Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Have you met our website? Join us!

Sign up for a free account on and get a weekly e-mail events list (Thursdays), follow your favourite OPIRG volunteer Working Group, vote on polls, and more.

It's a great way to follow OPIRG as we support students taking action on important social and environmental issues. Join us at!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Report from SRA Meeting

Well, great news to share. Outside of some projector set-up wrangling, it couldn’t have gone better tonight: let's call it "From adversary to allies."

Congrats are due to OPIRG's board reps who presented and were well received and highly praised by the McMaster Student Union (MSU) Student Representative Assembly (SRA), especially by Daniel D'Angela and VP Finance Scott Mallon. D’Angela called OPIRG an "Impactful student organization” while VP Mallon praised OPIRG’s financial transparency and good work we do on campus.

The twitter comments were numerous and uniformly positive.

In the SRA's "Committee of the Whole” they accepted our presentation and passed on their thanks for our transparent finances, and the great work we do for students and the community.



This means that we can stay focused more than ever on making student opportunities pay off through volunteer action and student initiated projects, through our OPIRG Working Groups, and in the many other ways OPIRG supports student initiative.

OPIRG really values our volunteer's varied contributions to enhancing student life and making a difference in the world. It's a pleasure to be recognized for such at the SRA. Keep up the good work, and let's keep getting better all the time!

Copy of OPIRG Presentation

Prepared and presented by Board members Kojo Damptey, Esmonde Jamieson, and Diana Elborno

Where OPIRG advertised our OPT Out Fee

To help answer a question at the SRA: These are the places we advertised our opt out this year.



Web Site FAQ
Web Site (Feature) Post
Clubs Fest Leaflet (500)
OPIRG door (sign)
Facebook - September 24 - infographic

MSU (No mention of opt-out, MSU President said they could ensure it goes in next year)

Paid Advertising


OPIRG Presentation to McMaster Student Union Tonight

Members of the OPIRG Board of Directors are presenting at the McMaster Student Union Student Representative Assembly tonight to show how we turn the $7.65 Full-Time McMaster Undergraduate fee into various opportunities for student action on important environmental and social justice issues.

The meeting starts at 6:30pm 
McMaster's Gilmour Hall Council Chambers (GH room 111) 
You are welcome to attend and support OPIRG!

OPIRG McMaster uses an annual $7.65 levy from full-time undergraduates at McMaster and turns it into productive and dynamic support for student engagement on important student-identified issues in the public interest. With ten volunteer led student working groups on a range of issues and activity, our dynamic volunteer program, free events and workshops open to all, to our lending library and support for various campus and community initiatives, OPIRG is here for students first and foremost.

OPIRG has been an incubator for small and larger projects including the first all-volunteer non-profit Community Bike Repair shop Recycle Cycles, formulating the groundwork for the McMaster Farmstand, and most recently, the Hamilton Street Tree Project and our popular 5th Annual Making Connections Week, introducing McMaster to the wider Hamilton community and the many important issues being addressed in the name of social justice and the public interest.

(OPIRG McMaster is the ONLY campus student organization that student can opt out of. The MSU offers no equivalent opt-out for any of their services or clubs.)

We love to hear from students and others who are interested in our mandate. We welcome contributions that help ensure OPIRG McMaster fulfills our mandate and is accountable to our membership as we take action in the public interest.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Explore OPIRG Online Or In Person!

There are so many facets of OPIRG McMaster that it's sometime hard to summarize. So this post doesn't even try. We do a lot with the resources we have. Poke around a bit and find out how we create opportunities for students while being accountable for all we do.
OPIRG is an integral contributor to the McMaster community’s ability to provide meaningful hands-on volunteer opportunities for students. Since 1995, OPIRG McMaster has been helping students become engaged citizens, developing research and advocacy skills in the service of the public good.
OPIRG McMaster has robust accountability through our elected student Board of Directors, our policies and procedures, our constitution, and by having audited financial statements. 

We love to hear from students and others who are interested in our mandate. We welcome contributions that help ensure OPIRG McMaster fulfills our mandate and is accountable to our membership as we take action in the public interest.

Sabeen volunteering at the OPIRG Clubs Fest Table, September 2014

Check us out in many ways!:
Or drop by our Resource Centre Monday to Friday, 10am to 4:30pm in Room 229, McMaster University Student Centre. 
OPIRG McMaster is a dynamic resource centre supporting student and community volunteers taking action on important social and environmental issues

Friday, October 17, 2014

Volunteers make OPIRG!

Many students get active in OPIRG through our various approved working groups. These self directed, consensus-based volunteer groups take action on important social and environmental issues, and are a great place to develop advocacy and citizenship skills. Many of our volunteers use skills developed in the service of a good cause to help them as they move into careers after school.

Other volunteers find a way to help OPIRG as an organization, like Zafrin (above) who is spending time sorting through paper files in our dusty drawers, and readying them for scanning and uploading to our online, searchable history archive.

And of course there's the public outreach aspect, as Kaila (above) staffs a table to represent OPIRG at the McMaster Sustainability Fair on Thursday.
"OPIRG has developed volunteer opportunities that are adapted to suit busy student life - an hour here and there makes a big difference, helps OPIRG, and gives students a manageable (ad hoc) volunteer environment"
Randy Kay - Coordinator of Volunteers 

Thank you again, everyone who contributes to OPIRG's goals of engaging students in important social and environmental issues!

History Archive
Working Groups

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Creativity + Utility = Bee Hotels:

See how OPIRG McMaster doubly supports bees, through our Hamilton Urban Beekeepers working group, and this project through our annual Public Interest Grant! Congrats to the students of Art 2ER3 and Professor Judy Major-Girardin!

Wrap it up as a gift to sustainability

Reusing Materials for Gift Wrapping

This project is intended to target the Holiday season and will consist of volunteers who will wrap presents with magazines or newspapers on McMaster University campus. The purpose of this project is to spread awareness of waste created from gift wrap and to promote sustainable methods of gift wrapping. Old issues of newspapers/magazines will be collected by volunteers on campus. Gift wrapping will hopefully occur at least once a week and for a few hours per week. 

This project will start mid- to late- November 2014 and end in mid-December 2014. This project is currently supported by OPIRG (Ontario Public Interest Research Group). Please contact Jane Zhang at if you are interested in volunteering. 

Here is how the gifts look like when wrapped with magazines:

Thursday, October 09, 2014


Thursday was a great volunteer day in the office and in the field at OPIRG. I managed to get some photos, but missed a bunch of different students and community volunteers who came through the office today. Sometimes work can be a hassle, but it's the students who contribute who make everything worth while. Thanks everyone for being open and amazing people!
Tyler and Sunia working on opirg online history archive

Canon employee volunteering with work planting
trees in Lot M McMaster

Canon employees volunteer to plant trees in west campus

Jane volunteering an idea for a special volunteer project

Fossil Free McMaster working group volunteer Abedar sharing thought and learning the opirg
web and wiki environment