A new policy designed to help ensure the safety of minors participating in university-sponsored programs has been developed for the Washington State University System.
Whether through Extension, University Recreation, student involvement, or summer camps, WSU has programs throughout the state that serve minors and their families. The new WSU policy outlines wide-ranging measures aimed at addressing the unique health, safety, and security challenges associated with these programs.
Although many of these measures have been in place at the program level, the new policy consolidates and expands on requirements that will now apply consistently across the WSU system, with some exceptions as stated in the policy. Some significant features include:
- Registration: All minors participating in university-sponsored programs must be registered, ensuring that the University is aware of their presence and able to communicate with parents or guardians as necessary. In addition, university units must register their programs involving minors with Risk Management on an annual basis, beginning Oct. 4, 2023, with registration completed by the end of the calendar year.
- Training: Individuals responsible for supervising minors are required to undergo specialized training to equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to ensure the safety and well-being of minors under their care.
- Reporting Requirements: The policy mandates prompt reporting of any concerns or incidents related to the well-being of minors, including suspected abuse or neglect. It incorporates state law requirements and sets forth an internal university reporting protocol, ensuring a timely response and appropriate action.
- Background Checks and Screening: Under state law, all individuals with unsupervised contact with minors must undergo background checks. The policy also requires additional screening for program staff.
“The new policy implements a comprehensive approach to creating a safe and nurturing environment for minors engaged in university-sponsored programs and activities,” said WSU Director of Risk Management Jacob Sajinyan. “By setting stringent standards, training personnel, and implementing protective measures, Washington State University aims to uphold its commitment to the welfare of minors while fostering a welcoming, inclusive, and secure atmosphere for all participants.”
WSU Compliance and Risk Management is available to support the transition of programs into compliance with the new policy. For more information about the EP14 policy and its implementation, as well as other university policies, please visit the Risk Management Services website.