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Field Trips Policy

A field trip is an activity sanctioned by the University and held under the direction of an authorized University employee. Off-campus trips are authorized by the University, but may not be held under the direction of an authorized University employee.

When the university has any degree of control of a Field Trip or other Off-Campus Trip, a "duty of care" exists. Duty of care requires the faculty or administrative sponsor of a field trip or off-campus trip to complete the Field Trip and Off-Campus Trip Notification Form with the names of all participants, method of travel, destination and dates of travel. Other helpful information includes contact information for the facility that participants will be staying if overnight accommodations are required. This form must be provided to Risk Management five (5) days prior to the trip. Part of the university's duty of care obligations include being able to quickly locate individuals in the event of an emergency, natural disaster, evacuation, etc., and the Field Trip/Off-Campus Trip Notification form provides this information. Accordingly, when it is determined that there is no duty of care then the Field Trip/Notification form is not necessary. 

Please ensure that all faculty, staff or students that drive others in a university vehicle, rental vehicle or their personal vehicle for a trip for which the university has a duty of care are Authorized Drivers.  

Not sure if you're Authorized to drive? Click here for a list of approved Authorized Drivers.

IF A RELEASE FORM IS REQUIRED, IT MUST BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO THE TRIP 

Students participating on a field trip for course credit that involves an overnight stay, inherent danger in any activities involved in the trip and/or there is a contractual obligation, must complete an Informed Consent and Assumption of Risk Form. 

Use this version if you agree to electronic consent: Informed Consent and Assumption of Risk Electronic Form.    

For a hard copy version please use Informed Consent and Assumption of Risk  

Please note **If you are under 18 years of age you must complete the hard copy version.**

In the event of an accident or injury, please report and instruct students to report all accidents and injuries to the sponsoring faculty member or supervisor, Trinity University Police at (210) 999-7000 and Risk Management at (210) 999-7815 as soon as possible following the accident or injury.

Students and participants voluntarily participating on a field trip or off-campus trip that involves an overnight stay, inherent danger in any activities associated with the trip and/or there is a contractual obligation, must complete a Student/Participant Release and Indemnity Agreement. 

 Use this version if you agree to electronic consent: Student/Participant Release and Indemnity Agreement Electronic Form.  

For a hard copy version please use Student/Participant Release and Indemnity Agreement

Please note

  • If you are under 18 years of age you must complete the hard copy version.
  • All hard copy Waiver/Release forms are to be maintained by the sponsoring department for four (4) years. 
  • Release forms for students under age 18 should be maintained for 4 years after attaining age 18.

Not sure what is needed prior to your trip? Click here for Trinity University's Risk Matrix for Field Trips.

Planning the Trip

  • Identify any special requirements for participation on the trip-special skills, fitness certification, etc., as well as any hazards or dangers on the trip or at the site which might affect the health and safety of the participants. 
  • Obtain departmental approval where appropriate. 
  • Ask students to advise you of any special disabilities, problems or needs that may need to be accommodated. (Please see the EIIA Emergency Contact/Medical Information template for information.)
  • Determine transportation needs-reservation of vehicles, authorization of drivers, and the need for site supervision. 
  • Plan for emergencies-theft, illness, vehicle emergencies, weather delays, student misconduct or threats to the safety of others, and telephone numbers of supervisors. 
  • If the trip is outside the continental United States, the trip must be reviewed by Risk Management. In the event of warnings issued by the U.S. Department of State, committee approval will be required. Travel/location specific Release Forms will be required.

Safety Recommendations 

  • Communicate information to students in advance regarding schedules, departure locations, route, rest and meal stops, lodging, emergency procedures, protocol for problems, and rules of conduct. 
  • Familiarize students with the site and their surroundings. Trinity University faculty and staff should warn students of any known hazards at the field trip site. University employees must exercise ordinary care to supervise students while participating in a field trip conducted by the University. 
  • Faculty, staff and students must comply with University policies during field trips, just as they would on campus. 
  • Instructional activities and settings during class time shall conform with University policies, including policies on alcohol and drug use, vehicle use, student misconduct, smoking, academic integrity and freedom, sexual harassment and discriminatory harassment. 
  • The faculty or staff employee who conducts the field trip should accompany the students to the site.

