What is an OPIRG Working Group?

Working Groups consists of a group of volunteers who work on specific issues pertaining to anti-oppressive, anti-colonial, social justice and environmental issues and they are dedicated to enacting change on campus and in the broader community. The membership and specific goals of the working groups can vary with time in order to reflect the interests of the members and to remain topical.  It is also possible for volunteers to form new working groups in order to address new issues.

Working groups are essentially collectives -groups of people who voluntarily agree to work together on a common issue towards a common goal while sharing responsibilities and decisions equally. The Working Group model allows OPIRG to diversify our focus on different issues, and to increase ideas, energy and hope in order to achieve greater impacts. OPIRG uses the “working group” model in order to achieve: 

More Impact: The power of a lot of people working together is enough to make changes where one person can do very little.

More Ideas, Energy, and Hope:  It’s easier to keep working on issues against seemingly insurmountable odds when you’re doing it with others who want things to change too

More Issues: Rather than the board of directors or staff deciding what issues and projects should be undertaken, participants choose. Everyone becomes involved in social change because a particular issue has touched their life.

What does OPIRG offer Working Groups?

Budget: We offer a budget for all Working Groups as well as access to other important resources such as speaker series, movie nights, handbooks, outreach materials, trainings and anything else.

Volunteer Outreach: We give out your Working Group’s literature as well as directing potential volunteers to your meetings/email.

Training: We offer anti-oppression, consensus-based decision making, and other trainings for all Working Groups. OPIRG facilitates other workshops or trainings on-demand for your Working Group, such as campaign strategy, long-term planning, or more. Also we provide resources on different matters, including our Growing Communities activist skills resource manual.

Meeting Space and Resources: Working Groups may use the OPIRG office as a place to meet and hold meetings or we can book rooms to have your meetings, host events, meets-and-greets, film screening etc. on Trent Campus or at Sadleir house.  Green Dishes can be provided for group events.

Connection and partnership: We can connect your group to others across the province or across the country that are doing similar work. OPIRG can partner on events.

Events Promotion: OPIRG helps plan and brainstorm possible events, actions, etc. We provide dedicated space on our website for groups to use as a homepage or to post news or blog articles. The email newsletter is used to send information about your events and meetings. Finally we can help you draft literature, make posters, put up posters, and generally advertise your Working Group, your event or your meetings

Apply to become an OPIRG Working Group!

  1. Read through the Working Groups Policy.
  2. Fill out the working group application. You may apply by:
    • using the online form
    • downloading a copy of the working group application here
    • or coming to OPIRG Peterborough’s office to get a copy

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your working group, applying for a working group, or any of the above information, contact OPIRG at opirg@trentu.ca.