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Welcome! We are always happy to meet new (and returning) volunteers!

Running a not-for-profit requires a wide range of skills and backgrounds, so no matter your programme or your skill level, you can practice, improve and learn with us while gaining experience and strengthening your resume!

Our volunteer program is made to suit undergraduates; we know you get busy, that’s why many of our volunteer roles can be done when you have time, and many can be accomplished remotely.

If you have coursework or research that applies to OPIRG’s Mission, we would love to work with you. If you have ideas, let’s talk!

Many ways to contribute as a volunteer!

Current Opportunity

General Volunteer Roles

Your Role

Help promote our social justice and environmental initiatives and events by writing about issues in the McMaster and Hamilton communities, highlighting OPIRG McMaster’s strategic themes and issues of interest to students.

Responsibilities

  • Help with topics, writing, and editing of OPIRG blog posts
  • Helping with blog production
  • Liaise with the Volunteer leads
  • Attend weekly short (10-15 minute) progress update meetings 

Support 

  • Orientation to the role by OPIRG volunteer leads and board and/or staff
  • OPIRG Resource Centre has an iMac and relevant software that can be used for editing media

Impact

You help tell the stories about what our volunteers and organization are engaged with. By creating content that is useful and insightful, you help raise awareness and lead people to take action on important issues. You can build your writing, editing, and collaborative portfolio in a way that supplements your learning. OPIRG content on the web helps deliver more people with a shared interest in positive action for social good.

VOLUNTEER APPLICATION

FILL OUT OUR VOLUNTEER APPLICATION FORM

Your Role

Help organize OPIRG’s paper files for future archiving and promote OPIRG McMaster’s past projects. This is a great role for anyone who is organized, able to work independently and interested in focused, quiet work and/or activist history. Hours are flexible by arrangement.

Responsibilities

  • Sort paper files of OPIRG History documents using simple criteria. 
  • Scan and dave historical documents of interest then upload to the OPIRG History Blog, indicating dates of original documents. 

Commitment

  • Set times to access the Resource Centre (at least an hour per week)
  • Willing to manage work as a team with other volunteers

Support

You will receive orientation to the file locations, sorting methods and criteria and be given access to the scan program on the office computer and log-in access to the history blog. Supervised/supported by OPIRG Staff and/or Student staff. 

Impact

You help make public the stories about what our volunteers and organization has been involved with since 1995. By organizing and scanning documents you will help OPIRG repurpose the physical space in the Resource Centre by freeing up space while ensuring that OPIRG’s history is protected and shared. The work you do will assist in having our history preserved in a more formal and secure setting in partnership with archivists. Some of the content you uncover will be a basis for future writing and content sharing and analysis.

VOLUNTEER APPLICATION

FILL OUT OUR VOLUNTEER APPLICATION

One key area that supports OPIRG’s mission is the creation of YouTube videos to help promote our social justice and environmental initiatives and events, as well as instructional videos for orientation to OPIRG McMaster. Potential video topics can cover events, event reports, volunteer profiles/interviews, helpful information about activism and social change, and board training videos

Experience with video production, editing, and filming, or a willingness to learn is an asset. 

Responsibilities

  • Assist with research, filming, and editing OPIRG YouTube videos 
  • Collaborate with a small team of volunteers helping with video production
  • Liaise with the appropriate Volunteer leads
  • Post videos on OPIRG YouTube channel 
  • Attend weekly short (10-15 minute) progress update meetings 

Support 

  • Orientation to the role by OPIRG leads, and board and/or staff
  • OPIRG Resource Centre has an iMac and relevant software that can be used for editing media

Impact

You will be sharing meaningful work with the public and fostering creative skills in video production by releasing content that will spark an interest in local activism and increase awareness. 

VOLUNTEER APPLICATION

FILL OUT OUR VOLUNTEER APPLICATION FORM

Your Role

OPIRG McMaster is committed to presenting engaging activities and events to the student body, along with the greater community of Hamilton, through the medium of regular film screenings and talks and skills building workshops. Your role is focused on the planning and execution of these events with the aid of the public programming subcommittee. 

Responsibilities

  • Researching relevant and high-quality films that tackle issues related to social justice or environmental stewardship 
  • Working collaboratively with the public programming committee in the development of discussion questions for each film 
  • Researching local activists/academics who engage in public discourse 
  • Contacting interested individuals and relevant groups at McMaster to attend events
  • Assist the public programming committee in the organization of in-person or online events (skills development series)
  • Liaise with the appropriate Volunteer leads and/or Board and Staff

Commitment: 

  • Organizing at least 4 film screenings/speaker events throughout the academic year
  • Fill out event reports after each event 
  • Attend Biweekly meetings with your volunteer subcommittee

Support 

  • Orientation to the role by OPIRG volunteer leads and board and/or staff
  • Access to OPIRG’s event software and WordPress website

Impact

Public programming will be bringing meaningful work from independent filmmakers into the spotlight for the greater Hamilton community to discuss and learn from. They will also be connecting activists and thinkers with the greater Hamilton community to further explore and share ideas on social justice and environmental stewardship. The role is crucial to furthering OPIRG’s campus presence and keeping the student body informed on relevant issues.

