GSS Orientation 2023 – Pancake Brunch

September 1 @ 10:00 am 12:00 pm PDT

Enjoy a pancake brunch cooked by your GSS Executives and Staff!

About this event

Start off your long weekend right with a free brunch from the Graduate Student Society! Sleep in and join us between 10am and 12pm for some delicious pancakes cooked by executives and staff. 

Campus tours will start after the brunch finishes.

Date: Friday, September 1st, 2023

Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM PDT

Location: Thea’s Lounge


  • Please reserve your spot online as space in Thea’s Lounge is limited! 
  • If you have any dietary concerns please contact us at the email addresses below.

Questions? Email and


September 1
10:00 am – 12:00 pm PDT
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6371 Crescent Road
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2 Canada

GradStart Afterparty at Koerner’s Pub

August 31 @ 6:00 pm 9:00 pm PDT

Tired after a long day of Orientation? Join the GSS at Koerner’s Pub for cheap drinks and food!

About this event

Continue the Orientation celebration with the GSS at the Koerner’s Pub patio! Meet fellow graduate students at Koerner’s Pub, located right on campus in Thea Koerner House.

Tickets are $15, a ticket entitles you to:

  • One alcoholic beverage (glass of wine, beer, OR highball) OR one non-alcoholic beverage
  • Either one burger and fries OR two tacos

Just want to hang out? Graduate students are welcome to join at the Koerner’s patio, with or without a ticket!

Date: Thursday, August 31st, 2023

Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM PDT

Location: Koerner’s Pub Patio (entrance through West Mall Parking Lot) 6371 Crescent Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2


  • Go directly to the patio as the inside is reserved for regular Koerner’s customers.
  • Bring your ID and Student ID with you!
  • Tickets are limited and only usable for the Happy Hour on August 31st.
  • Tickets are limited to 1 per student.
  • Online ticket sales close 1 week before the event. Tickets can be refunded up to 1 week before the event. Tickets can be transferred.
  • Forgot to buy a ticket? Limited tickets will be available for purchase via credit or debit from GSS staff.

Questions? Email and


August 31
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm PDT
Event Categories:
Event Tags:
, , ,
Register →
6371 Crescent Road
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2 Canada

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

Sign up for the study:


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:, 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.”


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:   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