Artifact Interview-COG card

I believe the COG IUE card that Anna had is a good metaphor for the idea of fairness. The union, founded in the early 90’s according to Anna , is mean to help graduate students at the University of Iowa by creating a group that can stop the exploitation of labor of graduate students. Anna carrying this makes sense as she is a graduate student.  They specifically make sure that the University provides good healthcare and less expensive student fees. Unions have been established by many different groups in different job sectors, from teachers to construction to factory workers. Unions began to be made in the mid 1800’s as a worker’s response to the rise of industry and the unsafe or unsanitary conditions for workers along with poor wages and long work hours. This card represents the fairness in the contract between the University and the graduate students, as it is from a group that maintains a fine balance and stands up “for the little guy” in the form f graduate students.

The object is a paper card that folds open. the cover is colored red with the text on the front and a list of locations on the inside of the card. It is a membership discount card for COGS IUE, with the detailing of  an important location at 20 E. Market Street, Suite 210, Iowa City, Iowa. The COGS logo ha a mechanical cog worked into it’s design, and the IUE logo has a lightning bolt worked into the letters. The inside details a list of locations with discount rates, which are mostly restaurants and stores.

When I interviewed Anna about that card, I learned that she is a member of COGS though she is not as active within the group or participate in events as much as she thinks she should be. Anna also knows that this card has many discounts to places that she frequents, but she tends to forget to present this card and get the discount. It is unknown to Anna about the connection between these specific stores, but she thinks it is to drum up business and attract more graduate students to these specific places. Anna carries this to signify that she is part of COGS, along with the discount benefits. The card is also expired, and Anna claims that this due to a combination of not receiving (or losing in the mail) a new COGS card and that her wallet tends to be a place where things get lost.

This card is a representative (even if expired) of Anna’s connection to the group, COGS, that protects her and other graduate students’ rights as students and employees of the University.