SSN Volunteer Program

Volunteering with the Student Support Network (SSN)

If you are a student who wants to support students who are struggling, receive extensive training in active listening and communication skills and make a difference within the University of Guelph community, SSN might be right for you!

The Student Support Network is comprised of a group of trained students who provide anonymous support, assistance, and referrals to drop-ins while following the guidelines for peer counselling. All volunteers are required to commit to both the Fall and Winter semesters and complete a minimum of 150 hours (roughly 7 hours per week).

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.

FAQs

The SSN Volunteer Program application process is currently closed. Please check back to learn when applications re-open.

  • 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.

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.

Training

  • Two full days (6.5 hours) during Orientation Week, September 3rd and 4th
  • One half-day (4 hours) later in September
  • Five additional half-days (4 hours) on Saturdays throughout the academic year

Shifts

  • 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.

Team Meetings

  • One (1) one-hour team meeting per week. Team meetings are mandatory.
  • Patience
  • Self-awareness
  • 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.

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.

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…

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.

Volunteering in the SSN program can be done for 0.5 or 1.0 credit in HUMN 3190 and/or 4190. Details will be provided if you are invited to interview for a position.

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.