The Mutual Aid Fund Committee distributed aid this month to 64 members who are international students with dependents and/or without summer GE appointments. The funds were distributed after the executive council voted in May to allocate $50,000 of our member dues-generated funds to help alleviate some of the financial precarity that our international members experience over the summer. Disbursements for 2023 ranged from $660 to $1000 and were determined after an anonymous review of the applications based on the amount in the fund, the number of applicants, and applicants’ stated need (including summer employment status and responsibility for dependents).
Even as we take pride in the solidarity among our members that the Mutual Aid Fund embodies, we recognize the limitations of the material support it can offer. We believe that the responsibility to alleviate GEs’ financial precarity ultimately lies with their employer—a position reflected in our contract proposals of support for international students, caregivers, and a living wage for all GEs. The Mutual Aid Fund is GTFF’s effort to promote equity and to care for some of our most vulnerable colleagues. We call on UO to step up and do the same.