OPIRG & TCRC Research Partnerships
Every year, OPIRG engages in numerous research-for-credit projects in which Trent students team up with a Trent faculty member, OPIRG and The Trent Community Research Centre (TCRC, formally the The Trent Centre for Community-Based Education) to conduct research projects on a variety of topics. The centre connects students and faculty with local organizations to create community-based research, service learning and experiential education opportunities that enhance the social, environmental, cultural and economic helath of our communities.
Typically, we oversee 3 to 5 students, though in past years we have hosted as many as 18 student researchers!
For 2016 we have:
- Mason Godden researching OPIRG-Peterborough’s history from 1990 onwards.
- Teaming up with a course at Trent University’s Women and Gender Studies Department to create media capsules of women activists in Peterborough
- A survey of the $15 minimum wage campaign at post-secondary institutions
A Brief History of OPIRG Research
In past years, OPIRG has engaged in numerous research-for-credit projects in which Trent students teamed up with a Trent faculty member, OPIRG, and the TCCBE (TCRC) to conduct research projects. Typically, we oversee 3 to 5 students, though in past years we have hosted as many as 18 student researchers! We have projects from previous years listed below. Research reports may be found through searching the The Alternative Libraries @ Trent intiative catalogue.
Working in conjunction with the Council of Canadians as well as OPIRG Peterborough, the object of this research project was to determine the laws and legal implications surrounding public protest as well as what information in regards to these laws needs to be clarified. How the laws have changed in the past 20 years and what went wrong in the Toronto 2010 G20 summit were also questions of interest in this research project. The goal of this research was to provide an easily accessible document that would explain the laws and legal implications surrounding protest so that incidents such as the ones that occurred during the Toronto 2010 G20 summit could be avoided in the future through education on this topic.
This project was organized to document and research the ethical food sourcing movement at national universities.
In 2002, Trent University adopted a ‘No Sweat’ policy to ensure garments manufactured for the University are made under humane working conditions in compliance with standards set by the International Labour Organization. This report is a summation of a project to build continuity and cohesion in the application of the policy at Trent University.
The goal of this project was to update the 2001 Supermarket Tour originally written by students at McMaster University.
This project reviewed the current literature on accessibility and public space and then focused on Sadleir house as a public building at present and its future accessibility possibilities, as well as other public spaces in the Peterborough community.
The main research question investigated was: Do OPIRG volunteer services meet volunteer’s expectations and needs?
“Trans Project” by Beth O-Reilley
This project worked on trans awareness, and specifically developed a workshop that was given to the community. One of the main goals of the project included getting organizations to make their offices trans-friendly. The workshop also spoke to many of the issues that trans people face on a daily basis.
“Challenging Barriers” by Melissa Webster
This project worked to develop a new working group entitled Trent Students with Disabilities and Their Allies. As part of the research, this project focused on the Trent environment and how to lobby for change, as well as what measures were being explored at the provincial level to increase accessibility.
“The Impact of Ontario Education Policies on Queer Issues in the High School Classroom” by Melissa Hood and Jessica Ludgate
There were two pieces to this project. The first, completed by Jessica, was a mapping of local and provincial educational policies that impact queer youth in Ontario highschools. Some of the research included examining human rights related policies at the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board and included an examination of the way certain policies could help or hinder the process of addressing homophobia in highschools.
The second component was to develop a handbook that would act as an educational and resource tool for teachers addressing homophobia in the high school classrooms. Melissa compiled the book, which included workshops for use in the classroom, definitions, articles, practical steps on queering the classroom and advice on dealing with homophobia in the education system.
The purpose of this project was to continue OPIRG’s work in the area of women’s health. This year the participants organized three workshops designed to be a part of the Ontario Health Coalition’s teach-in on the Ontario health care system. Some of the issues addressed included how race affects some immigrant women’s access to health care and what key health concerns new immigrant women face in Canada.
In 2002 OPIRG had identified the need for a composting system on Symons Campus to deal with the organic waste generated by the food services. In the fall of 2002 Marcelina Salazar began researching existing institutional composting systems and discussing composting with stakeholders at Trent University to identify Trent’s needs. The project analyzed the various composting options and developed a report outlining the best options for Trent.
The goal of this project was to advance the campaign for a No Sweat purchasing policy of apparel at Trent, which was subsequently adopted in 2003.
This conference marked the 6th year of this annual event. The conferences have always provided a valuable space for women from Trent and the community to dialogue about women’s health issues locally and globally.
The goal of this project was to revitalize OPIRG’s work on women’s health issues and specifically looks at high school menstruation workshops. The main objectives of the project were the creation of a workshop manual, an annotated guide to resources in the area of women’s health and menstruation, to reestablish relationships with local high school teachers and to organize volunteers to facilitate workshops in area high schools. The “Let’s Talk About Menstruation” workshop manual, annotated bibliography and resource binder are all housed in the OPIRG office.
This project addressed the following question: How can university curriculum and programming in the CDS department at Trent become more inclusive to groups who have traditionally been under-represented in a university environment? The project involved several pieces: an anti-oppressive analysis of several CDS courses, development of an annotated bibliography of resources that can be used to make the course more inclusive, and the creation of a guide for analyzing courses and university programs for inclusive content which can be used by students, university educators, community members and other PIRGs.
This project was initiated by OPIRG’s Food Issues Group and the researcher was a member of that group. The goal was to develop a business plan and related background materials for the group to establish a café that would serve organic, locally produced food.
The focus of the conference this year was around women taking action to control their health.
The goal of this project was to research and plan for a permanent, sustainable community garden on Symons Campus.
This project focused on promoting local organic agriculture by bringing consumers to farms and by publishing a newsletter with information about organic agriculture and the social and environmental detriments of chemical-based industrial agriculture.
OPIRG Annual Women, Health and Environment Conference
Youth Exploring Corporatization Conference and Newsletter
Peterborough Tenant’s Guide