‘Get Involved’ helps engage students in volunteer opportunities

Just one year since its introduction, the interactive “Get Involved” Web site has seen an impressive 76 volunteer opportunities posted by professors and staff, with more than 500 students submitting their interest. Opportunities for involvement have been wide-ranging, from TA Day program assistants and the Faculty of Health Standing Committee, to Science Explorations volunteers and the Career Centre Web site focus group.

The initiative allows professors and staff who are seeking student participation, input and consultation to quickly and easily post opportunities to an online database. Current, new and returning students are, in turn, able to input a personal profile at the site and search for the activities that best match their particular interests and areas of concern. There is even an option for students to be notified via e-mail when new opportunities that match their profile are posted. The overriding focus is to immerse students in University committees, forums and research groups while allowing them to steer change, contribute ideas, forge relationships and gain valuable leadership skills.

For third-year economics student Juliana Yi, the opportunity to volunteer on the Undergraduate Recruitment Council opened her eyes to new presentation and communication skills. “I gained a new perspective as well as the confidence to speak in a public forum,” she says about the experience.

"Get Involved" was developed as a result of a 2006 student representatives’ roundtable on student community development. The message received from this sample of York’s student leaders was clear: students want their voices heard on significant issues and want to be included in important decision-making opportunities.

For more information on how to make a difference and get involved, visit yorku.ca/getinvolved.