Effective: Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Last Revised: Thursday, December 8, 2022
Responsible University Administrator: Vice Chancellor, Business & Finance
Responsible University Office: Business & Finance
Policy Contact: Office of the Vice Chancellor for Business & Finance
This policy applies to all activities sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and for activities sponsored by other organizations but held at the UNL.
This policy provides minimum specific guidelines for activities sponsored by UNL and for activities sponsored by other organizations, but held on UNL’s campus. Except as noted herein, UNL units may, on their own, adopt policies that are stricter than the policies listed in this document. If activities cannot meet these guidelines, prior written approval from the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance is needed before such activities may be held on the UNL campus. UNL reserves the right to discontinue an activity if found to be in violation of this policy.
All 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 Activity Support Staff and adherence to this policy and all other applicable University policies by all those involved. Youth Activity Directors and Sponsoring Organizations using UNL facilities or property for Youth Activities must meet the following requirements.
Youth Activity Director and Sponsoring Organization Requirements for Holding Youth Activities at UNL
1. All Youth Activity Directors must complete a registration form prior to the activity. This form must be approved by the Dean/Director, or their approved designee, and the Vice Chancellor of Business and Finance prior to the start of the Youth Activity. It is recommended that the Registration Form be completed thirty (30) days in advance of the Youth Activity.
2. All Youth Activities held at UNL must comply with this Youth Activity Safety Policy or receive a waiver from the policy. UNL Sponsoring Organizations must comply with this policy in its entirety. Non-UNL Sponsoring Organizations must comply with this policy or seek a waiver from the policy by providing alternative guidelines to UNL that are approved in writing by the UNL Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance. Activity Directors may request modifications or exemptions to the policy, but they must be approved by the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance. It is recommended that the Registration Form be completed thirty (30) days in advance of the Youth Activity.
3. All Youth Activities must comply with University policies, including weapons, drug and alcohol policies.
4. All Activity Contracts must be approved by the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance.
5. 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. In addition, the Activity Director must ensure that all Parents/Guardians receive a Parent/Guardian Information Form approved by the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance.
6. 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 and linked in Related Information below.
7. All Youth Activities must have or arrange for access to individuals that are certified in Adult & Youth CPR and First Aid within reasonable proximity to the Youth Activity in case of an emergency. Individuals may be on staff such as trainers, nurses, or trained staff, or Youth Activities may arrange for pre-determined access to medical facilities such as the University Health Center or other area 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.
8. 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 UNL as an additional insured. If a Youth Activity is an athletic activity, the general liability coverage must include participant liability in the amount of $1,000,000. Certificates of insurance must be submitted with the Registration Form at least 30 days prior to the start of the Youth Activity. A non-UNL Sponsoring Organization’s Youth Activity may not begin without certificate of insurance approval by the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance.
9. All Youth Activity materials and publications must prominently note the name, address, and phone number of the Sponsoring Organization. The Youth Activity address may be a Nebraska address for purposes of receiving activity registrations and materials.
10. All Youth Activity Directors & Workers (i.e. coaches) for overnight camps taking place on campus must attend a mandatory training hosted by UNL’s Risk Management and/or Institutional Equity and Compliance. During the training, university policies and expectations will be discussed. All Youth Activity Directors will be required to follow university policies and expectations and ensure their campers are clearly informed. Youth Activity Directors must email Risk Management at email@example.com to arrange a time and place for this training before the start of the camp.
11. The Sponsoring Organization shall maintain all records relating to this policy in accordance with the University’s Records Retention Policy and they must be made available, upon request, to the office of the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance.
12. The University retains the right to require Activity Directors, Activity Workers, Activity Support Staff, or any of its participants to leave University premises should the University determine circumstances require this. In addition, the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance reserves the right to cancel and/or suspend any activity or event in perpetuity should the administrator deem the continued hosting of the activity or event will adversely impact the operations of the campus.
Activity Worker and Activity Support Staff Eligibility
Every Sponsoring Organization hosting a Youth Activity is responsible for ensuring that an Activity Worker or Activity Support Staff does not have a criminal background that would disqualify the individual from participating in the Youth Activity. Options may include a question on an activity application or a criminal history background check.
