GET-UP is a member-driven organization with several different standing committees and working groups that ensure the decisions made by the general membership are implemented. These groups also give a voice to the diverse array of academic and social backgrounds that make up the membership of GET-UP. According to the GET-UP constitution, all members of the union in good standing are eligible to serve on any standing committee or working group and currently positions are filled on a volunteer basis.
The three standing committees include: the Coordinating Committee, the Grievance Committee, and the Unity Committee. These are permanent committees that enable GET-UP to organize and facilitate its membership’s General Body meetings, to realize the union’s goals through tactical decision-making, and to promote inclusion and diversity within the union.
- The Coordinating Committee is responsible for organizing the union’s General Body meetings. It is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the union and ensures that the will of the General Body is implemented. It works to expand union membership and, in tandem with other standing committees and working groups, to promote an inclusive and representative membership.The Coordinating Committee meets weekly on an ad-hoc basis, at 6pm on alternating Tuesdays and Thursdays. The agenda is set during the meeting, which allows members to bring fresh questions and concerns. We operate a ‘stack’ for every new topic: the person responsible for ‘taking stack’ keeps a list of names of members who would like to speak in the order that they signal their desire to participate, so as to make sure everyone gets the chance to contribute in a fair series. Minutes are set to attendees within twenty-four hours of the meeting, and are available to members on request.
- The Grievance Committee functions as a forum for members to report problems and issues the union can work on, initiate an inquiry, or advocate. It produces an annual report of concerns, improvements, and on-going issues for GET-UP members and graduate students.
- The Unity Committee works with the Coordinating Committee to ensure inclusion across all departments and promote inter-departmental dialogue. It will bring these concerns to the Coordinating Committee and the General Body as central issues and part of everyday union business. This committee also exists to ensure that issues of marginalization, disunity, and distrust among union members, and among union members and administration, faculty, and other external powers, are addressed directly by the leadership and the membership. It serves as a forum to discuss and resolve issues that those who are historically under-represented or marginalized on college campuses, in union structures, and in the workplace generally tend to face. Such types of discrimination may include, but are not limited to, distinctions based upon: race, nationality, ethnicity, language, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, age, religion, and ability.
In addition to standing committees, GET-UP is also constituted by a number of working groups that can be established at any General Body meeting. These groups are ad-hoc committees developed for the purpose of solving/researching a particular issue relevant to GET-UP. They are temporary in nature and can be initiated by any union member during a General Body meeting. Working groups are not elections-based and provide the general membership of GET-UP with a voice outside of the Coordinating Committee. Past working groups have researched and presented findings to the General Body on issues such as international students’ rights and working conditions, allies in other organizations and unions on campus, and union affiliation.