VOLUNTEER APPLICATION

FILL OUT OUR VOLUNTEER APPLICATION FORM

The OPIRG Community Garden is not currently in need of volunteers (Spring 2022) but we will post opportunities as they arise.

Currently on hold due to COVID-19

Your Role

The OPIRG Resource Centre serves as a workspace for staff, for our volunteer groups to work on campaigns, for students to sign out books, or loan equipment. You will assist members seeking OPIRG services.

Responsibilities

As a Resource Centre Attendant, you are responsible for helping keep the centre open for students and community members accessing our services. You will commit to regular hours so you can help with things like

  • Welcoming visitors
  • Signing out resource material (books) for library users
  • Keep the Centre open while staff take lunch or attend meetings
  • Sell fair trade products (Coffee, tea, etc.)
  • Set up the button-makers
  • Sign out (and sign in) loanable items like the projector

Support

OPIRG Staff will provide orientation, and other student volunteers will help you learn the role.

Impact

You will be supporting the mission of a not-for-profit and gain valuable experience, with opportunities to take on other roles in the organization, including management (via our Board of Directors). Your work will allow us to provide a higher level of service to students taking action on important public interest issues. Many volunteers have started in this position and moved into Board of Director positions, adding valuable first-hand experience to the director role.

Your Role

You represent OPIRG McMaster at public events, on and off-campus, according to your availability.

Responsibilities

  • Shifts of an hour (or more) are a great help to OPIRG Staff or other volunteers staffing the display table.
  • Engaging with students and the community, representing OPIRG and its values, and sharing ideas.
  • Sometimes you may be responsible to set up the table, or to take it down, or if possible at times transporting it to the location.
  • At certain times we bring along one of our button-makers, some old magazines, and let people make their own button (AKA lapel pin). Getting comfortable with the button maker is an asset (and only takes a few minutes to learn)

Commitment

Attend and help at least 1 event per term

Support

We help you orient yourself to OPIRG’s mission, and we provide a brief overview of expectations and a FAQ sheet for you. (If you can’t answer a question that a visitor asks, you can always take their information and we can get back to them later.)

Impact

You become the face of OPIRG so we can attend outreach activities and share information about what we do, and get feedback from visitors to our tables. We gain new members and increase awareness about our mission with your help.

2022-2023 Student Volunteer Executives

Multi-Media Production

Curtis D'Souza
Curtis D'SouzaMultimedia Production Coordinator
I am a third-year honours biology student volunteering with OPIRG under the multimedia production branch.
I first got involved with OPIRG because I wanted to be more involved in the McMaster/Hamilton community, and I wanted to be able to write about and address local issues that were of interest to me.
A fun fact about myself is that I own a 10-month-old border collie named Malaika

Public Programming

Edwin Thomas
Edwin ThomasPublic Programming Coordinator
BHSc, Year IV

Roles:
– presenting engaging activities and events through film screenings, talks, and skills building workshops.
– Researching relevant and high-quality films that tackle issues related to social justice and environmental stewardship
– Working with local activists/academics who engage in public discourse

Research and Advocacy

Josh Tony
Josh Tony Research and Advocacy Coordinator
Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization (BHSc) – Level III

Hi everyone, my name is Josh Tony and I’m a third year BDC student. I love playing sports (basketball, volleyball, and badminton are my favourite ones) and travelling to new places. I have lived in 4 countries, so I have been able to see how different places have different perspectives and worldviews. This ties into my role as a research and advocacy coordinator at OPIRG, where I hope to inform individuals of current issues, especially in Hamilton, and and how they can help in bringing about change.

Research and Advocacy

Hala Arafeh
Hala ArafehResearch and Advocacy Coordinator

Social Media

Elza Joji
Elza JojiWebsite and Social Media Coordinator
Honours Life Sciences – Origins of Disease Specialization (B.Sc.)- Level III

My role is to create Instagram posts regarding new OPIRG blog posts on the website and uploaded YouTube videos.
I collaborate with a small team of volunteers to produce content for the Instagram page.
We also
– Help with topics, writing, and editing of OPIRG post captions.
– Liaise with the Volunteer leads
– Attend weekly short (10-15 minute) progress update meetings