SSIS advice column

February 28, 2020

Welcome back to the SSIS column, where we answer any and all of Brandeis students’ questions about sex, sexuality, identity and relationships. If you have a question you’d like answered in our next column, email ssis@brandeis.edu or leave a question in the Google Form link on the Student Sexuality Information Service Facebook page. Any and all questions are welcome: there are no bad, stupid, or weird questions! 

(Note: These answers are good-faith attempts by SSIS to be helpful to the Brandeis community, and are by no means exhaustive or to be taken as universal. If these answers don’t resonate with you, either pay them no mind, or reach out to us with suggestions for improvement!)

“Are you secretly judging me when I walk into the office?”

This is a completely understandable question. It is so valid to feel uncertainty when entering a space that might not be super familiar to you and in which vulnerable topics can be covered. But we can say with certainty that oh my goodness, NO! We are not judging you at all! To become an SSIS member, an individual must go through a very thorough process, part of which is ensuring that that individual is in fact completely non-judgemental when it comes to things relating to the content matter we work with. SSIS prides ourselves on being a safe and sex positive place, and every single one of us is here to empower the people on this campus to take pride in and feel good about whatever sexuality means to them. We go through rigorous training to understand the nuances and complexity of sexuality and sexual health so that we can better support students and their needs. Humans are multi-faceted, and sex and sexuality are multi-faceted; as such, we truly want to do everything we can to serve and support the Brandeis community, regardless of the reason you’re walking through our door.

“How do I get a job at SSIS?”

This is a great question and we are so glad you asked! To start, we want to make sure we clarify that (at least for the time being) SSIS is a volunteer position, so our members unfortunately do not receive payment. If you are interested in becoming an SSIS volunteer, our applications go out Feb. 24 and there is no prior experience necessary! To fill out an application, you will have to come to our office, located in the SCC Room 328 and fill it out there to ensure confidentiality. Every applicant receives an alias that you will use throughout the application process, as the process is completely anonymous. You are welcome to come during any of our office hours to fill out the application. If none of our office hours work for you, then you are encouraged to text us at our texting service which is 586-ASK-SSIS and set up an after hours appointment! This can be in the evenings, weekends, etc. We usually recommend setting aside about half an hour to fill out the application.

Once you fill out an application, you will be asked to sign up for several interview times that you are available. The interview is 30 minutes long and will also be in our office. After that, we will contact you in April to let you know if you have been selected! 

We want to note that if you do get selected to be an SSIS volunteer, you are required to attend a training that takes place the last week of summer before classes start in the fall. During this training, you will learn all of the information and skills necessary to become an SSIS volunteer, because no prior experience is necessary!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions about SSIS or applying! 

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