Sponsored Student Trip Policy
Oct. 14, 2019
If you are traveling for university-sponsored off-campus trips/events with students, listed below are brief procedures and resources that will be important to ensure the health, safety and protection of all travelers.
- First, we assume risks all the time for very good reasons. The goal of this policy is to anticipate and minimize the level of risk the university is taking.
- Second, anything funded or planned by the university, or by an agent of the university, increases the level of Whitworth's (and your) responsibility. This should not discourage you from offering great experiences or events to students. However, it is important that you and your students are aware of, and are willing to assume, the responsibility associated with off-campus trips/events, even if they are within the local area.
- Third, procedures and resources are available to help minimize risks associated with off-campus trips/events.
- This policy assumes that students are accountable for following Whitworth travel policies and procedures.
- International Education Center: The staff of the off-campus programs team have professional experience and expertise in the areas of international education, travel management and risk assessment. The OCP serves as a resource for all university personnel planning credit-bearing domestic and international programs and can provide guidance on budgeting, travel safety and logistical arrangements. They are also available for informal consultation related to planning other international travel for university-related activities. For more information, contact the OCP at 509.777.4499.
- The Dornsife Center for Community Engagement supports faculty who include service and engaged learning as part of their courses. If you are sending students off-campus to serve, complete research with a partner, work in consultancy on a project or volunteer in any capacity, we can be a resource. Staff will help to identify service sites, research projects and partnerships in project-based service-learning. We offer risk management support to protect you from liability, a pre-service orientation to position students for success, and pre-reflection activities, such as our Poverty Simulation, to prepare students for service experiences involving vulnerable or marginalized populations. For more information, see www.whitworth.edu/dornsifecenter/ or serve.whitworth.edu to learn about Dornsife partnerships in Spokane.
- Amy Setzer, who can be reached at 509.777.4321, is Whitworth's risk management coordinator. She is a resource for information about use of the university's vehicle fleet as well as tips on risk management and personal safety and other types of assistance.
In planning an off-campus trip involving students, whether they are traditional undergraduates, continuing studies or graduate students, the organizer must follow the relevant procedures outlined below.
Trips Less than 50 Miles, Excluding Overnight Trips
- The trip organizer must follow procedures for one of the following areas and complete an Off Campus Activity Approval Request form (available on the Master Forms list under “Risk Management”) as required: student activities, Athletics, the Dornsife Center for Community Engagement, University Recreation or the Off Campus Programs office. Those organizing off-campus trips that are not in coordination with and under the purview of the OCP office should consult with their area dean regarding relevant planning and approval procedures.
- If a Whitworth vehicle will be used for transportation, the trip organizer must file a request for reservation of a pool vehicle with facilities services at 509.777.3254.
- At the time of the request, the applicant's Whitworth driving privileges will be verified.
- If the applicant has not been certified to drive a Whitworth vehicle, s/he will be required to complete an application to do so.
- The potential driver must sign a waiver to verify his/her driving record.
- The applicant(s) will then be required to take an online driver-training program administered through the Whitworth Security Department.
- If a 10-15 passenger van is requested, potential drivers must also complete a road-handling test.
- If Whitworth does not provide transportation for the trip, faculty or staff should refrain from formally planning travel arrangements for students.
- If a class requires off-campus travel, that should be noted in the syllabus.
Trips Farther than 50 Miles, within Washington or North Idaho
- The trip organizer must follow procedures for one of the following areas and complete an Off Campus Activity Approval Request form (available on the Master Forms list under “Risk Management”) as required: Student Activities, Athletics, the Dornsife Center for Community Engagement, University Recreation or the Off Campus Programs office. Those organizing off-campus trips that are not in coordination with and under the purview of the OCP office should consult with their area dean regarding relevant planning and approval procedures.
- The trip organizer must obtain a signed Program and Activity Release form (available on the Master Forms list under “Risk Management”) from each participant on the trip and must return the waivers to the authorized person in the sponsoring department (e.g. appropriate Dean’s office, Student Activities, Athletics, URec, etc). It is extremely important that these be readily available both on campus and with the person leading the trip in case of emergency.
