Skip to Search Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content
Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 5 - Students
Publication Date: December 12, 2013
Responsible Executive: VP for Student Affairs


5.18 Travel or Events that Involve Students and Other Non-Employee Participants


I. POLICY STATEMENT


The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is committed to promoting safe travel by students and other non-employee participants to and from activities or events that advance the University’s mission of research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service.


II. RATIONALE


This policy serves as a guide for student travel and supports compliance with relevant state and University of Texas System (UT System) regulations.


III. SCOPE


This policy applies to all students and other non-employee participants taking part in travel activities or events covered by this policy (except as noted in Section IX.B.).


IV. WEBSITE ADDRESS FOR THIS POLICY


http://www.utsa.edu/hop/chapter5/5-18.html


V. RELATED STATUTES, POLICIES, REQUIREMENTS OR STANDARDS


UTSA or UT System Policies or the Board of Regents' Rules & Regulations

  1. Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations, Rule 50601 Student Travel    
  2. UT System Policy UTS 157, Automobile Insurance Coverage for Officers and Employees and General Requirements for the Use of Vehicles
  3. UT System Special Events Injury and Sickness Benefits
  4. UTSA Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) policy 5.19, Mandatory Use of Release and Indemnification Forms
  5. UTSA HOP policy 9.46, Travel Policy
  6. UTSA Student Code of Conduct
  7. UTSA Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs – Student Travel Website
  8. UTSA Disbursements and Travel Services Office
  9. UTSA International SOS Registration Guidelines
  10. UT Systemwide Contracted Vendors
  11. UTSA Policy on International Travel to Restricted Regions

Other Policies & Standards

  1. Texas Education Code, Section 51.950, Policy Regulating Student Travel
  2. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  3. International SOS

VI. CONTACTS


If you have any questions about HOP policy 5.18, Travel or Events that Involve Students and Other Non-Employee Participants, contact the following office:

The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
210-458-4136


VII. DEFINITIONS


Student - An undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in, admitted to, and attending classes at UTSA at the time of the activity or event.

Organizing Department - The UTSA department that employs the UTSA faculty or staff that plans and funds or, through a potential reimbursement request, may be funding the activity or event. For activities or events originating with a registered or sponsored student organization, the Organizing Departmentis the UTSA department that employs the registered or sponsored student organization’s faculty or staff sponsor or the director of student activities.

Appropriate University Administrator(s) - The UTSA faculty or staff that plans and funds or, through a potential reimbursement request, may be funding the activity or event. For an activity or event planned by UTSA faculty, the Appropriate University Administrator will be the Organizing Department’s chair and dean or their designees.  For an activity or event planned by UTSA staff, the Appropriate University Administrator will be the Organizing Department’s director and assistant or associate vice president, or their designees.For an activity or event planned by a registered or sponsored student organization, the Appropriate University Administrator will be the registered or sponsored student organization’s faculty or staff sponsor or the Director of Student Activities and assistant or associate vice president, or their designees. 

Student-employee - A student who is also a UTSA employee and has job duties that include both driving and participating in one or more activities or events covered by this policy and procedures on the associated student travel website.

Activity/Event Leader - The responsible UTSA employee, including faculty, staff, and/or student employee, appointed by the Appropriate University Administrators, who will be attending the activity or event as part of the employee’s job duties and will be available to students and other participants.  In rare instances, a responsible student may be designated and approved in advance by the Appropriate University Administrators.

Authorized Driver - The responsible UTSA employee (faculty, staff or student-employee), who has been appointed by the Appropriate University Administrators to drive University owned, leased or rented motor vehicles for activities or events covered by the student travel policy.  This individual must be eligible to operate University owned, leased or rented motor vehicles as set out in Section IX.C.2.a.

Navigator – A UTSA faculty member, staff member or student-employee participating in an activity or event who has been appointed by the Appropriate University Administrators to assist (i.e. serve as a guide, help ensure that travel safety rules are followed, etc.) with motor vehicle travel covered by this policy if the travel is anticipated to take longer than two (2) hours.

International SOS – A 24-hour medical, emergency and security response organization that serves as the UT System international emergency assistance provider. Faculty, staff, students and student-employees are automatically enrolled if travel arrangements are completed using a UT System contracted travel agency. If a UT System contracted travel agency is not used, then faculty, staff, students and student-employees must manually register their travel itinerary in the International SOS Personal Travel Locator before obtaining approval to attend the activity or event by the Appropriate University Administrators and before departure. Reference the Registration Guidelines at: http://www.utsa.edu/financialaffairs/dts/intlSOS.html for more information.


VIII. RESPONSIBILITIES


  1. Business Auxiliary Services Transportation Division
    1. Creates and maintains on-road training curriculum specific to the use of twelve (12) passenger vans.
    2. Provides notification to the Fleet Manager for UTSA employees or UTSA student employees who successfully completed the on-road training curriculum specific to the use of twelve (12) passenger vans.
  2. Disbursements and Travel Services
    1. Provides information about car rental contracts.
  3. Environmental Health, Safety & Risk Management
    1. Creates and updates defensive driver training curriculum in conjunction with the Fleet Manager and provides this information to Human Resources.
  4. Fleet Manager
    1. Creates and updates defensive driver training curriculum in conjunction with Environmental Health Safety & Risk Management and provides this information to Human Resources.
    2. Maintains a list of authorized drivers for University owned, leased or rented motor vehicles including twelve (12) passenger vans.
  5. Human Resources
    1. Transfers defensive driver training curriculum to an online format and maintains operation of the online curriculum.
    2. Provides report to the Fleet Manager for UTSA employees or UTSA student-employees who successfully completed the online defensive driver training curriculum for use of University owned, leased or rented motor vehicles including twelve (12) passenger vans.
  6. Purchasing and Distribution Services
    1. Provides information about contracting for travel related services including, but not  limited to, transportation.
  7. Police Department
    1. Processes motor vehicle report requests and evaluates driving history results to determine driving status for UTSA employees or UTSA student-employees seeking authorization to drive University owned, leased or rented motor vehicles.
    2. Sends notification about employee’s driving status to the Organizing Department and Fleet Manager.
    3. Provides notification and/or assistance in the event of an emergency.
  8. Vice President for Business Affairs
    1. Grants approval for use of a University owned, leased or rented motor vehicle by a non-employee or non-student volunteer.

