Procedures for Minors at University Events and Third-Party Events

Originally Issued: August 20, 2018

I.   Purpose

From time to time, Athens State University hosts a variety of University-sponsored activities for non-enrolled minors, such as camps, clinics, workshops and conferences and other educational activities.  These activities can take place both on-campus and off-campus.  Also, from time to time, the University may host third-party groups or entities that sponsor their own activities/programs for or including minors at University facilities.

In conjunction with the University’s policy on Minors on University Property, these procedures provide minimum standards for the supervision of minors who are involved in (i) University-sponsored events and (ii) activities/programs sponsored by third-party groups or entities conducted at University facilities.  It is the policy of the University that all minors participating in such activities/programs must be reasonably and appropriately supervised by an authorized adult/program staff who complies with the standards of conduct provided in these procedures.

II.   Third Party Events

Third party and non-university groups, entities, and organizations using University facilities for activities/programs involving minors shall be required to address the  requirements set forth in this document and shall be required to deliver the following before authorization for use of University facilities is granted:

  • A signed General Use of Facilities Reservation Form and Agreement setting forth the specific facilities to be used, the dates and hours of permitted access and other terms applicable to such use such as indemnification, and insurance requirements; and
  • A signed Safety of Minors Addendum to General Use of Facilities Reservation Form and Agreement, wherein the non-University organization represents and certifies that the program meets all the requirements set forth in these procedures.

The University is not responsible for injury or harm that occurs as a result of the non-University activity/program.  Liability waiver agreements between the activity/program minor participant’s parent/guardian and the organization shall plainly state that the participation in the third-party organization’s program/activity is neither endorsed nor sponsored by Athens State University.

III. Definitions

 Minor– any individual under the age of 19 or an individual under 21 years old who is incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.  However, persons who are enrolled or accepted for enrollment in credit granting courses at the University shall not be deemed a “minor” for purposes of this policy.

Program – Programs and/or activities offered or sponsored by various academic or administrative units of the University, or by third-party, non-University groups, organizations, or entities using University facilities.  This includes but is not limited to workshops, camps, conferences, private lessons and similar activities.

Authorized Adult/Program Staff – Individuals, paid or unpaid, 19 years or older, who interact with, supervise, chaperone, or otherwise oversee minor participants in program activities conducted by either the University or third-party groups or entities that sponsor activities/programs for or including minors at University facilities.  This includes but is not limited to faculty, staff, volunteers, students, employees of temporary employment agencies, and independent contractors/consultants.  This definition does not include temporary guest speakers, presenters or other individuals who have no direct contact with program participants other than short-term activities supervised by program staff.

Sponsoring Unit – The academic or administrative unit at the University which offers or approves a program which includes minors, or the third-party, non-University group, organization or entity being hosted by the University and that has minor participants.

One-On-One Contact – Personal, unsupervised interaction in a non-public area between any authorized adult/program staff and a minor without at least one other authorized adult/member of program staff, parent or legal guardian being present.  One-on-one contact includes electronic communication, such as social media, email and texting.

 Non-Public Area – Places that are not common areas, cannot be observed from common areas, and which are not monitored by security camera/video surveillance equipment approved by the University.  For purposes of these procedures, a “common area” is an area where one would normally anticipate others are present but only during business hours or such other times one would reasonably anticipate others would be present.

 IV.  Responsibilities

Each authorized adult/program staff member is required to complete the Acknowledgement of Understanding form.

The parent/guardian of each minor participant of a Program shall be required to complete a Program/Camp Enrollment Form for Minors.

Authorized adults/program staff should behave professionally.  Standards of conduct rules require that an authorized adult/program staff member shall not:

  1. Engage in abusive conduct of any kind toward, or in the presence of, a minor.
  2. Strike, hit, administer corporal punishment to, or touch in an inappropriate or illegal manner any minor.
  3. Engage in rough or sexually provocative games, including horseplay.
  4. Allow any inappropriate touching, including between minors.
  5. Swear, use or respond to sexual innuendo or make sexually suggestive comments.
  6. Pick up or drop off any minors at any location except as specifically authorized in writing by the minor’s legal parent/guardian. Two authorized adults/program staff should be in a vehicle with a minor if transportation is needed.
  7. Provide alcohol or illegal drugs to any minor.
  8. Make sexual material in any form, including print and electronic, available to minors participating in programs or activities or assist them in any way in gaining access to such materials.
  9. Give personal gifts to, do special favors for, accept gifts from a minor, or do things that may be seen as favoring one minor over others.
  10. Tell a minor “this is just between the two of us” or use similar language that encourages minors to keep secrets from their parent/guardians.

