Fall 2022 Elections

The Graduate Employee Organization (GEO) is holding elections to fill the sixth assistantship position (0.5 FTE) on the Organizing Committee. The GEO is your union, which is composed of a group of Graduate Assistants working collaboratively to advocate for Graduate Employee rights and enrichment opportunities for Graduate workers at UMass Boston. The sixth position is one of the most recent wins from our 2021-2024 contract negotiations. 

Fall 2022 GEO Election General Process

I. Nominations: The self-nomination period runs from Wednesday, September 14 until Wednesday, September 28 at 11:59 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 a headshot photograph for the official GEO nominee PDF. 
  • Nominations must be emailed to geoumb.elections@gmail.com on or before Wednesday, September 28, 2022 (by 11:59 p.m. EST).

II. Campaigning: The campaigning period starts on Thursday, September 29,  and lasts until the day before voting (October 10th). During this time, you are expected to reach out to 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 the October 7 deadline (see below).

The GEO will post all nominees (name, picture, bio, program, and platform) on the website. Please note that the GEO Organizing Committee cannot campaign for nor endorse any candidate nor grant any advantage to one candidate above others. 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 on the committee would be if elected,
  • why they should vote for you to be part of the GEO Organizing Committee
  • use any means you like (including platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email) to spread the word!

III. Voting: Voting will be open for two days in the second full week of October (from early Tuesday morning (October 11) until Wednesday afternoon (October 12) at 11:59 p.m. EST). Votes will be collected using online ballots distributed to pre-registered voters early on the first day of voting (Tuesday, October 11). We will send out instructions beforehand and someone will be online at geoumb.elections@gmail.com in case of any technical difficulties. Again, please note that only pre-registered, dues-paying GEO members are eligible to vote in this election. In order to vote, you must register by Friday, October 7, at 11:59 p.m. EST. To register, fill out out a new dues-authorization PDF and email it to geoumb.elections@gmail.com from your umb email

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. Results will be announced on our online platforms on Monday, October 17.  

Election FAQ 

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 still eligible to run. For detailed information about payments and benefits, see the GEO contract, which can be found here https://geoumb.org/contract

What does the GEO do? 

Some of the projects on which the Organizing Committee is currently working include:

  • 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
  • Bargaining a new contract with the university to address labor concerns affecting graduate employees (Bargaining starts again in January 2023)

What does the position entail?

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 based on interest and expertise. The half-time assistantship includes 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 14, until Friday, October 7

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. Please note that this will not trigger additional dues, it is just the most foolproof way for us to make sure that only eligible members are voting in the election.

How do I know if I have successfully registered? 

Once we receive your membership/registration PDF form, you will receive an email confirmation. 

How do I vote?

On Tuesday, October 11, 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 11. Voting will close on Wednesday, October 12, 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 14 to Friday, October 7 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 11 at 8:00 a.m. EST through Wednesday, October 12 at 10 p.m. EST. Voting will still be open via the link until Wednesday, October 12 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

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. 

Is voting anonymous?

Yes. Voting is anonymous. The GEO is using Election Buddy, an automated third-party software, for running the Fall 2022 elections. This platform is secure, anonymous, and ensures the integrity of the process.