Student Field Trips and Domestic Travel Policy
|April 3, 2013; January 8, 2020
|July 1, 2013
|January 8, 2023
|Vice President for Student Success and Provost
- Table of Contents
- 100.00 Introduction and Purpose
- 200.00 Definitions
- 300.00 Academically Related Travel
- 400.00 Co-Curricular Trips
- 500.00 Transportation
- 600.00 Automobile Insurance Information
- 700.00 What to do in case of an emergency/car accident
- 800.00 Accommodations of Students with a Disability
- 900.00 Compliance with University Policies and Trip Requirements
- 1000.00 Expectations for Sponsoring Units
- 1100.00 Expectations for Student Travelers
- 1200.00 Medical Consents and Medical Insurance Information
- 1300.00 Important Phone Numbers
Montana State University encourages field experiences and opportunities for students to travel for academic, scholarly, engagement and outreach activities. Student travel and field experiences will enhance the student learning experience. This policy provides the framework for planning and executing field trips and other student travel within the United States, the District of Columbia, U.S. Territories & possessions and Puerto Rico and managing the risks associated with travel. International travel by students is governed by the MSU Affiliated Campuses International Travel Policy rather than this policy.
The types of activities and events covered by this policy include academically related travel, such as field trips, meetings and conferences of academic organizations where a student is attending/participating due to their affiliation with the University, and co-curricular travel, such as recreational sports club or registered student organization trips, Breaks Away and other travel related to programs that are not purely for academic related purposes.
This policy applies to travel that is sponsored by a unit of the university, a registered student organization or financed by university funds (including grant funding) and will apply to all such trips whether occurring during the academic year, during the summer or on university holidays and breaks.
This policy does not apply to travel undertaken by students to a clinical site, student teaching or internships with non-university entities; athletic team travel for teams in the MSU Athletic Department; routine or regular travel to Agricultural Research Centers. Travel undertaken by students who are employees in their capacity as employees working for the university is not covered by this policy and will be handled in the same manner as employee travel.
- Academically Related Travel: A course related activity that occurs off campus as part of the regular curriculum of an academic unit for which credit is awarded or meetings and conferences of academic organizations where a student is attending/participating due to their affiliation with the University or other similar travel related to the academic curricula or sponsored by an academic department or college.
- Co-Curricular Travel: Any student travel sponsored by a unit of the university, a registered student organization or financed by university funds (including grant funding) that that is not part of a regular academic curriculum or academically related, such travel to activities by recreational sports clubs, registered student organization, community engagement programs such as Breaks Away.
- Sponsoring Unit: Any college, department, registered student organization, or other entity which sponsors a program that results in student travel or any entity which uses university funds to pay for MSU students to travel.
- Student: For purposes of this policy, student means any undergraduate or graduate student who is enrolled in the Montana State University system, regardless of status (e.g., full or part-time, degree or non-degree seeking/auditor) including university break periods and the summer between enrolled semesters.
- Trip Coordinator: Any student group travel (4 or more students) sponsored by the university must have a trip coordinator who is responsible for compliance with the requirements of this policy. Only a registered student, faculty or staff, may act as a Trip Coordinator and the Trip Coordinator must be in attendance on the entire trip.
- Sponsoring Unit Contact Person: A person designated by the sponsoring unit who remains on campus but acts as a point of contact for the trip coordinator, faculty or students who are traveling.
- Student Group Travel: Travel that will involve 4 or more students in one trip and which will involve an overnight stay.
Academic field trips can be an important component of the education provided in the classroom. Academic field trips can enhance the content of a course or academic endeavor by providing visual and hands on information that cannot be conveyed in the classroom setting. The Sponsoring Unit is required to comply with the following:
- Required field trips offered in connection with a university course will be listed in the syllabus.
- Any charge related to the field trip or academically related travel for a university course is a student fee that must be approved in advance as a student fee by the Board of Regents.
- In addition to the above, for a field trip of one day or less, the instructor must provide the academic dean or applicable director's office the Participation List .
