Does it cost to register for the UTS SOUL Award program?
No, it is a free UTS program!
I’m a postgraduate student, is this program for me?
Yes! The program is open to all UTS students, from first year undergraduates to PhD candidates.
Which faculties can join the SOUL Award?
Any and all! We encourage anyone doing any degree at UTS to join.
Can I volunteer on weekends or holidays?
You can volunteer anytime. If you are busy during the week, there are loads of volunteer work opportunities available on weekends. If you can’t find time during the semester, volunteer during the holidays. The goal is for you to use your time wisely, so find opportunities that work to your timetable
Is there a time frame of when I need to get my volunteering hours done?
You have your whole degree in which to complete your hours and workshops, but everything must be completed by 30 May or 30 October of your final semester at UTS.
I’ve volunteered in the past. Can I count those hours towards my UTS SOUL Badge or Award?
No, sorry. You can only log volunteering hours from when you join the UTS SOUL program.
What kind of volunteering opportunities count towards SOUL?
If you want your volunteer opportunity to count for SOUL, make sure it is unpaid, within Australia, for a not-for-profit organisation or event with a social mission and creates a positive social impact in the community. If you’re still unsure, take a look at this document or shoot us an email at email@example.com
What about internal UTS volunteering?
Internal volunteering in the UTS community is capped at 20 hours for the SOUL Badge and 20 hours for the SOUL Award (40 hours of the required 90 hours), only if the position is a leadership and/or mentor position and it creates a positive social impact in the student community.
If you’re volunteering internally at UTS and you’re not sure if it can count towards your award, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m only here on exchange for a short time? Will I be able to complete the program in that time?
Sure! We designed the new SOUL Badge stage just for you – complete 35 hours of volunteering and 2 workshops and receive recognition before your exchange ends. However, if you think you can complete 90 hours volunteering and attend the 4 workshops for the Award – covering both stages and achieving UTS SOUL Award during your time in Sydney, then go for it!
I’ve completed over 90 hours of volunteering already but I am really enjoying it. Do I have to stop?
Absolutely not! The Award requirements are just a minimum. It is fantastic that you are keen to continue. Keep it up and please keep logging so we know about the amazing work you’re doing.
We’ll reflect your extra commitment and every single hour that you log – and who you volunteered with - on your recommendation letter or LinkedIn recommendation when you graduate.
Does my volunteering have to be related to my degree, or can I volunteer for whatever looks the most fun?
It’s totally up to you! Some students in their final year look for volunteering positions that are related to their degree to help them get experience. Others are looking for ways of improving their communication skills, experiencing a workplace, or meeting people and having fun. Choose what works for you!
I’ve signed up at an organisation but they’ve asked if I have my own insurance. Do I?
For any question of insurance, please email us at email@example.com or call 9514 2900.
How do I record the volunteering that I am doing?
You log your volunteering hours here. You will be sent an email with the info you have submitted so you can keep a record too. Remember to take photos and share your experience with us - we love to share stories from our wonderful SOULies!
What do I get at the end of the program?
To complete the first stage - the SOUL Badge - you will be required to complete and log 35 hours volunteering and Skill Up workshops. This enables you to receive the Badge; a certificate of completion, a Linkedin recommendation, and experience to include on your CV.
Completing the Badge is a pre-requisite for the second stage - UTS SOUL Award.
If you decide to progress to the Award stage you will need to complete and log a further 55 hours volunteering and 2 more Skill Up workshops. Then you will receive a certificate of completion, a letter or LinkedIn recommendation that details your volunteering and skills achievements, and the UTS SOUL Award listed on your graduate statement.
What is UTS Shopfront Community Program?
SOUL is one of the programs run by UTS Shopfront at the Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion. Shopfront acts as a gateway for community access to UTS and works with non-profit community organisations and UTS students and staff.
As well as volunteering through SOUL, UTS students can complete community projects as part of their final year or postgraduate coursework. If you are interested in undertaking a community project as part of your coursework, you can look at the current available projects listed here or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
The fortnightly SOUL newsletter is awesome, but I want more! Where do I look for other volunteering opportunities?
Take a look at this page on our website which lists volunteer posting sites. If there is a particular organisation where you’d like to volunteer, take a look at their website for upcoming opportunities, email them, or give them a call. We also regularly post opportunities on our Facebook page, so keep an eye out!
The place I’m volunteering has asked for my Working with Children Check (WWC). What is this and how does it work?
Working with Children Checks (WWCC) are free for volunteers. If your volunteering involves working with children, you will be asked to declare that you have not been convicted or found guilty of a listed serious offence against children. You can apply for your WWCC here.
