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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 5 - Students
Publication Date: August 8, 2007
Responsible Executive: VP for Business Affairs

5.19 Mandatory Use of Release/Indemnification Forms

This policy requires a release/indemnification agreement in the form specified by the Office of Legal Affairs to be signed by or on behalf of each participant of a UTSA trip or activity prior to that trip or activity.

  1. Departments frequently host or co-host various trips or activities both on and off campus. Any of these trips or activities could directly or indirectly result in property damage or personal injury to participants, who may be UTSA employees or students or who may not otherwise be associated with UTSA. Examples would include, but not be limited to, sports summer camps offered by the UTSA Athletic Department to interested youths or art class field trips to a museum.
  2. In order to provide UTSA and UTSA employees involved in such activities or trips some protection from claims of liability, a "Release and Indemnification Agreement" should be used by the hosting department and signed by or on behalf of each participant prior to the trip or activity whether that person is an employee, student or non-student.
  3. Departments will use the "Release and Indemnification Agreement" prepared by the UTSA Office of Legal Affairs, which is derived from the U.T. System Office of General Counsel standard form. This agreement can be found in Public Folders/UTSA Forms/Legal Affairs. This agreement is to be completed by the department and signed by each participant or the participant's parent/guardian if the participant is under the age of 18. This agreement may not be modified in any way without the prior written approval of the UTSA Office of Legal Affairs.
  4. This policy is not intended to apply to programs or activities that raise unusual risks (for example, rock climbing or extreme sports) or to educational programs or activities of longer duration that may expose students to atypical risks, such as study-abroad classes or architectural design-build classes. Departments that are coordinating such high-risk or educational programs or activities should be exploring additional risk-minimizing strategies and may need a specially tailored release/indemnification agreement. In such cases, departments are directed to contact the UTSA Office of Environmental, Health, Safety and Risk Management to explore additional measures to limit liability, which measures may include training/certification of participants or program or activity supervisors, use of protective clothing or equipment by participants, and the obtaining of insurance coverage. The UTSA Office of Legal Affairs may also play a role in determining risk minimizing or liability limiting strategies.
  5. Signed agreements will be retained in departmental files for a period of not less than three (3) years after the completion of the trip or activity. If any claim, damage or injury is sustained during such trip or activity, all signed agreements associated with such claim, damage or injury will be retained for at least three (3) years after the resolution of any such claim, damage or injury.
  6. Questions regarding the use of the "Release and Indemnification Agreement" or the availability or advisability of additional liability or risk minimizing measures should be initially directed to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs or the Office of Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management.