HAYHAY

VOLUNTEER

Be a part of the convention's success; volunteer today!

Anthro Weekend Utah is looking for volunteers who are willing to help with a variety of positions during the convention so that others can make lasting memories. A minimum 6-hour time commitment is preferred, which can be all on one day, or spread out Friday through Sunday. However, even if you only have an hour or two to spare, every bit of help counts and is appreciated. All volunteers must be registered convention members. Volunteering will earn you special perks, along with the gratitude of the Anthro Weekend Utah organizing board, staff, and fellow convention members for helping things run smoothly!

Thanks to all our volunteers who helped out this year!

  • Anthro Weekend Utah survives solely on the basis of volunteer work; the organizing board works year-round to coordinate and plan all details of the convention without financial compensation of any sort. The true success of the convention, however, lies solely in the hands of members who are willing to sacrifice their time during the convention so that others can make positive, lasting memories.
  • Even though volunteering is of your own free will and without compensation, it carries additional duties and responsibilities, and does not entitle you to a higher status, special treatment, or the right to “talk down to” or command convention members for no reason. While volunteering, you are the face of Anthro Weekend Utah; it is expected and required that all who volunteer their time adhere to the standards below so that a consistent, safe, and fun convention can be assured for all who attend.
  • Volunteering is often a thankless job, and it cannot be emphasized enough how grateful the AWU board and especially your fellow convention members are for your selflessness. It is our goal that volunteering is not only rewarding, but fun- because you get to play a role in bringing a large event to life and helping provide a space for others to have positive experiences.

How AWU's Volunteer Structure Works

  • Rather than building up a large, persistent “staff”, AWU operates on the basis of recurring volunteers. Only a very small handful of people, critical to laying the foundation of the convention each year, are considered consistent. The reason for this is that designating individuals as “staff” often leads to a subconscious feeling of entitlement or guarantee; “I can relax now”, “I can get away with more”, “I’ll just get asked to come back”, etc. For this reason, it is required that volunteers reapply and are re-evaluated every single year- so that nothing is guaranteed, and adjustments in structure or personnel can be made easily.
  • This does not mean that things “restart” for you each time you reapply; your efforts are always seen, appreciated, and noted internally after every single convention year. Think of it like an RPG; your level is often directly related to how consistently and effectively you play. Similarly, every year you volunteer, your volunteer “level” increases based on your consistency and efficacy, and is an internal indicator of how much AWU experience you have and how much trust can be placed in you to consistently serve AWU attendees in different capacities. While AWU will recognize you for your dedication to the attendees, a “level” is absolutely not a superiority marker; remember, “restarts” (to return to the game example) are not guaranteed- and all volunteers must reapply again next year.

General

    Volunteers must:
  • Be a registered convention member for the current convention year and in good standing with Anthro Weekend Utah.
  • Be at least 18 years of age by the first day of the convention.
  • Not have any mental or physical ailments which may be exacerbated through volunteer work to the point that yourself or others are put at risk of harm or detriment.
  • Adhere to all standard convention policies, a few of which will be reiterated below, but all of which can be read on the policies page.

