Statement in Response to Presidential Election

November 14, 2016

GEO at UIUC Statement in Response to Presidential Election

Last Tuesday, we witnessed the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America. Trump’s presidential campaign was built on homophobic, Islamophobic, misogynist, racist, sexist, and xenophobic language. The condoning of such hate by election is an active threat to civil rights and civil liberties for all. We, the Graduate Employees’ Organization at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, are outraged at the election of a leader who has openly campaigned against the livelihoods and safety of their own constituents.

We, the GEO-UIUC, have fought and continue to fight for affordable child care, accessible health care, gender justice, job training, living wages, protecting employees from retaliation, reasonable workloads, tuition waivers, and workplace safety for all graduate employees regardless of race, gender, religion, ability, sexual orientation, citizenship status, department, job category, or membership in the union. We, the GEO-UIUC, strive to be an inclusive and open environment that acts in the best interests of graduate employees, and act responsibly toward the entire university community.

Most importantly, to support all graduate employees so that they can work with dignity and respect, the GEO-UIUC has fought and continues to fight for a good work environment for all. We recognize that a work environment free from hostility and discrimination is a necessary prerequisite not only for improving the quality of education and research at UIUC, but also ensuring the livelihoods and safety of all graduate employees that directly contribute to this mission.

We, the GEO-UIUC, stand in direct opposition to the hate, fear, open hostility, and violence that has been targeted at Black, Disabled, Latinx, Immigrant, International, LGBTQIA+, Muslim, Native American, Neurodiverse, Undocumented, and Women-identified peoples. We, the GEO-UIUC, stand with all peoples of these communities, as members, allies and advocates living, loving, and working in solidarity.

We, the GEO-UIUC, will continue to fight for all graduate employees’ civil rights and civil liberties to ensure a good work environment free from hostility and discrimination. It is not enough to circulate a mass-mail with truisms such as “we are a community defined by how we treat one another and by our willingness to focus on how we move forward together.” The UIUC administration needs to take action and publicly condemn acts of violence and intimidation against their constituents.

We will not back down. We will not be silent. We’ve got your backs. Every single one.

In solidarity,

Take the GEO Bargaining Survey


As a graduate employee, what issues are important to you? The GEO wants to know! As we continue to get closer to bargaining, the Bargaining Research Committee is asking for signed and bargaining unit members to take the Bargaining Survey.  Letting us know your thoughts and experiences as a graduate employee helps us to fully represent the needs and wants of our members in bargaining.

Please check your email for a link. If you have not received a link,  please email

GEO Contract Convention, October 29th.

Register HERE!

The Information

On October 29, 2016, the GEO will come together to begin enacting our future.  Join us for a day of solidarity, training, and information, as we  prepare to bargain next semester with the administration of the University of Illinois.  During this half-day convention we will discuss our upcoming bargaining and create specific goals for our next contract; learn how to engage with our colleagues about our union and inform them about how the GEO is there for them; brainstorm on possible activities and actions we can take to leverage our position; and come together to ensure a fair and equatable work place.  Lunch will be provided.

For more information, head over to our convention page.

Pay Day!

Make sure to log onto NESSIE and check that your pay is correct. You should be exempt from FICA and Medicare withholdings. If your pay is wrong or if you DIDN’T GET PAID please contact us ( and we can help.

To check your earnings statement, please log on to nessie.

Welcome Back!

Hi members old and new,

Welcome to the University of Illinois, and most importantly welcome to the Graduate Employees’ Organization, your labor Union.

Whether you’ve been at the U of I for a while, or just starting graduate school, you arrive to campus at a crucial moment for graduate employees. Our current contract with the University of Illinois expires during the Fall of 2017, so we will be preparing and organizing for bargaining.

If you want to find out ways to get involved, please join us at one of the events below, email us at, or contact one of our officers directly. There are plenty of ways to get involved!

GEO Welcome Back Party on Friday, September 2 at Pizza M (208 W. Main, Urbana) for a night of free food, free drinks, and free solidarity.  The party takes place from 9 pm to 1 am.

General Membership Meeting of the year on Wednesday, September 14, starting at 5:30 pm.  Food, drinks, and childcare will be provided.  Location:  University YMCA Latzer Hall.
Finally, don’t forget the GEO Unofficial Guide to Chambana located right HERE!

Union strong,

David and Shawn


Solidarity Amendment to the GEO Constitution (Proposal)

Members of the GEO Solidarity Committee, currently an Ad Hoc Committee, are proposing a Solidarity Amendment to the GEO constitution.  The proposed amendment would amplify the mission of the GEO to stand in solidarity with social justice and workers’ rights issues, and create a constitutionally-mandated Solidarity Committee, as well as a Solidarity Officer position who would be elected by the membership, chair the newly-created committee, and have voting rights on the GEO Coordinating Committee.

