Travel - Student Organizations
Effective: August 31, 2007
Updated/Revised: February 8, 2011
Contact: Office of Risk Management (ORM)
Modes of Travel
-- Driver Authorization
-- Driving Standards
-- Rules and Criteria - All Vehicles
-- University Vehicles (including Large Passenger Vans & Vehicles Towing Trailers)
-- Personal or Privately Owned Vehicles
-- Air Travel
-- Chartered Bus or Hired Vehicle
-- Rental Vehicle
Iowa State University supports the philosophy that student activities are an integral component of the collegiate experience. In an effort to assist student organizations with travel needs, the Government of the Student Body and the university partner to establish travel policies and related procedures.
This policy and related procedures are designed to establish the relationship between student organizations and the university for the purpose of reducing risks and providing protection for all student organization travel, especially travel using large passenger vans and vehicles towing trailers (see University Vehicles section). top
The Student Organization Travel Policy and procedures govern travel to reach an activity or event that is sponsored by a recognized student organization and authorized by Iowa State University. All student organizations must comply with the requirements for travel as outlined in this policy and the related procedures (see Resources section below).
All travel by recognized student organizations must relate to the purpose of the organization and comply with the policies of the State of Iowa; the Board of Regents, State of Iowa; and Iowa State University. (The ISU policy on Fleet Safety and Vehicle Use/Rental provides information on approved vehicle uses; see Resources below.) The purpose of student organization travel and transportation to and from the event is reviewed and authorized by the group's advisor, group's treasurer and the Office of Risk Management or Recreation Services (for Sports Clubs) prior to travel. The student organization must designate a member to serve as the trip coordinator who is responsible for completing trip information on the Student Organization Travel Authorization system.
Student organizations eligible for use of university vehicles must be recognized student organizations with the Student Activities Center within the Division of Student Affairs at Iowa State University. Travel funding from student organization accounts will be allowed only for student organization travel that has been approved through the Student Organization Travel Authorization system. top
All trip participants must complete a Waiver and Release of Liability form and an Emergency Contact and Medical Information form.
- Students under the age of eighteen (18) must have the Waiver and Release of Liability form signed by their parents or legal guardian.
- Students using personal vehicles for student organization travel must sign a Waiver and Release of Liability form and an Emergency Contact and Medical Information form acknowledging the risks involved in the travel activity and assuming responsibility for liability for themselves and the passengers traveling in their vehicle.
University students who are participating in travel related to academic course requirements (e.g., field trips) or related to their assigned duties as a student employee (e.g., research data collection) are not required to sign waiver or release forms.
Student organization leadership should consider transportation options and costs before planning a trip. Organizations will be asked to identify their mode of transportation, drivers (if applicable), participant(s) and/or commercial arrangements associated with their trip. Specific policies and procedures as they apply to different modes of transportation are outlined below. top
To promote safe driving practices, all student organizations must comply with the requirements for drivers and vehicle use rules outlined in this policy. For the purpose of this policy, vehicles include university vehicles; personal vehicles; vehicles rented, leased or hired by the university; or any vehicle in university control or custody for student organization activities.
Individuals requesting permission to drive vehicles for authorized student organization travel must submit a Motor Vehicle Record Check form to Transportation Services (for Iowa driver's licenses) or the Department of Public Safety (for out-of-state driver's licenses). This form is required to authorize a complete check of the driver's motor vehicle driving record. The individual's motor vehicle record must meet the following minimum qualifications:
- Driver must be at least 18 years old with the following exception:
- Drivers of large passenger vans or vehicles towing trailers must be 20 years old and must successfully complete the Transportation Services Large Passenger Van Driving Class. (See Large Passenger Vans and Vehicles Towing Trailers section below.)
- Driver must have a valid U.S. driver's license for the vehicle being driven with the appropriate classifications, restrictions and endorsements.
- Driver must satisfactorily complete a motor vehicle record check every twelve months (See Driving Standards section below).
- Driver must agree to operate the vehicle in a safe and prudent manner.
Drivers for student organization travel must be members or advisers of the organization who are currently enrolled as ISU students, or ISU staff or faculty. Organizations requesting permission for other drivers (e.g., volunteer coaches) must receive approval from the Office of Risk Management or Recreation Services (for Sports Clubs).Drivers for student organization travel must be members or advisers of the organization who are currently enrolled as ISU students, or ISU staff or faculty. Organizations requesting permission for other drivers (e.g., volunteer coaches) must receive approval from the Office of Risk Management or Recreation Services (for Sports Clubs). top
Driving privileges for individuals will be denied or revoked if a driver's past twelve-month driving record indicates any of the following:
- Two citations for a moving violation within the last 12 months.
- Two accidents within the last 12 months where the driver was at fault or contributory. The definition of "at-fault accident" for this policy means an accident in which the driver is determined to be 50 percent or more responsible for the accident.
- One accident where the driver was at fault or contributory and one moving violation within the last 12 months.
