RPIRG News & Events


We’re hiring! Generating Momentum Program Coordinator

Job Posting – Generating Momentum Program Coordinator

**Must be a University of Regina Student to apply**

Generating Momentum is an activist leadership training camp for youth between the ages of 18-35. The camp is focused on educating, training, and organizing around social and environmental justice issues, and giving youth the tools to make meaningful change in their communities. The camp discusses the interconnectedness of social, economic, ecologic, or global justice issues through topics such as, sexuality, gender, allyship, decolonization, and environmental justice. The camp also fosters the practical skills, knowledge, education, and networking opportunities necessary for participants to make a difference in their local communities and around the world.

Generating Momentum will run for four days, from August 23-26th, 2018, and will take place at Arlington Beach Camp (Last Mountain Lake, SK). Over the past 7 years the camp has run, around 50-70 participants have travelled from around Saskatchewan each year to attend.

For more information about Generating Momentum, check out the website: https://generatingmomentumcamp.wordpress.com/

This camp is run in partnership between the Regina Public Interest Research Group (RPIRG – rpirg.org) and the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation (SCIC – earthbeat.sk.ca).

 

Responsibilities

The coordinator will be responsible for managing all aspects of the camp, with oversight and help from the Generating Momentum Planning Committee.

Registration

  • Create camp registration form and manage registrations and payments
  • Coordinate carpooling for campers
  • Communicate with campers regarding camp logistics and any dietary or other needs

Advertising and Outreach

  • Design poster and flyers
  • Advertise and promote the camp through various channels
  • Update and manage the Generating Momentum website
  • Manage social media promotion and content for the camp

Camp Logistics

  • Book facilitators and communicate with them regarding workshop format and camp logistics
  • Hire and liaise with caterer (if needed)
  • Create and assemble camp handbook
  • Complete other tasks as they arise
  • Coordinate childcare
  • Liaise with Arlington Beach Camp regarding facility needs

Fundraising

  • Apply for additional grants to cover camp costs
  • Send letters to organization requesting sponsorship  

Camp Weekend

  • Attend Generating Momentum on Aug 23-26, 2018
  • Manage daily schedule of camp – announcements, facilitator introductions, logistics as necessary, etc.

Organizational Coordination

  • Ensuring detailed records and documentation are kept for debrief, grant reporting, and future planning

Camp Follow-Up

  • Conduct a focus group to gain feedback from participants and facilitators
  • Compile comments and feedback from evaluation forms
  • Complete a summary report by September 15th, 2018

 

Qualifications and Experience:

General

  • **Must be a University of Regina Student to apply**
  • Previous camp or conference coordination is an asset, but not necessary
  • Technical abilities – experience with Microsoft word, Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop or Canva, and WordPress
  • Event facilitation skills an asset
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, and experience with public speaking
  • Knowledge of anti-oppressive approaches and inclusive program design an asset
  • Interest in social justice issues and community engagement is important

Event planning

  • Experience applying for grants or requesting sponsorship
  • Experience working in collaborative environments – ability to work cooperatively with others to set goals, resolve conflicts, and make decisions, both give and receive direction
  • Excellent time management, decision making, organizational, problem-solving and interpersonal skills – to prioritize multiple tasks and deadlines
  • Proven ability to establish and maintain positive, strategic working relationships with key stakeholders and decision-makers
  • Must be able to work independently

Event promotion

  • Experience using Photoshop, Canva, or equivalent program to create posters and promotion materials
  • Experience managing various social media accounts and promoting events online
  • Ability to update and manage a WordPress website

Contract Period: This position is an 8-month contract from Feb 12 to September 15, 2018

Hours of Work: 10 hours per week from Feb 12 – April 30, 25 hours a week from May 1 – Sept 15, and 40 hours for the week of the camp (Aug 20-26, 2017). Hours are flexible

Remuneration: $16.46/hour, plus vacation pay

Application Deadline: January 31, 2018 at 4pm

Please email your cover letter AND resume to info@rpirg.org

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Apathy into Action 2018 Schedule!

This year’s Apathy into Action Social Justice Conference will take place January 19th and 20th @ the RIC Atrium on the University of Regina main campus. Please see this link for details about our venue. If you have any questions you may contact Julian at outreach@rpirg.org.

Friday January 19:

10:30am – “Unclear Future: Living With Uranium” Author reading w/ Bernadette Wagner

Bernadette Wagner is a multi-genre writer, editor, and community-based organizer. Her work has appeared on many platforms. Bernadette is nearing completion of a mixed-genre manuscript about uranium and its human implications. Her research took her to Canada’s role in the development of Little Boy, the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, as well as to some other global hotspots. Join Bernadette to explore Saskatchewan’s role in the industry through poetry and creative nonfiction.

11:30am – “Colonialism No More” w/ Prescott Demas & Michelle Stewart 

In the spring of 2016 activists in Regina set up a tent city occupation outside the regional office of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), calling themselves the Colonialism No More Solidarity Camp. Expecting to be there for 24 hours, they ended up staying for four months. This session will focus on current projects and campaigns that Colonialism No More is working on including dismantling white supremacy in public spaces and challenging racialized and militarised policing practices. This Session will be hosted by Prescott Demas and Michelle Stewart who have been involved with Colonialism No More since the 2016 camp.

