Meet Our Union: Erin Lavin

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Meet one of our newest Union Council members. Erin started as Ann Arbor co-campus chair in Fall 2018.

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What's your name? 

Erin Lavin

What do you teach and on which campus?

Spanish in the Romance Languages & Literatures Department, Ann Arbor

How long have you taught at the University of Michigan?

3 years

What’s your favorite song to dance to?

any Latin music and the occasional two-step

What was your first experience with unions or the first time you learned what a union was?

LEO is my first substantive experience with unions. There was no graduate student union during graduate school, so my new hire orientation was my first contact. I happily signed my card and asked to be put to work - I knew that the union was my most likely path toward better employment conditions.

What union committee are you on and what's your favorite part of being on that committee?

Communications, SPACE, Contract Implementation & Organization, and a very recent former member of the Social Committee. I think there was an Election Committee a few years ago and I was on the Bargaining Team / Contract Committee for most of our most recent negotiations. I have too many favorite memories to mention here - the tears of laughter are so real - but what I love and am proud of is how each person truly contributes to the life of committee and is indispensable. We co-create really well and there is always space for new minds and energy!!

Football or basketball?


Current obsession?

arugula. recipes welcome, please and thanks.

What century would you want to live in (excluding 21st and 20th)?

19th, for mostly musical reasons

Hard shell or soft shell (tacos)?

soft. corn tortillas mostly.

Favorite LEO slogan from this past round of bargaining (could be one we actually used, or one we considered)?

#worthmore. I hope we all internalize that message individually and collectively

Your personal fight song--the one that gets you fired up to fight the good fights?

I have seasonal varieties  - right now (and for the past 15 years or so) Zero 7 features heavily on the autumn energy playlist

Share a guilty watch (a movie or show that’s probably no good but you enjoy anyway)

I don't have a TV - lame answer, I know

What’s a favorite book you read in the past few years, fiction or non-?


What would you like to eat for your last meal?

pizza, salmorejo, or whatever treat that John Buckley recently baked.

What superpower would you least like to have?

I don't need to read minds.

In one word, describe your experience with LEO so far.


If you could teach something in another discipline for a semester, what would you teach?

I just laughed out loud imagining myself teaching calculus (I think I studied it in the 1990s). So probably that. Or music theory - My PhD is in Hispanic linguistics but I was a music performance major in college. 

What’s one pleasant surprise about your experience with our union?

how do-able it is to achieve great things...together.

What was your favorite question on this quiz?

This one.