Student Travel Policy



Policy Statement

  1. Purpose. Syracuse University seeks to promote safe travel to events and activities occurring beyond the boundaries of University property by students and recognized student organizations. As such, this Policy applies to individual student and recognized student organization travel both in cases where the travel is sponsored by Syracuse University’s Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience and in cases where the travel is independent of DSA sponsorship but where an individual student or recognized student organization travels on behalf of, or with the financial support of, one or more recognized student organizations of Syracuse University. Examples of activities and events that fall under this Policy include, but are not limited to: Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience-sponsored field trips, club sports trips, the activities of recognized student organizations, Student Association-funded community service travel, and in situations where a student or recognized student organization officially represents the University, e.g., leadership academies, conferences, and other programs.This Policy does not apply to travel undertaken by individual students attending out of town athletic/recreational events as a non-participant (except when traveling on behalf or with the financial support of a recognized student organization as described above), engaging in student teaching, internships, practicums, observations or research, or participating in intercollegiate athletics competitions under the auspices of the Department of Athletics or activities organized by the Mary Ann Shaw Center for Public and Community Service.
  2. Definitions. A recognized student organization is one that has been formed for educational, professional, social, recreational or other lawful purposes, derives the majority of its membership and all of its leadership from the student body of Syracuse University and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF), has been approved for recognition by the Office of Student Activities, and maintains a current registration status with the Office of Student Activities.A University sponsored event or activity is one that is initiated, actively managed, planned and arranged by a member of the University’s faculty or staff, or by members of a recognized student organization that has been granted sponsorship by the University, and is approved by an appropriate administrator and/or an event or activity that the University actively manages, is involved with, or oversees financially, physically, or administratively.A currently enrolled student is one who is a student who is currently registered at the University, whether on a full- or part-time basis.An appropriate administrator is a Dean, Department Chair, or Director of an administrative unit, or his or her authorized designee.
  3. General Requirements.  All student and recognized student organization travel falling within this Policy must meet the following requirements:
    1. Recognized student organization travel must be consistent with the organization’s mission statement and constitution on file with the Office of Student Activities. Travel must be planned so as not to create an undue interference with academic responsibilities.
    2. An individual student or recognized student organization must complete and submit the Student Travel Form to the Office of Student Activities no later than five (5)business days before the scheduled trip.
    3. All students traveling must complete and submit an Off-Campus Travel Waiver and Assumption of Risk Form to the Office of Student Activities no later than five (5) business days before the scheduled trip.
    4. All University sponsored travel must be chaperoned by a faculty or staff mentor, except as provided in Section V(C) below. A student officer from the recognized student organization must accompany the trip for all non-University sponsored travel. Syracuse University will view this student officer as the party responsible for the trip. Furthermore, the student officer must carry a copy of all emergency contact information for all students participating in the trip.
    5. The name, address, and telephone number of the faculty/staff mentor to the recognized student organization must be submitted utilizing the appropriate form. Faculty/staff mentors also are required to maintain a copy of the appropriate form and discuss the Syracuse University Code of Student Conduct with the recognized student organization leader(s) organizing the trip. The faculty/staff mentor is expected to exchange emergency contact numbers with students and obtain an indication of who each student desires to be notified in the event of an emergency.
    6. All trips are required to follow the Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience Student Travel Guidelines noted in section VII, below.
    7. Any trip taken without submission of a complete and accurate Student Travel Form or other violations of this policy, may result in individual and/or organizational discipline as outlined in the University Judicial System Handbook, together with such additional action as may be deemed appropriate under the circumstances.
  4. Field Trips. Pursuant to this policy, it is understood that travel occurs only beyond the boundaries of Onondaga County. Journeys beyond the boundaries of the University campus but within Onondaga County, whether sponsored by the University or not, are considered field trips. As such, they are subject to the relevant guidelines within the Department of Risk Management. These guidelines may be found at:
  5. University Sponsored Student Travel. To assure that events or activities involving student travel are consistent with the University’s mission and that student safety issues have been addressed, University sponsored student travel must be approved in advance by an appropriate administrator. The appropriate administrator will assure that the proposed travel request conforms to the procedures outlined in the Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience Student Travel Guidelines in section VI, below.The following rules apply to the travel of currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate students attending activities or events sponsored by Syracuse University’s Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience that occur beyond the boundaries of Onondaga County.
    1. To request authorization, members of the faculty, staff or recognized student organization granted funding who organize activities covered by this Policy must submit a completed Student Travel Form to the appropriate administrator for approval. The request must be submitted at least five (5) business days in advance of travel. Sport Clubs organizations should consult with the Department of Recreation Services for specific details concerning exceptions to the five business day notice period.
    2. Sport Clubs officers will receive the Sport Clubs Handbook from the Department of Recreation Services and will share with members of the club specific information regarding health insurance and the risks inherent in Sport Clubs activities.
    3. All University sponsored trips must be chaperoned by a staff or faculty member, except with the approval of an appropriate administrator. If students are traveling on their own for the purpose of a recognized student organization, and University funds are being utilized to support the activity (e.g., Sport Clubs teams participating in out of town competition), the president of the student organization must meet with an administrator in the appropriate office (Sport Clubs – Department of Recreation Services; other activities – Office of Student Activities) prior to the trip to review specific trip details.
