Student Candidates Seek GEO Endorsement

Several candidates have contacted the GEO for endorsements of their bids for Student Senate or the Board of Trustees. Student elections take place on March 8-9. To provide our members with the tools to make an informed decision, we’ve included some of the candidates’ statements. Click on the above link to view the requests.
In addition, candidates will have the opportunity to address the Stewards Council when it meets next on March 7, at 5PM in the University YMCA. Stewards Council meetings are open to all UIUC graduate employees.

Candidates for Student Senate
Parisa Tabriz
Dear Graduate Employees Organization,
I am writing you to request an endorsement for the GEO for my upcoming campaign for the Illinois Student Senate. As an undergraduate at UIUC, I was frustrated by the inability of the student government to successfully work with both undergraduate and graduate students. I thought it was disrespectful of ISG to have a “Graduate Affairs Committee” that did not contain a single graduate student.
As a member of the Illinois Student Senate, I will work to successfully represent graduate students and their concerns. As an incoming graduate student in the Department of Computer Science, I would like to work on making the process of learning about and joining the GEO an easy one. I think that outreach to incoming students is essential to building both the union and the progressive movement that it represents.
In specific, as a woman, I am greatly concerned about making sure that good health care coverage is extended to all graduate students – including full contraceptive coverage. I also think it is important to work with female graduate students in Engineering to bring them into the GEO and the unionization movement. I hope to work with the GEO on these issues if elected.
Chris Grier
To the GEO:
My name is Chris Grier and I am a graduate student in Electrical and Computer Engineering. I am intending to run for the Illinois Student Senate (ISS) and would like the support of the Graduate Employees’ Organization.
As a graduate student myself, I see the need for collective bargaining with the administration. I think that unionization allows students a stronger and more unified voice that helps benefit not only graduate students, but the university campus at large. I am currently a Research Assistant but plan to be a Teaching Assistant next year and will join and become an active part of the GEO.
As a member of the Illinois Student Senate (ISS), I would like to work with student government and the GEO to reach out to graduate students in Engineering and get them more involved with the GEO in specific and campus life in general.
Board of Trustees – Student Trustee
Susan Rodgers
Graduate Employees’ Organization,
My name is Susan Rodgers and I am an undergraduate student in English and Rhetoric attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Over the past few years, I have been involved in various local efforts such as the Citizens Police Review Board, the efforts to secure Union labor for the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, and AWARE (Anti-War Anti-Racism Effort). I also conducted a student run campaign for Champaign County Board in the Fall of 2004.
I am running for Student Trustee because I feel progressives need a voice on the Board of Trustees and a strong advocate for worker and student rights. As a Board of Trustees member, I will make it a priority to support retiring the University mascot Chief Illiniwek, I will support domestic partner benefits for all university employees, and I will aggressively push for a positive working relationship between the University and the GEO.
Graduate students are an essential part of this university. They teach many of our classes and do much of the research that makes this school a top research institution. The University has a commitment to providing competitive compensation and health care coverage for all of its employees, including graduate students.
I would like to request the endorsement and support of the GEO in this effort. I would welcome an endorsement and look forward to working with you in the future.
I request an endorsement from the GEO.