All About Working Groups

Kumar of the MI Water Working Group talks about the issue of access to clean water

Each year OPIRG McMaster takes applications for volunteer "working groups" on a wide range of environmental and social justice issues.

WHAT IS A WORKING GROUP?

Working groups are made up of students and community members who organize around specific issues relating to the environment and social change. OPIRG engages students interested in critiquing, researching and acting on pressing social/environmental issues.

Working Groups receive base funding from the OPIRG office, as well as ongoing support and training.

Working Groups use a consensus decision making model to ensure equal access to power within groups, and are expected to take an anti-oppression workshop, offered for free each term.

EXAMPLES OF OPIRG MCMASTER WORKING GROUPS
  • For the current list of working groups, view the sidebar menu under Working Groups and click on the group name to view a detailed description and contact information.
  • Previous and ongoing working groups include Transportation for Liveable Communities, Waste Reduction, Recycle Cycles, Food Not Bombs, Guatemala, Community Volunteer Action, Fair Trade, Freeskool, and many others.
  • Working Group year end reports available for download. See sidebar under Links.
HOW DO I START A WORKING GROUP?

OPIRG accepts applications for Working Groups in the spring and again for start of the winter term. Applications are reviewed by our Board of Directors who meet with applicants to ask questions about the proposal before deciding which groups will be accepted.

  •  Start by reading the OPIRG McMaster WORKING GROUP POLICY.
  •  Fill our our online application. (Please read the working group policy before applying.) 
  •  You will meet with our Board of Directors for an interview, after which the Board will approve or deny your proposed group
IMPORTANT DATES
  • Deadline for 2016-17 applications (extended)- 12pm noon, Friday, April 29, 2016
  • WORKING GROUP ORIENTATION (for approved groups) Saturday, September 5, 2016
  • CONSENSUS DECISION MAKING WORKSHOP: TBD
  • ANTI-OPPRESSION WORKSHOP: TBD

To find out more, please contact the OPIRG office in the Student Centre room 229, randy(at)opirg(dot)ca or call 905-525-9140 ext. 26026, or view the events calendar.

Working Group Awards: OPIRG McMaster past Peggy McKay award* winners:
  • 1999 Waste Reduction
  • 2000 Transportation for Liveable Communities
  • 2001 Waste Reduction
  • 2003 Transportation for Liveable Communities
  • 2006 Transportation for Liveable Communities
  • 2007 Transportation for Liveable Communities and SMART (Student Math Action Research Team)
  • 2009 PEAS (Promoting Eating Alternatively and Sustainably) and FREESKOOL by Students for Renegade Society.

*This award is no longer available since 2010.

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