Wilkes University

Student Domestic Travel Policy

Purpose

Wilkes University encourages and supports travel opportunities that enhance the student experience and advance our mission, vision, and core values. The ensuing policy is designed to promote safe travel and provide guidance for planning and implementing off campus student excursions.

Policy Revisions Related to Covid-19

In July 2020, the University adapted a new travel policy that will be in place through the period when COVID-19 presents itself as a significant safety threat to the university community as determined by university leadership in consultation with local, state and federal health officials. The revised policy prohibits all non-essential student travel. Essential student travel is defined as travel that is necessary to meet a graduation requirement and cannot be postponed. Student organization essential travel requests will be considered by the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Risk and Compliance.

Scope

This policy applies to undergraduate student domestic travel to off-campus events and activities that are:  

  1. Excursions anywhere off campus
  2. Organized, sponsored, or subsidized in any part by a University club, organization, academic program, department, or staff and faculty members working in their official University capacities.

Definitions

  1. Student - For the purpose of this policy, the term student refers to undergraduates who are enrolled in classes at the University either online or in person. The policy applies to both full-time and part-time undergraduate students.
  2. Student Travel - Refers to domestic travel as defined in the preceding section.
  3. Student Club or Organization - Refers to any student organization on campus that has been formally recognized or subsidized by Student Government, an academic department, or an administrative unit on campus.
  4. Overnight Stay - Refers to trips where students stay overnight in accommodations that are not owned by Wilkes University.
  5. Appropriate Administrator - May include the Provost (or designee), Academic Dean, Department Chair, Vice President, Student Affairs Dean, or Director of Student Development.

General Requirements

  1. All requests for essential student domestic travel that falls under the scope of this policy must be submitted at least one week prior to the requested date of departure.  Students, faculty, and staff members can submit a request by completing the Student Domestic Travel form available below under resources. 
  2. All student travel of more than 50 miles (or including an overnight stay) requires the completion of an Off-Campus Travel Waiver, which is available below under resources.
  3. Unless there is an exception approved by an appropriate administrator, student travel that is beyond 50 miles of Wilkes University’s campus or includes an overnight stay, must be chaperoned by a Wilkes University staff or faculty member.
  4. Chaperones shall exchange cell phone numbers and carry emergency contact information for all participants.
  5. Chaperones are expected to hold a pre-trip meeting with participants to discuss the itinerary, transportation details, budget, and behavioral expectations.
  6. Friends and family who are not currently enrolled students of Wilkes University are not eligible to participate in travel opportunities unless they receive special permission from an appropriate administrator.
  7. While traveling, students are responsible for complying with all standards and codes of conduct delineated in Wilkes University’s Student Handbook. Violations of the University’s code of conduct may be referred to the Student Affairs Council for disciplinary action. The severity of the sanctions will depend on the circumstances surrounding the violation.
  8. In order to use University vehicles, staff, faculty, and students must meet the criteria and follow the regulations specified in the University’s Vehicle Use Policy.
  9. The use of private vehicles is allowed, however, the university will not assume responsibility for accidents, damage or injury resulting from such travel.
  10. Students, along with faculty and staff who are acting in their official capacities with the University, are strongly discouraged from consuming alcohol during student travel events/activities. No alcohol is permitted on bus or mode of transportation as well as in housing.

Lodging

  1. Students must submit a Lodging Consent Form to the chaperone at least one week prior to departure for trips that include an overnight stay. (See resources below). In lieu of a chaperone, the form may be submitted to an appropriate administrator.
  2. The University does not encourage or condone students sharing a bed, however, spouses, partners, and friends may be excluded if they so choose.
  3. Faculty and staff are prohibited from sharing hotel rooms with students.

Incident Reporting

  1. All injuries and accidents that occur during travel must be promptly reported to the University Police (570-408-4999). For emergency situations, participants should first call 911 and then the University Police. 

Health Insurance

It is the responsibility of participant to verify their own insurance status and ensure they have appropriate coverage for all travel-related activities. Wilkes University does not provide any Accident or Medical Insurance for travel participants.

Sexual Misconduct

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) prohibits discrimination based on sex in any educational programs, which includes sexual harassment and sexual violence. Title IX requires the University, upon becoming aware of any incident of sexual misconduct to respond appropriately to protect and maintain the safety of the University community, including students, faculty and staff. This protection extends to students, faculty and staff who are traveling for a University-sponsored event. Any incidents of sexual misconduct should immediately be reported to the Title IX Coordinator (570-408-3842). For emergency situations, participants should first call 911.

Noncompliance

Failure to comply with this policy may result in the denial of University sponsored travel privileges, denial of future travel funding, and/or referral to student discipline.

Resources (Active Links to Forms)


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