Your Story Can Make a Difference

Your Story – the stories of UBC graduate students – has the power to stop harassment and discrimination experienced by graduate students on campus. The Graduate Student Society, UBC Vancouver (GSS) knows that the experience of and challenges faced by fellow graduate students are often profoundly different than that of undergraduate students. is where your voice can be heard, where graduates students can tell their story about their experiences with discrimination and harassment at UBC and in the community.

How to Tell Your Story

UBC graduate students can share their stories in one of the ways below:

* Email
* One-on-one confidential meetings
* “PostSecrets” postcard
* Video


For Written Stories

Written stories will be reviewed and redacted by the Chair of the GSS Ad Hoc Committee on Discrimination and Harassment, with all the information that would reveal the identity of anyone in the stories removed.

For Verbal Stories

If the story is told verbally to a member of the Ad Hoc committee in a confidential interview, the notes taken would not include, as above, information about the identity of any person.

A “postSecret” type of post card or a video would be reviewed by the entire committee, but as always, the identity of individuals would be kept confidential.*

*confidentiality is assured except where disclosure is required by law.


Your stories will be used by the GSS Ad Hoc Committee to identify the various forms of harassment and discrimination taking place on campus.

This narrative data will guide the Committee on the research that the GSS needs to carry out in order to:

  1. Understand the nature and source of each form of harassment and discrimination
  2. Seek “best practices” being used by universities to respond to these issues

Ultimately, the Committee will generate a report that outlines in general terms the various types of situations involving harassment and discrimination experienced by graduate students.

The report will also contain recommendations as to best practices for eliminating the types of harassment and discrimination by your stories.

Graduate students who wish to report an incident of discrimination or violence and are in need of support and protection, are strongly encouraged to contact GSS Advocacy Coordinators or university support services. GSS Advocacy Coordinators work confidentially to support a survivor and have their concerns addressed by UBC.

What is Harassment?

Generally, harassment is conduct or comment that a reasonable person would consider to be objectionable or unwelcome. The conduct or comment typically humiliates, intimidates, excludes or isolates individuals and is often accompanied by threats or promises regarding opportunities and conditions. 

Harassment can be a single, serious incident or a series of repeated incidents. A series of incidents often leads to negative, hostile or poisoned environments that interfere with someone’s ability to do their job or obtain a service. Unhealthy environments show signs of increased absenteeism and turnover and decreased levels of productivity and motivation.  Harassment can range from written or spoken comments to physical or sexual assault. Harassment often involves an abuse of power and has detrimental affects for those suffering from it. 

What can I do if I am harassed?

Harassment is a serious concern and should not be ignored. A few practical solutions you can take include:

  1.  Speaking out and making it clear that you do not approve of what is happening;
  2. Tell your supervisor or someone higher up about your concern and ask them to help;
  3. If you’re being harassed while trying to access a service, complain to management and ask what kind of policy exists to address your concern;
  4. Prepare and keep a detailed record of the incident(s);
  5. Consider filing a human rights complaint.

Source: BC Human Rights Coalition

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"Harassment is conduct or comment that a reasonable person would consider to be objectionable or unwelcome."

— BC Human Rights Coalition

How to Tell Your Story

Sharing your stories of harassment or discrimination on campus is the first step to engaging fellow graduate students and starting a dialogue on how we can improve student life.

There are many ways...


Your story will be redacted and your information will only be used as part of aggregated data in a final report; no specific reference to the story you tell will be shared outside the GSS Ad Hoc Committee for Harassment and Discrimination.

However, if you are willing to have the anonymized information, or portions of the information you provided, shared in a public report please read and fill out the informed consent form.


Book a private one-on-one meeting with a member of the GSS Ad Hoc Committee on Harassment and Discrimination; or email your written story, 'post secrets' postcard, or video: