Union trumps hate.


The Graduate Employees Union is disgusted by the bigoted, destructive and nonsensical Executive Order barring refugees and citizens of select Muslim countries from entering the US. Our members include refugees, Iranians, Syrians, Somalis, Sudanese, Libyans, Iraqis and children of immigrants from 100 countries. We know we are stronger together, and reject hatred based on race, religion, or national origin.

If you are worried about how this order may affect you, please contact us at We will help provide you with support and information.

What Now?

  1. Talk with students and colleagues. Make sure they know we have their backs, that we will support them, that we will listen to them, and that we will not betray them.
  2. Join Academics United as we support and celebrate our diverse international campuses and communities on Thursday, February 9 from 12:00PM – 1:00PM at the Rock. This rally is part of a nationwide series of campus demonstrations that will be held simultaneously in a dramatic illustration of our widespread support for immigrants, international visitors, and refugees on our campuses and in our communities. Click here for more details.
  3. Join the GEU in addressing the MSU Board of Trustees to talk about was to make our campus safer in light of changing federal policies. We will meet at the GEU office at 6:00PM on Wednesday, February 15 to coordinate strategies for addressing the Board of Trustees at the regularly scheduled meeting on Friday, February 17. If you would like to address the Board, or if you would like to provide a message to be read by another GEU member please email GEU at
  4. Join or donate to the American Civil Liberties Union to help them bring legal challenges against discriminatory activities resulting from the Executive Order and follow them on Twitter to stay up to date on their progress.
  5. Call your Member of Congress and tell them to stop this ban based on National Origin & Religious Beliefs.
  6. Sign on to the Academics Against Immigration Executive Order letter and share it with colleagues.
  7. Check in frequently with your favorite news sources to keep informed about this developing story. The MSU College of Law Immigration Clinic will be posting updated information on executive orders as they are verified here.

Standing Together

Many of us are angry, sad, anxious and scared in the aftermath of the 2016 General Election. Many of us are also ready to stand together to defend our friends, co-workers, and students. The stewards and executive board of the Graduate Employees Union are committed to making our campus and community- including our union – inclusive, welcoming and safe for those who are Muslim, Jewish, undocumented, POC, LBGTQIA+, or otherwise threatened and scared. The GEU office is open to our members as an intentionally safe space to hold meetings or come and spend time off campus with people who support social justice and equality.

Now more than ever, the GEU is only as strong as the energy put forth by our members. Now is the time to act to defend one another.  Our committees are all working to make our campus a safe and more inclusive place. Listed below are many opportunities to get involved in the fight for a just and equal campus. Please, join a committee today!

Join a Committee

To join any committee, just email

Committee Description
Stewards Council Stewards organize in their departments, listening for issues and serving as the first person to go to if a graduate student has a problem. If a member has a problem, a steward can bring it to Member Defense or help solve it- including discrimination and healthcare. Stewards are the primary decision makers for the union, and the front lines for justice.
Member Defense Committee The Member Defense committee is our first line of defense, actively and proactively working to defending our members against workplace discrimination and injustice of all kinds. The reach and influence of this committee grows with each new member who signs on.
Political Action Committee Political Action Committee fights to advance public policy that will protect and empower our members by educating our membership, organizing them around political goals, and persuading our elected leaders to stand up for justice.
Budget Committee The Budget committee, in addition to drafting policies and budgets for the union, manages our Solidarity Grant which provides support for members in crisis. Now, more than ever, our members will need sound fiscal stewardship and our solidarity.
Events and Planning Our members need places to feel safe, loved, and respected. The events and planning committee is focused on providing those spaces for GEU members, making sure that no matter your country of origin, your religion, your race, gender, or sexuality that you know that you are loved and supported.
Mental Health Support Group Members of the mental health support group work to advocate for resources for mental health on campus and provide a safe place for GEU members to discuss their struggles with mental health.
Healthcare Information Committee With the repeal of the Affordable Care Act seeming probable, there is a lot of information on healthcare people will need to know- since the GEU contract will be the only thing guaranteeing graduate students health care coverage from then on. The Healthcare Committee educates members on their rights to healthcare in our contract and provides information on key aspects of health insurance.


While the 2016 elections are over, we have elections next year for critical local offices like city councils, who can pass laws protecting the most vulnerable of our members. We can start building now to make sure pro-justice candidates win these critical races by donating to the AFT Michigan Political Action Committee. Even $1.00 a month for the next year could be critical to winning races in Lansing, East Lansing, and Meridian Township. Donate here today!


Post-Election Letter to our Members



For those of you looking to get involved to stand up to the forces of discrimination and hate, please check out our Standing Together page.



Samuel Lipschutz, President

Sara Bijani, Vice President of Grievance and Contract Enforcement

Jeny Lai, Information Officer

Charles Loelius, Treasurer

James Daly, Steward

Emily Frankman, Steward

Kathryn Frens, Steward

Greg Hunter, Steward

Cathleen Fry, Steward

Kathryn Lankford, Steward

Farzan Marsour, Steward

Claire Manning, Steward

Charles Moulding, Steward

Suzanne Neefus, Steward

Nerli Paredes, Steward

Lisa-Marie Pierre, Steward

Mohammad R. Rawashdeh, Steward

Shawna Rowe, Steward

Osvaldo Sandoval, Steward

Maggie Sawdy, Steward

Mark Suchyta, Steward

Stephen Vrla, Steward

Anne Von Petersdorff, Steward


Introducing our Solidarity Supporters Program



Dear membership,

We are very happy to announce the creation of our Solidarity Supporters program! Being a GEU member already means having the benefits of solidarity, won through our contract negotiations. But now being a GEU member means getting discounts at businesses in East Lansing, including Espresso Royale and the Tin Can.

For more information on how to use these new benefits, please check out the Solidarity Supporters page! Thanks to our Solidarity Supporters committee and its chair, Emily Frankman, for all of their hard work putting this program together!