Policies & Requirements

Be committed, respectful, and punctual

For HAPPY volunteers, we trust that, once committed, you will be able to continue our regular and responsible work in the New Haven communities. It is extremely crucial that you will make every effort to provide the screenings at your designated shift, and should you become unavailable, arrange to have fellow volunteers to take your shift. Volunteering with HAPPY will bring you tremendous joy and gratification of helping others in a meaningful way. And we ask you to live up to the expectations if you decide to participate in our hypertension screenings. As always, volunteers are expected to arrive on time and be professional during their screening shift. We are all representatives of HAPPY and are to present ourselves as approachable and helpful volunteers. Any irresponsible behaviors will undermine our reputation and trust among community members, thus making it difficult for HAPPY to keep working with community soup kitchens in the future. No irresponsible behaviors will be tolerated.

Attitude and approach

It is crucial that all HAPPY volunteers exhibit respectful, helpful, and professional attitude when approaching and connecting with community members. You must not take advantage of the disprivileged community members to engage in unauthorized and harmful practices, such as giving medical diagnoses and any other medical related practices you are not qualified to undertake as a non-health professional. You should always strive to understand the unique struggles our clients face in accessing medical care by trying to think from their perspectives.


Time commitment
  • A HAPPY hypertension screening volunteer must be able to commit to a weekly, one-hour blood pressure screening shift for the entirety of an academic semester (excluding school recess and the final exam period) or summer. Students must complete the necessary trainings in order to be eligible to participate in hypertension screenings.
  • HAPPY board members are required to sign up for hypertension screening shifts.
  • Only active hypertension screening volunteers can participate in HAPPY-led research projects.
  • Community education outreach and service: For those HAPPY members who are not able to commit to a weekly blood pressure screening shift in a given academic semester, they may participate in weekly or bi-weekly hypertension education outreach programs and/or volunteer to serve meals in the community soup kitchens.
  • All HAPPY volunteers are encouraged in participate in fundraising projects to sustain our operating budget.
  • All HAPPY volunteers can earn volunteer hours through The President’s Volunteer Service Award program for their work for hypertension screenings, education outreach, community service, and fundraising.

Absences will not be tolerated. If you must miss your shift, you must send to the HAPPY active volunteer panlist (happy@elilists.yale.edu) a message of excuse at least 24 hours in advance of your shift. Otherwise, it will count as an unexcused absence. Your excuse of absence with at least 24 hour notice would allow for board members to contact other students who are available and can take your shift.


Any volunteers who have more than 2 unexcused absences in one semester (school recesses not included) will be removed from volunteering duties for the rest of the semester. A board member who has more than 2 unexcused absences will forfeit the officer title. A volunteer who helps catch an excused absence for another volunteer while also attending his/her own shift during the same week will be rewarded with reduction of ONE (1) already incurred or potential unexcused absence in the same semester.

Hypertension screening requirements

All HAPPY hypertension screening volunteers must track the service metrics and submit the post-screening form after each volunteer shift. Volunteers must also consistently review and follow all the volunteer resources in order to provide reliable and high-quality service to the community members.


All volunteers must exercise good caution and common sense to be safe. Please avoid walking alone to the soup kitchen at all times and refrain from carrying or displaying expensive personal items at your volunteer shifts. All HAPPY volunteers must use Yale shuttle bus (night-time shuttle: 203-432-6330) and/or 24/7 To-Walk escort service (203-432-9255) when volunteering in the early morning and in the evening. Additional Yale shuttle contact information can be found here. If you see something, say something. Contact Yale Police and community center supervisors.

Maintaining HAPPY properties

As hypertension screening volunteers, you will receive free blood pressure cuffs from HAPPY for the sole purpose of conducting blood pressure screenings in community centers as HAPPY volunteers. You may not use the blood pressure cuffs for other unauthorized or personal uses. You must take good care of the blood pressure cuffs. Upon graduation or termination of your volunteer duty with HAPPY, you must return the blood pressure cuff to the HAPPY executive board. You should contact the VPs of Finance and Directors of Community Outreach if you plan to stop volunteering with HAPPY. If you are not able to commit to a screening shift in a given semester but can resume in subsequent semester, you are also required to return your blood pressure cuff for this semester so that another HAPPY volunteer may provide the service. During school recess, winter and summer vacations, you are responsible for storing the HAPPY blood pressure cuffs if you plan to continue volunteering with HAPPY in subsequent semester. Loss or damage to your blood pressure cuff will result in a fine of $20.