Graduate Assistants United (GAU)

URI's Graduate Assistant Chapter of the AAUP

Front Page

INEQUALITY FOR ALL screening and LIVE webcast with Robert Reich

Movie Banner

Graduate Assistants United is proud to announce that we will be hosting a free, public screening of “INEQUALITY FOR ALL” on Thursday, February 20th as part of a nationwide campus screening event. The evening will include a live webcast with Robert Reich and a robust discussion following the screening in the College of Biotechnology and Life Sciences Auditorium (CBLS 100).

Doors open at 6PM. The live webcast with Robert Reich will begin promptly at 6:30PM. This event is open to the public, but seating is limited so be sure to RSVP and arrive early!

RSVP: via Facebook


Film Synopsis:

A passionate argument on behalf of the middle class, INEQUALITY FOR ALL features Robert Reich – professor, best-selling author, and Clinton cabinet member – as he demonstrates how the widening income gap has a devastating impact on the American economy. The film is an intimate portrait of a man whose lifelong goal remains protecting those who are unable to protect themselves. Through his singular perspective, Reich explains how the massive consolidation of wealth by a precious few threatens the viability of the American workforce and the foundation of democracy itself. In this INCONVENIENT TRUTH for the economy, Reich uses humor and a wide array of facts to explain how the issue of economic inequality affects each and every one of us. The film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

HarvestFest is here!

Join the GAU for our Fall General Membership Meeting and HarvestFest Dinner on Wednesday, October 30th at 6pm at the University Club. Dinner and a drink ticket will be provided for all GAU members.

Our guest speaker will be Dean Libutti, Vice Provost of Enrollment Management.

Not a GAU member yet? Become one today! All Graduate Assistants at URI are eligible.

Check out the event flyer for menu details.


TA Workshop Encore: Help! My student wants to be Facebook friends: Setting boundaries between being friendly and being friends.

Back by popular demand!

After receiving numerous emails requesting we run another session of this workshop, we’ve decided to run an encore of this highly enjoyable round table discussion. Join fellow TAs on Tuesday, October 15th at 3pm in Roosevelt 300 for a roundtable discussion dedicated to establishing appropriate boundaries and maintaining professionalism inside and outside of the classroom.

Attention Teaching Assistants! We’ve got your back.

The GAU is kicking off the academic year right by lending a helping hand to our fellow Graduate Assistants who are responsible for teaching here at URI. Join us on Monday, September 23rd at 3pm in the Memorial Union (room 360) to learn some pro tips from your fellow TAs, share the best strategies for classroom management, gradekeeping, communicating with your students, and much more. We’ll be rocking it roundtable-style, which will give you the opportunity to share your specific concerns and challenges and to get some answers. Whether you’re instructing freshmen in the ways of classical literature or running a departmental session of URI 101, we’re here for you!

Please share this event with your fellow Graduate Assistants, and be sure to RSVP on facebook so we have a rough head count:



GAU Names Danielle Dirocco as Executive Director

Graduate Assistants United is thrilled to announce the selection of Ms. Danielle Dirocco as its first Executive Director in the history of the organization. A lifelong Rhode Island resident, Ms. Dirocco earned her B.A. in Secondary Education from the University of Rhode Island in 2009 as well as her M.A. in Political Science in 2013, also at URI. Ms. Dirocco was a Teaching Assistant during her Graduate Program, and was elected President of GAU for the 2012-2013 Academic Year.

As president, Ms. Dirocco advocated for URI’s teaching and research assistants to the Board of Governors when URI Graduate Assistant contract was rejected alongside other faculty contracts. Her work paved the way for the board to recognize that Graduate Assistants are a unique group with unique needs that differ from that of full-time or adjunct faculty and need to be treated as such. The Graduate Assistant contract was the only higher education contract ratified by the Board of Governors that included raises for all three years of the agreement.

