My fellow graduate students,
Welcome back to the University of Chicago. Whether this is your final year or you are just beginning your graduate studies, I’m thrilled to have you as a colleague. This is the start of my sixth year in Developmental Biology, and I am excited because every September brings the opportunity to forge new connections and generate new ideas. Graduate school tends to isolate us. It’s easy to believe that we are making this difficult journey alone or that the challenges are solely individual, even when the problems (such as inadequate health insurance or skimpy paychecks that aren’t always paid on time) are collective ones. But grad workers are the backbone of the University, and our labor produces immense value for this institution. That’s why I am a member of Graduate Students United (GSU). Through our union, I have a voice to address the problems that affect me and my colleagues. And through GSU, I have found supportive friends across campus that I would have not met otherwise.
This October we will vote for legal recognition of our union, and I hope that you will join us by signing our public VOTE YES petition. And I invite you to check our Facebook page to attend the events GSU is hosting. Together, we will make UChicago a truly excellent place for teaching and learning!