Student Safe Travel Policy

Student Safe Travel Policy

In fostering student learning through travel, St. Lawrence’s first concern is safety.  University sponsored student travel may be restricted based on the security of the study site, and in all cases requires that students understand the risks and follow safe travel practices.  In particular, students proposing travel for academic or co-curricular purposes must be aware of and adhere to Travel Warnings and Alerts issued by the United States Department of State.  University sponsored student travel is prohibited in circumstances when the U.S. State Department orders the departure of U.S. dependents and non-emergency personnel; recommends that any U.S. citizens in a country or region should depart; or warns U.S. citizens against all travel to a country or region.

The Student Safe Travel Committee (SSTC) shall review proposals for University sponsored travel involving students when a U.S State Department Travel Warning or Alert exists for the country or region of proposed travel, or when the student, academic advisor/faculty mentor, department chair, or any University officer shall request a review.  In reviewing travel proposals, it is the responsibility of the proposer to indicate where unusual safety risks may exist, and seek SSTC approval well in advance of University or external deadlines.  The SSTC shall review travel proposals taking account of factors including but not limited to some or all of the following:

  • The proposer’s description of academic/research program, number of faculty and students traveling, travel itinerary, and contact information;
  • The proposer’s statement of risks as s/he understands them, along with steps that will be taken to educate travelers about these and mitigate risks to ensure safe travel;
  • The proposer’s fluency in the local language(s) of the travel site;
  • The proposer’s relationship with host community/research site, and local contacts and support networks accessible to the travelers;
  • Accessibility of health care and other emergency services in the proposed travel site;
  • Travel advice from the United States Department of State and Overseas Security Advisor Council (OSAC);
  • Assessments and recommendations of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and other health authorities;
  • Guidance from the University’s insurers regarding applicability of coverage and any recommendations for additional coverage;
  • The policies and practices of the Peace Corps and other U.S. and/or international agencies with respect to the proposed travel site;
  • St. Lawrence University resources in the proposed study site; and
  • Policies and statements of peer institutions regarding travel to the specified country or region. 

The SSTC shall be convened by Associate Dean for International and Intercultural Studies and shall also include the Director of Off-Campus Programs; Director of Risk Management; and the St. Lawrence off-campus program director (if applicable) or least one faculty member with expertise in the region of proposed travel.  The SSTC shall consult with the Director of Health Services and other University faculty or staff members, or external consultants as it deems appropriate. 

In cases involving academic travel by students not led by a faculty or staff member, the SSTC shall make final judgments approving or disapproving proposals.  In cases involving faculty/staff-led travel programs involving students, or programs involving student groups organized under University auspices, the SSTC shall make recommendations to the Vice-President and Dean of Academic Affairs or other relevant Vice President.

If travel is restricted by policy or determination of the SSTC, proposal submitters may request a supplementary review if they feel that conditions have changed or there is other additional information that should be considered.

The fact that travel is not restricted by the SSTC is not a guarantee of safety and students undertaking travel assume the risks associated with it.