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Call for volunteers to help serve students during spring semester

From: Student Affairs

During the spring semester, Student Affairs has a number of opportunities for staff and faculty throughout the university to assist in serving our students on campus. These volunteer positions will all follow strict public safety guidelines and help students through quarantine and isolation, as well as provide touchpoints for students who are in Blacksburg for the spring semester. In addition to these positions, Student Affairs and other university staff have been providing support to students in a variety of other positions, including the Tech Care Callers, who support off-campus students that have tested positive for COVID-19 and have informed the Dean of Students; Isolation Assistants, student staff that provide peer support to students in isolation and quarantine; and call center volunteers, who help to staff the university’s COVID-19 hotline.   

Welcome Desk Staff

As part of improvements made to the isolation and quarantine experience for students living on-campus, Housing and Residence Life will be operating welcome desks in New Hall West and East Eggleston. Volunteer staff at these desks will provide a warm welcome to students entering isolation or quarantine, help direct students to their room, and answer general questions students may have. They may also assist with taking a meal or package to a resident’s room or helping small group of students access the New Hall West courtyard for some fresh air.  

Volunteer staff at the welcome desks will be seated behind a plexiglass barrier and will be provided with gloves and a mask if needed. Volunteers will also be asked to sanitize touchpoints upon arrival and departure. 

The welcome desks will be open from 11 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. during the week. Volunteers are asked to sign up for a regular two-hour shift each week. Welcome desk volunteers will be required to do a one-hour training via Zoom or video recording. An initial training session will be Friday, Jan. 15 from 4-5pm.  

If you or your staff is looking for ways to be more present on campus, this is a great way to get involved.Please complete this form to express your interest and availability by Friday, Jan. 15, although volunteers will be accepted on a rolling basis until all desk shifts are covered. For questions, contact Sarah Stayer at stayersc@vt.edu.  

Pod Coaches

A pod coach is a Virginia Tech community member who is dedicated to working with a group of students who have registered to be a part of a pod for the Spring 2021 semester. The pod coach’s main goal is to engage students in their pod, connect them to university and community experiences and resources, and make sure the students feel supported for the spring semester. Pod coaches will meet virtually with students twice a month and attend a monthly pod coach meeting. The time commitment is approximately three hours a month.   

Please RSVP to attend an interest/orientation session. For questions, contact Ro Settle at resettle@vt.edu or Meghan Weyrens Kuhn at mweyrens@vt.edu

Student Advocate Team

Student Affairs is seeking student-centered employees to participate in a four-week membership as part of our Student Advocate Team. This team will provide virtual support to students who have been placed in quarantine and isolation housing during the spring semester. Employees serving as Student Advocates will not have direct contact with students. 

With the support of one’s home department and supervisor, advocates will work with a case load of approximately 25 students and serve as a single point of contact to students during a difficult time when they have little to no contact with anyone else. Advocates will check in with students daily and work with the Dean of Students Office and campus partners to address concerns and needs. 

The role requires a commitment of 20 hours a week (remotely or on-campus) for four weeks, including evenings and weekends with flexibility based on student needs. Student Affairs anticipates needing up to 25 employees to serve on this team; employees will be scheduled as needed depending on the volume of students in quarantine and isolation housing at any given time. 

Interested individuals should consult with their supervisor and then express interest to Martha Glass, assistant vice president for Student Affairs, at mglass@vt.edu.  

For those selected for this role, training will be offered in early January and support will be provided throughout the assignment.