Use of Volunteers On Campus Policy

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Approved By:
Effective Date:
Revised Date:
Human Resources
Policy Owner:
Assistant Vice President for Human Resources
Office Number:



Policy Statement




It is the policy of the State University of New York College at Geneseo (SUNY Geneseo) to appoint volunteers for the occasional use in conduct of its normal operations and for college-sponsored programs and activities. All volunteer appointments must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Human Resources. A volunteer is an individual appointed at the college in a non-compensated capacity. College volunteers will not perform responsibilities generally assigned to employees represented by collective bargaining agreements. Volunteers of state-sponsored programs appointed in accordance with the procedures outlined below are covered under NYS Worker’s Compensation Law and may be entitled to the protections afforded by section 17 of the Public Officers Law. Under section 17 in the event a volunteer is sued in their individual capacity in a civil suit in state or federal court for acts that occurred within the scope of their duties, they would be represented by the Attorney General’s Office and under most circumstances would be indemnified if there is a settlement or an award of damages . Volunteers are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.


  1. Departments wishing to utilize volunteers must submit a signed Application for Volunteer Services form describing:
    • nature of the work to be performed
    • qualifications of the proposed volunteer
    • duration of the assignment
    • person responsible for supervising the volunteer
  2. The department supervisor requesting to use a volunteer is responsible for reviewing the application for completeness and reasonableness, authorizing the request, and submitting it to the appropriate divisional vice president.
  3. The Application for Volunteer Services must be reviewed by the divisional vice president for reasonableness and need. If the application is not approved, it should be returned to the department indicating reasons for non-approval.
  4. Human Resources has the overall responsibility for administration and authorization to appoint volunteers. The following criteria will be used to determine if the person is eligible for volunteer status:
    • Duration of appointment is greater than 3 days, and/or
    • Nature of the assignment (a risk assessment based on the duties to be performed)
    • Guest speakers and public speakers are not considered volunteers
    • Volunteers must be 18 years or older.
  5. Human Resources is responsible for:
    • verifying the information contained in the application for complete information and appropriateness of appointment
    • verifying prior employment and qualifications (where applicable)
    • notifying divisional vice president and supervisor of the approval status
    • authorizing volunteer appointments, provide volunteers with an appointment letter, applicable college policies, and procedures for college volunteers
    • advising the volunteer of the date, time and location to meet with Human Resources to process the volunteer appointment
  6. The College will perform pre-appointment background checks on all new volunteers which may include identification, and educational credential(s) confirmation, criminal conviction verification, sexual offender registry status, motor vehicle, and employment background.
  7. When processing the volunteer appointment, Human Resources will require the volunteer to show proper identification (driver’s license, school picture identification or any other form of picture identification) containing a current address. Upon completion of all pre-employment paperwork, a Campus Identification data card will be issued using procedures identified in the College Identification Card Policy.
  8. Human Resources will maintain a list of all campus volunteers according to State regulations. A list of active volunteers in each division will be forwarded to the respective vice president on a quarterly basis.
  9. A volunteer appointment may be terminated at any time with no explanation and without prior warning.
  10. Volunteer employees separating from service must return their Identification Cards to the college using the standard Separation Sign-off Form procedure.

Frequency of Review and Update


Periodic Review Completed:  


Signed By  
Julie Briggs

Julie Briggs
Assistant Vice President for Human Resources

Date of Approval