Commentary  Our campus community

McGill groups speak out in QPIRG’s defence

The Quebec Public Interest Research Group at McGill (QPIRG McGill) is a thirty-year-old organization dedicated to raising student voices through community organizing, social justice activism, and environmental initiatives. Certain groups on campus, including Conservative McGill, have launched a disparaging campaign urging students to opt out of the student fees that finance this vital organization’s work. We, SSMU’s student services, have decided that it’s our turn to raise voices in support of QPIRG: we urge students to opt in.

For more information about QPIRG McGll, go to

The Union for Gender Empowerment (UGE) strongly supports the work of QPIRG McGill. QPIRG is an important resource for a wide range of students and community members providing a much-needed space for student learning, organizing, and action. These student-initiated campus-community links foster meaningful social and environmental change, creating space for students to actively and continually question and engage with various issues of local, provincial, national, and global importance. The UGE has a long history of invaluable collaboration with QPIRG on a number of successful events. Through current programming such as Rad Frosh, Social Justice Days, and working group initiatives in urban agriculture, migrant justice, grassroots media, and more, QPIRG has proven essential to developing and maintaining dynamic forums for student growth and community involvement. The UGE encourages all students, faculty, and staff to learn more about QPIRG and get involved.

—Union for Gender Empowerment

Queer McGill stands firmly in solidarity with QPIRG, a vital organization that advances justice for diverse communities on campus and throughout Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and the world. Through student-directed research, education, and activism, QPIRG makes heard a multitude of voices that institutions, corporate media, and mainstream politics would seek to silence. Like Queer McGill, QPIRG McGill is committed to fighting oppression in all of its intersecting forms. We therefore reject the deceptive “opt-out” campaign initiated by Conservative McGill, a non-opt-outable student-funded club that semester after semester seeks to falsely frame QPIRG as a fringe group devoted to undermining democratic society. Rad Frosh, Culture Shock, an alternative library, and Campus Crops are among the many popular initiatives that would not exist without the work of QPIRG. Queer McGill urges all students to opt in.

—Queer McGill

Midnight Kitchen is a non-profit collective that provides affordable vegan food to as many people as possible. We provide free or by-donation vegan lunches five days a week, Monday through Friday, at 12:30 in the SSMU building. Midnight Kitchen has grown substantially, both in the number of meals served weekly and in our volunteer base. In the Spring semester of 2007, we successfully campaigned for a student levy of $2.50 per student each year. This allowed us to serve more people, diversify our food selection, and improve our kitchen. As a service at McGill, we support QPIRG and the work that they do, especially their “Campus Crops” initiative that provides us with wonderful fresh produce. We urge students to opt in.­

—Midnight Kitchen

The Black Students’ Network is in complete support of QPIRG McGill, an organization “opposed to all forms of discrimination on the basis of: class, gender, race, sexual orientation, and dis/ability,” and actively strives to make the McGill community a community of safe space. As a service that fully supports and advocates for opportunities for all students regardless of race and ethnicity, we must in good judgment reject the efforts initiated by Conservative McGill that encourage students to opt-out of QPIRG. A vital organization for the McGill community, QPIRG allows for alternate events that cater to the interests of all students, such as Rad Frosh, Culture Shock, and Campus Crops. This is just one of the many reasons why we, the Black Students’ Network, urge all students to support QPIRG and opt in.

—Black Students’ Network