A Risk Manager’s Thoughts on Waivers

March 31, 2011

Joe Risser CPCU, ARM-P
Director, Risk Management
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Waivers or Release of Liability Agreements may result in a college or university developing an unwarranted sense of protection from liability. These intended legal contracts designed to (a) transfer responsibility for participation in an activity and (b) transfer responsibility for financing of a loss due to the activity may rest on enforcement by one or more courts. Details in wording, presentation, administration and even record keeping can be critical.

Often there are a variety of points of view from different campus stakeholders about the use of waivers. Perhaps they should be used as a part of the application and enrollment process for the college or university? Used only for voluntary activities, but not for course required activities, campus funded activities or off campus activities involving travel?

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Five Toe Shoes

March 31, 2011

Jim Fitzsimmons
Director of Campus Recreation
University of Nevada, Reno

If you haven’t seen them yet, my bet is you soon will. The Vibram Five Toe shoe, think toe sock on steroids and you’ll get the picture. More and more people are wearing them for running, sports leisure and working out.
Some facility operators have banned people wearing these shoes as they see them as a liability. Some believe they violate the intent and spirit of an ‘athletic dress code’. Most fitness facilities have some sort of a policy regulating footwear and often you will see the terms ‘closed toe’, ‘athletic’, ‘sport’ or ‘appropriate fitness type’ used to describe acceptable footwear.

Where did the five toe come from? You may not have heard but there is a bit of a grass roots rebellion going on against the running shoe industry. In the eyes of many this industry has perpetrated one of the largest crimes against the running community by introducing us to the cushy- heel countering-supination/pronation correcting- gelled-air injected- arch supporting shoe. When used for running these shoes allow the runner to over stride and heel strike in a unnatural manner leading to a running stride that is mechanically bad, inefficient and in the opinion of some, pathologic. We could go into this argument and the supporting data, but that is not the purpose of this article.

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Hazing in Campus Recreation: Part I

March 31, 2011

It’s Not Just a Greek Thing

Jean McClellan-Holt, Ed.D, CRSS
Assistant Director, Recreation & Wellness
Old Dominion University

What’s the big deal about hazing — it’s just kids being kids, just fun and games. In the past, many college presidents encouraged hazing – to them hazing taught precedence, built school loyalty, and assimilated students from all economic classes (Novak, 2009). Hazing builds character and shows what you’re made of. Hazing is a Greek thing — we don’t need to worry about it in Campus Recreation —right? WRONG!!

According to the National Study of Student Hazing (Allan & Madden, 2008), hazing in sport clubs ranked #3 with 64% of the respondents reporting at least one hazing incident affiliated with their efforts to join or remain on a sport club team. Intramural sports ranked # 6 with 49% of the respondents reporting at least one hazing incident affiliated with their efforts to join or remain on an intramural team. Hazing is not just a “Greek” issue, it is a societal issue. Hazing can lead to humiliation, physical and psychological injury, even DEATH. If hazing is such a bad thing WHY is it still so prevalent in our society? Before one can tackle the issue of why hazing is so prevalent in our society, it would be helpful to define hazing. This is a difficult task because hazing is such a broad term. A plethora of activities can be considered to be hazing, and in some cases an activity may be hazing to one person and may not be hazing to another person.

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Hazing in Campus Recreation: Part II

March 30, 2011

It’s Not Just a Greek Thing

Jean McClellan-Holt, Ed.D., CRSS
Assistant Director, Recreation & Wellness
Old Dominion University

Part I of this article focused on the definition of hazing, the types of hazing (Subtle, Harassment, and Violent), and delved into why hazing is so prevalent in society. Part II will focus on hazing prevention coalitions at two major universities.

In the past ten years, hazing has become more violent, more humiliating, and more sexual (InsideHazing.com, 2010). Fortunately, a lot is being done to promote the prevention of hazing. These initiatives include the formation of specialized anti-hazing organizations, the passage of anti-hazing laws on the state level, and the creation of collaborative hazing prevention programs at colleges and universities throughout the nation. Two such programs are the very successful Hazing Coalition at Florida State University, and a rather new program at Auburn University.

An email with questions on the creation of the Hazing Coalition was sent to Dr. Adam Goldstein, Associate Dean of Students at Florida State University, and Paul Kittle, Director of Greek Life at Auburn University. Below are their responses to these questions.

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