I have to blog about this. It's such a beautiful thing. The LSPIRG office early in the morning is quiet, bright from the morning summer sunshine, and absolutely buzzing with possibility. I usually arrive around 8AM and my first order of business is to answer my e-mails. Some people complain about e-mails-- the volume and content can certainly be stressful at times, but I actually love answering e-mails. Starting my day by communicating with students and partners about all the amazing initiatives that are happening on campus and in the community makes me feel excited for the day ahead. For real!

Lately, I've also been tending to our LSPIRG babies. Yes, babies. Plant babies, that is. We've got a beautiful assortment of heirloom seedlings just dying to be re-potted or planted in a little garden they can call home. We're very excited about re-planting these little ones...but I don't want to spoil any surprises for you. Stay tuned for some exciting announcements about urban gardening at LSPIRG!

I hope everyone reading is having an enjoyable morning/day! 

Sincerely, Kate.


It's difficult settling into a new role. It's even more difficult when you don't have someone you report to, but you're reported to by many. There's no time to test the water, the only option is to dive right in.

Kate and I (Allison) are doing our best to navigate this fairly unique employment situation - and forgive my boastfulness - but there are some awesome things on the horizon. On an administrative level, a number of volunteer coordinators have been hired and are working on a broad spectrum of projects from engaging students in international politics to a study of LSPIRGs communication reach and impact. Board work is well underway, in fact, the first meeting of the incoming board and staff will be held tonight. An agenda is available online here.

We're working toward brand recognition and development through a revamped website, logo, all-over online presence and introduction of social-awareness events like feature documentary nights. Finally, regarding community development, LSPIRG is already working toward partnerships with Open Streets, Tri-Pride, the Anti-Violence Festival and WLUSU's OWeek.

For a more detailed look at LSPIRG's monthly themes and projects, you can check out our calendar or get in contact with us to take part - dive in, the water's great!

Photo by: David Campbell, Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Photo by: David Campbell, Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons


Welcome to the second installment of the "know your LSPIRG staff series." Today, find some insight on Allie Leonard, newly hired Communications and Community Director, as interviewed by her colleague Kate Murray.

Allie has big coffee cups and even bigger hair.

Allie has big coffee cups and even bigger hair.

What got you involved with LSPIRG?
I was always into feature writing on social change issues. It’s nice to be on the side that can comment critically rather than having to write objectively. LSPIRG lets me do that! And I get to hang out in a treehouse.

What song best describes your work ethic & why?
“My Music at Work” by the Tragically Hip — because anyone whose worked in an office with me knows I’m usually blaring an 8tracks mix. And the Hip is great!

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you be making (or ordering)?
I like to impress and my family is French Canadian so I’d probably make a classic, family-oriented meal. And for dessert: tarte au sucre, because nothing in this world is better than a giant butter tart.

What is your million dollar idea?
I’d be the first person to investigate a previously untouched cultural issue and it would get enough exposure for the issue to be resolved and for me to make my way into journalism.

What is your favorite local restaurant and what do you order?
Ethels. Taco Tuesday. Best patio. So cheap, so good. 


In line with the campus trend of interviewing departmental admin, we did just that. Allie Leonard, Communication Director at LSPIRG interviewed Kate Murray, newly hired Administration and Development Director. Get to know her!

Kate explained that there were a ton of people at this rally in particular. She just  happens  to look like she is alone with a megaphone .

Kate explained that there were a ton of people at this rally in particular. She just happens to look like she is alone with a megaphone.

If there were a biography about you, what would it be called?
The Pursuit of Happiness, but there would be no Will Smith involved. Well, maybe I’ll edit that. Will Smith should be involved.

What do you do on Saturday mornings?
Sleep in and drink coffee. Not at the same time.

What is your favourite place to get your news?
VICE News, right now anyway. It’s critical, investigative, international news. They do that really well.

The first book you loved?
The book adaptation of the Lion King. I read it a million times – sort of. I was too young to read, but I had memorized it from my mom reading it, so I would tell the story without reading the words on the page.

You’re 67 years old – what does your life look like?
Sixty seven? That’s so specific! I’m hopefully retired. Hanging out with my pets, two dogs, two cats.  Writing great Canadian fiction [she laughs]. Oh and Bill is there, [she laughs more].