Elections: Nominations Now Open

Nominations are now open for Steering Committee Elections–nominate yourself or someone else by March 18! 

We are seeking nominations for the following positions: 

-(2) Co-Presidents

-(1) General Secretary

-(1) Financial Secretary

-(1) Communications Secretary

-(7) Divisional Representatives: Humanities, Social Sciences, Crown, Divinity, BSD, PSD, Harris

As was the case last year, these officers will be elected via a campus-wide general membership vote, with the exception of the Divisional Representatives, who can only be elected by members within their own division. Steering Committee officers manage the day-to-day administration of the union. Continuing with the governance structure that we have been utilizing for the last year, each active GSU committee will also have a seat on the Steering Committee for AY2022-2023. Committee representatives will be elected internally by the members of each committee, and will not be subject to particular terms.

You can read more about the responsibilities of Steering Officers—and nominate yourself or someone else—here. If you have questions about the nomination process, elections, or the descriptions of different elected roles, or if you would like to volunteer to help the Elections Committee over the next month, please contact gsu.elections.team@gmail.com and someone from the Elections Committee will get back to you.

Elections will be held in early April. Nominate yourself or someone else by March 18 to help guide our union over the next year! 

SSF Updates and Retaliation

Participants in the SSF Refusal Campaign continue to experience increased retaliation this week, as registration holds have been enacted against those owing over $1500 to the University and others, including those below the threshold, have received phone calls from the Bursar attempting to coerce them into paying up. If you are receiving calls from the Bursar or pressure on any other front, please contact us immediately at graduatestudentsunited@gmail.com; we have the resources to support you in deciding what’s best for your situation, including contacting members of your department for help, negotiating with administrators and the Bursar, and developing other organizing strategies to meet your needs. 

We are organizing actively around a new strategy for winning our last demands in this campaign, particularly the refund of fees from the last two years to all graduate students. This strategy will provide new ways to get involved even for those who have paid down debt previously or are not in a secure enough place to face retaliation from the Bursar. We’ve had a huge success already in this campaign, but it will take all of our collective efforts to secure this final win–Please be in touch with your Departmental Organizer in the coming week for details, and contact us as soon as possible if you would like to become more involved! 

March Mutual Aid Meals from MAC

The Mutual Aid Committee is back with another round of community meals for March! We’re pleased to offer free meals to grad student parents and caregivers, as well as anybody experiencing food insecurity. If you’re in need of a meal next week, please sign up — and share with your networks!

If you would like free meals delivered for your household on March 14 or 15, please fill out our meal request form here by March 11. This month the menu is vegan Thai red curry, crispy baked tofu, Thai fried spring rolls, and tasty fruit salad for dessert. The curry will not be spicy so as to keep it kid-friendly. All meals are vegetarian; vegan and gluten-free options are available on request.

Please consider donating to our mutual aid food justice fund via PayPal here. Thank you for helping us create a community that steps up and supports each other—we are so grateful.

Departmental Organizer 201: On Navigating Conflict

We will be holding our next Departmental Organizer (DO) 201 Training: On Navigating Conflict on Wednesday, March 9th at 6pm via Zoom. You can register here to attend. 

Conflict is a common part of organizing a union. The goal of this training is to provide ourselves with strategies for recognizing and navigating conflict and participating in difficult conversations. This training is centered around a practice of nonviolent communication. As we continue with our  organizing, we hope this training will enable us to approach our organizing mindfully while building on the amazing foundation of our DO 101 Training! (But note that there is no requirement that you complete the 101 before the 201 training).

If you haven’t taken this training before, we encourage you to join us! And even if you have, you are welcome to attend more than once–returning to this training can be a great way to continue peer-learning and encounter new perspectives. 

Hardship Fund

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to pay down your SSF balance, we are here for you. GSU’s Hardship Fund is now open for applications. The fund will first be dedicated toward helping those facing retaliation or hardship for their participation in the SSF Refusal, and remaining funds at the end of this campaign will be dedicated more generally for graduate workers facing hardship. Applications will be reviewed by an ad-hoc committee on a twice quarterly basis. If you have some money to spare, the Hardship Fund is also now open for donations to help out your fellow graduate workers and spread some solidarity!  

Get Involved with GSU this Quarter

GSU has a number of ways to get involved, from organizing to committee work! All meetings are open to all members. Below you can find the new Winter Quarter meetings and times for our regular committee meetings, but also feel free to get in touch with one of your department’s organizers or email graduatestudentsunited@gmail.com if you are interested in work at the departmental or divisional level. To receive Zoom links and updates for the meetings below, email us to join the Departmental Organizer listserv. 

Mutual Aid Committee – Mondays at 12pm

Steering Committee – Mondays at 5pm

Communications Committee – Wednesdays at 2pm

Anti-Racism Working Group – Wednesdays at 4pm

Department Organizer Training – Biweekly Wednesdays at 5pm (register here!)

Organizing Committee – Thursdays at 12pm

Worker Action Committee – Meeting on an as-needed basis