Participate in PGSU’s affiliation vote!

PGSU seeks to affiliate with a new national union — vote open till July 3 11:59PM ET!

PGSU is currently holding a vote on re-affiliating with a national union. All members are eligible to vote. Members should have received further information about the affiliation proposal and voting instructions at their non-institutional email. If you can’t find your ballot, let us know at

This is a key moment for our campaign, and we hope that you will join us in making this important decision.

P.S. If you signed a “mission statement card” back in 2016 or 2017, you are not necessarily a member. We shifted to become a membership organization in early 2018 and put out our membership form then. If you’re not sure of your status, an organizer in your department will be happy to tell you!

What is affiliation?

Affiliation is a process in which a local unit (like PGSU) formally associates with a larger, national union organization.

Local union units affiliate to access and build collective resources and power with a national union organization. The national union provides legal, organizing, staff, and other forms of support to the local union unit. Members of the local unit, in turn, retain ultimate autonomy over the process of unionizing, elections, contract negotiations, striking, and other actions. They also contribute a portion of their dues to the national union. In short, the support of a national union can make us more effective in winning a local union and winning a strong contract.

Why is PGSU proposing a new affiliation?

In 2016, graduate workers at Princeton voted to affiliate with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). However, in the spring of 2018, AFT changed their organizing model to end direct support to local union campaigns like ours, instead opting to support graduate students as individuals who directly affiliate with AFT. We have since sought to affiliate with a national union which is better aligned with our goal to to build power here in our workplace and unionize as a local to improve working and living conditions for grads.

Why and how should I participate? 

This decision will directly affect all aspects of your organizing: the resources that will be available to you, the next steps for your union, and your ability to build solidarity beyond campus. All of us need to make this decision collectively, and PGSU members decided on a quorum in advance of the vote to hold each other accountable. So, turn up and vote!

You must be a member of PGSU at the time of the vote. New members can also vote so long as the voting period is open!

Click here to become a PGSU member!

Membership is open to all graduate students enrolled at Princeton University! Learn more about membership here or from our ongoing events.

PGSU / Princeton Students for Title IX Reform campaign on Prof. Joshua Katz

CW: The following slides and the article linked above contain information about allegations of sexual misconduct. If you need support and would like to talk to us, contact us anytime via our worker support form: You can find an overview of confidential and reporting resources on campus here:…/resources).

PGSU and Princeton Students for Title IX Reform are launching a joint campaign this week to raise awareness around the recent allegations against Professor of Classics Joshua Katz and the administration’s repeated failure to keep students safe. On February 4, the Daily Princetonian published an investigation demonstrating decades of predatory behavior by this professor. As with previous cases, the Princeton administration is missing in action. Survivors of sexual and interpersonal violence have been let down by Princeton for too long. Please share and amplify our campaign on social media this week and join us if you want to fight for real accountability at Princeton and help plan the next steps. We have standing meetings Thursdays at 5pm (email to receive the link). Read the Daily Princetonian’s Article from Feb 4 here:…/alumni-allegations…

Demand that Princeton expand access to COVID services to the broader community!

PGSU is part of a coalition with Princeton Mutual Aid, Princeton Anti-Austerity Coalition, Unidad Latina en Acción NJ, Divest Princeton, and PU Policy Student Government to demand that the university expand access to its COVID health services (that it currently offers to the university-affiliated) to the whole Princeton-area community, including the city of Trenton! Not only is this a public health crisis, it is a moral crisis as well! The university, with its vast resources and power, must step up for its community at this time. This follows the protest that the coalition organized on 2/13, at which 200 people came to demand the same. (See here for more details on that event.)

Please sign the petition, and see the demands in full, here:

Solidarity with Student Protesters at Boğaziçi University

PGSU stands firmly in solidarity with student protesters at Boğaziçi University in İstanbul in their continued struggle against the Turkish government’s assaults on higher education, police violence, and repression of political dissent. We unconditionally stand with their demands for academic freedom and autonomy. Read our full statement below:…/1soYMBW5L0JQz8RtiaWUW…/edit…

Sign a solidarity letter here:…/1FAIpQLSc…/viewform

Please submit a comment to DHS AGAINST their cruel proposed ruling!

