OPIRG McMaster Board Election

2022-2023 Board Nominees

I’m Albert, a 4th year student at McMaster’s iBiomed program; I’m enrolled in the Health, Engineering Science, and Entrepreneurship (HESE) stream. I’d love to apply perspectives from a background that blends health, engineering, and science, to the initiatives operated by your team. My extra-curricular background is home to a plethora of research and projects. I’ve started and run a film club, oversaw a Relay for Life event (raising >$45,000), and worked at an incubator on a clean tech hackathon idea that won at NASA Space Apps. While these experiences have reaffirmed my interest in public interest projects, it’s the friction I’ve faced which inspires me to contribute to organizations like OPIRG. As an inventive individual, I’ve come understand the resources and supports that accelerate concept into reality. Having experienced a new, still-experimenting program, I’ve found an appreciation for well-designed and iterating initiatives alike. For these reasons, I believe I can contribute valuably to the OPIRG Board of Directors – particularly along the public interest projects or fundraising / resources portfolios. In the community, I’m most affiliated to the Emergency First Response Team (EFRT). Spending hundreds of hours in training and on-shift, I’ve developed an awareness for the effort required to maintain and develop such a significant campus service. As a senior responder, I’ve “passed on the baton” to newer recruits and have used this leadership role to advocate for changes; my proudest achievement is instating the EFRT book club (courtesy of OPIRG funding), which supplies responders with books and discussion surrounding BIPOC-relevant topics. Further affiliations include McMaster’s health sciences and engineering research communities as well as its start-ups at the Forge. I’m an active member of the more intimate groups and events that happen here on campus too, ranging from Improv Club to the FHS Art Collective.

Alina standing in front of a campus buildingI’m a creative person, but for me, creativity goes beyond the arts — it influences how I see the world. I’m interested in serving on the board in a Publicity or Public Interest Project role.

For the past two years, as the vice-president of graphic design of Student Art Spaces Toronto, I have experience in managing relations between external groups and our organization, creating promotions (videos, graphic, posters) using software like Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Premiere). My work enabled Student Art Spaces to receive an $8,000 ArtReach Pilot grant to create a 10-week summer intensive program for 10 racialized young Toronto artists during summer 2021. For this intensive, I managed a team of 6 graphic designers to create media and document the event, as well as forming part of the 4-person creative team working on securing speakers and workshop activites for the art intensive. From this, I’ve gained valuable experience in graphic design and project management for non-profits, skills that I am sure will translate well to working with OPIRG.

In my personal life, I work as a freelance photographer and graphic designer. I’d be able to use my photography skills to creatively document OPIRG events and then edit them into visually appealing media. I also have some web design experience, so I could also re-design the OPIRG website to include the new graphics Right now, I’m organizing the OPIRG archives, digitizing and modernizing documents going back to 1995. Since I already have prior understanding of many of OPIRG’s past projects, I would also be able to use that knowledge to design and implement new public interest projects.

In conclusion, I think my skills, abilities, and interest are perfectly suited to a role on the OPIRG board, particularly in a publicity or public interest project role and I’m excited to help out to the best of my abilities.

Hello! I’m Bohmee, and I am finishing my second year in the Arts & Science Program. I am nominating myself as a board member for OPIRG to fill the role of the Outreach Coordinator portfolio. Growing up, I always loved exploring fair-trade stores like Ten Thousand Villages to learn about stories of the diverse groups of people from around the world. I am a big fan of stories as they are a great way to learn more about others’ experiences in the shared world. Listening to these stories is especially important for understanding social justice and environmental issues. I recently co-started an OPRIG funded Social Justice and Environmentalism book club that focuses on Asian immigrant and refugee voices to continue sharing my passion for listening to and advocating for unheard stories. I have also been working with the Aletheia Arts & Science Academic Journal and Incite as a graphic designer to share students’ stories and help them connect with the larger McMaster community. Through these experiences, I have gained active and empathetic listening skills which I think will be valuable when working with other students to take action on diverse social justice and environmental issues. Additionally, my experiences have helped me find creative ways to support an organization’s mission and its communities, a skill I think will be valuable as the Outreach Coordinator when planning outreach initiatives to promote OPIRG McMaster.

I am also currently working with the OPRIG Community Garden as the Junior Coordinator to grow an AMAZING!! garden and advocate for food justice and sustainable eating on-campus/in Hamilton. My experience has been a great opportunity to gain valuable outreach, organizational, and leadership skills that I think will be useful as a member of the OPIRG board.

