About Us

We are student workers from across all departments at Western. We do a huge amount of the work that makes Western run every day.  Feel free to reach out to us at with questions or to get more involved.

“This university works because we do. With a union, we will be able to bargain for fair compensation for our work.”

Sally Vaux, Research Assistant, Environmental Science MS

“Unions are the only way forward. Together we can ensure we are all compensated and appreciated for the work we do. People care for people, not institutions.”

Erin Magarro, Tutor, History BA

“Unions give workers the power to advocate for ourselves and creates a strong workforce where we’re treated and compensated fairly.”

Callie Little, Teaching Assistant, Geology

“I want to form a union because collectively bargaining can promote a supportive and inclusive workplace culture, and build stronger recourse against discrimination and harassment.”

Dan Hart, Teaching Assistant, MBA

“We deserve a fair contract and the only way we can get that is by organizing and bargaining collectively.”

Lexy Aydelotte, Teaching Assistant, History MA

“Everyone benefits when workers are treated equitably, and unions can help make that happen.”

Willa Rowan, Teaching Assistant, Geology MS

“The instructional and research work that we do for Western is important and valuable. To focus on excelling at our jobs, basic financial, housing, and health security needs must first be met. Unionizing will help us obtain the resources to better satisfy these needs and be able to prioritize the essential labor we provide for the university. ”

Karna Ringham, Teaching Assistant, Kinesiology MS

“A union would give us the power to finally ask for living wages and better benefits that support students through the rigors of graduate school”

Elizabeth Wirsching, Teaching Assistant, Biology MS

“We’re valuable to the university and we deserve a living wage. They won’t give us one if we ask nicely — but together, we have the power to protect ourselves.”

Chris Reid, Teaching Assistant, English MA

“We deserve livable wages. Student employees shouldn’t have to work multiple jobs or take out loans to live comfortably.”

Gabby Triana, Teaching Assistant, English MA

“Unions give workers power they are otherwise stripped of. With a union, workers are able to negotiate living wages, job benefits, and safer working conditions.”

Jamie Good, Teaching Assistant, English MFA


“Student employees play a significant role in the University’s day to day function. We deserve a voice.”

Selena Knoblauch, Teaching Assistant, History MA


“Forming a union in the right thing to do.

William Watts, Tutor, Manufacturing Engineering BS

“Forming a union is a way to care for our community.”

Lily Berver, Tutor, Anthropology BS


“Academic workers are essential to the professional development and academic success of all Western students and collective bargaining is our best means for improving conditions for workers and all Western students.”

Andrea Wooley, Teaching Assistant, Physics BS


My greatest political motivator is joy, and labor movements are the most effective way to achieve the most amount of joy. I also love that WAWU is an intersectional movement at its core. “

Ben Workman, Graduate Assistant, Music Education

With a union, I could be recognized as a worker who is valued in the larger student body, and that’s empowering. Everybody should be valued equitably.

Paige Koenig, Teaching Assistant, Geology BS


I support unions because when we all come together we can collectively bargain for better working conditions and wages.

Colby Rand, Graduate Assistant, Environmental Science MS


The union gives us an ability to have a say in how we allocate resources.”

Brian Pinke, Graduate Assistant, Geology MS

Together, student workers have power. Western must recognize that.

Gabe Wong, ASWWU Student Senator, Energy Science BS


 I support unions because it gives workers the opportunity to have a voice and perspective on their working conditions. Workers have an opportunity to live more dignified lives with unions. Collective bargaining can win amazing transformations across all levels of society.

Chase Willis, Teaching Assistant, English MA


Nick Cunetta, Graduate Assistant, Geology MS

I support WAWU because academic workers at Western should be treated equitably and be fairly compensated. As ASWWU President, I hope to use my social and political capital for the betterment of the student body, which includes unionization rights.  

Sargun Handa, ASWWU President, Psychology BS


The only reason the university runs is because of academic workers. Give the people what they want!”

Abby Peterson


“Unionization is the best means by which workers can leverage their value and ensure they receive livable wages, fair terms of employment, and an equitable share of the value they produce.”

Jack McBride, Teaching Assistant, Anthropology MA


“My fellow student employees are dedicated and driven people who deserve a living wage, better benefits, and to feel respected by their university and employer. Unionizing gives us a pathway to organize and advocate for our needs!”

Lily Rayor, Peer Advisor, Research Assistant, and Teaching Assistant

“As a first generation student. Western needs to be unionized in order to make higher education accessible.”

Emily Chappell

“Not every academic student employee (ASE) has the economic, social, and cultural capital to voluntarily endure the “starving student” lifestyle without either falling behind in their academic pursuits or taking on debt they may never be able to repay; WAWU offers Western a valuable opportunity to make real progress toward its stated ADEI goals by working together to build an environment in which all ASEs can survive, thrive, and ‘make waves.'”

Kelsey Tribble