IX. PROCEDURES


  1. Scope of Policy
    1. This policy applies to travel undertaken by students and other non-employee participants to reach an activity or event that meets all of the following conditions:
      1. The activity or event is planned by University faculty or staff;
      2. The University is funding or, through a potential reimbursement request, may be funding the activity or event;
      3. The activity or event is approved by the Appropriate University Administrators as outlined in Section X., Special Instructions for Initial Implementation;
      4. The activity or event occurs more than twenty-five (25) miles from the applicable University campus (either Main, Downtown or Hemisfair Park, which includes the Institute of Texan Cultures; AND
      5. One of the following conditions is also met:
        1. Travel to the activity or event is funded and undertaken using a vehicle owned, leased, or rented by the University including other modes of transportation; OR
        2. Attendance at the activity or event is required by a registered or sponsored student organization.
    2. Examples of activities or events that may be covered by this policy include the following:
      1. Course-related field trips.
      2. Research trips organized by a faculty member.
      3. Campus recreation programs.
      4. Registered or sponsored student organization trips.
      5. Conferences and meetings where students are serving as University representatives.
      6. Travel for summer camps or college preparatory programs when transportation has been planned and funded by the University.
      7. Registration with International SOS is required by faculty, staff, students and student-employees who travel internationally to an activity or event covered by this policy.
    3. Although not required by this policy, general safety, conduct, and emergency contact provisions found in this policy or on the associated student travel website are recommended for travel that is excluded from this policy.
  2. Activities or Events Excluded from the policy
    1. This policy will almost never apply to an activity or event if all students and other participants are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from the activity or event. (See Section C.1.b, below, for exception.) Examples of these types of excluded activities and events, which are generally not funded by the University, include internships, national student exchanges, observations, practicums, student teaching and students attending athletic events held out of town.
    2. This policy does not apply to an activity or event that is part of a program with its own established policies and procedures governing travel. Examples of these types of excluded activities and events include travel by students who are participating in an international study abroad program where academic credit is earned, travel by students who are NCAA Division I athletes and attending NCAA athletic activities or events and international travel to restricted regions.
    3. Student-employees traveling for reasons related to their employment must adhere to policies established for employees by the UTSA Disbursements and Travel Services Office. Reference the Travel Guidelines at:  http://www.utsa.edu/financialaffairs/dts/ for more information.
  3. Restrictions and Regulations Relating to Travel by Motor Vehicles
    1. Motor Vehicles Used in Travel
      1. Motor vehicles used in travel associated with an activity or event covered by this policy must be either owned, leased or rented by the University or owned, leased or rented by a third party contractor who has been retained by the University through normal contracting procedures to provide all transportation for the activity or event. Vehicles purchased, leased or rented by or on behalf of the University must be acquired from an approved vendor pursuant to an agreement negotiated by Purchasing and Distribution Services on behalf of UTSA. All requirements of such agreement must be met.
        1. See http://www.utsa.edu/financialaffairs/dts/stateContractedVendors.html for information on renting vehicles.
        2. If a third party will be providing the transportation, the Organizing Department must secure services through valid contracting procedures. Contact Purchasing and Distribution Services for more information.
      2. While it is possible to allow the use of privately-owned, personal motor vehicles for travel associated with a registered or sponsored student organization activity or event covered under this policy, it is strongly discouraged. For further information relating to travel in privately-owned, personal motor vehicles, see Section C.3. below.  
      3. Fifteen (15) passenger vans may not be used in any off-campus transportation associated with an activity or event covered under this policy.
      4. Twelve (12) passenger vans may be used in off-campus transportation associated with an activity or event covered under this policy as long as the following requirements are satisfied.
        1. Must not be a converted, modified, or otherwise altered fifteen (15) passenger van.
        2. Must have a wheel base of approxiamately 135 inches or more.
        3. Must not have the ability to seat more than 12 passengers including the driver and have assigned seatbelts for each seat.
        4. Must be equipped with an Electronic Stability Control (ESC) or Traction Control System (TCS).
        5. Must be equipped with the following safety features: front and side curtain air bags, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and a tire pressure monitoring (TPM) system.
        6. Must achieve a rollover rating of three (3) stars or better for twelve (12) passenger vans (for the specific make, model and year of manufacture) as listed on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash test and rollover ratings website http://www.safercar.gov/.
        7. Drivers of twelve (12) passenger vans must comply with IX.C.2., Provisions Relating to Driver Safety below and must meet the minimum qualifications and be authorized to drive as per the most current version of UT System Administration policy 157 (UTS157).
        8. Drivers must also pass a UTSA driver training course, which includes on-road training, specific to twelve (12) passenger vans, as reviewed and approved by both Environmental Health Safety & Risk Management and the UTSA Fleet Manager.
    2. Provisions Relating to Driving Safety
      1. Driver Eligibility: If the motor vehicle is owned, leased or rented by the University, the Authorized Driver must meet the following qualifications or satisfy the following conditions prior to departure for an activity or event covered by this policy:
        1. Be a UTSA employee or a UTSA student-employee.  (In special circumstances and as authorized by UT System Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations or UT System policies, a non-employee or non-student volunteer may be authorized by the vice president for business affairs to use a University owned, leased or rented motor vehicle not including twelve (12) passenger vans.)
        2. Hold a valid driver's license that is issued by the state where the employee permanently resides and not currently suspended or revoked, and must be trained as required by law to drive the vehicle that will be used in the travel.
        3. Have a motor vehicle report on file with the UTSA Police Department, which contains a rating of three (3) points or fewer for the most recent three-year driving history as required by UTS 157. (Contact the UTSA Police Department for further information.)