Risk Management Guidelines for Handling Field Trip Emergencies

Preparation for Trip:

1. Fill out the Field Trips and Off-Campus Trips Notification Form.
2. Ask attendees to complete the Emergency Medical Form to identify any medical issues or allergies and emergency contact information prior to the trip. Take copies of these forms with you on the trip.
3. Provide TUPD with a list of attendees and emergency contact information for everyone going on the trip. Include contact information for you and all other chaperones as well.
4. Ensure that you have cell service in the area that you will be traveling. If not, make other arrangements for communication in an emergency.
5. If driving a university vehicle or rental vehicle, ensure that you have the university’s Auto Liability Insurance card with you.
6. Advise students to have their health insurance information handy in the event of an emergency.
7. Have a back-up plan/leader in the event one leader needs to leave with an injured party.
8. Familiarize yourself and the students with locations of lodging emergency exits.
9. Identify the location of the nearest hospital.

In an Emergency: (Note: All of these guidelines may not apply to every emergency)

1. Gather any items that may have contributed to the emergency, if applicable (i.e. prescription medications, foods that may have caused allergic reaction, etc.)
2. Call 911 or seek medical care immediately. Provide a clear description of your location for EMS.
3. Provide hospital with student’s health insurance information, items that may have contributed to the emergency, information on any medical issues or allergy information, etc.
4. Contact TUPD at x7070 to alert to situation.
5. Contact Emergency Contact.
6. If there is a potential for university liability contact Risk Management at x8919 or riskmanagement [at] trinity.edu.

Auto Liability Insurance

Trinity University maintains Auto Liability insurance coverage on its fleet and for all vehicles rented for University-sponsored and scheduled trips.  If personal vehicles are used for this purpose, the individual's personal auto insurance policy will apply. Anyone driving on behalf of the University (whether University or personal vehicle) must be an Authorized Driver. Please keep in mind that the University insurance coverage may be jeopardized if there is a violation of University policy or procedures and an individual may subject themselves to personal responsibility for those violations. The following circumstances or events are excluded from the University's insurance policy:

  • Illness
  • Personal Property
  • Independent student assignments required for a course

Transportation 

If at all possible, you should use University-owned or rented vehicles. When renting a vehicle, do so under the names of Trinity University and the individual drivers. For U.S. rental vehicles, you should not purchase insurance offered by the rental agency. The University carries physical damage (comprehensive and collision) insurance coverage. There is a $300 deductible for a physical damage claim. Use of University vehicles can be arranged through Facilities Services. Rented vehicles must be arranged by the faculty or staff person in charge of the field trip, and not by the participating students. 

  • If personal vehicles are used, owners of the vehicles must be Authorized Drivers and have automobile liability insurance. The vehicle owner is responsible for any loss or damage in the event of an accident.
  • Drivers are required to comply with the Authorized Driver Policy
  • It is required that drivers who will operate passenger vans take the University's van driver safety training prior to the trip.
  • Determine the route, stops, and timetables, and assign drivers. Make sure you have an adequate number of approved drivers for longer trips to allow drivers sufficient rest. At least two to four people should be designated as drivers for each vehicle, especially if the trip is of considerable distance or if passenger vans will be used. This will be adequate provision in case a driver becomes ill, injured or tired. 
  • Should you have the need to charter a bus for a university sponsored event, please see the Trinity University Charter Bus Policy. When a chartered bus or plane is used, the chartering company must carry insurance with liability limits of at least the greater of $5,000,000 or $1,000,000 per seat. The insurance requirement should be addressed with the chartering company at the time that trip arrangements are made. This insurance is conditional upon the approval of the contract by the insurance underwriters prior to the trip. The proposed contract should be submitted to Risk Management at least 5 days prior to the trip. The University requires that the Certificate of Insurance indicate the limits of liability carried by the company and add the University as an "Additional Insured."

Personal Liability and Responsibility 

  • Faculty and staff have no special duty to protect adult students from their own voluntary actions. All applicable University policies, including those relating to student conduct, will be enforced during the trip. 
  •  Faculty and staff are personally liable for their own personal activities, and may be liable for actions which are manifestly outside the scope of employment, or which are conducted with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner. 
  • Faculty and staff should consider the proximity of personal, social and instructional activities in the field trip situation. They should be aware of how the situation, the setting, and their own personal conduct may be perceived by students, and they should act accordingly.
  •  Do not leave personal items alone or in plain sight in unattended vehicles. Personal items are not covered under the university insurance policy and are the responsibility of the owner.