Risk Management

Risk Management
Overarching Statement:
Each student has the responsibility to be fully acquainted with and to comply with the Michigan Tech Code of Student Conduct.  More specific rules, information, and procedures may be found in various publications pertaining to each particular service or department.  When available, links have been provided to the appropriate web sites. 
The registration process represents a relationship in which the University provides advice and assistance as practicable, while the organization accepts the responsibility for its operation, conduct, and contributions to the University community. (BOT 2006)
The members of each organization are the persons responsible for the group's actions and liabilities. (BOT 2006)  
The Student Activities Office and the advisors are available to assist the student organizations. However, ultimate responsibility for performance rests with the members themselves. (BOT 2006)

Liability of Student Organization Members
Michigan Tech does not accept responsibility or liability for student organizations and their members.  It is the responsibility of the student organization to understand the risks that are involved in any activity and any financial consequences that may result from their actions.   

Membership: Non-Students (community members)
Registered organizations must provide that only currently enrolled students with Michigan Technological University are officers or voting members.  A minimum of ten current, enrolled students is required.  There is to be no discrimination on the basis of ethnic group creed, gender, religion, weight, height, age, disability, marital status or national origin within the organization. 
Associate Members of an organization are community members that may participate in any operations or activities of the organization, but due to constitutional & university definition, cannot vote or hold an officer position.  
Please ensure that non-Tech students are aware of campus and student organization policies and procedures. As members of the student organization, their violations could be held against the student organization and may be subject to sanctioning.

All forms of hazing by any student and/or student organization, group, team, etc. are strictly forbidden at all times on and off the campus of Michigan Technological University. Hazing is defined as any action taken or situation created intentionally, knowingly, and/or recklessly to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, ridicule, or possibly cause mental or physical harm or injury, regardless of the harmed party’s willingness to participate.

Medical/Health Insurance  
Michigan Technological University does not require students to have medical/health insurance to enroll at the university, therefore you may have members of your student organization that do not have medical/health insurance.   Students are responsible for their own medical/health insurance coverage.  Students are advised to carry an adequate health insurance policy of their own.  Students who are not covered by family or other health insurance can purchase low-cost, group health insurance. Michigan Tech's student health insurance is available for graduate and undergraduate students, their spouses, and their children. All international students are required to have adequate medical/health insurance applicable in the US.

Commercial General Liability Insurance (3rd Party Property Damage and Bodily Injury)
Commercial general liability insurance is a broad form of liability insurance usually covering business organizations to protect them against liability claims for bodily injury and property damage arising out of activities, operations, products and completed operations, and independent contractors, but excluding coverage for liability arising out of the use of automobiles.
Michigan Tech’s commercial general liability insurance coverage does not cover student organizations, and therefore student organizations must be cognizant that they do not have general liability coverage for their activities and any claims against the student organization would be the responsibility of the student organization.
However, if the student organization’s mission is to further study, discuss, or experience an academic course, major or field, through lectures, field trips, meetings, or other related activity, then their activities may (but also may not) be covered under Michigan Tech’s commercial general liability policy.  Please check with the Office of Risk Management (487-2267) to determine if your student organization’s activities would be provided coverage by Michigan Tech.

Organizations signing contracts do so in their own name – not in the name of Michigan Tech University.  The student organization and its officers are responsible for the terms and conditions stated in the contract and accept any and all risks and financial obligations associated with that contract.
No employee of the University (management, staff or faculty) is authorized to sign a "hold harmless and indemnification" or similar agreement.  Students should be advised not to sign such documents, but if they choose to, they need to understand the implications. The student must make the decision whether to sign or not to sign a Hold Harmless & Indemnification agreement. A confidentiality agreement is different and in certain situations appropriate.

Each Registered Student Organization is accountable for the conduct, safety, and general welfare of its members and their guests whenever they represent the organization or are participating in organizational activities.
If an event involves increased potential risk of harm for its participants, student organizations are encouraged to have waivers available for participants to sign.  A waiver explains the potential risks, indicates voluntary participation, and releases the student organization and Michigan Tech or other property from liability.
A standard Assumption of Risk and Liability and Release of Liability form has been developed for use by student organizations.  This form can be found here.  If you have any questions regarding the use of this form, please contact the Director of Risk Management at 487-2267.

Membership vs. All-University Audience
An "all-university audience" shall generally be defined as one that is advertised outside the membership of the organization and is promoted as being open to persons who are not members of the sponsoring organization(s).  If organizations are planning an activity for an all-university audience, the Director of Risk Management should be consulted for assistance.

Insurance coverage for property damage is provided by Michigan Tech to those student organizations that have University approved storage of equipment on campus in University lockers or designated University controlled storage areas.  This insurance coverage only applies to equipment while it is in storage, and not while it is being used by the student organization.   The University provides no such insurance for property damage to an organizations or student’s property stored elsewhere, such as at an organization’s office  or activity center, or at a fraternity or sorority house even if you consider it to be located on campus.

University Food Policy
As licensed University departments, only food prepared by the Memorial Union or Residential Services Dining Halls shall be permitted to be distributed or sold on campus or at events sponsored by the University.  The University Food Policy can be found at: http://www.admin.mtu.edu/admin/policy/gen/1008.htm
Events that are not catered by licensed University departments must conform to the health and sanitation requirements as specified by the Western Upper Peninsula District Health Department or provided by vendors properly under contract to the University and possessing the required insurance and license(s), and must be approved annually by the Vice President for Administration. 

Fire Prevention Plan found here
Student Organizations should note the following:

  • Building occupants shall not obstruct or tamper with any safety features such as exit signs, sprinkler systems, heat and smoke detectors, alarm pulls, horns and strobes, etc.
  • Open flames are permitted only in laboratories and other designated hot work areas unless a hot work permit is obtained (see section 5.3 in manual).
  • Lighted candles are not permitted except in supervised dining areas provided they are securely supported on a noncombustible base and the flame is protected.

 Fire Emergency Procedure in Campus Buildings

  • Pull evacuation alarm located near building exits
  • Follow department evacuation plan – always use nearest exit – do not use elevator
  • Dial 911 from a safe location
  • Use fire extinguisher only if trained
  • Do not return until cleared by Public Safety and Police Services

Campfires & Bonfires
Always follow safe campfire practices to prevent them from starting a wildfire. Remember, you can be held responsible for the cost of putting the fire out if it escapes and for any property damage.  A burn permit is required any time the ground is not snow covered. Recreational camp and cooking fires are exempt but still require the same degree of caution as any other outdoor fire.  In the Upper Peninsula, permits are issued by going on line at www.michigan.gov/burnpermit or calling toll free 866-922-2876.
**Campfires and Bonfires are not allowed on University property, except in the campfire pit(s) located at Prince's Point.**

High Risk Information Reviewed and Posted by:
Janet Hayden, Director of Risk Management
Paul Tomasi, Attorney at Law
Rochelle Spencer, Coordinator of Student Activities