organizer-betsyBetsy Pingree

I am a third-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 fifth-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-Michael Simmons

I am a fifth-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 fifth-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.

website-maria-baezMaria Baez Cruz

I’m a fifth-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!