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Student Domestic Travel Policy

This document has been developed to provide guidance and clear instructions for students and faculty/staff members involved in university approved student travel. This policy is applicable to all domestic student travel (i.e. sponsored by student organizations and departmental travel in which students are involved).

Overview and Expectations for University Sponsored Student Travel
Domestic travel includes travel within any of the 50 states of the United States, the District of Columbia, U.S. Territories and possessions and Puerto Rico.

All University sponsored student travel must have a Trip Organizer. The Trip Organizer may be a faculty/ staff member or a student. A Trip Advisor is required to accompany students on the University sponsored trip if one of the following criteria is met; a) The trip radius for the group exceeds 50 miles, b) the trip involves an overnight stay, c) the trip occupancy exceeds 10 students, or d) the trip involves an activity deemed, by the Office of Public Safety, as high- risk. This trip advisor must be a faculty or staff member at the University of the Ozarks. For every 10 students over 20, you may be required to have an additional Trip Advisor on the trip.

The Trip Organizer or Trip Advisor (if the above criteria are met) has the following responsibilities:

  •  Complete a Travel Authorization Form and turn into the appropriate University representative, as listed below. The approved form will then be sent to the Department of Public Safety.

Student or student organization planned trips – Director of Student Engagement

Faculty planned trips – Academic Dean

Staff planned trips – Supervisor

  • Ensure that a University vehicle is utilized for all travel that exceeds 50 miles or involves 10 or more participants.

  • Provide a trip orientation to all participants prior to departure.
  • Provide a list of students’ names and emergency contact information with the Travel Authorization Form.
  • Provide a copy of completed required waiver form for all participants.
  • A copy of these documents should be with the trip organizer while on trip and a copy maintained within the responsible department, in the event that the on-location documents are inaccessible.
  • Ensure students carry ID and medical insurance cards.
  • Carry emergency phone numbers to reach the University.
All University sponsored student travel must be approved a minimum of 5 business days in advance of the trip and before making any financial commitments.
The Trip Organizer or Trip Advisor (if needed) should try to anticipate what complications could arise, and develop contingency plans in advance. Examples include: a student needs to leave early because of a personal emergency; a student violates established rules or violates the Student Code of Conduct (please refer to the Talon); or weather or transportation causes delays or cancellations.

During the trip orientation the Trip Organizer should make it clear to students the University cannot:

1. Guarantee or assure the safety and/or security of participants or eliminate all risks from the travel.

2. Monitor or control all of the daily personal decisions, choices, and activities of participants.
3. Prevent participants from engaging in illegal, dangerous or unwise activities.

4. Assume responsibility for actions or for events that are not part of the program nor for those that are beyond the control of the trip leader and University that may arise due to the failure of a participant to disclose pertinent information.

Transportation

Transportation remains one of the largest risks associated with domestic travel. When arranging transportation to off- campus events and activities, there is one important phrase to remember: “Liability follows the vehicle.” That meansliability for a transportation accident or collision during University domestic travel falls on the owner of the plane, train, boat, bus, etc. If transportation is being provided in a personal vehicle, the University recommends that transportation providers have adequate insurance. The University requires participants for University sponsored student travel to use University vehicles for all travel that exceeds 50 miles or that involves 10 or more travelers.

If someone uses his or her personal vehicle to transport participants for domestic travel events, all involved should beaware that the vehicle owner’s insurance is first in line for any liability payments. The University insurance may become involved if the event is an official University activity, but only after the insurance of the vehicle owner is completely exhausted. Likewise, the condition of the vehicle should be excellent (no bad brakes, missing headlights, etc.), and the authorized drivers should be well rested and careful; and should not consume alcohol, intoxicants, or hallucinogens while operating all vehicles. All faculty, staff, and students must complete the following steps, with the Administrative Assistant for the Executive Offices, to become an authorized university driver:

  1. Have a valid driver’s license.

  2. Be 21 years of age.

  3. Complete and submit the Driver’s History Form and Driver Agreement Form, found in forms on EagleNET.

  4. Authorize the University to obtain motor vehicle records, and ensure the University has obtained said records,

    prior to driving and annually thereafter.

  5. Authorize the University to release their driver’s license and driving record to a third party.

  6. Provide documentation of completion of the recommended on-line van safety course (if driving 15 passenger

    vans).

Group transportation should be arranged by using a University-owned or leased vehicle. Use of personal vehicles is discouraged because it will make those vehicle owners primarily responsible if any collision should occur. Every effort should be made to minimize the number of vehicles used for a trip. Use of 12 and 15 passenger vans are encouraged.

University of the Ozarks Emergency Contact Numbers:

 Department of Public Safety (24-Hour Duty Phone) 479-979-2020

Office of Student Affairs (24-Hour Duty Phone) 479-979-4977