Student Travel Policy
These guidelines apply to all student travel if the activity or event meets all of the following criteria and is undertaken by one or more currently enrolled students to reach an activity or event.
- The activity or event is sponsored, organized and funded by UT Tyler.
- The activity or event is located more than twenty-five (25) miles from UT Tyler.
- The activity or event is either:
- undertaken, using a vehicle owned, leased or rented by the institution; or
- attendance at the activity or event is required by a registered student organization and approved in writing by the Chief Student Affairs Officer.
For a complete set of guidelines and forms, please view the Manual of Policies and Procedures for Student Affairs at http://www.uttyler.edu/mopp.
NOTE: For purposes of this document, the staff adviser, coordinator, director, coach or other paid professional overseeing the off-campus activity shall be identified as the Responsible University Official (RUO).
- At least one RUO must accompany students on any off-campus activity. RUO's are responsible for knowing the University Code of Conduct and its policies and are trained annually regarding this policy, the sexual harassment policy, and ADA guidelines. The consequences of noncompliance must be made clear to participants and the RUO must take appropriate action when aware that participants are in violation.
- A pre-trip orientation meeting must be conducted for participants prior to the date of departure. Participants should be informed of as much detail about the trip and its circumstances as reasonably possible, including all known risks. Participants should also be informed of emergency response measures.
- The RUO should complete and submit to the Office of Student Affairs the group travel authorization request form for approval at least two weeks prior to departure for domestic travel.
- If the trip is approved, the RUO must submit the required completed and signed forms to the Office of Student Affairs at least one week prior to departure. The RUO must also maintain a copy of these records throughout the trip in a manner that ensures immediate access to the information for each participant in case of an accident or health-related emergency. A copy of Appendix A, B and G will be forwarded by the RUO to the UT Tyler Police Department.
- Students traveling on a University-sponsored overnight trip must have medical insurance. Student health insurance is available at minimal cost. Contact the Student Services Office at 903-566-7079.
- Use or possession of weapons, alcohol or illegal drugs is forbidden while traveling on a University-sponsored trip.
- All travel subject to this policy must be undertaken in vehicles owned, leased or rented by The University or with common carriers. No personal vehicles are permitted for use in travel that is subject to this policy. Approval includes the driver being a University employee, having a valid operator's license with a Motor Vehicle Record of 2 or less, and participating in instruction and hands-on training (15-passenger vans only). Drivers of motor vehicles shall comply with all laws, regulations, and posted signs regarding speed and traffic control, or additional directives stipulated by UT Tyler or the UT System. If University-owned vehicles are available, they should be used for trips within a 60-mile radius of UT Tyler. All other trips must be booked through the UT Tyler contracted rental company or a charter bus company. All forms must be completed and all guidelines followed whether travel is in University-owned vehicles, rental vehicles, chartered bus, or other common carrier. The RUO shall take reasonable steps to assure that all travel is undertaken in conformance with University approved policies.
- The distance to the destination and/or the number of participants needing transportation determines the type of transportation to be used. Each vehicle using University employees as drivers should attempt to have two certified drivers. However, when a trip exceeds three hundred miles one way two certified drivers per vehicle are required. On long trips, drivers should rotate every three hours*, and no more than eight hours of driving should be completed during any one day. No more than nine (9) people plus gear, luggage or other items may be loaded in any one van. Passengers should be seated toward the front of the van in recognized seating with gear, luggage and other items distributed evenly in the rear behind the last seat. On trips where the number of participants and available drivers preclude the use of 15-passenger vans, a chartered bus or mini-bus should be used. When a trip exceeds 350 miles one way and/or trips greater than 250 miles that require driving after 11:00 p.m., professional drivers must be contracted. NOTE: All vehicles must have access to a cellular phone and the number must be indicated on the group travel authorization request form.
- The total number of passengers in any vehicle may not exceed the manufacturer's recommended capacity or the number specified in applicable federal or state law or regulations whichever is lower.
- Occupants of motor vehicles (except charter busses) must use seat belts or other approved safety restraint devices at all times when the vehicle is in operation.
- Drivers of all motor vehicles must check to ensure that the vehicle has a current proof of liability insurance card, State inspection certification, be equipped with all safety devices or equipment required by law or regulation and comply with all other applicable requirements of federal or State law or regulations before departing from campus.
- Each vehicle owned or leased by UT Tyler must be subject to scheduled periodic maintenance by qualified persons and comply with all applicable requirements of The University of Texas System Business Procurement Memoranda.
- When any incident occurs, i.e. accident, mechanical failure, medical emergency, code of conduct violation, etc., the RUO must call his/her supervisor as soon as is feasibly possible. The supervisor will notify the Chief Student Affairs Officer. A meeting must be called as soon as feasibly possible after returning from the trip to investigate the incident. The Office of Student Affairs will contact the Environmental Health and Safety Officer and UT Tyler Police when appropriate.
- Non-University business side trips, such as a trip for entertainment purposes, must be planned and approved in advance. Trips to known high-risk areas will not be approved and must not be undertaken. Spontaneous activities, while on the primary trip, such as going to a local movie or special restaurant, shall be at the discretion of the RUO. Students traveling on University funded trips must arrive at and depart the site at the same time as the advisers. The RUO's immediate supervisor and the Chief Student Affairs Officer must approve any exceptions to this policy.