Updates

Solidarity from GSU

Subject Line: Solidarity from GSU  

Well, folks, to say that 2021 is off to quite the start would be a dramatic understatement. The right-wing violence at the U.S. capitol this week is, unfortunately, the culmination of years of escalating authoritarian rhetoric and white supremacist violence. This is an overwhelming time of fear and uncertainty, but when we act in solidarity with one another, we can all feel less alone. Please–don’t hesitate to reach out to your fellow workers and organizers just to talk or to get involved in the New Year so that we can all work together to make our world a better place, in ways both big and small. 

Save the Date: Winter GMM Wednesday, January 20   

Our first GMM of the winter quarter will be on Wednesday, January 20. Keep an eye out for more details, but in the meantime, please add the date to your calendars!

Among other agenda items, we will be voting on endorsing the #DefundCPD campaign, as a follow-up to the training on policing in Hyde Park held in fall quarter. The goal of #DefundCPD is to divest from police violence that disproportionately impacts Black, brown, and indigenous communities and to instead invest in resources such as schools, mental health clinics, and housing that we and our neighbors deserve.

Recarding with GSU Reminder  

Don’t forget: one way to renew your involvement in the independent GSU is to sign our new digital membership card.Now that we’re an independent union, we’re asking all members to sign a new (digital, for now) membership card to confirm their membership in GSU. There’s no negative consequence if you don’t sign this card; we’re here to support all graduate workers regardless. This is simply a way for us to get back in touch with our membership.   

Sign the membership card here!

Get Involved  

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 meetings and times for our regular committee meetings, but also feel free to get in touch with one of your department’s stewards or your divisional representative 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.


Stewards and Organizing Committee – Mondays at 6pm

Steering Committee – Tuesdays at 6pm

Worker Action Committee – Fridays at 2pm

Mutual Aid Committee – Fridays at 3pm

Communications Committee – Contact graduatestudentsunited@gmail.com to get involved!

Get Involved in the New Year with GSU!

Here at GSU, we’re wishing a happy New Year to all of our members and graduate workers everywhere, as well as good riddance to 2020. If you’re looking for a way to start the New Year off right and make a positive change on campus, consider getting more involved with GSU! There are plenty of opportunities below to get involved with organizing or our many standing committees that keep our union moving forward. So check them out, and don’t just hope for a better 2021–find a way to make it happen!  

Save the Date: Winter GMM Wednesday, January 20 

Our first GMM of the winter quarter will be on Wednesday, January 20. Keep an eye out for more details, but in the meantime, please add the date to your calendars! At this meeting, we will be discussing the results of initial organizing around our major winter campaign and voting on whether to move forward publicly with this campaign, so it’s important to have high attendance in order to best determine the direction of our organizing for winter quarter!  

Anti-racism working group retreat and 28-day Antiracism Challenge 

The Anti-Racism Working Group (ARWG) encourages anyone holding white privilege to take on the 28-day Antiracism Challenge this break! This daily reading and journaling exercise can be done at a pace of your choosing, with indefinite start or end dates. Accountability Circles are still open for those who want to work on it with others, or you might choose to work on your own. See the flier for more info.    We also welcome any GSU member to come organize and build community around anti-racist praxis with us! Contact Rina at r.sugawara [AT] gmail [DOT] com for the zoom link to our forthcoming ARWG Retreat #2!  

Recarding with GSU Reminder

Don’t forget: one way to renew your involvement in the independent GSU is to sign our new digital membership card.Now that we’re an independent union, we’re asking all members to sign a new (digital, for now) membership card to confirm their membership in GSU. There’s no negative consequence if you don’t sign this card; we’re here to support all graduate workers regardless. This is simply a way for us to get back in touch with our membership.    Sign the membership card here!

Get Involved

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 meetings and times for our regular committee meetings, but also feel free to get in touch with one of your department’s stewards or your divisional representative 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.   

Stewards and Organizing Committee – Mondays at 6pm

Steering Committee – Tuesdays at 6pm

Worker Action Committee – Fridays at 2pm

Mutual Aid Committee – Fridays at 3pm

Communications Committee – Contact graduatestudentsunited@gmail.com to get involved!

GSU Weekly Newsletter – 11/16/20

GSU’s Next General Members Meeting

Our next General Members Meeting will be Wednesday, December 2 at 6pm. We’ll have more information including a preliminary agenda and zoom details in future newsletters, but for now please save the date! We’re looking forward to having everyone together to discuss the future of our union and ongoing initiatives together!

