Student Volunteers

Student volunteers are an important part of the SIGCSE Symposium and have been for many years. Each volunteer works for 5-6 hours, helping with various conference management activities. You’ll interact with the conference organizers and presenters and will meet other students from all over the world. More information about the experience, the benefits, and how to sign up are provided below.

How do I register to volunteer?

Registering for SIGCSE as a student volunteer is a two step process.

  • STEP 1: Register for SIGCSE as a student. Note you will need to pay the registration fee and the costs of any additions to registration (e.g., workshop), but the main conference registration fee will be refunded 4-6 weeks after the conference assuming that you complete all of your volunteer hours.

  • STEP 2: SEPARATELY register as a volunteer with the student volunteering team. As part of this registration, you will provide your availability for volunteer shifts. Please look at the schedule and ensure 1) that you do NOT select a shift where you have a conference commitment like presenting a paper or the ACM Student Research Competition and 2) that you do NOT select shifts where you want to see a particular talk.

Please note that while in previous years we have been able to accept everyone who registered in December and January and often anyone interested, we cannot guarantee that this is the case every year. Please try to register as early as possible (you can provide your availability for shifts closer to the conference start as we understand that it can take a little while to arrange travel).

Also, please note that if you are no longer able to attend, we greatly appreciate you going back to the registration system to cancel.

What To Do Once at SIGCSE

Upon arrival at the conference site, you must check in at the main SIGCSE Conference Registration Desk to receive your conference registration packet. Then visit the Student Volunteer Office to check in (so we know you are around) and to receive any needed instructions or updates.

Registration Refund

Assuming you have successfully completed your volunteer duties as signed off by your volunteer supervisor, you are eligible to receive a registration refund:

  • If your registration was paid in cash, your refund will be paid immediately in cash.

  • If your registration was paid by credit card, your refund will be processed anywhere from two to four weeks after the conference ends.

  • If your registration was paid by cheque, your refund will be a cheque issued via ACM, which may take up to one month after the conference is over.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to be a student volunteer?

Any full-time student may become a student volunteer. (You must be a currently registered student at your institution!) Both undergraduate and graduate students are welcome. You specify your school affiliation when you sign up as a volunteer, and you should bring a copy of your current course schedule to the conference as verification of your full time status. Students attending the conference for the ACM Student Research Competition are encouraged to become volunteers as well.

What if I require a visa?

See the main SIGCSE Attendees page for information about Visas.

What are the benefits of student volunteering?

In exchange for 5-6 hours of volunteer service, you will receive:

  • Refunded registration fee.

  • A chance to meet and work with students from other schools.

  • Entrance to the student volunteer party.

  • The opportunity to contribute to an effort to improve Computer Science education… and our sincere gratitude for your efforts!

Note that in addition to these benefits, since you are a registered SIGCSE student attendee, you have all the rights of the non-volunteer student attendees:

  • Access to all sessions, including papers, panels, seminars, and birds-of-a-feather discussions.

  • Access to all exhibits where book publishers and software vendors have displays and activities.

  • All conference “coffee” breaks (some food and drink).

  • The main conference reception on Thursday evening (typically includes a light dinner).

  • The conference luncheon on Saturday afternoon.

What kinds of work will I do as a student volunteer?

It varies. Duties may include (and are not limited to) the following:

  • You may work at the registration booth organizing attendee packets.

  • You may monitor the exhibit hall or reception entrance to ensure those entering have the appropriate conference badge.

  • You may count the attendees at various conference sessions.

  • You may assist speakers at various session types with handouts or equipment.

Do I have a say in what work I do as a student volunteer?

Not much, but we’ll do what we can. If you have a skill we are interested in then you get a chance to indicate that when you are indicating available work times (e.g. like working with children might make you a great choice to help with kids camp!). We also try to accommodate students who have a preference for a particular shift or session, but due to the complexity of scheduling and ensuring we have adequate coverage at all sessions, we cannot guarantee anything.

When during the conference will I do my student volunteer work?

This will depend on conference needs; some time periods are busier than others. Your duties may be broken into separate time periods and even across separate days. We guarantee no more than 6 hours of assigned work per volunteer but target an average of 5 hours.

Please note that we’ll take your preferences into account whenever possible, as well as the times you specified that you will be arriving at and leaving the conference. You will also have the opportunity to specify when you are presenting a paper or poster. Given those constraints we will make our schedule.

We recognize that things may change and will do our best to make changes as needed. In return, we ask that you be as flexible as possible since coordinating a conference is challenging and your role is important!

Do I have to be there for the whole conference to be a student volunteer?

No. We realize that travel plans and other commitments exist. We hope that students local to the conference area will be flexible. In particular, there is always a need for volunteers on Tuesday and Wednesday, before most of the conference activities begin and before many of the traveling student volunteers have arrived. We encourage local student volunteers to be available on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Can I get funding for travel or hotel expenses?

The conference itself does not provide funding for student volunteers, but you may be able to get some support through your department or through another source at your university. You should print your registration acknowledgment to show to potential funding sources.


If you have questions about anything discussed above, please contact the Student Volunteers and Student Activities Wrangler Chair.