Meeting Agenda: December 9th, 2019

Location: 217 Friendly Hall; Time: 12-2pm
1. Introductions, check-in, and agenda approval (10 minutes)
2. Proposal – approve caucus charter (10 minutes, Ricardo)

Context: Last week we discussed the caucus charter. The charter has been open for commenting and suggested edits since last meeting, and hopefully we’ve had time to review and make it official. Remember that if you can’t attend the meeting, you can vote through email proxy.

3. Proposal – meeting with Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Padma Akkaraju (20 minutes, Lola)

Context: The Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the Graduate School, Padma Akkaraju, indicated she would like to meet with the caucus to learn more about it, as well as ways the Graduate School can support its members. We will discuss what concerns the caucus would like to be represented to Padma, and we will vote on whether or not to meet with Padma as well as whether we want to meet with her this year or next. That is, we will discuss whether members want to be present for the meeting or would prefer that their concerns are instead represented.

4. Discussion – Winter term 2020 plans and meeting patterns (30 minutes, Ricardo)

Context: We will discuss what we want to focus on and do with and through the caucus next term (and perhaps any last things we want to make happen this term). Possible topics can include events we want to hold, tasks we want people to take on, what ways we want to be represented/involved in GTFF at large, and ways we can support our members.

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 equity@gtff.net or to me at gtffpoc@gmail.com) if you can’t attend. I’ve posted the meeting minutes in our Drive folder if you want to peruse what we talked about.

-Ric

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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