- Any citation for blood alcohol content within the last 12 months. Cases not yet resolved in the courts will be considered grounds for temporarily denying permission to drive a university vehicle.
- A licensing requirement for specialized motor vehicle insurance (i.e., SR) to operate a vehicle.
- Conviction for reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, hit and run, leaving the scene of an accident, license suspension or other crime(s) that results in license suspension.
- Conviction or charges pending due to a violation of statutes that affects his/her driver's license, or who has his/her driving privileges suspended, revoked, or barred for violating such statutes including, but not limited to, Operating While Intoxicated, vehicular homicide or habitual violations, or any driving offense punishable as a felony.
Individual drivers approved to drive university vehicles for authorized student organization travel must notify their student organization advisor and the Office of Risk Management when their driver's license is suspended, revoked, cancelled or the driver is otherwise prohibited from operating a university motor vehicle. top
- Authorized passengers include members of officially recognized Iowa State University student organizations, university employees, or authorized volunteers while on approved university student organization travel. All passengers must be identified in the Student Organization Travel Authorization system prior to departure.
- Unauthorized passengers are prohibited in university vehicles. Examples include student organization members not listed on the passenger list, spouses, children or other family members, friends, neighbors or the general public. Unauthorized passengers are not covered by the Regents institutions' insurance.
- In extenuating circumstances, a request for authorization for passengers otherwise considered unauthorized must be submitted in writing and approved by the Office of Risk Management or Recreation Services (for Sports Clubs) before travel occurs.
Vehicle Occupancy: The maximum number of people in any vehicle must not exceed the number of seatbelts in the vehicle.
Seat Belt Use: All vehicle occupants must wear seat belts at all times while traveling.
Pick-up Truck Passengers: Transporting people in the bed of a pick-up truck is not allowed on public roads. top
- The number of drivers required may vary depending on the distance and duration of the trip.
- Each driver is allowed to drive a maximum of 4 continuous hours followed by a minimum 2-hour break.
- Each driver is permitted to drive a maximum of 10 hours over a 24-hour period.
- One person must be in the front passenger seat and awake at all times to assist with navigation and trip safety such as making sure the driver remains alert.
- Drivers must obey traffic laws and regulations, including posted speed limits.
- Drivers must abide by university policies and any applicable federal or state regulations that govern individual actions including, but not limited to, ethical behavior, confidentiality, financial responsibility, alcohol and drug use.
Alcohol: No alcoholic beverages or beverage containers (open or closed) are allowed. Consumption of alcohol by drivers and passengers is prohibited at least 8 hours before driving for student organization activities.
Transporting Hazardous Materials: The unauthorized transportation, use or storage of any hazardous materials is prohibited. In extenuating circumstances, a request for authorization for transporting hazardous materials must be submitted in writing and approved by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety and the Office of Risk Management before travel occurs. In addition, the Office of Risk Management must review and authorize any student organization activity that involves the use of hazardous materials. top
Firearms, Weapons and/or Explosives: The unauthorized transportation, use or storage of any firearms, weapons and/or explosives is prohibited. In extenuating circumstances, a request for authorization for transporting firearms, weapons and/or explosives must be submitted in writing and approved by the Office of Risk Management. In addition, the Office of Risk Management must review and authorize any student organization activity that involves weapon or gun use.
Cell Phones and Other Communication Devices: The use of cell phones and other communication devices such as walkie-talkies while driving is hazardous. Only hands-free units may be used while driving. Drivers are required to stop and park the vehicle to use any other devices.
Travel Times: Travel is not allowed between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.
Weather: In the event of adverse weather or other factors that affect the ability to drive safely, drivers are expected to use good judgment and take appropriate safety measures in observance of travel warnings as issued by the highway safety authorities or weather advisory services. top
- No items may be transported on the roof of a vehicle.
- Rear seats of university vans will not be removed to accommodate luggage without approval from Transportation Services.
- Luggage must be dispersed evenly throughout large passenger vans to equalize the load.
- When using large passenger vans (12 to 15-passengers) on extended trips, Transportation Services may require a trailer to safely accommodate luggage.
- Trailers owned by Transportation Services must be used if available.
- Transportation Services must approve the use of all commercially rented, privately owned, manufactured, home-made or donated trailers and has the authority to deny the use of any trailer.
- Transportation Services must inspect all trailers after connection to the vehicle.
- University owned trailers may be pulled only by university owned vehicles. top
University vehicles may be used only for official student organization travel. All student organizations must comply with the Iowa State University Fleet Safety policy as well as all federal or state regulations that govern related actions including, but not limited to, those of drug and alcohol use, ethical behavior, confidentiality, harassment and financial responsibility. Operating a university vehicle is a privilege. Transportation Services or the Office of Risk Management have the authority to approve or deny any request for the use of university vehicles.
Iowa State University vehicles are easily identifiable. Common sense must be used and consideration must be given to public perceptions of how vehicles are operated and where they are parked. The Iowa Code does not permit personal use of university vehicles and individuals who use vehicles for personal purposes are subject to corrective action or disciplinary measures according to the severity of the infraction and are potentially liable for accidents, injury and damages that occur during unauthorized use.