- Field trips or academically related travel that involve an overnight stay also require the following:
i. Appointment of a Sponsoring Unit Contact Person
ii. Trip Orientation and Expectations: The instructor or appointed Trip Coordinator will provide the participants with an orientation prior to departure. The orientation will vary based upon the nature of the trip. Orientation should provide students with the following information as applicable: trip destination, travel itinerary, route, rest and meal stops, lodging and air transportation information, appropriate clothing or gear, discussion of risks associated with the trip and the established rules and protocols for the trip. See the sample Participant Agreement with sample rules and protocols.
iv. On the Trip. The instructor or appointed Trip Coordinator is responsible for the following:
1. Accounting for all students on a daily basis.
2. In case of any incident resulting in injury, any criminal activity involving travelers as victim or perpetrators, property loss, potential dismissal of a disruptive participant, violation of trip rules or other unusual activity, the Instructor will contact the Sponsoring Unit Contact person and report the activity, as soon as practicable. The Sponsoring Unit Contact Person shall report any criminal activity or property loss that occurs on the trip to the Office of Clery Compliance to meet the university’s reporting requirements under Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act or Clery Act https://www.montana.edu/clery/.
3. In case of emergency, the Instructor may call the University Police dispatcher (406) 994-2121.
Co-Curricular Trips can enhance a student’s learning experiences while a student at MSU, however, this type of travel is not part of the regular academic curriculum. The Sponsoring Unit is required to comply with the following requirements.
- For a trip of one day or less, the Sponsoring Unit must provide the Office of Student Activities the Participation List.
- In addition to the above, trips that that involve an overnight stay also require the following:
i. Appointment of a Sponsoring Unit Contact Person
ii. Appointment of a Trip Coordinator
iii. Trip Orientation and Expectations: The Trip Coordinator will provide the participants with an orientation prior to departure. The orientation will vary based upon the nature of the trip. Orientation should provide students with the following information as applicable: trip destination, travel itinerary, route, rest and meal stops, contact person information, lodging and transportation information, appropriate clothing or gear, discussion of risks associated with the trip and the established rules and protocols for the trip. See the sample Participant Agreement with sample rules and protocols.
iv. On the Trip. The Trip Coordinator is responsible for the following:
1. Accounting for all students on a daily basis.
2. In case of incident of injury to a traveler, any criminal activity involving travelers as victims or perpetrators, property loss, potential dismissal of disruptive participant, violation of trip rules or other unusual activity, the Trip Coordinator will contact the Sponsoring Unit Contact Person and report the activity. The Sponsoring Unit is responsible to report any criminal activity or property loss to Office of Clery Compliance .
3. In case of emergency, the Trip Coordinator may call the University Police dispatcher (406) 994-2121.
c. Students traveling on co-curricular trips must be in good academic standing (i.e., must not be on academic probation or suspension) and must not be on conduct probation for a Student Conduct Code violation unless travel is approved by the Dean of Students. The Sponsoring Unit may submit the list of students to the Dean of Students’ Office who will determine the student’s eligibility for the trip.
- Automobile: For required field trips related to classes, transportation to the site(s) should be made available. Students may take their own transportation, but faculty may require that students utilize the provided transportation where vehicular travel space is limited or to reduce environmental impact.
- Vehicles operated by any Montana University System (MUS) employee, student, or other authorized person for MUS/State business must comply with State of Montana Vehicle Use Policy and Policy 1000.2, Vehicle Policy and Procedures. Under Board of Regents policy, the lease or rental of full-size passenger vans (those larger than 10 passengers, including the driver) for university sponsored travel is prohibited.
- Drivers of a vehicle used for a student trip must agree that they will:
- Have a valid US driver's license.
- Use and require all passengers to use seat belts or other available occupant restraints and require all occupants to do likewise in accordance with state laws. (The number of passengers may not exceed the number of seat belts.)
- Operate the vehicle in accordance with applicable university and Board of Regents policies, know and observe all applicable traffic laws, ordinances and regulations, and use safe driving practices at all times. MUS adheres to the State Vehicle Use Policy with certain additions set forth in this policy. All drivers who drive vehicles for MUS business must sign a Vehicle Use Form.
- Assume all responsibility for any and all fines or traffic violations associated with their use of the vehicles.
- Take sufficient breaks and rotate drivers to remain alert.
- Not drive between the hours of 1:00 am and 5 am. Exceptions can be granted by the Sponsoring Unit if appropriate.
- Not allow the use of alcohol or drug use by anyone in the vehicle.
- Not use handheld electronic devices while driving.
- Not transport unauthorized passengers such as hitchhikers, family members, or friends.
- Turn off the vehicle, remove the keys, and lock the vehicle when it is left unattended.
- Drive the vehicle at speeds appropriate for road conditions.
- Immediately report all accidents involving any vehicle used for trip to the police and the Sponsoring Unit. The Sponsoring Unit is responsible for completing the Safety & Risk Management Report of Incident within 5 days.
