Our Committees run and power NUGW's organizing. If you would like to get involved in helping achieve contract recognition and all the other goals of NUGW, please fill out the form at the bottom of this page to join one of our committees and get plugged in! Descriptions of committees and working groups are provided below.

DOC (1)

Department Organizing Committee

Department Organizers (DOs) play an essential role in NUGW. They recruit new members and act as liaisons between graduate workers in their department and the union, providing an important avenue for workers’ concerns to be voiced. Additionally when NUGW takes major actions the DOs inform their department’s membership and help mobilize each member’s participation in our collective unionization push.


The Department Organizing Committee (DOC) consists of each department’s DOs, as well as 2-3 elected DOC chairs who support DOs’ efforts to recruit and involve more people in their department through training, social/informational events, cross-department collaboration, and facilitated discussions. 


Becoming a DO is a tangible way you can contribute directly to NUGW’s unionization push. DO responsibilities include:

  • Building relationships with fellow graduate workers in your department
  • Relaying concerns of workers in your department at DOC meetings
  • Engaging your department’s membership in major NUGW actions
  • Recruiting additional NUGW members and DOs from your department

If you would like to know more ask to be added to #department-organizers on the NUGW slack!

Comms committee

Communications Committee

NUGW’s important events, calls to action, and elections need to reach the full membership. The Communications Committee facilitates this correspondence through mass messaging, including emails, social media pages, NUGW website updates, texts, and flier production. These communications serve as a beacons to NUGW’s members to begin contacting their friends, colleagues, and fellow members to address our collective needs. 


Additionally, The Communications Committee manages external communications and runs media campaigns to help foster support for NUGW within the Northwestern community and beyond. This includes building connections with other unions in higher-ed, unions in the Chicago area, as well as labor advocacy groups alongside the Solidarity Committee.


Communications Committee members help with one or more of the following functions:

  • Drafting internal membership-wide emails
  • Running NUGW social media accounts
  • Building graphics for union events
  • Building fliers to hand out at union events
  • Maintaining the NUGW website
  • Drafting copy and fliers to support other committees upon request

If you would like to know more join #communications in the NUGW slack!

Budget Committee

The budget committee meets prior to the start of each quarter to prepare a budget that is presented at each General Membership Meeting. The treasurer convenes the committee as necessary to make short term and long-range financial decisions to fund NUGW’s fight for a fairer Northwestern.


Solidarity Committee

The Solidarity Committee works to maintain relationships with outside labor groups so that NUGW can learn from, and participate in, the broader national labor fight.

Solidarity Committee members help to:

  • Plan and execute coalition building events with graduate leaders and organizations within Northwestern
  • Promote, attend, and support actions by labor groups at Northwestern, in the Chicago area, and beyond
  • Foster and encourage wall-to-wall organizing by other segments of workers at Northwestern
  • Initiate and maintain contacts with external organizations and unions

If you would like to know more ask to join #solidarity in the NUGW slack!

Research Committee

Unionization is a complicated process and it is easy to ask questions that take some time to address. Who can be in NUGW’s bargaining unit? How do you initiate a union election? What unionization strategies have worked well at other universities? The research committee works to proactively address major strategic, legal, and technical questions relevant to NUGW’s push for unionization.

Additionally, the Research Committee gathers and analyzes data pertinent to the current state of NU, addressing questions like “How many PhD students are in NU?” or “Can NU afford to pay grad workers at the same rate as peer institutions”.

Research Committee members help to:

  • Research, analyze, and report on key NUGW strategy questions
  • Characterize the current state of NU from enrollment and financial data
  • Generate annual reports on NU finances
  • Address other questions pertinent to other committees and the general membership

If you would like to know more ask to join #research in the NUGW slack!

Working Groups

Working Groups

Working Groups represent and support affinity and issue-based groups within NUGW. They meet to discuss specific issues, formulate organizing strategies, inform the OC of the concerns and needs of specific segments of grad workers, and build community within NUGW. If you are a part of a specific community at NU that you would like to see represented in NUGW’s long-term strategy, please email to discuss forming a new Working Group. 

Current existing working groups include:

  • BIPOC Working Group (#bipocs, invite only to keep this a safe space, please reach out to our working group lead to join)
  • International Students’ Working Group (#intlstudents)
  • Chicago Students’ Working Group (#chicago_campus)
  • Disability and Chronic Illness Working Group  (#dci-working-group)
  • Parent Working Group (#parent-working-group)
  • STEM Working Group (#stem-sparkle)
  • Masters’ Student Working Group (#masters-student-working-group

If you would like to be involved with any of the above ask to join on the NUGW slack!

Join an NUGW Committee or Working Group

Note: You must be an active NUGW member to join.

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