Newsletter Articles

Equipment or Weapon?

April 06, 2011

Developing Policies for Use of Martial Arts and Other Sports Weapons

Tamsen K. Burke
Associate Professor, Asst. Chair,
University of Chicago

In 2004, a student entered a university athletic facility with a ‘kama’ intending to practice the weapon in an area which was identified as the dance/martial arts room. If you are unfamiliar with a kama, it is a weapon of Okinawan origin that resembles a traditional harvesting sickle. The student was stopped at the facility entrance and questioned about his affiliation with a recognized martial art club. Having no such affiliation, the student explained that he wanted to use the room to practice with the weapon. He was denied access and the campus police were contacted to escort him from the premises. The weapon was confiscated and the student was arrested for carrying a dangerous weapon on university property.

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Health Screening in Group Fitness Classes

April 05, 2011

Fitness Coordinator, Johns Hopkins University

If you supervise any group fitness classes, you’ve likely mulled over the professional standards for screening the participants that take part in the classes. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) states that a health-risk appraisal or medical health history should be obtained from every participant in an activity program. Strictly from a managerial and logistical perspective, the more participants that are in the program, the more general the health screening may need to be, and the less able you are to track individual health conditions. But from a prudent perspective, you should at least offer something to gauge a participant’s risk and it should be as in-depth as you can handle. When choosing how to screen for health problems, consider the following issues:

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The Campus Recreation Facility as a Disaster Relief Shelter

April 05, 2011

George Brown
Director of University Recreation
University of Alabama

As Hurricane Katrina wrought damage previously unseen from a natural disaster on U.S. soil, the ensuing shelter relief efforts that local agencies and organizations put into place were evidence of the comprehensive attempts to assist those most dramatically affected by the devastation. Working in continuous concert with The University of Alabama (UA) Emergency response team and the guidance and assistance of the American Red Cross, the Student Recreation Center (SRC) served as a shelter for over 500 victims of the August/September 2005 hurricane for a period of almost 2 weeks. Key administrators and staff of UA and the American Red Cross were in early planning within 24-48 hours before the worst of the Hurricane hit the Louisiana and Mississippi gulf coasts. The SRC transformed into a medical, childcare, job placement, communication, food and housing hub within 48 hours of the worst damage from the breaking of the levees in New Orleans.
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Planning Framework for Developing a Departmental AED Plan

April 05, 2011

Lari Bangert
Associate Director, Operations
Campus Recreation
Colorado State University

Developing an effective AED plan requires identifying and addressing several key issues. The following framework, adapted from the university-wide process we used at Colorado State, will help you develop a comprehensive AED plan specific to your department. Visit and click on the jumping heart for more information on Colorado State’s program.

The first critical step is to establish a broad-based committee whose primary task is to develop and implement the AED plan. In addition to Campus Recreation department staff, consider including other university personnel (e.g. Environmental Health Services, Athletics, Security, Risk Management, University Legal Office), and off-campus experts.

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Occupiers’ Liability Part III: The Trespasser

April 05, 2011

Shelley Timms, B.A., LL.B., LL.M.
Timshel Services Inc.
Alcohol Risk Management

Editors Note: In the US, this is referred to as ‘Premises Liability’. While there may be differences from state to state, the principles are essentially the same.

Parts I & II of the series on Occupiers’ Liability has explored the issues surrounding an ‘occupier’ and ‘premises’,  and who is considered to be an invitee and a licencee, should injury occur while they on ‘occupied’ premises. Keep in mind that an occupier (anyone in control of premises) must use such care as may be required to protect invitees and/or licencees while they are on the premises.

So what happens if the user is a trespasser?

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