Working Group Policy


Working Groups are OPIRG-supported, student-run networks operating within
anti-oppression framework and directed towards research and/or positive action on social justice.

To apply to be a Working Group, a Working Group Application Form must be
Application forms can be found on the OPIRG website under the “Working Groups”
heading or in the OPIRG Office (MUSC 229).

To increase chances of approval, a Working Group must meet the following criteria:
• Must be student led and meaningfully involve students in decision-making
• Must not be currently receiving operational funding or guidance from the
McMaster Student Union (MSU), the University, or any other external group,
association, or organization. Groups that represent a chapter or sub-grouping of
any other existing internal or external association or organization are not eligible
for Working Group status and may instead seek OPIRG assistance through
OPIRG’s Application for Support
• Must be directed towards research and/or action in the public interest
• Must demonstrate a clear, issue-based focus and be reflective of OPIRG’s
commitment to environmental and social justice through contributions to the
local and/or global community
• Must be based on credible and defensible positions or research and be
constructive in nature
• Must be respectful to all members of the McMaster, Hamilton, and global
All Working Group Applications will be reviewed by OPIRG McMaster and approved or
rejected by its Board of Directors.

Upon Working Group approval, OPIRG offers the following supports for the duration of
one budget year:
• Funds or in-kind donations not exceeding the standard annual dollar sum
granted to OPIRG Working Groups ($250.00)
• Use of the OPIRG McMaster name and logo for promotions
• Room bookings or similar facilitation in accessing University Resources
• Printing, button-making, projector use, access to OPIRG’s electronic mailing
list, and publicizing of Working Group event
• Assistance in volunteer recruitment, organizing, planning, and/or training
• Any other reasonable request to access a resource held by OPIRG McMaster

OPIRG support must only be directed towards Working Group activities and/or research,
and are not to be re-directed towards other groups or individuals inside or outside of the
University. Failure to comply with this policy will result in the immediate suspension of
Working Group status.

Each working group must provide OPIRG McMaster with 2 reliable contact persons, one
of which must be a McMaster student.
Contact persons are responsible for completing an annual report (more information below under Annual Reports subheading), and commit themselves to attending the following
mandatory events:
• OPIRG McMaster Orientation
• Workshops on Consensus Decision Making and Anti-Oppression
• Any other sessions deemed mandatory by OPIRG McMaster
Failure of both contact persons to attend these sessions without approval or notification to
OPIRG McMaster will result in immediate suspension of their Working Group. Both
persons will then be required to attend the next scheduled OPIRG Board of Directors
meeting to identify measures in order to release the Working Group from suspension.

Working Groups are required to submit an Annual Report to OPIRG McMaster at the end
of the year, which will be used (in part) to complete an annual evaluation of the Working
Group (more information below under Evaluation subheading).
Annual Reports are to be completed by contact persons and may be submitted in various
formats (online or in person), and must include the following:
• A comprehensive overview of all work (research and/or action), completed by
the Working Group throughout the budget year
• An up-to-date list of key contact persons in the Working Group (at minimum:
the two contact persons named in the Working Group Application)
• A self-evaluation of the Group’s work including a fair assessment of the
Group’s ability to complete its goals as outlined in its Application, and
identification of areas of strength and weakness
• A vision for the Working Group’s future, including any plans to re-apply as a
Working Group in future budget years, and proposed future work, and nay new
opportunities for OPIRG McMaster to support the Working Group
If OPIRG McMaster deems the Annual Report incomplete, it may be returned to
Working Group contact persons for revision.
Failure to submit an Annual Report will be noted and considered in any future
Applications or re-Applications made by the Working Group or its contact persons.
Previously approved Working Groups are required to re-Apply for Working Group status
at least once each budget year.

A year-end Evaluation Form will be completed by OPIRG McMaster Board of Directors
to keep an annual record of each Working Group’s activities and track their progress in
relation to their approved Application.
This evaluation will inform the Board in future actions they may take towards each
Working Group (ie. status approval or disapproval).
A Working Group’s Evaluation Form shall be available to OPIRG McMaster members
on request.
Working Group contact persons are entitled to request and review their Working Group’s

At the discretion of the Board of Directors, OPIRG McMaster reserves the right to
suspend Working Group Support in the following instance:
• Actions or decisions of a Working Group threaten the credibility, reputation,
working-relations, or other interests of OPIRG McMaster, its Working Groups,
and/or community partners.
If support is revoked, the Board of Directors will provide a written reason for their
decision to suspend within two weeks of the decision.

Revised 2015

Join us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   Watch us on Youtube