The University carries liability insurance policy which protects the University and the faculty or staff member responsible for the event. The University will defend and indemnify a University faculty or staff member for claims arising from his/her negligent act or omission while acting within the scope of employment. Intentionally harmful acts are not within the scope of employment and are not covered.
If the trip is part of a class, the syllabus should clearly identify that a field trip will be part of the course requirements. The syllabus should inform the students of the known risks associated with the trip, schedules of activity, safety procedures, and include applicable sections of the Assumption for Risk and Release Form .
If not included in the syllabus, a students must be provided with the trip information as stated above. In addition, the Assumption for Risk and Release for Off Campus Activities waiver of liability must be completed by every participant prior to leaving on the trip. This form is to be maintained by the department of the faculty/staff employee for a period of four years.
If traveling with students for an extended period, emergency contact information should be collected. In addition the destination may require additional documentation.
Certificate of Insurance may be necessary from the companies providing service which names the University as an additional insured with general liability minimum limits of $1,000,000. This insurance requirement should be addressed with the company at the time of initial contact. This may not be required of all experiences. Please contact the Risk management office at 331-2284.
Emergency procedures should be determined in advance of the trip. Take appropriate measures to address the situation.
When away from campus, student-related incidents involving bodily injury or property damage (regardless of severity) require immediate notification to the Public Safety department. Also report incidents to your Unit Head or Dean.
Certain activities which are considered to be extreme include: White water rafting; Mountain climbing; Rock climbing; Trampoline activities; Sky diving; Hang gliding; Scuba diving; Deep sea diving; Rodeos; Survival camps; Horseback riding; Sports or athletic contest or exhibition etc. For these and other similar activities, you must contact the Risk Management Office 331-2284 a minimum of 3 weeks in advance.
Mini-vans and 15 passenger vans are available through Facilities Services Motor-pool (331-3000). Visit their website at gvsu.edu/facilitiesservices. Local car rentals can be coordinated through Facilities Services as well.
Rent cars under the name of Grand Valley State University, then your name. Do not purchase the insurance offered by the rental car company. In the event of loss or damage to a rental vehicle a deductible may be charged to the Department. The renting of vehicles is to be arranged by the faculty/staff person in charge of the activity, and not by the participating students.
The use of personal vehicles is strongly discouraged since the university is unable to reimburse for any accident related repairs. If personal vehicles are used, owners of the vehicles must have automobile liability insurance in an amount sufficient to cover any property damage or liability loss and be responsible for their own personal deductible.
Proof of insurance in the form of an Insurance Identification Card should be submitted to the faculty/staff person in charge of the field trip. Use of personal staff or faculty vehicles will make those employees primarily responsible if any accident should occur. The University endorses all applicable motor vehicle regulations related to driver responsibility including seat belt use.
Faculty, staff and students driving 15 passenger vans must be participate in training provided by the University's Risk Management and/or Facilities Services Department. Contact Facilities Safety Department for further training Dinformation (616-331-3000). No additional training is necessary for use of personal or rental cars.
Determine the route, stops, timetables, and assign drivers. You will need a system for communicating and performing student counts. Make sure you have an adequate number of approved drivers for longer trips to allow sufficient rest for drivers. At least 2-4 people should be designated as drivers per vehicle, especially if the trip is of considerable distance and if using 15 passenger vans. This provides adequate drivers should a driver become ill, injured or tired.
If chartering a bus, the chartering company must carry insurance with liability limits of at least $5,000,000. The insurance requirement should be addressed with the chartering company at the time of initial contact. The University requires a Certificate of Insurance indicating the limits of liability available. The certificate holder is to be Grand Valley State University If limits are unsatisfactory, another chartering company will need to be used. Contact the Risk Management Office if you encounter difficulties in meeting this requirement.
Individuals not affiliated with GVSU may participate in an experiential learning activity only with written approval from the department. The non affiliated individual will not be covered by the university's liability insurance.
Minors not affiliated with Grand Valley should not be a part of GVSU sanctioned experiential learning activities.