Off-Campus Sophs

Two Off-Campus sophs squatting on the hill in front of University College with their hands out and purple "OC" letters painted on their palms

Photo courtesy of Lumos Photographs

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 the OC Soph team close at 9am on May 30.

Apply now!

OC Soph Position Description

Job title: Off Campus Soph

Faculty/unit: Student Experience

Department: Academic Support & Engagement

Employee group: Student

Start date: August 29, 2022

End date: April 30, 2023

Hours per week: 5-10 hours per week during the academic year. 35 hours per week during Soph Training and OWeek

The nature of the role of an Off Campus Soph may include situations where students or Sophs disclose challenges, experience vicarious trauma, or exhibit high-risk behaviours such as thoughts of suicide, gender-based and sexual-violence, domestic violence, mental health concerns and self-harm. Off Campus Sophs are responsible for listening and providing resources to students; they do not provide counselling. Off Campus Sophs will be required to complete mandatory training in these high-risk areas in order to be able to provide an appropriate response and support to those in need.

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 Soph is responsible for providing a robust academic and social transition for new to Western students by supporting their Soph team’s programs during Orientation Week and throughout the academic year.
  • An Off Campus Soph represents Student Experience, Western and the London community as a positive role model and active member of the community.
  • An Off Campus Soph acts as an observer of their community’s needs and connects resources or advocates on behalf of that community when necessary.

Primary Responsibilities

Team Development

  • Adhere to any Student Experience and Western policies and decisions that relate to the Soph team’s activities.
  • Assist the Leadership Team in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment amongst the Soph team.
  • Attend feedback 1-1s with Leadership Team once per term.
  • Attend monthly Soph team meetings hosted by Leadership Team.

Orientation Week & Year-Long Programming

  • 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 within the Society of Off Campus Students and at Western.
  • Participate in Orientation Week 2022 as a student leader and be responsible for executing their constituency’s planned events.
  • Staff the Off Campus Resource Centre (OCRC) one hour per week during the academic year and report information as necessary by filling out regular OCRC logs.
  • Support and attend at least one Society of Off Campus Students’ program per month through planning, promotion and participation.
  • Hold a position on one of the Society of Off Campus Students’ subcommittees and participate through attending scheduled meetings that facilitate the planning and execution of events which contribute to the community.
  • Take part in program evaluations as requested.

Communication

  • Maintain consistent communication with the Off Campus Head Soph, Programming Assistant(s), Soph team and Soph partners throughout the term.
  • Maintain, at minimum, biweekly communication with assigned new to Western students through email, social media or in-person check-ins.
  • Support digital forums for connection between within the Society of Off Campus Students (I.e., official Off Campus social media groups, OWL forums, mass emails, etc.)

Student Support

  • Establish, develop, and maintain an open relationship with each member of your community, regularly interacting with each member.
  • Encourage and support members of the Society of Off Campus Students (SOCS) with their involvement within the society and on campus.
  • Initiate at least one event for your assigned community per term, either individually or in collaboration with other campus leaders.
  • Collaborate with other student leaders within Academic Support & Engagement to meet the needs of the community.
  • 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 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 Soph training sessions throughout their term as required. This typically includes:
    • Summer Soph Orientation: June 30
    • Asynchronous Soph Training Modules: July 4 – August 15
    • NWeek Training: August 29
    • 2023 Winter Soph Training

Qualifications

  • An Off Campus Soph must be in London for in-person Soph training prior to the start of Orientation Week. They must also be present during Orientation Week 2022.
  • An Off Campus Soph must be dutifully enrolled as an undergraduate student registered at Western University for the 2022/23 academic year.
  • An Off Campus Soph must attain a 65% academic average in their course marks in the school year ending in April 2022.
    • Summer and intersession courses do not count towards the calculation of this average.
  • An Off Campus 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.
  • An Off Campus Soph 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 Soph should have effective group facilitation and team building skills.
  • The nature of the role requires Off Campus Soph(s) 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

  • Off Campus Sophs report directly to the Coordinator, Student Experience & Engagement and the Off Campus Leadership Team.
  • Additionally, Off Campus Sophs are expected to take direction from other senior collaborators in the Orientation Program.

Learn about applying for the Residence, Faculty, and Charity Soph teams.