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Mission Statement


We are the Duke Graduate Students Union, united by our belief in the dignity and value of graduate student workers. We are dedicated to bettering the lives of all student workers and their families by building a supportive graduate student community, helping workers to realize their collective power, raising awareness of our working conditions, and advocating for meaningful improvements to them. We believe that workers understand their own needs and should have the power to meet them collectively.

We imagine a university that values and dignifies every person whose contributions sustain it — educators, researchers, service workers, and students. We believe that higher education should cultivate an informed, engaged public, and that the university should serve as a site of research and teaching for the good of all. This vision will only be realized when every member of our university community is safe  and respected.

We connect our experience as workers to the experience of working people in our city of Durham, in the state of North Carolina, in the South, and across the nation and the globe. We believe in a living wage and economic security; comprehensive and universal healthcare; universal college education; and freedom from discrimination, harassment and abuse. These beliefs guide our efforts on and off campus, and we organize so that workers today and in the future will win them. We believe that workers are stronger standing together, so we stand together to build a better Duke University and a better life for workers everywhere.