Off-Campus Sophs

The 2022 Off Campus Soph team

Photo courtesy of the University Students' Council

Passionate about supporting students in their transition to Western?

Join the Off-Campus (OC) Soph team!

Off-campus students have a different set of needs than those living in residence, and the OC Soph team aims to specifically address those needs while building an inclusive and welcoming community for off-campus students at Western. 

Applications for OC Head Soph and OC Programming Assistants are open until January 4, 2023.

Apply now!

OC Head Soph Position Description

Job title: Off Campus Head Soph

Faculty/unit: Student Experience

Department: Academic Support & Engagement

Employee group: Student

Start date: February 2023  

End date: April 30, 2024

Hours per week: 10-15 hours per week during the summer with the exception of Leadership Team Training, Soph Training and OWeek (35 hours per week), 5 hours per week during the academic year.

Summer honorarium to be provided for additional training responsibilities (currently under budgetary review).

The nature of the role of a Soph may include situations where students or fellow Sophs disclose challenges, or exhibit behaviours such as thoughts of suicide, gender-based and sexual violence, domestic violence, mental health concerns and self-harm. Sophs, are responsible for listening and providing resources to students; they do not provide counselling. Head Sophs and Programming Assistants will be required to complete mandatory training in these high-risk areas to understand the scope of their role, develop appropriate responses and connect students to a defined network of support.

About Western

Since 1878, Western University has been committed to serving our communities through the pursuit of academic excellence and by providing students, faculty, and community members with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social, and cultural growth. We seek excellent students, faculty, and staff to join us in what has become known as the "Western experience" - an opportunity to contribute to a better world through the development of new knowledge, new abilities, new connections, and new ways to make a difference.

About Us

The Department of Academic Support & Engagement provides tailored, comprehensive supports within inclusive spaces in which students become critically-engaged, self-determined learners. As a result of our work, students discover and develop their strengths, establish their academic identity, engage in leadership and learning opportunities, and build the confidence and the competence they need to thrive.

Duties & Responsibilities 

  • An Off Campus Head Soph is responsible for providing a robust learning experience and leadership development opportunity for members of their Soph team through the planning and execution of regular team meetings and team development opportunities.
  • An Off Campus Head Soph is responsible for providing a robust academic and social transition for new to Western students by coordinating programming through their Soph team and the Society of Off Campus Students (SOCS) during Orientation Week and throughout the academic year.
  • An Off Campus Head Soph represents Student Experience, Western and the London community as a positive role model and active member of the community.
  • An Off Campus Head Soph acts as an observer of their community’s needs and connects resources or advocates on behalf of that community when necessary.

Primary Responsibilities

Supervision and Team Management

  • In collaboration with Student Experience, select and oversee members of their Soph team in accordance with application, guidelines and selection policies and procedures.
  • Adhere to any Student Experience and Western policies and decisions that relate to their Soph team’s activities.
  • Facilitate a welcoming and inclusive environment amongst their Soph team through team bonding and planning at least 1 team time per term.
  • Chair monthly Soph team meetings in collaboration with Programming Assistants.
  • In collaboration with programming assistant(s), ensure members of their soph team are meeting their role expectations by having 1-1 feedback and coaching conversations with them once per term.

Orientation Week, Programming & Budgeting

  • Help execute an Orientation Week that facilitates a positive transition for all incoming students to Western University and provides students with the academic support they may need to be successful during their undergraduate term.
  • Enhance the Western community by promoting a sense of involvement and belonging among the incoming students on campus.
  • Enhance the Soph experience by acting as a role model to develop the leadership skills of members of their Soph team.
  • Construct a shared vision for the Soph team alongside Programming Assistants, including but not limited to, the assignment of portfolios, Soph partners, and team building initiatives.
  • Liaise with the Coordinator, Student Engagement & Experience to develop high-impact programming during Orientation Week.
    • Develop and submit detailed program proposals and budget proposals for all orientation-related initiatives and respond to feedback appropriately.
  • Facilitate the budget planning process in collaboration with the Coordinator, Student Engagement & Experience for all Orientation-related initiatives for review.
  • Liaise with the Community Engagement Coordinator to collaborate and support projects related to philanthropic campaigns.
  • Organize, design, and procure Soph team uniforms and new student merchandise in accordance with Student Experience guidelines.
  • Participate in Orientation Week 2023 as a student leader and be responsible for executing their constituency’s planned events.

