SIU seeks 400+ volunteers to assist with eclipse events

by Tim Crosby



Efforts to prepare for the plethora of events for the April 8 total solar eclipse at Southern Illinois University Carbondale are well underway, and officials are issuing a call for volunteers, a vital part of the Southern Illinois Crossroads Eclipse Festival.


Gena Albert, associate dean of students and director of first year experience, said SIU is preparing to welcome thousands of people to campus for the eclipse and the events leading up to it, and volunteers will play a crucial role in providing them the best possible experience.


“This means having lots of folks available to assist us in creating a welcoming and helpful environment,” Albert said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for SIU students, university employees and community members who would like to give some time to enhance the overall experience for everyone.”


The primary role of most volunteers is hospitality, Albert said. Volunteers are needed to answer questions, provide information and generally make newcomers to campus feel welcome. They also might be called upon to distribute information, check in volunteers or vendors, direct parking, or set up before events and tear down afterward.


SIU wants to fill more than 400 volunteer shifts for its main events on campus, Albert said. Additional shifts are available at SIU Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center, the SIU Farms observation site, at Eclipse Con on campus and with the city of Carbondale.


With so many to choose from, volunteers can pick the shift that is right for them.


“We have shifts as early as Thursday, April 4, but most of the shifts will be on Sunday, April 7, and Monday, April 8,” Albert said. “A typical shift is three hours long, although there are a few two-hour and four-hour shifts. And folks who would like to sign up for multiple shifts are welcome to do so.”

Students, staff and community members who would like to sign up for a volunteer shift should visit the Eclipse Volunteer page and follow the information and links to the individual sign-up pages. Once the volunteer selects a shift on one of those pages, they’ll only need to answer a few additional questions to complete their sign-up.