University Policy for Minors on Campus
I. Policy Statement
IV. Policy Elaboration
I. Policy Statement
Fostering a safe and healthy environment for minors is essential to the fulfillment of the University of Saint Francis’ mission. Thus, it is the policy of the University of Saint Francis that minors must be reasonably and appropriately supervised by Authorized Adults at all times and that those adults participating in programs or activities involving minors are reviewed, registered and trained, in conformity with applicable law and the terms of this policy. Any member of the University community who suspects that a minor who is on the university premises for any reason, or is participating in a University-sponsored activity at another location, has been the victim of child abuse shall immediately report the suspected abuse to Campus Security or other law enforcement authorities.
The University workplace, including classrooms and laboratories, is not an appropriate place for minors (except university registered/enrolled students) to be present on a frequent or continuing basis. While there may be reasons when brief visits by minors on campus are necessary, they are subject to the same conditions as any other visitor to the university. In addition, no unescorted or unsupervised minors are permitted on university premises, except as provided for in this policy. All supervised minors are permitted in the general use facilities (e.g., athletic fields, academic building, etc.) but are not generally permitted in laboratories or other areas where significant potential safety hazards and liabilities may exist and where strict safety precautions are required.
This policy applies to any program or activity offered by any academic or administrative unit of the University, or by non-university groups using university facilities, properties and any areas owned or controlled by the University.
The purpose of this policy is to establish criteria to minimize the risk of injury to minors, and to promote an environment conducive to the accomplishment of the University of Saint Francis’ mission. The University recognizes its obligation for the safety and well –being of minors that comes with their presence at University facilities. University facilities and grounds can present a variety of potential hazards to individuals unfamiliar with them. The risks associated with these potential hazards are greater for minors, who often lack the ability to recognize these types of hazards.
In an effort to foster respect for the needs of all parties impacted by the presence of minors in the workplace, this policy is intended to ensure a safe, inviting and productive environment in which all members of the University community can meet their employment obligations and/or educational needs and goals within the primary mission of the University.
A. Authorized Adult. An adult who has complied with the requirements to be present with minors under this policy and who is responsible for either escorting, accompanying or supervising minors(s) participating in any program under this policy. In order to qualify as an Authorized Adult, an individual must comply with all applicable registration, background checks, and training requirements implemented pursuant to this policy. All costs associated with background checks and training will be paid for by the University.
B. Volunteer. An adult who may or may not be an employee of the university. A Volunteer may have interaction with a minor but only if designated as an Authorized Adult or under the observation of an Authorized Adult. All Volunteers will undergo a criminal background check and have their names checked against the National Sex Offender Registry.
C. Parent(s) or Legal Guardian(s). Although a Parent or Legal Guardian may supervise their own minor children and their guests who are minors while visiting the campus or when using campus facilities, a Parent or Legal Guardian may not act as an Authorized Adult in a program (including one which his or her minor participates) unless they are in compliance with the requirements outlined within this policy.
D. Siblings. Siblings who are registered as a student at the university may supervise their own younger Siblings on campus or when using campus facilities, a Sibling may not act as an Authorized Adult in a program (including one which his or her younger Sibling participates) unless they are in compliance with the requirements outlined within this policy.
E. Minor(s). Persons under the age of eighteen (18) and not enrolled at the university. The university reserves the right to condition, restrict or deny access to university facilities by Minors at its discretion. All Minors, including those participating in programs, shall be subject to all University regulations while on campus, and may be asked to leave the campus if unable or unwilling to comply.
F. Program. Any program or activity in which minors will be physically present and participating, offered by any academic or administrative unit of the University, or by non-university groups using University facilities, properties and any areas owned or controlled by the University. “Program” includes but is not limited to all sports camps, alumni weekend activities, workshops, academic camps, mentoring programs, academic competitions, and conferences.
“Program” does not include any course(s) that are taken or taught for the purpose of college credit, single performances or events open to the general public that are not targeted toward minors (such as varsity athletic competitions, plays, concerts); visits and tours for prospective students organized by the Office of Admissions; visitations by minors, including overnight stays in university housing facilities by candidates for admission, prospective student-athletes, or siblings of enrolled students, when hosted by enrolled university students; provided, however, that all such visitors shall be fully subject to the Student Code of Conduct while on campus; and such other similar one-time or ongoing programs as may be designated from time to time by the appropriate Vice-President and/or Dean in advance and in writing is exempt from this policy.