According to the GEO Constitution, any proposed amendment needs to be voted on at a General Membership Meeting, and if it passes that first step, it also needs to be added to a ballot.  A vote will take place at the Feb 25 GMM for members to vote in favor or against the proposed amendment.  To read the current GEO Constitution, go to
Below is the proposed amendment:
Amendment 1:

Amend Article IX, “Committees,” as follows:

a. add

“F. Solidarity Committee

The General Membership and Constitution of the GEO recognize that active cooperation between the GEO, other unions, and groups engaged in the struggle for social justice is vital to the organizing mission of the Union and the welfare of its community.

1.  The primary responsibilities of the Solidarity Committee are to: engage in activities and seek out opportunities to promote the social justice mission of the GEO; determine the allocation of “solidarity” funds as approved by the General Membership in GEO fiscal year budgets and in accordance with the constitutional objectives of the GEO; work with the Coordinating Committee, the Stewards Council, and the general membership on endorsements; work with the Steward’s Council and Coordinating Committee to ensure that the GEO maintains active and mutually supportive relationships with local, state, national and international labor organizations; and to generally engage in activities to promote the social justice mission of the GEO in cooperation with and support of local, state, national, and international struggles for social justice, including but not limited to economic, racial, gender, and sexual justice.

2.  The Solidarity Officer shall chair the Solidarity Committee.

3.  The other members shall be appointed by the Coordinating Committee, subject to approval by the Steward’s Council. Terms of appointment shall be as determined by the Stewards Council.

4.   A quorum of four Solidarity Committee members who are also members of the GEO is necessary to: allocate “solidarity” funds as approved by the General Membership in GEO fiscal year budgets; write Solidarity Committee by-laws.

5.  The Solidarity Committee may write its own bylaws to govern its internal operations.

b.  change current sections “F”, “G”, and “H” to sections “G”, “H”, and add section “I”

Amendment 2:

Amend Article VII: Officers, as follows: change “the officers of the GEO shall consist of two Co-Presidents, a Treasurer, a Communications Officer, a Grievance Officer and three Officers-at-Large”to

“the officers of the GEO shall consist of two Co-Presidents, a Treasurer, a Communications Officer, a Grievance Officer, a Solidarity Officer, and up to three Officers-at-Large.”

Congratulations New GEO Officers!

Welcome to our New GEO Officers for 2009-10, who were elected by the members at our membership meeting in April.
Caroline Nappo (Library & Information Science)
Ingbert Floyd (Library & Information Science)
Grievance Officer
Michelle Owen (Law & ILIR) – returning
Communications Officer
Peter Campbell (Communication)
Stephanie Seawell (History)
At-Large Officers
Lee Ragsdale (Linguistics)
Mukta Tripathy (Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering)
Matt Anderson (Geography)
Thanks to all of our outgoing officers. It was a GREAT year!

LGBTQA Caucus Film Fest & Hair Show!

***LGBTQA Caucus Film Fest & Hair Show!***
Friday, May 8th, 7-11PM
Independent Media Center, 202 S. Broadway, Urbana (post office)
Sing along to John Waters’ HAIRSPRAY (7pm) and HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH (9pm). Costumes and zany hairstyles strongly encouraged. Enter the Hair Show at intermission to win a prize for best hair! Admission is $2. Suggested donations for refreshments to support the Greater Community AIDS Project.
For more information about this event or the LGBTQA
Caucus of the Graduate Employees’ Organization, please contact the GEO at (217) 344-8283 /

Steward’s Council Meeting

The next stewards council meeting will be:
Wednesday, May 6
5:30-6:30 PM
University YMCA (1001 S. Wright St.)
(Second Floor)
The stewards council is made up of GEO members active in organizing their individual departments. We meet in order to share ideas for increasing membership and involvement among members. Stewards also advocate for GEO members within their departments, have regular conversations with members in order to identify their concerns, and keep track of departmental developments that affect members. Come to the meeting to meet your departmental steward or to become a steward for your department. All members are welcome to attend and pizza will be provided.
To add agenda items for the steward’s council email Emilie Bess at or Kate Grim-Feinberg

Central Illinois Social Forum

Saturday May 2
Workshops and presentations on:
Unemployment & Job Creation
Anti-eviction Actions
Community & Urban Gardens
Urban Spaces & Social Neglect
Food Not Bombs
Activism, Political Organizing, and Direct Action and much more!!!
Independent Media Center
202 S. Broadway @ Elm St., Urbana
Food & Entertainment at 12:30pm
Program begins at 1pm
Dinner at 6pm