FE. Travel by Student Groups
South Plains College (SPC) recognizes and supports the benefit to the educational goals of the student population through organized student travel. Benefits include social development, organizational leadership, diversity enrichment, and a broadened educational perspective. This policy is in accordance with Texas Education Code 51950.
This procedure will regulate student travel that is organized, sponsored and/or funded by South Plains College. The student travel procedure provides provisions that address different modes of travel likely to be used by students and safety issues related to student travel.
While on an SPC sponsored activity/trip students are bound by the SPC Student Code of Conduct and are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects favorably upon themselves and the College. Conduct that violates the Student Code of Conduct may result in a variety of sanctions including the student being banned from any official student travel.
Categories of Student Travel
This policy applies to travel undertaken by students and other non- employee participants to reach an activity or event that meets the following conditions:
1. The activity or event is planned by College faculty or staff;
2. The College is funding or, through a potential reimbursement request, may be funding the activity or event;
3. The activity or event is approved by the appropriate College administrators;
4. The activity or event occurs more than twenty-five (25) miles from the applicable College campus;
5. One of the following conditions is also met: a. Travel to the activity or event is funded and undertaken using a vehicle owned, leased,
or rented by the College including other modes of transportation; OR
Attendance at the activity or event is required by a registered or sponsored student organization.
Activities or events that may be covered under this policy include the following:
- Course-related field trips.
- Research trips organized by a faculty member.
- Campus recreation programs.
- Registered or sponsored student organization trips.
- Conferences and meetings where students are serving as college representatives.
- Travel for summer camps when transportation has been planned and funded by the College.
1. An employee must be accountable for out of town trips involving student travel and ensure that all travel documents are completed prior to the travel. This employee is referred to as the Trip Sponsor. The Trip sponsor will ensure that all college travel policies are followed.
2. The Trip Sponsor must accompany the students unless prior approval to travel without accompaniment is granted by the President of the college or designee.
3. A South Plains College Travel Requisition must be submitted at least ten (10) days in advance of departure by the employee who will be organizing and sponsoring the trip.
4. After a Travel Requisition is approved it will receive a Purchase Order number which will also be the same as the Trip number. This information will be placed in the Travel site in MySPC by the purchasing office. After receiving the Trip# the requesting department will complete the Travel Data Safety Sheet online in the MySPC Travel site. A Travel List will be attached in this online form.
5. All individuals on the trip (including sponsors) should be provided the Trip # which will allow them to complete the required Release/Emergency Contact Form online prior to departure. The Trip Sponsor is responsible for ensuring all traveling individuals have a complete Release/Emergency Contact Form in the file. Individuals who are on SPC teams that travel regularly will fill out one per season and will not be required to complete on an individual trip basis. The Trip Sponsor must verify that the Travel List is complete and accurate prior to departure and includes all individuals on the trip (sponsors as well as students).
6. The Dean of Student’s office will create a Student Travel Slip for each student on the approved travel list (when need is indicated on the Travel Data Safety Sheet). These forms are provided to the trip sponsor to give to students. Students must make arrangements with each faculty member for makeup work and to discuss each faculty member’s attendance policy prior to the trip. Students are responsible for showing the Student Travel Slip to each faculty member to provide validation that the college has approved the trip. Students are encouraged to save a copy of each form with faculty initials.
7. The Trip Sponsor is responsible for the accuracy and distribution of all forms and notices.
8. College vehicles are reserved in the Travel Requisition and are submitted to the Director of the Physical Plant by the purchasing office upon approval of the PO.
9. Keys, mileage log, and safety/fatigue warning sheet are available in the Physical Plant at the time of checkout for trips utilizing college vehicles.
10. These procedures will be utilized for international travel as well as domestic travel.
Modes of Transportation
Students may at times travel in personal vehicles, college owned vehicles, or commercial modes of transportation.
Safety Issues in Motor Vehicles
1. The use of seat belts is always required and in all modes of transportation while underway.
2. The manufacturer recommended passenger capacity and weight limits should not be exceeded at any time.
3. Operators of college owned vehicles must possess proper driver’s license, credentials and/or certifications for operating that particular mode of transportation.
4. Operators of college owned vehicles should be familiar with the signs of fatigue and take reasonable precautions to stay alert while operating a motor vehicle.
Some tips for avoiding driving fatigue include:
* Take frequent breaks at least every two hours. * Get a good night’s sleep prior to departure. * Share the driving responsibilities with a qualified and rested driver. * Pull over and stop when drowsiness occurs. * Plan to stay overnight when and where possible. * Avoid medications that make you sleepy.
Warning signs include:
Yawning. Slowed reactions. Stiffness and eyes feel heavy. Day dreaming. Trouble staying in your lane and on the road
International Travel by Student Groups
Requests for international travel require written approval from the Global Learning Office, the administrative unit in charge and ultimately the President of South Plains College.
The request must include:
• A description of the program which includes dates, details, and deadlines of the trip as well as travel and lodging arrangements, inclusive purpose and justification of the trip.
• A detailed list of fees applicable, insurance coverage, and tuition arrangement for students.
• A detailed budget which covers all costs of the program with deadlines for partial and final payments.
After approval is obtained the travel procedure outlined at the beginning of this policy for general student travel must be followed. The guidelines for Global Learning must be adhered to for any sanctioned international travel sponsored through that program.
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL INSURANCE AND SECURITY
It is highly recommended that all SPC sponsored international travel groups purchase travel insurance. Coverage should include trip cancellation and interruption insurance, emergency evacuation, personal family emergencies and other optional benefits. If a group is using a commercial travel agency to plan the trip, they should inquire about the availability of purchasing this insurance though the agency.
Participants should check their individual health insurance guidelines to see if they cover travel outside the continental borders of the U.S. If the policy does, a copy of the policy should be carried on the participant’s person and a copy be given to the College’s travel sponsor. If there is no coverage, the participant should be encouraged to purchase an international health care policy of their own choosing.
It is the responsibility of the sponsoring group to make sure travel to and in the country is safe. The College recommends groups check the U. S State Department travel advisories at www.state.gov to determine whether travel is advisable. If there is a specific warning for that country or area it is appropriate for such counsel to be considered.
As a further precaution the group should not drive vehicles in that country unless they purchase full coverage auto and liability insurance for that county. The College’s fleet policy does not cover international travel.
SPC will not fund, award credit for, or otherwise sponsor or support any international activity or extracurricular project in any country for which the U.S. State Department has issued a warning that orders departure of US dependents and “non-emergency personnel”; recommends that US citizens depart the country; or recommends that US citizens defer non-essential travel to the country. This restriction will apply through the date of departure.
In the event one of these warnings is declared, SPC will end its sponsorship, and require the group end the trip and leave the country. Such determinations will be made on a case by case basis. During travel abroad, students should monitor the State Department Web site for up-to-date information about changing conditions.
Date Issued: 11/2001
Amendment: 3/2022 Revision Authorized by: Executive Council
Nature of Revision: Addition of International travel by student group