Travel Safety

I. General Policy Statement

This policy promotes travel safety for Syracuse University faculty, staff, students, and volunteers. It requires, among other things, travel registration, training, and approvals for different types of travel and travelers.

II. Reason for Policy/Purpose

The Travel Safety Policy provides a framework for reducing the risk of harm to University travelers and enhances the ability of the University to support constituents who experience distress while travelling.

III. Policy

A.  General

  1. Aspects of the travel safety policy apply differently depending on whether the traveler is an undergraduate student, a post-baccalaureate student, or faculty/staff. Groups of travelers that
    include different types of travelers are subject to the aspect of the policy that applies to the most restricted member of the group.

B.  Definitions

  1. Syracuse University Travel – Faculty/Staff (SUT)
    Faculty or staff who are traveling more than 100 miles from Syracuse, NY or outside the United States within the context of their job responsibilities, and/or at the request of an authorized
    University official, are considered to be on Syracuse University Travel (SUT). Faculty/Staff based primarily in satellite campuses (e.g. New York City, Los Angeles) are on SUT if more than
    100 miles from that location also within the context of their job responsibilities and/or at the request of an authorized University official. Job responsibilities are understood to include
    those that are formally part of a job description, as well as activities not specifically enumerated but directly related to the execution of job responsibilities, or those tasks assigned by an
    authorized University authority. For faculty, this includes those activities reasonably related to teaching, research, or the presentation and exchange of knowledge. More specifically:a. Faculty or staff members whose travel is supported by either Syracuse University funds or funds managed by Syracuse University are on SUT
    b. Faculty or staff members traveling to deliver an invited presentation in their field of expertise, even if entirely supported by an external host, are considered to be on SUT
    c. While a trip might include brief personal excursions and other activities outside the traveler’s job responsibilities, if the primary purpose is work-related, the trip is SUT
    d. Any staff or faculty on SUT in which a student participates is obligated to follow policies that apply to student travel.
  2. Syracuse University Student Travel (SUST)
    If the principal destination is at least one hundred miles from Syracuse, NY (or 100 miles from a designated satellite campus if the student’s travel originates from that location), or outside the United States, and any one or more of the other conditions below apply to the planned travel then the student is engaging in Syracuse University Student Travel (SUST):a. Student receives Syracuse University credit for the experience, and/or
    b. Student receives travel funds provided or managed by Syracuse University, and/or
    c. The travel is planned, managed, or organized by Syracuse University, and/or
    d. The travel is intended by the traveler to achieve a Syracuse University degree requirement, including dissertation field research, practica, internships, etc., and/or
    e. Travel is funded, managed, or organized by a Recognized Syracuse University Student Organization, and/or
    f. Travel is part of a program or trip that is formally sanctioned by a Syracuse University unit.
  3. Syracuse University Travel – Student Group Travel (SUSGT) – Two or more students participating in SUST who are pursuing a common objective and common activities.
    Participants must be largely acting in concert or participating in a coordinated activity. A common destination alone is not sufficient to be considered Syracuse University Student Group
    Travel (SUSGT).
  4. High Risk Destination – A country or a region designated by the US State Department as either a level 3 or 4 risk and/or by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as a level 3 risk.” (See: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html and https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel)
  5. International High-Risk Travel Oversight Committee (IHTOC) – Jointly appointed by the Vice Chancellor and Provost (VC&P) and the Senior Vice President for Safety (SVPS),the committee reviews requests for SUST and SUSGT to high-risk destinations.
  6. Waiver of Liability form – Form used to document a traveler’s voluntary acceptance of the risks inherent in travel and to establish that the traveler releases the University from anyliability associated with the negative effects of events that may occur while they travel.
  7.  Home Country – for the purposes of this policy, a traveler’s home country is the location of their current permanent address.
  8. Trip Leader – University or department-sanctioned faculty, staff, or volunteer responsible for planning travel and/or serving as the principal responsible party for trip safety, logistics,
    and/or crisis response during the planned travel.
  9. Associate Trip Leader – University or department-sanctioned faculty, staff, volunteer, or post-baccalaureate student who may assist a Trip Leader with the planning or execution of
    planned travel. The Associate Trip Leader performs roles as assigned including crisis response.
  10. Student Trip Leader – For University or department-sponsored travel within the United States only. An undergraduate or post-baccalaureate Student Trip Leader may be appointed by a  sponsoring unit to provide basic communication and support during a crisis.

