Orientation Week 2021

After a long 18 months of virtual meetings, we’re very excited to be welcoming our new colleagues and coworkers to campus next week for Orientation! We’ll be flyering campus, tabling on the Quad to meet new GSU members, cheering on Convocation, holding workshops and roundtables, and culminating things on Saturday with an outdoor dance party at Promontory Point! You can sign up here if you’re interested in volunteering to help with any of the events below. Please note that some updates have been made to the schedule since our newsletter last week. Check out all we have planned:  

Tuesday, September 21, 10:30AM-2PM: GSU on the Quad! (*Note updated time*) UChicago will be holding a Welcome Convocation and Orientation fair this Tuesday on the Main Quad, and we’ll be making sure that the University’s newest graduate workers will be hearing our side of things as well! Join us from 10:30am-12pm wearing GSU t-shirts and buttons as we make our presence felt and cheer on our new coworkers with signs, energy, and union solidarity! Volunteer afterwards to help table, flyer, and chat with our new colleagues and comrades and encourage those interested in joining GSU to sign member cards.  If you’re relatively new to GSU or haven’t been very actively involved in the past, be sure to come by to say hello and learn more!   

Thursday, September 23, 10-11AM: Departmental Organizer Training 201: On Navigating Conflict. Conflict is a common part of organizing a union. The goal of this virtual training is to provide ourselves with strategies for recognizing and navigating conflict. This training is centered around a practice of nonviolent communication. 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). Register here to join us via Zoom!  

Thursday, September 23, 1-3PM: Anti-Racism Workshop: Understanding, Recognizing, and Dismantling White Supremacy Culture at UChicago. White supremacy isn’t just about Proud Boys or MAGA hats. As educator, writer, artist, and activist Tema Okun has stated: “We are all swimming in the waters of white supremacy culture. We are all navigating this culture, regardless of our racial identity.” In this peer-learning workshop, you’ll learn about UChicago’s founding history in slavery; its ongoing involvement in gentrification and displacement; and the ways in which we inadvertently fuel white supremacy culture on campus. The workshop will take place on Zoom and presentations will be recorded. Sign up here to join our collective journey in dismantling systemic white supremacy at UChicago and continuing our individual unlearning of white supremacy.   

Friday, September 24, 1-3PM: Roundtable: Grad Life Survival. This roundtable discussion will focus on GSU’s “survival guide” for new graduate workers. We’ll talk about the history of GSU wins, the role of labor organizing in academia, and tips and tricks on surviving and thriving. Register here to attend!  

Saturday, September 25, 5-9PM: GSU Dance Party and Line 3 Fundraiser at Promontory Point. GSU will be joining a group of Line 3 Defendants and supporters for an evening of community at Promontory Point this Saturday. Get to know your coworkers, have a plate at the potluck, and dance around a bonfire with music from DJ Zolita and DJ Clubchow!  Bring yourself, a friend, a dish to share if you can, and any funds you can contribute to support water protectors. Follow the Facebook event here, and donate at bit.ly/ChiLegalFunds or Venmo @ChiLine3.   

If you’ve been thinking about becoming involved with GSU, now’s the time! Fill out this form to volunteer to help with Orientation events, or if you’re just getting to know GSU, be sure to stop by when you see us on the Quad!

Want to hear about organizing issues and future trainings? Email graduatestudentsunited@gmail.com to join the Departmental Organizer listserv!