RPIRG News & Events


Apathy Into Action 2018 CALL FOR IDEAS

The 11th annual Apathy Into Action social justice conference is taking place JANUARY 19th and 20th!

We want to know what YOU want to see and learn. We are looking for workshops and interactive discussion topics that can be covered in 1, 3, or 6 hours.

You can either 1) submit a topic YOU would like to present on or facilitate a workshop for, OR 2) submit a topic you would like us to plan with another presenter or facilitator. It’s up to you! If you would like to facilitate, you will have to give us some extra information about you.

Fill out our handy submission form below!

 

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Kate Sinclaire, feminist pornographer – visit to Regina Nov 9 & 10

Join RPIRG in welcoming feminist pornographer Kate Sinclaire to the U of R campus! Kate will be facilitating two of her wonderful workshops (detailed below) on November 10th on the U of R Main Campus.

ALSO, make sure to join our partners Queer City Cinema for their Porn Party on November 9th at the Artesian on 13th. More info on the Facebook event:https://www.facebook.com/events/543515759331204/

10:30am-11:30am – Education Building room 338

Sponsored by UR Pride – Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity

REPRESENTATION, AGENCY, AND FETISHIZATION: Why queers pulishing queer realities is important

DESCRIPTION: Mainstream pornography often relies upon a structured approach that assigns a narrative to performers rather than allowing them to document their own stories on film. The result can definitely be hot, but can also be problematic. In this session, we will discuss how porn has gotten to a place of representation through fetishization, and ways that we can make the industry more fair, equitable, and truly represenational.

1:30-2:30pm – Education Building room 113

HOW CAN PORN BE ETHICALLY MADE?

DESCRIPTION: In this session, we will run through a quick history of pornography, and look at the forces that have created the types of porn that we see today. From early photographs, Super 8 cameras, and all the way up to webcams and iPhones, we’ll talk about accessibility, queer narratives, patriarchal influences, the male gaze, and sex work myths. From there we’ll explore ways that feminist pornographers and performers today are turning the industry on its head.

ALL WORKSHOPS ARE FREE and open to the public.
All rooms are physically accessibly by wheelchair.
All gender and wheelchair accessible washrooms are located in this building.
Parking available at meters at cost to participant ($2.00/hour).

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STUDENT JOB POSTING – Research Assistant

 

         

 

**the following position is being offered ONLY to students at the University of Regina**

Job Posting: Research Assistant
Project: Alcohol Harm Reduction Literature Review

Position Summary
The Regina Public Interest Research Group (RPIRG), in collaboration with the Faculty of Arts Community Research Unit (CRU), is seeking a Student Research Assistant to assist with conducting a review of literature based on research questions developed with community partner Carmichael Outreach Inc.

The objectives of the literature review are to:
a) enhance knowledge and inform future decision making at community and agency levels with regard to advocating for evidence-informed harm reduction interventions for alcohol moderation of Housing First clients in Regina
b) identify factors that can affect the full implementation of harm reduction program components of the Housing First model into practice
c) identify best-practices for implementation of a managed alcohol program

Main Responsibilities

  • To search, review and summarize peer-reviewed and grey literature on the effectiveness of harm reduction interventions for managed alcohol programs and other complementary services for clients in supported housing programs
  • Based on the findings of the literature review, write a final report on the current evidence-informed practices related to research questions developed by the research team partners
  • To meet regularly with the project team to discuss the progress of literature review and report writing
  • To communicate with the community partner, academic supervisor and other identified collaborators
  • To assist with presenting findings of the literature review at the end-of-project meeting to the project team and other community partners
  • Conduct other project-related activities as specified by the project team, specifically the community partner and an academic supervisor

Required Skills and Abilities

  • Technical skills: Microsoft Office, web-based reference manager (e.g. Refworks), experience with database searches
  • Effective communication skills, both oral and writing skills
  • Interpersonal and strong organization skills, time management skills and ability to complete assigned work on time
  • Experience (or familiarity) with projects in community development, health and social services for population with complex needs is an asset

Qualifications

  • Third or fourth year undergraduate or graduate student
  • Preferred Disciplines: Human or Social Justice, Psychology, Education, Public Policy, Nursing, Social Work or related disciplines

Schedule & Wage
The student researcher will be contracted for a maximum of 120 hours of work from early November, 2017 to March 31, 2018. The work hours and the location of the work are somewhat flexible. The wage will reflect CUPE 2419 rates.

