Who are Student Volunteers (SVs)?
Student volunteers have become an essential part in the organisation of CHI. They play a major role in executing structural tasks – especially during the conference. Among other things: we hand out and check badges; show you where to find a paper session, restaurant, bathroom, your lost water bottle, etc; help set up nets for drones, build sculptures out of coke bottles and other exciting demos; help figure out where that missing paper presenter is and why, oh why, isn’t the microphone working anymore? Along with many others, the student volunteers put A LOT of effort into helping CHI run smoothly.
SVs are also HCI researchers. Quite a few SVs already publish their research at CHI and have been attending conferences for a while. For others, CHI is a whole new experience, allowing them to see how research results are distributed and how the community interacts. In both cases, being an SV is an incredible opportunity to network with possible mentors, collaborators, and peers.
And here is the tricky bit: SVs are students! We are not trained event managers or AV technicians. We are volunteers and conference attendees. All SVs agree to an informal contract: in exchange for about 20 hours of their time (many put in much more), the conference waives their registration fees and provides daily lunch and breakfast (a lot of tasks start as early as 6:30am, some go well through lunch, and others end as late as 8pm). SVs still have to pay for their own housing and transportation. Workshops and courses are not covered either.
In the scope of their 20 hours, SVs engage in plenty of tasks, some of which are simple while others require certain expertise or training. For this reason we need some people who have done the job before and can teach the job to the next generation of SVs. This is the basic concept: returning SVs show incoming SVs how tasks work, new students come up with new ideas on how to improve them.
How do I become an SV?
You must have had student status for at least one semester during the academic year before CHI to qualify for the program. We are more than happy to accept undergrad, graduate, and PhD students. We need friendly enthusiastic volunteers to help us out.
The SV lottery will be open for enrolment later this year. Check out the blog then for more details on how to apply.
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