SSN Volunteer Program
Looking to get invovled with the Student Support Network to help your fellow Gryphons?
How do I Apply?
The SSN Volunteer Program application process was closed on Friday, February 16th at 4pm.
Are you a student who wants to:
- Provide support to students who are struggling
- Receive extensive training in active listening and communication skills
- Have the opportunity to work with a supportive and amazing group of dedicated students
- Make a difference in the University of Guelph student community
If so, the Student Support Network Volunteer Program may be the place for you.
What would my responsibilities be as a volunteer?
- To provide support, assistance, and referrals to drop-ins to the SSN while following the guidelines for peer counselling and acting within the training provided.
- To participate in all team meetings with the purpose of giving and receiving support, debriefing, and sharing information with fellow volunteers.
- To follow the policies of the SSN with regard to ethical and responsible handling of visitor concerns and queries, and respectful collegial relationships with co-volunteers.
- Set and work toward specific goals for personal development each semester.
- To help promote SSN services to the broader campus community.
What is the commitment?
All Student Support Network volunteers are required to commit to both the Fall and Winter semesters and complete a minimum of 150 hours (roughly 7 hours per week) made up of the following three mandatory components.
- Two full days (6.5 hours) during Orientation Week
- One half-day (4 hours) later in September
- Five additional half-days (4 hours) on Saturdays throughout the academic year
- One (1) four-hour or two (2) two-hour shifts in the Drop-in four out of five weeks.
- Four (4) hours of public relations work one out of five weeks.
- One (1) one-hour team meeting per week. Team meetings are mandatory.
What are you looking for in a volunteer?
- Sensitivity towards others
- Interest in supporting peers through listening
- Firm commitment to training, shift and meeting requirements.
- Flexible or fairly open schedules.
We seek to have a diverse team that is representative of our student population. We welcome applications from all students including commuting, graduate, transfer, international, part-time and mature students, from all identity backgrounds.
Do I need a ton of relevant experience?
Nope. Our volunteer team has previous experience ranging from camp counselling to tour guiding to coaching little league to retail to being the person their friends turn to when they need support. We are interested in candidates that show a genuine interest in listening to the stories and journeys of their peers and lending support when needed. We can teach you the rest.
Are you looking for students from particular academic programs?
Yes. All of them! We try hard to have a team made up of people from different academic programs so we can have a variety of perspectives on the student experience. Because of its direct relevance to careers such as counselling and social work, we do particularly attract students from Psychology and Family & Child Development programs. However, we have had volunteers majoring in French, History, English, Environmental Governance, Biomedical Science, Nutrition, Agriculture, Economics, Political Science, Philosophy…
Do I need to be a student in both the Fall 2016 & Winter 2017 semesters?
Yes. We believe this is an important foundation to the peer relationship upon which our service is built. You must be registered in at least 1.0 credits on campus each semester in order to be a volunteer.
Is there anyone you won’t consider?
Candidates with very limited scheduling availability and flexibility as it make it really difficult to schedule meetings and shifts. We also don’t want you to over-extend yourself.
If you would like to keep up to date on what we offer throughout the year, as well as the specific starting date of applications, like us on Facebook at Student Support Network or follow us on twitter @SSN_UoGuelph
Visit the University of Guelph's Mental Well-Being website for more information on Mental Wellness, including how to help a friend in need, and quick tips on dealing with feelings of anxiety, depression, stress, loneliness, relationship issues, and sleep issues. Also find other healthy living resources on campus and ways to get connected and involved in your campus community for overall mental health and wellbeing.