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Office of Risk Management

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  Outdors  Off-Campus Events & Activities 



Yeshiva University (YU) sponsored off-campus events and activities are an extension of the university's academic programs and are subject to all applicable university policies and procedures as well as federal and state law.  It is also recognized that off-campus activities may pose additional responsibilities and increased exposure of risk to participants, as well as to the Yeshiva University.  This guideline is intended to assist faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and agents (i.e. Tour companies) acting on behalf of the University to minimize the risk associated with YU sponsored off-campus activities and events.
The goal of these proactive risk management guidelines is to ensure that event planners and/or group leaders plan and host events where everyone involved has a safe and fun experience.  The risk management department will assist in assist/advise organizers of the potential and perceived risks involved in their activities, as well as supervising activities and taking corrective actions and proactive steps to minimize accidental injury and/or loss.


These guidelines applies to YU sponsored activities and/or events within the United States.  The Risk Management Department should be consulted regarding specific foreign travel plans related to insurance coverage, safety concerns, etc.

Event Coordinator

Each activity requires pre-planning to demonstrate that conscious decisions are being made with respect to the reasonableness of risk.  Proper planning will include consideration of potential issues and incidents such as accident, criminal activity, injury, illness, misconduct, natural disaster, theft, vehicle emergencies and weather.
A successful event coordinator will complete the following pre-event steps:
1. List all activities and aspects of your event
2. Risk Assessment:- Comprehensively Identify and assess the risks associated with each activity such as physical, reputation, emotional, financial, and facilities risks associated with the event or activity
a. Physical Risks (harm or injuries to the physical body, including death, travel, food-related illnesses, etc.)
b. Environmental Risks (the safety of the facilities, things which may cause property damage, or prevent the event from being held (bad weather, not enough space, lack of equipment or materials needed for the event, the maintenance the facilities, etc.)
c. Reputation Risks (the reputation of the university, i.e. negative publicity, poor conduct or behavior at an event)
d. Emotional Risks (the emotions and reactions of participants or attendees, sensitive subject matter, potential controversy, etc.)
e. Financial Risks (cost reduction, proper budgeting, etc.)
3. Assign the appropriate group leader (s)
4. Develop thorough contingency and crisis response plans in case of emergencies
5. Background checks (Mandatory when participants are minors) as well as MVRs
6. Determine if any particular skill level will be required for participation and arrange for the appropriate training (CPR, safety, first aid, driver etc.,)
7. Collect all signed waiver (Participant/Parental Informed Consent Release Waiver, Volunteer Agreements)
8. Timely coordination of all paperwork (contract/agreements insurance certificates etc.)

Group Leader

Group leaders who participate in university sponsored events or activities are expected to adhere to the same standards of conduct in all activities associated with university-sponsored events as those expected of them in their on-campus activities. The group leader should have:
• Sufficient Knowledge of Area
• Detailed Agenda
• Complete YU Risk Assessment Form
• Detailed Itinerary
• Plan and Accommodate Special Needs
• Reviewed Permissible Conduct Guidelines
• Reviewed Emergency Preparedness
• If trip involves minors please complete the United Educators online course Sexual Misconduct: How Teachers and Other Educators Can Protect Our Children

Event Participants

All participants are expected to comply with the University’s policies, rules and regulations and have an awareness of his or her personal safety while on or at any off-campus activity/event.
University faculty/staff have a duty to warn their students of any known hazards at the field trip site. University employees must exercise reasonable care to protect and supervise students while they are participating in a field trip conducted by the University.  Communicate information to participants in advance about schedules, departure locations, route, rest and meal stops, lodging, emergency procedures, protocol for problems, and rules of conduct.
All participants are responsible for their own behavior and any resulting consequences.  The University shall not be liable for any loss, damage, injury or other consequence resulting from a participant's failure to comply with the university’s policies, rules and regulations, and applicable laws while under the supervision of the university’s employee(s) coordinating the event/activity.
The university’s insurance program does not provide personal health, auto, property or accident insurance coverage for off-campus activity participants.  All participants and Volunteers are responsible for personal medical costs or personal property losses incurred during their participation in the off-campus activity.  The university strongly recommends participants have health insurance and personal property insurance.


Undergraduate students, regardless of age, are PROHIBITED from possessing or consuming any alcoholic beverage on University premises or at any student event (whether or not on University premises).  If you are planning an event that includes alcohol service, the event coordinator is responsible for reviewing the University Alcohol Policy.  All events where alcohol will be served must comply with state laws and University policies applicable to the sale and/or distribution of alcohol.  Events involving alcohol, which take place either on or off campus must be approved by the Risk Management Department, Procurement Services, and the General Counsel’s office.

If alcohol is served - The Caterer should also include liquor liability insurance coverage of $2,000,000. Also, the caterer should obtain the necessary New York State liquor license in order to be able to serve alcohol.  Further, all caterers are required to meet the requirements of the New York State Workers Compensation law.
At such events food must always be provided and must be of substance (chips and dip are not sufficient.
Self-Serve bars are strictly prohibited at either on or off-campus events and/or activities.
There must be an identification checking process.  Alcoholic beverages must not be provided under any circumstances to any person under the age of 21
Identify a person(s) who will be responsible for the overall event oversight/monitoring
Alcohol is not permitted at any student athletic events (NCAA, NIT, NAIA and intramural student athletic events).


