Elections Fall 2021

Fall 2021 GEO Election Guide

The Graduate Employee Organization (GEO) is holding elections to fill one half-time (0.5 FTE) assistantship position on the Organizing Committee with an official start-work date of Monday, October 18. 

The GEO Organizing Committee is composed of five Graduate Assistants at UMass Boston. We work collaboratively to advocate for Graduate Employee rights within the school and enrichment opportunities for Graduate workers at UMass Boston. Some of the projects in which the Organizing Committee are currently working on include:

  • Bargaining a new contract with UMB’s administration to address labor concerns affecting graduate employees
  • Engaging with graduate employees and community members of UMass Boston to organize collective action and increase membership engagement
  • Administering Scholarly Support Funds (SSF) for students seeking funding to present at or attend conferences
  • Mediating member grievances 
  • Attending and helping organize coalition efforts within the community
  • Developing communications content for the website, social media, and e-newsletters.

Elections timeline:

  • Wednesday, September 15: Nomination and Voting Registration period starts
  • Sunday, September 26: Nomination period closes
  • Monday, September 27: Campaign period starts
  • Friday, October 8: Voting Registration ends
  • Tuesday & Wednesday, October 12 and 13: Voting days
  • Friday, October 15: Result Announcement

More detailed information below

Am I eligible to run for the GEO Organizing Committee? 

These positions are available to current dues-paying GEO members – graduate employees – interested in becoming actively involved in the union. That means that you must have at least one Graduate Assistantship on campus currently and be a dues-paying member of the GEO in good standing. If you are not a dues-paying member, you will need to fill out our dues-paying membership form and send it to us along with your nomination documents. Graduate employees who currently hold full-time assistantships are eligible to run and, upon being elected, will receive a stipend in lieu of an additional assistantship. For detailed amounts for the quarter, half- and full-time payments and benefits, see the GEO contract, which can be found here https://geoumb.org/contract.

What does it take to be part of the GEO Organizing Committee?

Each position is a half-time assistantship requiring 9 hours per week, equivalent to a 0.5 FTE assistantship. Every member of the Organizing Committee is responsible for attending weekly meetings of the Organizing Committee and keeping up with organizing and maintaining the union. Tasks are assigned upon committee consensus on best interests and expertise. The half-time assistantships include a stipend and tuition remission.

How do I register to vote? 

All student employees interested in voting will be required to complete a membership/voting registration by filling out this membership form and sending it from your UMB email to geoumb.elections@gmail.com. Only forms emailed from your UMB email account will be validated. Voting registration will be open from Wednesday, September 15, until Friday, October 8. 

Do I need to register to vote even if I am an active GEO member? 

Yes, all new, active, and returning members who are interested in voting must register first. 

How do I know if I have successfully registered? 

Upon receipt of your membership/registration PDF form, you will receive an email confirmation. 

Does the GEO send a list of registered voters to candidates? 

No. We do not share membership/members’ personal information with anyone outside of the Organizing Committee. 

How do I vote?

On Tuesday, October 12, at 8 a.m. EST, all pre-registered members will receive an email with a unique (one-time-use only) voting code and link. Instructions on voting via electronic ballot will be sent with the ballot link on the morning of October 12. Voting will close on Wednesday, October 13, at 11:59 p.m. EST. 

What if I experience technical difficulties before or on the day of voting? 

The Organizing Committee will be available for support from Wednesday, September 15 to Friday, October 8 at 5:00 p.m. EST for questions and support around voting registration. GEO members will be available for questions and tech support around voting from Tuesday, October 12 at 8:00 a.m. EST through Wednesday, October 13 at 10 p.m. EST. However, voting will still be open via the link until Wednesday, October 13 at midnight (11:59 p.m. EST), but be aware there will be no tech support past 10 p.m. EST. These dates and hours are exclusively for tech support around elections which are time-sensitive, but remember that you can always reach out with general and/or elections questions at geo@umb.edu and geoumb.elections@gmail.com.  

Is voting anonymous?

Yes. GEO is using Election Buddy (An automated third-party software) for running the Fall 2021 elections. This platform is secure, anonymous, and ensures the integrity of the process.


Schedule for Fall 2021 elections

I. Nominations: The nomination period starts on Wednesday, September 15, until Sunday, September 26 at 5:00 p.m. EST.  

Your nomination should include: 

  • Your completed nomination form (attached here),
  • Evidence that you are an active dues-paying member (your most recent paystub, accessed through HR Direct) or a Dues Authorization Form (attached here),
  • Complete all sections of the nomination form. We strongly recommend including the headshot photograph you will use for campaigning and the official GEO nominee PDF.
  • Nominations must be emailed to geoumb.elections@gmail.com on or before Sunday, September 26, 2021 (by 5:00 p.m. EST). 

II. Campaigning: The campaigning period starts on Monday, September 27,  and lasts until the day before voting. During this time, you are expected to do remote outreach among other graduate students and share your campaigning platform. Please be aware that only dues-paying GEO members are eligible to vote and that all voters must register on or before October 8 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Voting registration will involve filling out a new dues-authorization PDF and emailing it to geoumb.elections@gmail.com.

The GEO will post all nominations (name, picture, bio, program, and platform) on the website. However, the GEO Organizing Committee cannot campaign for or endorse any candidates nor grant any advantage to one candidate and not all. To campaign, you should talk to graduate classmates/friends about:

  • the importance of being active in your graduate student union,
  • what your target topics of action while in the committee would be -if elected,
  • and why they should vote for you to be part of the GEO Organizing Committee
  • use social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email to spread the word!

III. Voting: Voting will occur for two days in the second full week of October and will run from early Tuesday morning (October 12) until Wednesday afternoon (October 13) at 5:00 p.m. EST. Voting will occur by online ballot, and ballots will be distributed early the first day of voting (Tuesday, October 12) to all pre-registered voters. We will send out instructions beforehand, and someone will be online at geoumb.elections@gmail.com in case of any technical difficulties. 

The candidate with the most votes wins. In the event that the number of eligible candidates does not exceed 1, such candidate will be deemed elected by acclamation, and no election will be held. Please note that only pre-vote-registered dues-paying GEO members are eligible to vote in this election, and that in order to vote, you must have registered to vote by Friday, October 8, at 5:00 p.m. EST. Results will be announced on our online platforms on Friday, October 15. 

For general inquiries, you can reach us at geo@umb.edu.

In Solidarity,

The GEO Organizing Committee