De-Policing Hyde Park Conversation

GSU’s mutual aid committee, along with organizations like the Black Abolitionist Network, Good Kids Mad City, and #CareNotCops, has organized a community conversation on recent campaigns to defund UCPD, to be held virtually on Friday, November 20 from 3-5pm. Find more details at the Facebook event and in the image below, or visit bit.ly/de-policingHP to register now!

Recarding with GSU Reminder

As we mentioned previously, one way to renew your involvement in the independent GSU is to sign our new digital membership card. If you’re receiving this email, you may have already signed a physical membership card to join GSU. However, now that we’re an independent union, we’re asking all members to sign a new (digital, for now) membership card to confirm their membership in GSU. There’s no negative consequence if you don’t sign this card; we’re here to support all graduate workers regardless. This is simply a way for us to get back in touch with our membership. We’ll also be setting up one-on-one organizing conversations, so be on the lookout for an email from your friendly department organizer soon!


Sign the membership card here!

Get Involved

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 meetings and times for our regular committee meetings, but also feel free to get in touch with one of your department’s stewards or your divisional representative if you are interested in work at the departmental or divisional level.


Stewards and Organizing Committee – Mondays at 6pm

Steering Committee – Tuesdays at 6pm

FORCe/Worker Action Committee – Wednesdays at 6pm

Communications Committee – Thursdays at 2pm

Mutual Aid Committee – Fridays at 3pm


You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to keep up to date on union news and events.

GSU Weekly Newsletter – 11/10/20

Presidential Election Update

As all of you have probably heard, over the weekend the presidential race was called for Joe Biden, and many of our members let out a collective sigh (and in some cases cheer) of relief. Trump’s term as president has been devastating for numerous communities, and the Trump-appointed NLRB has been hostile to labor, particularly graduate worker unions. With a Biden win, we hope to see a change in labor policy that would advance worker protections and finally ensure our recognition and rights as a union. However, we are well-aware that federal protections and labor friendliness are just one tool of union organizing, and that there are multiple strategies to continue our struggle to improve the conditions of graduate workers on this campus. The fight is never over, even if we hope it may become a little easier: graduate workers are workers, and we will continue organizing in support of workers everywhere. We’re in this together. 

De-Policing Hyde Park Conversation

GSU’s mutual aid committee, along with organizations like the Black Abolitionist Network, Good Kids Mad City, and #CareNotCops, has organized a community conversation on recent campaigns to defund UCPD. For more information, refer to this image below:

Recarding with GSU Reminder

As we mentioned previously, one way to renew your involvement in the independent GSU is to sign our new digital membership card. If you’re receiving this email, you may have already signed a physical membership card to join GSU. However, now that we’re an independent union, we’re asking all members to sign a new (digital, for now) membership card to confirm their membership in GSU. There’s no negative consequence if you don’t sign this card; we’re here to support all graduate workers regardless. This is simply a way for us to get back in touch with our membership. We’ll also be setting up one-on-one organizing conversations, so be on the lookout for an email from your friendly department organizer soon!

Sign the membership card here!

Get Involved

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 meetings and times for our regular committee meetings, but also feel free to get in touch with one of your department’s stewards or your divisional representative if you are interested in work at the departmental or divisional level.


Stewards and Organizing Committee – Mondays at 6pm

Steering Committee – Tuesdays at 6pm

FORCe/Worker Action Committee – Wednesdays at 6pm

Communications Committee – Thursdays at 2pm

Mutual Aid Committee – Fridays at 3pm

You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to keep up to date on union news and events.

GSU Newsletter – 11/2/20

UChicago More Than Diversity Campaign

Professors Adrienne Brown (English) and Eve Ewing (SSA) recently wrote an excellent op-ed for the Chicago Tribune, discussing their recent call for wider institutional and neighborhood support for the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, formation of a Critical Race Studies department, and alliance with calls for the disarmament of and divest from UCPD alongside groups including #CareNotCops, the Reparations at UChicago Working Group, and the Library Activist Network at UChicago. They write,


So we demand more than diversity. Many of America’s most storied institutions have made their fortune through racist acts. Remedying that fact is not easy. It requires honest acknowledgment of the past, and well-resourced actions in the present. It requires an ongoing willingness to challenge hierarchies, and to empower the people who the powerful would rather ignore. Without those steps, real change is not forthcoming.