 Field Trips with Minor Students

Traveling and supervising minors on such trips significantly increases the duty of care and due diligence afforded to the running of these events.  In cases of “high risk” activities (i.e. surfing, kayaking etc.,) that involves minors, it is far more difficult to manage safely and requires a significant amount of responsibility on the group leaders to be alert at all times.

Guidelines for planning Trips with Minors

1. Prepare a Trip Plan. A trip plan must be prepared and retained in the school files for all trips.  The plan must specify all information, including persons in charge, participating classes of students, lodging, activities, and locations to be visited, the names of all adults taking part, details of departure and return, method of transportation and carrier.  Other issues to consider during the planning of these trips:
• Who will be responsible?
• What level of supervision will be provided; will supervision be constant or only occasional?
• Will supervisors have training in emergency response?
• What communications methods will supervisors use in case of emergency?
• Adequate ratio of staff to participants.
2. Obtain signed parental permission forms for any minor students participating.
3. Put your request in on time.  Register your trip/event plans with the General Counsel’s Office, Risk management department, and Procurement Services at least 30 days before the departure date.  Once the trip/event has been approved, all forms must be filled out in their entirety and submitted together no later than fourteen (14) business days prior to the date of which you wish to travel.
4. Background Screening must be completed on all those individual(s) who will be directly involved with minors.  Background checks are conducted by an outside agency, therefore adequate processing time is required.  The information obtained from a background check is only valid for the school year it is requested.  Also, it is recommended that in addition to the background check that schools conduct sex offender registry checks for all employees
5. Medical emergencies and contingencies should be included in planning for a trip.  Adult supervisors should travel with first aid kits, telephone numbers for emergency services in the area, and emergency home contact numbers.  Staff members who are chaperoning field trips are encouraged to carry a cellular phone in case of an emergency.
6. Discuss the potential risks and precautions with students in advance of the trip.  Ask students to advise you of any special disabilities, problems or needs that may need to be accommodated.
7. Stress to students what is expected of them.  Make sure they know meeting places and times, rest and meal stops, lodging, emergency procedures, protocol for problems etc.
*It is the policy of the University that the use of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances is not permitted at any events or activities involving minor participations.


 Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse

It is the public policy of this state to protect children whose health or welfare may be jeopardized through physical abuse, neglect, or sexual abuse.
Did you know that New York State law requires that (School officials, including but not limited to, teachers, guidance counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, school nurses, or administrators or any other person who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is abused or maltreated to may report.  This means that all of us have a legal responsibility to report abuse – whether it is witnessed, known, reported, alleged, suspected, etc.
If you witness, suspect, or receive a report of child abuse regardless of when the abuse occurred:
• Remove the child from immediate harm (if the abuse is presently occurring)
• Call 9-1-1 to report the abuse to local law enforcement
• Report the situation to your supervisor (unless they are the source of the abuse or neglect)
To avoid child abuse allegations:
• Avoiding one-on-one situations without others in the area
• Encourage minimum 1 advisor: 2 children or greater ratio when mentoring
• Encouraging the child buddy system (2 minors or children working together)


 Written Emergency Response Plan:

Consider various types of emergencies to plan for including, but not limited to the following:
• Theft or other crimes,
• Participant or group leader behavioral issues,
• Injury or death of participants or group leaders,
• Communication device failure in remote locations,
• Weather-related emergencies,
• Auto accidents or breakdown,
• Need to unexpectedly return home;
• Create a crisis phone list, “who calls who” in the event of an emergency;  Assign department employee(s) as the after-hours emergency contact;
• Train staff on responsibilities in the event of various types of emergencies, it is highly recommended staff engage in a trial crisis response activity;
• University faculty and staff should consider the proximity of personal, social, and instructional activities in a field trip situation. Be aware of how the situation, setting, and your personal conduct may be perceived by your students, and act accordingly;
• Provide Group Leaders, General Counsel, Risk Management, and other key persons an up-to-dated copy of the written plan for the activity/event
In case of an emergency while on a trip, seek assistance immediately. Notify YU Security Department as soon as possible. YU Security will notify the proper administrator. Make sure you leave a phone number where you can be reached.


 Insurance Information

Yeshiva University will take reasonable precautions to assure the safe travel and environment for students, staff and visitors.  The university maintains insurance coverage required by New York State law. This coverage is not all inclusive.
A Certificate of Insurance from the facility the trip will be visiting must be on file with the Risk Management Office and Procurement Services prior to the trip.  A Certificate of Insurance is also required from the company providing transportation
University-sponsored events occurring at off campus locations may be asked by the property owner for proof of insurance from the University.  To request a certificate of insurance, please complete a ''Certificate of Insurance Request Form'' and forward it to the risk management department by email along with a copy of the contract/agreement.  Contact the Risk Management Department at 212-960-5400 Ext. 6739 with any questions.

Non-University sponsors who do not carry liability insurance may apply for Special Event Insurance through the Tenant User Liability Insurance Program (TULIP).  A certificate of insurance can be generated through this process.