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Graduate Student Council plans unionization forum, reviews budget

As SUGSE begins card campaign to assess union election support, GSC evaluates spring priorities

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, February 8, 2018

At its first general body meeting of the semester Wednesday evening, the Graduate Student Council announced its plans for a unionization forum this semester and voted on its spring budget.

Unionization is a “topic that is actively discussed on campus” and relevant because Stand Up for Graduate Student Employees has “just started their card campaign” — the first step toward union election, said Alastair Tulloch GS, president of the GSC. The forum will take place later this semester and will gather members of parties such as SUGSE, the Office of the Provost and the GSC, Tulloch added.

Tulloch described the structure of the forum to those present. “People would submit questions to us … (and) we would compile those and filter questions that we would identify as the most relevant ones and then send those questions to different entities who would participate in the forum,” Tulloch said.

The forum is a “fact-finding mission” for the “stakeholders,” said D’Ondre Swails GS, vice president of advocacy of the GSC. “The best place to go for information would be SUGSE since they are the ones who are actively (launching) this campaign, but as an elected body, we also have the duty to inform our constituents,” Swails added.

No date has been set for the forum, but it will be “before spring break,” Tulloch said.

The GSC also passed its spring line-item spending budget. Treasurer of the GSC Eboni Chambers GS presented a financial plan that included items like conference funding and GSC full body meetings. The budget’s total was $4,150.

Chambers also reviewed last semester’s budget. “For the most part, we did okay with our spending,” Chambers said. “We did go over for orientation, but … other than that, we did relatively well — we have $284.41 left.”

The GSC also saw a presentation on GradCON, which is an annual “gathering of Brown MA and PhD alums who have pursued careers outside of faculty positions,” said Sam Caldis GS, member of the Graduate Library Advisory Committee. These careers might include civil service, administration or consulting, Caldis added. The last GradCON was held Nov. 11, 2017.

“The number of participants has increased every year and the sciences have participated very strongly ­— the humanities and social sciences less so,” Caldis said. He asked for graduate students in the humanities and social sciences to give feedback on how to make GradCON “more useful.”

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