8.1.8 Non-Employee/Student Volunteer Policy

8.1.8

Non-Employee/Student Volunteer Policy

Last Update Approved: April 30, 2014

Edited/Revised: July 8, 2015

Revised Effective: August 7, 2015

Purpose:

This policy will define the guidelines under which a qualified individual may provide volunteer services that support and enhance the mission of Middle Georgia State University without risk or cost to the University.

Definition:

A “University Volunteer” is defined as any uncompensated individual who voluntarily offers services to support specific programs of the University which may benefit from the individual’s knowledge, training, and expertise.  The individual must be willing to provide such services according to the provisions of this policy and without expectation of compensation or benefit from the University.  If the services provided  pose risk of injury/damage to the volunteer’s person or property, the volunteer will assume such risk without seeking recourse from the University, the University System of Georgia, or the Board of Regents.

Policy:

University volunteers are expected to abide by all University policies, procedures and regulations, including but not limited to, those relating to ethical behavior, safety, confidentiality, protected health and student information, computer use, financial responsibility, and alcohol/drug use.  The volunteer will be subject to all such policies during the provision of volunteer services whether on or off the campuses of Middle Georgia State University.

University volunteers are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act minimum wage, overtime and record keeping requirements and are not considered University employees for any purpose.  Therefore, University volunteers are not eligible for compensation or any University benefit as a result of their volunteer association with the University.

Eligibility:

Any individual over the age of 18 may serve as a University volunteer with the following restrictions:

  • The individual must possess adequate experience, training, and expertise to perform the task(s) he/she will perform as a University volunteer.
  • A current University employee may not serve as a University volunteer in any capacity in which he/she is employed at the University, or which is similar or related to the employee’s regular work responsibilities. A current employee may volunteer for special events, programs, or in any capacity that differs from his/her regular employment.  However, the employee shall not receive any extra compensation or benefit for such volunteer service.
  • University volunteers may not be used to replace employee positions or impair the employment of a University position.

Prohibited Activities:

University volunteers are prohibited from performing the following activities:

  • Operating heavy equipment
  • Working with infectious or potentially infectious agents or hazardous materials or in environments that may place the volunteer at risk for physical harm
  • Entering into any contract or agreement on behalf of the University
  • Any activity considered inappropriate for a University employee

Process/Procedure:

When selecting and engaging a University volunteer, it is the department’s responsibility to ensure that the individual has the expertise to adequately perform the service(s) for which he/she is being engaged.

The following procedures must be completed prior to any volunteer service being performed:

  • Department seeking to engage a volunteer must first submit a Request for Voluntary Services for approval by the appropriate vice president. If approved,
  • The volunteer must complete the volunteer’s information section of the Volunteer Agreement Form and a Background Request Form. These forms will then be attached to the approved Request for Voluntary Services form and forwarded to Human Resources for review.
  • Human Resources must conduct criminal background checks and receive acceptable results before the volunteer can engage in any activities or services to the University.
  • The department will determine specific training required for the volunteer based on the services or activities to be performed by the volunteer.
  • A University volunteer may serve no longer than one year without renewal. All forms & processes above must be renewed annually for current volunteers who will serve in the same capacity on a long-term basis. The renewal process will be initiated by the department
  • If the duties or service area of a current volunteer changes within the year, all applicable forms and processes must be completed once again.

 Services Requiring a Volunteer Agreement and Background Request Form:

  • Volunteer activities with students and/or subjects of experiments
  • Activities with minors such as specialty camps
  • Long-term or on-going volunteer services such as mentoring
  • Recreational and competitive sports
  • Services requiring access to confidential information

Services Not Requiring Volunteer Agreement or Background Request Form:

  • Commencement volunteer
  • Phone-a-thon volunteer
  • Fundraising activities
  • Public speakers
  • Ushering campus events
  • Participation in all volunteer committees

Specific one-time activities which may be considered “low risk” would not require a Volunteer Agreement or Background Request Form.  To ensure consistency in application, authorization from the appropriate vice president should be confirmed before allowing a person to perform volunteer services in any capacity.

Termination:

A University volunteer’s term of service may be terminated at any time without prior notice.  Likewise, a volunteer may terminate his/her services at any time without prior notice.