Volunteer Opportunities

An event like Alumni Weekend wouldn't be possible without help from wonderful volunteers. If you're interested in contributing your time and talent this year, we have many shifts available over the course of the weekend to suit a variety of schedules and capabilities.

Volunteer for the Young Alumni Advisory Committee

Are you a young alumnus looking to stay connected to the University?

The Office of Alumni Relations is looking fo members to join the Young Alumni Advisory Committee. This committee advocates for recent alumni while fostering a relationship between the Alumni Relations Office.  The committee also advises the Alumni Relations Office and assists with providing perspective on programs and communications tailored to their peers.

About the role

The USask Young Alumni Advisory Committee is open to all alumni from any USask college or program. Young alumni is defined as any alumni who graduated within the past ten years and are thirty-five years or younger in age.

Time commitment and schedule

A time commitment of two meetings per year is required. Each meeting will be scheduled on Tuesday evenings during 5:00 to 6:30 pm.

Meetings will be held on the following dates:

November 22nd, 2018

May 28th, 2019

Young Alumni Advisory Committee Terms of Rerference

This August 31, 2018, thousands of students from across the world will be moving into residences at the University of Saskatchewan, and we want you to part of the experience! Residence Services is looking for volunteer support to assist with residence move-in in 2018. Alumni volunteers can help in various roles designed to make the move-in process smooth, fun, and welcoming for our new students!

Benefits for you:

  • Be one of the first to welcome first-year students to their new home
  • Reduce the stress of move-in day by lending a helping hand
  • Be a part of the excitement that is the start of a new school year
  • Have a tangible impact on the residence community
  • Interact with students, staff and fellow volunteers
  • Receive a usask volunteer t-shirt and show your pride

Skills/Experience

  • Preference given to usask alumni. No previous experience required – training will be provided on site to all roles.

Key responsibilities

These are the roles that need to be filled in order to have a successful move-in day:

  • Greeter at Marquis Hall – you are cheery and welcoming
  • Luggage Station at Marquis Hall – you are organized and can keep an eye on things
  • Move-in assistance at Residences – you are welcoming and helpful
  • Parking Monitors at Residence – you will be helpful and keep things moving
  • As Needed/Floater – you are willing to be flexible and help where needed

Time

  • Shift one: 8:45 AM – 11 AM
  • Shift two: 11 AM – 1:30 PM
  • Shift three: 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Location:

Marquis Hall, University of Saskatchewan

College Quarter Residence, University of Saskatchewan

Voyageur Place, University of Saskatchewan

Seager Wheeler Hall, McEown Park, University of Saskatchewan

About the START Advisory Committee

As a member of the START Advisory Committee, you will have the opportunity to provide feedback and input on the Alumni Relations Office activities and initiatives that relate to and impact students. By volunteering your time, you are given the opportunity to acquire and sharpen leadership and communication skills while making professional and personal contacts. Current undergraduate students or graduate students are eligible to apply.

Time commitment and schedule

A time commitment of attending two meetings within the academic year is required. Each meeting will be scheduled on Tuesday afternoons at 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm.

Meetings will be held on September 18th, 2018 and February 5th, 2019.

START Advisory Committee Incentives:

  • Leadership Skills - We help you develop skills to add value to your post-secondary experience that you can take with you into your chosen career.
  • References -  Letters of reference will be written for any START member that requests a reference from the Program Specialist, Student and Young Alumni. Please note that you must sit on the committee for a minimum of one term before requesting a reference or reference letter.
  • Professional Development - Professional Development opportunities will be provided throughout the year. These include: headshots, resume help, volunteer workshops and more. There will also be an opportunity to build relationships with university leaders, staff, alumni and friends of the U of S while providing student insight. 
  • Co-Curricular Record (CCR) - members will recieve the official U of S document that demonstrates your involvement in this leadership role as a START advisory committee member.

CCR

Edwards School of Business Centennial Weekend is looking for alumni volunteers to make the celebrations a success.

Volunteer opportunities are available for various roles between August 15, 2018 and September 22, 2018.

Alumni Volunteer Stories

Jamie Neufeld (BSc’13) graduated from the College of Arts & Science and is continuing studies at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Jamie’s volunteer experience includes spending summer 2016 in Uganda with Veterinarians Without Borders. She also volunteers locally with the Global Gathering Place in Saskatoon.

What specifically attracted you to volunteering?

When I was younger, I volunteered more out of a sense of obligation.  Now it’s about reciprocating the experiences others have given me, and paying it forward into projects that I am passionate about.

What was your first volunteer experience? What keeps you motivated to continue to volunteer?