G. Lab(s). A Lab or Laboratory is a building, part of a building, or other place equipped to conduct scientific experiments, test, conduct investigations, etc. The presence of chemicals, cultures and equipment make a Lab a potentially dangerous space when proper supervision and the use of safety protocols and equipment are not adhered to.
H. Fitness Center(s). A Fitness Center is a building, a part of a building, or other place with equipment and facilities for exercising and improving physical fitness. Equipment may include but it not limited to free weights, weight machines, treadmills, stair steppers, and elliptical machines. The presence of such equipment make a Fitness Center a potentially dangerous space when proper supervision and the use of safety protocols are not adhered to.
I. External program. Any program (as defined above) that is not operated by the university.
J. Program Administrator. University individual (employee, student, etc.) or contractor approved and designated by the appropriate Vice President(s) and/or Dean(s) as responsible for coordination, planning, implementing, and/or committing the use of university facilities for the Program. In addition to any administrative requirements the University may promulgate, the Program Administrator must undergo the yearly training and background check required for Authorized Adults at least once every three years.
IV. Policy Elaboration
A. Authorized Adult Training. Each Authorized Adult shall complete university-designated training. Authorized Adults shall be re-trained at least once a year after their initial training
B. Authorized Adult Conduct Requirements. Authorized Adults participating in any program shall not:
1. Have one-on-one contact with Minors. One-on-one contact is defined as personal, unsupervised interaction with a Minor without at least one other Authorized Adult, Parent or Legal Guardian present.
2. Participate in an overnight event under the auspices of a program, unless (1) one of the Minor’s Parents or Legal Guardians is present or (2) one of the Minor’s Parents or Legal Guardians has given consent, there are at least two Authorized Adults, and the two Authorized Adults remain in each other’s presence.
3. Authorized Adults are prohibited from communication via email, text messages, Facebook, or other methods with minors at any time except when there is a clear educational and/or athletic purpose and the communication is consistent with the mission of the University.
All communications will be made via official authorized University communications such as USF email, Official USF Facebook account, etc… Authorized Adults are prohibited from communicating with Minors via their personal email, Facebook accounts, etc…
4. Allow any Minors to have access to any Lab equipment, Fitness Center equipment or tools without first conducting a safety brief to go over all safety precautions concerning Lab equipment, Fitness Center equipment and/or power tools and discussing actions to be taken in the event of an emergency.
5. Engage in abusive conduct of any kind toward, or in the presence of, a Minor.
6. Strike, hit, and/or administer corporal punishment to, or touch in an inappropriate manner of any Minor.
7. Pick up or drop off Minors at their homes, other than the driver’s child or children.
8. Provide to Minors and/or engage in the use of alcohol or illegal drugs, or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs during any program; or
9. Provide prescription drugs or over the counter medication to any Minor unless specifically authorized in writing by the Parent or Legal Guardian as being required for the Minors care or the Minor’s emergency treatment. All prescription drugs must be in their original containers with the patient’s name and dosage clearly visible on the container. Medications are to be under the secure control of the Authorized Adult. Prescription drugs will only be given in the dosage indicated and to the patient named on the container.
10. Make sexually suggestive remarks and/or make sexually explicit materials in any form available to Minors or assist them in any way in gaining access to sexually explicit materials.
C. Authorized Adult to Minor Ratio. Due to the differences of programs, the types and ages of the Minors and the area that the program will take place in, it is important to have the correct Authorized Adult to Minor ratio. Program Administrators should also consider the ages, special needs, and any other circumstances regarding the Minors that will be participating in the program when establishing the Authorized Adult to Minor ratio. At a minimum the ratio will be:
1. For programs taking place in classrooms, offices, auditoriums or other facilities where participants are restricted to a specific room, other than a lab or area that utilizes power tools, the ratio shall not exceed 1 Authorized Adult to 25 Minors.
2. For programs taking place in labs, fitness centers or spaces utilizing power tools the ratio shall not exceed 1 Authorized Adult to 18 Minors.
3. For programs taking place in gymnasiums, and athletic fields where participation will be in a larger area the ratio shall not exceed 1 Authorized Adult to 10 Minors.
Only in emergency situations can an Authorized Adult supervise more than the approved ratio of Authorized Adults to Minor ratio, however once it is determined that an Authorized Adult is supervising more than the authorized ratio the Program Administrator will be notified as soon as possible so that another Authorized Adult can be sent to assist.
D. External Programs. All External Programs must secure appropriate institutional approval prior to utilizing university facilities for a program involving Minors. External programs are not required to adhere to the exact standards as listed within this policy, however, External Programs involving Minors should have appropriate safeguards and procedures in place to ensure the safety of all Minors within their care and must present a copy of their written safeguards and procedures to the University. In addition, External programs must provide the University with appropriate insurance coverage documentation prior to conducting any events that fall within the purview of this policy.
