August 23, 2021

Statement from GAU regarding SIU’s Fall 2021 COVID-19 Policies

Above all else, GAU values the safety, health, and dignity of graduate workers at SIU. As we undertake the semester and continue to manage the ongoing health crisis, we ask you to join us in our effort to support graduate workers and protect the most vulnerable among our community.

We encourage everyone who can safely receive the vaccine do so. The data overwhelmingly demonstrates the vaccine is safe and effective at protecting us and our community. One of the vaccines, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, meaning that it meets the highest standards of safety and effectiveness. The more people vaccinated, the less risk there is to everyone, including our community members who are immunocompromised, have severe allergies to vaccine ingredients, or have other health conditions preventing them from getting vaccinated.

While we are pleased the university has implemented policies to protect our community by offering testing, planning vaccine clinics, requiring facemasks indoors, and setting aside a residence hall for isolation, we understand that there are still concerns as to the health and safety of our graduate workers. GAU remains committed to creating the most just and fair arrangements possible for GAs, and we’re fighting to secure that in a number of ways.

The ever-changing contours of the pandemic continue to require modifications to our academic and work environments. The policies SIU has in place for the coming school year gives GAU the right to bargain for an addendum to our contract with the university that can account for and address significant issues that may result from these policies. We have assembled a team to engage in this bargaining with SIU, and we invite and encourage input from graduate workers on what should be included in the addendum. How might policies for the academic year impact you in your capacity as a graduate assistant? Please give us your feedback by emailing GAU at, or by directly contacting our president, Clay Michael Awsumb, at

If you have further questions about GAU’s mission, have concerns about your work environment as a graduate student worker, or want to find out how you can join us, we invite you to visit our website at

In solidarity with you and with all graduate workers,

Graduate Assistants United

April 27, 2021

GAU Newsletter – The Amplifier, Volume 1, Issue 5

March 31, 2021

GAU Newsletter – The Amplifier, Volume 1, Issue 4

March 1, 2021

A message from GAU President Anna Wilcoxen about Covid-19 vaccines

As the Covid vaccine campaign continues in Illinois, I know many of you have questions and are
wondering when your turn will be, and whether or not SIU has any control over helping you get
one. So, we want to help answer some of those questions for you. First, the vaccination
campaign, and eligibility within, is determined by the state government, and SIU has no real say
in how those determinations are made. Currently, higher education workers (including GAs) are
not included in any of the phase 1 priority groups (Illinois is now in phase 1b, see the IDPH
guidelines here). The National Education Association has been putting pressure on state
governments to include higher ed workers, but as of yet, we have not been included. However, as
of this past Thursday, Illinois residents who are between the ages of 16-64 who have any
underlying health conditions that would put them at higher risk for severe Covid are eligible to
sign up for their first dose of the vaccine. There are currently two locations in Carbondale
administering the vaccine: The Carbondale Civic Center (200 S. Illinois Ave.), and the Banterra
Center/Arena (on SIU’s campus – 1490 Douglas Dr.). We do encourage those who have
conditions listed on the CDC website to sign up to get your vaccination if you’re comfortable
doing so. You can sign up using this link; simply select your preferred location and find an open
appointment. Please share this information with folks you know who may also want to sign up
for a vaccine.

Also, keep in mind that if SIU does get the power to make decisions about who gets vaccinated
and when, we have secured the right to bargain how those decisions are made with the university
through our spring Memorandum of Understanding.

GAU has done what we can to try to support the most vulnerable among us throughout this
crisis, and we ask you to join us in that effort. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any
further questions you might have.

In good health and solidarity,

February 3, 2021

January 25, 2021

GAU Newsletter – The Amplifier – Volume 1, Issue 3

November 24, 2020

Newsletter – The Amplifier – Volume 1, Issue 2 

November 17, 2020

A Message From Our President, Anna Wilcoxen

November 09, 2020

Who wants free pizza?!?!

Next Wednesday, November 18th, GA United would like to invite you to our very first Virtual Happy Hour!

At 6pm, GA United will be distributing 12 delicious Pag’s pizzas in the Pagliai’s parking lot for free on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last.

You can stop by and pick one up and then use the zoom link ( from home to join us for Trivia Night which starts at 7pm!

Both members and non-members are welcome, but if you’re not a member yet, this would be a great opportunity to sign up. (Just scan the QR code on the flyer to take you to our sign up page)

If you have any questions please contact us at: Or visit our Facebook event page at:

Can’t wait to see you there!!!

October 31, 2020

October 21, 2020


September 02, 2020

Agreement reached between GAU and the SIU Board of Trustees as an appendix to our contract for the 20-21 school year in light of COVID-19

August 28, 2020

A video update from GAU President Anna Wilcoxen and Vice President of Communication Antonio Salazar

August 3, 2020

PRESS RELEASE: SIUC Faculty and Graduate Students Call for Remote Learning this Fall

July 14, 2020

Statement from the GAU Executive Committee and the COVID Response Task Force Regarding the University’s Plans for the Fall 

June 30, 2020

SIUC Provisional Planning for Fall 2020 Instruction

June 29, 2020

A Joint Statement from Graduate Assistants United and the SIUC Faculty Association