Samvera Community Helpers

The Samvera Community Helpers is a group of volunteers who provide support to others within the Community. Since this group was organized in ca. 2015, it has taken on a variety of initiatives, activities, and responsibilities to generally ensure respectful behavior, to encourage a diversity of voices, and to promote a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere for all Samvera members in our events, team collaborations, products, and documentation.

Current List of Helpers 

  1. Carolyn Caizzi, Northwestern University (, ccaizzi on Slack) Service Term: to December 31, 2024

  2. Hannah Frost, Stanford University (, hannahfrost on GitHub, @feefifofannah on Twitter, @hannah on Samvera Slack) Service Term: to December 31, 2024

  3. James Griffin, Princeton University (, jrgriffiniii on Slack) Service term: to December 31, 2025

  4. Jessica Hilt, UC San Diego (, Jessica Hilt on Slack) Service Term: to December 31, 2024

  5. Brian McBride, University of Utah (, brianmcbride on Github and Slack) Service Term: to December 31, 2024

  6. Alicia Morris, Tufts University (, amorris on Slack) Service Term: to December 31, 2024

Note: Heather Green Klein (Samvera Community Manager) is also an owner of the Helpers email list. Her subscription is set to "no email", though she may read messages sent to the list at her discretion.

Renewal of Helpers and Review of Documentation

Role of the Helpers

In the interest of adequate coverage and context, the group of Helpers should have an appropriate mix of members based on their level of regular presence and participation in Samvera spaces, such as:

  • Developers actively contributing to Samvera products, participating routinely on tech calls, community sprints, pull request reviews, component maintenance

  • Designers, service/product managers, and analysts who are involved in sprints, reporting bugs, or Interest Groups and Working Groups activities

  • Board members

With the introduction of a dedicated Response Team in 2021, the role of the Helpers has been scoped more narrowly. The Helpers will:

  • Monitor the Helpers email list

  • Refer any reports of Code of Conduct violations to the Response Team, but no longer are be responsible for incident response 

  • Participate in reviewing the Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment policy annually for revisions

  • Support new Helpers

    • Identify and nominate new Helpers

    • Maintain onboarding documentation and resources

  • Commit to serving a term of two years

  • Be eligible to volunteer or be nominated for the role of Incident Responder

Helping at Samvera Events

Event Helpers are a group of volunteers who are committed to providing help to others within the Samvera Community at various Samvera events. Helpers assist in fielding concerns regarding reported violations of the Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment Policy, or responding to general help requests. Event Helpers can be members of the Samvera Community Helpers or volunteers from the Community.  Event helpers serve a variety of roles:

  • Presenting and explaining the Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment Policy at the beginning of each day of Samvera events

  • Staffing welcome table at Samvera Connect meetings

  • Being available for questions

  • Mentoring new Samverans

  • Coordinating with event organizers (program committee, local hosts) as needed

Becoming a Helper

The Helpers have been and integral part of building the Samvera Community. Examples of past Helper activities include:

  • Drafted and periodically updated the original Anti-Harassment Policy and Samvera Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment Policy

  • Volunteered to be formally available at specific events as on-call Helpers

  • Responded to reports of disrespectful behavior or Code of Conduct violations

  • Engaged in discussions with community members about practices and expectations of event presenters (eg., pronouns, verbally describing one’s appearance)

  • Monitored the Helpers email list