I joined OPIRG McMaster as staff in 1998 after volunteering and helping start Recycle Cycles as a working group, as well as serving as a radio host for a political issues show on McMaster’s CFMU 93.3 FM and writing for local alternative news publications. Since joining OPIRG McMaster I have received a certificate in Volunteer Management from Mohawk College and a certificate in Public Relations from McMaster Continuing Education to go with my Journalism Diploma (Sheridan College) and B.A. Hons from McMaster in English Literature.
My goal is to improve OPIRG’s capability to support student leaders and to see measurable impact from our public interest efforts. 2018-2019 will be a momentous time as we refocus on our core mission and change the way we deliver value to students and the wider community.
Randy, you were the one who introduced me to OPIRG and made me feel extremely welcomed as a new volunteer. You also encouraged me to apply for the Board of Directors and my two years on the Board were extremely valuable to me for my personal and professional growth. You have always been there to talk to us about our ideas and to brainstorm ways we can make them a reality, and have supported us the whole way. I believe I will be speaking on behalf of numerous OPIRG volunteers when I say that you have played a huge role in making our OPIRG experiences so precious.
You have also often talked about innovative ways in which OPIRG McMaster can progress and make a bigger impact and your vision for OPIRG’s future is truly amazing. You have put in so much time and effort into this non-profit and OPIRG McMaster is really lucky to have you! I also believe that you are very passionate about your interests, hobbies, and beliefs and it is nice to watch you take action when it is required.
I feel lucky to have met you and learned from you.
You make volunteer coordination seem orders of magnitude easier than it probably is. Over the years I’ve known you, I can’t say that I’ve seen you in a bad mood even once. You were always polite and helpful, regardless of the circumstances. I have never felt uncomfortable approaching you with questions, even off of your scheduled work hours. Every volunteer I have sent your way felt the same. Talking to you is also never boring. You’re loaded with great stories and a great sense of humor.
You always seemed to be working on some new project, or taking new classes on topics that would help with your work. That competence and diligence showed us all that you were dedicated to your job, and dedicated to helping us achieve our own goals. You’re very easy to share ideas with as well, and that made everyone around you feel like an important part of the OPIRG team.
Apart from the numerous times I’ve come into OPIRG to collaborate and consult on projects while at Mac, the one thing that still sticks with me is the time that we set up a workshop to teach safe cycling skills! We didn’t get a very good turnout (a flop I suppose…), but I think we were just ahead of our time! Nowadays people who I have never imagined would get on to a bike are converting to active transit. Even though our workshop didn’t make the biggest impact at the time, that experience still gave me the guts to keep doing what I believe in to make even the slightest change (clothing swaps?!).
Thank you Randy for your unwavering support and mentorship to the progressive young-uns of the past and future!
When I met you at my OPIRG Interview, I remember being really nervous about joining a group and going outside of my comfort zone. However, you were very reassuring and you showed a strong belief that everyone has something of value to share and contribute. You really have a talent at cultivating a welcoming atmosphere! You would also go out of your way to help students branch out into projects that would contribute to their growth.
I always really appreciated your ability to give constructive criticism to help me further improve my work. You yourself, are always looking for feedback and ways to improve. You are incredibly attentive to the thoughts and ideas of all your volunteers and you always manage to meet their needs.
Your dedication to the constant improvement of OPIRG as well as the causes OPIRG stands for is really inspiring!
Randy, I remember when I first met you (don’t remember when – turn of the century?) being struck by how you seemed to be devoted to all the right causes (environmental, political, community-oriented), well-informed and well-connected, but without the angry, militant hard edges of some activists I knew, or the unfocused flakiness of others. As long as I’ve known you, you have seemed to be a balanced and well-rounded human while remaining a committed activist. That’s pretty special, in my opinion. I know you’d be an asset to any group you were part of.
I always looked to you for guidance Randy. I sincerely admire your work and it has inspired me to pursue a path where I will be involved with social justice and environmental initiatives. Your positive attitude, perseverance and commitment are very uplifting. You make a difference within students by encouraging them to create positive change in their communities. We need more selfless and good-hearted people like you in this world. Thank you again for all your help Randy.
Randy! I think you’ve had a number of important impacts on me. I think that in the couple of years after we first met, you were one of the influences that contributed to how I was coming to think about the world at that point, and perhaps more significantly you were an important entry point into new and more radical ways of acting in the world than timid-me had previously engaged in. As well, you were present for and helped shape a couple of the key post-university moments for me that continue to shape the work that I do today — I was already determined to give a serious try to being a writer, but you connecting me with *View* magazine helped direct me down a path of grassroots journalism that still influences what I do today, and your enthusiasm for and involvement in the oral history interviews for the Tooning In cd and then with the Showlers helped start me down the winding path that is Talking Radical (the books, and now the show). I have also always admired some of the key things that make you good at what you do that are skills and capacities that I *don’t* have — your constant humour, your easy sociality, your ability to catalyze enthusiasm and energy in others and then to help them give it form without controlling the form it takes, your willingness to experiment and to start projects or actions without knowing where they might end up, and so on. And, of course, you have remained a friend over these many, many years, which I very much appreciate.
I’ve always appreciated your sense of humour and down-to-earth-ness!! Refreshing to encounter someone as encouraging and open-minded as you..always seeking creative ways to change things for the better.
Hey Randy, you showed me how logistics play a big role in making things happen, especially when I was a board member temporarily. I got a lot of hands-on skills from OPIRG and your support really helped me push my work to the end. I think you were a great mentor and you were always available to listen. I am really grateful I went to Mac because I had an amazing time there, and your time at OPIRG was a big part of it.
Randy, I need you to know that as a somewhat introverted and insecure undergrad at McMaster, your humour, friendship and drive to do good work really helped me excel. You helped me feel confident in my beliefs and assured me that others were just as interested in key issues that impact us all. You urged me to apply for the OPIRG board, then urged me to apply for many positions within the organization so I could continually grow and excel. You helped give me the confidence to do things that made a difference. Im sure I wouldn’t have had the confidence to produce the production of Vagina Monologues at McMaster my fourth year without the formative impact you had on my self esteem.
You have always been so genuine, helpful, humorous, always pushing me to do good work (i.e. I learned to use Adobe Illustrator to make a quality newsletter for you), and are a constant friend. Anywhere you go people should feel lucky to have your humour and passion for the community grace them.