University of Minnesota Duluth
Search | People | Departments

 Office of Civic Engagement

About OCE Students Faculty Community Organizations

As our office strives to support students in civic engagement, community-based learning, and volunteering, we want students to be aware of your role and responsibility in positively representing yourselves and your campus. The following list provides an overview of topics and issues that you should be familiar with and aware of. Please contact us with any questions regarding your time spent in community organizations.

Procedure
Most sites will have a volunteer sign-in sheet, either at a front desk location or, if you are at a school site, in the main office.  You will be asked to sign-in to record your hours and to wear your volunteer badge each time you volunteer.  By wearing your I.D. badge you will be recognized as a person whose specific purpose it is to volunteer at the site.  Please print-off and use the OCE Volunteer Hours Log sheet every time you volunteer for recording your hours. This is YOUR responsibility.

These volunteer hours are also used to recognize volunteers for their contributions of time and to evaluate the extent of volunteerism in our community.  Your hours spent volunteering will also show your commitment to our community and can be later used for application purposes.  If your site requires you to sign in please remember to do so each time you volunteer.

Please be prompt and dependable for your scheduled volunteer times.  There may be times when you are ill, on vacation, or unable to volunteer, however, please let the staff at your site know as far in advance as possible.  Remember, your supervisor will be expecting you on the days you are scheduled to volunteer.  Listen for site closures and cancellations on local radio or television stations in case of bad weather.

At some sites you may be working with children.  Most placement sites have detailed discipline plans, and the responsibility for discipline rests with the professional staff.  Please make sure the teacher/supervisor is aware of any discipline problem(s) that might arise.  You should not be expected to discipline children at a site.

Accepting Differences
Accept people as they are.  Be sensitive to differences in background, cultures, religions, values, vocabulary, aspirations, etc.

As you work with people at your sites, information of a confidential nature may be shared with you.  The problems, abilities, relationships, and confidences expressed should never be discussed with anyone who does not have a professional right or need to know.  Like teachers, volunteers are bound by a code of ethics to keep all matters confidential.

Please don’t share sensitive information about your volunteer work, the site you are at, or individuals at the site.  This includes any social networking site such as facebook.  This can lead to problems!

Mandatory Reporting
The close nature of volunteers and those that they are serving with sometimes allows for the sharing confidential information.  If a child discloses to you information that causes you to suspect physical/sexual abuse, please report it to your on site supervisor/social worker, or to the O.C.E. staff.

Dress and Behavior
Dress appropriately for the work you are doing.  Most sites will have a specific policy that you will be informed of when starting your service experience. Casual attire is fine in most cases but should always be neat and clean.  Keep in mind that you are serving in a diverse environment.  No hats are to be worn inside the schools.

Smoking, illegal chemicals, and alcohol are not permitted during your volunteer service time.  As a volunteer, you must also abide by this policy or you will be asked to discontinue your volunteer assignment.

The suggestions and opinions of volunteers are always welcome.  However, it is the professional staff that is held responsible for how a site is run and operated. For this reason, volunteers always work under the supervision of a paid staff person. These will often be your site supervisors.

Depending on the amount of hours you are volunteering there is the possibility that an evaluation will be completed by the site you have been volunteering with.  This evaluation typically helps instructors determine final grades.  Please keep this in mind in regards to the above issues, especially dependability. Further, please be aware that some sites may have many evaluations to complete, so get them in early if possible.

Student Handbook
The student volunteer handbook serves as a resource for students as they serve in the community. Use this to look up information about service-learning, civic engagement, and student expectations.


© 2014 University of Minnesota Duluth
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Last modified on 01/05/12 01:06 PM
University of Minnesota Campuses
Crookston | Duluth | Morris
Rochester | Twin Cities | Other Locations