Members and affiliates of Stand Up For Graduate Student Employees (SUGSE)—an anti-racist, feminist advocacy organization for graduate student worker rights—have begun a campaign to unionize graduate student workers at Brown. We wanted to take the opportunity to explain our reasons, to state our best intentions, and to invite all of Brown’s community members to work with us as partners in improving the quality and security of the lives of the hundreds of graduate students from around the world who have accepted Brown’s invitation to research and teach in Providence.
Over the last several years, we at SUGSE have sought to improve working conditions for graduate students. We’ve successfully fought for more options and transparency in the late-year funding processes, for dental insurance for graduate workers, and rallied against the institutional racism which has made Brown a hostile working environment for many. Our image as concerned advocates is widely felt; at SUGSE, we have frequently found that our fellow students, wanting a way to redress entrenched problems, come to us for help as though we actually already are their union. And the problems they bring to us are many. We’ve heard accounts from graduate workers asked to be on call twenty-four hours a day to their laboratories; of graduate students given the herculean task of serving as teaching assistants to one hundred undergraduates, each writing weekly papers; of graduate students who have faced sexual harassment from faculty and who have thereafter been denied requests as simple as changing their T.A. assignments or amending the precise order in which they must pursue required coursework. Our fellow students face personal reprisals on account of faculty hostility to their diversity initiatives, report the institution’s incapacity to reckon with their visa and international travel problems, and testify to the myriad ways in which the institution over-burdens and under-serves teaching and research assistants…
Continue reading “Open Letter on Graduate Student Employee Unionization”
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in front of university hall
Sign Up Here to Read!
In conjunction with the closing of the draft of the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, we invite the entire campus community to join us for an afternoon of “feedback” and hear: recitations of demands and recommendations submitted by Brown University student groups; the publications from Mizzou, Yale, and other universities across the nation who are also demanding more of their institutions; the thoughtfully drafted critiques of Brown Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion plan; and the scholarship that both critiques the present moment and offers ideas for imagining otherwise.
But we need your voice to make it work.
Please sign up for the time and reading of your choosing. Grads, undergrads, faculty, adjuncts, staff, PVD community members welcome.
Not sure what you want to share? Check out this list of potential readings.
SUGSE members are proud to be one small part in the big effort of authoring this thoughtful, on point correction to all the vacuous applause Brown’s publicity machine has been stirring up over that big old price tag attached to a whole lot of tired rhetoric.
Read full article at Huffington Post.
If you couldn’t make it to this week’s SUGSE meeting, here is a brief run-through of what you missed: We discussed how SUGSE will anticipate the Diversity Action Plan, expand and embolden its social media presence, and work to better understand the challenges faced by students in a wide range of disciplines.
Join us Next Week!
5:30 – 6:30 PM
Hope to see you at the black out events today. 12pm at Van Wickle, 1pm on the Main Green!
Stand Up For Graduate Student Employees (SUGSE)
SUGSE stands in solidarity with NAB (Native Americans at Brown) in their fight to compel the university to change Fall Weekend to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
It’s about the least you could do, Brown. Get with it!
You can Sign NAB’s petition here!
This week we will be bringing back the amazing SUGS booth!
Except this time it will be outfitted for passersby to play a short game of GRAD LIFE. SUGS has retooled this classic game to highlight issues that affect the lives and careers of graduate students at Brown. Will you get top marks in your coursework? Get into an amazing summer research program, but need to come up with the funds to support yourself? Maybe things have been going great, but you decide to start a family and realize there isn’t easily accessible childcare and that maternity leave isn’t nearly as robust as you’d hoped…
Come play a short round and see how your GRAD LIFE turns out and also get some tips on how you can advocate for a different outcome if things don’t go as well as you’d planned!
Come have a drink with SUGS on Friday March 6 at 5pm in the GCB! Bring your cohort-mates, or meet new friends, and celebrate our hard-won dental care! You can talk about ongoing issues, find out more about the work SUGS does, or just relax with fellow grads. The first 5 pitchers are on us! Cheers!
Continue reading “We won dental–let’s drink to that!”