FREE PIZZA LUNCH PROVIDED 

1:30pm – “Fat Feminism” w/ Mia Bell 

Mia Bell is a student at the University of Regina, completing her studies in psychology and visual arts. She is a fat feminist and fat activist, who is passionate about body politics. Mia is especially interested in the ways that anti-fat bias and sizeism intersect with other forms of oppression (i.e. sexism, racism, ableism, classism). She enjoys learning, listening, and cuddling with her cats. In future, Mia plans to pursue a degree in visual arts therapy, combining her affinity for mental health and creative expression.

2:30pm – “Being a Radical Trans-Accomplice” w/ Cat Haines presented by UR Pride

Cat Haines is a trans woman, lesbian, and currently the program coordinator at the UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity. Understanding the complexities and nuances of gender is critical for anyone hoping to work with the trans community, or simply support the transgender people their their lives. Through a series of open discussions and journaling exercises, this workshop seeks to help you better understand your personal relationship to gender, as well as provide a glimpse into the ongoing labour that is expected of many transgender individuals in order to access  healthcare, and in many cases, basic human dignity.

3:30pm PANEL “Faith & Social Justice” w/ Maysa Haque, Cam Fraser, and Gagan Deep Singh. Presented by Common Weal Community Arts

*UPDATE: we are no longer able to provide ASL interpretation as planned for this session, due to our interpreter sustaining an injury. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We will work to provide more opportunities for this in the future*

This multi-faith panel will feature perspectives on social, environmental, and global justice through the lens of faith and religious practice. We present this panel in conjunction with Common Weal Community Arts to question the assumptions that religion is inherently regressive or conservative and have invited Christian, Muslim, and Sikh community members to discuss how their faith informs their justice work, how faith contributes to self care and community care, and how activists and organizers can better work across faith communities to foster solidarity and build inclusive movements.

6:00pm – RPIRG January Social w/ Neeched Up Games

RPIRG and Janelle Pewapsconias of Neeched Up Games will be hosting a human sized board game! Neeched Up Games provides Indigenous knowledge board games, card games, apps, and educational resources to empower people in Indigenous culture! Through games and engaging discussion we can overcome discrimination and misinformation by challenging it utilizing our knowledge of Indigenous culture, history, and perspectives.
This event is FREE, however, we do ask that you take a moment to register here!

Saturday January 20th

Registration is required for Saturday sessions as space in limited! Please follow this link to register. 

9:00am – “Mapping Line 3” w/ Barb Lavallee

Line 3 is a proposed Enbridge crude oil pipeline that plans to stretch from Alberta to Wisconsin, passing through Saskatchewan. It is a contentious pipeline in that is currently being met with resistance for several important reasons from many Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, as well as environmental activists and organizations in areas all along the pipeline route.

Barbara Lavallee is an Independent Heritage Compliance Monitor. She focuses on environmental sustainability by bridging the gap of Western science and traditional ecological knowledge. Barbara is a Traditional Knowledge Keeper from Cowessess First Nation, residing on Piapot First Nation. To gain better context and language surrounding Line 3, Barbara Lavallee will outline common industry language, pipeline approval processes and government involvement, ways local communities will be affected, and threats to the local watershed as well as cultural and sacred Indigenous sites. The last part of the workshop will highlight ongoing resistance efforts, and provide participants with resources and ideas about how they can learn more and plug into what’s going on.

FREE LUNCH PROVIDED

1:00pm – “Media Training” w/ Ivan Muzychka (presented by: Next Up Saskatchewan!

Ivan Muzychka, who has over 25 years communications experience, much of it in media relations. He is currently a senior communications advisor with the Saskatchewan Medical Association. Speaking to media representatives can be an anxiety-inducing experience for many leaders. However, communicating through the media is sometimes the best way to connect with your key stakeholders and others, provided the encounter is handled carefully. This session will introduce participants to the basics of media relations, and will cover some basic pointers for doing successful media interviews. The session includes several practice TV interviews based on actual issues you and your organization may be facing.

1:00pm – “Crude Power” Screening & Talk w/ Katie Doke Sawatzky & Janelle Blakley 

In 2017, a collaborative investigative journalism project dominated news cycles to ask us, what is the real price of Saskatchewan’s oil industry? Out of that project, the film ‘Crude Power’ was produced to “shine a light on the oil industries substantial influence on government policy and reveal who benefits and who is hurt”. Janelle and Katie Doke Sawatzky, U of R Journalism students who worked on this project, will talk about investigative journalism, speaking truth to power, and how student initiative and hard work can have huge impacts on our community.

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Holiday Schedule

Hello all!

The RPIRG office will be closed from 2pm on Friday, December 22, and will re-open at 9am on Tuesday, January 2.

Happy Holidays!

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Coming Up in the New Year

Have a great winter break everyone, here’s what RPIRG will be up to when we all get back in 2018!

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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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