It is expected that all Sponsoring Organizations will comply with the guidance from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding consideration of conviction records in hiring and that all UNL Sponsoring Organizations will comply with Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-202.3. The following convictions generally will render an Activity Worker or Activity Support Staff ineligible to participate in Youth Activities:
1. Any sexual offense;
2. Felony assault, including domestic violence related incidents;
3. Child abuse, molestation or other crime involving endangerment of a minor;
4. Murder; or
Other convictions, such as misdemeanor assault, drug distribution activity, felony drug possession, and any other felony or crime involving moral turpitude, may also render an Activity Worker or Activity Support Staff ineligible to participate in Youth Activities. UNL Administration reserves the right to deny any Activity Worker or Activity Support Staff participation in the Youth Activity should the Administration, in its sole discretion, determine that the Activity Worker or Activity Support Staff has engaged in behavior that disqualifies the individual from participating in the Youth Activity.
1. Any Activity Worker employed by UNL who will be responsible for transporting youth by vehicle must undergo and pass a Driving Record Check as required by the UNL 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.
2. Activity Workers should 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 arrival at the destination.
Activity Worker/Youth Interaction
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Youths will not be unsupervised in the residence halls at night.
4. Taking pictures of youth or posting pictures or information about youth to social media sites without parent/guardian permission is prohibited.
5. Use of an Activity Worker’s personal room, office or home for interacting/meeting alone with youth that are affiliated with the Youth Activity is prohibited. Activity Workers are prohibited from meeting youth off-site or off hours. Exceptions require parent/guardian written approval and the Activity Director’s approval in advance.
6. All activity workers are expected to exercise appropriate supervision of youth. Oversight may vary based on the activity, the age of participants, the location of the event, etc.
COVID-19 Health & Safety Measures
Youth Activity Directors and Sponsoring Organizations using UNL facilities or property for Youth Activities must follow these additional health and safety measures.
Events of 500+ (Lancaster County Events Only)
If the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department Risk Dial is in the red/severe level, all events involving the potential for more than 500 people must be pre-approved by campus administration and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. Those requests, including risk mitigation plans (download Excel document), should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Documentation of approval, including the risk mitigation plans, must be provided during the Youth Activities Policy registration process and must be provided to all UNL venues being used for the event. If the risk dial transitions from green to another color in the weeks leading up to the event, the event sponsor should still submit their risk mitigation plan to email@example.com.
The event sponsor should communicate to and encourage all attendees to follow the pre-event guidelines below.
- Stay home if they are sick.
- Stay home if they have one or more of the following symptoms: Fever over 100.4, onset of shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, new onset of dry cough, new onset of loss of taste or smell, OR
- Stay home if they have two or more of the following lasting for 24 hours without a known cause: Chills longer than two hours, congestion and/or running nose, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, sore throat, headache, muscle pain.
- If they have been identified as a close contact or have had a known exposure to COVID-19 within 10 days prior to the event, it’s best that they do not participate in-person. In-person participation would only be appropriate if all of the following requirements can be met:
- Diligently wear a face covering when around anyone for 10 days.
- During this period, do not remove your face covering in the presence of others. This includes gyms. Do not eat meals in the presence of others.
- Get a COVID-19 test 5 days after exposure or if you develop symptoms during the 10 days.
- If you’ve tested positive in the last 90 days, do not test. Consult a medical professional if you develop symptoms.
- If your test is negative, continue to wear a face covering when around anyone for the full 10 days.
- If your test is positive, immediately begin to isolate.
- Diligently wear a face covering when around anyone for 10 days.
The following guidelines should be followed for all in-person events.
- Develop a plan for communicating all expectations to youth, their families, and activity workers prior to the youth activity.
- Conduct a meeting at the start of the activity to review all health and safety measures with youth and activity workers. Create a time each subsequent day to review as needed.
- Communicate and enforce the latest UNL Face Covering Policy.
- Maintain accurate records of all attendees and small groups for each day of the activity. Attendees can be in different small groups, but the less mixing between small groups the better.
- The individual should not participate if they develop:
- One or more of the following symptoms: Fever over 100.4, onset of shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, new onset of dry cough, new onset of loss of taste or smell, OR
- Two or more of the following lasting for 24 hours without a known cause: Chills longer than two hours, congestion and/or running nose, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, sore throat, headache, muscle pain.
- Develop a plan to immediately separate and send home anyone who has:
- COVID-related symptoms (see above).
- A positive COVID-19 test result.
- Frequent hand washing/sanitizing by all youth and activity workers is expected.
- UNL units and venues may have specific health and safety measures that must be followed. For example: University Housing, Dining Services, Lied Center, Carson Theatre, Sheldon Museum of Art, Nebraska Unions, Campus Recreation, Fleet Management, etc. The activity director/sponsor must inquire about these measures and comply.
