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Student Group Travel Guidance


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Student Group Travel for Academic Year 2021-2022 and Special Precautions for the Global Coronavirus Pandemic

Last Updated 8/24/21

Scope

These guidelines apply generally to student organizations approved to travel using University funds as well as class-sponsored trips and student groups traveling for University-sponsored or University-affiliated events.
  • For the purposes of these guidelines, travel  associated with Education Abroad is specifically excluded from this document as that unit has its own, more stringent protocols. Please consult with the Education Abroad Office for more information.
  • Travel for student research and conference attendance also is excluded from these guidelines and will be determined as essential or nonessential by faculty, staff and administrators based on information below.

Definitions

University-Sponsored Travel - May include employees and students participating in a class and/or academic experiences. This category includes programs coordinated by University faculty and/or staff, and travel that is fully coordinated by an agent of the university. Examples include: Alternative Spring Break, academic classes where travel off-campus is a required component of the course.
 
University-Affiliated Travel - May include travel that is sponsored by an organization affiliated with the institution where travel is coordinated by the affiliated entity with limited and/or no support from university faculty/staff.  Examples include travel associated with sports clubs, Adventure Programs and/or Registered Student Organizations.
 
Registered Student Organization (RSO)- Activities undertaken by a registered student organization are not sponsored or approved by the University. Designation as a RSO does not create an agency or contractual relationship between the University and the RSO; in addition, no property right or legal expectancy on the part of the RSO should be interpreted. The University encourages student organizations to become Registered Student Organizations so students can better understand the University’s expectations regarding responsible co-curricular activity and take advantage of the many programs and services provided to assist them.
 
Recognized Student Organization - Recognized Student Organizations meet a higher threshold in terms of membership and may have access to some university funding including through Student Government Association and Recreation and Wellness. Those funds may be used in support of travel, but must comply with certain express  conditions.
 
Essential Travel - Travel that is required as a part of an academic class and/or university sponsored program, including athletic scholarship.  Travel that is required for business continuity. 
 
Non-Essential Travel - Travel that is not a requirement of a class and/or academic program.  Travel that will not result in a negative impact on business continuity. 
 
Required Travel - Travel that is required as an element of completing one’s job and/or education and/or research.
 
Any travel must be compliant with current guidance from the federal government, Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance on domestic and international travel, State of Maryland and the University of Maryland, and the university also follows guidance from the U.S. Department of State regarding international travel during the global coronavirus pandemic. Travel should also be compliant with any and/or all guidance or requirements established by the travel destination’s organization, entity, city, state, or country. 
 
Student group travel may be for educational, recreational, research or business purposes tied to the traveler’s affiliation with the university and related student group regardless of funding source. 
 
Current CDC travel guidance indicates that individuals who are fully vaccinated can travel safely within the United States and that individuals who are not fully vaccinated should delay all non-essential travel. 
 
All Travel
We urge you to use caution and judgment when considering any travel.  Any student, faculty, or staff travel related to any University-sponsored event or as a part of an affiliated organization activity must follow all current University of Maryland, State, CDC,  and Department of State public health and travel guidance, as well as any and all guidance or requirements established by the travel destination’s organization, entity, city, state, or country. 
 
Travel within the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia (DMV) Region
This is typically considered local travel. For general same-day University-sponsored or University-affiliated travel within the local DMV area (e.g,. not overnight trips), individuals should follow all current University and local public health guidelines and take appropriate precautions.  University guidance and/or policies related to travel may change as public health conditions change.  Informed by the CDC and other entities, travelers should always consult with current university policies before planning and/or commencing travel.
 
University-Related Domestic Travel (within the United States)
Given the nationwide prevalence of the delta variant and recent CDC guidance, the university’s guidance regarding  domestic travel is as follows:
  • Registered Student Organizations, Sports Clubs, Adventure Program participants with both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated members may conduct only essential out-of-state travel.  All individuals engaging in approved essential travel must be fully vaccinated or have an approved University exemption to the UMD vaccination requirement. Non-essential travel may be conducted only and exclusively by fully vaccinated individuals.   
  • All individuals engaged in travel are required to mask while in transit including in vans/cars, buses, airplanes, and public transportation.   Where travel requires overnight lodging, care must be exercised in determining appropriate accommodations to allow for unmasking and social distancing necessary to support participants’ well-being.
  • When travel involves engaging with a community partner or other government agency, the requirements of those entities must be factored into the planning of travel.  This may include that the partner/entity requires all participants to be fully-vaccinated.  Individuals must follow whichever policies are more restrictive.
  • For domestic travel outside of the general DMV area, the CDC recommends delaying travel for individuals who are unvaccinated.  Unvaccinated individuals need to consider their travel accordingly, review current CDC guidance, and follow all recommendations for unvaccinated people who travel domestically.  Individuals that have an approved exemption for vaccines at the University of Maryland should carefully consider this information when determining if they should participate in any travel, including essential travel. Students who may need guidance about whether their personal state of health allows them to travel and any travel related risk should contact their personal physician.  All unvaccinated students traveling domestically outside the DMV area for any University-sponsored or University-affiliated travel are required to review and acknowledge receipt of the University Health Center’s Memorandum to Students Informed Consent and Assumption of Risk for Travel. Any student approved to travel must have a signed Informed Consent & Assumption of Risk Memorandum on file to be eligible to participate. 
 