In the past few years, I have had the invaluable opportunity to work on provincial campaigns for some of the issues that I care about most. As a community organizer for Fridays for Future Toronto, I rallied for climate justice and mobilized young people to engage in community activism and democracy. This was not only a chance to work on the issues that mattered to me, like fossil fuel divestment and anti-oppression initiatives but a chance to understand the importance of community work and advocacy. I learned that sometimes, the only way to fix a system’s problems is to change the minds of the people in it. After volunteering for my community’s sexual assault crisis center for a couple of years, I also began working on a campaign to make contraceptives free for all Ontarians. This marked a watershed moment, when I realized that I could help fix some of the problems that I was witnessing in my community.

OPIRG is a beautiful example of how grassroots movements can work to enact change. Some of the public interest projects that they have supported, like Mac Divest and Free Store McMaster, show the steps that students can take to help solve the massive problems in front of us. Working in similar organizing positions, I know that being able to bolster the passions of others can be an incredibly effective way to support causes that are important to you. Thus, I would be deeply interested in working on the Public Interests Project portfolio as a member of the Board, where I can encourage my peers to pursue their own passion projects. I truly believe that my passion for social issues and my experience working to solve them would make me an excellent candidate for the OPIRG Board of Directors.

 I am incredibly passionate about community engagement and want to ensure that the McMaster community has the tools, resources, and knowledge to help them advocate for any social or environmental issue they care about. 

I am very committed to sustainability and am a current member of the Interdisciplinary Minor in Sustainability Student Committee that promotes the minor and encourages a culture of sustainability on campus. Through a position as a TA for SUSTAIN 2S03, I have helped students foster their passion for sustainability and sustainable action and strengthened my ability to educate and communicate with others. In 2021, I helped organize and facilitate the McMaster Climate Strike, encouraging McMaster to divest from fossil fuels. After my work with the strike, I helped develop and coordinate the Student Sustainability Ambassador Program, where we facilitate collaboration and partnerships between sustainability-related clubs on campus and increase students’ awareness of sustainability at McMaster. Finally, I participated in the WACE Global Challenge and developed global leadership skills through working with an interdisciplinary team of students across the globe to assist a client in increasing sustainable impact and alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  

The board portfolio I would like to nominate myself for is the Communications Portfolio. With SSAP, I have experience communicating with various campus groups and facilitating connections between them and school community members and disseminating information about sustainability-related events and news on campus through our communication channels. I am very familiar with various forms of writing and research through my academic pursuits and am eager to help support OPIRG’s mission through communication with community members. Ultimately, my experiences have helped me develop skills, passion, and knowledge regarding sustainability and community-led action, which has helped prepare me perfectly for this role. 

Hello! I am a hardworking individual with a strong belief in collectively working towards positive change. I would love for the opportunity to be on OPIRG’s board of directors because I believe an organization that works to aid their community, the environment, as well as many forms of social justice is essential, and I would like to help the cause in any way that I can. I have experience working with OPIRG, both in helping to plan some of the events they put on and also working in the resource center sorting through the archives. OPIRG’s mission and what I hope to achieve working in this role go hand in hand. If I am elected, I promise to help this community in any way that I can, specifically by working to keep the resource center the most welcoming and functional place that it can be.

My name is Inaam Chattha, and I am in my third year of Biochemistry. I am interested in running for the OPIRG Board of Directors as I bring a comprehensive set of skills and experiences that I believe will be valuable to the organization.

I am extremely passionate about community issues, specifically environment-related matters. I am a part of two public interest projects at McMaster that attempt to raise awareness about the significance of sustainability and lowering one’s carbon footprint. I am also a part of the Ocean Bridge program organized by Ocean Wise Canada and the Community Water Leader program designed by the Bay Area Restoration Council. These experiences have allowed me to fathom the importance of taking action and the impact small changes can create. Being on the board of directors will enable me to encourage more students to advocate for grave issues that they feel ardently about.

Moreover, I have volunteered extensively with CVC at McMaster and was a part of the Reading Rocks, Letters To Seniors, and Pathways program. I am also an executive member of Open Circle at McMaster. In addition to this, I have been involved with McMaster Young Liberals and am the secretary of the club. I am also a part of McMaster School Of Bhangra and help with club planning.

All these experiences have shaped me as an individual and empowered me to be involved in issues that I profoundly care about. I firmly believe that my passion and willingness to create a difference will propel OPIRG’s mission of creating a better world.

