Risk and Liability Assessment When Planning Events
As agents of Lehigh University it is our goal to assist you by providing important information to help you manage you event or function in a safe manner without causing unnecessary risk to the participants, attendees, or to the University.
Understanding your event is very important to us and it is our desire to help you plan a safe and successful event. Below are a few key points that have been provided to assist you as you plan your event.
We should assess the level of risk when advising, developing, planning and implementing programs on our campus to determine the appropriateness in meeting the desired learning outcomes that fit within the strategic plan for the university. This should be a collaborative process between the students and the staff, including Risk Management department whenever consultation is necessary. We need to determine the following:
- What are the risks
- What consequences may there be
- What the likelihood of the event may be
- Whether this is acceptable or not
- What actions may be taken to mitigate the risk
Previously Held Events
Even if an event has been held in the past, the event will still need to be reviewed to determine if anything has changed. Guidelines established within the University may have been updated which may impact the event.
Preplanning in advance for each event is important. For each event it is very important that the appropriate space has been reserved prior to finalizing any plans or advertising the event. Most spaces can be reserved through the Campus Calendar or by clicking on Campus Facility Reservations located on the lower left hand side under Resources of the Lehigh Home Page below the Campus Portal login.
Students are not permitted to sign a contract at any time with an outside vendor, rental company, performer(s), speaker, etc. on behalf of Lehigh University. All contracts must go through the appropriate advising system. It is important to note that all outside organizations are required to sign an Indemnification and provide a Certificate of Insurance with Lehigh University added as additionally insured.
- Fraternities and Sororities - Assistant Dean of Students must review and handle contracts; consulting with Risk Management and/or Legal Counsel as necessary.
- Senate Recognized Student Clubs and Organizations - Assistant Dean of Students/Student Programs Coordinator must review and handle contracts; consulting with Risk Management and/or Legal Counsel as necessary.
- International Students would need to contact International Students and Scholars.
- Honorary/Academic groups through the appropriate department advisor.
- If you are unsure of whom the contact person is please call the University Center Reservation Desk 610-758-4163 or the Risk Management Office at 610-758-3899.
Waivers and Release of Liability Forms
Depending on the event students may need to sign a waiver to participate in an event. This form is located on the Risk Management website under the heading Informed Consent and Waiver and Release of Liability http://www.lehigh.edu/~inrsk/informed_consent_release.html. If you are not sure if a waiver is needed for your event it is your responsibility to discuss this with the Risk Management staff. Waivers must be kept on file by the appropriate advising system for two years.
University Staff Representation
- The level of risk based on the type of event may result in the University requiring a University Staff Representative being present during the entire activity to reduce the level of liability.
- Lehigh Event or Police Security may be required to be at the event. The cost of this would be the financial responsibility of the sponsoring organization or department and should be factored into the cost of the event. This will be determined after proper consultation with Risk Management.
- Take proactive steps such as:
- Periodic and prearranged check-in by the Advisor(s) of the recognized student group(s) during the event
- Arranging a student contact list throughout the event
- All Senate recognized student clubs/organizations must meet with the Office of Student Activities and complete an Event Planning Form located on The Hub.
- Arrangements for use of any electricity must be made directly through ABM by issuing a work order or by using an authorized sound company such as LU Sound or Blue Chip.
- Arrangements for water for outside events must be made directly with Facilities Services by issuing a work order and Facilities will direct the request to the proper administrator.
- It is important that all student groups view Planning a Safe Event as a guide before planning their event; available at any of the Student Center Facilities areas (UC Reservations Kiosk, Lamberton Room 155, or Ulrich Student Center 415.)
As a university we have the opportunity to develop in our students the ability to recognize risk in their lives and respond accordingly. Risk should not always be perceived in the negative context and we should provide opportunities to help our student’s strategize how they can manage their events.
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