To apply, please prepare the following and send it to:
Krystal Lewis, Executive Director
Regina Public Interest Research Group (RPIRG)
info@rpirg.org

• Resume and Cover Letter
• Contact information of two referees who can provide professional or academic references
• An example of a written report (this can be a completed project report or a research paper/assignment on a topic in health or social sciences)

Deadline for Applications: Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 4pm

Project Partners
The Community Research Unit (CRU) is based out of the Faculty of Arts, and aims to connect community groups and University of Regina faculty and students through research, service-learning and other collaborative activities.

The Regina Public Interest Research Group (RPIRG) is a student-funded resource centre at the University of Regina committed to social and environmental justice. They provide the resources and funding necessary to enable students to organize around issues through research, education, and action.

Carmichael Outreach Inc. is a respected community based organization that advocates on behalf of and provides services to people who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of experiencing homelessness. We believe in fostering empowerment through dignity, respect and advocacy, as well as engaging the community in our work to end poverty and homelessness.

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STUDENT JOB POSTING – OUTREACH AND EVENTS COORDINATOR

Job Description: Outreach & Events Coordinator

Regina Public Interest Research Group

The Regina Public Interest Research Group (RPIRG) is a student-run, student-funded non-profit organization dedicated to community-based research, education, action and awareness on social and environmental justice issues. RPIRG exists to provide its members with the resources to be active citizens on the University of Regina campus and in the greater community. RPIRG has been in operation since 2007. For more information, visit our website: www.rpirg.org.

The Outreach and Events Coordinator is responsible for managing event coordination, marketing, and community outreach for the organization. They will work alongside the Executive Director, and under the direction of the Board of Directors.

**This position is only being offered ONLY to students at the University of Regina**

Responsibilities:

  • Event coordination: Organize, plan, promote, recruit and carry out all aspects of RPIRG’s events, including Welcome Week, Annual General Meetings, elections, conferences, camps and campaigns.
  • Marketing to raise awareness of RPIRG student opportunities and events, including producing a monthly newsletter, ensuring board and staff attendance at funded events, and creating and ordering PR materials. Managing RPIRG’s online presence including updating the website and managing all social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Community relations/networking: Establish contacts and maintain communication with students, campus groups, U of R faculty, and community groups for the purpose of outreach and community awareness on issues of social and environmental justice
  • Participate in regular board meetings and committee meetings, by observing the consensus decision making process, providing all relevant information to the board, including activity reports, and following up with board and staff to ensure the timely completion of tasks.
  • Facilitating, ordering, and organization of the alternative library resources.
  • Volunteer coordination: recruitment, retention and management of the organization’s volunteers.

Requirements:

Knowledge of:

  • Social and environmental justice issues relevant to students and/or the community of Regina
  • Event coordinating, management, and promotion
  • Volunteer management, recruitment and retention (an asset)

Skills/Abilities/Assets:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Self-motivated with an ability to work without supervision, but also ability to take direction from a board and Executive Director
  • Demonstrated leadership ability
  • Computer skills (internet, word processing, spreadsheets, graphic design, website editing, newsletters, social media)
  • Interest in and willingness to work in a leadership role with student volunteers, using a consensus decision-making process
  • Multi-tasking and time management
  • Flexibility – some job/task sharing
  • Comfortable with public speaking (an asset)
  • Understanding of non-profit governance structures (an asset)

Contract Period: October 30, 2017 (pending availability)- April 27, 2018, with possibility for renewal.

Hours of Work: 20-25 hours per week, decided upon at the start of each semester. Hours are flexible, but must be worked in the RPIRG office during office hours (except when there are events or meetings outside of these times or location)

Remuneration: Living wage ($16.46/hour), paid vacation and personal days, travel allowance

Reports to: Reports to and accepts direction from the Board of Directors and the Executive Director

Application Deadline: October 18, 2017 at 4pm.

To Apply: Please email your cover letter and resume to info@rpirg.org

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RPIRG’s response to Dr. Gad Saad’s talk on Sept. 18

**The following letter was sent to the University faculty and administration responsible for proposing and organizing the talk by Dr. Gad Saad on Monday, Sept. 18. The talk was part of the University of Regina’s Deliberation and Debate series.

