Update from Coordinator of Volunteers

Public Interest Projects 30%

On September 9, 2018, the OPIRG Board met and approved a roadmap to implement important elements of OPIRG’s Strategic Plan.

Before getting to the board for approval, I worked with members of OPIRG Working Groups collecting advice, suggestions, and sharing ideas over a period of years. With the consultations, I then met with board members holding the “working group” portfolio to finalize a document highlighting relevant data which would allow the full board to have a good basis for understanding the need for the recommended changes, and assist them in making their decision.

Next came a slide presentation. Both the background doc and the presentation were shared on the OPIRG website blog and on our Facebook Page.

Prior to this, working groups, the group with the most interest in this topic, were given advance notice that changes were being made and that their opinion was being sought.

It is a lot of work, but not an entire overhaul. It’s what I think of as a refinement, based on sound planning and will help OPIRG McMaster refocus on core activity in a way that strengthens our project teams and their ability to make an impact.

Not new: different

We want to be able to help groups find the most suitable way to make a positive difference. By rebranding around three key pillars, we find a clear way to open up channels that make sense to applicants, are all of equal importance to us, but different in important, and practical, ways.

To further ensure transparency and access to information about the proposed changes, the background and slides were posted on the website blog and shared on social media, inviting input.

This model, if applied to the board of directors’ decision-making process, allows transparent input and critiques of the proposal ahead of an actual meeting. This improvement in efficiency will make it easier to pass decisions, and save busy student board members time spent in unnecessarily long meetings.

What next?

Public Interest Projects + Partnerships 60%

We are already working on needed upgrades and clarity around our other pillars: Programming, and Partnerships. Partnerships is next up, and our board is updating policy, refining forms and procedures (and going to class!) to get ready to help rebuild and rebrand the PIRG here at McMaster. With an eye on giving students and our larger community access to the right tools and supports to deliver on their public interest projects, we hope that this is the start of bigger things to come as we seek justice and opportunity for all.

We welcome and value your feedback, so please share your thoughts in the comments!