I participated in a program with the Saskatoon Pony Club that taught inner-city children how to handle and ride horses.  Working with kids who were thrilled just to touch a horse, let alone ride a horse, awoke me to my privilege as a young person. While we fussed about which classes to enter in the upcoming horseshow, many program attendees had shoes that were too small and were caretakers for younger siblings.  It was a reality check at a young age, and I am thankful that my coach, the late Elaine Partington, was passionate about providing this opportunity for all involved.

What types of relationships and learning experience have you taken away from volunteering?

I have made friendships with people who continue to inspire and teach me.  In Africa, for example, I connected with the local people – Frazia, a woman raising four children of her own and three more who’d been abandoned; Vivian, translator with a heart of gold and so much love to give; Ronald, a ten-year-old who dreamed of attending public school and eventually becoming a schoolteacher–all passionate and positive, without judgement or pretense.

What is your proudest moment/accomplishment from your volunteering experience?

I had the opportunity to intern with Veterinarians Without Borders and spent the summer of 2016 working on the goat pass-on project in Uganda. The project was established in 2006, so we conducted a ten-year anniversary household impact survey to analyze project strengths and shortcomings. I interviewed over fifty women and was thanked for being part of a project that improved familial childhood; children could go to school, families could eat more than one meal a day, girls could afford menstrual products and have the same opportunities as boys, and communities were able to purchase water tanks and taps and a better standard of living had been achieved by many. Experiencing the impact that a collective of individuals has made over the last ten years was an outstanding part of any of my volunteer experiences.

What is your vision for the future of volunteering? How do you aim to inspire others to get involved?

In our connected world, any and all information is available at our fingertips; we don’t have many excuses to remain ill-informed or blissfully ignorant.  However, it’s easy to remain disconnected from matters that we don’t see or directly affect us.  Volunteering and involvement should be self-motivated, but sharing my experiences and encouraging others to pursue an interest or passion of their own might be the first step.

Dr. Charles Simpson (MD’71) is a Saskatoon-based obstetrician and gynecologist. Retired from clinical practice, he continues to teach as a clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the College of Medicine.

Read more about Simpson's story in the latest Green & White magazine

Sharla Daviduik (BSc’95) is the manager of the administrative support group in the College of Arts & Science at the U of S. Sharla volunteers with the Saskatoon Open Door Society and Girl Guides of Canada as a leader of the 58th Saskatoon Brownie unit. 

What specifically attracted you to volunteering?

I was looking for an “extracurricular” activity and for ways to become more involved in my community.  Girl Guides of Canada had a table on campus at the U of S during National Volunteer Week in 2002 and I put my name down on a whim. They called me back and now I’m still involved in the organization 15 years later.

What keeps you motivated to continue to volunteer?

Volunteering is a way to put my values into action.  I now see the role I have with Girl Guides as a way to provide a space for girls to build up their confidence and to realize how capable they are. Secondly, I find volunteering to be incredibly rewarding -- it’s an opportunity for me to make a positive impact in the community and to improve my own skills.  Finally, I have a lot of fun with my Brownies and I have learned so much about different cultures from the people who attend the Conversation Circles at the Saskatoon Open Door Society.

What types of relationships and learning experience have you taken away from volunteering?

I have made some of my best friends through Girl Guides. I’ve learned a lot about leadership. I think I learned more about leadership from Girl Guides than anywhere else and I am using these leadership skills in my current job.  Volunteering at the Open Door Society has allowed me to learn about other cultures and countries, and has really made me think hard about how to explain the idiosyncrasies of the English language.

What is your vision for the future of volunteering?

I think that volunteering is going to become even more important than it is now, given some of the trends we are seeing in the world.  I became involved with the Open Door Society because I wanted to help refugees from Syria who were coming to Saskatoon.  If people are looking for a way to help, volunteering is a very positive way to do so.

How do you aim to inspire others to get involved?

I think all volunteers can do to get others involved is to lead by example, and to be welcoming and inclusive when others want to be involved.  For example, if we only need four parents to help us at Brownies, and eight volunteer, they are all welcome.  

Michael Negraeff (MD’92) is a pain medicine specialist living in Vancouver, BC. He is the founder of the Pain BC society, a non-for-profit organization that serves people living with pain and the healthcare professionals that treat them. He recently stepped down as Pain BC’s chair of the board of directors, a role he held for six years.

What specifically attracted you to volunteering?

At the time, I wasn’t thinking “what can I volunteer for?”  I was thinking, “we need much better pain management services in BC.” After I finished my training (I was in an accident during my training and have a spinal cord injury), I decided that working in the operating room was going to be a bit too challenging from a wheelchair and did a fellowship in pain medicine in Sydney, Australia.  When I came back to Vancouver I started working in Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) taking care of complex pain problems in the hospital and it eventually led to outpatient work.  But we had no capacity in the pain clinics. 