This letter is the latest in a thread of correspondence where we had expressed concerns about this talk.**

——————–

Good morning all,

I am writing today to reiterate my unease with both the decision to invite Dr. Saad to speak at the University of Regina, and with the response I have received from those involved in proposing and coordinating the talk. From the sounds of it, the majority of the talks in this series so far have involved many thoughtful and engaging speakers – but for me, this one was going to, and did, miss the mark. In an announcement about the idea behind the series, President Timmons said:

“Over the past few years, however, I have watched with increasing concern the debates over free speech and academic freedom that have taken place at our University and at other campuses across North America.  I share the concern of those who believe that dialogue at our universities is becoming less civil, and of those who worry that the idea of “political correctness” can too easily be used to stifle meaningful debate.

Universities should always be places where everyone supports – and has the opportunity to participate in – impassioned and thoughtful debate on sensitive and controversial topics.   I want us to have open, civil, and robust discussion on issues that should be important to us all precisely because of their controversial nature.  The most difficult conversations are often the most important ones, and we should not shy away from them. Rather, we should participate in them whenever we can.”

This quest for open, civil, and robust discussion of controversial issues, if not planned and facilitated carefully, has the potential to be directly in conflict with the University’s own values, such as:

Inclusivity & Diversity – We are a learning community.  We value interaction between faculty members and students as the fundamental activity of the academy. We recognize and support the diversity of our students’ needs, and are inclusive of our Aboriginal, new Canadian, and international students, employees and partners. We aim to be accessible to all who wish to learn with us. We welcome the world to our campuses.”

Accountability & Well-Being – We are accountable for our performance to each other, our students, our alumni and the public. We value a safe, healthy, and supportive community.”

In the case of Dr. Saad, this conflict was brought into sharp relief. I was told that students who oppose Dr. Saad or are offended by him were welcome to attend the talk and engage in debate with him. Not everyone feels safe to do this but I asked if counseling supports could be made available – in case someone did this but needed to debrief or talk after. We were told that counseling already exists and students can seek it out if needed, but that no extra resources would be provided here as it would give the impression that the talk could cause harm. However, extra campus security was readily available last night outside the auditorium suggesting resources were made available to effectively alleviate opposition or protest but none were made to help make speaking against or challenging Dr. Saad more accessible.

In light of Dr. Saad’s talk, I want to call on the Deliberation and Debate committee and the President to resolve the following contradictions:

  • How can trans and gender diverse students feel safe and supported when someone who testified against trans rights, refers to trans men as “woman who think they’re men,” and speaks misinformation about biology (conflating gender and sex) is invited here?
  • How can the university confidently say that it is engaging in a process of Indigenization, and working towards the TRC’s Calls to Action, when it welcomes someone here who mocks and dismisses the concept of cultural appropriation? Someone who also seemed to misrepresent the story of Indigenous UBC professor Lorna June McCue, by omitting information about her case for tenure in order to imply that she was looking for a free pass?
  • How can many of our international students feel welcome here when a visiting professor is given a platform to provide opinions about the spread of political conservative Islam – opinions that are not substantiated by rigorous data – and single it out as being uniquely harmful, in a current climate of violent anti-Islam sentiments?
  • How can students working through trauma feel like their experiences are valid and that they won’t be victim blamed when they see an invited speaker has written articles misinterpreting the purpose of and deriding trigger warnings and safe spaces?

Freedom of speech is a valid topic of debate. However, I think that Saad’s talk served to validate some people who were looking for reasons to avoid working towards inclusive language and actions. One couldn’t help but notice the number of “Make America Great Again” hats that made an appearance at the lecture. I think that there are other ways to carefully consider and facilitate this discussion while still respecting and supporting student safety. There are many community organizations and individuals in Regina alone who are already doing great front line work to bridge communities and educate the public. These groups have a wealth of knowledge to share and should be supported in their work and engaged in the future about topics like this.

Failure to interrogate and reconcile this above conflict of values has meant that someone like Dr. Saad was able to be validate harmful attitudes, and also that no extra safety accommodations were made available to students – an accommodation that could make engaging with and/or challenging him more accessible. This was unfortunate. I hope that if anything, the concerns expressed about this talk can lead the University to look at and adopt more rigorous vetting and student safety policies. I look forward to hearing how the University plans to respond to this and would welcome an invitation to be part of future dialogues.

