Structure & Elected Officers

The Grad Workers Run This Union

Our union is run democratically by UChicago graduate workers, for UChicago graduate workers. The full governing bylaws for GSU-UE are available here. You can also view our data policy here and our COVID-19 policy here. To follow is a summary of how the union operates.

The union’s highest decision making body is a General Members Meeting (GMM). GMMs are called at least once per quarter so members can make democratic decisions about the union’s priorities and direction. All graduate workers are welcome to attend GMMs and participate in decision making. 

The Organizing Committee is a weekly meeting of grad workers involved in organizing, and serves as a secondary decision making body. The Organizing Committee deals with more detailed logistics and strategy for our organizing campaign. Decisions made at Organizing Committee can be overruled at a GMM, and Organizing Committee can’t act contrary to any GMM decision.

The Steering Committee consists of the elected officers of the union, and handles administrative tasks, when directed to do so by a governing body. Other current committees include Communications Committee and Solidarity Working Group. All committee meetings are open to all grad workers! You can find upcoming committee meetings on the GSU calendar.

Current Officers

The following Steering Committee Officers are currently serving through the end of Spring Quarter 2023:

  • Co-Presidents: Neomi Rao (Political Science) and Brianna Suslovic (Social Welfare)
  • General Secretary: Natalie Farrell (Music)
  • Communications Secretary: Valay Agarawal (Chemistry)
  • Financial Secretary: Christopher Wilson (Mathematics)

Officers are elected to a one-year term, with elections occurring at the end of Spring Quarter and terms commencing at the start of Summer Quarter. The Steering Committee can be contacted by emailing graduatestudentsunited@gmail.com.

Finances

GSU is supported financially by voluntary dues and donations. This money is used to cover expenses related to organizing and other mutual aid projects. Spending decisions are made democratically by the members and the union’s elected officers, using the processes described below.

Budgeted Expenses

The union’s Steering Committee will regularly review dues income, and make new budget proposals as needed. Any budget proposal must be brought before a general members meeting where it may be approved, modified, or rejected.

Budgeted Expenses are used for regular recurring expenses such as office rent and staffer pay, or for recurring contributions to internal funds such as the Hardship Fund or Strike Fund.

Ad-hoc Spending

  • Any single expense up to $250 may be approved at the discretion of the Financial Secretary.
  • Any single expense up to $1000 may be approved by the Steering Committee.
  • Any greater expense must receive approval at a General Members Meeting.

Current Budget and Records

The Financial Secretary maintains the budget, spending records, and provides regular reports on the state of finances to members at general members meetings as needed. Any member may, upon request, review the current budget and spending records. Contact the current Financial Secretary or graduatestudentsunited@gmail.com if you are interested.