Student Organizations

 This image depicts members of the baseball team, one of UC's many intramural and club sports.

Risk in Student Organizations

All of a student group’s activities – interaction with minors, special events, student travel and transportation – have some level of risk associated with them.  This could include personal injury, property damage, financial loss or lawsuits.  A good risk management program aims to minimize these adverse outcomes and maximize the opportunities. For this reason, student organizations, just like any operation, must learn to:

Recognize risk in your day-to-day activities

Investigate the impact to the organization

Start taking steps to manage the risk

Know who to go to for help

Enterprise Risk Management can advise on a host of issues, including the development and adoption of a risk management policy, liability waivers, insurance and other good risk management practices.

Strategies to Manage Risk

  • Training and Education - Provide regular information to members about important topics and resources affecting your organization, such as drug/alcohol prevention, mental and physical health, sexual harrassment and discrimination, etc.  Knowledge is power!
  • Culture - To be sure, everyone is responsible for risk management.  It can be helpful, however, to make a leadership position to build that culture within your organization.
  • Contracts - Limit authority within the organization to make financial commitments or authorize high-risk activity.  All contracts should be reviewed by the advisor and sent through the University of Cincinnati’s contract process (see Office of General Counsel link to the right)
  • Waivers - Obtain waivers from each participant, then review the details in group meetings so all are aware of risks. Keep two signed copies from each participant (one with the advisor and the other with the group at all times during the activity). Sample Permission and Release Form for Student Trips, Outings, and/or Activities are available (see Student Activities and Leadership Development link to the right).
  • Transportation - Rent vehicle(s) when traveling on University business. Use pre-approved rental agencies or UC fleet (charter bus, motor coach, etc) (see Transportation Services link to the right).
  • Special Events - Do not serve alcohol during events or hold event on a licensed premises (no members of the organization should be serving alcohol).  If possible provide transportation to and from events where alcohol is served.  Report special events to the proper campus resources (other special event guidance in the link to the right)
  • Insurance Coverage - As a general rule, student organizations are not covered under the University's various lines of insurance coverage.  Here are a few exceptions:
    • Car rentals obtained through Transportation Services
    • Student government leaders while acting in their official capacity
    • Events co-sponsored by the University