Get Involved

Our union is only as strong as we make it. It’s on us to work together in common cause to achieve our goals and build union power for Cornell graduates.  Here’s how you can be an active member of CGSU and be part of the fight for greater fairness, respect, and democracy for us all.


Don't know where to start?

Getting involved with your union can be intimidating, but don't worry: union leaders walk among you! Your department is represented in by a Shop Steward, ready to spread union news through their neighborhood, listen to the concerns of grads like you, and bring those concerns to organizing committee meetings. Find your campus neighborhood and its Steward(s) below, and feel free to reach out to yours with anything! Don't see your department? No worries! Contact us and let us know where you think it fits in, or reach out to those stewards!

Engineering & CIS

Social Sciences

  • Applied Economics and Management, Communication, Development Sociology, Nutrition, Design and Environmental Analysis, & Food Science and Technology: You don't have a steward yet! Contact us if you're interested in getting involved, or contact stewards from a neighborhood like yours
  • Sociology, Economics, Policy Analysis and Management, & Public Affairs: Your stewards are Caroline Walker and Tom Eisenberg.
  • ILR, Psychology, Human Development, & Hotel Administration: Your stewards are Dave Blatter, Matt Fischer-Daly, and Johnnie Kallas.

Life Sciences

  • Neurobiology and Behavior, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Entomology, Natural Resources, & Computational Biology: Your stewards are Danny Rosenberg Daneri, Henry Kunerth, and Aubrie James.
  • Microbology and Genetics, Biochemistry Molecular and Cell Biology, & Genetics Genomics and Development: Your steward is Keven Hines.

  • Biological and Environmental Engineering, Comparative Biomedical Sciences, & Biomedical Engineering: Your steward is Hao Shi.

  • Plant Breeding, Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology, Horticulture, Plant Biology, & Soil and Crop Sciences: You don't have a steward yet! Contact us if you're interested in getting involved, or contact stewards from a neighborhood like yours!

  • Food Science and Technology, Immunology and Infectious Disease, Animal Science, Pharmacology, Microbiology, & Molecular and Integrative Physiology: You don't have a steward yet! Contact us if you're interested in getting involved, or contact stewards from a neighborhood like yours!

Arts & Humanities

  • Classics, Philosophy, Linguistics, Science and Technology Studies, Asian Literature Religion and Culture, Architecture, City and Regional Planning: Your steward is Chris Hesselbein.

  • Africana Studies, Government, Anthropology, Archaeology, History, Asian Studies, & Near Eastern Studies: Your steward is Ed Quish.

  • Performing & Media Arts, Comparative Literature, English Language and Literature, Romance Studies, Germanic Studies, History of Art Archaeology and Visual Studies, Medieval Studies, & Music: Your stewards are Kristen Angierski, Peter Shipman, Matías Borg, and Sam Barber.

Physical Science & MatH

  • Mathematics & Statistics: Your steward is Balazs Elek.
  • Applied and Engineering Physics, Astronomy and Space Sciences, Biophysics, & Physics: Your steward is Jaron Kent-Dobias.

  • Chemistry: You don't have a steward yet! Contact us if you're interested in getting involved, or contact stewards from a neighborhood like yours!


Get weekly updates from your union

Want know what's going on in your union? Get weekly updates about committee meetings, fun union events, and any small ways to contribute as an activist during the next week by signing up in the form below!

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Join a Union Committee or Working Group

Standing committees are where union work gets done in between the general assemblies. Any member can join any standing committee, and many of them meet every week! Details for the chairs of the standing committees and when and where the regular ones meet can be found below.

The Organizing Committee

The organizing committee works to expand Union membership, and in tandem with other standing committees, to promote an inclusive and representative membership. The committee also plans General Assembly meetings. They meet weekly at 5:45 PM on Wednesdays in our offices. The recurring event can be found on Facebook, and you can email the organizing committee chair Ethan Ritz with any questions.

The Communication & Outreach Committee

The communications committee manages CGSU’s external and internal communication channels—like our website, mailing lists, and press contacts—and builds connections with other activists and organizations. They meet weekly at 3:00 PM on Fridays in the Temple of Zeus Cafe. The recurring event can be found on Facebook, and you can email the communications chair Jaron Kent-Dobias with any questions.

The Research & Contract Committee

Research and contract develops strategies on specific Union issues (short term) and capacities for collective bargaining power (long term). R&C coordinates efforts to gather information relevant to Union concerns and the working conditions of graduate students. They meet weekly at 11:00 AM on Fridays in 232 Gates Hall. The recurring event can be found on Facebook, and you can email the research and contract chair Ela Correa with any questions.

The Grievances Committee

The grievance committee is a forum for members and non-members to report problems and issues the Union can work on, initiate an inquiry, or advocate, and when necessary, coordinates with the Secretary on these issues. You can email the grievance committee chair Josh Savala with any questions or to report a workplace or union problem.

The Unity Committee

Unity helps resolve issues that those who are historically under-represented or marginalized on campuses, in unions, and in the workplace generally tend to face, such as racial, gender, and age discrimination; homophobia; censorship; and bullying. You can email the unity committee chair Zifeng Liu with any questions or interest.

The Legal Affairs Committee

Legal affairs maintains the union archive, oversees the referendum and amendment processes, and ensures the bylaws are up to date. You can email the legal affairs committee chair Aubrie James with any questions or interest.

Working groups

Working groups are committees developed for the purpose of solving a particular issue. Any member can start a working group and they are temporary in nature. They provide the membership a voice outside of the Steering Committee. As examples, past working groups have been on issues like changes to the website, additions to the constitution, and composition of committees. Any important decisions are then presented as proposals at general membership meetings and voted on, or sometimes require a referendum. Contact: cornellgsu@gmail.com.