Executive Board

Meet your union representatives!

Alexis Guizar-Diaz – VP of Organizing and Interim President

Alexis Lisandro Guizar Diaz is a third-year student in the Sociology Ph.D. program and a current Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Sociology Department. His research interests broadly revolve around environmental sociology, political ecology, rural & agrarian communities, water, agriculture, and Latinx populations. His most recent project explored the social and economic effects of groundwater depletion in Washington state’s Columbia River Basin.

Alexis also serves as the Vice President of Organizing/Interim President of the Graduate Employees Union of PSU. He is also the Field department manager for Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN), Oregon’s largest farmworker and Latinx advocacy organization.

As the VP of Organizing, Alexis coordinates and oversees GEU campaigns and provides regular training for stewards with the VP of Membership and Grievance Officer. He also represents the concerns of the Steward Council to the Executive Board and carries out the President’s duties in the case of absence or vacancy. You can reach Alexis at organizing@pdxgeu.org

What does the VP of Organizing do for GEU?
The VP of Organizing coordinates and oversees GEU campaigns. They co-chair the Steward Council along with VP of Membership. They represent the concerns of the Steward Council to the Executive Board and carry out the duties of the president in the case of absence or vacancy. They work with the Grievance Officer to educate Stewards on our contract and coordinate steward investigations of contract compliance. And they coordinate resources, material, and regular training for Stewards.

Raven Douglas (She/Her) – Treasurer
Interesting in joining the Treasury Committee? Reach out to treasurer@pdxgeu.org

What does the Treasurer do for GEU?
The treasurer serves as co-signatory with the President. They will keep GEU financial records secure, accurate, and up-to-date including making quarterly reports on the budget to the membership and the Executive Board. They will communicate with committee chairs regarding their respective budgets. They are responsible for receipt and disbursement of all GEU funds and tracking of purchases and reimbursements. This includes the tracking and management of member dues and the payment of per capita dues to affiliates and coordinating the pooling of GEU funds for other forms of payment or donation.

Cassandra Croft (she/her) – Vice President for Collective Bargaining

Cassandra is a Physics PhD student working on physics education research & curriculum development. Her goal is to become a professor someday, as she loves teaching and showing students that queer women can succeed in this field. She began working with the union in early 2021, and after observing the Bargaining process that spring she knew she wanted to work on fighting for rights and compensations that graduate employees are due. In her free time, Cassandra loves baking, reading fantasy scifi and queer novels, and spending time with her kitty Rosie (short for Rosemary). As VP of Bargaining, she’s driven to discover the needs of other graduate employees and works to find solutions. Interested in the Bargaining process or how to support the process? Send her an email at bargaining@pdxgeu.org

The Vice President for Collective Bargaining is responsible for leading the bargaining process and serving as Chair of the Bargaining Team. They chair or designate a representative to chair the Labor Management Committee. As part of bargaining they oversee and coordinate the monitoring, investigation, and research on relevant issues for bargaining sessions. They work with partners and affiliates for bargaining as needed, including cooperation with AFT and other union affiliates. They are the liaison between the Bargaining Team and the Executive Board. And they coordinate and facilitate updates to the general membership on bargaining proceedings. Want to join the bargaining team or have an ideas about our next Collective Bargaining Agreement? Have questions or want to nominate yourself for this position? Contact bargaining@pdxgeu.org

Thien-Kim Bui – Vice President of Membership
Thien-Kim is a third-year geography Ph.D. student studying water conflict, governance, and collaboration in the US West, and a GRA with the National Policy Consensus Center. Before grad school (and sometimes even now), they worked in bike shops, on theater stages, and on an urban vegetable farm. Previously, Thien-Kim served on GEU’s Equity and Inclusion Committee (2021-2022; 2022-2023). They were a first-gen college student.

Do you have questions about getting involved with the union as a steward or by joining a committee? Contact membership@pdxgeu.org

What does the VP of Membership do for GEU?
The Vice President for Membership brings new members into our union, particularly during graduate employee orientations at the beginning of the academic year. The VP for Membership also helps with outreach and steward presence in small or underrepresented departments. They also work closely with the VP for Organizing and co-chair the Steward Council.

Bethani Turley (she/her) – Vice President of Operations
Bethani is a third year PhD student and GRA in geography studying the politics of energy transition in the rural US. Before moving to Portland from West Virginia in 2020, Bethani worked in urban farming, and folklore and traditional arts. She joined GEU during her first year at PSU and served as a geography department steward, then as VP of Membership in her second year. Bethani looks forward to continuing as VP of Operations for 2023-2024 to provide the organizational support for GEU. Reach her at operations@pdxgeu.org

What does the VP of Operations do for GEU?
The VP of Operations keeps minutes at meetings or arranges for another attendee to do so. They issue notices and handle correspondence at the direction of the President. They keep accurate membership records and are custodian of the GEU seal, charter, and constitution and bylaws. They ensure that GEU paperwork is up-to-date and assemble the Voting Committee when necessary.