Time, Positions, and Logistics

  • Volunteering shifts are available starting Thursday, July 14, and ending after Sunday, July 17th.
  • You must clock in and out for your shift at the time clock, which is located on the side of the registration desk, facing the doors to the main stage. If you don’t clock in, your hours cannot be accounted for!
  • Volunteer positions vary, and eligibility for some positions is dependent on the pre-existing level of experience and trust in you as a previous AWU volunteer. Possible volunteer tasks include, but are absolutely not limited to:
    • Checking badges and allowing attendees to enter an area. This position is laid-back and may not be the most “exciting”, but it is the most common and critical role for the safety of the convention. For this reason, all time spent in this capacity counts as 1.25x time.
    • Checking in attendees at the registration desk.
    • Distributing merch for attendees at the convention store.
    • Working as a convention store cashier.
    • Checking in dealers prior to convention start.
    • Helping to address any dealer needs throughout the day.
    • Being a tabletop games desk attendant.
    • Monitoring the video game arcade, which includes regular sanitization of controls and moderation of attendee conduct / mistreatment of machines.
    • Ensuring that panels have everything they need to run smoothly, that they begin and end on time, and fetching any needs.
    • Maintaining cleanliness and stock of items in the headless lounge, and ensuring that it does not become a “hangout space” as opposed to a place of rest (which it should be).
    • Monitoring item check and changing room services in the headless lounge.
    • Working as a stage hand: moving props and ensuring only authorized individuals enter the stage.
    • Helping to mark reserved seats in the Alpha seating area before major convention events.
    • Running and monitoring extra theme-based activities taking place in convention space.
    • General convention set-up and takedown. Decorations, equipment, games, the fursuit lounge, etc.
    • Roaming security- while walking and enjoying the convention halls, keep an eye out for any activity which is dangerous or clearly violates convention policies. All time spent in this capacity counts as 1.25x time.
  • It is paramount that you are on time for your shift- your fellow convention members are depending on you. This means that you arrive by the time your shift starts, and do not leave your shift until it is done.
    • If your availability changes, or an issue arises, let your volunteer lead know as soon as possible so arrangements can be made. Communication is key for the success of convention logistics.
    • If you fail to show up for your shift or leave your shift early without permission, your accrued volunteer hours for the year could be wiped, and you could be barred from volunteering for AWU in the future. Anthro Weekend Utah attendees need people they can depend on to be there. Simply keep communication with your volunteer lead open; we’re all human and things happen. But you can’t be assisted if you don’t speak up.
  • Overwork is a real risk and is common among volunteers at all conventions. Above all else, do not commit to more than you know you can handle; overwork will always lead to more problems than help. Let your volunteer lead know if you are getting burned out, exhausted, or frustrated so that rearrangements can be made. Doing so will address the issue at hand and also help the organizing board to know which departments need more help in the future to lighten the load. Take time to enjoy yourself and the convention so you can have a positive experience.

Appearance

  • In addition to the pre-existing dress policies for the convention, volunteers are asked to adhere to the following:
    • Please do not wear full-face coverings of any sort (including costume heads), as doing so makes it more difficult for attendees to identify you as a volunteer, and it also makes it more difficult to carry out tasks.
    • You are free to wear costume pieces such as feet, hands, ears, and tails, as long as they do not interfere with your capability to complete your duties.
    • Please wear clothing which errs on the more “professional” end of things; you are representing Anthro Weekend Utah while on duty. A good rule of thumb is pants or shorts in good shape.
    • Smell good, look good, be clean, get sufficient sleep.

Conduct and Demeanor

  • You are a volunteer, guide, helper, and assistant; you are not a god, dictator, expert, or overlord. The role of all Anthro Weekend Utah volunteers is to ensure the success of the convention by serving your fellow attendees.
  • Treat others with kindness, respect, and patience. If you are at the end of your rope and unable to maintain common courtesy, let your volunteer lead know so that arrangements can be made to allow you to cool off.
  • Always follow the instructions and guidance of your volunteer lead and the AWU staff.
  • If you are corrected by a staff member or even a fellow volunteer, this doesn’t mean you are a bad person, a failure, or someone is “out to get you”. All this means is that we’re all striving together to give accurate information and provide an optimum convention experience, and no single one of us is perfect.
  • Sarcasm and negativity have more far-reaching consequences than you might think, especially with regards to your experience as a volunteer. It’s common among volunteers in many sectors (not just conventions) to jokingly trash-talk the experience. Please avoid this! Whether one is a board member that has spent 400 hours planning this year’s convention or a new volunteer that has spent 4, we should absolutely be proud of what we’re all collectively helping to accomplish. Please do not spoil the impression of a passerby, as that may be enough to make them abandon their considerations of volunteering. If you have (non-joking) grievances with how you are being treated as a volunteer, bring it up to your volunteer lead or to the convention chair and/or vice-chair so we can know how to be better.
  • When interacting with convention members, the most you can do as a volunteer is encourage and invite. If an attendee becomes hostile or is unwilling to comply with a request, take note of any information you can about them, keep an eye on that attendee’s whereabouts, and report it to your volunteer lead immediately so it can be addressed.
  • If something is not functioning correctly at the convention that is not within your current line of duty, report it first- do not fix it yourself. It is important that the responsible department be made aware of the issue so they can address it according to their own procedures.
  • AWU reserves the right to revoke your position as a volunteer if it is determined that your presence is proving, or may prove detrimental to the general feeling of safety and enjoyment at the convention.

Rewards

  • Volunteering will earn you AWU Rewards points, which you can use for things like food and drinks, registration vouchers, and more. You can learn more about the AWU Rewards program when you create your MyAWU Account!