Faculty across the university are participating in a labor and publicity withdrawal until their demands are met. Find out more about their campaign here.


General Election

As you have likely heard, tomorrow (11/3) is the General Election in the United States. Beyond just the important decision in the presidential race, there are a number of important local decisions in Illinois, Cook County, and across the United States. An especially important measure on the Illinois Ballot is the proposed Fair Tax (“Proposed Amendment to the 1970 Illinois Constitution, Illinois Graduated Income Tax Amendment”). You can find information on your polling place, information about the individuals on the ballot as well as measures like the Fair Tax, and more through UChiVotes.


Recarding with GSU Reminder


As we mentioned in last week’s newsletter, one way to renew your involvement in the independent GSU is to sign our new digital membership card. If you’re receiving this email, you may have already signed a physical membership card to join GSU. However, now that we’re an independent union, we’re asking all members to sign a new (digital, for now) membership card to confirm their membership in GSU. There’s no negative consequence if you don’t sign this card; we’re here to support all graduate workers regardless. This is simply a way for us to get back in touch with our membership. We’ll also be setting up one-on-one organizing conversations, so be on the lookout for an email from your friendly department organizer soon!


Sign the membership card here!


Get Involved


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 meetings and times for our regular committee meetings, but also feel free to get in touch with one of your department’s stewards or your divisional representative if you are interested in work at the departmental or divisional level.

  • Stewards and Organizing Committee – Mondays at 6pm
  • Steering Committee – Tuesdays at 6pm
  • FORCe/Worker Action Committee – Wednesdays at 6pm
  • Communications Committee – Thursdays at 2pm
  • Mutual Aid Committee – Fridays at 3pm


Solidarity Statement With #CareNotCops

GSU stands in solidarity with #CareNotCops. We support their most recent demand for a public meeting with Provost Ka Yee Lee to discuss the disclosing of UCPD’s budget and building student-led Cultural Centers and an Ethnic Studies Department. For seven days now, they have been ignored by the Provost and harassed by UCPD and CPD. As graduate students at the University of Chicago and community members of South Chicago, GSU members are directly impacted by these demands. We admire the courage and determination of our undergraduate colleagues. Tonight at 8pm, they celebrate one week of occupying the 4900 block of South Greenwood Ave, outside the home of Provost Ka Yee Lee. We invite you to join them for this special occasion.

GSU’s Work Going Forward

Dear Members,

As we ramp up our work on forming our newly independent union, we’ll be taking the GSU newsletter on our yearly summer hiatus. But this hardly means that GSU is not working to protect grad workers on campus! You’ll still receive occasional email updates from us to announce important events and news. 
In the meantime, here’s one last update as to what we’re doing as a union going forward this summer. 

Firstly, check out the list of ongoing meetings below that will be occurring throughout the summer. Can’t make these meetings or want to get involved another way? Join our GSU Discord server, where we’re doing plenty of work asynchronously and supporting each other.

Right now GSU is also engaged in a number of broad initiatives. These include revising our union constitution, with special efforts to making our union more inclusive and committing ourselves to anti-racist structures and work; keeping an eye on developments and ways to support our international student population; incorporating political education into our union; developing new DO training procedures; and updating our website, among other efforts. We’d love to have you involved in any of this work–just attend a meeting or join the Discord Server to learn more about how you can plug in!

We’ll be in touch again soon about our next General Members Meeting and with other updates. Until then, enjoy your summer! Solidarity Forever!


Upcoming Events: Last week we posted links to some GSU committees and events but the Zoom links didn’t work!  Here is that information again but with working Zoom links. All committees are open to all members always!
Happy Hour: Every Friday at 6:00PM
GSU is hosting a weekly Happy Hour/Solidarity Hour where you can come hang out and chat with your fellow union members, play some games, and talk with members of other grad unions around the nation! Email us for more information and join the weekly Zoom call. Meeting ID: 825 3495 0856 Password: 7cWMiY