Volunteer – Any individual that is neither employed by nor enrolled in a course of study at Syracuse University who is invited by a sponsoring department to participate in University travel.

C. Exclusions

  1. Students participating in Syracuse University Student Travel (SUST) or Syracuse University Student Group Travel (SUSGT) associated with their participation in inter-collegiate athletics,
    club sports, or SU Marching Band are NOT expected to register their travel within North America.
    a. Students participating in SUST or SUSGT associated with their participation in inter-collegiate athletics, club sports, or SU Marching Band MUST register travel outside North
    America and otherwise adhere to all elements of the travel safety policy.
  2. Travel to a user’s home country does not constitute travel for University purposes and is not subject to any provision of this policy.
  3. SUST and SUSGT associated with a student’s participation in a program originating at a Syracuse Abroad Center or World-Partner program are not subject to the provisions of this policy.
    Students are expected to adhere to all travel safety policies associated with the programs they are attending.
  4. Travel to main campus while enrolled in a program at a satellite campus does not constitute Syracuse University Travel (SUT) or SUSGT for the purposes of this policy.
  5. Faculty/staff employed at Syracuse University Centers outside the United States are not subject to the provisions of this policy.

D. Travel Registration

  1. All travelers on University business (SUT, SUST, SUSGT) with international destinations are required to register their travel with the University prior to departure.
  2. All undergraduate student travelers on SUST or SUSGT are also required to register travel within the United States.

E. High-Risk Travel Approval

  1. All participants on SUST and SUSGT are required to petition the International High-Risk Travel Oversight Committee (IHTOC) for approval no less than three (3) months before planned
    travel to a high-risk destination.
  2. The Trip Leader (or designee) for planned SUSGT may petition the IHTOC for travel to a high-risk destination on behalf of the entire group.
  3. Should the risk rating for a planned destination become high risk within three-months of the planned travel, every effort will be made to work with the traveler(s) to complete the review in
    a timely fashion. However, in no circumstance may SUST or SUSGT proceed to a high-risk destination without the review and approval of the IHTOC.
  4. Should the IHTOC deny a request to travel to a high-risk destination, petitioner(s) may appeal to the Vice Chancellor and Provost. Decisions made by Vice Chancellor and Provost are final
    and may not be further appealed.
  5. Participants in SUT (faculty/staff) are NOT required to seek review and approval for travel to high-risk destinations. However, such travelers are strongly advised to consider the risks
    involved in traveling to such locations and to consult with the Office of Global Safety and Support prior to travel.
  6. Student, faculty, staff, or volunteer travel to high-risk destinations, as defined by this policy, may not be required in furtherance of academic credit or other University business. (see also
    7.c)
  7. A material change in the safety conditions of a destination for planned high-risk travel may result, at the discretion of the IHTOC, in a change in the status of an approved trip. More
    dangerous c onditions may result in travel approval being withdrawn and safer conditions may result in the approval of travel that had previously been denied.

F. Right to Restrict Travel for Safety Reasons

  1. The Senior Vice President for Safety, in consultation with the Vice Chancellor and Provost, may restrict SUT, SUST, and/or SUGST to locations where the risk to health or safety is such
    that reasonable efforts to mitigate known risks are judged to be insufficient to allow for safe travel.
  2. SUT, SUST, and SUGST to locations that have been banned for US nationals by the US government are prohibited unless approved by the Vice Chancellor and Provost and the Senior Vice
    President for Safety.
  3. The Senior Vice President for Safety, with the concurrence of the Vice Chancellor and Provost, may cancel in-progress SUT, SUST, and/or SUGST and repatriate travelers to the United
    States at the University’s expense if local conditions are such that the risk to health and/or safety is judged severe, imminent, and beyond reasonable steps to mitigate.

