GSOC is one of several labor organizations of graduate student teachers and researchers that formed at private universities in the 1990s. It is the first graduate employee union at a private U.S. university to have achieved collective bargaining unit recognition and negotiated a contract. (The contract expired in 2005 and the collective bargaining relationship with the university is scuttled.) When GSOC began to organize in the late 1990s, members believed that shifts in the academic labor market, including greater reliance on graduate student teaching and research, made necessary the formation of collective bargaining units. Members also sought a collective voice in their pay and working conditions.