Student Unions & Activities : University of Minnesota

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Student Group Travel

Student groups arrange many programs each year that require travel. Please note that the group is responsible, and can be held liable, for all members traveling as part of a group activity. For this reason it is important to consider many different aspects of travel. The following areas are important to consider.

Domestic Travel Considerations

Student Group Vehicle Rental/Use

Registered Student Organizations do not have use of University Fleet Services. Whenever possible, student groups should use third party vendors (i.e. buses, rental vehicles) for transportation needs. This helps to defray some liability from the group and minimize health and safety risk. When using rental vehicles, individual insurance may be required or may not be provided by the vendor.

HOURCAR is one possible resource for local transportation.

When it is not possible to use a third party, groups should have a stated procedure for personal vehicle use that notifies members that they are personally responsible for anyone they are driving in their own vehicle.

Campus Life Programs can use third party vendors for transportation needs and are allowed to rent vehicles from University Fleet Services. Vehicles can be used and expenses for use will be charged to the groups EFS number. When using a third party vendor, the group will need to work through their sponsoring department if a certificate of insurance is required, and any drivers may also need to maintain personal insurance.


Insurance should be considered when traveling as a group. Please consult the Student Group Insurance section of our site for more information and work with a Student Activities Advisor on any questions you might have.

International Travel Considerations

Student groups are encouraged to consider participating in programs abroad; however, careful planning is required to minimize health and safety risks. Before you begin planning a program abroad for a student group, please review the Learning Abroad Center’s recommendations for best practices regarding safe travel and program planning.

Please note that international travel refers to travel to any country (including Mexico and Canada) or territory (including non-contiguous U.S. locations of American Samoa, Guam, Midway Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Wake Island) outside the continental U.S., Alaska or Hawaii.

Student Group Vehicle Rental/Use

Per the University policy on Student Travel and Education Abroad: Health and Safety, students are not permitted to drive motor vehicles (including but not limited to scooters, motorbikes, motorcycles and cars) while traveling for University-purpose, which includes all international travel by Campus Life Programs. Faculty and staff may not drive vehicles in which students are passengers abroad without an approved exception from the Office of Risk Management in advance of departure from the U.S. Students must either use public transportation or hire a local driver/vehicle when abroad.


Campus Life Programs are governed by the University’s policy on Student Travel and Education Abroad: Health and Safety. The policy requires all students to register travel with the University, sign an electronic release and waiver, obtain mandated international travel, health and and security insurance, provide 24/7 emergency contacts and complete the online health and safety orientation.

If the travel involves undergraduate students AND a University unit is organizing or promoting the travel, the policy requires that the group work through an education abroad office. Please visit the Learning Abroad Center Student Groups website for additional information on the policy requirements.

CLPs will also need approval from the International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee (ITRAAC) if they are planning to visit countries under a U.S. Department of State travel warning.

Registered Student Organizations have no direct relationship with the University and therefore, international travel by an RSO is not considered University-purpose and is not governed by the University’s policy on Student Travel and Education Abroad: Health and Safety. However, it is strongly recommended that students obtain adequate insurance for all personal international travel.

Please note that while Registered Student Organizations, as the group itself, aren’t governed by the University’s policy on Student Travel and Education Abroad: Health and Safety, any individual student(s) on a RSO trip or program that is receiving University funding or credit are governed by the policy. If a University unit is organizing or promoting the travel, the travel is also governed by the policy. Please contact Global Programs and Strategy Alliance (GPS Alliance) for assistance.