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Precarious Labor Organization

Precarious Labor Organization

Mission Statement and Organizational Structure

Mission Statement 

  • The Precarious Labor Organization provides community and advocacy for the Society’s members who are in positions without job security or a clear route to promotion and advancement. 
  • The PLO is committed to attending to differing experiences that precarious/contingent labor conditions produce, depending on one’s access to or lack of access to other forms of privilege. 
  • In recognizing that precarious labor conditions are damaging to the mission of higher education in general, and that the harm it produces is not limited to the precariously employed themselves, the PLO holds that the work of improving labor conditions in higher education is the responsibility of all. Therefore, PLO membership is open to all SCMS members and affiliates, regardless of employment status. 

PLO Leadership Structure: 3 Co-Chairs and a PLO Board Representative

The PLO will maintain an internal leadership structure that includes three positions, which will be voted on by all PLO members and affiliates, and the PLO Board Representative position, which will be voted on by the SCMS membership at large, with nominees proposed by the PLO, and vetted by the SCMS Nominating Committee. Should the Nominating Committee reject the nominees proposed by the PLO, the Nominating Committee will propose a list of nominees, which the PLO will then vet.  

The three Co-Chair positions will be staggered on three-year rotations to help preserve institutional memory and distribute labor among the leadership. Leadership will consist of three Co-Chairs at any one time: Co-Chair 1 (first of three years), Co-Chair 2 (second of three years), Co-Chair 3 (third of three years). The titles, then, do not reflect any hierarchy, instead they indicate the year of their term. Co-Chairs are expected to attend the yearly conference to the best of their abilities.

In order to create the flow during the first year, all three positions will be filled in a fall 2019 election, with one person agreeing to Co-Chair for three years (Co-Chair 1), one person agreeing to Co-Chair for two years (Co-Chair 2), and one person agreeing to Co-Chair for one year only (Co-Chair 3). Individuals serving short terms in these first years of the PLO can seek election again if they so desire. 

The PLO Board Representative serves not only as an At-Large SCMS Board member, but also as the Board liaison with the PLO, specifically representing the interests of precarious employed members. 

PLO Leadership Qualifications

Co-Chair positions are open to any member of the PLO, regardless of their employment status. This would include precariously employed laborers, as well as allies and advanced graduate students.

The PLO Board Representative must be precariously employed at the time of their election. If their employment status changes, they may finish out the remainder of their term.

PLO Membership and Affiliation

While it is standard practice that Caucus and SIG Co-Chairs are voted on by SCMS members only, the PLO represents many SCMS affiliates who actively participate in SCMS, but can not always afford to maintain their SCMS membership status. Therefore, the PLO includes two different statuses of membership. 

PLO members include all those who are current SCMS members and have joined the PLO through the SCMS website. Only members can run for Co-Chair positions, but both members and affiliates can vote on Cco-Chairs. 

PLO affiliates are all those who are not current members of SCMS, but have joined PLO through contacting any of the PLO leadership and asking to be included on the affiliate list and listserv.  PLO affiliates can vote for the PLO Co-Chair positions. 

SCMS Support of the PLO 

The PLO will receive a $600 stipend each year to distribute as it sees fit (i.e. travel grants for leadership or other members, contributions toward special events, etc.). The PLO will also be granted a meeting time during the SCMS Conference, and will be eligible for all other benefits afforded to SCMS GSO, Caucuses, and SIGs.


Precarious Labor Organization Group Page




Joseph Clark

Darshana Sreedhar Mini

Jennifer Wang

Contact Us

Society for Cinema and Media Studies
640 Parrington Oval
Wallace Old Science Hall, Room 300
Norman, OK 73019
(405) 325-8075