GEO members extend strike to South Quad, undergraduates show support on Unofficial

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GEO members extend strike to South Quad, undergraduates show support on Unofficial

Graduate Students Picketing outside of Altgeld Hall on Monday.

Graduate Students Picketing outside of Altgeld Hall on Monday.

Nikky Gary

Graduate Students Picketing outside of Altgeld Hall on Monday.

Nikky Gary

Nikky Gary

Graduate Students Picketing outside of Altgeld Hall on Monday.

By The Daily Illini Staff Report

As students flock to different apartment parties and campus bars to celebrate Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day on Friday, members of the Graduate Employees’ Organization continue their strike in demand for fair wages, health care and tuition waivers.

The GEO’s strike has spanned the entire week, with picketers chanting outside of several buildings on the Main Quad. Today, strikers extended their picket lines to the Education Building.

“We’re gonna picket every building that we feel is necessary to picket until our demands are met,” said Gus Wood, co-president of the GEO. “The provost needs to wake up and see we’re growing every day.”

Today’s strike follows a list of demands set by the GEO last night.

Coral Lumbley, a fifth-year graduate student, has lost her voice during the strike this week, but finds it important to have her voice heard across campus.

“So I, personally, am excited to be traveling to different areas on campus making sure that everybody knows that we’re on strike and why,” Lumbley said. “I want education to be accessible to everybody because if I didn’t have a tuition waiver, I would not be where I am right now.

Undergraduate students also showed their support for the GEO strike on Unofficial, like Dimitri Love, sophomore in LAS.

Love said teaching assistants have helped establish a foundation of access at the University,

“TAs have made that transition very beautiful for me, so it’s only right to support the TAs and make sure they get the wage that they need,” Love said. “The University, they have about a $1.6 billion endowment. It only takes 1 percent to fill the needs of these TAs, so I’m definitely here to support them.”

A press release from the GEO said the GEO’s bargaining team has yet to receive a response from the administration bargaining team after requesting meetings.

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