Title: Policy Governing Conduct with Minors
Approved by: Ethics and Complicance Leadership Committee
History: Issued 8/17/2015; Revised 4/6/2016
Responsible Officials: Office of the General Counsel
Claremont McKenna College (“CMC” or “College”) seeks to maintain a safe environment for children under the age of 18 who participate in programs or activities that occur on campus or under the control or direction of the College regardless of location (“Programs”). Members of the CMC Community and others who interact with, supervise, or oversee persons under the age of 18 in such Programs are subject to this Policy Governing Contact with Minors.
This Policy applies to Programs on CMC’s campus, or at other locations under the authority or direction of CMC, at which people under the age of 18 participate (including day or overnight Programs). Camps (for instance, athletics, debate, math, and science camps), clinics, laboratory workshops, and similar activities intended for elementary and high school students are covered by this Policy.
This Policy does not apply to:
- People under the age of 18 who are enrolled CMC students, or who participate in CMC academic programs or activities by virtue of being enrolled in another college or university;
- Research programs subject to the review and approval of an Institutional Review Board (IRB) sponsored by CMC;
- Events on campus which are open to the general public and which persons under the age of 18 attend at the sole discretion of their parent(s)/guardian(s) such as fairs, sporting events and other community events;
- Programs held during business hours which do not exceed four hours total;
- Campus visits by prospective students;
- The Children’s School, which is subject to and complies with all laws concerning the protection of minors under its care;
- The Autism Center; and
- Other programs or events as the Vice President for Business and Administration may designate in advance and in writing.
Entities Covered by this Policy
- All units of the College, including student organizations sponsoring Programs.
Please direct any questions about this policy to:
Office of the General Counsel
Director of Human Resources
- Minor - Anyone under age 18 who participates in a Program and is not exempted from this Policy.
- College Facilities - Facilities owned by, or under the control of, the College.
- Campus Programs - Programs which use College Facilities and are run by CMC employees.
- External Programs - Programs which use CMC facilities under a contract or other agreement with CMC. These Programs are generally, but not always, run by outside organizations with no relationship to CMC.
- College Liaison - A College employee designated as the primary contact for a Campus or External Program.
- CMC Community - CMC employees, students, post-doctoral fellows, temporary workers, independent contractors, and volunteers.
- Authorized Adults - Adults, paid or unpaid, who supervise Programs, supervise Minors participating in Programs, or who regularly spend time alone with Minors in Programs (including adults who reside with Minors in residence halls for overnight Programs).
Presence of Minors on Campus
CMC reserves the right to condition, restrict, or deny access by persons under the age of 18 to College facilities at CMC’s discretion. All persons under the age of 18, including but not limited to Minors participating in Programs, shall be subject to all CMC regulations while on campus and may be asked to leave campus if unable to comply. All Minors must be advised of and adhere to the College rules and behavioral standards generally applicable to students as appropriate for their age, including rules that prohibit discrimination, harassment, sexual assault, bullying, the use and possession of alcohol and drugs, and other forms of misconduct.
Programs subject to this Policy must comply with the following terms and conditions, as well as with any other applicable requirements of federal, state, or local law:
- The College Liaison (or designee) must register a Program with the Office of the General Counsel at least 30 days before the Program begins (unless the time frame is waived for good cause).
- No one under age 18 may participate in a Program until his or her parent(s)/legal guardian(s) provides emergency contact information and sign a program participation agreement, waiver of liability, and authorization for emergency medical treatment . A photo/media release will be requested, and if not signed, no photographs/video can be taken of the Minor. The signed originals of each form must be provided to the Director of Facilities and Campus Services immediately upon the Program’s conclusion. The required waiver of liability, medical treatment, and media release forms are located on the Colleges’ Ethics and Compliance page and must be used. Because the contents of a participation agreement will vary across Programs, each Program may use its own participation agreement.
- All Programs in which Minors participate shall have a procedure for notifying the participants’ parents/legal guardians in the event of an emergency. The College Liaison will maintain a copy of the participants’ emergency contact information and will provide a copy to Campus Safety.
- All parents/legal guardians of participating Minors shall be provided with contact information (including the names of persons to contact) to reach participants while the Program is in session.
C. Medical Emergencies:
- All Programs in which Minors participate must obtain: (i) authorization for transportation and emergency medical treatment in the event that the parents/legal guardians and the designated emergency contacts are not available; and (ii) disclosure of any allergies or other medical condition or physical limitation that might impact participation in the Program.
- In the event that any participants require administration of medicines while participating in the Program, necessary procedures shall be established in accordance with applicable law. Any and all information concerning a participant’s medical condition or physical limitations shall be treated as confidential and shared only on a need-to-know basis.
- All Programs in which Minors participate must have adequate supervision in light of the number and average age of participants, the Program activity, and whether overnight accommodations are involved.
