The Grad School’s silence on its Diversity GE hire


As part of its contract negotiations for the contract in place from 2019-2022, the GTFF and UO agreed to a pilot program for the Diversity GE position. The agreement, which is Appendix K of our contract, states the following:

The “University agrees to fund each academic year one 0.49 FTE GE to provide support for one or more of the groups listed in Article 25, Section 2. In addition, the GE in this position shall coordinate with appropriate University units to develop resources specifically for underrepresented graduate students, with special attention to students of color, non-traditional students, parents, LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, survivors of sexual violence and harassment, and students seeking mental health support.

At the request of the Union or the Graduate School, the GE in this position shall meet quarterly, or more frequently by mutual agreement, with the President of the GTFF or their designee and the Dean of the Graduate School or designee.”

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Summary of the University of Oregon’s breakdown of ICE’s SEVP changes

On July 6th, 2020, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made changes to their Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). The news release is linked here. These changes, which are really assaults through policy, entail that international students who are in the U.S. in fall term that do not enroll in a class with an in-person component are not eligible to be enrolled and thus may not remain in the United States. ICE makes clear that students who remain “May face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings.”

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About communication barriers

By Hyunsoo Lee

Content warning: discussion and examples of racist language

I’ll begin by saying I’m grateful to friends for sharing your valuable thoughts and experiences. I am learning a lot through the shared thoughts, stories, and facts in our grad community.

Many people in US and worldwide, including those in my home country South Korea, still have biased understandings of the history and nature of racism and discrimination. Much of that comes from skewed media reports, biased educations, and a lack of effort and empathy.

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Imagine a Strike [against racism]

Here’s an excerpt from from Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism by Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, published this month by Verso Books:

“In contrast to liberal and social democratic arguments, Alex Gourevitch proposes a radical view of the right to strike. The right to strike, he claims, is derived from the right to resist oppression. In the case of strikes, he argues, oppression “is partly a product of the legal protection of basic economic liberties, which explains why the right to strike has priority over these liberties.” However, conceiving of a strike as the last but not the least right of the oppressed against their oppressors doesn’t exhaust the potential of the right to strike. Alongside this radical conception of strike, and by no means as its replacement, I propose to consider the strike not in terms of the right to protest against oppression, but rather as an opportunity to care for the shared world, including through questioning one’s privileges, withdrawing from them, and using them. For that purpose, one’s professional work in each and every domain—even in domains as varied as art, architecture, or medicine—cannot be conceived for itself and unfolded as a progressive history, nor as a distinct productive activity to be assessed by its outcomes, but rather as a worldly activity, a mode of engaging with the world that seeks to impact it while being ready to be impacted in return.

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Notes on Equity Committee meeting, 2019-11-19

On Tuesday, November 19th, five members of the caucus (Pearl, Mushira, Lola, Hyunsoo, and I) attended a GTFF Equity Committee meeting. The Equity Committee (EC) is a standing committee in the GTFF that is chaired by the VP for Equity and Inclusion, as per our bylaws.

The meeting was the largest EC in our memory, with fourteen people attending. We ultimately felt good about the meeting; we have strong opinions about the kinds of changes we believe the union needs to support POCs, and the space felt open to our concerns.

The committee is open to all members. I encourage members to attend the meetings and think about how we can use the space to push for the changes we believe will improve our lives. Watch the calendar for days the committee will meet again, and feel free to submit written comments (to Michelle at or to me at if you can’t attend. I’ve posted the meeting minutes in our Drive folder if you want to peruse what we talked about.


Reflections on attending November 12th’s board meeting

On Wednesday, November 12th, Cassie Galentine, Tamara Niella, and I went to our union’s executive board meeting. Our executive board consists of ten officers: President, Organizing, Grievances, Political Education, External Relations, Operations, Member Communications, Membership, Equity and Inclusion, and Treasurer. Our board meetings are public, or at least open to members of our union.

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Attending Executive Board meetings

In the caucus, we’ve decided it would be a great idea to begin attending executive board (eboard) meetings. Eboard meetings are open to all members so anyone may attend. This term, they’re held on Wednesdays from 10am-12pm each week. We’ve sent Ellen (our president) an email to let her know we’ll be coming by.

While non-board members do not have a vote at board meetings, we realized it is still important to attend board meetings for the following reasons:

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Recap of 2019-11-10 brunch (Ric)

In attendance: Ricardo, Mushira, Nino, Tamara, Pearl

We had a lovely brunch meeting on Saturday morning in Straub Hall. The original room that Tamara booked wasn’t unlocked for us (thanks UO), so we met in a big classroom where we used all four flat screen TVs and a giant projector to post pics of my cat Peter.

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