E. Program Registration. Registration of Programs must be accomplished in accordance with this policy, with the submittal of the complete Program Registration/Approval Form by the Program Administrator and approved by the appropriate Vice Presidents(s) and/or Dean(s).
1. Additional Administrative Forms. Any additional administrative forms or protocols associated with the program, including but not limited to University waivers and permission slips to be obtained from the Parents/Legal Guardians of participating Minors, medical emergency forms, etc., should accompany the completed Program Registration/Approval Form, if applicable.
2. External Programs. In lieu of a Program Registration/Approval Form, external Programs that operate on University property must complete all required facility use agreements, and provide additional administrative forms and documentation at the University’s request.
3. Registration Deadlines. All Programs should be registered at least 30 days prior to the first scheduled date of participation by minors. In addition, all annual/ongoing programs should be registered prior to the beginning of the university’s fiscal year. Programs may accept late registrants and registrants on the day of the program as long as the appropriate number of Authorized Adults is maintained and the Program Registration/Approval Form is updated to reflect the correct number of registrants.
F. Background Checks for Authorized Adults and Volunteers.
1. Criminal Background Check. A successful background check will be required of each Program Administrator each Authorized Adult and each Volunteer prior to his/her direct participation with Minors in a program and at least once every three (3) years thereafter. The Program Administrator will provide Authorized Adults with background check instructions. Background checks will then be conducted by the university.
The Program Administrator is responsible for ensuring that each individual participating in the program as an Authorized Adult has had a background check request and has subsequently received clearance to participate. The Program Administrator will maintain a roster of individuals who have been cleared to participate.
2. National Sex Offender Registry Verification. The program administrator must also check the names of the Authorized Adults and Volunteers against the National Sex Offender Registry at http://www.nsopw.gov/en-us and verify that no Authorized Adult or Volunteer’s name appears on the sex offender website.
Persons who fail the criminal background check or are listed on the National Sex Offender Registry will not be permitted to participate in a program in any capacity.
3. Programs that are one-time or occasional events for which a large number of Volunteers are essential, may adopt other measures (events such as theatrical performances, sporting events, etc…). The measures adopted must include the requirement that the volunteers be supervised at all times by an Authorized Adult (a background checked and trained person). Volunteers may not perform duties that would require them to be alone with a Minor. Prior to participating in an event Volunteers must be listed on the Authorized Adult/Volunteer Registry and their names must be checked against the National Sex Offender Registry. Programs adopting this procedure must have the approval of the appropriate Vice President(s) and/or Dean(s) or their designee(s).
G. Reporting Duties and Allegations of Inappropriate Conduct.
1. Duty to Report. In accordance with Indiana Code Section 31-33 et seq. , any member of the university community who becomes aware of any abuse or suspected abuse shall immediately make a report to the Fort Wayne Police Department, (911), or Indiana Child Protective Services via the Indiana Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline, (1-800-800-5556). In addition to the report made to either state or local officials the member will also make a report to Campus Security, the Vice President designated on the Program Registration/approval form, or to the University Risk and Safety Management Committee to report the abuse, suspected abuse or any other violation of the conduct requirements of this policy.
The Director of Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management will verify that all cases of abuse or suspected abuse have been reported to the appropriate local or state officials.
2. Ensure the Safety of Minors. Any member of the University community who becomes aware of any violation of this policy shall immediately ensure the safety of the Minors, including removal of Minors from dangerous or potentially dangerous situations and contacting of authorities and emergency responders as may be appropriate under the circumstances.
3. Program Suspension. Until any allegation of inappropriate conduct against a program is satisfactorily resolved, the University shall discontinue that program. The appropriate Vice President, in consultation with the Risk and Safety Management Committee shall evaluate the suitability of reinstating the program.
1. Ejection. Minors, Authorized Adults and Volunteers not meeting university community conduct standards will be asked to leave the campus.
2. Program Termination. Programs in violation of this policy may be denied permission to continue operation at the University.
3. University Sanctions. Any violations of University policies by any individual will be dealt with in accordance with applicable University policies and procedures, which may include disciplinary actions up to and including termination from the University. Legal prohibitions regarding physical presence on campus (trespassing) may also be pursued.
4. Criminal Prosecution. Suspected violations of the law will be referred to law enforcement authorities and may result in criminal prosecution.
Director of Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management
260-399-7700 X 6019