We started off this week’s organizing meeting with report-backs from Columbia’s 2017 graduation week, where GWC volunteers handed out fliers and buttons to graduates and their families, undergrad TAs marched onstage with a Graduate Workers of Columbia banner, and a few brave organizers unfurled a “We Are Workers” pennant in the middle of PrezBo’s commencement address. The Spectator proclaimed this “an act of free speech.”

If you enjoyed this demonstration of grad worker solidarity on campus, you can join your fellow GWC members for more of the same at two upcoming events: protesting unionbusting at the Yale Commencement on May 22 and organizing alums at the Columbia alumni weekend June 1 – 4. Please get send us an email if you’d like to get involved or hop on the 5.30 am bus up to Yale on Monday.

We spent most of the meeting planning two summer initiatives to build organizing leadership and expand membership engagement across Columbia’s campuses. The first is organizer trainings, which will be held on the Morningside campus on June 10 and 15. Organizer trainings are a great way to learn more about the union’s history, to practice answering questions about the union, and to make a plan for talking about the union with other members of your department or lab. The second is a STEM campaign, which will be led by a subcommittee of STEM organizers. More details on both of these projects to follow in upcoming weeks.

Finally, we’ve switched to our summer meeting schedule! Weekly organizing meetings will now take place every Thursday from 6 – 7.30 pm.