Communication

  • Maintain consistent communication with their Soph team and the Coordinator, Student Experience & Engagement throughout their term.
  • Liaise with other Faculty, Residence and Affiliate Head Sophs to collaborate on various Orientation-related projects throughout their term.
  • Work with members of Western administration, and the Coordinator, Student Experience & Engagement to execute Soph team recognition initiatives during Orientation Week and throughout the year.
  • Attend monthly leadership team meetings with the Coordinator, Student Experience & Engagement.

Student Support

  • Encourage and support members of the Society of Off Campus Students (SOCS) with their involvement within the society and on campus.
  • Understand and use resources available for the support and assistance of students in need.
  • Adhere to all written and verbal protocols established by Western and Orientation program.
  • Facilitate a welcoming and safe space within the Off Campus Resource Centre and ensure all attendees are adhering to the rules.
  • Act quickly and use good judgement when dealing with residence incidents, including emergencies.
  • Adhere to expectations listed in the Leadership Team 411 Guide, and Reference Guide for emergency response.

Training

  • Attend or complete any training sessions during their term as required by Student Experience.
  • Required to attend various mandatory Head Soph and Soph training sessions throughout their term as required. Important dates documents will be provided.

Qualifications

  • The Off Campus Head Soph must be in London for in-person Leadership and Soph training starting August 15 to participate in Leadership Training, Soph Training, Residence move-in and Orientation Week 2023.
  • The Off Campus Head Soph must be dutifully enrolled as an undergraduate student registered at Western University for the 2023/24 academic year.
  • The Off Campus Head Soph must attain a 65% academic average in their course marks in the school year ending in April, 2023.
    • Summer and intersession courses do not count towards the calculation of this average.
  • The Off Campus Head Soph is required to complete all components of mandatory training before assuming their duties, and throughout the academic year. Those who are not able to complete component (s) of training may not be eligible to assume their role.
  • The Off Campus Head Soph should value differences in gender, culture, sexual identity, religious beliefs, spirituality, among others, and demonstrate a willingness to create fair and accessible environments.
  • The Off Campus Head Soph will act as project manager for all soph team initiatives. Strong organizational skills are paramount.
  • The Off Campus Head Soph should have effective group facilitation and team building skills.
  • The nature of the role requires the Off Campus Head Soph to be flexible and to be able to critically assess problems that may arise. Problem solving skills are very important to overall success in the role.
  • The Off Campus Head Soph should have some financial literacy skills and experience with creating budgets.

Supervision

  • The Off Campus Head Soph reports to the Coordinator, Student Experience & Engagement.
  • Additionally, the Off Campus Head Soph is expected to take direction from other senior collaborators in the Orientation Program.

OC Programming Assistant Position Description

Job title: Off Campus Programming Assistant (PA)

Faculty/unit: Student Experience

Department: Academic Support & Engagement

Employee group: Student

Start date: February 2023

End date: April 30, 2024

Hours per week: 10-15 hours per week during the summer with the exception of Leadership Team Training, Soph Training and OWeek (35 hours per week), 5 hours per week during the academic year.

Summer honorarium to be provided for additional training responsibilities (currently under budgetary review).

The nature of the role of a Soph may include situations where students or fellow Sophs disclose challenges, or exhibit behaviours such as thoughts of suicide, gender-based and sexual-violence, domestic violence, mental health concerns and self-harm. Sophs, are responsible for listening and providing resources to students; they do not provide counselling. Head Sophs and Programming Assistants will be required to complete mandatory training in these high-risk areas to understand the scope of their role, develop appropriate responses and connect students to a defined network of support.

About Western

Since 1878, Western University has been committed to serving our communities through the pursuit of academic excellence and by providing students, faculty, and community members with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social, and cultural growth. We seek excellent students, faculty, and staff to join us in what has become known as the "Western experience" - an opportunity to contribute to a better world through the development of new knowledge, new abilities, new connections, and new ways to make a difference.

About Us

The Department of Academic Support & Engagement provides tailored, comprehensive supports within inclusive spaces in which students become critically-engaged, self-determined learners. As a result of our work, students discover and develop their strengths, establish their academic identity, engage in leadership and learning opportunities, and build the confidence and the competence they need to thrive.

Duties & Responsibilities 

  • An Off Campus Programming Assistant is responsible for assisting the Head Soph to provide a robust learning experience and leadership development opportunity for members of their Soph team through the planning and execution of regular team meetings and team development opportunities.
  • An Off Campus Programming Assistant works with the Soph Team, the Society of Off Campus Students (SOCS), and the Coordinator, Student Experience & Engagement to provide ongoing transitional support to new to Western students living off campus with social activities and academic support throughout the school year.
  • An Off Campus Programming Assistant represents Student Experience, Western and the London community as a positive role model and active member of the community.
  • An Off Campus Programming Assistant acts as an observer of their community’s needs and connects resources or advocates on behalf of that community when necessary.

