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SIUE Volunteer Policy - 5F7

  1. Purpose

    Southern Illinois University Edwardsville utilizes volunteer support in various ways to accomplish its mission and goals and provide valuable educational experiences. This policy is designed to define relationships, clarify responsibilities, reduce volunteer risk, and protect the interests of the University, its volunteers, and the community it serves. This policy does not cover individuals who volunteer to serve as human subjects as part of any University research protocol.
  2. Definitions

    1. Volunteer: A volunteer is an uncompensated individual who is authorized by a University department or unit to perform services directly related to the business of the University, support the activities of the University, or gain experience in specific endeavors. By definition, volunteers perform services without promise, expectation, or receipt of any compensation, class credit, future employment, or any other tangible benefit. Volunteers are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act and are not considered employees for any purpose. Volunteers are not eligible for employee benefits of any type, including but not limited to Workers' Compensation coverage. Volunteers are not provided medical or accident insurance and injuries and/or property damage sustained in the course of volunteering are not covered by the University. Volunteers serve at the pleasure of the University and a volunteer assignment may be terminated at any time without notice of cause and at the sole discretion of the University.
    2. Volunteer supervisor: A volunteer supervisor is a University employee, not including student workers, who is responsible for and in charge of the volunteer.
  3. Volunteer Eligibility

    Any individual who meets the following eligibility requirements and restrictions may serve as a University volunteer:

    1. A volunteer must have adequate experience, qualifications, and training for the task(s) he/she will be asked to perform.
    2. Current University employees may not serve as volunteers in any capacity in which they are currently employed at the University or which is essentially similar to or related to the individual's regular work at the University.
    3. Volunteers should not be used to replace existing status positions.
    4. Volunteers generally must be at least eighteen (18) years of age. A volunteer who is under the age of eighteen (18) may serve as a volunteer if parental consent for the specific volunteer activities has been obtained prior to the beginning of the volunteer activities. The Volunteer Supervisor shall obtain the appropriate completed Parental Consent form for minor volunteers.
    5. All volunteer services shall be in accordance with any federal or state requirements or restrictions, including but not limited to restrictions related to immigration status or applications.

  4. Responsibilities

    1. University Responsibility. The University has a duty to exercise reasonable care in protecting its volunteers from foreseeable harm. The University recognizes its responsibility to comply with all applicable federal and state statutes and University policies.

    2. Departmental Responsibility. When engaging a volunteer, it is the Department's responsibility to ensure the services being provided are for and directly related to the business of the University. The Department shall be responsible for ensuring completion and maintenance of all signed volunteer forms. These forms shall be kept on file in the department for no less than three (3) years from completion of service.

    3. Volunteer Supervisor Responsibilities. The volunteer supervisor is responsible for exercising reasonable care in planning and implementing the experience and enforcing compliance with University policies and procedures. The volunteer supervisor is responsible for the direct day-to-day management and guidance of the volunteer and must be available for consultation and assistance. The volunteer supervisor's responsibilities include, but are not limited to, proper screening of qualifications for the volunteer position; orientation; training; ensuring that volunteers understand their duties, rights, and responsibilities; maintaining documentation of the screening, orientation, training and information provided to volunteers regarding their rights; maintaining complete records of dates of service, duties performed, and evaluation of services; obtaining required approvals; and securing volunteer forms when required under this Policy.

    4. Volunteer Responsibilities. Volunteers shall abide by applicable federal and state statutes and all University policies and procedures, including but not limited to laws, policies, and procedures regarding ethical behavior, confidentiality, financial responsibility, non-discrimination, sexual harassment and assault, and drugs and alcohol. A volunteer shall establish proof of identity and citizenship, permanent residency or current visa status. Volunteer status may not be used as a way to avoid or defer compliance with the employment eligibility requirements of federal immigration laws. Generally, volunteers will be required to sign a Volunteer Service Agreement and a Waiver of Liability form prior to performing services. Current versions of the Volunteer Agreement and adult and minor Waiver of Liability forms may be found at: A volunteer may end his/her service at any time and without advance notice.

  5. Volunteer Services Agreements

    1. Activities not requiring a volunteer services agreement. The University generally considers the following activities as low-risk activities and thus does not require a completed volunteer agreement or waiver form. However, a volunteer supervisor may require a form be completed for these activities:

      1. Commencement volunteer;
      2. Public speaking, such as classroom guest presentations;
      3. Career Services presentations, career fairs and/or interviews;
      4. Professional mentors for curricular and co-curricular activities;
      5. Service on University related advisory boards, alumni councils or related groups;
      6. Assisting at student Welcoming Events;
      7. Assisting at fairs or other special events, such as distributing flyers or materials;
      8. Licensed professional volunteers working at health care co-curricular events officially sanctioned by the respective professional school(s), and approved by the Dean or designee.
    2. Activities requiring a volunteer service agreement. A Volunteer Service Agreement and waiver form is required for volunteers performing any of the following activities unless this requirement is waived by the Chancellor or designee:

      1. Laboratory activities;
      2. Library activities;
      3. Professional services, such as those performed by accountants, architects, doctors, engineers, etc., except as exempted in Section A(8) above;
      4. Services involving travel of any kind;
      5. Services with minors, where parents/guardians are not present; 
      6. Services with animals;
      7. Service as a standardized or mock patient/client;
      8. Services related to research projects, except those going through the IRB process;
      9. Services with confidential information;
      10. Activities in any environment which requires orientation or training;
      11. Any other volunteer activity that is not specifically listed in Section V(A) above.
    3. Prohibited Volunteer Activities: The following activities may not be performed by volunteers without the express written permission of the Chancellor or designee and may require a special agreement form:

      1. Services involving hazardous material or areas;
      2. Operating heavy equipment;
      3. Any activity considered inappropriate for an employee;
      4. Working with or having access to any export-controlled materials;
      5. Entering into any contract on behalf of the University.

  6. Special Considerations Involving Minors

    When volunteer services involve contact with children (where parents/guardians are not present), the volunteer supervisor shall ensure that prior to serving, such volunteers shall have passed all necessary background investigations and drug tests (if applicable), which should be conducted through the Office of Human Resources, unless other arrangements for such investigations and/or tests have been agreed upon with such office. If a volunteer is an individual under eighteen years of age, special consideration shall be given to the types of assignments and supervision of that volunteer. Appropriate parental consent forms shall be obtained prior to an individual under eighteen (18) years of age engaging in any volunteer activities at the University.

Acknowledgement: Portions of this Policy were taken from the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Volunteer Policy.

Approved by Chancellor effective 4/12/17
This policy was issued on April 27, 2017.
Document Reference: 5F7
Origin: OC 4/12/17

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