Faculty and Staff: Volunteer for House Calls to Support our Students

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House Calls is a program organized by Student Housing Services to check-in with first-year students. Volunteers connect with students to provide supports and referrals and talk with them about upcoming exams, summer plans and how they can stay connected to the University of Guelph next year.House Calls are Back March 22 to 26

Faculty and staff volunteers are needed for the Winter 2021 edition of House Calls, which runs March 22 to 26. Register today!

What to expect as a House Calls volunteer

Volunteer House Callers attend a training session to better understand the program and how to successfully support the students they reach.

Volunteers receive a list of guiding questions to ask each student, along with answers to questions they are most likely to receive and forms to track student connections. A member of the organizing team will be available throughout the program to provide timely support to volunteers. If questions or concerns come up that volunteers can’t answer, professional staff in Student Housing will follow up with students during the call or shortly after.

A list of first-year students is provided to each volunteer who then organizes individual Microsoft Teams calls to connect with students. Conversations take about 10 to 15 minutes each. House Callers should plan for about five hours of volunteer time over the course of the week. Calls can be made any time during the day or evening the week of March 22 to 26.

How to get involved

Use the online registration form to volunteer as a House Caller. Volunteer registration is open until 9 a.m. on March 5.

Why House Calls matters

The Student Housing Services team has received national recognition for its House Calls program, which usually involves University staff and faculty going door-to-door to check on new residence students. With far fewer students on campus this year, the House Calls delivery model has changed, but U of G’s commitment to our students remains as strong as ever.

In October, House Calls reached almost 30 per cent of our first-year students through the support of 150 staff and faculty volunteers.

Organizers are asking all faculty and staff to consider sharing a bit of their time, to show students that we care about their well-being and their success at U of G.

This experience can be impactful and rewarding for volunteers as well, providing an opportunity to get to know our students outside of the classroom or work environment. As one caller from last semester noted, “This was a great experience for me as the students who I was able to connect with were really amazing and appreciative (Go, Gryphons)!”

For more information, contact Pat Kelly, Associate Director (Residence Life) at pkelly03@uoguelph.ca.