So, I didn’t seek out volunteering; volunteering found me as the best vehicle to achieve our purposes. It was important because as a society, and as volunteers, we were free to say what we wanted and felt was right to send the message.

What keeps you motivated to continue volunteering?

What I really like about it is that you are free to get as engaged as you want. You are free to work in the direction you want. You are not beholden to anyone other than the mission of the organization, which you are really happy to push forward.

The other thing I really like is all the other people you meet. Volunteering changed me, because I began to see through other peoples’ lenses.

I was also very inspired by the others that were volunteering. They had severe pain, and had nothing else much to give besides their time and energy.  Why?  Our message and mission resonated with them.  Volunteering is contagious. When you look at the others that are volunteering, and for nothing to gain but to feel a part of something, it is very inspiring and urges you to keep on going.

What’s your proudest moment/accomplishment from your volunteering experience?

The single proudest I have felt of the organization was when we successfully got the first grant from the Ministry of Health in 2013.  Things were very dire for us financially.  Morale was low, but nobody quit. We tightened the belt and pressed on with various funding source options.  Right when things were darkest, we successfully landed the grant. It changed everything. All kinds of initiatives got off the ground after that and momentum has continued to build. I was really proud of the team that kept coming up with ideas.

Joan Wilson (BEd’97) has been a resident of Saltcoats, SK for 37 years. A former teacher, she has volunteered with several organizations such as the Godfrey Dean Gallery in Yorkton, the Yellowhead Flyway Birding Trail Association, the Town of Saltcoats and the Saltcoats Curling Club. Joan was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and a Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal in 2013.

What specifically attracted you to volunteering?

As a young girl, my mother helped in our small community of Madison, SK. I realized that if something needed to be done, the best way was to get involved and help make it happen.  When my husband and I settled in Saltcoats, I took on roles in various organizations and soon I was involved in numerous things from town council, to home care to the art gallery, and more.

What keeps you motivated to continue to volunteer?    

There are ongoing activities that I am involved with that continue to need support.  In a small town, whoever does a job gets to keep it until they really can’t do it anymore!  I am motivated because I still care about the things I am involved with.  These include our curling club and our great little town.

What types of relationships and learning experience have you taken away from volunteering?   

There are bonds formed with the people in the organizations you work with, you get to know different people through volunteering, and I am inspired by other volunteers in our community.  I want to support other volunteers and our town.  The volunteer experience has given me leadership and organizational skills, supported by my other life as a woman and a former teacher! 

What is your proudest moment/accomplishment from your volunteering experience?

 I am proud that many of our students have become part of the Yorkton Regional High School curling teams because they have been part of our junior curling program, and I like to think I helped bring that about, including (professional curler) Steve Laycock (BComm’07), but he has his own special talent!   I am proud that we have conserved a small bit of native prairie in our regional park. This is especially important to me as any little vestige of prairie needs to be protected as it can so easily and thoughtlessly be destroyed.   

How do you aim to inspire others to get involved? 

Create a buzz around a new project and hopefully generate interest so volunteers will come out to help, keep things fun, give encouragement and show appreciation for help received, and give acknowledgement to volunteers.  Personal contact, asking someone to help by calling them, or messaging them is helpful.  Give a clear picture of what is expected or needed so volunteers have a better idea of what they are getting themselves into.  Brainstorm for ideas and to create an” investment” in the next project.  Through involvement, hopefully others will be inspired to become involved.

Nicole Sarauer (JD'09) is the MLA for Regina Douglas Park. She has served as a volunteer with the Regina Sexual Assault Centre; a board member for Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers; a board member of Regina’s chapter of Amnesty International; and a volunteer and board member with the YWCA Big Sisters program.

What specifically attracted you to volunteering?

First, to give back and get more involved in my community.  I strongly believe that a life of service to others is a life worth living.  A life spent serving yourself can get dull quite quickly.  Second, to meet new people.  I have had the opportunity, through volunteering, of getting to know some of the most inspiring and incredible people.  They have been both mentors and friends to me.

What was your first volunteer experience?

My volunteering really took shape at the beginning of university; it started with the 24-hour sexual assault hotline through what is now called the Regina Sexual Assault Centre.  That was an eye-opening and humbling experience for me.  I learned about the structural barriers that many face in our society, as well as problems with accessing the justice system.

What keeps you motivated to continue volunteering?

I keep motivated to volunteer through the feeling of helping others and being a positive contact in someone’s life, even if I can’t solve all of their problems. I know it’s trite to say that I feel some days that I get more out of volunteering than I give, but the statement rings true.

What types of relationships and learning experiences have you taken away from volunteering?

I’ve met incredibly passionate people, all of whom I look up to and many of whom I call friends.

I’ve learned about the barriers and injustice that exist in our own community, many of which people often overlook or are invisible to those who are more fortunate.  I’ve learned that you can never tell what the person next to you is dealing with in their lives.  I’ve learned that the most rewarding experiences in life come from helping to make positive changes, however small, in the lives of others.

What is your proudest moment/accomplishment from your volunteering experience?

Whether it was on the 24-hour sexual assault line or, more recently, working at the Free Legal Clinic through Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan, I am honoured that people give me the opportunity to be let into their lives.  I think that is very difficult to do when you have felt rejected or ignored by society.

What is your vision for the future of volunteering? How do you aim to inspire others to get involved?

My hope is that others learn about the issues of inequality in their own neighbourhoods and realize that anyone can make an impact.

Resources and Tools

We are committed to supporting our Alumni Volunteers with the resources, recruitment tools and information necessary to successfully carry out your role.

Volunteer opportunities are within universities, not‐for‐profit organizations and/or foundations are roles that do not replace the role of a paid staff member. These roles provide support to programs and services. 

Volunteer engagement practices are guided by the Canadian Code of Volunteer Involvement, a set of 14 standards developed to support and enhance engagement within organizations while also protecting volunteers and the organization during the volunteer’s term of involvement.

Volunteering is a two-way relationship—it provides you with the opportunity to contribute to addressing an identified need while gaining valuable skills and exploring various interests, but also assists in delivering programs.

  • The Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement (CCVI) is a framework for involving volunteers in all levels of an organization. 
  • The Guide for Cultural Competency Application of the Canadian Code is designed to assist managers of volunteers to incorporate a Cultural Competence perspective in their application of the Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement. It re-frames the Code as a tool to increase the accessibility and inclusiveness of volunteer programs, which in turn, will lead to diverse and stronger organizations that are responsive to Newcomers and the community at large.
  • National Occupational Standards for Managers of Volunteer Resource was published by the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector in 2012. This document provides an occupational framework for managers of volunteer resources, including skills and competencies required for the occupation, guidelines for responsibilities and performance evaluation, and suggestions for professional development.
  • Volunteer Screening Handbook is a joint Volunteer Canada and Public Safety Canada publication that provides tools and resources to better match people and organizations, improve the safety and quality of programs in communities, and reduce risks and liability within volunteer organizations.
  • A Matter of Design: Volunteer Job Design Theory provides a theoretical and practical overview of effective volunteer position design.
  • Understanding the Landscape/Trends/ Research – link to Bridging the Gap and Building the Bridge
  • A Guide to Volunteer Program Management Resources is a helpful starting point when developing your volunteer management library. This Volunteer Canada publication lists the top volunteer print and electronic resources, in addition to periodicals of interest.
  • Volunteer Risk Management
    • 10 Steps of Screening  and The Screening Handbook
  • Forms, Templates and Sample Documents
    • Volunteer Planning and Recruitment
      • Volunteer Position Description Template
      • Core Competencies & Skills Listing for Position Descriptions
    • Volunteer Orientation & Training
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    • On-Site Volunteer Management at Events
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    • Volunteer Recognition
      • Thank you Letter Template
    • Risk Management Templates
      • Event Safety Risk Plan Template
      • Incident and Accident Report

Why volunteer?

Our alumni volunteers are the unsung heroes of many events at the University of Saskatchewan and beyond.  Volunteering is in Saskatchewan's DNA, as 58 per cent of adults aged 15 and over volunteered their time in 2013. Thanks to our alumni who are continuously generous with their time and energy, this essential part of our DNA was on full display in 2017 at the Volunteer Summit, Alumni Weekend, Graduation Powwow and Orientation. The spirit of our volunteers help to make events at the U of S even more memorable and fun!

Volunteers build resilient communities. More than half of Canada’s 161,000 non-profit and charitable organizations have no paid staff and rely solely on volunteers. 12.7 million volunteers contribute close to 2 billion hours annually. Imagine how different your community would be without the support of volunteers. The important efforts of these volunteers improve quality of life for others. They also gain valuable experience and develop new skills. Additionally, studies show that involved Canadians enjoy an improved overall health. It's also a great way to meet new people and reconnect with your alma mater.

Contact us

Interested in volunteering? Let us know!

Contact:

Alumni Relations Volunteer Engagement Specialist
alumni.volunteer@usask.ca
(306) 966- 1317