 

Krystal Lewis
Executive Director
Regina Public Interest Research Group

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RPIRG 2016-17 AGM and Teach-In on September 27th

The RPIRG Annual General Meeting is coming up soon!

Where: RIC Atrium

When: September 27, 2017 from 11:30am-1pm

Agenda:

11:30-12:30    Teach-In: Free Speech on Campus – When Words Become Weapons

12:30-1pm    RPIRG AGM and pizza and hangs!

Each year for our AGM we try to incorporate an engaging talk or workshop, as well as delicious pizza, in order to make things a bit more fun. This year we will be hosting a teach-in about free speech, with more details coming soon.

As a student of the UofR, you are also a member of RPIRG, and this is your chance to vote on some important aspects of our operations, including approving our audited financial statements attached below! If you’d like to submit a motion to be considered at the meeting, please let us know (or chat with us if you like as well) by the end of the day on Friday, September 22.

If you have any questions about either the talk or the AGM process please feel free to contact us or stop by our office.

Financial Statements 2017

Minutes from 2015-16 AGM

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RPIRG Green Patch Sign Competition

RPIRG & the Faculty of Media, Art and Performance are excited to be holding an artistic competition for a new sign for the RPIRG Green Patch community garden!

Students are invited to propose ideas for a new RPIRG Green Patch sign.  This juried process presents an excellent opportunity to realize a work of art for exhibition in a public space. The Green Patch is located north of the Academic Green, and the artwork would be installed in the entrance to the garden. The physical structure of the sign is already in place and is constructed of wood paneling, 82cm x 152cm (height x width).

For more details & information on how to submit your proposal, click HERE.

Sign structure/base:

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Welcome, Krystal Lewis!

On behalf of the RPIRG Board of Directors and Staff, I would like to welcome our new Executive Director Krystal Lewis! Make sure you come by the office to welcome Krystal and say ‘hi’.

A little bit about Krystal:

Krystal is originally from the Maritimes but has called Regina home for over 20 years. She is also an alumna of the UofR, and has been around campus more years than she can remember. Her hobbies include frisbee, cycling, and all things trivia. She is excited to dig into her new role as ED and find ever more ways for RPIRG to support student and community activism.

Krystal Lewis

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CALL FOR PROPOSALS – Generating Momentum 2017

Generating Momentum is excited to announce it’s call for workshop proposals and Artist(s)-in-Residence for camp in 2017!

Generating Momentum 2017 will take place at the beautiful Camp Easter Seal facilities in Manitou Lake, SK from August 24-27. 

14Workshops:

Workshop proposals should fall under one of two program themes: Real Collaboration: Accomplices, not Allies; or Accountable Communities. The workshops will be offered in two one-hour sessions between 8:45am and noon on Saturday, August 26th. Please read the full call for proposals BEFORE submitting your application.

 

Full call for proposals and application: generatingmomentumcamp.wordpress.com/workshops/

Artist(s)-in-Residence:15

The Generating Momentum organizing partners are seeking an individual or collaborative team of two Saskatchewan artists to serve as Artist(s)-in-Residence for the duration of the 2017 Generating Momentum camp, and to work in partnership with the organizing committee and camp participants in order to contribute to the overall camp goals and objectives. Please read the full call for proposals BEFORE submitting your application.

Full call for proposals and application: generatingmomentumcamp.wordpress.com/artist-program/

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Green Patch planting has started & WE NEED VOLUNTEERS!

Contest PicGet your gardening gloves out (or borrow some of ours), and get ready to help us in the Green Patch garden!

Your friendly neighbourhood Garden Coordinator, Leonel, has begun planting with the help of volunteers in the Green Patch! Once planted, the Garden Coordinator relies on volunteers to help maintain, and eventually harvest the produce. Volunteering is a great way to relax, meet new people, get your hands on the freshest produce in town, and learn about caring for food-producing plants in this organic community-driven garden.
RPIRG is proud to donate the majority of produce to Carmichael Outreach.

To sign up for the volunteer list, complete the form below. To help with planting THIS WEEK (until May 26th), visit the Facebook event page HERE.

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