February 9, 2023

We, the undersigned, current international graduate student workers at USC, are collectively reaching out to you today to encourage you to vote YES in the upcoming union election during February 15th and 16th at Wallis Annenberg Hall, UPC, Clinical Sciences Center (CSC), Conference Room 250 (Harkness Conference Room) at HSC, and the Buck Institute (Feb 15 only – see full polling times and locations here).

International student workers are an integral part of the educational machinery at USC, making up 40 – 50% of the total graduate worker population. Our labor as teachers, lab workers and researchers is indispensable. Yet despite these contributions our voices and concerns continue to be ignored by the administration, with many international GSWs facing unfair working conditions, discrimination and abusive conduct as well as financial precarity. This is also made worse by the complex immigration and visa issues that many of us face. International students pay an invisible “tax” – loss of time, money, and opportunities – navigating hurdles that our domestic peers may not even be aware of. While USC claims to provide dedicated assistance through the Office of International Students, this office too-often fails to competently serve our community.

Without a union to represent our collective power we are forced to individually negotiate with the administration to resolve problems on a case-by-case basis, while shouldering the stress of running from pillar to post alone. A union of student workers will take the burden off individuals by providing a safe supportive space and community which will prioritize our interests and demands. Rather than being forced to accept the inadequate solutions proposed by USC administrators, our union will be built by us and for us. We will also have tangible support from UAW when we need it, including assistance with contract negotiations, grievance processes, and legal support, and if it comes to it, access to a strike and defense fund. Critically, as a part of the newly established UAW Region 6, we will be in solidarity with other unions in our region including our colleagues in the UC system, as well as aerospace and automobile workers across Southern California. For more information on our partnership with the UAW, check out our FAQ.

If we are to improve our working conditions it is essential that international student workers demonstrate their support for the union. Only through strong engagement can our demands be emphasized at the bargaining table. Winning the union election on February 15th and 16th is the first important step in ensuring this. Therefore, we urge you all to show your support by voting YES in this election.

If you are already planning to join us in voting “yes”, please let us know why here!

Chinese Translation



我们在文末联署的各位是来自南加州大学的国际生研究生工作人员。我们联系到您是希望鼓励您在即将到来的工会选举中投下支持的一票。正式选举将于2月15日和2月16日开始,您可以前往UPC校区Wallis Annenberg Hall,或HSC校区Clinical Science Center的250会议室进行投票。Buck Institute 仅在2月15当日开放投票(请点击这里查看具体的时间时段和地点信息)。

,却常常被学校的行政管理层忽视。这对已经面临着复杂的移民和签证系统的国际生来说,可谓是雪上加霜。国际生支付着各种隐形“税”– 时间损失,经济和机遇–来学习克服各种国内学生根本不会意识到障碍。尽管南加大声称他们通过国际生办公室(OIS)来为学生提供支持和帮助,但是这个办公室却从未切实服务学生。




In solidarity,
Kritika Pandey, Sociology
Simon Judkins, History
Rao, Computer Engineering
Laboni Bhattacharya, Cinema and Media Studies
Maria Labourt, Sociology
Zalan Fabian, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sulyab Thottungal Valapu, Computer Science
Tejas Srinivasan, Computer Science
Omid Hemmatyar, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Kennedy Chi-pan Wong, Sociology
Wynnie Nguyen, Programs in Biomedical and Biological Science
Ruiyi Li, Sociology
Bixing Qiao, Mathematics
Amer Melebari, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Vaclav Masek, Sociology
Juan Gonzalez, Economics
Pragya Arya, Psychology
Megha Devraj, Philosophy
Nathan Tsang, Sociology
Inger Flem Soto, Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture
Chloe Zhang, East Asian Languages and Cultures
Xinhui Yang, East Asian Languages and Cultures
Pornpailin Meklalit, East Asian Languages and Cultures
Tian Jing Teh, East Asian Languages and Cultures
Arnab Chakraborty, Sociology 
Urmi Bhattacheryya, Sociology 
Brian Kim, Computer Science 
Yiyang Fang, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy 
Amabel Jeon, Psychology
Suyanpeng Zhang, Industrial and Systems Engineering 
Sina Baharlouei, Industrial and Systems Engineering 
Brihi Joshi, Computer Science
Ruojiao Sun, Material Science 
Dimple Sarnaaik, Physics and Astronomy 
Atef Sheekhoon, Physics & Astronomy
Abdelrahman Haridy, Physics & Astronomy
Rashmi Gangwar, Physics & Astronomy
Jonas Schaab, Chemistry
Soumya Das, Physics & Astronomy
Antonis Margaritakis, Physics & Astronomy
Gilbert Boadu, Chemistry
Yang Goh, Chemistry
Zejing Wang, Mathematics
Chuankai Cheng, Biological Science
Jishnu Bose, Mathematics
Levon Hakobyan, Mathematics
Javad Ghorbanain, Civil Engineering
Pooyan Pahlavan, Electrical Engineering
Vahid Jalali Farahani, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Dimple Sarnaaik, Physics & Astronomy
Haosen Wu, Mathematics
Emir Ceyani, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Nicholas De Araujo, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Mohamed Elsawaf, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sepehr Eskandari, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Chao Wang, Neuroscience
Tirthick Majumder, Chemistry
Ramin Tohidi, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Mohammad Mahdi Badami, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Dandan Peng, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics