Stand Strong with CGE

By joining CGE, you stand with your fellow graduate employees. A union is only as strong as its membership, and with more members CGE can demonstrate greater support from grads and negotiate better benefits for all. 

When you join the Coalition of Graduate Employees, you join a national growing movement of graduate employees standing up for their rights and fair treatment. GEs are organized at universities coast to coast. CGE is also affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which represents the interests of 18,000 educators in Oregon and 1.72 million across the country.

There are so many ways to get involved, including:

  • Attend an International Caucus Meeting, or help organize one!
  • Join the bargaining team to have a direct impact on the contract negotiations.
  • Become a Steward in your department!
  • Attend an Organizing 101 training to learn how to activate and educate your coworkers.

Click here to see a full list of all the CGE participation opportunities.

Every graduate employee, international or not, has the right to join a union under the US laws that guarantee freedom of association. If OSU or any supervisor were to discriminate or retaliate against anyone for union activity, they would be violating US federal law. For example, it is against the law for the Department of Homeland Security to change visa status because of union membership.

Constitutional rights apply to all persons, not just citizens, within the borders of the US. These rights include basic guarantees of freedom of speech, due process, and equal protection.

The US government cannot deport you for civil disobedience: you can only be deported for violating your visa, participating in criminal acts, or acting as a threat to public safety. Protest

Resources for International Students

You can also find all of these resources, and more, on the general resources page on this website. 

Filing taxes can be a confusing and frustrating process, especially for fellows and international workers. Usually people use third-party services to help them through the process. However, some of these services come with fees, so be sure to read the fine print.

  1. The Office of International Services sends out an access code for SprintTax that waives the fee for filing Federal Tax Returns. This code does not apply to State Tax Returns, however, and we have heard of graduate employees being charged fees if OSU provides later documentation.
  2. The IRS provides links to a variety of free tax filing programs through their website, as well as the state of Oregon.
  3. OSU also offers a program called VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) where you can access free tax preparation services by appointment.
  4. The OIS also has tax information on their website. 

  1. The Basic Needs Center (BNC) has a Food Pantry and a weekly “Healthy Beaver Bag.” The first week of every term, you can also apply for the Mealbux program to get money on your OSU ID for food vendors on the Corvallis campus.
  2. A few international students might be eligible for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) which is provided by the federal government. The BNC can also help you apply for this program. Eligible grads must have had a greencard for 5 years, or be from a country such as Cuba, Korea, or countries that are currently at war. 

Oftentimes, international graduate workers face financial hardship. To address this issue, your union has worked hard to establish both an internally-administered “hardship fund” for all members as well as an OSU-administered hardship fund that all graduate students can apply for.

  1. OSU Hardship fund: Since we first negotiated this fund into existence, we’ve been able to increase its total amount to $125,000.  Applications must be for a specific unexpected cost that affects your ability to get work done. CGE can provide advice about how to write your application to increase your chance for approval; email for more information.
  2. CGE Hardship fund: Associate and Legacy membership dues fund this assistance program, which is much smaller in size than OSU’s, and completely volunteer-run. Applications open each term for a limited time, and there are no conditions for what can be covered.

ASOSU (the OSU student government) has access to legal and notary services that can be accessed for free.

  1. Community Services Consortium (CSC): they help people looking for housing, households facing eviction, and education services for tenants.
  2. Basic Needs Center (BNC): Students facing imminent housing insecurity (or those currently experiencing homelessness) may be eligible for free short-term housing through our partnership with University Housing and Dining Services and our Emergency Housing program.