AMES, Iowa — Graduate Student Voices, a graduate student-run advocacy group at Iowa State University, is leading the charge to form a graduate student union at the college.

Graduate Student Voices started working to unionize after the pandemic when some students had concerns over health and safety.

Graduate students that are paid by Iowa State University are considered public employees which under Iowa law gives them the right to unionize.

Right now, Graduate Student Voices is working to get enough signatures to petition the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board to hold a vote to unionize.

Sarah Chase, an Iowa State Graduate student, said that having a union would offer many benefits.

“A union provides that financial and legal backing and support, whether it’s in filing grievances or creating a community of solidarity. Saying ‘hey we’re concerned about X,Y,Z we don’t think that this is acceptable, healthy, etcetera.’ Like we want to come to the table and talk about it. It gives us a little bit more power rather than an individual person kind of butting up against a system,” Chase said.

To learn more about Graduate Student Voices visit their website.