On March 10 OPIRG Peterborough held its 2017 Annual General Meeting the Gathering Space, Gzowski College at Trent University. The meeting was an opportunity for a year in review of OPIRG activities, recognition of the volunteers work and the election of new board of directors.
During the AGM the ongoing and future research projects of OPIRG were announced by Kay Ma, the outgoing coordinator of the organization. She also spoke about the upcoming 40th anniversary of OPIRG Peterborough and activities related to the event.
Ramsha Sehar presented the volunteer action group and the efforts that are put in the weekly meetings to discuss and learn about current issues and prepare for upcoming events. The focus was on Free Crafting Upcycle Collective a team of Trent student volunteers that work on reusable materials, primarily from the Free Market to turn them into unique designs.
Pippa O’Brian presented the proposal for changing the OPIRG governance structure and the work that is being done on the changes into the bylaws of the organization.
Sierra Lianga and Anisah Madden presented on Make Trent Safe campaign formed after the US Elections when an uprising of hate crimes occurred. There have been ongoing discussions by students and community members engaged in this campaign on how to go about introducing and implementing a set of proposals that Trent University can implement with the goal of increasing the safe spaces within the campus and in the community. Theresa Chomko announced the Guerrilla Gardeners work in the summer and EIDN members Ysabel Tuason and Jesse Whattam offered a summary of its activities during 2016. OPIRG welcomed Farwen Stanley and Brendan Campbell in the Board positions.
The AGM was followed by an address by Vanessa Gray, grassroots organizer from Aamjiwnaang First Nation. A former staff member of OPIRG, Vanessa is best known for hosting “Toxic Tours” across Chemical Valley in Canada with the goal of raising public awareness about how petrochemicals affect her community and the local habitat. She was one of the 9 line protesters who allegedly shut down an Enbridge pipeline. The keynote address was followed with a community meal and an opportunity for networking and exchange.
Established in 1976 OPIRG Peterborough is a campus-based, community-oriented, non-profit organization committed to research, education and action on social justice and environmental issues.