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.


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].


LSPIRG is pleased to reveal it's revitalized logo and brand!

LSPIRG is pleased to reveal it's revitalized logo and brand!

Anyone who has worked in student groups, or non-profits more generally will understand the trials on internal history of an organization. "The way it's always been done" is the nail on a chalkboard to anyone starting in an organization looking for answers of substance. That being said, the past of an organization is often where the roots, the heart of that group's purpose can be found. 

On May 1, 2014, LSPIRG began a new chapter of recognizing internal history, exploring the successes of it, and growing from lessons on the past. If you don't already know, the Executive Director and student intern positions were amalgamated and reorganized into two new staff positions,  the Administration and Development Director and the Communication and Community Director, both of which will oversee volunteer teams. 

This switch is intended to better serve the campus and community membership, to grow as a recognized source of research and to better fund enriching experiences that influence social change. 

What does this mean for you? New initiatives will trickle onto campus including a rebrand and media campaign. A partnership with CCRLA will spark more diverse, high level research opportunities for students. We'll begin to work with partners on the Brantford campus. We have hopes that while LSPIRG's presence in both campuses and communities will grow and develop but we'll be making small movements toward this; funding the projects of students looking to better their experience, encouraging social engagement, or simply cultivating some community. 

These small steps are the make up of LSPIRG's history at Laurier; it's what we're rooted in. Grassrooted.