University-Related International Travel (outside the United States)
The University of Maryland continues to operate with great caution with regard to international travel.   As of August, 2021, the CDC says that “international travel poses additional risks and even fully vaccinated travelers are at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new COVID-19 variants.”
  • Groups associated with academic and administrative departments, Registered Student Organizations, Sports Clubs, and Adventure Travel groups must request an exception from the Vice President for Student Affairs and/or Vice President for Academic Affairs and/or Athletic Director to be authorized to travel internationally or be reimbursed using university controlled funds, including Student Government funding. Groups receiving approval for international travel should schedule a health, safety and security consultation with the Director, International Risk Management in the Office of International Affairs no less than six weeks prior to the group’s departure date.
 
Additional Information for Registered Student Organizations
Registered Student Organization travel for the Academic Year 2021-2022 at the University of Maryland should follow all policies detailed in the Student Organization Resource Center in the STAMP and those promulgated by Campus Recreation and Wellness in support of Sports Clubs and Adventure Travel. 
 
Students with Weakened Immune Systems (also known as “Immunocompromised”) regardless of vaccination status
Immunocompromised individuals are encouraged to exercise particular care when  participating in travel and should consult with their personal physician for approval prior to traveling and to secure recommendations regarding specific precautions that may apply in their situation. Immunocompromised individuals are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19, including being hospitalized and dying from the virus. Many conditions and treatments can cause a person to be “immunocompromised” or have a weakened immune system.
 
When allowed to travel by their personal physician, such individuals are strongly encouraged to continue to wear a mask at all times, both when in public spaces and even when outdoors, practice physical distancing at all times and take special precautions. All such individuals are strongly advised to contact their personal physician immediately for advice and further treatment should they begin to feel unwell.
 

 

About

The University of Maryland, College Park is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 40,700 students, 14,000 faculty and staff, and nearly 400,000 alumni all dedicated to the pursuit of Fearless Ideas. Located just outside Washington, D.C., we discover and share new knowledge every day through our renowned research enterprise and programs in academics, the arts and athletics. And we are committed to social entrepreneurship as the nation’s first “Do Good” campus.

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Spanning 12 schools and colleges, Maryland offers more than 300 degree-granting programs, many of them ranked among the best in the country. Our faculty includes two Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners, 58 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. And our students, who include the highest achievers in the state and nation, enjoy experiences unique to our location just outside the nation’s capital, including internships, research, and leadership and service opportunities.

Research and Innovation

The University of Maryland is one of the world’s premier research institutions. With our strategic location and scores of partnerships with government and businesses, UMD conducts groundbreaking research on some of the biggest challenges facing our global community, including cybersecurity and terrorism, bioengineering, public health equity, food safety and climate change. We strive to discover new knowledge and put it to work through innovation and entrepreneurship, advancing economic development and transforming lives. 


The newly launched Innovation Gateway will guide you to the resources, programs, partners, and spaces you need to activate and scale your fearless ideas into innovations that launch new ventures, catalyze growth, and advance economic development.

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At the University of Maryland, the arts, the humanities and the sciences intersect to address important societal issues and shed new light on the human experience. Our vibrant campus arts community collaborates with local and national cultural organizations such as the Phillips Collection, Kennedy Center and Folger Shakespeare Library. Student and faculty artists, designers, historians, writers and performers are exploring new media, presenting new perspectives, investigating new techniques and engaging new audiences.

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Home of the Terrapins, the University of Maryland has one of the nation’s most recognizable and successful athletics programs. More than 550 student-athletes compete each year in 20 intercollegiate sports—12 for women and eight for men. Since 2005 alone, Maryland has won 19 national championships, including NCAA titles in women’s basketball, men’s soccer, men's lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, and field hockey. Since joining the Big Ten Conference in 2014, UMD has won a combined 32 regular season and tournament championships. Fear the Turtle!

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At the University of Maryland, our commitment to the safety and well-being of our students is paramount and resolute. For our student-athletes, that means both on and off the field.
The University of Maryland is committed to accountability, transparency, and fairness and is working to ensure our program upholds the values of our University.
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The Terp experience extends beyond classrooms, labs and studios. It encompasses residence halls and dining halls, clubs and sports, fraternities and sororities, campus events and performances, and countless off-campus destinations. Maryland touts 800-plus student organizations, dozens of prestigious living and learning communities, and countless other ways to get involved. Students here can create a unique identity and grow as individuals, even as they’re part of a close-knit and diverse community. 

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