The Mission Statement of the Graduate Student Caucus

The Graduate Student Caucus (GSC) is an allied organization of the Modern Language Association (MLA). We provide organized representation for graduate students and other academic workers within the MLA and act to facilitate communication between the MLA and its graduate student membership (a constituency comprising one-third of the organization's current membership and all of its future membership). We are committed to garnering broad-based support and participation from all graduate students in the modern languages and literatures.

As graduate students have traditionally been under-represented in the MLA's governance structure, the GSC introduces motions and resolutions in the Delegate Assembly; works to elect GSC members to the Delegate Assembly, Executive Council, and standing committees; and otherwise uses existing parliamentary channels to encourage the MLA to recognize and address graduate students' interests, including pressing labor and diversity issues.

The GSC advocates for graduate students in their pursuit of equitable compensation, reasonable working conditions, healthcare, and other benefits. We denounce the use of corporate models in academic administration among US and Canadian universities, and we assert that universities' greater reliance on and exploitation of part-time and adjunct faculty both compromises the quality of postsecondary education and represents an unsustainable future for the profession.

Through our efforts within the MLA and by collaborating with other activist groups in postsecondary education, we work to publicize and reverse recent trends in hiring practices and in the mistreatment of graduate student and part-time labor among US and Canadian universities. We do so from the conviction that the first condition of academic freedom is a just and equitable workplace.