Steering Committee: Every Tuesday at 6:00PM
Steering Committee is where GSU’s “big-picture” work gets done, including work around GSU’s direction post-disaffiliation, grievances, and more. Currently Steering is working on recruiting new committee members and streamlining its operations, so much of the work Steering has been doing with regard to the shape of a newly independent GSU will be taken up this week in other committees. However, Steering is the place to come if you want to figure out how to get involved! This work is incredibly important, and there is something for everyone at any level of time commitment (synchronous and asynchronous work available!). Current projects include revising our constitution, communications and design, making GSU a more inclusive environment, and worker organizing (including member outreach, mutual aid, political education, and direct actions)! Please feel free to reach out and join the weekly Zoom call: Meeting ID: 542 212 576 Password: 816543

Stewards Council/Organizing Committee: Every Monday at 6:00PM
Interested in getting involved in charting GSU’s path forward as an independent union? Stewards/OC is going to be using our regularly scheduled meeting this coming Monday to hold a Working Groups session where we will consider the future of GSU via small group discussion (topics TBD). We really want to see a lot of union members (not just stewards and DOs!) show up for this, so please try to make it out! Going forward this summer Stewards/OC will be alternating between our normal meeting and Working Group sessions, so if you can’t make it this Monday, we look forward to seeing you sometime later this summer!
Please reach out to Lilly Judge (lillianjudge1@gmail.com) if you have any questions or suggestions for Working Group topics in the future. Zoom link here. Meeting ID: 853 8180 0548 Password: 658126

FORCe (Funding Overhaul Research Committee): Every Wednesday at 6:00PM
This summer, FORCe is focused on preparing for the fight against the coming austerity from COVID-19 budget cuts. This incredibly important work includes building organizing capacity around the university, brainstorming around potential future actions, working with other workers organizing on campus, and more! To get involved with FORCe or find out more, join the Zoom call here. Meeting ID: 602 861 460 Password: 511950

Mutual Aid Committee: Currently deciding on a new time! Email gsu.mutualaid@gmail.com to get the Doodle poll link!
Our Mutual Aid Committee is one of our newest committees, which focuses on building membership and community solidarity through mutual aid. We are currently working on how to build solidarity with local organizations, identifying and compiling local mutual aid networks for members to get involved with, and providing information about the ongoing protests. Join the Zoom call here. Meeting ID: 821 1403 2598 Password: 410160

Communications Committee: Every Tuesday at 2:00PM
The Communications Committee focuses on communicating with our members and the wider public about our organizing work and the issues facing grad workers and other university employees at UChicago and around the country and world. We are responsible for GSU’s social media presence, newsletter, and media representation. To get involved email us or join the Zoom call here.

Joining Solidarity Efforts with #CareNotCops: Open the Books on UCPD

GSU stands in solidarity with campus organizations including #CareNotCops, the Library Activist Network, and other campus workers in demanding that President Zimmer and Provost Lee meet all the demands of #CareNotCops, beginning with disclosing the budget of the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD). As workers on this campus and members of the university community, graduate students need to understand how much has been spent, and is budgeted to be spent, on the UCPD. This information affects all aspects of campus life, especially when there are very real needs felt by campus workers, needs which have only been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and recent shocks from changes in ICE’s directives. We fully endorse the Library Activist Network at UChicago’s statement, Open the Books on UCPD, and call on all members of GSU and the university community to sign their petition. 

ICE Regulations Update, Things That Make You Go Hmmm… and More!

Dear Members,
The past week has seen minor victories and increased solidarity across our union. We have some updates on recent events, as well as upcoming meetings and a couple (brief) requests for member feedback. Read this email to find out more!

ICE Regulations Update

As we mentioned in last week’s newsletter, GSU stands in solidarity with all international students affected by ICE’s recent change in regulations, a shock to many members of our union and university community. While UChicago did eventually join in writing an amicus brief alongside Harvard and MIT’s lawsuit and the US government rescinded ICE’s order, the changes of the past week and half reveal how UChicago does not take student voices into account, often leaving them in difficult and precarious positions. We can see this with their stonewalling of our union, their lack of transparency about plans to reopen the university in the fall, and the lack of input from grad workers about fall plans. These decisions affect the health and safety of everyone at this university and in the surrounding community, and graduate workers–the people whose labor makes this university possible–need to have a say in the matter.

