Procedures for Student Organization Use of University Vehicles

Overview
Iowa State University vehicles are to be used only for university-related business by ISU employees acting within the scope of their employment or delegated responsibilities, which may include assisting a Student /Campus Organization. They may also be rented and used by ISU's agents or by authorized ISU volunteers whose approved scope of service includes university vehicle use. Such use of university vehicles is subject to the Fleet Safety and Vehicle Use/Rental Policy and its procedures (see policy http://policy.iastate.edu/policy/vehicle). Resulting liability claims are processed pursuant to the Iowa Tort Claims Act, Chapter 669 of the Code of Iowa.

Liability for activities of ISU student/campus organizations (hereafter also referred to as organization or organizations) and their use of university vehicles is not covered by the Iowa Tort Claims Act in all situations. The university has commercial automobile insurance coverage for organization use of university vehicles. As a result, the procedures below apply for organizations' use of university vehicles as agreed upon in the terms and conditions of ISU's commercial vehicle insurance coverage.

Student/campus organizations and advisers should be mindful that the use of University vehicles needs to be for ISU business or for the benefit of ISU, as well as, consistent with the mission of the student organization; and the driver considered an agent of or volunteer to the university (not the organization), before tort claim coverage would be provided in the event commercial insurance limits are exceeded. That determination would ultimately be made by the Attorney General's Office, based on the facts of the claim or lawsuit.

Transportation Services retains the right to deny use of a vehicle by a student/campus organization or sports club, if in its sole opinion safe vehicle operation cannot be ensured due to weather/road conditions, there has been a past failure of the organization to follow Transportation Service's policies or procedures or the university's Fleet Safety and Vehicle Use/Rental policy and its associated procedures, or due to a past/current failure to adhere to the Student Organization travel policy. Use of a university vehicle is a privilege and is not an organization's right. The university may refuse to rent a vehicle, should the situation dictate this action.

Procedures for Use of University Vehicles by Student/Campus Organizations

Basic Criteria for Recognized Student/Campus Organization Travel in University Vehicles

  • Travel purpose is consistent with the mission of the organization and approved by both the organization's adviser and the Office of Risk Management, unless the organization is a Sports Club. If the organization is a Sports Club travel must be approved by the adviser and Recreation Services.
  • Organization must be recognized and currently in good standing with the university.
  • Organization must request use of vehicles through the Student Organization Travel Authorization (SOTA) system. Trip participant waivers must be completed and submitted by all drivers and passengers.
  • The purpose of organization travel, method of transportation to and from the activity, trip itinerary and lodging will be reviewed by the adviser, who will either approve or deny the trip. Adviser will consider the Eligible Vehicle Use categories (see below) and ensure category conditions are met before approving. By approving travel, the adviser affirms he/she will provide university oversight and control of the travel or activity and is knowledgeable concerning the activity or /event to which the organization would be traveling. This includes the adviser's confirmation of appropriate training, oversight, risk management and safety protocols related to the activity and the venue at which the activity occurs. The activity or event must not be personal in nature or solely for an individual participant's personal gain or recognition. When travel involves recruitment or outreach on behalf of ISU, the adviser is to ensure that content is vetted and approved by the appropriate department.
  • Following adviser approval of an organization's SOTA application, either the Office of Risk Management or Recreation Services (for Sports Clubs) will review application documentation to verify:
    1. Treasurer approval, adviser approval, appropriate number of approved drivers and travel participation agreements.
    2. Travel for an activity that involves interaction with youth (individuals under age 18) complies with ISU policies (Youth Activities, Pre-Collegiate Programs and Camps; Children in the Workplace) and has completed the additional planning and approvals.
    3. University vehicles are not being approved for activities that are solely personal in nature, for personal gain or for an individual's personal recognition.
       
  • Organization must comply with the Travel - Student Organizations ISU policy.
    1. Organization must complete and sign a Vehicle Use Agreement between the student/campus organization and ISU.
    2. Only authorized drivers can sign Vehicle Use Agreements and pick up keys to University vehicles.
       
  • Drivers of University vehicles on student/campus organization travel must:

    In addition to the above, at least one of the following must also be true for each driver:

    1. Be at least 18 years of age;
    2. If driving a 15-passenger vehicle and/or a vehicle towing a trailer, drivers must be at least 20 years old and must successfully complete the Transportation Services Large Passenger Van Driving Class, including the hands-on driving session.
    3. Have a valid U.S. driver's license for the vehicle being driven with the appropriate classifications, restrictions and endorsements;
    4. Satisfactorily complete a motor vehicle record check every six months.
       
    5. Driver is an ISU student on the membership roster of the organization renting the vehicle, OR
    6. Driver is an ISU employee acting within the scope of his/her employment or delegated responsibilities, OR
    7. Driver is an authorized ISU volunteer whose approved scope of service includes university vehicle use.
       
