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Wednesday, June 19
The Indiana Daily Student

IU accuses Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition of trademark violation


IU accused the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition of a trademark violation in an email last Wednesday, according to a press release from the Coalition. This comes after weeks of an ongoing fee strike by the organization meant to call attention to the cost of graduate worker fees, which range from $700 to $1,500 each semester.

The email was sent by Jim F. Johnson, associate director of the Student Involvement & Leadership Center on March 10, which is also the due date for graduate student fees, according to the press release.

According to the email sent by Johnson, the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition violates IU’s licensing and trademark policy by using a modified IU trident logo as an unregistered student organization. The email also asks that the logo be removed from the organization’s website, Facebook page, Twitter profile, Instagram profile and posts as well as other promotional material.

According to the release, the organization has been using the same logo for about two years, and this is the first time the school has shown concern.

“Now that we are engaged in a fee strike to protest our deteriorating economic conditions, they’ve decided to make an issue out of it,” coalition member Peter Cho said in the release.

IU Spokesperson Chuck Carney said that the university received a complaint about the logo anonymously through its EthicsPoint reporting platform and that the email sent to the Coalition was consistent with the university’s trademark and branding guidelines.

About 750 graduate workers have already pledged to withhold fees for this semester, and over 200 IU faculty members have signed on to a letter addressed to Provost Robel supporting the fee strike.

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