November 14, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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.