My name is Kazza and I am a third-year finance student who is very interested in environmental sustainability. I spent much of the 2021-2022 academic year volunteering with Extinction Rebellion in various cities in British Columbia. The experiences I had and the people I met altered my outlook on my undergraduate experience. I had an epiphany where I realized that many of the students in my finance classes will be working at the large banks and institutional investors, allocating society’s resources, but they will have had no experience with the principles of sustainability as sustainability is not integrated into the commerce curriculum. I have realized that to address the most pressing environmental issues, businesses and capital markets need to play a pivotal role. I believe that I can make an impact while I share a university campus with individuals that hope to work in these areas by increasing my involvement with OPIRG McMaster and becoming a Board Director. I aim to integrate the principles of sustainability in the education and experience of a broader segment of the McMaster population. I am very keen to apply my financial knowledge to the role of Treasurer.

Hi OPIRG! With my approachability and passion for supporting others, I would love to be your Resource Centre Coordinator. My advocacy and research started around grade 7, when after a project on organic food with friends, I spearheaded an organic garden for classes to learn about the benefits of local, organic produce and growing food. Currently, I volunteer for the OPIRG Community Garden, and as a Board Director, I would love to plan initiatives including the garden.

I have volunteered for other social justice causes, including Good Food Truck, a food security initiative in Vancouver’s East Side, and a fundraiser for Care Canada programs assisting women in Kenya and South Sudan with food and water security. As a PR Officer for McMaster Golden Z, I helped lead several events raising funds and awareness for feminist and 2SLGBTQIA+ causes and organisations including Inasmuch House, a shelter for women-identified and non-binary people with or without children experiencing abuse and/or homelessness. I hope to use my skills of promotion and communication to support OPIRG PIPs and events. 

These experiences, which required collaboration, empathy, research, and organisation, enabled me to thrive in my current role as a Student Wellness Advisory Committee, for which I share the perspectives of students and develop ideas with McMaster Health Promoters and other student leaders to help shape services. I also co-lead an OPIRG-funded Asian Author Book Club, for which I help lead discussions surrounding stories and issues of the Asian diaspora, particularly immigrants, refugees, and their children, at the resource centre. 

I hope to continue to be a community leader and supporter through the OPIRG Board and resource centre, sharing innovative ideas and ongoing support for equity, environmentalism, and empowerment. As well, I hope I can share my love for reading and writing activist literature through the Library!

In my first two years at McMaster, I have had the unique opportunity of working on a grassroots initiative in collaboration with OPIRG and a group of likeminded students. During my first year of the Integrated Business and Humanities Program, I teamed up with a group of students to complete a project for our Peace Studies course which was taught by Dr. Nancy Doubleday. Our project was focused on addressing United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9C which relates to Industries, Innovation, and Infrastructure in developing countries. This goal specifically intends to significantly increase access to technology and provide affordable access to the Internet in the least developed countries. In partnership with Atzin (Charity) and OPIRG, we were able to facilitate the fundraising of over $1400. 

I ensured that we approached the project with a high level of awareness and concern for McMaster’s rules for responsible community engagement which include Respectful Relationships, Reciprocity, Equity, Continuity, Openness to Learning, and Commitment to Act. Abiding by these principles was integral to our approach and we constantly referred to them to guide us throughout the entire journey. Working intently and with integrity, we were able to contribute to a community and ensure that we created infrastructure that would allow the village of Tlamacazapa to flourish. 

The board portfolio that I would like to fill is Staff Liaison/Human Resources Representative. My ability to work with people in team settings and communicate with teams would allow me to thrive in a Human Resources position.

Hello! My name is Saud Haseeb and I am a final year Health Sciences student at McMaster. I am running for the OPIRG McMaster Board of Directors because I want to continue the great work we were able to undertake in updating OPIRG’s policies, and I hope to strengthen OPIRG’s connections with the Hamilton community.  

This year, I held the policies and procedures portfolio on the OPIRG Board of Directors. In collaboration with OPIRG staff and board members, I helped update some of our most important, but also most outdated, policies and by-laws. These procedures ensure that OPIRG is fulfilling its obligation to the McMaster and Hamilton community, while helping us operate responsibly and effectively. I want to continue this work next year by updating some policies that our board did not get to, including our confidentiality policy and decision-making guidelines. I also want to work with OPIRG staff and board members to implement these new policies and ensure that they help board members get important work done.  

This fall, I will be graduating from McMaster as a student but continuing on as an employee and full-time Hamiltonian. As such, I hope to transition my role from a student to a community board member to help OPIRG expand its outreach. My time in Hamilton has allowed me to interact with some truly inspiring groups of individuals, including neighbourhood associations, Keeping Six Hamilton, and The Hub. By partnering with these groups, OPIRG could increase its community ties and help make meaningful change in Hamilton. As an OPIRG Board member, I hope to invite these groups to learn more about our little office with big ideas, help facilitate partnership opportunities – through grants and programming – and help OPIRG make meaningful and sustainable change on- and off-campus.  

