Policies and Procedures Skip Navigation

Volunteer Team Policies and Procedures

Click here to download the 2013-2014 Max A. Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism and Education Volunteer Team Policies and Procedures.


Team Leaders must exercise due diligence in ensuring their volunteer team complies with necessary University liability policies to protect himself/herself, team members, the Max Shacknai COVE and the University from legal action. Leaders will work closely with their Advisors to ensure compliance with larger university polices and the University Office for Risk Management.

At the start of each semester, ALL Team Members must complete an “Assumption of Risk/Release of Liability Form” [see A for an example]. This form is available electronically and every attempt to should be made to complete it electronically. Paper forms should be given to the director for COVE records. No student can engage in service before the document is completed. If a student wishes to participate in more than one team, only one form is needed noting all of the teams in which a student plans to participate.

In addition, each member should be given the appropriate emergency contact numbers to contact for each site. The first point of contact for any emergency incident should be campus safety. The team advisor and community partner should also be notified. Advisors should provide team leaders with an advisor emergency contact number and a community partner emergency contact number. If a Colgate student volunteer is injured while participating a COVE program, Colgate will contact the emergency contact listed on the student’s liability form if the situation warrants such notification.

Emergency - 911
Colgate Campus Safety - 315-228-7333
COVE Main Office - 315-228-6880*
*M-F, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Teams wishing to bring minor community guests onto campus for events should obtain a permission slip a week before the event [see B for an example]. If guests will need to park on campus, Campus Safety must be informed and a parking pass obtained.

Team Planning:

Team Leaders should work with the team’s advisor at the start of the year to lay out the team’s goals, action plans and budget. Teams should complete the planning form [see C for an example] to refer to throughout the year. Teams should evaluate how much budget funding they need at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. Budgets will be allocated from the BAC in 2 installments, one in the fall and one in the spring. Teams must work with their advisor to complete their planning forms with appropriate budget requests by the end of the second week of classes of each semester. Teams are allowed to request $50 per semester for food for team meetings. Mileage reimbursement should be calculated using the Colgate approved rate of $.565 per mile.

Teams are responsible for tracking their own budgets with the help of your advisor, and each Leader is encouraged to appoint a Team Treasurer at the start of the year to maintain the group’s account. Teams CANNOT submit additional requests to the BAC for funding. A team can, however, collaborate with another non-COVE student organization as long as both organizations are equal partners in executing the event.

Advisors have plenty of planning templates available if those tools are helpful in your team planning.

In order to access budget funds, vouchers are preferred. Team leaders should work with the advisor to plan an appropriate schedule for accessing vouchers. Students should determine how many vouchers they will need to purchase the fundraising items before hand, acquire the appropriate number, and return the receipts to their Advisor accordingly. Itemized receipts are required to accompany every voucher.


Transportation to service sites is available through the Colgate vehicle fleet. Students must complete a two-hour van licensing course and a driving test. A one-hour refresher course is required for those who have not been certified in the last year. Campus Safety offers these courses periodically. Students must register before the course, have a valid United State driver’s license, and have no moving violations on their records. Advisors may reserve vehicles for Colgate-approved students to use from the fleet.

The Max Shacknai COVE strongly encourages students to utilize the Colgate vehicle fleet for transportation to service sites, especially when transporting fellow students. Personal vehicles are permitted, but the driver operates their vehicle at their own risk and under their own insurance policy. The Max Shacknai COVE reimburses students driving their personal vehicles only to service sites outside of Hamilton. Mileage reimbursement should be calculated using the Colgate approved rate of $.565 per mile.

All students are not permitted, under any circumstance, to transport anyone associated with the community partner with which a group is working, including children the group may be tutoring or mentoring.

The driver determines whether the road conditions are safe enough to travel on. If weather does not permit travel to a service site, students must notify the Advisor, the Site Supervisor, and Buildings and Grounds (if rented Colgate vehicle is not used).

Mileage Reimbursements:

Students driving their own vehicles should submit mileage reimbursements for service travel at least once a month to Advisors.  Submissions should be made on a Team Mileage Reimbursement Form [see D for an example].  Students not abiding by this policy cannot be assured they will receive their reimbursement.  All mileage reimbursements must be submitted by May 1st.

Catered Social Events for Teams:

Teams can only budget for one catered social event for their team each semester, which cannot exceed $50.  Social events can be a tool for team bonding, but the Max Shacknai COVE will only provide funding for two per academic year.  We encourage teams to think about low cost alternatives for team development activities.

Printing and Copying:

For black and white print jobs over 30 pages in length or 10 pages in color, the university’s printing office should be used instead of the Max Shacknai COVE’s printer and/or copier.  A printer request form can be obtained and completed by your Advisor for such jobs.  Any color printing needs prior Advisor approval.

Off-Campus Businesses:

All Max Shacknai COVE members should treat off-campus businesses with respect.  Please plan ahead when using local businesses and provide them with enough time to be able to assist you.  A good rule of thumb is providing at least a week’s notice for catering or reservations.  Please be sure to provide all information needed when placing an order, including contact information for only one person who will be easy to contact, method of payment and all relevant order and delivery information. 