          1. For any UTSA employee or a UTSA student-employee who is expected to drive for travel covered by this policy, the Organizing Department must request a motor vehicle report from the UTSA Police Department at least every twelve months after the employee or student-employee is initially authorized to drive.
          2. The Organizing Department will also notify an employee or student-employee that he/she is obligated to report to the Organizing Department any moving or traffic violation he/she received after the motor vehicle report has been evaluated.
          3. The Organizing Department will report any such moving or traffic violation to the Appropriate University Administrators, who may require the employee or student-employee to take an additional driver safety course before he/she can transport students or other participants for a subsequent activity or event because of the moving or traffic violation.
        4. Successfully complete the University's defensive driver training course before the activity/event, but at least once a year.
        5. Drivers of twelve (12) passenger vans must also successfully complete on-road training specific to the use of twelve (12) passenger vans before the activity/event, but at least once a year.
        6. For University-rented vehicles only, be listed as a driver on the vehicle rental agreement.
      2. Authorized Drivers of motor vehicles engaged in travel covered by this policy must:
        1. Be awake and alert.
        2. Comply with all laws, regulations and posted signs regarding speed and traffic control.
        3. Ensure a Navigator has been assigned by the Appropriate University Administrators for all travel associated with an activity/event if such travel is anticipated to take longer than two (2) hours.
        4. Take a mandatory thirty (30) minute rest break for every four (4) hours of driving.
        5. Not drive more than a total of ten (10) hours in any twenty-four (24) hour period.
        6. Obtain and use overnight lodging in an appropriate hotel/motel if more than ten (10) hours driving time are required to reach a point of destination.
        7. Not drive between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. unless there is an emergency (such as, but not limited to, a health concern, injury, accident, natural disaster) as determined by the Authorized Driver or unless travel during these hours has been approved in advance and in writing by the Appropriate University Administrators.
      3. Whenever a driver of a motor vehicle engaged in travel covered by this policy is driving, the Navigator must:
        1. Remain awake and alert.
        2. Keep an itinerary, map or global positioning system (GPS) unit, cell phone, and list of Activity/Event Leaders readily available.
        3. Assist the driver in ensuring that the travel safety rules listed below in Section C.2.d. are followed.
        4. Unless unable to do so, take the lead in the event of an emergency (such as, but not limited to, a health concern, injury, accident, natural disaster) associated with the vehicle by calling local police on 911 and subsequently calling the UTSA Police Department and one or more Activity/Event Leaders.
      4. To further enhance the safety of the motor vehicle travel covered by this policy, the following additional safety regulations will apply to all motor vehicles owned, leased or rented by the University while used in travel:
        1. All occupants of a motor vehicle must use seat belts or other approved safety restraint devices required by law or regulation at all times when the motor vehicle is in operation.
        2. No occupant of a motor vehicle may consume, possess or transport any alcoholic beverages or illegal substances.
        3. The total number of passengers in the motor vehicle at any time it is in operation must not exceed the manufacturer´s recommended capacity or the number specified in applicable federal or state law or regulations, whichever is fewer.
        4. Non-employees cannot be passengers in the motor vehicle or otherwise participate in the activity/event unless they are also students or UTSA employees and part of the group attending the activity/event.  (In special circumstances, a UTSA employee, not associated with the group attending the activity/event, may be authorized by the Appropriate University Administrator of an Organizing Department to attend and participate in the activity/event.)   
        5. Students must abide by the Student Code of Conduct rules and regulations contained in the UTSA Information Bulletin while they are a passenger in the motor vehicle or are otherwise participating in an activity or event covered under this policy.
        6. The Organizing Department may also require additional rules concerning their expectations of students, participants and passengers in the motor vehicle.
    3. Information Relating to Travel in Privately-Owned, Personal Motor Vehicles
      1. While it is strongly recommended that any private, personal motor vehicle used in travel associated with an activity/event, including the driver and passengers, be in compliance with the relevant standards and requirements of this policy, the University does not check or confirm that these standards and requirements have actually been satisfied.
      2. The Organizing Department must notify students who use their own vehicles that they must hold a valid driver’s license not currently suspended or revoked and carry at least the minimum insurance coverage as required by law. UTSA assumes no responsibility or liability for the use of their personal vehicle for the activity/event. Therefore, they or their automobile insurance provider will be responsible for any liability that may arise from using their own personal vehicle. This notification must be done in writing and in advance of travel to the activity or event.
  4. Retention of Documentation
    A copy of the approved Student Travel Authorization Request and supporting documentation must remain on file with the Organizing Department for a period of not fewer than three (3) years after completion of travel to an activity or event. If any claim, damage or injury is sustained, all supporting documentation including signed release and indemnification agreements for students and participants associated with a claim, damage or injury must be retained for at least three (3) years after the resolution of any claim, damage, or injury.
  5. Review of policy
    This policy will be reviewed every four years by the vice president for student affairs, the vice president for academic affairs, and the vice president for business affairs.



X. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR INITIAL IMPLEMENTATION


For each activity or event covered by this policy, the organizing department and registered and sponsored student organizations must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Complete any necessary driver requirements to be authorized to operate a University owned, leased or rented motor vehicle.
  2. Register with International SOS for international travel.
  3. Obtain the prior, written approval of an activity or event and its associated travel from the Appropriate University Administrators;
  4. Collect and properly distribute information about the approved activity/event, the participants and Activity/Event Leaders; and
  5. Ensure that the Appropriate University Administrators notify the UTSA Police Department and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs about the approved travel prior to departure.
To satisfy these requirements, refer to the additional procedures and information found on the student travel website at http://www.utsa.edu/students/travel/.

XI. FORMS AND TOOLS/ONLINE PROCESSES


See the student travel website at http://www.utsa.edu/students/travel/ for related forms, tools, and procedures.


XII. APPENDIX


None