Student Volunteers FAQ
- What does a student volunteers do?
- What expenses are covered by the conference?
- When do I need to be at the conference?
- What is a lead student volunteer?
- What is the dress code for student volunteers?
- Do I have to stay in the hotel booked by the conference?
- Are meals provided?
- How do I get travel funding?
Q: What does a student volunteer do?
A: Student volunteers will have specific tasks and take on a variety of roles. Tasks include but are not limited to:
- Tracking and reporting session attendance
- Distributing print materials for sessions
- Assisting speakers during sessions by passing microphones for Q&A sessions and requesting help with AV issues
- Supporting the official information booth
- Directing traffic during large events
- Supporting the SC Committee office
- Supporting the SC Student Volunteers office
Q: What expenses are covered by the conference?
A: Expenses covered by the conference:
- Housing – all student volunteers will be provided with a shared hotel room
- Limited travel grants are available to accepted student volunteers
A: Expenses NOT covered by the conference:
- Per diem
- Conference registration for accepted student volunteers is discounted to $150
We encourage students to seek funding from their institution or organization for per diem expenses (meals and incidentals) and conference registration.
Q: When do I need to be at the conference?
A: Student volunteers must arrive at the convention center in time to attend the orientation and jacket pick-up, at 3 pm on November 10, 2018. Plan to allow yourself ample time to check into your hotel room or drop off your bags when arriving in the city before heading to the convention center.
Hotel costs for student volunteers will be covered for:
- Travel from within North America: check in on Saturday, November 10 and check out on Friday, November 16
- Travel from outside of North America: check in on Friday, November 9 and check out on Friday, November 16
Volunteers are expected to stay through at least Friday, November 16. There will be some shifts on Friday morning.
Q: What is a lead student volunteer?
A: Lead student volunteers are volunteers with prior experience at the conference and with the volunteer program. These students will assist the committee members with management and organization of the student volunteers program. You can apply to be a lead student volunteer in the online application.
Q: What is the dress code for student volunteers?
A: Student volunteers are expected to dress appropriately for the conference. Students should be dressed in clean, business casual or casual clothing while performing volunteer duties, meaning 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 to for a professional event.
Students must wear their Student Volunteer jackets at all times while performing conference duties.
The Students@SC program includes a career fair and two evening events: the Grand Opening Gala Reception and the Technical Program Reception. Students may want to bring more formal business clothing 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.
Q: Do I have to stay in the hotel booked by the conference?
A: 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.
Q: Are meals provided?
A: Overall, students are responsible for their own meals during the conference. Several events will have food:
- Saturday night networking event
- Monday night Grand Opening Gala Reception
- Wednesday night Dinner with Interesting People
- Thursday evening Technical Program Reception
Students will have access to conference coffee and snack breaks, which take place halfway through the morning and afternoon sessions. SCinet student volunteers will have access to breakfast, all other student volunteers should provide their own breakfast.
Vendor events and booths will occasionally provide food.
Q: How do I get travel funding?
A: 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 scholarships will be offered and students can apply for travel funding through SC.
Depending on the size of 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 so 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; even if they can’t directly help you, they may give you some good ideas about who can!
Your Department Head
Most departments actually set aside money specifically for student travel. If you tell them you’ve applied to the Student Volunteer Program at SC and tell them what you will gain from this experience, they will likely support you!
The dean’s office also typically has discretionary funds for this purpose. This should not be a scary thing – deans actually love to see students, especially those who are active in their research communities. You will make their day by going to see them!
Association of Students 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. The person who answers the phone will likely direct you 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 ask in the office. You may be required to make 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 and don’t have time to extract the nature of your request from you!
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 to whom you should talk about your request.
SIGHPC Travel Grants
SIGHPC offers travel grants to help undergraduate and graduate students attend the annual SC conference.
Who’s eligible: Students at the undergraduate or early graduate level, enrolled in an accredited university in any country, and who are members of SIGHPC. Applicants are expected to explain why they will benefit from attending the conference.
ACM-W Travel Grants
ACM-W provides support for undergraduate and graduate student women in computer science and related programs to attend research conferences. This exposure to the CS 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 she attends.