CARES Act Funds Survey 

As we reported previously, the University was awarded $6.2 million by the Department of Education as part of the Federal CARES Act, and decided to accept the funds and dedicate the entire amount to student aid. Even with that enormous amount of funding, students reported that they weren’t determined to be eligible, or that their application was denied. In fact, we learned that the university administration not only established eligibility criteria narrower than those stipulated by the CARES Act, but also pre-selected and contacted those they decided to be eligible, leaving many graduate students out of this process altogether. When members raised questions about this, they were turned back and forth between different administrators, to be eventually provided with insufficient answers and silenced. We will not allow that. 

We want to know how this policy’s limitations and lack of transparency has affected members, and especially assess our members’ experiences regarding the funds and application process. 

Please help us do this by filling out the brief survey here. Many thanks to those of you that have already filled it out!

TBT: GSU Disaffiliation Featured in the Hyde Park Herald

Shouts-out to Christian Belanger for his in-depth write-up about our vote to disaffiliate from AFT and strategy moving forward in the June 29th Hyde Park Herald. The article has a great overview of the history of grad worker organizing at private universities, the legal and material struggles that have led to this moment, and GSU members’ visions for what our union could become. If you’re out of the loop and are looking for a good rundown of where GSU is at, this article is a great place to start!

GSU Culture Survey 

As part of our reflection and self-evaluation of our newly independent union, we are looking into gathering feedback from members on various issues, including GSU culture. There are many exciting ways to get involved, but one, short, and very helpful one would be to fill out the anonymous short survey our dedicated working group prepared about GSU’s culture. It doesn’t matter how long or how deeply you have been involved! We want to gather as much feedback as possible in order to prioritize setting norms and values for work, creating structures of accountability. By filling out the survey, you will contribute to making GSU more equitable and inclusive, so we really value your participation. Thank you! 

Things that make you go hmm? Provost call leads to more questions than answers

Earlier this week, on July 14th, UChicago’s provost held a zoom call with the Covid-19 Student Advisory Board, consisting of Grad Council co-presidents and other students. This call highlighted the ongoing need for graduate worker input on Fall reopening plans, the same input that is often not taken into account. 

While there has been an outline for how the university will handle scheduling, with moving to a hybrid plan to the fall, labs and libraries are already open. Workers in those settings have a variety of safety concerns, but are left with uncertainty and a lack of guidance. Similarly, with the sudden shift online last Spring, many workers–both Masters and PhD–lost their work-study jobs. Does the university have a plan to somehow make more remote work or come up with other positions to intentionally make sure that students are able to access the financial support that they need to continue doing the research and education that makes this university possible? 

These questions are all left unanswered. What we need are fewer zoom calls and more deliberate actions taken by the university administration–things that could happen if they just recognized their workers as workers and were willing to bargain with GSU. If you want to help make that happen, here are some ways to get more involved:

Upcoming Events:
Happy Hour: Every Friday at 6:00PM
GSU is hosting a weekly Happy Hour/Solidarity Hour where you can come hang out and chat with your fellow union members, play some games, and talk with members of other grad unions around the nation! Email us for more information and join the weekly Zoom call.Meeting ID: 825 3495 0856Password: 7cWMiY

Steering Committee: Every Tuesday at 6:00PM
Steering Committee is where GSU’s “big-picture” work gets done, including work around GSU’s direction post-disaffiliation, grievances, and more. Currently Steering is working on recruiting new committee members and streamlining its operations, so much of the work Steering has been doing with regard to the shape of a newly independent GSU will be taken up this week in other committees. However, Steering is the place to come if you want to figure out how to get involved! This work is incredibly important, and there is something for everyone at any level of time commitment (synchronous and asynchronous work available!). Current projects include revising our constitution, communications and design, making GSU a more inclusive environment, and worker organizing (including member outreach, mutual aid, political education, and direct actions)! Please feel free to reach out and join the weekly Zoom call:Meeting ID: 542 212 576Password: 816543

Stewards Council/Organizing Committee: Every Monday at 6:00PM
Interested in getting involved in charting GSU’s path forward as an independent union? Stewards/OC is going to be using our regularly scheduled meeting this coming Monday to hold a Working Groups session where we will consider the future of GSU via small group discussion (topics TBD). We really want to see a lot of union members (not just stewards and DOs!) show up for this, so please try to make it out! Going forward this summer Stewards/OC will be alternating between our normal meeting and Working Group sessions, so if you can’t make it this Monday, we look forward to seeing you sometime later this summer!
Please reach out to Lilly Judge (lillianjudge1@gmail.com) if you have any questions or suggestions for Working Group topics in the future. Zoom link here.Meeting ID: 853 8180 0548Password: 658126

