Interested in volunteering as an advocate?

Hands raised with red hearts in the palms.

VAN can only provide this support for the UT campus community through our dedicated volunteer advocates who make themselves available around the clock, so there is always someone to answer the call. VAN volunteer advocates will receive extensive training on victim services best practices and how to develop rapport with victims to provide emotional and practical support and guidance for individuals or witnesses impacted by crime. If you are interested in learning how to integrate a trauma-informed, client-centered approach while using an anti-oppressive lens to support your community members, then this volunteer opportunity is for you.

If you:

  • Feel called to serve and care for your community
  • See the value in supporting someone during a difficult time
  • Enjoy learning new skills and being part of a dedicated team
  • Want to contribute to an innovative, ground-breaking approach to community-led first response

Then please consider becoming involved in VAN and showing up for fellow Longhorns!

Benefits to Volunteering

A picture of VAN volunteers in training.
  • Connect with a community of care-takers who share your dedication to their fellow Longhorns
  • Gain new skills and knowledge; advocates attend monthly trainings to stay informed of best practices. Some training topics have included:
    • Criminal/Legal System
    • Advocacy with Immigrant Survivors
    • Dynamics of Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault
    • Cyber Stalking
    • Crisis Intervention
    • Grief & Loss
    • Vicarious Trauma & Self-Care
  • Tap into the many proven benefits of altruism, including improved health outcomes, satisfaction, and increasing sense of belonging
  • Learn more about the benefits of volunteering HERE (Article on altruism)

Volunteer Requirements

  • 21 years old or older
  • UT-Austin employee (or student with employee status) or UT-Austin Alumni
  • Must have a working cell phone
  • Must have reliable transportation and state-required insurance for your vehicle
  • Must be available for on-call availability, with flexible scheduling options
  • Must complete live or asynchronous 2-hour monthly training (this is said here and below)


  • 30+ hours of initial candidacy training
  • 18 hours of on-call availability per month
  • 2 hours of required training monthly

Candidacy Process

  • VAN Candidacy Process Checklist (PDF)
  • Application form (PDF)
  • Notarized Release for Background Check form (PDF); (and a "How to find a notary" section)
  • Supervisor Approval form (PDF)
  • Schedule an interview by emailing; review the interview questions (DOC) prior to your interview.
  • UTPD Ride-out Instructions form (DOC)
  • UTPD Ride-out Agreement form (PDF)
  • UTPD Ride-out Eval form (DOC)
  • Schedule APD ride-out eval, bringing this form (DOC)
  • Complete Psychological First Aid training; (Learn to provide psychological first aid to people in an emergency by employing the RAPID model: Reflective listening, Assessment of needs, Prioritization, Intervention, and Disposition); Join Coursera for free and access training from Johns Hopkins at:
  • Complete TVAT training; Register for free, online, self-paced Texas Victim's Assistance Training at:
    • (*Warning* some have reported technology issues because it uses Flash Player, so use Internet Explorer, as other web browsers are incompatible. Some UT departments/computers have Flash Player blocked, so you may need to use a different computer or request a technology ticket to get the program unblocked.) Progress can be saved & returned. Email Coordinator certificate of completion.
  • Complete Mental Health First Aid Crash Course; Access on "Candidacy Trainings" folder on UT Box & complete "VAN MHFA Crash Course 6-9-2020". Complete "Asynchronous Completion Form" when done.
  • Attend 4-hour orientation training provided at UTPD. VAN will provide volunteer advocates with needed materials, policies, & procedures to be equipped to activate into the network.
  • Hour-long role-plays of a VAN call from beginning to end with VAN staff. Role-plays can be done until the advocate feels comfortable with the call process.
  • Access schedule to sign up for shifts and officially activate into VAN!


Upcoming Events

Event Status
Tuesday September 10, 2024, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
UT Peter O'Donnell Jr. Building | Avaya Auditorium (POB 2.302)

Officers will discuss active shooter events and provide options that adhere to the Run, Hide, Fight protocol. Learn how to take life-saving action and what to expect from UTPD in these situations.

View all Events