Appendix K. Student Travel Policy for University-Organized
or Sponsored Events
It is the policy of the University of Texas at Austin to promote safe travel by
students to and from events and activities covered by this policy.
This policy applies to the travel of enrolled undergraduate or graduate students
to attend activities or events that are
- organized and/or sponsored by the University of Texas at Austin; and
- occur more than twenty-five miles from the University campus.
The types of activities and events covered by this policy include course-related
field trips, Recreational Sports club trips, the activities of sponsored student
organizations, and meetings of academic organizations where a student is officially representing
The policy does not apply to travel undertaken by students to attend
out-of-town athletic events, or to engage in student teaching, internships, practicums,
observations, or research, unless the research is organized by a member of the faculty.
An organized event is one that is initiated, planned, and arranged by a member
of the University's faculty or staff, or by the members of a sponsored student
organization, and is approved by an appropriate administrator.
A sponsored event or activity is one that the University endorses by supporting
it financially, or by sending students to participate in it as official representatives of
An enrolled student is one who has been admitted to and is attending classes at
An appropriate administrator is a dean, department chair, or director of
an administrative unit, or their delegate.
In order to assure that the events or activities that involve student travel are
within the course and scope of the University's mission, and that student safety issues
have been addressed, travel undertaken pursuant to this policy must be authorized
in advance by an appropriate administrator.
To request authorization, members of the faculty, staff, or sponsored
student organizations who organize activities covered by this policy must submit
a completed Student Travel Request Authorization form, along with the
required documents and information, to the appropriate administrator for
approval. Whenever possible, the request should be submitted at least five working days
in advance of travel to the activity or event.
The following information/documents must be submitted along with the
Travel Authorization Request form:
A list of participants including their names, local addresses and
phone numbers, and the names and phone numbers of persons to contact in case
of an emergency.
The name and phone number for the responsible University employee(s)
who will be available to the students at all times during the travel and activity.
Copies of valid operators' licenses for any students who will operate vehicles.
Copies of current medical insurance certificates, or both sides of a
current group insurance membership card, for each person who wishes to
participate in the activity or event. The purchase of a reasonably priced,
short-term special events policy can be arranged by academic and administrative units
on behalf of students who do not have, or cannot verify, current
medical coverage. Information concerning this coverage is available from the Office
of the Vice President for Student Affairs, (512) 471-1133.
Completed and signed Release and Indemnification Agreements for
Completed and signed Authorization for Medical Treatment forms for
When leading group trips, faculty or staff members should carry
emergency contact information, proof of medical insurance coverage, and the
authorization for emergency medical treatment for each participant.
Faculty members who teach courses that involve frequent field trips can
collect the following information from students at the beginning of each semester
and keep it on file with the appropriate administrator for use throughout a semester:
- Proof of current medical insurance
- Completed and signed medical authorization forms
- Completed and signed release and indemnification agreements (a
single release and indemnification agreement may be used if a single description
fits all the proposed trips)
- Proof of a valid vehicle operator's license for students who will
Onetime approval can be provided for multiple trips led by faculty or
staff members that involve the same locations and same participants.
The Travel Authorization Request, the Authorization for Medical Treatment,
and the Release and Indemnification Agreement forms are available on-line and from the Office
of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
Motor vehicles used for travel covered by this policy shall have a current
proof of liability insurance card and a state inspection certification.
Travel undertaken by means of fifteen-passenger vans must comply with
the requirements of The University of Texas System Business Procedures Memorandum
All students who will operate vehicles while engaged in travel covered by
this policy must have a valid operator's license and be trained as required by law
to drive the vehicle that will be used.
Operators shall comply with all laws, regulations, and posted signs
or directions regarding speed and traffic control.
Operators shall take a mandatory thirty-minute rest break every four hours.
Operators shall drive no more than ten hours in any twenty-four-hour period.
Trips requiring more than ten hours driving time to reach a point of
destination shall require overnight lodging.
A navigator shall be assigned for all trips scheduled to take more than
two hours. The navigator must stay awake while on duty.
Seat Belts. Occupants of motor vehicles shall use seat belts or other
approved safety restraint devices required by law or regulation at all times when
the vehicle is in operation.
Alcohol and Illegal
Substances. Occupants of motor vehicles shall
not possess, consume, or transport any alcoholic beverages or illegal substances.
