On Wednesday, August 2, 2023, University of Michigan Administration provided a comprehensive offer to graduate workers […]
The following offer was sent by Democratic Board of Regents members to GEO President Jared Eno […]
On Friday, June 23, graduate workers walked out of a bargaining session with the University of Michigan’s Human Resources (HR), after HR refused to take responsibility for the latest sexual harassment scandal involving Professor Robert Stephenson’s abuse of two graduate students, reported on by the Michigan Daily on June 7. During negotiations, Garima Singh, Co-Chair of GEO’s Feminist Caucus, recounted the harrowing details of the case, in which the Equity, Civil Rights, and Title IX office (ECRT) dismissed, minimized, and misinterpreted evidence against Stephenson to find that he had not violated University policy. HR hid behind technicalities in an attempt to justify their proposal on harassment protections, which would not have protected Stephenson’s survivors. With multiple harassment survivors in the room, graduate workers grew frustrated with HR’s refusal to work with graduate students to solve the harassment crisis and voted to walk out. According to GEO President Jared Eno, “graduate workers walked out today because we are fed up with HR’s prioritization of arbitrary rules and procedures over the real-life experiences of workers—which only mirrors the institutional betrayals perpetrated by ECRT.”
ANN ARBOR—On Wednesday, June 7th, 2023, the Michigan Daily published an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and abuse perpetrated by Professor Robert Stephenson in the School of Nursing at the University of Michigan. Two graduate students who worked under Stephenson allege that he harassed and abused them over the course of several years. The Daily investigation details the abundance of evidence provided by the abuse survivors and the Equity, Civil Rights, and Title IX office (ECRT) dismissed, minimized, and misinterpreted this evidence to find that Stephenson had not violated University policy. Garima Singh, co-chair of GEO’s Feminist Caucus, states “this story reveals what grad workers already know: that the power hierarchies, culture, and organizational workings of the University of Michigan enable and normalize abuse. The two grad workers victimized by Professor Stephenson showed incredible bravery and integrity by attempting to hold him accountable. That the University has fought and retraumatized them is more evidence that real change is urgently needed.”
This week, grad workers went public about facing intimidation from the campus cops over their participation in an action in April. On May 21st, at 6:30pm, DPSS police officer John Buehler (#167) approached a grad student in their home and attempted to intimidate them, threatening to file a report with the Washtenaw County prosecutor's office about the picket action. The same officer emailed another grad student with similar information. Neither student spoke to or made any statements to DPSS. Both instances were about the April 20 picket of President Ono at a downtown restaurant. The Administration is attempting to sow fear; our strongest defense is our solidarity, our care for each other, and our collective non-cooperation with police. Know your rights and don't talk to the cops; see bit.ly/May31Statement for more.
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