There are many ways to get involved with the Ashdown community, and volunteering is a welcome and appreciated service for events and operations. Below are listed some recurring opportunities – for interested residents, please contact the related officer or committee. Besides these events, please keep an eye out for Ashdown-talk emails which will list more events throughout the year. For internal volunteering, as a sign of gratitude, volunteers are given service stamps which they can swap for cool Ashdown swag!

Internal Volunteer Opportunities

Coffee Hour volunteers help prepare and set out the snacks, as well as participate in planning special themed coffee hours. Please contact ashdown-coffee @mit.edu and/or stop by the Hulsizer Room on Thursday evenings at 7:25 pm.

Sunday Brunch volunteers wash and cut fruit, prepare pastries and eggs, and organize the brunch layout. They also serve food and clean up after the event. A bonus for brunch volunteers includes eating early with the Brunch Committee members and avoiding long lines! Please contact ashdown-brunch@mit.edu and/or stop by the Hulsizer Room on Sunday Brunch mornings (1 per month) at 8 am.

External Volunteer/Engagement Opportunities

Cook for CASPAR is an opportunity for MIT students to lend a hand to our neighborhood emergency homeless shelter. Volunteers spend a few hours doing food preparation and cooking, followed by serving the hot meals to the CASPAR visitors. It’s a great way to spend some time with your classmates while engaging with the wider Cambridge community. Interested students should watch their emails for Ashdown House volunteer excursions to CASPAR, or contact CASPAR directly.

The MIT Institute-wide Resources for Easing Friction and Stress (MIT iREFS) are trained graduate students who offer confidential, peer-to-peer conflict management coaching and support to fellow graduate students at MIT. Interested student volunteers receive training on active listening, coaching, mediation, and conflict management, as well as information on various institutional resources aimed at helping the students deal with difficult situations they may face during their time at MIT. If you are interested in joining the MIT iREFS, please visit the iREFs website or contact irefs-contact@mit.edu.

The GSC Advocacy Subcommittee is a new group working to ensuring students’ voices are consistently heard on a variety of issues, with a particular focus on financial well-being and equity, and (affordable) housing. Thus year’s topics will include the 2020 Cost of Living (CoL) Survey, strategies for relieving financial distress for graduate students with families and less-than-12-month appointments, and the design and planning of the new graduate dorm (after Site 4). The Advocacy Subcommittee meets once every two weeks. To sign up simply email gsc-hca-advocacy-chair@mit.edu and indicate your interest.

The GSC Sustainability Subcommittee is a space for climate-conscious students to collaborate on implementing sustainable practices in MIT graduate student life. They collaborate with other student groups and institute partners across camput to educate, inspire, and engage students in sustainability and advance MIT’s greater Climate Action goals. For more information and to find out how to get involved, see their website and/or join their Slack channel. This subcommittee also offers funding to student-led sustainability projects.

*If you are an organization seeking student volunteers, please get in touch with the Ashdown Community Committee Chair: ashdown-communities-chair@mit.edu