The GEO is a member of the following coalitions:
1. Coalition Against Coke Contracts
The GEO Stewards’ Council voted to join the UIUC Coalition Against Coke Contracts on November 7, 2005. Currently, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a five year exclusive contract with the Coca-Cola that is up for renewal in 2007. This exclusive contract implies that the only beverages you can drink on campus are manufactured by Coca-Cola. Considering Coke’s egregious records, this exclusive contract with Coca-Cola forces our members to subsidize human rights, labor violations and environmental degradation every time graduate employees want a soft-drink, bottled water etc. while on campus.
The Coalition Against Coke Contracts (CACC), is a broad coalition of campus and community groups in Champaign-Urbana that has mobilized to demand that the University cut its contract with Coke and divest from Coke since it has repeatedly violated labor rights in Colombia, and is responsible for severe environmental abuse in India.
Check the CACC website for updates and more information.
2. STOP (Students Transforming Oppression and Privilege) Coalition
On Thursday, Jan. 18, the GEO officially endorsed the STOP Coalition (See resolution below). We encourage all members to support this campus-wide coalition to critically engage issues of Racism, Power and Privilege at UIUC.
WHEREAS the GEO has a standing policy of opposition to the current sporting mascot of the University, which is recognized as a demeaning and racist caricature at odds with the land-grant mission of the university and detrimental to the interests of our members; and
WHEREAS recent events on campus, including but not limited to the ‘Tacos and Tequila’ controversy, have highlighted the continued prevalence of racism on campus; and
RECOGNIZING the relationship between institutional racism and such manifestations as those noted above; and
WELCOMING the grass-roots opposition to racism on this campus, collectively gathered under the ‘STOP coalition’;
Therefore be it resolved:
That the GEO endorses the efforts of the STOP coalition to tackle institutional racism on the UIUC campus; and
That the union may support the campaign from its solidarity budget; and
That the union leadership is empowered to add the GEO to petitions, statements and similar documents which are issued issued by, in partnership with, or on behalf of the STOP coalition and which are compatible with the terms and aims of this resolution; and
That where the union leadership seeks the clarification and guidance of the Stewards Council, and that body finds that a petition or similar document, issued by, in partnership with, or on behalf of the STOP coalition, is compatible with the aims of this resolution, that it will not be necessary for a separate endorsement process to be launched for that document; and
That the GEO encourages its members to participate in efforts to tackle racism, bigotry and hatred, on this campus and elsewhere; and
That this endorsement will endure until it is amended, or until June 2008, whichever comes first, at which time it must be re-approved, or lapse.
For more information about the GEO’s work with the STOP Coalition, contact GEO staffer, Lori Serb, at 344-8283
The GEO is a founding member of Central Illinois Jobs with Justice (CIJWJ). CIJWJ was founded on April 22, 2006 to address growing labor rights concerns in Champaign-Urbana and surrounding areas. The chapter is composed of unions, labor rights groups, religious and community organizations, and interested individuals. Since its founding, CIJWJ has worked in solidarity with unions on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus as they negotiated new contracts, supported mine workers in Vermillion county, participated in the campus movement to get Coca-Cola off of the U of I campus, and much more!
CIJWJ generally meets every month, usually on the 4th saturday. Please check out the CIJWJ website for exact dates and times.
Each semester the Illinois Disciples Foundation presents a series of films focused on issues of human rights and social justice, with a different theme for each semester. The IDF describes the film series as “an opportunity for campus and community members to come together to view and discuss films pertinent to those issues that face us all.” Following each film, there is a discussion facilitated by a local campus or community member who has expertise on the topic of the documentary.
The GEO formally endorsed the Illinois Disciples Foundation Human Rights Film Series on October 8, 2007. The resolution follows:
“The GEO supports and endorses the efforts of the Illinois Disciples Foundation in screening films focused on Human Rights. In line with this endorsement, the GEO Stewards Council may decide to co-sponsor the IDF Film Series on a semester-by-semester basis.
This endorsement shall continue, unless revoked, until May 2009, and may be renewed by following the processes for endorsement then in force within the GEO.”