduate school can be both intellectually rewarding and occasionally challenging but remember that you are not alone on this path. Surround yourself with peers who inspire you, mentors who guide you, and colleagues who share your passions. Engage in meaningful conversations, seek out opportunities for collaboration, and remember that some of the most valuable insights often emerge from discussions and interactions outside the classroom. Your journey at UBC may not always be easy. There will be highs to celebrate, but there may also be lows to bounce back from. During these highs and lows, and for everything in between, you can turn to the GSS. 

At the GSS, we organize monthly games nights and several events. Seize such opportunities to network widely. Attend departmental events, workshops, and seminars to connect with fellow students and faculty members. Engage in community outreach initiatives by participating in clubs and departmental outreach initiatives. In short: embrace the power of community and collaboration. 

As is my custom, I would like to leave with you a quote that I love: It takes a village to move a mountain. This proverb emphasizes the power of collaboration and teamwork, illustrating that even seemingly impossible tasks can be achieved when people come together and work collectively towards a common goal.  

Remember, your journey through graduate school is not just about the knowledge you gain but also about the relationships you build and the collaborative efforts you undertake. Welcome to UBC, and I wish you all the best on your exciting academic adventure! 


Warm regards, 

Sam Kenston 

President, UBC Graduate Student Society 

GSS President Speech

The Graduate Student Society (GSS) is run by and for the 10,000 graduate students at UBC Vancouver. We promote and protect our members’ academic, social and cultural interests.

Thea Koerner House, the home of the Society, has been the centre of graduate student life on campus since it was opened in 1962.


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