    4. Names and pertinent information may be submitted via the Office of Student Activities web site. Faculty or staff chaperones are expected to carry emergency contact information for all students on the trip.
  6. Non-University Sponsored Travel. Non-University sponsored travel occurs when travel to an off-campus activity or event beyond the boundaries of Onondaga County is required as part of membership in a recognized student organization functioning under the auspices of the Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience, but University funds are not utilized to support the travel.In some cases, the Student Association may support the recognized student organization travel by providing funding for conference registration. This funding does not alter the non-University sponsored nature of the travel.Note: It is the policy of the Student Association (Statute 4, II,C,6-7) that recognized student organization transportation expenses shall not be paid for by the Student Activity Fee unless transportation expenses are for community service events (as defined by the Finance Board) which benefit Syracuse University and SUNY ESF students. Moreover, the Student Association limits conference funding to paying for the registration of participants, not to exceed one-thousand dollars ($1000).Recognized student organizations also may utilize their own funds acquired through fundraising, dues, or other lawful sources, to support Non-University sponsored travel.When participating in non-University sponsored travel, recognized student organizations are required to submit the Student Travel Form available via the Office of Student Activities under “travel policy.” In addition, the recognized student organization is subject to those requirements described in Section III of this policy.
  7. Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience Student Travel Guidelines.  Syracuse University, in furtherance of its not-for-profit mission as an institution of higher education, through its various departments and offices, provides opportunities for student travel to activities that facilitate and/or enhance the learning process taking place within the University community. Participation in such activities shall be limited to members of the University community. These Guidelines do not apply to international travel, study abroad travel, or travel under the auspices of the Department of Athletics. SU Abroad, the Risk Management Department, and/or the Department of Athletics should be consulted on those matters.Participants in activities involving student travel 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 University rules and regulations, the direction of University employees, or applicable law.Without limiting the foregoing, all trip participants are required to (a) comply with the standards set forth in the Syracuse University Code of Student Conduct and with applicable University policies, procedures, rules and regulations, understanding that such compliance is important to the success of the trip and to the University’s willingness to permit future similar activities; and (b) conform their conduct to the standards surrounding the trip and assume responsibility for their own actions, understanding the circumstances of an off-campus activity may require a standard of decorum that may differ from that applicable on campus. Violations of the foregoing requirements may subject participants and sponsoring organizations to disciplinary action pursuant to the Syracuse University Judicial System Policies and Procedures.Please note for University sponsored travel, it is the responsibility of the department sponsoring the program to assure compliance with these guidelines including any reference policies such as the University’s vehicle safety policy.The following additional guidelines also apply to all travel activities subject to the Syracuse University Student Travel Guidelines:
    1. Pre-trip Meeting: The faculty member, administrator, and/or recognized student organization in charge of the trip, whether sponsored or not sponsored, should hold a pre-trip planning meeting with all participants to discuss the planned itinerary, behavioral expectations, and transportation details.
    2. Transportation: The sponsoring University department should be prepared to arrange for transportation by official University vehicle(s), rental vehicle(s), chartered service, regularly scheduled transportation service, or, if necessary, personal vehicles. The following rules apply to the use of vehicles.
      1. University Vehicles – Only University employees can drive. (Refer to the University Vehicle Safety Policy)
      2. Rental Vehicles – If rented with University funds, only University employees can drive; all terms of the rental contract must be complied with. The University prohibits departments or employees from renting 15 passenger vans on or for University business.
      3. Contract Bus Service – Adequate insurance coverage for personal injury and property damage must be provided by the bus company. If the company carries less than five (5) million dollars per occurrence, the Risk Management Department (315-443-4011) must be consulted to determine if a lower coverage amount is acceptable.
      4. Regularly Scheduled Carriers – Regular scheduled transportation service providers (e.g., Greyhound, Amtrak) may be utilized for transportation.
      5. Personal Vehicles – Personal Vehicles should only be used on a voluntary basis. The owners/drivers must provide their own insurance coverage. All student participants choosing to ride in a private automobile do so voluntarily and at their own risk. The University shall not insure or accept liability for any damage, loss or injury resulting from the use of a private vehicle. The University does not provide comprehensive or collision (physical damage) insurance for private vehicles driven on University business, and the owner is responsible for primary liability insurance. The University does carry non-owner excess liability coverage to protect the University and employee in the event of a suit resulting from an automobile accident in which an employee was driving on University business.
    3. Accident and Medical Insurance The faculty member or administrators responsible for the trip shall communicate to the participants that the University does not provide medical insurance for any student’s participation in trips. All student participants shall be responsible  for any medical costs they incur during and/or as a result of the trip.
    4. Participation Except with the permission of the appropriate administrator, friends and family of students are not eligible to participate in travel opportunities falling under the Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience Travel Policy.All participants are required to engage in the planned activities of the trip. Unstructured time should be kept to a minimum to reduce the risks inherent in unsupervised activity. The sponsoring department or organization should keep a list of all participants involved in the trip.

Policy Administration

Links to Procedures and Related Information

Amended: December 2017

Amended: August 2007
Amended: 8/20/10