Official Fall 2020 GEO Election Guide­­

The September 23rd Update

We are happy to announce that we have our nominees! You can download a .pdf here that has their pictures, programs, short-bios, and campaign blurbs. The dates for the rest of the election cycle are below!

  • Wednesday, September 23rd: Campaign period begins!
  • Wednesday, October 7th: Voting registration ends at 5:00 p.m. EST.
  • Thursday and Friday, October 8th and 9th: Voting!
  • Tuesday, October 13th: Results will be announced.

How do you register to vote? 

As part of our new digital voting process, we are requiring that all GEO members who want to be involved to update their membership status by re-registering for membership and voting by filling out a NEW membership PDF form and sending it from your UMB email to geoumb.elections@gmail.com. If you’re already a member, this won’t lead you to being charged again; it just makes it easier for us to tell who currently is and isn’t a dues-paying member for the purpose of voting. Again, to register to vote you must fill out and send a membership PDF form to geoumb.elections@gmail.com.

For the answers to questions like: why do you need to register?, How do I register?, How do I vote?, and more – read up on our Fall 2020 Election FAQ, linked here!

The September 8th Update:

Dear GEO Members and Allies, 

The Graduate Employee Organization (GEO) is holding elections to fill two half-time (0.5 FTE) assistantship positions on the Organizing Committee with an official start-work date of October 19th­­­. 

The GEO Organizing Committee is composed of 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

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 of work per week and comes with all benefits of a 0.5 FTE assistantship. Every member of the Organizing Committee is responsible for attending weekly meetings of the Organizing Committee and completing the work of 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. 

Schedule for Fall 2020 elections

I. Nominations: The nomination period is a one-week period starting on Tuesday, September 15 by 5:00 p.m. EST until Tuesday, September 22 by 5:00 p.m. EST. The two candidates with the most votes win. 

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), and 
  • Strongly recommended: A headshot photograph that you will use for campaigning. 
  • Nominations must be emailed to geoumb.elections@gmail.com on or before September 22, 2020 (by 5:00 p.m. EST). 

II. Campaigning: This is a two-week period starting on Wednesday, September 23rd until the last day of elections. 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 7th at 5:00 p.m. EST. Voting registration will involve filling out a special dues-authorization PDF and emailing it to geoumb.elections@gmail.com: the specifics and PDF will be supplied once nominees are finalized.

The GEO will post all nominations (picture, name, 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 week of October and will run from early Thursday morning (October 8th) until Friday afternoon (October 9th). Voting will occur by online ballot and ballots will be distributed on the Thursday of the election. We will send out instructions beforehand, and someone will be online at geoumb.elections@gmail.com in case of any technical difficulties. 

In the event that the number of eligible candidates does not exceed two (2), such candidate(s) 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 Wednesday, October 7th, at 5:00 p.m. EST. Results will be announced on our online platforms the following Monday. 

In Solidarity,

The GEO Organizing Committee