The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) has a strong interest in protecting the safety of youth on our campus; therefore, the campus is implementing a Youth Activity Safety Policy in order to provide a safe, educational and enjoyable activity/program experience for all participants. This policy provides minimum specific guidelines for activities sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and for activities sponsored by other organizations, but held on UNL’s campus. UNL units may on their own adopt policies that are stricter than the policies listed in this document. If non-UNL activities cannot meet these guidelines, prior written approval from the UNL Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance is needed. UNL reserves the right to discontinue an activity if found to be in violation of these policies.
Youth Activity – Any learning environment, activity, clinic, or conference sponsored by, or held on property owned or controlled by, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln that includes close interactions with youths with or without parental supervision/oversight. This includes visits by youth staying overnight for campus activities.
Activity Contract – A legal document required for any non-UNL Sponsoring Organization using UNL facilities for a youth activity, clinic or conference.
Activity Director – a person who plans, directs and supervises all youth activity programs and staff
Activity Support Staff – any person who provides support services such as food service, custodial, maintenance, etc. for the youth activity.
Activity Worker – includes directors, coaches, assistant coaches, trainers, student assistants, staff, faculty, counselors, chaperones, officials, referees or teachers or any other adult or student acting as a supervisor/mentor/worker in a paid, unpaid or volunteer status.
Sponsoring Organization - Any person, business or organization supporting an event, activity or organization by providing financial support to the activity and accepting liability for such event, activity or organization.
Youth – Any person under the age of 19 excluding full- and part-time UNL students
Youth Activity Director and Sponsoring Organization Requirements
Youth Activity Directors and Sponsoring Organizations are responsible for the safety of the workers and participants for the duration of the Youth Activity. They are responsible for the behavior of the Activity Workers and adherence to this and all applicable University policies. University departments and organizations or any person, business or organization contracting to use UNL facilities or property for youth activities, or programs have the following requirements.
All activities will comply with UNL’s Youth Activity Safety Policy. Non-UNL Sponsoring Organizations will be required to comply with this policy or the activities must provide alternative guidelines that are approved in writing by the UNL Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance. Activity Directors may request modifications to the policy, but modifications must be approved by UNL’s Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance.
All Activities must comply with University policies including weapons, drug and alcohol policies. These policies can be found at: http://bf.unl.edu/policies/
All Activity Contracts must be approved by UNL’s Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance.
It is the responsibility of the Activity Director to ensure all Activity Workers have received a copy (electronic or paper) of the Activity Worker Guidelines. Revisions to this form are not allowed Parents/Guardians must receive the Parent/Guardian Information form approved by the UNL Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance.
Activity Workers and Activity Support Staff must successfully pass a Sex Offender Registry Check for the state(s) in which they currently reside. No Activity Worker or Activity Support Staff can be listed on any Sex Offender Registry. Sex Offender Registry Checks must be conducted at least annually. The Sponsoring Organization is responsible for ensuring the checks are completed. Activity Directors must maintain an updated list of Activity Workers and Activity Support Staff noting the date that the Sex Offender Registry Checks were completed. These checks are free.
All Activities must have or arrange for access to individuals that are certified in Adult & Youth CPR and First Aid within reasonable proximity to the Activity in case of an emergency. Individuals may be on staff such as trainers, nurses, or trained staff or activities may arrange for pre-determined access to medical facilities such as UNL’s Health Center, clinics, or hospitals. In the case of an emergency or accident involving youth, parents/guardians will be notified, following notification of the appropriate emergency personnel.
Non-UNL Sponsoring Organizations will be required to have general liability coverage in the amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence and $3,000,000 aggregate that names the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska as an additional insured. If an athletic activity, the general liability coverage must include participant liability in the amount of $1,000,000. Certificates of insurance must be sent to UNL’s Risk Management Director at least 30 days prior to the start of the activity for review. A non-UNL Sponsored Organization Activity may not begin without certificate of insurance approval by the UNL Risk Management Director
All Activity materials and publications must prominently note the name, address, and phone number of the Sponsoring Organization. The Activity address may be a UNL address for purposes of receiving activity registrations and materials.
Activity Worker and Activity Support Staff Eligibility
The Sponsoring Organization hosting the activity is responsible for checking that an Activity Worker or Activity Support Staff does not have a relevant criminal background. Options may include a question on an activity application or a criminal history background check. The following convictions, regardless of when the conviction occurred, will render the Activity Worker or Activity Support Staff ineligible for participation:
- Any drug distribution activity or felony drug possession
- Any sexual offense
- Assault, including domestic violence related incidents
- Child abuse, molestation or other crime involving endangerment of a minor
- Or any other felony or crime involving moral turpitude.
UNL Administration reserves the right to deny any Activity Worker or Activity Support Staff participation in the Activity should the Administration, in its sole discretion, determine that the Activity Worker or Activity Support Staff has engaged in behavior not conducive to the activities environment.
Any participating UNL Activity Worker who will be responsible for transporting youth by vehicle must undergo and pass a Driving Record Check as required by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Transportation Safety policy. Non-UNL Activity Workers who transport youth must have a valid driver’s license and be approved by the Activity Director to transport youth.
Avoid any one-on-one transportation of youth.
If one-on-one travel will occur, the Activity Worker is encouraged to contact his/her supervisor or designee immediately before departure and immediately upon the arrival at destination.
Activity Worker/Youth Interaction
A ratio of at least one adult supervisor to every 15 youth is required, with a minimum of two adult supervisors regardless of size of activity. At least one adult supervisor of the same sex as the youth is required.
When in bathrooms or locker rooms, Activity Workers must be the same gender as the youth. Activity Workers showering or bathing with youths is strictly prohibited under all circumstances. Activity Workers will not be in the shower or bath areas with youth except during extreme medical emergencies.
Youths will not be unsupervised in the residence halls at night.
Taking pictures of youth or posting to social media sites without parental permission is prohibited.
Use of an Activity Worker’s personal room, office or home for interacting/meeting alone with youth that are affiliated with the activity is prohibited. Activity Workers are prohibited from meeting youth off-site or off hours. Exceptions require parental written approval and the Activity Director’s approval in advance.
All youths must have adult supervision until released to a parent or guardian, unless specific written parental permission is received.
Child Abuse and Neglect Including Sexual Assault Reporting Requirements
Nebraska statutes require any person who suspects or is aware of any child abuse or neglect, including sexual assault, to report such abuse, neglect, or assault to law enforcement or the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Law enforcement is likewise required to notify DHHS of any such incidents reported to them. Activity Workers are required to notify the University Police Department at 402-472-2222 immediately when these situations are suspected.
This means that if you suspect any child abuse or neglect, including sexual assault:
- You must report it,
- You should give as much information about the circumstances as possible,
- You are immune from liability from any civil or criminal liability if you have reported the information in good faith, and
- If you know of child abuse, neglect, or sexual assault but are not reporting it, you are breaking the law.
Reference: Nebraska Statutes 28-711; 28-716; 28-717:
Nebraska Statute 28-711: (1) When any physician, medical institution, nurse, school employee, social workers, or any other person has reasonable cause to believe that a youth has been subjected to abuse or neglect or observes such youth being subjected to conditions or circumstances which reasonably would result in abuse or neglect, he or she shall report such incident or cause a report to be made to the proper local law enforcement agency, the local Department of Health and Human Services or by calling the statewide hotline number at 1-800-652-1999.
Nebraska Statute 28-716: Persons participating in an investigation or making a report of youth abuse or neglect shall be immune from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed, except for maliciously false statements.
Nebraska Statute 28-717: Any person who willfully fails to make any report required by the law shall be guilty of a Class III misdemeanor.