Thursday, February 04, 2016

Getting deep in the archives

Myron Groover, Archives and Rare Books Librarian at OPIRG McMaster

L-R Myron, Tyler (History intern), Wes (GOAL working group volunteer)

L-R Wes, Myron, Tyler

We had a very informative (as always) session Tuesday with Myron Groover, Archives and Rare Books Librarian from McMaster's Archives and Research Collections, about ways to preserve institutional history using best practices.

It's a big transition to move from entirely paper files to digital, but not digitizing presents its own problems, as Canada is learning the hard way.

By sharing his passionate professional knowledge with our volunteers and interns we are able to help them build real life skills and gain practical experience.

This sort of collaboration, and the spirit of engagement so clearly expressed in joyful sharing, makes us all stronger, and happier!

Thank you Myron for your ongoing support and enthusiasm!

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Speak out! LGBTQ consultations

Mapping the Global Dimensions of Policy

Go Abroad: The Sihi India Trip - Information Session

Do you want to:

- Travel to far-away places and meet inspiring new people?
- Learn more about how NGOs function in developing countries?
- Get exposure to various forms of medicine and healthcare structures?


For the past 15 years, McMaster students have been travelling to northern India for a month-long trip, centered on self-directed and inquiry-based learning.  This unique trip provides you with the opportunity to meet and interview local professionals who have experience working in Indian NGOs, schools, hospitals, and more. You will also meet the people who access these services, which will give you an important perspective about poverty in its social context. This trip gives you a chance to get an honest cultural perspective that is difficult to get as a visitor. This year, we are making it possible for you to connect research projects or independent studies to this trip to optimize what you learn in this interdisciplinary experience. 

To get a glimpse of some of the travel experiences you will encounter, follow this link to a video created by a previous student who embarked on this excursion:

An Information Session about this trip will be held on Feb 11 in Room 206/207 at the Student Centre, from 7-8 pm.

If you are interested in applying and would like more information, please email with your name and year. 

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Meet Tyler Craig, OPIRG's student history archivist and bass playing pool shark

My name is Tyler Craig, I am a third year History student working with OPIRG as part of a history placement course.

I am assisting with the digitization and archiving of documents related to the history of OPIRG as well as interviewing former members to help reconstruct the history of the organization at McMaster.

After I graduate I plan on pursuing graduate studies.

Outside of school I love playing bass and spend most of my time at the local pool hall.

(Tyler may very well be our introduction to podcasting, we shall see; or more accurately, hear!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Xu Lizhi Poetry Readings & Chapbook Release Party

In September, 2014 Xu Lizhi threw himself from a Foxconn workers’
dormitory building in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. At 24
years-old, a migrant worker and poet; Lizhi’s Poetry paints a bleak
snapshot of working life in China today.

On January 28 at the Artword Artbar, we will be hosting a free poetry
reading of a selection of Lizhi’s writings in English and Mandarin to
celebrate the release of a new chapbook of his poems. The evening will
feature readings from Lee Reed, Laura Kodzhe, Chris Pannell, Ziboya
Nhun, New-Era Neisha, Angie C, Campbell Young, Adam Getty. Hosted by
Klyde Broox. Stories will be shared of the struggles of migrant labours
in these factories as we attempt to foster a solidarity across great
distances. The evening will be followed by an opening up of the mic.

The chapbook,《一颗螺丝掉在地上 》许立志诗选 ‘A Screw Fell to the Ground:
Selected Poems by Xu Lizhi’, featuring 10 chilling poems and a short
biography of Xu Lizhi. Translated by Nào collective in both Mandarin and
English, this chapbook offering just a small glimpse into the misery of
working life in China today.

On Facebook:

What: Xu Lizhi Poetry Readings & Chapbook Release Party, Followed by an
Open Mic
Who: Lee Reed, Laura Kodzhe, Chris Pannell, Ziboya Nhun, New-Era
Neisha, Angie C, Campbell Young, Adam Getty. Hosted by Klyde Broox
Where: Artword Artbar | 15 Colbourne St. Hamilton, ON (west off James
St. N., one block south of Barton)
When: Thursday January 28th, 2014 @ 8:00PM
How Much: Free Event, Chapbook Available for Purchase ($5)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Canada in Africa by Yves Engler: 300 Years of Aid and Exploitation

About the book: 
Yves Engler continues his groundbreaking analyses of past and present Canadian foreign policy with Canada in Africa: 300 Years of Aid and Exploitation. This work documents Canadian involvement in the transatlantic slave trade, the "scramble for Africa," the missionary movement, and European colonialism. The book also reveals Ottawa’s opposition to anticolonial struggles, its support for apartheid South Africa and Idi Amin’s coup, and its role in ousting independence leaders Patrice Lumumba and Kwame Nkrumah.

Based on an exhaustive look at the public record as well as on-the-ground research, Canada in Africa shows how the federal government pressed African countries to follow neoliberal economic prescriptions and sheds light on Canada's part in the violence that has engulfed Somalia, Rwanda and the Congo, as well as how Canada's indifference to climate change means a death sentence to ever-growing numbers of Africans. 

The full synopsis can be found on 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Indoor Air Pollution Awareness

Indoor Air Pollution Awareness committee is looking for students who would be interested in approaching City Hall in regard to their policy on the mandatory use of harsh chemical sanitizers.

Long term exposure to heavy-duty chemicals has shown to have negative health effects.

I need to be able to put together some evidence in order to approach Hamilton city hall.

Toronto public health has already taken a stand and issued leaflets which warn pregnant and expecting mothers of the dangers of some cleaning products.

Contact Julie Gordon at 905-528-4476 if you want to help with this.

Link: David Suzuki Foundation (not associated with this group)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Board Volunteer Profile: Annilee Baron

Name: Annilee Baron

Area of study: Psychology, neuroscience and behaviour and music (specialized)

Annilee in OPIRG Resource Centre
photo by Bronwyn Kay
How she got involved with OPIRG: Annilee first discovered McMaster’s OPIRG while in her first year women's study class, when OPIRG’s Coordinator of Volunteers Randy Kay did a presentation on the organization. She appreciated what they stood for, and after doing some further research she got involved and was elected to the board last April.

Role in OPIRG: Annilee is one of nine board of directors at OPIRG, and specifically works on the Resource Centre portfolio.

She explained that they hold board meetings every two weeks to oversee the direction of the organization and staff. This year Annilee helped guide the reorganization of the Resource Centre, creating more space by thinning books from our library, and replacing large desks with a work table.

She also helps write and update OPIRG policies.

“The board approves things together using consensus. It’s a nice environment for people wanting to make a positive contribution to social justice,” she explained.

- By Bronwyn Kay