FORCe (Funding Overhaul Research Committee): Every Wednesday at 6:00PM
This summer, FORCe is focused on preparing for the fight against the coming austerity from COVID-19 budget cuts. This incredibly important work includes building organizing capacity around the university, brainstorming around potential future actions, working with other workers organizing on campus, and more! To get involved with FORCe or find out more, join the Zoom call here.Meeting ID: 602 861 460Password: 511950

Mutual Aid Committee: Currently deciding on a new time! Email gsu.mutualaid@gmail.com to get the Doodle poll link!
Our Mutual Aid Committee is one of our newest committees, which focuses on building membership and community solidarity through mutual aid. We are currently working on how to build solidarity with local organizations, identifying and compiling local mutual aid networks for members to get involved with, and providing information about the ongoing protests. Join the Zoom call here.Meeting ID: 821 1403 2598Password: 410160

Communications Committee: Every Tuesday at 2:00PM
The Communications Committee focuses on communicating with our members and the wider public about our organizing work and the issues facing grad workers and other university employees at UChicago and around the country and world. We are responsible for GSU’s social media presence, newsletter, and media representation. To get involved email us or join the Zoom call here.

International Student Solidarity, CARES Act Survey, and More

Dear Members,

It has been a difficult week for many of us. GSU stands in solidarity with international students across the country. We hope that you are all staying safe and well amidst so many confusing changes in the world, and we also hope that this week’s newsletter will provide some context and ways forward for people who either need questions answered or would like to get involved with GSU.


Recent Changes for International Students and ICE Regulations

Earlier this week (July 6), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced stronger visa regulations for international students in the United States. In particular, the policy forces students with F-1 and M-1 visas whose course loads will be fully online to leave the U.S. or face deportation, and it imposes other conditions and restrictions with harmful consequences. This is a reprehensible action that puts numerous students in danger. On Tuesday (July 7), GSU issued a statement condemning these actions and calling for UChicago to use its legal and financial resources to fight this action: “We call on the University of Chicago to denounce these immigration restrictions in the strongest possible terms, and to take all measures necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of its international community.”

Yesterday (July 8), at 8pm, President Zimmer and Provost Lee finally responded to ICE’s changes in a university-wide e-mail, writing, “We firmly oppose this new measure and will work to lessen its impact on the University’s international students.” It is great to have a university that “firmly opposes” actions that put many of its students in danger. However, this statement lacks any indication of substantive support for the students affected by ICE’s regulations (the email mentions the offer of remote classes, in-person courses and “community building” at UChicago’s international campuses in Paris and Hong Kong. As usual, students are being turned to UChicagoGRAD’s resources, including events and workshops for international students, though the email doesn’t explain how these will help the current problems international students are facing).
UChicago has yet to take any substantial action to protect students put at risk by ICE’s order. In contrast, a number of other universities, including Harvard and MIT, have sued for an injunction to prevent ICE from taking this action, or written amicus briefs in support of the lawsuit,. UChicago must similarly take action to protect its international students. 

GSU is currently organizing a town hall with legal experts to help international students and workers to understand how this situation will affect our community. We will also discuss how we can collectively help vulnerable members of our student population. Please stay tuned for an announcement soon.


CARES Act survey

Have you filled out our CARES Act survey yet? We want your thoughts on the university’s lack of transparency and limitations around access to CARES Act funds so that we know how to best address this issue going forward. You can fill out the (very short!) survey here. Many thanks to those of you that have already filled it out!


Protest Etiquette and Safety Guide

Our mutual aid committee has put together a document for members of GSU and our local community to get more information on how to get involved with the ongoing protests. This has suggestions on what to do before going to an action to stay safe, what to do after an action, how to get involved even if you can’t make it to the protests, and more! We will be adding to it throughout the summer and if anyone has any suggestions or would like to get involved with the mutual aid committee, please email us at gsu.mutualaid@gmail.com.
The Protest Etiquette and Safety Guide can be found here.


