Thursday, September 25, 2014

Idea mongering

Ideological belief systems most often prevail over rationalist thought systems. Political, social, and religious movements attest to this point. But, as is widely known, the ascendance comes with a price exacted from the reality that does not fit the theory of its vested adherents. Theory has its place in helping to organize thoughts and feelings, motivate further trends, create values of right and wrong, and offer predictions of the future. But taken as dogmatic marching orders, which are not subject to regular discipline or exposed to refutations, theory becomes a barrier to free thought, flexible strategy, and tactics for action. It becomes a conceptual prison.

Ralph Nader, from Unstoppable

Our coordinator of volunteers is fond of saying that OPIRG McMaster is about ideas not ideology. i.e. OPIRG McMaster is available to any student who has a great idea and wants to put it into practice, under the broad headings of Environment and Social Justice. Whether in a volunteer working group, or seeking support for a project or event, we help turn student ideas into action in the public interest.
We encourage "free thought, flexible strategy, and tactics for action" in our working groups, as they find new ways to contribute and change the world. 
Check out ways you can contribute at or make an appointment to discuss your ideas.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Keith McHenry: Food Not Bombs Founder

OPIRG McMaster hosted founder of the Food Not Bombs movement for a free public event in February 2011. The 5 minute edited video interview gets to the heart of the Food Not Bombs mission: make free vegetarian food available to anyone without question - and explains how they do it, and opposition they have faced.

If you like the ideas expressed here, you can get involved with Food Not Bombs Hamilton, an OPIRG McMaster volunteer working group (

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Radio radio!

McMaster radio station CFMU 93.3 brings OPIRG McMaster staff and volunteers from working groups on the air to talk about how OPIRG makes room for student/citizen engagement.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

OPIRG Options and Your $7.65 Fee

Every year since 1995 OPIRG McMaster is here to help turn inspired student ideas into practical actions in the public interest. We are quite proud of our accomplishments along the way, and our ongoing commitment to learning by doing, by working together with other volunteers to formulate new ways to contribute. This approach ensures we are responsive and often at the leading edge of important issues.

We are able to accomplish our goals with the support of funding from full-time undergraduates at McMaster. The info graphic below gives a quick overview of some of the ways we provide services and opportunity based on the student fee.

For the next three weeks, full-time students who choose not to support the work we do can bring their student ID to the OPIRG Office in Room 229 of the McMaster University Student Centre between 10am and 4:30pm Monday to Friday, and opt-out of the $7.65 annual fee. You need to leave your name, student number and a mailing address, and at the end of the 3 week period OPIRG will send a cheque to you for the full amount.

We hope you take a good look at what OPIRG McMaster provides and, instead of opting out, decide to get active with us as a general volunteer, joining (or starting) a working group, using our resource library, coming to our events and workshops, or at least coming in to ask questions or make suggestions to our board of directors and staff.

The opt-out period starts Monday, September 15 and ends Friday, October 3, 2014.