Praveen Palli – Vice President for Equity and Inclusion
Praveen wants to hear from you! For questions, conversations, or to join the Equity Committee, please email Praveen at equity@pdxgeu.org

What does the VP of Equity and Inclusion do for GEU?
The VP of Equity and Inclusion works with the Executive Board, committees, stewards, and the general membership to foster a culture of respect and inclusion for all members of the GEU community, and represent the concerns of underrepresented members of the Bargaining Unit. They serve as chair of the Equity Committee and oversee implementation of its recommendations and activities. They promote understanding of the intersection of issues of diversity and inclusion as related to GEU policies, procedures, and politics, and create opportunities for learning about all member identities. They represent equity concerns of and to the general membership and Executive Board, and work with Equity and Inclusion Committee to offer concrete recommendations for changes to GEU culture, policies, procedures, etc. In conjunction with the Equity Committee, they oversee handling of grievances related to issues of equity and inclusion as they arise, and encourage members to come forward with equity-related grievances. They also offer support and/or resources for members to work with faculty and staff to expand cultural competencies within departments and within the wider PSU community.

Contact info@pdxgeu.org to nominate yourself or for more information.

Vacant – President
Want to get involved with GEU or have questions? If so you can reach Alexis at president@pdxgeu.org

What does the President do for GEU?
The president presides over GEU meetings. They report to membership on the status of the union and major executive board decisions. They are a member of all GEU committees and co-signatory with treasurer on all investments and accounts controlled by GEU. They act as the official GEU representative at university and community events. In the case of an emergency, the president has the authority to act on behalf of the GEU, and will notify the membership within forty-eight (48) hours of any action.
The president will be the first point of contact for internal review, and shall lead all internal review process unless they are the member under review. And they will serve as backup and/or provide support for Grievance Officers, Stewards, and the VP for Organizing in grievance proceedings.

Vacant – Grievance Officer
If you want to join the Grievance Committee, reach out to grievances@pdxgeu.org

What does the Grievance Officer do for GEU?
The Grievance Officer serves as point of contact for GEU member grievances and questions about potential grievances and contract interpretation, unless its related to issues of equity and inclusion.
They form and chair the Grievance Committee and document, track and manage grievances. They delegate and track tasks for specific grievances to authorized members. They coordinate contract interpretation with the VPs of Organizing and Bargaining for clarity in the handling of individual grievances and they keep record of potential contract problems in contract language for discussion at future negotiating sessions. They communicate concerns about the grievance process to the Executive Board. They oversee contract compliance education by coordinating research, ensuring that member surveys gather adequate data on compliance, working with the Chief Steward on steward contract education and contract compliance investigations. They and the President originate, review, and edit correspondence with the University or its agents in connection with grievances.

Clip art of a pencil.

Vacant – Vice President of Politics
Do you have questions about politics GEU monitors or do you want to join the Political Action Committee? Email politics@pdxgeu.org

What does the VP of Politics do for GEU?
The Vice President of Politics monitors political developments relevant to the GEU, and engages and encourages member engagement in political action. The VP of Politics serves as the GEU delegate for local political matters and is the point of contact for endorsement requests and leads the endorsement process. Additionally, the VP of Politics serves as Chair the Political Action Committee and coordinates the Committee’s monitoring and research of local, state, and federal-level political and legal developments relevant to GEU, higher education, and labor rights in general.

Vacant – Vice President for Communications

What does the VP of Communications do for GEU?
The VP of Communications oversees all internal communications including the newsletter and social media, among other tasks. The VP of Communications manages and approves (or delegates approval of) official external communications (e.g. press releases, media statements, official reactions/statements) to ensure that they are consistent with GEU messaging and comply with GEU communication policies/priorities, except in the case of urgent communications and bargaining updates from the President or VP of Collective Bargaining. They are the Communications Committee chair and coordinate GEU internal and external outreach efforts, to facilitate timely and coherent communications to members. They serve as the “voice” of GEU, acting as the official spokesperson and the main contact for official communications. This position is vital to ensuring open and thorough communication between rank and file and the executive board. Have questions or want to nominate yourself for this position? Contact communications@pdxgeu.org

Vacant – Vice President for Social Engagement
The VP of Social Engagement is in charge of scheduling and planning our General Membership Meetings once a term as well other events through out the year to bolster union culture and engagement. To nominate questions or learn more contact social@pdxgeu.org

Vacant –Vice President for External Relations
The VP of External Relations chairs the External Relations (Solidarity) Committee and coordinates with other locals, including PSU-AAUP, PSUFA, SEIU, GTFF, and CGE. They and the President are responsible for originating correspondence between the GEU and its affiliate organizations or other external organizations (not including the University or its agents). They assist with the organization of other graduate employee unions, with support from the VP for Organizing and they assist the VP of Politics in establishing and maintaining contact with external political organizations. Have questions or want to nominate yourself for this position? Contact external.relations@pdxgeu.org