organizer-betsyBetsy Pingree

I am a first-year PhD student in History after two years in the department as a M.A. student. I research 19th and 20th century American history, focusing specifically on industrialization, migration, and environment. I want a union at BC because I believe that all workers deserve a fair, collectively-bargained contract with their employer. As the daughter of a 40-year union member (IUOE), I know firsthand that workers and employers both benefit from unionized workplaces. Working with other grad students towards unionization has given me the opportunity to connect with students outside of my own department. I know that a graduate employee union will help Boston College to be a place for social justice.


Caliesha Comley

I’m a third-year Ph.D. student in the Sociology department. I’m interested in deconstructing the U.S. legal project with respect to domestic issues of race- and gender-based violence, as well as international human rights. I’m working for a union because, as university employees, graduate workers deserve to be compensated with a living wage, comprehensive health care, and family-friendly policies. Not only do we deserve job security, but also the security of proactive policies of equality, inclusion, and representation. Graduate workers are vital to Boston College’s success, so it is just that we help make decisions that affect our labor and the future of our careers. 


Cedrick Simmons

I am a third year PhD student in Sociology department. My research interests include race theory and inequalities in higher education. My current study examines how the institutionalization of “diversity” strategies incentivize administrators to reproduce structural racism. I believe a union is a promising opportunity because my research, experiences at Ithaca College, and work with Eradicate Boston College Racism have shown that student organizations facilitate material change better than any dialogue or racial talk therapy on campus. With a union, students will be able to access fair compensation and expectations, functional grievance policies, a semblance of academic freedom, and contracts rather than probation for candlelight vigils on campus.


David Sessions

I’m a third-year PhD student in the History department, where I focus on European intellectual history and modern France. I think a lot about how the ideas of the last two centuries provided us with tools to conceptualize difficult moral, political, and economic problems in the present. I was previously a member of the Newspaper Guild of New York – CWA, where I experienced how collective bargaining brought my co-workers and I together and made a massive difference in our daily well-being. I strongly believe a strong academic labor movement is the most powerful way we have to resist the trends that have devalued the work we do as scholars and teachers.


Ian Gillespie

I am a third-year law student at Boston College Law School. I support a union for graduate employees a BC because I believe a seat a the negotiating table for employees is necessary to achieve fair compensation and benefits.





website-maria-baezMaria Baez Cruz

I’m a third-year PhD student in the Education Research, Measurement, and Evaluation program in the Lynch School of Education. My research interests include social determinants of academic performance and multicultural education. I am part of the effort to create a Graduate Student Union at B.C. because I was unaware of the great inequality within our university in how much we make and what we are entitled to receive. A union will bring Lynch students together with all others to fight for better working conditions. Life happens while you are a PhD student—and you really want to have dental for it!


organizer-mikaylaMikayla Robinson

I am a second-year M.A. student in the History department, studying U.S. immigration and Asian-American history. I want a union for graduate employees at BC because it will give us a democratic voice where we have the power to influence policies that impact our lives. I also believe that with unionization, we can create a space that supports a more racially and economically diverse student body, and empowers and gives a voice to underrepresented communities at Boston College.


Nathan Nesbitt

I’m a sixth-year PhD student in the Physics department, where I design nanostructures for solar cells and renewable energy storage. Outside the lab, I have worked on social justice advocacy for over 10 years; originally focussed on climate change, I have begun working for a union at BC to ensure fair compensation and a living wage within academia. A living wage in academia is important to me because it makes advanced degrees accessible to people from less privileged backgrounds. For fun, I love sailing on the Charles, learning guitar, having potlucks with friends, and catching Pokemon!

Patrick CoatarPeter
I am a second year Ph.D. student in the Sociology department. My research looks at the role of the state and elite-controlled organizations in defining and influencing environmental outcomes.  I am working for a union at BC because a collectively bargained contract and grievance policy will provide the security needed to plan for the future and give us, as employees, a democratic voice in our workplace. 



Peter Berard

I’m a sixth-year PhD student in the History department, focusing on US diplomatic and intellectual history. I want a union because grad student workers make BC function and deserve to be represented collectively in decisions that involve our labor.




rockyRocky Rockwell

I am a PhD student in Organization Studies in the Carroll School of Management (CSOM).  I am interested in higher education administration — how structures, practices and policies of universities impact the student experience. As the former Executive Director of the Graduate Student Association (GSA), I look forward to continuing to advocate for better working conditions for graduate students.  


sriramSriram Natarajan

I’m a second-year PhD student in the Economics department, and I’m working with BCGEU-UAW because I believe in unions.






website-will-atwoodWill Atwood-Charles

I am a PhD candidate in the Sociology department. My research interests include political economy, economic sociology, and the sociology of work. I am particularly interested in how work is organized and reorganized. I want a union because I believe graduate students should have a voice in shaping the Boston College community. Unions are a critical tool in promoting democracy, justice, and fairness.