Background Check – All authorized adults/program staff that have direct contact with minors or supervise a program with minors should have a background check before having such direct contact (i.e., providing care, supervision, guidance or control of minors and/or having routine interaction with minors) or being hired or appointed for such work.  Where the program/activity is conducted by a third party, non-University entity, it is that entity’s responsibility to provide appropriately vetted authorized adults/program staff for the non-University sponsored event.

 Duty to Report – All persons must make reasonable efforts to ensure the safety of minors participating in programs and activities covered by these procedures, including the removal of minors from situations that the persons deem to be dangerous or potentially dangerous, irrespective of any other limitation or requirement. If a person has reason to suspect that a minor has been subject to neglect or abuse, she/he must immediately:

 Inform Campus Security or other appropriate law enforcement agency;

  1. Report the activity to the Department of Human Services;
  2. If the minor is a program participant, notify the Title IX Coordinator or designee.
  3. If an allegation of inappropriate conduct has been made against an authorized adult/program staff participating in a program she/he shall discontinue any further participation in programs and activities covered by this policy until such allegation has been satisfactorily resolved.
  4. If any person witnesses a violation of these procedures, such as one-on-one contact, or anything that gives rise to concern for the health or safety of a minor, that person shall notify the University’s Title IX Coordinator.

 Liability Release – The General Release and Waiver of Liability for Minors is required for each minor participant of a program/activity.  All data gathered shall be confidential, is subject to records retention guidelines and shall not be disclosed, except as provided by law.

Medical Treatment, Administration of Medicines and Emergency ServicesA Waiver and Consent for Medical Treatment and Medication Administration form must be signed by the minor participant’s parent/legal guardian.  An authorized adult/program staff member may administer medicine to participants under the following conditions:

  1. The minor participant’s parent/legal guardian must provide written authorization for each administration of any medicine, whether prescription or over-the-counter medication.
  2. The minor participant’s parent/legal guardian must provide the medicine in its original pharmacy container labeled with the participant’s name, medicine name, dosage and timing of consumption. Over-the-counter medications must be provided in their manufacturers’ container.
  3. An authorized adult/program staff member shall keep the medicine in a secure location, and at the appropriate time for distribution shall meet with the participant and allow the minor participant to self-administer the appropriate dose as shown on the container.
  4. A record showing the date, time and signature of the person who supervised each administration of medicine must be retained by the Sponsoring unit.
  5. Any medicine the minor participant cannot self-administer must be  administered by the parent/legal guardian or a licensed healthcare professional.
  6. Devices for self-administration of medications which are prescribed by a physician may be carried by the participant during program activities (examples include personal “epi” pens and asthma inhalers).
  7. Basic first-aid kits should be available if needed.

Arrangements should be made by the sponsoring unit for medical care appropriate for the nature of the program activities.

Guidelines for One-on-one Contact – General guidelines for one-on-one contact include the following:

  1. No authorized adult/program staff shall have one-on-one contact with minors.
  2. Any direct electronic communications between authorized adult/program staff should include another authorized adult, parent, or legal guardian.
  3. It is acceptable for an authorized adult/individual program staff member to provide program services to a group of participants if the activity is conducted in an open or public area where the group is visible to others outside the group at all times.
  4. It is acceptable for an authorized adult/individual program staff member to interact with an individual minor as long as the interaction occurs in an open or public area, or in non-public settings that are visible from common areas during normal business hours or such other times one would reasonably anticipate others would be present.
  5. No authorized adult/program staff shall enter a minor’s bathroom facility, changing area or similar area without another authorized adult in attendance, except under emergency circumstances.

Training – All authorized adults/program staff members participating in a program must be appropriately informed of the procedures in this document.

V.   Reporting Incidents/Accidents

All incidents involving any harm or injury to a minor participant or any violation of this policy (or an allegation of a violation of this policy) shall be reported to the University regardless of the severity or type of injury.  Program staff shall notify the University Security Office within 24 hours of any incident involving the physical harm or injury of any minor participant.

VI.  Miscellaneous

This policy is meant to set forth and discuss the responsibilities and obligations of sponsoring units, authorized adults/program staff, and University employees to the University alone (and not obligations owed to other persons or entities).  Nothing in this policy shall be interpreted to lend any support or basis to any claim or cause of action against the University, any third party entity or organization, or any of the University or third party entity/organization’s officers, employees, agents, or volunteers.

VII. Enforcement of Procedures

Sanctions for violations of the Minors on University Property policy and these procedures will depend upon the circumstances and the nature of the violation, but may include the full range of available University sanctions applicable to the individual including suspension, dismissal, termination, and where appropriate, exclusion from campus facilities.  The University may also take necessary interim actions before determining whether a violation has occurred.  The University may terminate relationships or take other appropriate actions against non-University entities that violate the policy and/or procedures.