Committee Updates and Events Newsletter March 2


International Students’ Working Group:

Visa and Immigration Leave Survey

Are you an:

  • International Student
  • Domestic Student with immigrant/international dependents
  • DACA student?

Have you had any trouble with your visa, immigration, or DACA paperwork during your time at UIUC?

Then please fill out this survey! Please take by March 6th, 2017!

Here is the survey link (If you received an individual link via email, please fill that one out):


This semester the GEO will bargain a new contract with the University. In the contract proposal, GEO is working to address the needs of International and DACA employees on our campus. To bargain effectively, the GEO needs feedback from International, DACA, and Domestic students with international or DACA dependents to gain a better sense of their experiences and priorities at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

The Bargaining Team will be crafting contract language proposals to address visa and immigration issues and they need to hear from you concerning immigration issues such as visa paperwork, delays in DACA renewal, receiving a Social Security Number, and many others.

The GEO does not share the answers you give in this survey outside of card-signed membership. Please contact with any questions.

Grievance Committee:

A contract is only as good as our ability to enforce it. The Grievance Committee is responsible for advocating for fair labor practices at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and protecting graduate employees from abuse… and we need your help! Join the Grievance Committee for an opportunity to have a lasting impact on the lives of your peers all across campus. We meet every Tuesday at 7:00pm at the GEO office. Please contact with any questions.

Additionally, GEO members now have a new way to communicate to the Grievance Committee! Check out our new online Submit a Grievance form, which is available at Please pass this link along to your colleagues if you hear of someone that might need to speak with the Grievance Committee.

Bargaining Team:

GEO’s contract with the UIUC Administration is expiring on August 15, 2017. Last year, the Bargaining Research Team conducted research and surveys on important issues for graduate employees at UIUC. The Bargaining Research Team presented four bargaining pillars (Tuition Waivers and Fees, Wages, Healthcare, and Access and Equality) to the membership, which were unanimously approved by a vote at the General Membership Meeting on February 1st, 2017. At this meeting, the Bargaining Team was also selected and unanimously approved by a vote. The Bargaining Team sent GEO’s “Intent to Bargain A New Contract” letter to the UIUC Administration on February 8, 2017. We are currently in the process of scheduling our first bargaining session with the administration in March 2017. Please contact the Bargaining Team ( with any questions.

Elected members of the Bargaining Team:

Natalye Tate (Anthropology)
Shawn Fields, GEO Co-President (Anthropology)
Patrick Kimutis (English)
Melody Buyukozer Dawkins, Steward (Psychology)
Maria Garth, Steward and GEO Communications Officer (Art History)
Alvaro Cruz (Psychology)
Katharine Lee (Anthropology)
Emily K. Sanders (Psychology)
Shay Akil McLean (Sociology)
Eva Rogaar (History)
Bruce Kovanen (English)

Stewards’ Council (SC):

The Stewards Council is always looking for new members who want to help organize their departments! We are especially looking for grad workers who would like to be Stewards in the departments of College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and the College of Engineering. If you would like to volunteer to be a Steward for your department, or you aren’t sure if your department has a Steward, contact the GEO at

Stewards are a visible representative of the GEO in their departments, and representatives of their department to the GEO. They are the go-to people for fielding questions about the contract, or other issues that GEO members might be facing, and are essential for communicating problems in their department to the GEO. They also help keep membership in their departments informed and up-to-date about GEO activities. The SC plans a variety of events every year, such as happy hours, general membership meetings, and informational sessions for departments. By being a steward for your department, you can work with GEO to make events tailored to your department’s students’ needs and interests.

Our meetings are open to all GEO members. While each department has its own method for appointing stewards, any GEO member may serve as a steward. Some department have co-Stewards. We welcome all members to join our meetings. Please check the GEO event calendar for the next meeting’s time.

Solidarity Committee (Sol Comm):

Sol Comm is committed to working on issues of social justice and supporting them through various means such as financial endorsements, statements of support, and collaborations. To that end, the Solidarity Committee allows the creation of research groups to efficiently strategize around issues of social justice. Groups such as the Environmental Justice Research Group, the Gender Justice Research Group, and the Anti‐Police Brutality Research Group work on these issues and report to the Solidarity Committee. Please contact the Solidarity Co-Chairs Isis Rose, Daniel Gonzalez, and Efad Huq at

Coordinating Committee (CC):

The Coordinating Committee has two new members. Andy Bowman (English) and Alejandra Pires (Slavic) were elected by vote at a recent Stewards’ Council meeting as SC-CC Liaisons.

Our meetings are open to all GEO members. The Coordinating Committee (CC) is made up of elected officers from all committees, though any member may attend meetings. The CC makes decisions about large‐scale projects, some financial decisions, and the GEO’s long‐term vision. Please contact the Co‐President, Shawn Fields, at with any questions.

Communications Committee (Comm Comm):

Our meetings are open to all GEO members. The next meeting is on Wednesday, March 15, 6:00-8:00pm, at the GEO Office. Please contact Maria Garth at with any questions.


See a full schedule of GEO events here, and contact with any questions.



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