  • Passengers in University vehicles on student/campus organization travel must be:

    Note: Family members, spouses, colleagues, friends, and guests who do not meet the above criteria may not ride in university vehicles. Inclusion of these individuals may void the insurance coverage and may result in disciplinary action.

    1. At least 18 years of age (with the exception of enrolled ISU students under the age of 18), AND
    2. An ISU student or non-student on the membership roster of the organization renting the vehicle, OR
    3. An ISU employee acting within the scope of his/her employment or delegated responsibilities, OR
    4. An authorized volunteer to the organization, OR
    5. An authorized ISU volunteer, OR
    6. Guests of the university, who are participating in an organization event occurring in Ames, IA, when the event is approved by the Event Authorization Committee (EAC) and operated consistent with any specific travel arrangements or restrictions.
  • Authorized Volunteers
    1. An individual may volunteer to a student/campus organization after documentation is provided through a volunteer agreement available at the Student Activities Center. An authorized volunteer to an organization may ride as a passenger in a university vehicle; but, is not considered an "ISU volunteer or agent" when acting in this volunteer capacity and may not serve as the driver of the vehicle.
    2. Sponsored and Affiliated student/campus organizations are eligible to have ISU Volunteer drivers when there is appropriate departmental oversight and approval. Exceptions for Registered organizations to have ISU Volunteer drivers may be granted by Office of Risk Management for organizations with oversight and written/documented approval from an appropriate ISU department/unit.
    3. Any volunteer's approved status must be verified by the Office of Risk Management (ORM) prior to approval for University vehicle driving or passenger privileges within the SOTA system.

Appeals Process

An Appeals Committee for these procedures will be comprised of one representative from each of the following: Government of the Student Body (GSB), Division of Student Affairs, Transportation Services, Office of Risk Management, and Assistant Vice President for Business Services. A member of the affected organization will be asked to attend the Appeals Committee meeting to provide additional information. A representative from the Office of University Counsel may also be asked to attend Appeals Committee meetings and provide his/her input from both a legal and risk perspective. Both the member of the organization and legal counsel, when attending Appeals Committee meetings, will serve in a non-voting capacity. When the Appeals Committee cannot timely meet to review an appeal, the Senior Vice President for Business and Finance or designee may review the appeal.

Eligible Vehicle Use

  1. Competitions: Organization is participating in a competition (a contest of skills or abilities) that is within the purpose of the organization, and the competition is:
    • Sponsored by a college or university, OR
    • Held at a college or university and organization is competing in a collegiate division, OR
    • Approved by Recreation Services for participation by member organizations of its Sports Club Council, OR
    • Sponsored by a third party (non-college/university), and organization and/or its members are competing in a collegiate division or are representing Iowa State University as a group instead of competing for personal recognition and/or benefit.

    Note: The use of University vehicles for travel to practice for collegiate competition is allowed when such practice is not possible on the ISU campus and travel is necessary to practice for approved competition. First consideration will be given to practice sites within the state of Iowa.

  2. Community Service: Organization is volunteering to a legitimate, organized community service project, AND
    • The service project is consistent with the mission of the organization, AND
    • Is encouraged/requested by an ISU department/unit, OR
    • Is funded in whole or in part by an ISU department/unit
       
  3. Recruiting, mentoring and/or outreach on behalf of an ISU department/unit when...
    • At the written request of - and coordinated by - an ISU department/unit.
       
  4. Attending conferences/meetings/retreats and representing ISU when: 

    Registered Student Organizations:
    • Conference content is consistent with the mission of the organization and its constitution, AND
    • Giving a presentation on behalf of ISU to conference attendees, AND/OR
    • Conference/meeting content is education or training tied to the organization's mission AND/OR
    • Conference/meeting content is tied to an academic component or curriculum OR department/unit program at ISU, AND/OR
    • Event is sponsored by and/or held at a college/university.


    Sponsored and Affiliated organizations:

    • Attending a conference/meeting for content directly related to that organization's mission at ISU.

    Note: Trips will generally not be approved if the organization is part of another organized local, state or national organization. Those organizations would be expected to make their own travel arrangements for participants.

  5. Participating in industry/career tours (similar to an academic field trip):
    • At the written request of and endorsement by an ISU department/unit noting the value to the ISU student participants, AND
    • Visiting a business that has operations consistent with the mission of the organization and an official program at Iowa State University.
       
  6. Providing support or assistance for Sponsored or Affiliated organizations' approved events or needs (i.e. VEISHEA, SUB, college student councils, Greek Week, Homecoming, etc.)
    • With approval by either Event Authorization Committee (EAC) or the corresponding ISU department/unit.
       
  7. Participating or performing in an artistic or performance-based event, such as Dance Club, Hip-Hop Club, etc, :
    • When the performance is consistent with the mission of the organization, AND
    • At the written request of and endorsement by an ISU department/unit noting the value to the ISU student participants, OR
    • At the written request of and endorsement by an ISU department/unit noting the value of positively representing ISU as a goal of the performance.