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May 26, 2017

College Council Votes to Support Unionization Vote

At this week’s College Council (CC) meeting, representatives passed a statement in favor of Graduate Students United's (GSU) push for a unionization vote. The statement is a response to the administration’s criticism of GSU after the National Labor Relations Board ruled in their favor last week.  

“Witness David Nirenberg, who is the Dean of the Social Sciences Division, claimed that graduate students’ work is solely pedagogical,” the CC statement reads. “The administration and its lawyers went as far to say that graduate student work often creates more work for professors, opposing the notion that graduate students add value to professors’ scholarly work and increase their effectiveness as classroom teachers.” 

The statement objects to this characterization of graduate work.  

“They have taught our courses, graded our papers, and provided key mentorship and guidance in our education and professional development,” the e-mail said. “Their work has been essential to us and this university.” 

During the meeting, CC members debated whether or not such a statement was in their purview. Concerns were raised around whether to remain neutral, like Graduate Council, or to endorse GSU. Graduate Council voted to remain neutral in October. 

Third-year CC representative and incoming Student Government vice president for student affairs Chase Harrison informed The Maroon that the statement will be e-mailed to relevant administrators this week. 

Correction on May 26, 2017, 5:57 p.m. CDT:

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that College Council passed a resolution in favor of unionization. However, the College Council resolution was in favor of a vote on unionization. The Maroon regrets this error.

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