Washington University in St. Louis is committed to providing opportunities for young people within the St. Louis community to visit the university’s campus for educational programs and special events. To ensure the safety and well-being of both our young guests and the university community, all members of the WashU community are expected to adhere to the University’s Youth Protection Policy regarding interacting with minors and the Gephardt Institute’s Community Youth to Campus protocol when developing plans to bring young people to campus.
The First Step
When planning an event or program involving minors (under the age of 18), please refer to Washington University’s Youth Protection Policy and the Community Youth to Campus Protocol (continue reading below)
Please remember that planning any event on campus requires consultation with many university departments, and that you are responsible for following all university protocols and policies in organizing your campus visit.
Community Youth to Campus Protocol
Step 1. Review the guidelines below.
Step 2. Submit your plans.
- Student Union groups: Submit via WUGO by navigating to your group’s WUGO page. Click “event” and then “create event”.
- All other organizations: Complete an application to host minors on the Campus Card office website. The Campus Card office also provides criminal background checks and online training for working with minors.
Step 3. All WashU student leaders and WashU student participants must complete the Standards of Conduct Form. This is a required step regardless of where you submitted your event.
- Student groups sponsoring visits by community youth must ensure that young visitors to the university are properly supervised while on campus. At all times during activities involving minor children, there should be no fewer than one supervisor per 15 participants (with an ideal ratio being one adult to ten participants) to provide supervision. Appropriate supervisors include representatives from the sponsoring University Entity, Washington University students who are 18 years of age or older, and/or representatives from the relevant community organization.
- University Entities must identify the designated areas of campus to which community youth will have access and clearly communicate those areas to young visitors. In addition, University Entities must advise participants that their access to campus is limited to the particular event to which they have been invited.
- Activities involving one-on-one interaction between university volunteers and community youth should utilize public environments such as Olin Library’s Whispers Cafe, Bear’s Den, or the Danforth University Center, rather than isolated locations. No such activities may occur in university residence halls, unless expressly authorized as part of a residential camp or program.
- All young people visiting the campus as part of a university-sponsored program or event should be provided with and instructed to wear information tags identifying the individual’s name, the program or event with which they are associated, the dates of that program and contact information for the university representative(s) responsible for that program. For safety purposes, this information should be on the back side of the tag and you should use caution if you choose to display the child’s name on the front of the information tag.
- University Entities must designate a specific campus location for young participants to be dropped off and picked up, and communicate that location to the parents/guardians of the participants or the program coordinator. The location should be appropriately staffed to ensure proper supervision.
- University Entities must educate student volunteers about the risks and responsibilities of interacting with minors on campus. All members of the university community participating in such programs must sign and adhere to the Standards of Conduct for Hosts of Community Youth.
- Transportation of minors in private vehicles by members of the university community is prohibited. Vehicles associated with the CarShare program are considered private vehicles unless they are reserved using a university account.
- University Entities are responsible for ensuring that their community partners obtain and maintain current medical and emergency contact informationon each minor participant. Likewise, University Entities are responsible for ensuring that each program participant is authorized by his/her parent or guardian to engage in program activities via a valid waiver/release. Like the emergency contact and medical information, the waiver/release for each participant must be kept on file by the community partner.
- Invitees are subject to Washington University policies and guidelines while on campus. Individuals who display inappropriate behavior will not be welcomed back to campus.
- In the event that the guidelines and/or conduct requirements of the relevant community partner differ from those set forth herein, the more restrictive guidelines and conduct requirements shall be followed.
- University Entities sponsoring visits to campus by minor children should submit a plan to the Gephardt Institute in advance of any program or event, outlining the manner in which they will adhere to these protocols.
If you have questions about the protocol, please contact Cara Johnson.
If you would like to discuss plans for your program, please visit our office during Drop-In Hours.