Student organizations may be approved to use Iowa State University Transportation Services' 12- and 15-passenger vans for trips with nine to fifteen passengers and/or vehicles towing trailers. Organizations may not rent 12- or 15-passenger vans from commercial rental companies or use personal 12- or 15-passenger vans for authorized student organizational travel.
Due to their unique handling characteristics, drivers of large passenger vans and vehicles towing trailers must be at least 20 years old. In addition, driver training as described below is required.
- All drivers of 12- and 15-passenger vans or vehicles towing trailers must complete the Large Passenger Van Driving Class offered by Transportation Services. The Large Passenger Van Driving Class is a two-hour classroom session that covers handling characteristics and defensive driving techniques for 12- and 15-passenger vans.
- Each driver must also show behind-the-wheel driving competency by driving a large passenger van with a trailer attached. Competency is determined by the Transportation Services instructor. Behind-the-wheel training will be scheduled after the classroom training is completed.
- Each driver must have a record of successful completion of both the classroom and the hands-on, behind-the-wheel training before picking up the keys for a vehicle.
- Training records will be kept on file with Transportation Services. top
Rules and Criteria - University Vehicles:
Smoking: Smoking is not allowed in Iowa State University vehicles.
Vehicle Security: All drivers are expected to properly safeguard university vehicles. If it is determined that a vehicle is at substantially higher risk of theft or damage due to a lack of reasonable precautions by the driver or the student organization; the student organization will be notified by either Transportation Services, Recreation Services or the Office of Risk Management to implement measures to correct the misuse. If the misuse is not corrected within a reasonable time, the student organization may be required to forfeit use of the vehicle and return the vehicle to Transportation Services.
International Travel: University vehicles may not be taken into Mexico or Canada without the prior written consent of the Office of Risk Management. Travel into Mexico requires the purchase of Mexican auto insurance and must be arranged through the Office of Risk Management. In addition, the Office of Risk Management must review and authorize any student organization activity that involves travel to Mexico or Canada.
Parking Vehicle at Private Residence or Airport: University vehicles may be driven to a private residence and parked overnight when travel is scheduled to depart early in the morning. Other than short-term travel (i.e. a day or less), private or public transportation should be used to access airports, as it is neither an economical nor effective use of university vehicles to leave them in an airport parking lot.
Student organizations should minimize the use of personal vehicles for organization-related travel. When a personal vehicle must be used for organization travel, the driver assumes all liability associated with the trip. Drivers and passengers must comply with the Student Organization Travel policy Driving Authorization, Driving Standards and vehicle use Rules and Criteria - All Vehicles. Students using personal vehicles for student organization travel must sign a Waiver and Release of Liability form and Emergency Contact and Medical Information form acknowledging the risks involved in the travel activity and assuming responsibility for the liability for themselves and the passengers traveling in their vehicle. top
Student organizations who use commercial transportation for travel related to student organization travel must comply with all university regulations pertaining to commercial travel and the rules of the carrier. This applies to domestic as well as international travel.
Scheduled commercial flights are the most closely regulated and safest form of travel. Student organizations who choose other types of flights, such as charters or private planes, must contact the Office of Risk Management regarding contractual agreements and insurance provisions.
Student organizations may request the use of university contracts for chartered bus or hired vehicle services by having the funding student organization contact ISU Procurement Services. Whenever possible, student organizations should use chartered bus services for large group transportation.
Student Organizations must rent university Transportation Services vehicles for travel originating in Ames. Student organizations starting travel from another location and needing to rent a vehicle commercially must contact the Office of Risk Management prior to making arrangements. top
International travel by student organizations requires extensive planning and preparation. Student organizations that wish to travel outside of the United States must complete information in the Student Organization Travel Authorization system and submit it to the Office of Risk Management at a minimum of six months prior to travel for review and final approval.
- Any use of university or student organization owned vehicles that involves specific hazards (i.e., storm chasing, Formula SAE contests, etc.) must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Risk Management.
- All requests for exceptions to this policy or any changes to an approved travel itinerary must be submitted to the Office of Risk Management or Recreation Services (for Sports Clubs) for approval prior to departure.
- Risk Management or Recreation Services (for Sports Clubs) will review all special circumstance requests and have the authority to approve or deny any request.
Reimbursement of travel expenses from a student organization account is contingent on compliance with student travel organization policy and procedures. Failure to comply with any Student Organization Travel policies and procedures may be subject to Office of Student Conduct disciplinary measures. top
- Travel Authorization Process - Student Organizations
- Recognized ISU Student/Campus Organizations' Use of University Vehicles
- Fleet Safety and Vehicle Use/Rental Policy
- Motor Vehicle Record Checks
- Transportation Services
- Contract Assistance
- Office of Risk Management (request Fleet Safety Policy information)
- Recreation Services
- Campus Organizations Accounting Office
- Student Engagement