In addition to her involvement with GAU, Ms. Dirocco is a member of the American Association of University Professor’s National Committee on Graduate and Professional Students, and is a founding member of the Young Democrats of Rhode Island South County chapter.

An Orientation Just for YOU.

Attention Grad Assistants!

We have an orientation coming up that’s just for you. Whether you’re new or you’re coming back for more, please join us on Friday, September 6th at 5pm in the Memorial Union Ballroom to learn all about your assistantship here at URI. Also, there will be free pizza. What’s better than free pizza? (Answer: nothing.)


AAUP unanimously supports the “Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act”

by Danielle Dirocco

Greetings from the 99th Annual AAUP National Conference in Washington, DC!

We are pleased to report that the National AAUP unanimously passed a resolution to support Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Congressman John Tierney’s (D-MA) bill, known as the “Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act” (S897). This bill proposes the reduction of the student loan interest rate to .75%, reflecting that students should not have to pay a higher interest rate than banks.

Furthermore, it is worth sharing that there were comments made urging the organization to assign staff to this issue to ensure that student loan fairness remains a priority for the AAUP over the long term. The GAU publicly expressed its gratitude to the AAUP for its recognition regarding the importance of addressing the student loan crisis. The full text of the resolution can be found here:

For further information on Warren’s bill, see the fact sheet and full text of the bill below.

“Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act” Fact Sheet:

Full text of Bill S897 (“Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act”):

Attention Graduate Assistants: Congratulations, you’ve earned a raise!

As you may have heard, our new contract was reconsidered by the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education on Monday evening and was passed unanimously! This means you may be eligible for retroactive payment for your assistantship going back to September 1, 2011. We are eagerly awaiting further instructions and details from the administration, but in the meantime, we need your updated contact information so we can get your check to you as soon as possible.

To update your contact information, you can go directly to e-campus and update your profile with your most recent information. If you have recently graduated, please email Graduate Assistants UNITED directly at We will need your student ID, graduation date, mailing address, and the best email address to reach you at in case we need to get in touch with you in short order.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to contact the GAU at, or call us at 401.874.2826. You can also swing by our office on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the summer in Roosevelt Hall, Room 307.


Thank you to all who were involved in the negotiating process for your hard work!



Danielle Dirocco

President, Graduate Assistants UNITED

GAU’s 2011-2014 Tentative Agreement

(1) Parking – for full-time GAs the commuter parking fee is still waived. This is applicable to the fall and spring. Also, GAs may park in the lots listed in our contract from 4:30p – 6:00a! Also GAs can park in the lot at the corner of Flagg Rd. and Plains Rd. This is the Residential lot, not the one attached to the Surge Building.

(2)For those of you who were GAs in Fall 2011,$400 will be added to each stipend level. For the spring, $450 will be added to each level, for the 2012-2013 academic year,$600 will be added to each level, and finally, in the 2013-2014 academic year,$500will be added to each level.

(3) The GAU and the Administration have agreed to create a committee to research the feasibility of guaranteed GA funding. Basically, we want to know what schools offer guaranteed funding to GAs, and how the language is worded.

Language Changes
Article 3.1 to be amended as follows:

3.1 The Board and the GAU agree not to discriminate in any way against employees covered by this Agreement on account of race, sex, religion, political affiliation or beliefs, age, color, creed, national origin, disability, gender identity and expression, or sexual orientation, in accordance with applicable State and Federal laws; nor will there be discrimination in respect to hiring and retention or any condition of employment because of membership in or activities on behalf of GAU.

Article 21.5 Bereavement Leave to be amended as follows:

21.5 BEREAVEMENT LEAVE. Graduate assistants shall be granted four (4) days leave with full pay for the death in the immediate family. Immediate family shall include father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, son, daughter, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandmother, grandfather, grandchildren, domestic partner, civil union partner, and any person living in the employee’s household.

Think Big We Do

Copyright © 2014 University of Rhode Island.