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January 27, 2020

BOSTON, Jan. 27, 2020 -- On the first day of Harvard’s spring semester, the Harvard Forward campaign formally announces its support for the Harvard Graduate Students Union-United Auto Workers (HGSU-UAW) as the union continues to negotiate with the Harvard University administration. 

Harvard Forward stands behind HGSU-UAW in their fight for a fair contract and urges Harvard administrators to negotiate in good faith to reach agreements that address HGSU-UAW’s concerns regarding compensation, health care, discrimination and sexual harassment greivance procedures, and all other issues that affect hard-working graduate students. 

Student representation is a shared priority of HGSU-UAW and Harvard Forward. We believe that the Harvard University administration and governance structures undervalue the voices of undergraduate and graduate students. Each of the Harvard Forward candidates for the Board of Overseers, recognizing the importance of soliciting and incorporating the voices of student and recent alumni in the evaluation of policies and governance structures, are committed to listening to and advocating for the interests of HGSU-UAW members and all current students if they are elected to the Board.

HGSU-UAW formed in the fall of 2015 and won unionization in April 2018. These organizing efforts were underway while many members of the Harvard Forward team were students at the University and served as an inspiration and blueprint for how members of our community could come together to move Harvard forward. Our campaign recognizes that meaningful advocacy builds on the work of the activists before it, and we are honored to join the coalition of forward-looking Harvard movements that includes HGSU-UAW, Divest Harvard, and many more student organizations fighting to ensure that Harvard lives up to its values. 

Julia Huesa, former Vice President of Harvard’s Undergraduate Council, said it best in her speech to HGSU-UAW picketers in December 2019: “We are honored to stand in solidarity with the Harvard Graduate Students Union, and we are 100% behind you in your fight for a fair contract. We’re also proud to be here with Divest Harvard, as we recognize that all of our movements for justice – climate, economic, and social – are tied together…. That’s why we’re working to elect five recent graduates to the Board of Overseers: because perspectives from those who know what it’s like to be a Harvard student in the 21st century are notably absent at the decision-making table. That’s why we end up with contract offers that don’t recognize the reality of the graduate student experiences of today, and that’s why Harvard has not done nearly enough to recognize and act upon the severity of the climate crisis.” 


We're building a 21st century movement powered by alumni, students, faculty, and supporters around the world. If you're with us, join the Harvard Forward movement now. 

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