- Events taking place outside of Lancaster County should follow these guidelines or that of the local county, whichever is stricter.
Reason for Policy
UNL has a strong interest in protecting the safety of youth at our university; 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.
All Youth Activity Directors must complete a registration form prior to the activity. This form must be approved by the Dean/Director, or their approved designee, and the UNL Vice Chancellor of Business and Finance prior to the start of the Youth Activity. It is recommended that the registration form be completed thirty (30) days in advance of the Youth Activity.
Reporting Requirements for Child Abuse and Neglect, Including Sexual Assault
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. All Activity Directors, Activity Workers, and Activity Support Staff are required to notify the University Police Department at 402-472-2222 immediately when these situations are suspected.
If you suspect any child abuse or neglect, including sexual assault:
1. You must report it,
2. You should give as much information about the circumstances as possible,
3. You are immune from liability from any civil or criminal liability if you have reported the information in good faith, and
4. If you know of child abuse, neglect, or sexual assault but are not reporting it, you are breaking the law.
References: Nebraska Revised Statutes 28-710; 28-711; 28-716; 28-717
Nebraska Revised Statute 28-710: (b) Child abuse or neglect means knowingly, intentionally, or negligently causing or permitting a minor child to be: (i) Placed in a situation that endangers his or her life or physical or mental health; (ii) Cruelly confined or cruelly punished; (iii) Deprived of necessary food, clothing, shelter, or care; (iv) Left unattended in a motor vehicle if such minor child is six years of age or younger; (v) Sexually abused; or (vi) Sexually exploited by allowing, encouraging, or forcing such person to solicit for or engage in prostitution, debauchery, public indecency, or obscene or pornographic photography, films, or depictions;
Nebraska Revised Statute 28-711(Summary): (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 Revised Statute 28-716 (Summary): 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 Revised Statute 28-717 (Summary): Any person who willfully fails to make any report required by the law shall be guilty of a Class III misdemeanor.
Youth Activity: Any learning environment, activity, clinic, or conference sponsored by, or held on property owned or controlled by, UNL 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.
Activity Director: A person who plans, directs and supervises Youth Activity programs and staff.
Activity Support Staff: Any person who provides support services for Youth Activities such as food service, custodial, maintenance, etc.
Activity Worker: Includes directors, coaches, assistant coaches, trainers, student assistants, staff, faculty, counselors, chaperones, officials, referees, and teachers, and any other adults and students acting as supervisors/mentors/workers in a paid, unpaid or volunteer status, as part of a Youth Activity.
Sponsoring Organization: Any person, business or organization supporting a Youth Activity by providing financial support to the Youth Activity and accepting liability for such Youth Activity. Sponsoring Organizations may already be part of UNL (UNL Sponsoring Organizations) or they may be outside organizations coming to UNL for the Youth Activity (non-UNL Sponsoring Organizations).
Youth: Any person under the age of 19, excluding full- and part-time NU students, participating in a Youth Activity.
UNL PD - Emergencies
Benefits & Risk Management - Certificate of Insurance Questions
- Activity Worker Guidelines
- COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Plan
- Parent/Guardian Information Form
- Youth Activity/Camp Registration Form
- Sample Youth Activity/Camp Registration Form
- Youth Activity Incident Reporting Form
- Centers for Disease Control Guidance on Small and Large Gatherings
- Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department
- National Sex Offender Public Website
- Nebraska Sex Offender Registry
- Records Retention Policy
- State of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Coronavirus Disease
- The American Camp Association Field Guide for Camps
- UNL Driver Authorization Check
- Youth Activity Policy Checklist
- Youth Activity Training Module
- This policy was reformatted in 2020. No content edits were made.
- COVID-19 Health & Safety Measures requirements added in March of 2021.
- COVID-19 Health & Safety Measures requirements updated in accordance with campus policies, June 2021.
- Items #10 & #12 added under 'Youth Activity Director and Sponsoring Organization Requirements for Holding Youth Activities at UNL' in July 2021.
- COVID-19 Health & Safety Measures requirements updated in accordance with local guidance, April 2022.
- COVID-19 Health & Safety Measures requirements updated in accordance with local guidance, August 2022.
- The contact email and email for questions was updated to firstname.lastname@example.org and the email@example.com email is no longer active.
- COVID-19 Health & Safety Measures requirements updated in accordance with local guidance, December 2022.