I know the workshops are compulsory, but what if I’m busy or sick when they are scheduled?
Each workshop is offered a number of times during the year, so you can book the right time for you. If you book a workshop and then can’t attend, please cancel your booking so that we know and can make space for others.
What if I get really busy with studying and working? Is there a time frame of when I need to get my hours done? If need be, can I leave the program?
We understand that your studies come first. There is no defined time frame - you can get involved in the program when it suits you. You may choose to stop whenever you want in your SOUL journey, whether you’re in the process of completing your SOUL Badge or Award, or after you finish the Badge stage and decide not to continue.
You have your whole degree in which to complete your hours and workshops, but you must have completed your hours and workshops by the 30 May or 30 October deadline in your final semester.
If you decide that the program is not for you, then you can leave the program at any time. Just email us at email@example.com
This is my last year at UTS. Can I still join the program?
Yes, you definitely can! We designed the new SOUL Badge stage just for you – with a lighter load of 35 hours of volunteering. If you feel like you’d be able to balance 90 hours of volunteering and skill up learning on top of your final-year commitments, you could certainly try for the Award. However, make sure to weigh that commitment against your other responsibilities.
Remember, if you want to receive your SOUL Award on your graduate statement you will have needed to finish off your hours by the 30 May or 30 October deadline.
I’m doing a community project as part of my coursework through UTS Shopfront. Does this count towards SOUL?
We know that students who do Shopfront community projects as part of their coursework commit many more hours to successfully complete those projects than are required by your regular coursework subjects. For this reason, we allow UTS student to count their projects as meeting the 35 hours volunteering requirement for the SOUL Badge. So, complete your community project, log your 35 hours on that project, and complete your workshops and you will receive the SOUL Badge.
I want to know more about SOUL
Everything you need to know about SOUL is available in our student guide here.
UTS SOUL Badge Questions
What is UTS SOUL Badge?
The Badge is completed as the first stage of the SOUL Program.
To receive the UTS SOUL badge, SOULies complete:
- 35 hours of volunteering
- 6 hours of SOUL ‘Skill Up’ workshops
SOULies will then receive a Certificate and Linkedin recommendation to recognise their work. They can then decide if they would like to the second stage and achieve their UTS SOUL Award.
Why was the SOUL Badge introduced?
We listened to hundreds of you – students juggling study/paid work/family/volunteering commitments, international students here for one semester but wanting to work in the community, students who only found SOUL in their final year at UTS, and students who felt overwhelmed by the 102 hour SOUL commitment – so we divided SOUL into two parts, the Badge and the Award, so more of you could be involved!
We are also very proud that in 2016 UTS was one of the first Australian Universities to become a Signatory to the University Commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Part of the change to SOUL will see a re-alignment to reflect our commitment to those Goals.
I signed up to SOUL pre-2019, will my existing volunteering and workshops be recognised?
Absolutely! All of your completed workshop attendance and volunteer hours will count towards your SOUL Badge and Award.
How are the SOUL Badge and SOUL Award different?
As a two-stage program, the SOUL Badge is the first stage you need to complete. When you complete and log 35 hours volunteering and 6 hours of Skill Up workshops, you will receive the Badge, a certificate of completion, a Linkedin recommendation, and experience to include on your CV.
Completing the Badge is a pre-requisite for the second stage - UTS SOUL Award. If you decide to progress to the Award stage you will need to complete and log a further 55 hours volunteering and another 6 hours of Skill Up workshops and you will receive a certificate of completion, letter or Linkedin recommendation that details your volunteering and skills achievements and the officially recognised SOUL Award listed on your graduate statement.
(So, if you receive the UTS SOUL Award you will have completed 90 hours volunteering in the community and 12 hours of SOUL Skill Up training. Bravo!!)
How will the ‘new SOUL’ affect me?
If you are already signed up as a SOULie, you will receive a personalised email with advice on which stage of the program you are currently enrolled, based on the workshops you have attended and the volunteering hours you have logged.
For most SOULies there will be no change at all - just continue your work towards the Badge/Award.
What if I’ve never been part of UTS SOUL Award before?
From 26 February 2019, all new SOULies will be registered into the SOUL Badge. They will aim to complete the Badge and then progress, should they choose, to stage two, the Award stage.
Just sign up via this link.
If your question wasn’t answered on this page, please don’t hesitate to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 9514 2900.
SOUL is based at UTS Shopfront at the Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion. UTS SOUL Award is a community of students working towards building a better future for all. Through SOUL you’ll meet like-minded students, build peer networks, learn new skills and earn reward and recognition from UTS for your work. Have a look through our website, sign up if you like what you see, and stay in touch via our Facebook page.