Risk Management

Risk involves more than just getting hurt.  There are five types of risk that a student organization must consider prior to planning an event:

5 Types of Risk

 

Physical

Physical risks involve harm or injuries to the physical body. Examples for student organization events might include: injuries from a physical activity, inclement weather, equipment or materials, food-related illnesses, alcohol consumption, dangerous travel conditions, medical emergencies, etc. When offering physical activities for program participants, it is strongly encouraged to have all participants complete a liability waiver.  Please consult with the Center for Student Leadership, Involvement and Service (CSLIS) for example waivers.

Reputational

Reputation risks apply to the reputation of the individual officers and members present, the reputation of the student organization, and the reputation of the University as a whole. Examples of reputation risks might include: poor conduct or behavior at an event, a negative representation of the group, or hazing of members.

Emotional

Emotional risks pertain to the thoughts and feelings of the organization's members, participants or attendees, and any other constituents of the event or activity. Examples might include: hazing of members, lack of accessibility to the event, discrimination against constituents, controversy or disruption of the campus, adverse reactions of participants, sensitive subject matter, and the strain of planning the event.

Financial

Financial risks involve both the budget for the specific event and the overall financial health of the student organization. Examples might include: a lack of cost reduction where possible, poor budgeting, failing to meet fundraising goals, etc.

Facilities

Facility risks include both the safety of the facilities and the maintenance of the facilities used for your event. Examples might include: a lack of proper setup or cleanup for the event, safety and security issues at your location, a lack of familiarity with the facilities and location, or the disruption of university facilities.

Source: http://studentactivities.tcu.edu/BESTPRACTICESFORRISKMANAGEMENT.pdf

Alcohol

Student organizations are allowed to have alcohol at on-campus events as long as procedures are followed.  These procedures are determined by Sonoma State University’s Student Code of Conduct, alcohol policy and procedures; the California State University system; and state/federal laws where individuals under the age of 21 are not allowed to consume alcohol. 

If the student organization wishes to serve alcohol at an on-campus event, they must attend the Special Events meeting, and work with the Center for Student Leadership, Involvement, and Service (CSLIS) to submit a University alcohol form that is approved by the University’s Vice President of Administration and Finance and Chief of Police.  Once the event is approved, the sponsoring organization is required to work with University Culinary Services to serve the alcohol (by employees of the department who are licensed to serve alcohol) at the event.  Under no circumstance will the organization be allowed to bring in alcohol or bartenders from outside of the university.  

In addition, the sponsoring student organization is required to work with the Center for Student Leadership, Involvement, and Service (CSLIS) to develop a risk management plan for the event. As with all student events, but especially those where alcohol is served, sponsoring student organizations may be held responsible and be found liable for poor decisions made by guests in attendance or for serving alcohol to attendees under the age of 21. 

Insurance

For most events, student organizations are covered under the Associated Students (AS) insurance policy (except for Fraternity and Sorority organizations); however, some more risky events require additional one-time insurance policies to be purchased by the student organization.  These cases will be determined by the Center for Student Leadership, Involvement, and Service (CSLIS) and Associated Students offices and they will subsequently work with the sponsoring student organization to purchase the insurance.  

Emergency Contacts

Prior to an event beginning, it is beneficial to have the emergency contact for event participants as well as campus and local emergency personnel such as:

Health-Related Events

Student organization may wish to sponsor blood drives or other health-related events on campus.  This typically means hosting an outside group on campus that will employs skilled professionals who will perform the services on behalf of the student organization; therefore, this group must be vetted by the University and provide proper insurance documentation. This process takes time, so the hosting student organization is asked to consult with the Center for Leadership, Involvement, and Service (CSLIS) as soon as possible and initiate the planning of such an event by completing a RUFAS form at least 8 weeks in advance of the health-related event. 

Bringing Animals onto Campus

Similarly to health-related events, student organizations may wish to sponsor activities involving animals, such as therapy dogs for stress relief during final exams. This also means hosting an outside group on campus that will specializes in training and handling these animals; therefore, this group must be vetted by the University and provide proper insurance documentation. This process takes time, so the hosting student organization is asked to consult with the Center for Student Leadership, Involvement, and Service (CSLIS) as soon as possible and initiate the planning of such an event by completing a RUFAS form at least 8 weeks in advance of the health-related event. 

Minors

If a student organization wishes to host an event where minors (individuals under the age of 18) will be present on campus, the organization is asked to contact the Center for Student Leadership, Involvement, and Service (CSLIS) office as soon as possible.  Such an event involving minors will not be permitted on campus unless the organization has worked with the CSLIS office to develop a risk management plan and receive proper University approval.  

Movie Events

Student organizations wishing to show a movie for an event that is a “public viewing” open to campus and/or the greater community must purchase a movie license.  Legally, under the Federal Copyright Act, showing a movie to a public audience is considered a “performance” of the dramatic work, so therefore the group must obtain permission from the copyright owner. 

With that said, the student organization is asked to consult with the Center for Student Leadership, Involvement, and Service (CSLIS) at least 6 weeks prior if considering a public movie showing.  The CSLIS office and campus partners will help the organization make contact with vetted companies that license the rights of movies for public showing.  Such companies include Swank Motion Pictures and Criterion Pictures.