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Published:
2017-03-09 12:46:42 -0500
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Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Amy Shepard, who volunteers as a staffer with our Elections Committee.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

I volunteer with three committees, Strategic Planning (SP) as a co-chair, Elections, and Tag Wrangling, so what I do may be quite different from another staffer. For the Elections committee, I work as a team coordinator (TC). A lot of the organizing and day to day functions to get ready for the election are completed by TCs, which are like the Elections committee's personal assistants. I help write the minutes, the roadmap, organizing the to-do board, drafting newsletter updates (which I also write for Strategic Planning), and generally help where other staffers need an extra hand.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

Elections is a committee with about 14 people spread all throughout the world. We have a short meeting on Sunday to check in and get our assignments for the week, then we can either work on them right after our meeting or on our own time if we have other obligations. During the election season, everyone is working multiple days a week on their tasks to organize the candidates' platforms, host chats, and close the election. In the off season, TCs are busy with updating the internal wiki, creating the roadmap for the next year, and organizing feedback from candidates, members, and other involved committees to improve the election for everyone.

What made you decide to volunteer for Elections?

I already volunteered with the Strategic Planning committee and a lot of their purview supports the governance and direction of the OTW. Elections felt like a natural progression from SP. I was already familiar with the OTW's structure and tools, and the position of team coordinator felt like a really good fit. It also didn't hurt that everyone in Elections is kind, supportive, and a lot of fun to work with.

What's the most fun thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?

The benefit of working in such a large organization like the OTW means that everyone is a megafan of something. We play games (like Cards Against Humanity or role playing mafia-type games we call Sarlacc games), write fics together, hold movie nights, and share fan art.

What fannish things do you like to do?

I write some fanfiction for Doctor Who, Dragon Age, Yuri!!! on Ice, and Mass Effect, but mostly enjoy reading and commenting on everyone else's works. I've also met several volunteers in real life and plan on visiting one in Malaysia this fall!


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.