The GSS Office is open. For COVID-19 pandemic updates and support information for UBC graduate students, click here

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- 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.

How can we THRIVE in the time of Covid?

A normal research day for Theresa Pauly might involve visits to study participants across the lower mainland. Working in the Health and Adult Development Lab, which focuses on the links between social relationships and health, personal contact is an extremely important part of research.

“We work a lot with older adults, particularly couples, so we still advertise via newspaper or posters at community centres and do study visits in person. It’s great to meet with participants for a few hours. Even if most of the study protocol requires completing electronic surveys, face to face interactions provide a lot of insight into participants’ thinking.”

But the arrival of COVID19, and with it social distancing, has changed the normal research routine.

However, the change in circumstances has also offered a unique new opportunity to study social interactions and health, and so the THRIVE study was born. Tracking Health and Relationships in Varying Everyday contexts is led by Professor Christiane Hoppmann and aims to understand people’s thoughts, behaviours and feelings during the social distancing required by Covid.

Anyone over the age of 18 and living in Canada can participate. “If you sign up, we’ll ask you to complete a 45 to 90-minute online questionnaire about your background, personality, social relationships, attitudes, and wellbeing. Then, for ten days, we will ask you to complete two 5 to 10-minute questionnaires per day: one in the morning and one in the evening about your thoughts and how you are feeling, your everyday activities and social interactions.

“The results of our study will help us understand how people can maintain their wellbeing and social connectedness in times of social distancing. We expressly chose THRIVE as a title for the study because we want to convey the message that there are positive opportunities to develop new methods of social interaction even at this difficult time.”

There is certainly plenty of evidence that healthy social relationships are extremely important to good health.

We know humans are social beings, we have a need to belong and that poor social relationships are poor for our health. Studies show that poor social relationships have a similar negative effect on health to smoking or alcohol consumption

COVID has created a unique context to help us understand how to manage isolation, what can help us make the best of the situation.  Gratitude for the positive changes we can see like a view of the mountains untouched by pollution, more focus on creativity, new ways to connect with friends and family. While we all hope that the changes required by COVID will be short lived the resources that we find useful can be applied to help people that struggle with isolation.”

As someone who understands and researches the links between social interactions and health what advice does Theresa have for adapting to life in isolation?

“I enjoy alone time so the initial change wasn’t too bad. The most helpful thing I’ve found is to have a regular schedule. I still build my day as I did before COVID with scheduled work and leisure time and a daily walk for half an hour at lunchtime. I also try hard to set up social interactions each day, even if it is just a quick phone call. One thing I have tried with other grad students which works well is to have everyone in a Zoom meeting but to work independently. It gives you the feeling of working in a team and you can check in when you need to. I also can’t be watching Netflix all day because somebody knows!”

Thankfully despite the disruption to her work Theresa has been prevented from graduating on time: “In June I’ll be defending my thesis. I’ve heard stories from friends in Europe of thesis defences being delayed indefinitely, so I’m really grateful that UBC have been so organised. I just hope that there will enough normality to allow me to hit the ground running on my postdoc in Switzerland this September.”


More information about the study

https://blogs.ubc.ca/thrivestudy/

Sign up for the study:

https://ubc.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6RwFu3ocxjDML1r

 

Immediate GSS Services and Events Changes

In light of the announcement that UBC classes will be moving online as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak the GSS has made the following decisions.

• All upcoming events, classes, and room bookings have been cancelled until further notice. This includes the Annual General Meeting on Thursday.

• Full refunds will be provided when applicable.

• The GSS offices in Thea Koerner House will be closed, but the Society will continue to work. GSS Executives and staff will be working remotely and can be contacted by email.

• Advocacy / Peer Support services will continue to operate normally, with student appointments being conducted online to minimize risk. If you wish to access our Peer Support Services, email 

We encourage all students to keep up to date with UBC’s latest guidance on the issue: https://www.ubc.ca/campus-notifications/, and to minimize their risks by following the Province’s public health guidance.

The GSS is working closely with the Faculty of Graduate Studies to minimize the impact that the COVID-19 outbreak may have on Graduate Students. Please continue to follow the instructions given by UBC, and contact our Peer Support Services if you have concerns about being unfairly disadvantaged by the outbreak.

If you have concerns regarding your appointment as a Teaching Assistant, you should direct those to the TA Union, CUPE 2278, and contact either  or 

GSS endorses BCFS’s ‘Knock Out Interest on Student Loans!’ Campaign

Sara Hosseinirad VP External

The GSS is excited to announce our endorsement of the current ‘Knock Out Interest on Student Loans!’ campaign being running by the British Columbia Federation of Students (BCFS). We’re formally joining the list of organizations that have publicly declared their support for this campaign, including SFSS and UBC AMS.

First off, what is this campaign? And who is BCFS?

BCFS is a provincial advocacy alliance of universities and colleges from across B.C. They work to provide post-secondary student with a unified voice to influence access to education, operating at both provincial and federal levels. They’ve had some major victories in their campaigns, including their work to eliminate interest on B.C. student loans (which was successfully passed last year). Now they’re taking on eliminating interest on federal student loans in their ‘Knock Out Interest on Student Loans!’ campaign.

