Graduate Assistants United (GAU)

URI's Graduate Assistant Chapter of the AAUP


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.

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”):

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