Have You Oriented A Grad Assistant Today?

We all remember the first days on campus as a new grad student. Getting acclimated to Madison, figuring out the whole grad assistant role, meeting new people, and becoming part of an intellectual community: those days were heady times that shape our experiences in grad school today. In just a couple of weeks, thousands of new grad student workers will be hitting the campus for the first time.

The TAA is running a campaign to connect with these new people from the get-go to get them engaged and involved in our union. But we can’t do it alone – we need you to be a part of this. There is no better welcome to campus for new graduate assistants than to hear from and meet fellow grad student workers and to be brought into an organization that will affect their lives over the next four years (Four? More like eight).

Can you be a part of our campaign?

Orientation is the best time for our union to engage literally thousands of new grad student workers on our campus and to bring them into our union. Many will arrive not knowing that they will be part of a large organization that fights for them every day – or even what a union is and does. But through our Orientation Organizing Campaign, the TAA will connect with these new folks and bring them into the union, building within them union identity, understanding of who we are and what we do, and how they fit in. More instrumentally, our campaign will also build up our membership ranks (critical in a contract bargaining year) and recruit new activists and leaders of our union.

Our Orientation Committee has put together a dynamite campaign plan for this. For the campaign to work and for our union to be successful in general, we’ll need lots of grad student worker activists from our ranks to implement it.

That’s where you come in. Joining the campaign means you will be part of something big and part of your union’s work on behalf of all graduate assistants. Joining the campaign could mean delivering a presentation to your department’s new grad assistant orientation; or it can mean delivering that rap to departments you never knew existed. Joining the campaign could mean helping the union re-contact all the new grad assistants we meet at departmental orientations, to plug them into the union and its work. Joining the campaign could mean canvassing the current grad assistants in your department – or others – to re-engage them on the work of the TAA for this year.

There are a lot of ways for you to be involved on the Orientation Organizing Campaign. All you need to do is say “yes” to being a part of it. Take a moment and fill out this quick online form, and we’ll get you plugged in to the campaign. We’ll get you all the background information, train you up, and work with you to be an effective, important player on this campaign. Also, check out the TAA calendar for an upcoming info session on the campaign.

Building our union starts with orientation, and it starts with our Orientation Organizing Campaign. Bringing into the union new grad assistants is a critical part of union-building for the TAA. And we need you to be a part of it.