A Driver's Agreement may be used for to obtain the driver(s) agreement.
d. Airline travel Airline tickets purchased by the university must be purchased with an appropriate university P-card and the university policies related to travel Faculty and employees should not use personal credit cards to buy tickets for themselves, students or other employees for university travel.
A description of the university’s automobile insurance coverage can be found on the Safety and Risk Management Auto Liability Insurance Program site.
Rental Vehicles: All vehicles that are rented by MSU in the United States and Canada are automatically covered physical damage under the university’s insurance for the first 30 days. Physical damage coverage is also provided for vehicles when rented using the university P-card. The P-card must be in the name of the vehicle driver for coverage to apply.
Registered Student Organizations that are renting vehicles, may use the Western States Contracting Alliance (WSCA) contract and receive the WSCA coverage (collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and $1 Million Combined Single Limit (CSL) Liability is included in the rates).
Faculty, staff, volunteers or students who use their personal vehicles to travel on official university business should be aware that the university’s insurance coverage does not extend to personal vehicles. The vehicle owner’s insurance is considered the primary coverage in the case of an accident.
- If there are any injuries, call an ambulance. Most communities have a "911" system that would allow you to call a single number to dispatch all necessary emergency services.
- Call the local police or highway patrol and report the accident.
- Call the Sponsoring Unit Contact Person. This contact is responsible for contacting the appropriate campus officials. If the contact is not available, call the University Police dispatch (406) 994-2121.
- Make or assist students in making arrangements for the students' alternative travel and/or lodging. The students may wait for repairs or may make alternative travel plans.
- Advise the Sponsoring Unit Contact Person of what the plans are for each student.
- Complete Report of Incident. The person most knowledgeable about the incident should complete the report. If there are questions about filling out the report, contact Risk Management.
If any student with a disability requires accommodation to participate in the trip, the sponsoring unit should contact Office of Disability Services for assistance in providing reasonable accommodations.
All faculty, staff and students participating in a university related travel are bound by applicable university policies, including the Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking and Retaliation. The university has provided Clery Act Student Travel Guidelines to assist with the compliance with the requirement to report certain crimes which may occur on overnight student trips.
The Sponsoring Unit is responsible for the trip and will assist the traveling students and the Instructor or Trip Coordinator as necessary in planning the trip, maintaining the appropriate information about students on the trip and responding to incidents, emergencies and accidents.
The Sponsoring Unit will report any criminal activity or property loss to the Office of Clery Compliance to assure appropriate reporting under the Clery Act. Sponsoring Units that would like to have assistance in planning a trip so as to minimize risks may contact MSU Safety and Risk Management and Office of Institutional Equity.
Each student is required to act in a responsible and appropriate manner. Each student is required to refrain from behavior that may pose a risk or harm to themselves or others. Each student assumes the risks related to the activity. Students must comply with any written requirements for conduct established by the sponsoring unit and must comply with the Student Conduct Code at all times during the university related trip. Any infractions by traveling students should be reported to the Sponsoring Unit and the MSU Dean of Students Office. Students who fail to comply with conduct rules may be subject to discipline, including dismissal from the trip with a requirement to return to the University or the student’s home and may be charged under the Student Conduct Code.
- Travel and Emergency Funds All travelers should be aware that the university assumes no responsibility for providing students with funds in case of emergency. Each student should be prepared to assume their costs of travel and lodging if there are unanticipated delays or other incidents which may require additional expenditures. Each department or registered student organization should advise students that they should be prepared to provide funds to cover expenses in the case of an unforeseen emergency. Costs such as uncovered medical costs, food and hotel charges may be necessary, and students should be prepared to pay these costs.
MSU has no source of insurance which provides medical coverage for student travelers. Any student who is traveling is required to have their own medical insurance. University employees are covered by the MUS workers' compensation program if injured in the course and scope of employment. Any costs not covered by the traveler’s insurance will be the responsibility of the traveler. Those planning a trip should advise travelers to carry identification and their medical insurance cards with them.
The Sponsoring Unit should request copies of the students' medical insurance cards and ask students about any medical conditions, allergies that may be relevant in the case of an emergency. If students are going on an extended trip, the Sponsoring Unit may request students to sign medical consent forms authorizing them to give consent in cases of emergency (sample medical consent form). This information is confidential and should be secured by the Sponsoring Unit and not disclosed to third parties unless necessary for the medical treatment of the student.
University Police Student
(24 hour dispatch)
|Office of Institutional Equity
|Dean of Students Office
|Safety and Risk Management
|Office of Student Engagement