Town Hall on March 13 to focus on graduate student unionization

The Town Hall will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Room 22 of the Biobehavioral Health Building at University Park, and also will be livestreamed at for community members at all Penn State campuses to view. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — On March 13, Penn State Provost Nick Jones and Dean of the Graduate School Regina Vasilatos-Younken will host a town hall meeting for graduate students on the topic of graduate student unionization from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The event will take place in Room 22 of the Biobehavioral Health Building on the University Park campus. It also will be livestreamed at for community members at all Penn State campuses to view.

The Town Hall will give Provost Jones and Dean Vasilatos-Younken an opportunity to provide accurate information and answer questions graduate students have been asking about unionization and the upcoming election.

While students are invited to anonymously submit questions in advance and during the meeting to, please note that we have already received a large number of questions. The hosts will try to answer as many as possible at the event, but given limited time, it might not be possible to address every question. If you have additional questions after the Town Hall, please check the Unionization FAQs at or email the Graduate School at In addition, Sarah Ades, associate dean of the Graduate School, is available as an ombudsperson and advocate for all graduate students.

A group of graduate students at Penn State (graduate assistants and trainees) will soon face an important decision to determine if they wish to be represented by a union. As the election nears, it is critical that all students eligible to vote educate themselves on this topic, get the facts, consider all points of view, and vote. A simple majority of those who vote — no matter how small — will determine the result for all graduate assistants and trainees. Eligible students were recently notified via email by the Graduate School.

Since 2015, Town Hall meetings have provided opportunities for members of the Penn State community to receive updates on University initiatives, hear from administrative leaders about key issues, ask questions, and provide feedback.

Last Updated September 04, 2020