  

 

Election Information

Our elections will be taking place online, with the voting period April 7 to April 12/22. Finally, we will announce the election results and welcome our new board at our OPIRG McMaster AGM, on April 14 at 7:00 pm via zoom. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at board@opirgmcmaster.org!

All full-time undergraduates at McMaster who have not opted out of OPIRG McMaster, and paid community memberships, are eligible to vote.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Chief Returning Officer at board@opirgmcmaster.org

Important Dates

  • Nomination Period: March 24 to March 31, 2022
  • Election Period: April 7 to April 12
  • Annual General Meeting (announcement of election results): April 14, 2022

Constitutional Amendments

OPIRG MCMASTER CONSTITUTION

Constitutional Amendments

The process to make amendments from OPIRG McMaster's Constitution
21.2 Any proposed amendment to the Constitution must be passed by a two-thirds majority of the Board of Directors present at a meeting duly called to consider such amendment. Once so passed, the amendment shall be submitted for inspection to the Board of Directors of Ontario PIRG and then if approved, submitted to the members of OPIRG McMaster. The amendment shall be approved by a two-thirds majority present at General Meeting for which two weeks notice has been given. The members of such a meeting may approved or reject but may not propose additional amendments not previously passed by the Board of Directors in the above-mentioned fashion.
OPIRG MCMASTER CONSTITUTION

OPIRG McMaster Proposed Amendments

Constitutional Amendments to Approve or Reject

Removing the reference to two-year terms since there are only one-year terms for directors. Two-year terms were written into the constitution in reference to the inaugural board of directors (1995) to allow for the development of institutional memory within the new board. [Approved at Provincial AGM]

Changing “may” to “will” here, consistent with the change in Article 4.3. [Not approved at Provincial AGM]

Article 4.4

The amended article would now read:

4.4     Directors may receive, at the discretion of the Board, up to four consecutive months leave of absence from the Board. A Director may not receive leave for consecutive terms, and may not receive more than one leave in a one year term. The Board may appoint interim Directors in order to fill vacancies made by Director’s leaves.

Moving to Article 11 “Founding Meeting” and creating it as Article 11.3 since this refers only to the founding meeting of OPIRG McMaster.

Article 8.2

Article 8.2  At the first election of Directors, nine Directors shall be elected of whom, one half will serve for a one year term or until their successors shall have been duly elected and qualified. The remaining half Directors elected will serve for a two year term, or until their successors shall have been duly elected or qualified. Those Directors serving for a one year term shall be selected at random by a Chairperson of the Annual Meeting of the members following the election, or by a method to be agreed upon by the Directors.

Remove reference to Article 8.2 which has been moved to Article 11.3.

Article 8.3

The amended article would now read:

Article 8.3    Each Director shall be elected to hold office for one year after he or she shall have been elected, or until his or her successor shall have been duly elected.

Changes Not Approved at Provincial PIRG

Changing “may” to “will” reinforces the requirement to replace vacancies on the board

Article 4.3

4.3     Vacancies on the Board of Directors, however caused, may [will] so long as a quorum of Directors remain in office, be filled from among the members of OPIRG McMaster. Such appointed Directors shall hold office until the end of the term of the replaced Director, and shall have the same rights and responsibilities as duly elected Directors. 

Changing “may” to “will” here, consistent with the change in Article 4.3.

Article 4.4

4.4     Directors may receive, at the discretion of the Board, up to four consecutive months leave of absence from the Board. A Director may not receive leave for consecutive terms, and may not receive more than one leave in a one year term. The Board may [will] appoint interim Directors in order to fill vacancies made by Director’s leaves.

Need to capture correct language to bring this in line with legal definition (i.e. 2/5ths of the board): Proposal: removing mention of a specific number and adding that two-fifths of the board must remain after a meeting starts with a quorum.

5.4 In the event that a Board meeting begins with quorum, and because of the departure of one or more of the Directors quorum is lost, the Directors who remain, provided they are not less than two-fifths of the board of directors, may continue to transact the business of the meeting.

Article 5.4

5.4 In the event that a Board meeting begins with quorum, and because of the departure of one or more of the Directors quorum is lost, the Directors who remain, provided they number at least three, provided they are not less than two-fifths of the board of directors, may continue to transact the business of the meeting.