Hamilton merchants are not to be solicited for donations by Max Shacknai COVE Teams, in order to protect them from an onslaught of requests from similar groups.


T-shirts should be sold on a pre-order basis only.  If the t-shirts are meant to serve as publicity for an event, teams should plan accordingly.  For fundraising purposes, the cost of the item must at least be able to cover its price.  Orders can only be placed once fees are collected and deposited into the appropriate team account.

Team Leadership:

Teams should always be planning for leadership sustainability.  At the start of the year, leaders should identify when new leadership will need to be brought on board and develop a transition plan.  The advisor should be kept in the loop for all transition changes.

Memorandum of Understanding:

Each year, it is advised that team leaders and advisors meet in person with community partner to review the Memorandum of Understanding [see E for an example], starting off the year with common goals, understanding of the partnership, important dates and a common communication plan.

Member Recruitment:

All teams are required to participate in Student Involvement Nights each semester.  Each Team will be provided a table at the Student Involvement Night and a list of sign-up sheets.  The Max Shacknai COVE Interns will collect these lists at the end of the night to make copies.  One list will be kept at the Max Shacknai COVE and the other list will be distributed in the Max Shacknai COVE Team Mailboxes.

To ensure a diverse set of skills and points-of-view, teams must actively work toward building inclusive teams.  Teams must develop a recruitment strategy outside of the Involvement Fair and execute that strategy throughout the semester.

Assessment and Reaccreditation:

All Teams must assess their work with Team Advisors and Community Partners.  Assessments are conducted at the end the fall semester and the end of the year [see F and G for examples].  All Teams will be reviewed annually for meeting their established goals based on the Team’s end of semester reports, advisor reflections and community partner survey.  If a Team is deemed to be not fulfilling the goals of the Team, the team may enter into a probationary phase to last at least one semester.  Under a probationary phase, a team continues to function as it normally would with additional attention paid by the Advisor and Team Leaders to goal attainment of the team.  At the end of the probationary period, the team will be re-evaluated to determine if the team should 1) be fully reinstated, 2) continue in a probationary phase or 3) disbanded.  These actions will be determined in consultation with the Advisor, Director of the Max Shacknai COVE and the Community Partner.

During the assessment process, Team Leaders must document and record an accurate figure on the number of active Team Members they have and the number of service hours logged by those Members.  Team Leaders must work with their Advisor to determine an efficient system for acquiring the appropriate, accurate documentation.

Team leaders should work with the team members to develop an efficient system for accurately logging service hours that can be reported back to the COVE on the end of semester report.  Having students reflect on their service experience is a valuable part of the service process.  Teams should work with their advisor and team members to design intentional reflection points throughout the semester that provide for important learning opportunities.  When possible, please provide any written team leader or member reflections to the advisor.

Interns and Staff:

Max Shacknai COVE staff will post their office hours on their doors at the start of each semester.  Interns will be available throughout the week to handle inquiries from students who express interested in joining a COVE team.  When an intern talks with an interested student, the intern will complete a Volunteer Intake Form available in the Max Shacknai COVE and pass that form along to the Advisor to the relevant Team for follow-up.  Advisors should share any Volunteer Intake Forms with the relevant Team Leader within a week of receiving the form.  Team leaders should follow up with the interested student within a week.

Reserving COVE Spaces:

A Max Shacknai COVE staff member must be contacted in order to reserve the Max Shacknai COVE Lounge or Lathrop 109 Conference Room.  Reservations must be made at least a week in advance and are subject to room availability.

End of Year Reimbursements:

Those needing reimbursements must have all of their paperwork completed and submitted to their Advisor before May 1st.  Students failing to claim reimbursements before the end of the school year will not be guaranteed to receive the amount in full.

Weekly Advisor Meetings:

Team leaders are required to attend weekly Advisor meetings.  A schedule of topics and deadlines will be distributed to Team Leaders at the start of each semester [see H for an example].  When a student cannot make the meeting, she or he should provide 24 hours prior notice to the Advisor unless an emergency situation arises.  For groups possessing multiple leaders, each individual should be responsible for contacting the Advisor unless other arrangements are made.

If leaders miss one meeting without prior contact, a Team Leader will receive a verbal reminder of the Max Shacknai COVE policy on Advisor meetings.  Leaders who miss two meetings will be sent an e-mail warning emphasizing the importance of the Advisor meetings.  In the event of three missed meetings, an e-mail message informing the leadership that steps will be taken to replace the student unless they recommit to the program [see I for an example].  After a fourth missed meeting, the leadership will be replaced by another group member.

New COVE Teams:

Requests for new Teams should follow the steps laid out in the “Steps for New Max Shacknai COVE Teams” [see J for an example].  For the first academic year, the initiative will be considered a Max Shacknai COVE Pilot Team, with an assessment at the end of the term determining whether it will become a fully functioning team.  A newly created team will remain in pilot form for at least one year.

COVE Expectations:

All Max Shacknai COVE staff and volunteers are expected to uphold a number of standards throughout their involvement with the Max Shacknai COVE.  Document K outlines the baseline expectations for each role associated with the Max Shacknai COVE.  Please refer to this document to fully understand the expectations for your respective role.