Primary Responsibilities

Supervision and Team Management

  • In collaboration with Student Experience, assist the Off Campus Head Soph with the selection of members of their Soph team in accordance with application, guidelines and selection policies and procedures.
  • Adhere to any Student Experience and Western policies and decisions that relate to their Soph team’s activities.
  • Assist the Off Campus Head Soph in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment amongst their Soph team through team bonding and planning at least 1 team time per term.
  • Attend and assist the Off Campus Head Soph to chair monthly Soph team meetings.

Orientation Week, Programming & Budgeting

  • Help execute an Orientation Week that facilitates a positive transition for all incoming students to Western University and provides students with the academic support they may need to be successful during their undergraduate term.
  • Enhance the Western community by promoting a sense of involvement and belonging among the incoming students on campus.
  • Enhance the Soph experience by acting as a role model to develop the leadership skills of members of their Soph team.
  • Assist the Off Campus Head Soph in constructing a shared vision for the Soph team, including but not limited to, the assignment of portfolios, Soph partners, and team building initiatives.
  • Assist the Off Campus Head Soph to develop high-impact programming during Orientation Week.
    • Develop and submit detailed program proposals and budget proposals for all orientation-related initiatives and respond to feedback appropriately.
  • Assist the Off Campus Head Soph to facilitate the budget planning process in collaboration with the Coordinator, Student Engagement & Experience for all Orientation-related initiatives for review.
  • Assist the Off Campus Head Soph to organize, design, and procure soph team uniforms and new student merchandise in accordance with Student Experience guidelines.
  • Participate in Orientation Week 2023 as a student leader and be responsible for executing their constituency’s planned events.

Communication

  • Maintain consistent communication with the Off Campus Head Soph, Soph team and the Coordinator, Student Experience & Engagement throughout their term.
  • Work with members of Western administration, and the Coordinator, Student Experience & Engagement to execute Soph team recognition initiatives during Orientation Week and throughout the year.
  • Attend monthly leadership team meetings with the Off Campus Head Soph and the Coordinator, Student Experience & Engagement.

Student Support

  • Encourage and support members of the Society of Off Campus Students (SOCS) with their involvement within the society and on campus
  • Understand and use resources available for the support and assistance of students in need
  • Adhere to all written and verbal protocols established by Western and Orientation program.
  • Facilitate a welcoming and safe space within the Off Campus Resource Centre and ensure all attendees are adhering to the rules.
  • Act quickly and use good judgement when dealing with residence incidents, including emergencies
  • Adhere to expectations listed in the Leadership Team 411 Guide, and Reference Guide for emergency response

Training

  • Attend or complete any training sessions during their term as required by Student Experience.
  • Required to attend various mandatory Leadership Team and Soph training sessions throughout their term as required. Important dates documents will be provided.

Qualifications:

  • An Off Campus Programming Assistant must be in London for in-person Leadership Team and Soph training starting August 15 to participate in Leadership Training, Soph Training, Residence move-in and Orientation Week 2023.
  • An Off Campus Programming Assistant must be dutifully enrolled as an undergraduate student registered at Western University for the 2023/24 academic year.
  • An Off Campus Programming Assistant must attain a 65% academic average in their course marks in the school year ending in April, 2023.
    • Summer and intersession courses do not count towards the calculation of this average.
  • An Off Campus Programming Assistant is required to complete all components of mandatory training before assuming their duties, and throughout the academic year. Those who are not able to complete component (s) of training may not be eligible to assume their role.
  • An Off Campus Programming Assistant should value differences in gender, culture, sexual identity, religious beliefs, spirituality, among others, and demonstrate a willingness to create fair and accessible environments.
  • An Off Campus Programming Assistant will act as project manager for all soph team initiatives in the event the Head Soph is absent. Strong organizational skills are paramount.
  • An Off Campus Programming Assistant should have effective group facilitation and team building skills.
  • The nature of the role requires An Off Campus Programming Assistant to be flexible and to be able to critically assess problems that may arise. Problem solving skills are very important to overall success in the role.

Supervision

  • An Off Campus Programming Assistant reports to the Coordinator, Student Experience & Engagement.
  • Additionally, an Off Campus Programming Assistant is expected to take direction from the Off Campus Head Soph and other senior collaborators in the Orientation Program.

Stay tuned for more information on applications to join the OC Soph team.