- The trip organizer must provide contact information and, in some cases, medical insurance information for each participant to the appropriate office in the sponsoring department (e.g. appropriate Dean’s office, Student Activities, Athletics, URec, etc). This information will be kept on file with an appropriate responsible person on campus for the duration of the trip. It is extremely important that these be readily available both on campus and with the person leading the trip in case of emergency.
- If a Whitworth vehicle is to be used, it must be reserved through facilities services at 509.777.3254. Conditions for driving the vehicle are outlined above in the section for trips under 50 miles.
Trips outside Washington or North Idaho
- The trip organizer must follow procedures for one of the following areas and complete an Off Campus Activity Approval Request form (available on the Master Forms list under “Risk Management”) as required: student activities, Athletics, the Dornsife Center for Community Engagement, University Recreation or the Off Campus Programs office. Those organizing off-campus trips that are not in coordination with and under the purview of the OCP office should consult with their area dean regarding relevant planning and approval procedures. The trip organizer must request trip approval from the area Cabinet member or his/her designee and approval must be given before the trip is announced to students.
- All steps listed above for trips within Washington or North Idaho must be completed.
- Faculty/staff seeking to organize a formal credit-bearing study program abroad must contact the Off-Campus Programs staff at 509.777.4499. Specific instructions and deadlines are in place that guide the proposal and application process for this type of travel/program.
- Faculty/staff seeking to travel abroad with students for all other purposes (e.g. conferences, athletic, music/arts-related) must contact their supervisor or department chair, who will offer guidance and ensure that an area-appropriate approval process is followed, including approval before the trip is announced to students from the area Cabinet member or his/her designee.
- Whitworth University recognizes that faculty/staff leading off-campus trips may at times request for their spouse and/or dependents to accompany them on university-sponsored travel. Although Whitworth values the importance of the family and supports these requests, there are clear protocols in place that outline the permissibility and scope of non-Whitworth participant engagement in university-sponsored travel.
- Approval for non-Whitworth travelers must be acquired by the relevant supervisor or department chair and area Cabinet member or his/her designee.
The approval and inclusion of non-Whitworth travelers should not affect the financial, logistical, or programmatic outcomes intended for the sponsored travel. Unless otherwise approved, transportation and other logistical arrangements for non-Whitworth travelers are to be made independently by the non-Whitworth party.
- The primary role of spouses on sponsored travel is that of spouse and/or caretaker of any dependent children also accompanying the faculty/staff member. To protect institutional liability, it is important that spouses/children do not undertake care of or responsibility over student travelers unless they have entered into a formal volunteer agreement for the sponsored travel.
- Children or legal dependents under the age of 18 may accompany the faculty/staff member for a period or full duration of the sponsored travel as long as their presence does not interfere with the leader’s duties to the students and trip/program. If the child/dependent is under the age of thirteen, the faculty/staff leader must provide a caretaker. This caretaker must be eighteen years of age or older.
- In some cases, an academic or professional individual not associated with Whitworth University may be deemed a valuable resource and approved to accompany and/or engage with the sponsored trip/program. A request for approval must be submitted to the relevant supervisor or department chair for approval and approved by the appropriate dean or area Cabinet member. Forms for seeking approval are available through Whitworth’s Human Resources Office. For study programs coordinated by the Off Campus Programs office, faculty/staff must submit these volunteer requests to the Off-Campus Programs staff in addition to their supervisor/department chair and dean.
- Individuals approved to take part in university-sponsored travel/programs are required to sign a letter of appointment outlining duties, responsibilities, and timeframe of involvement. Such appointments are subject to revocation as described therein. Approved volunteers must pass a background check conducted by Human Resource Services before they can participate in the sponsored trip/program.
Prevention of Misconduct Liability
- Do not travel alone with a student. For your own protection, travel with a group of students.
- Faculty and staff members who sponsor a trip must be available to the group at all times, or a responsible agent of the institution must be present with the group. In some cases, with prior approval, the responsible agent may be a qualified student.
- Never provide alcohol to an underage student.
- No person responsible for transporting students can be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- All significant incidents, including but not limited to, overnight hospitalization, sexual assault or attempted suicide must be reported within 24 hours of the incident to the area vice president or his/her designee and to Amy Setzer at 509.777.4321.