Passenger Capacity. The total number of passengers in any vehicle at
any time it is in operation shall not exceed the manufacturer's
recommended capacity, or the number specified by University policy, or federal or state
law or regulations, whichever is lowest.
Rentals of vehicles to use for travel to activities or events covered by this
policy are governed by the following guidelines.
Vehicle Reservations. The University is a participant in the State
Travel Management Program, which has negotiated favorable vehicle rental
rates with a number of car rental companies. While use of one of the
University's travel agencies is not required, doing so will help assure (1) that vehicles
are rented pursuant to the State Travel Management plan whenever possible;
(2) that vehicle rental agreements are valid; and (3) that necessary
insurance coverage has been purchased. Information concerning approved agencies
is available from University Travel Management Services.
Payment of Costs for Rental Vehicles
Vehicle rental charges can be (a) billed centrally to the University's
Travel Management Services; or (b) billed directly to those departments
or divisions that have uniquely numbered accounts with state contract
car rental companies. If the rental costs are to be centrally billed, it will
be necessary for the driver to obtain a voucher from Travel
Management Services prior to picking up the rental vehicle.
If necessary, personal credit cards may be used to rent vehicles for
travel covered by this policy, and cardholders will be reimbursed for
appropriate and approved costs. If rentals are from companies that are not under
the state contract, the reimbursement amount will be limited to that
which would have been incurred for equivalent state contract rentals.
Rentals from Companies Participating in State Travel
Management Program. Loss/damage waiver and primary liability insurance coverage
are automatically included in the rates charged by companies participating
in the State Travel Management Program. That protection does not
cover injuries to persons or possessions inside a rental vehicle. Therefore, it
is suggested that the personal injury insurance protection and the
personal effects insurance protection offered by rental companies be purchased
for student travel covered by this policy, particularly if there will be
numerous passengers in the vehicle. The cost of the extended coverage is
reimbursable only from funds held in 18, 19, 26, 29, and 30 accounts.
Rentals from Non-State Contract Rental
Companies. If no state contract cars are available and it is necessary to rent vehicles from
noncontract companies, then both the loss/damage waiver and primary
liability coverage must be purchased, unless the rental is charged to a
University-issued Diner's Club card. It is suggested that the personal injury
insurance protection and the personal effects insurance protection offered by
rental companies be purchased for student travel covered by this
policy, particularly if there will be numerous passengers in the vehicle. The cost
of the extended coverage is reimbursable only from funds held in 18, 19,
26, 29 and 30 accounts.
In addition to complying with the general rules set out above, travel by means
of a vehicle that is owned or leased long-term (for a period of more than one
year) by the University must comply with the following requirements.
Proof of Insurance, Inspection, and Safety
Devices. Vehicles used for travel activity covered by this policy must
- Have a current proof of liability insurance card;
- Have a valid state inspection sticker;
- Have all devices or equipment required by federal or state law or
- Comply with any other applicable federal or state law or regulation.
Service and Maintenance. A University-owned or long-term-leased
vehicle used for student travel under this policy must be subject to scheduled
periodic service and maintenance by qualified persons and comply with the
requirements applicable to The University of Texas System Business
Employee Operators. All operators of vehicles described in this section shall
be on the payroll of the University of Texas at Austin. All operators must have
a valid license for the operation of a particular vehicle; and have a
current BMDRIV rating on file. Human Resource Services or the Office of the
Controller can be contacted for information on how employees may obtain a rating.
The use of personal vehicles by students for travel to events covered by this
policy is strongly discouraged.
When requesting authorization for travel that involves the use of
personally owned vehicles, the requestor, in addition to submitting the
information described in part D.2 above, shall also submit a copy of a current
liability insurance certificate for any vehicle to be used for the proposed travel.
The persons responsible for the proposed activity and travel shall
inform students who will drive their privately owned vehicles that their
personal liability insurance policy will be looked to first to cover any liability that
may result from the use of the vehicle for the proposed travel.
Nonstudent/nonemployee drivers and passengers who accompany students
on travel covered by this policy must sign the Release and Indemnification and
the Authorization for Medical Treatment forms prior to the trip. Forms
are provided on-line by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
For assistance: Questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Office of
the Dean of Students.
Source: Revised Handbook of Operating Procedures, Policy 12.B.2