COVID-19 Volunteer Guidelines

Bowdoin students' commitment to the common good and passion for working with and learning from communities has not wavered during the COVID-19 pandemic. This fall, the McKeen Center will continue to help students pursue their passions and connect with community partners. Our top priority will be the health and safety of the community and our students.

We are delighted to welcome the full student body back to campus, and know that students, staff, and community partners alike are eager to return to old routines and/or to build new and mutually supportive connections. Students who volunteer off-campus have a unique responsibility not just to their own health and safety or the health and safety of those on campus, but also to the community members they engage with; as such, it is imperative that anyone who plans to volunteer off-campus engage in clear, consistent communication with all involved parties, and adhere to the following guidelines as well as any additional protocols set by either Bowdoin and/or the community partner they are working with.

In keeping with the College's policies under the Yellow Status Level, the McKeen Center is supporting off-campus, in-person volunteering at this time. This is subject to change at any time if Bowdoin and/or the McKeen Center feel that the risk to the student body, the greater community, or both warrants further restrictions. 

Students planning to volunteer in the community should adhere to the following requirements:

  • All volunteers must mask at all times while indoors, and maintain physical distancing when possible.
  • Bowdoin Volunteer Corps group leaders, as well as any individual who is volunteering separate from a BVC club, must advise their hosts of any changes in campus status level for future weeks. Contact the McKeen Center for sample language or support.
  • Volunteers who have been identified as close contacts of someone who has tested positive must:
    • take their daily antigen test BEFORE departing campus to volunteer;
    • mask at all times, outdoors as well as indoors, per current Bowdoin policy.
  • When possible, avoid public transportation; walk or bike to volunteer sites if in reasonable distance. 
  • Should either Bowdoin or the community partner site require stricter safety protocols than outlined above, those must be followed at all times.

We recognize that not all students will feel comfortable or be able to volunteer in person this semester, and that not all host sites/community partners will be able or willing to accommodate in-person volunteers. Please don't hesitate to reach out to anyone at the McKeen Center to discuss potential virtual opportunities or explore other ways to maintain community engagement while making sure that all parties feel safe and comfortable.