I volunteered at the annual CTMUN conference hosted at UT (the SAC and CLA) for high school students from all over the state. Here at this conference, high schoolers act as delegates from countries all over the world and simulate an actual United Nations conference through both standard committees and crisis committees and work together to write resolutions. Over the weekend, I was a part of the OSG Logistics committee. This meant that we were sent to various parts of the conference at different times where extra assistance was needed the most. I spent the first day of the conference helping the Registration officer with welcoming and checking in the sponsors for all the high schools before the opening ceremony. Afterwards, I assisted with staffing in one of the standard committee rooms. Here, I helped run notes (that discussed plans among all the different countries) back and forth between the high school delegates during the first session for a couple hours. On Saturday and Sunday, I spent my time selling merchandise for the conference (candy-grams and T-shirts) during breaks in between committee sessions and then delivering the candy-grams between the two buildings during the actual sessions. I had a lot of fun overall and being in an OSG Logistics staffer position gave me a chance to see how the conference operates overall from a behind-the-scenes perspective.
VERIFICATION INFO: Leader of event: Grace Heineman, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
My time spent volunteering at the Kinsolving Halloween Carnival at the Kinsolving Residence Hall involved setting up various games/activities, such as bean bag tosses and face painting. We got to talk to and guide the children of the residence hall employees through the games and give them prizes and candy afterwards. The kids all got to dress up in their Halloween costumes and vote on their favorite hallway theme in the dorms. After the kids and their parents left, we helped with cleaning up and tearing down all the decorations from the wall. All in all, it was a very fun experience.
I participated in my very first Lions Club volunteer event at the Zilker Botanical Gardens. We went early in the morning as a group of about 20 people and were assigned different tasks by one of the main supervisors of the Gardens. We helped clear the main island of trees that guests first see when they come to the Gardens, so this involved raking dead leaves covering the paths, pulling up weeds, and mulching the area. It was actually really fun and being so new to Lions Club, I met the majority of the people volunteering that day. The time went by very quickly because of how many people were able to pitch in and get the island cleaned.
I took part in ASA's weekly Friday morning Donut Sales in the RLM building on campus to help with the club's funds to help send 6 students to the McDonald Observatory in West Texas at the end of the year and fund weekly meeting operations. I helped 2 other students collect money and hand out both single and boxes of donuts.
I saw an opportunity on the UT Calendar Events site that was looking for volunteers to help with an ongoing graduate study to help understand how humans assess video quality. The information they obtain will then be used to design objective algorithms to perform the same task. I went in for an hour each day from March 16-March 18 and each time, I watched a series of the same video sequences again and again, and in real time throughout the entire hour, I would tell them and give ratings as to my perception and opinion of the change in image quality.
It seemed easy at first, however, after about the first 10 minutes every time, I noticed myself becoming extremely tired and distracted due to the repetitiveness of what we were being shown. At about the 3/4 point, I noticed I was so tired I was starting to mix up the kind of feedback I was giving, and then while answering the final questions in the end, I became aware that this was a problem for many of the other volunteers too and not just me.
I worked at the Student Check-in table, so I checked in around 150 people and then directed them on where to go from that point. The entire fair was very organized and the volunteer staff remained consistent on making sure every position was always filled and that everyone worked exactly their allotted time, no more, no less. Everyone was very friendly and it was obvious that it was well planned. It was a very nice, stress-free experience, and it gave me insight into how students from other majors go about networking because I've only really ever seen how networking in engineering works. I even got a chance to speak to a few of the recruiters at the very end about potential engineering internships. Overall, the whole thing went very smoothly and I would love to work it again next year.