TLDR: Submit a comment against the new DHS ruling here:

Log it here: 

For those that were not aware, the Department of Homeland Security has proposed a new ruling that would cruelly target international students. Unfortunately, there has been insufficient communication from the university administration on this proposed ruling. The ruling would:

1) seek to eliminate admission for duration of status for F, J and I visa applicants. Essentially as of now, citizens of most countries–there are exceptions based on the institutionalized racism of the DHS—get student visas that last the period of their programs. Under the new rule, the DHS would no longer issue student visas for the duration of study, limiting visas to four, or, in the case of dozens of African, Middle Eastern and East Asian countries, to two years. As such it would make it very hard for all international students, and almost impossible for students of these countries to come to the US for graduate, or even undergraduate studies.


PGSU and grads statement on anti-Black racism and violence from police

In light of the horrific violence against the Black community by the police that has been spotlighted this past week,  we are looking to do what we can as an organization to affirm the Black Lives Matter movement and to support antiracist and anti-police brutality movements nationwide. To this end, PGSU has helped to produce, and stands fully with, this statement drafted by the X-Campus Organizing Group. (Anybody and any organization can sign.)

It calls for, among other things:
– universities to break ties with their local police departments and law enforcement (like UMN has done) 
– committing resources to support community-led alternatives to policing
– propose plans to protect Black and other marginalized students on campus from racial profiling and racist violence by police and law enforcement.
This is of course not enough. We want to work with other organizations on- and off-campus and in and beyond the Princeton community to do more to fight against anti-Black racism, police brutality, and for abolition. Please let us know if you have organizations or initiatives in mind that we could work with.
Here are some resources that PGSU has cobbled together, including educational materials on meaningful antiracism and links to funds to donate to (this is a live document, if you have resources that are not represented here please feel free to add them).
Finally, we hope folks can attend this action today at 5pm at the Fitzrandolph Gate, at the corner of Witherspoon and Nassau Streets.


Week of 05/11 admin letters, annotated

It’s past time to submit grades for the semester, but PGSU is going ahead and annotating recent communications by President Chris Eisgruber (05/11) and Dean Sarah-Jane Leslie (05/11)! Take a look below! (Scroll down for full documents)

Click here for full annotated letter from Pres. Eisgruber.

Click here for full annotated letter from Dean Leslie.

May 1 Day of Action Update

On May 1, PGSU members and Princeton grads – nearly 200 of them – had a Day of Action.


We were able to make 550+ calls to 4 key administrators at Princeton, filling their mailboxes and 7 others afterward! This follows our Stop-The-Clock petition to make a one-year funding extension available to all grads, which garnered nearly 900 signatures from Princeton grads, undergrads and allies. Of course, this was simply a response to their continued inaction on that issue, and this action is not the end! As long as the administration does not grant this necessary provision, we will be continuing to push them for it. If you would like to get involved with this and/or our other campaigns, email or become a member using the link in the menu above!


PGSU’s Day of Action

The following is a letter sent on 04/19/20 to signatories of our “Stop The Clock Petition” (see above to add your name). It is both a response to the recent communication by the administration (on 04/14/20) and a message that we are going to go beyond just petitions to push the administration to guarantee conditions to ensure the well-being of grads.  (more…)

Please sign our open letter to admin to stop the clock

May 1 Update: After the Day of Action of May 1, in which hundreds of grads made hundreds of calls to push for this extension to four key members of the Princeton administration, we are going to be pivoting to more direct forms of action. As such, we are not actively soliciting signatures on this open letter, but please feel free to sign. We are accepting more testimonials, so if you are a Princeton grad and you would like to share your story, you can do so below. 


Over the last few weeks, PGSU has been receiving numerous testimonials and statements from grads detailing how the COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted their research. Cancelled conferences, grants, fieldwork opportunities, and more that only happen once a year have severely delayed grads’ research progress. Many universities have taken steps to stopping-the-clock for one year, for tenure-track faculty. It is the logically conclusive, and morally correct, step to extend this provision to grad workers as well.  We join the many other grad union organizations around the country in calling for Princeton University to extend all graduate student fellowships, benefits, time-to-degree deadlines, and related international student support (I-20s and DS2019s) by one full year. Please take a look at our open letter below and add your name.


PGSU response petition to Princeton administration regarding COVID-19

Here is our initial statement and petition to the university’s administration. As of 05/01/20, this document is no longer updating, because we are actively working on making a detailed platform for each item and pushing the administration in more direct and concrete ways. Over 600 people, Princeton grads and allies, signed the petition, which was submitted twice to over 25 administrators.


