The GEU is actively working on three main campaigns centered around improving the lives and well-being of graduate students at Michigan State University. Please see below to learn more about our campaigns and how you can get involved!
Anti-Discrimination / Anti-Harassment
There are major concerns at MSU concerning how graduate students are treated, with many–especially international students and students with marginalized identities–experience discrimination or harassment during their time here. The GEU is committed to building a coalition with other organizations on campus to fight against discrimination and harassment, and to hold the university accountable for their role in perpetuating these issues. The office meant to investigate these issues, the Office of Institutional Equity, is overworked, takes too long to conduct investigations, has a narrow window during which incidents can be reported, and often closes investigations with no satisfying conclusion.
How can you help? One way is to show up in support of victims of discrimination and harassment. You can volunteer to attend meetings with victims as they go through the reporting process, or file a report of discrimination/harassment on their behalf. You can also join the Member Defense Committee to help victims navigate this process and find actual solutions to their issues. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and get involved!
This major campaign focuses on another issue that also disproportionately affects international students. Most international students are required to pass a language assessment test before they can become TAs. This test is plagued with issues of transparency (the rubric they use to grade it is not available, and test-takers do not receive any feedback), and the testing environment is often crowded and noisy with no noise-canceling headphones provided. The test also displays significant accent bias, with folks failing the test even if they have been speaking English their entire lives. We are aiming to get noise-canceling headphones provided to all who take the test and to increase the transparency of the test so that all who have to take it can succeed.
How can you help? You can join the committee tackling these issues and attend our meetings with the English Language Center. It is also important for us to be aware of the experiences of those who have taken the test; if you or someone you know has taken it and would like to give input on it, email email@example.com!
As part of our efforts to become an actively anti-oppressive labor union, the GEU is committed to making MSU a sanctuary for all who live and work here. This campaign is just beginning, but we want to hear from you! Join us at upcoming Active Members Meetings to get involved with the planning and actions associated with this campaign.