For the average Canadian student graduating from an undergraduate degree, they’re typically looking at $5,000 in interest on top of their federal loans. Interest on federal student loans has been shown to unfairly penalize low and middle-income students, making this a system that unfairly punishes those who can’t pay up front. Eliminating interest on these federal loans will help graduates focus less on debt and more on their career and lives. The GSS believes in accessible and affordable education, and we hope to see this campaign succeed.

So, what does our endorsement mean for GSS members?

Domestic graduate students often come to UBC with student loan debt from their undergrad. Despite the fact interest rates stall when individuals re-enter school, when these students finally finish graduate education they’re left with this accumulating expense from their undergrad. This is an additional burden and barrier to students looking to start their lives post-grad.

GSS VP External Relations, Sara Hosseinirad, says: “As always, we at the GSS will continue working and advocating for affordable education. Since this campaign is run by BCFS, they will be taking the lead on the advocacy and campaign work. The GSS will be supporting them by hosting local activities to raise awareness and support for ‘Knock Out Interest on Student Loans!’. If you want to have your own voice heard on this issue, any grad student can also sign the open  letter individually.”

OPEN LETTER

Knockout Interest

Open Letter on the Changes to the MSP for International Students

This has been an advocacy priority for my Office over the last few months. The change to the MSP, which eliminates fees for Permanent Residents and Citizens came into force at the start of this year, but the same changes increased the fee for international students to $75 per month. This is a significant additional financial burden for international students, particularly for those with dependents.

The GSS were also extremely concerned about the decision to increase health care coverage fees for international students, without meaningful consultation with student associations, advocacy groups, or international students themselves.

We’ve been working with ABCS and student groups across the Province to create the open letter and to make these concerns clear to Provincial Government. We hope that the Province take notice of the strength of feeling, but even if this does not lead to immediate change, we will continue to fight for a policy that is fair to international students.

We’re delighted to join more than 180,000 students from 10 student associations across the province as signatories of an open letter to The Honourable Adrian Dix, Minister of Health regarding increased MSP fees impacting international students.

You can read the full letter here: bcstudents.ca/news   but the key recommendation is that the BC Government: “commit to fairness on our campuses and either revert the changes made to international student contributions to the Medical Services Plan, or eliminate international student contributions to the Medical Services Plan altogether”. We’re very grateful to the Alliance of BC Students for coordinating the response. 

 

 

GSS Statement on UIA 752 Tragedy

The GSS was deeply saddened to see the loss of life in the crash of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 in Iran. The presence of two former UBC students among those killed, brings the events even closer to home and we offer our heartfelt sympathies to everyone affected by the tragedy.

UBC has a large and close-knit community of graduate students from Iran and many of them are involved with the GSS in our work to enhance the graduate student experience on campus. We offer our support to them at a time when domestic and international events are a cause for such concern.

The GSS’s doors are open to any graduate student facing difficult circumstances. Our peer support services provide personalized assistance, Graduate Student Financial Aid can help manage unforeseen expenses. Our Executives are always ready to hear suggestions about how we can best offer practical help.

There are also on campus support services:

GSS Services

UBC Vancouver

The GSS Welcomes UBC’s Divestment Announcement

On December 5, 2019, the University of British Columbia (UBC) formally declared a state of climate emergency and proposed two key divestment initiatives to continue their transition to a sustainable organization. The Graduate Student Society (GSS) at UBC supports these actions. We applaud the grass-root student action and indigenous resilience that was crucial in making this happen, and the GSS will continue supporting and advocating for transformative change.


The GSS supports UBC’s action in declaring a climate emergency.

UBC’s long awaited declaration is warmly received by the GSS and we fully support the positive action plan it’s coupled with. The economic and policy actions UBC proposes to take

  • The divestment of the main endowment pool from fossil fuels

and

  • The transfer of the Trek Endowment ($380 million) to the Sustainability Future Pool ($31 million)

are supported by the GSS. The GSS recognizes the process of divestment is highly complex and we deeply appreciate the time, effort, and collaboration of all the individuals involved in this process, and of the future individuals who will be involved in UBC’s transition to full divestment and sustainability.


The GSS applauds the efforts of student activists and indigenous resilience.

We thank and celebrate the many grass root initiatives that were crucial in helping UBC make this decision. The student activism surrounding climate action has been an important driver for change – from the September 27 climate strikes, to die-ins on campus, and the creation of UBC350. We thank and support all the students who continue to participate in these efforts.

The GSS also wishes to thank and acknowledge the current and historical efforts of indigenous peoples who continually act as climate leaders despite being one of the communities have done the least to cause the climate crisis.


As a student body, the GSS will continue to represent and take action on issues important to UBC graduate students.

The GSS will continue to support the efforts of grassroots organizations across the UBC campus on climate change and to represent the views of UBC graduate students on this crucial issue.

Within the GSS organization we seek to further embrace the actions needed for sustainability and to be accountable for our environmental footprint.

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