Student Volunteers FAQ
- Who is eligible to be a student volunteer?
- What does a student volunteer do?
- What is a Lead Student Volunteer?
- What does a SCinet student volunteer do?
- How do I apply to be a student volunteer?
- When do student volunteers need to be at the conference?
- Do I have to stay in the hotel booked by the conference?
- What expenses are covered by the conference?
- Are meals provided?
- Where can I get travel funding externally?
- How can I apply for a travel grant from the conference?
- What is the dress code for student volunteers?
Who is eligible to be a student volunteer?
To be a student volunteer in the Students@SC program, you must be enrolled as a student at the time of the conference. High school, undergraduate, and graduate students are all eligible, but you must be 18 years old on the date you arrive at the conference. Students of all majors are welcome, and students in non-computing majors are particularly encouraged to apply.
What does a student volunteer do?
Regular student volunteers are given specific tasks and take on a variety of roles on-site. Tasks include but are not limited to:
- Tracking and reporting session attendance
- Distributing print materials
- Assisting speakers by passing microphones for Q&A and requesting help with A/V issues
- Supporting the Information Booths
- Directing traffic during large events
- Office support for the SC Committee
What is a Lead Student Volunteer?
Students who have prior experience with the Student Volunteers program can apply to be Lead Student Volunteers. These students lead and mentor other student volunteers in various areas of the conference, such as the Workshops and Information Booths. Lead Student Volunteers act as liaisons between the SC Committee and other student volunteers. This is an excellent opportunity to strengthen your leadership skills and shows well on your CV when you apply for internships or professional positions.
What does a SCinet student volunteer do?
SCinet is the SC Conference’s dedicated high-capacity network infrastructure, designed and built by volunteer experts from industry, academia, and government. If you have computer networking experience and want to help SCinet, you can apply to be a SCinet student volunteer. This is an excellent way to increase your understanding of high-speed networks and shows well on your CV when you apply for internships or professional positions.
How do I apply to be a student volunteer?
All Student Volunteer applicants complete the same application on the SC submissions website, regardless of the role they are applying for.
When do student volunteers need to be at the conference?
Regular student volunteers must arrive at the convention center in time to attend orientation and jacket pick-up, at 3 pm on Saturday, November 16. Plan to allow yourself ample time to check into your hotel room or drop off your bags upon arrival in the city before heading to the convention center.
Student volunteers are expected to attend during the dates listed below. There are some volunteer shifts on Friday morning; please do not expect to leave early. Hotel costs will be covered for the dates below.
Regular Student Volunteers
- Traveling from within North America: check in on Saturday, November 16 and check out on Friday, November 22
- Traveling from outside of North America: check in on Friday, November 15 and check out on Friday, November 22
Lead Student Volunteers
- Traveling from anywhere: check in on Friday, November 15 and check out on Saturday, November 23
SCinet Student Volunteers
- Traveling from anywhere: check in on Sunday, November 10 and check out on Saturday, November 23
Do I have to stay in the hotel booked by the conference?
Yes. These rooms are booked by the conference to ensure student volunteers have quick and easy access to the convention center to work their shifts. Even if you are local to the area, you still need to stay in your reserved hotel room.
What expenses are covered by the conference?
Expenses covered by the conference:
- Housing – all student volunteers are provided with a hotel room, shared with another student volunteer.
- Student Volunteer jacket
Expenses NOT covered by the conference:
- Per diem
- Conference registration – all student volunteers pay a discounted registration fee of $150
We encourage students to seek funding from their home institution or organization for per diem expenses (meals and incidentals), conference registration, and travel costs.
The conference offers a limited number of travel grants to accepted student volunteers.
Are meals provided?
Overall, students are responsible for their own meals during the conference. Several events do provide food:
- Saturday night, Students@SC event
- Monday night, Grand Opening Gala Reception
- Wednesday night, Dinner with Interesting People (if registered)
- Thursday night, Technical Program Reception
Students have access to conference coffee and snack breaks, which take place halfway through the morning and afternoon sessions. Breakfast is provided for SCinet student volunteers; all other student volunteers provide their own breakfast.
Vendor events and booths occasionally provide food.
Where can I get travel funding externally?
SC provides a limited number of travel grants to students. Students can request a travel grant in their application. In the case that additional funding is available, additional travel grants may be offered in the late summer.
Depending on your school, there may be a variety of places to request funding for travel related to your studies. Many schools do not publicize the availability of these funds, so you’ll need to ask. Prepare your ideas in advance in order to make a favorable impression.
Whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, you likely have an advisor. This person may or may not be able to directly support your travel to SC; but even if they can’t help you directly, they may give you some good ideas about who can!
Your Department Head
Most departments set aside money specifically for student travel. If you tell them you’ve applied to the Student Volunteers program at SC and explain what you expect to gain from this experience, they may support you.
The dean’s office also typically has discretionary funds for student travel. Don’t be shy – deans love to see students, especially those who are active in their research communities. You will make their day by going to see them!
Student Associations or Other Student Groups
These organizations may have funds available to students for conference travel. Keep in mind that these organizations sometimes only meet monthly, so contact them early to get information on procedures and timeframes for requesting funds.
Vice President or Chancellor for Research
Call this office and explain that you’re a student seeking conference travel funds. You will be directed to the right person to talk to in the office.
College Research Dean and College Education Dean
Call the office main number and explain that you’re a student seeking conference travel funds. You will likely be directed to the right person to talk to in the office. You may need to schedule an appointment to see the dean. If this is the case, have a short speech prepared so you can make your case succinctly and effectively. These people are busy!
Just because you’re an undergrad doesn’t mean you can’t request funds from the grad school. You may be a future grad student! The grad school does have funds to support student activities such as conference travel. Call the main office number to determine who you should speak with about your request.
ACM Student Research Competition
Students who have posters accepted to the ACM Student Research Competition can be reimbursed for partial expenses after the conference with the proper documentation.
SIGHPC Travel Grants
SIGHPC offers travel grants to help undergraduate and graduate students attend the SC Conference. These grants are reimbursed after the conference.
Who’s eligible: Students at the undergraduate or early graduate levels, enrolled in an accredited university in any country, who are members of SIGHPC. Applicants are expected to explain why they will benefit from attending the conference.
ACM-W provides support for undergraduate and graduate student women in computer science and related programs to attend research conferences. This exposure to the computer science research world can encourage a student to continue on to the next level. The student is not required to be a presenter at the conference or a member of ACM. These scholarships are reimbursed after the conference.
How can I apply for a travel grant from the conference?
There are two rounds of travel grant funding from SC. The first round is part of the application process, when you fill out your STFC form. Students who receive funding at this stage must make their travel arrangements through the SC travel agency. Information about the second round of funding is sent out to accepted student volunteers in late summer. Recipients of this funding are reimbursed for their airfare during the conference.
What is the dress code for student volunteers?
Student volunteers are expected to dress appropriately for the conference. Dress in clean, business casual or casual clothing while performing volunteer duties – lightweight, comfortable clothes and shoes (appropriate T-shirts, polo shirts, sweaters, jeans, trousers, skirts, dresses). Many conference attendees dress casually during the conference and during most events; business attire is not expected or required. Please make sure all clothes provide coverage appropriate for a professional event.
The Students@SC program includes a Job Fair and two evening events: the Grand Opening Gala Reception and the Technical Program Reception. Students may choose to bring more formal attire for these events.
Please remember that this is a professional conference. If you are not sure if something is appropriate or could be considered offensive, please ask.