The GEU was founded in 2001, and our constitution has not been updated since then. It is now out-of-date, with one of the main e-board positions (Vice President of Contract Negotiations and Enforcement) not included in the constitution at all. This position is responsible for chairing the Member Defense Committee, which deals with potential contract violations and grievances–certainly a large role! This clearly needs rectifying, but the process to amend the constitution is also limiting: 40% of the membership needs to participate in the vote in order for it to be binding. This is more than the percentage of membership that voted to ratify our last contract! Because of this, we are actively trying to pass two amendments that would make the process of amending the constitution easier: the first would lower the required percentage of participation from 40% of membership to 25%, and the other would eliminate the cumbersome requirement for us to abide by Robert’s rules during General Membership Meetings.
How can you help? When the time comes, participate in the vote! And tell all of your colleagues to vote as well! Additionally, leading up to the vote, you can get involved in organizing efforts to spread the word about the amendments to other graduate students.