Things that make you go hmmm…UChicago takes down its plaque honoring Stephen Douglas

In its efforts to build “a stronger, more inclusive University of Chicago,” President Zimmer and Provost Lee announced earlier this week, in another campus-wide e-mail, that the university would remove its bronze plaque honoring Stephen A. Douglas, who was a slaveowner and donated much of the land on which the University of Chicago was originally founded. While purported to be a step of reckoning with the University’s problems of racial bias and inequities, in the same statement, UChicago distances itself from Douglas’s investment in slavery. The e-mail states that “Douglas died in 1861 and had no connection to the University of Chicago that was founded in 1890 as a new institution with a distinct mission.” As the Reparations at UChicago Working Group (RAUC) pointed out, these ties are stronger than the university readily admits. Moreover,  merely removing the plaque does not go nearly far enough toward satisfying the demands made of UChicago’s administration by the members of the University community and South Side community. Some of these demands, such as reparations in the form of affordable housing, healthcare, and education, and others, are much more urgent and stronger actions of accountability than the removal of a plaque,honoring a person to whom the University denies any connection. 

Read more in the paper “A Case for Reparations at the University of Chicago”  written by RAUC.


Call for Participation

As GSU re-charts its path forward post-disaffiliation and continues to monitor the administration’s response to emerging and intensifying crises, we want to heavily encourage our membership to get more involved this summer! This is an exciting time to get involved with GSU and all it takes is hopping on a Zoom call. Hope to see you all this summer!

Upcoming Events:

Last week we posted links to some GSU committees and events but the Zoom links didn’t work!  Here is that information again but with working Zoom links. All committees are open to all members always!

Happy Hour: Every Friday at 6:00PM

GSU is hosting a weekly Happy Hour/Solidarity Hour where you can come hang out and chat with your fellow union members, play some games, and talk with members of other grad unions around the nation! Email us for more information and join the weekly Zoom call.Meeting ID: 825 3495 0856Password: 7cWMiY

Steering Committee: Every Tuesday at 6:00PM

Steering Committee is where GSU’s “big-picture” work gets done, including work around GSU’s direction post-disaffiliation, grievances, and more. Currently Steering is working on recruiting new committee members and streamlining its operations, so much of the work Steering has been doing with regard to the shape of a newly independent GSU will be taken up this week in other committees. However, Steering is the place to come if you want to figure out how to get involved! This work is incredibly important, and there is something for everyone at any level of time commitment (synchronous and asynchronous work available!). Current projects include revising our constitution, communications and design, making GSU a more inclusive environment, and worker organizing (including member outreach, mutual aid, political education, and direct actions)! Please feel free to reach out and join the weekly Zoom call:Meeting ID: 542 212 576 Password: 816543

Stewards Council/Organizing Committee: Every Monday at 6:00PM

Interested in getting involved in charting GSU’s path forward as an independent union? Stewards/OC is going to be using our regularly scheduled meeting this coming Monday to hold a Working Groups session where we will consider the future of GSU via small group discussion (topics TBD). We really want to see a lot of union members (not just stewards and DOs!) show up for this, so please try to make it out! Going forward this summer Stewards/OC will be alternating between our normal meeting and Working Group sessions, so if you can’t make it this Monday, we look forward to seeing you sometime later this summer
Please reach out to Lilly Judge (lillianjudge1@gmail.com) if you have any questions or suggestions for Working Group topics in the future. Zoom link here.Meeting ID: 853 8180 0548Password: 658126

FORCe (Funding Overhaul Research Committee): Every Wednesday at 6:00PM

This summer, FORCe is focused on preparing for the fight against the coming austerity from COVID-19 budget cuts. This incredibly important work includes building organizing capacity around the university, brainstorming around potential future actions, working with other workers organizing on campus, and more! To get involved with FORCe or find out more, join the Zoom call here. Meeting ID: 602 861 460 Password: 511950

Mutual Aid Committee: Currently deciding on a new time! Email gsu.mutualaid@gmail.com to get the Doodle poll link!

Our Mutual Aid Committee is one of our newest committees, which focuses on building membership and community solidarity through mutual aid. We are currently working on how to build solidarity with local organizations, identifying and compiling local mutual aid networks for members to get involved with, and providing information about the ongoing protests. Join the Zoom call here.

Meeting ID: 821 1403 2598 Password: 410160

Communications Committee: Every Tuesday at 2:00PM

The Communications Committee focuses on communicating with our members and the wider public about our organizing work and the issues facing grad workers and other university employees at UChicago and around the country and world. We are responsible for GSU’s social media presence, newsletter, and media representation. To get involved email us or join the Zoom call