Valparaiso University recognizes that travel to off-campus events and activities is a beneficial part of the student collegiate experience; therefore, the University encourages and permits such travel, and recommends the use of commercial transportation. The University seeks to provide the safest opportunities and methods of transportation and to mitigate any risks that might be associated with student travel. To that end, the following policies and procedures have been established. These policies, including those outlined in the Student Guide to University Life, are considered the minimum requirements for student travel. Sponsors of trips (i.e. academic units, the Chapel, athletics and/or student organizations) may require additional standards to address the unique requirements associated with a particular type of trip.
Student trips for which the University provides transportation must be approved by the appropriate administrative office (see below) using the Student Trip Application form.
This form may be used for either blanket (semester) or one-time trip authorization. It must be completed in its entirety and submitted to one of the following administrative offices at least 3 weeks prior to departure. Once approved, the Student Trip Application form will be returned to the faculty/staff advisor to be filed with the Release of All Claims form. Together, these forms will be filed in the department’s main office so that others have access in the advisor’s absence. Travel emergency procedures and contact information will be returned along with the approved Student Trip Application. Questions regarding the University’s student travel policies may also be directed to these administrative offices.
In the event a student travels in any personally owned vehicle or via public transportation for University-sponsored travel off campus, the student must complete a Student Self-Transportation Agreementt and submit it to the department chair or trip sponsor prior to the event. This form is to be kept on file for two years and 3 months following the last day of travel. The Student Self-Transportation Agreement may be used for one-time trips or for frequent trips throughout a given semester. This policy applies to events for which the student chooses not to use the University-provided transportation as well as events for which the University does not provide transportation. In the event a student is involved in an accident in his/her personal vehicle while traveling to/from a University-sponsored event, the student is responsible for loss or damage to the vehicle and any bodily injury or property damage to others they may cause, and is expected to maintain appropriate insurance covering damage, liability and medical costs. Note that sponsoring department/organization policies may be more restrictive in nature and may not allow student self-transportation.
Students who participate in University-sponsored travel events, including those for which the University provides transportation and those for which students transport themselves, must sign the Release of All Claims form. This form must be kept on file along with the approved Student Trip Application or the signed Student Self-Transportation Agreements in the department/chair (main) office for two years and 3 months following the last day of travel.
The use of commercial transportation is recommended for the purposes of student travel. Chartered buses, vans, and limousine services are examples of acceptable commercial transportation. It is imperative that a certificate of insurance be obtained from the commercial operator before students are transported. When a reservation for commercial transportation is made, confirm whether the University has a certificate of insurance on file; if not, request a certificate of insurance to be faxed to the University’s Finance Office at 219-464-6000. Information regarding companies who currently have certificates of insurance on file can be accessed directly on the University’s Office of Procurement site.
All University purchasing policies apply when procuring commercial transportation.
All faculty and staff who provide student transportation must be authorized by the University to do so. All faculty and staff who anticipate that they may be involved with student travel are encouraged to become authorized drivers at the beginning of the semester, or soon after hire. Faculty/staff must submit a current driver’s license to the Valparaiso University Police Department, which will request a driver’s history and driving record check on the information provided. Departments/organizations will be charged for the costs incurred to conduct this check. Please allow for processing and review time of approximately 3 weeks.
Faculty/Staff driving authorizations are valid for the duration of employment with Valparaiso University unless a violation occurs. Licensure violations must be self-reported to VUPD within 3 days of the violation. Driving authorizations are subject to revocation, and failure to self-report violations will result in disciplinary action. The University reserves the right to require interim license and driving record checks.
Faculty/Staff who transport students are encouraged to use rental vehicles rather than a personal vehicle. See the Transportation web page of the University’s travel policy for vehicle rental policies and procedures.
Valparaiso University permits student drivers for University-related travel and student trips only after proper reporting or with required authorization as indicated below. These policies are considered the minimum requirements for student travel. Sponsors of trips (i.e. academic units, the Chapel, student organizations, athletics and/or the School of Law) may require that student drivers meet additional standards to address the unique requirements associated with a particular type of trip.
University authorization is not required for student drivers for the following routine or recurring activities for which Valparaiso University does not ordinarily provide transportation: student teaching, nursing clinicals, practicums, internships and co-ops, off-site instruction, and certain field research and service learning experiences. Students are, however, required to complete a Student Self-Transportation Agreement.
Authorization is required for student drivers for all University-provided travel and student trips. The Student Driver Authorization Application form is used to obtain such approval. To become an authorized driver students should initiate the following application process at least 3 weeks prior to the trip.
This form must be submitted for approval to the appropriate administrative office as follows:
Student driving authorizations are valid for the duration of enrollment at Valparaiso University unless a violation occurs. Licensure violations must be self-reported to VUPD within 3 days of the violation. Driving authorizations are subject to revocation, and failure to self-report violations will result in disciplinary action. The University reserves the right to require interim license and driving record checks.
In addition, the following policies apply: