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TALO elects new leadership

Abdelaziz ’25, Sompalli ’25, Deendar ’25 discuss reasons for running, goals, organized student labor

<p>The new leadership team will focus on bargaining with the University for a long-term contract of 2-3 years.</p>

The new leadership team will focus on bargaining with the University for a long-term contract of 2-3 years.

The Teaching Assistant Labor Organization — which represents undergraduate computer science teaching assistants — held elections for their leadership board Jan. 31. Yasmine Abdelaziz ’25, Shravya Sompalli ’25 and Arman Deendar ’25 were elected by acclamation for president, coordinator for events and treasurer, respectively. All positions were uncontested.

Positions for coordinator for organizing and coordinator for communications remain vacant. 

This semester’s new TALO leadership will be responsible for bargaining with the University for a long-term contract which will be valid for at least 2 years, according to an Instagram post by TALO.

Yasmine Abdelaziz ‘25


Abdelaziz, who will serve as the new president of TALO, wrote in an email to The Herald that she ran for president because she believes in “the importance of labor unions and organizational work” as a “low-income, Black student.” 

She joined TALO in summer 2022 after being hired as a TA for the fall of that same year. 

Prior to becoming a union in 2023, TALO was “a group of TAs having conversations and learning about each other’s experiences,” Abdelaziz explained.

As president, Abdelaziz will be responsible for running meetings, overseeing correspondence and representing the organization to the public. 

Abdelaziz said she hopes “to continue having conversations among CS TAs, but also with TAs in other departments and student workers throughout campus.” She also plans to “get more community involvement with TALO,” with the goal of raising the current 70% membership rate among CS TAs.

“The CS department would not be able to run without student labor,” Abdelaziz said. “In many cases, we are the ones making the assignments, grading them, holding office hours, hiring other TAs and in some cases even adjusting lecture content.”

Shravya Sompalli ’25

In an email to The Herald, Sompalli wrote that she was motivated to run for the events coordinator position because it felt “like a fun and generative way to work on more community building and collective consciousness–raising among student workers in the CS department, as well as more broadly on campus.”

Sompalli, who has been involved in TALO for over a year, previously served as a health and wellness advocate. 

“Being in community with TALO organizers gave me the opportunity to realize how much collective power we have as student workers because our work is so essential,” she wrote. “When we hold the University accountable, we ensure that we are getting what we need to work and that we are able to create successful learning conditions for our students and (each other).”


As TALO’s new coordinator for events, Sompalli will oversee “general body meetings, town halls and any other larger scale programming,” she wrote in an email to The Herald.

Looking ahead, Sompalli plans to work on “connecting TALO to a broader labor movement on campus.” 

Arman Deendar ’25 

Deendar first began their involvement in TALO through their previous experience as a departmental diversity and inclusion advocate. They emphasized the importance of the union’s contract in offering “specific protections and considerations to the staff member that oversees our work and all diversity and inclusion initiatives in the department.”

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“Being a part of TALO has surrounded me with a community of organizers committed to working towards the well-being of the collective as student workers,” Deendar wrote in an email to The Herald.

Deendar hopes to “introduce more political education to the Union” with a specific focus on upholding the union’s commitment to “anti-racist, feminist and anti-imperialist values.”

“Labor movements at large have been so crucial in critiquing systems of power, and being an organizer with Local 6516 and being in community with other Union members across campus excites me for the possibility of collective action and change on campus,” Deendar wrote.

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