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

House Calls is a program organized by Student Housing Services to check in with first-year students. Volunteers are asked to connect with students through Microsoft Teams to provide supports and referrals and talk about how the students are adjusting to University life.

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

What to expect as a House Calls volunteer

Volunteer House Callers will attend a training session on Nov. 16 to better understand the program and learn 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 list of first-year students is provided to each volunteer who then organizes Microsoft Teams calls to connect with students. Conversations take about 10 to 15 minutes each and volunteers should plan to spend four to five hours doing House Calls over the course of the week. Calls can be made any time during the day or evening in the week of Nov. 22 to 26.

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 those students.

How to get involved

Use the online registration form to volunteer as a House Caller. Volunteer registration is open until 9 a.m. on Nov. 8.

Why House Calls matters

The Student Housing Services team has received national recognition for its House Calls program and students have shown their gratitude for the sense of community the program builds. This innovative approach is one of the many ways U of G demonstrates its commitment to student well-being.

Last October, House Calls reached just over 30 per cent of our first-year students through the support of 181 staff and faculty volunteers.

“We’re 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,” says House Calls organizer Hayley McNamara.

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.

For more information, contact Hayley McNamara, Residence Programme Coordinator at hmcnamar@uoguelph.ca.

House Calls - Volunteers are needed to check in with first-year students from Nov. 22 to 26