Please see our statement and petition to the university administration regarding the transition brought on by COVID-19. We do not want any of Princeton’s community members – no campus workers, undergrads, grads, postdocs or staff – to be left behind in this incredibly difficult time. Please add your name below and share – all are welcome to sign, regardless of any Princeton affiliation! We have also included an option to submit testimonials in the petition. Do not hesitate to reach out at if you have issues that are not being addressed either by the university or by the petition. We are all in this together!

A finalized version of the petition will be posted online, along with the signatories.

Submitted 1) on 03/19/20, 2) on 04/10/20

PGSU’s response to the changes made to the Student Health Plan + take our survey!

We have some concerns about the recent changes made to the Student Health Plan in regards to out-of-network coverage (didn’t know about these changes? Learn more) and we ask the administration to commit to some specific, basic SHP protections for graduate workers, in the below open letter to the administration. We are still trying to find out more about how grads will be affected! Please take our survey so that we can learn about how grads are dealing and will deal with these changes. The administration needs to be transparent about the cost of our healthcare!


Take PGSU’s housing survey!

As part of PGSU’s ongoing effort to hear from fellow grad workers on their experiences with housing, and in light of the university’s Lake Campus plans for new graduate housing built and administrated by American Campus Communities, PGSU has put together a short (10-15 minute) housing inquiry for grad workers.  (Linked here) The answers from this survey will help us better understand and build a movement around our needs as grad workers—whether we live in Princeton housing or not, on our own or with partners or children. We encourage you to fill it in and pass the survey on to your friends.

The only way to have a real say in our working and living conditions is through collective action — through forming a labor union. While we work towards legal recognition as a union, we still have the power of political and collective pressure, and that is what we intend to mobilize to demand affordable and accessible housing now and for the graduate workers who come after us. We’ve been working over the past weeks to gather testimonials from fellow grad workers in graduate housing and those living off-campus, and have been conducting research on American Campus Communities, the firm to which the university plans on renting the lands across Lake Carnegie. This firm will collect rents from us (at a profit), the university will profit off the land rents it collects from ACC, and there is as yet no guarantee as to the affordability of this housing for us, the tenants.

We believe rent for graduate housing should be tied to a percentage of our base stipend, in line with federal regulations for affordable housing, and that is what we will demand of our employer in the coming weeks.

Take the survey!


Come to our housing forum on Thursday April 18!

PGSU will be hosting a housing forum on April 18th at 6:30pm in McCormick 101, to hear from fellow grad workers on their experiences with housing, and learn more about the Lake Campus plans. The university administration is also holding consultations and has put out a survey on student wishes for their housing, but as we have seen time and time again, our concerns are only taken into account when convenient, and any “consultation” is usually little more than a courtesy. Our aim is to have a worker-led discussion about the new Lake Campus, our rights as tenants, and how a union can and should act on accessible and affordable housing.
McCormick 101 is ADA accessible.

RSVP on Facebook here:

Learn more about our housing platform here:

Join us Thursday (3/7) at the Frist South Lawn to demand action on the SHP cuts!

Princeton’s administration cut certain student health plan benefits last Friday, with no consultation, two weeks notice, and no public announcement. These changes meant 67% cuts to massage therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic services, mostly affect undergraduates and graduate workers living with chronic pain.

This change affects us all: it is one of the many ways the university can unilaterally make changes to our working and living conditions without consulting us or including us in any decision-making.

We demand the university administration (1) restore the full complementary benefits coverage it removed from the Student Health Plan as of March 1, 2019, until a replacement set of benefits is implemented (2) make the coming changes to the SHP public and open to real consultation by undergraduates and graduate workers.

Join us on Thursday (3/7) from 12-12:30pm at the Frist South Lawn to stand up for transparent, affordable, and accessible health care! RSVP on Facebook here:

Sudden and unilateral changes to our health plan will continue unless we act together! We have power as an organized collective to demand better from the university, which has a staggering endowment and professed commitment to accessibility and “the service of humanity.” Join us to hold the university to their word!

PGSU is now an organization of members. Become a member today!

We have some very exciting news – you can now become a member of PGSU!  (Visit our “Become a PGSU member” tab in the top menu.) What does this mean? We are changing to a membership-based organization to cement our position at Princeton, build and demonstrate our power to the administration, and become more transparent and democratic. More details below!