G. Required Pre-travel Safety Orientation

  1. All participants in SUST or SUSGT must complete a pre-travel safety orientation before departure.
  2. Participants in SUST or SUSGT must only complete a pre-travel safety orientation once per academic year regardless of the number of distinct travel experiences during that year.
  3. Participants in SUST or SUGST travelling to locations designated as high risk must participate in a pre-travel safety orientation each time they travel to a high-risk destination.
  4. Failure to complete a pre-safety orientation may result in the cancellation of planned SUST or SUSGT.
  5. Participants in SUT (faculty/staff) are encouraged, but not required, to participate in a pre-travel safety orientation.

H. Waivers of Liability

  1. All participants in SUST or SUSGT (students) must complete a waiver of liability form prior to travel.
  2. All volunteers must complete a waiver of liability form prior to travel.
  3. Completed waiver forms are maintained as electronic records within the travel registry system. Record retention and destruction is the responsibility of the Office of Global Safety and Support. Completed forms are to be kept for 7 years from the date the relevant travel is completed.
  4. Student, faculty, staff or volunteer travel to high-risk locations as defined by this policy may NOT be required in furtherance of academic credit or other University requirements.
    Participation must be voluntary. (See also 4.d)

I. Leading Student Travel

  1. Eligibility
    a. Any staff, faculty, or approved volunteer may serve as a Trip Leader or Associate Trip Leader for SUSGT.
    b. Sponsoring departments may approve volunteers to serve as either Trip Leaders or Associate Trip Leaders for SUSGT within the United States.
    c. Volunteers may NOT serve as Trip Leaders for international SUSGT but may serve as Associate Trip Leaders.
    d. Any volunteer providing leadership for SUSGT must complete a criminal background check prior to their first travel as a Trip Leader.
    e. Sponsoring departments may approve undergraduate or post-baccalaureate students to serve as Student Trip Leaders for domestic SUSGT.
    f. Students may not serve as Trip Leaders for international SUSGT with the exception of department-approved post-baccalaureate students whose leadership constitutes professiona
    training for their discipline. Eligibility for this exception rests with the department sponsoring the travel. Post-baccalaureate students approved to lead SUSGT are expected to complete
    training for Trip Leaders.
    g. Additionally, departments sponsoring SUSGT that includes ONLY Post-Baccalaureate students may appoint members of the group to serve as trip leader and, if desired, associate trip
    leader.
    h. Post-baccalaureate students may serve as Associate Trip Leaders without reservation.
  2. Requirements
    a. All SUSGT must have one Trip Leader authorized by the sponsoring department, though two or more are recommended depending on the size of the group. Departments sponsoring
    SUSGT have the option to require additional Trip Leaders at their discretion. Departments are recommended, but not required, to have one Trip Leader for every ten students.
    b. Departments authorizing SUSGT with only one Trip Leader must have a contingency plan for providing support to students in the event the Trip Leader becomes incapacitated.
    c. SUSGT wherein the Trip Leader is accompanied by one or more members of their family must include an additional Trip Leader or other contingency plan approved by the sponsoring
    department for providing support to students should the Trip Leader’s family member become ill or injured.
    d. SUSGT that includes ONLY post-baccalaureate students is not required to have a Trip Leader though such is recommended. Departments sponsoring such travel should consider how
    they would support students in distress who are travelling without a Trip Leader.
  3. Training
    a. All Trip Leaders must participate bi-annually in a training program that will include, but is not limited to, current best practices in travel logistics, risk mitigation, crisis response
    planning and practice, and essential travel communication practices.
    1. Trip leaders must participate in training each time they lead a group to a high-risk destination as defined by this policy.
    b. Associate Trip Leaders must participate bi-annually in a training program that will include, but is not limited to, responding in the event of a crisis and crisis communication.
    c. Student Trip Leaders must be briefed on the expectations of their role in advance of travel by the sponsoring department.

J. Policy Administration

The Office of Global Safety and Support is responsible for administering this policy.

IV. To Whom Does This Policy Apply

☒ Students ☒ Faculty ☒ Staff   ☒ Other Volunteers