- For daytime Programs, the ratio of Minors to adults should generally be 8:1 (for children up to age 14) or 10:1 (for children ages 15-17). For overnight Programs, an Authorized Adult must reside in each of the residence halls where Minors are housed, with the ratio of Minors to Authorized Adults generally being 15:1. The Program must specify age-appropriate curfews, rules pertaining to any visitors, and limitations on the use of free time.
Background Checks and Training for Campus Program
College Liaisons may not register a Program and Authorized Adults may not have direct contact with Minors participating in a Program, until and unless s/he has successfully completed (i) a background check acceptable to the CMC Human Resources Department and (ii) a training program on the protection of children from abuse approved by the CMC Human Resources Department. After the initial background check, subsequent background checks for College Liaisons or Authorized Adults who participate in Programs will occur every two years. In addition, the College Liaison must provide all Authorized Adults with an explanation of their responsibilities, applicable standards of conduct, Program policies and procedures, the manner in which such policies and procedures are enforced, training in appropriate crisis/emergency responses, safety and security precautions, confidentiality issues involving Minors, and such other matters as the College deems appropriate with respect to a particular Program.
Organizations or individual who operate External Programs must maintain an active general liability policy which includes sexual molestation coverage (with a minimum of $1,000,000 in coverage) as well as list the College as an additional insured on its general liability policy and obtain an additional insured endorsement naming the College as the additional insured. The External Program provider must provide these items to the Assistant Vice President for Facilities and Campus Services at least 30 days prior to the start of a Program.
A CMC employee who operates a Program and meets the requirements of this paragraph will be deemed an External Program.
Individuals serving as College Liaisons or Authorized Adults must:
- Always be vigilant in protecting the well-being and safety of Minors participating in Programs.
- Watch for signs of Minor abuse or neglect. Promptly report any suspected instances of abuse or neglect, as well as any violations of this Policy or law.
- Adhere to and observe appropriate behavior and boundaries with Minors, including the following:
- Avoid being completely alone with an individual Minor, particularly in a place that is not commonly viewed as a normal meeting area. Trips in College vehicles and walks through the campus, for example, should include either more than one adult or more than one child. This does not mean that Authorized Adults are prohibited from taking a Minor aside for a brief, confidential conversation about the Minor’s behavior or to discuss some matter at the Minor’s request. This does mean that such a meeting should ideally take place in the presence of a second adult or in full view of other people.
- Unless required by the nature of the activity (for example, counseling or therapy sessions), avoid meeting individually with a Minor behind closed doors, regardless of gender. This applies when tutoring or providing individual lessons or academic guidance.
- Use good judgment about physical closeness. Avoid contact that may be misinterpreted. This does not mean that an Authorized Adult may not give a Minor a pat on the back or touch his/her arm to get his/her attention. However, Authorized Adults should not touch a Minor against his or her will or engage in highly physical contact, such as picking him/her up, giving back rubs, tickling, roughhousing, or horseplay. Never administer corporal punishment.
- Use good judgment about restroom trips. Do not go into the stall with a Minor. It is best to bring more than one Minor at a time to the restroom, but if that is not possible, maintain an appropriate distance from the stall.
- Use good judgment about verbal or electronic communications with or about Minors. Do not disclose confidential information, and do not disclose or respond to questions involving relationships or sexual matters. Use discretion and consider the age of the Minor when discussing personal issues.
- Use words with care. Never berate, intimidate, harass, or belittle a Minor. Giving praise is appropriate, but use discretion when complimenting Minors. Do not get too personal. Be constantly aware of your responsibilities and position as a role model.
- Do not take pictures of Minors unless their parents or legal guardians have signed a waiver allowing the use of photography for Program-related purposes.
- Do not “friend” Minors or approach them on social networks; provided, however, nothing herein shall prohibit communications between athletic coaches and recruits that are otherwise appropriate under NCAA guidelines.
- Do not provide Minors with alcohol or legal/illegal drugs. Authorized Adults are prohibited from being under the influence of alcohol or illegal/impairing legal drugs while supervising Minors.
- Avoid engaging in any behavior commonly deemed unprofessional, unethical, or immoral, either directly or indirectly with a Minor or in the presence of a Minor.
- If you are ever unsure about what is appropriate, seek advice from a supervisor or director.
- In connection with overnight Programs, the following boundaries must be observed:
- Avoid being alone with a Minor in the Minor’s room or in your room.
- Never sleep in a Minor’s room or allow a Minor to sleep in your room.
- College Liaisons or Authorized Adults may not bring visitors or guests to their rooms or to the residence halls.
- Guests of participants (other than parents/legal guardians) are restricted to visitation in the residence hall lobby and/or floor lounges, and only during approved hours specified by the Program, which shall in no case be later than midnight.
- Use discretion when changing your clothes around Minors. If at all possible, change in an area away from Minors.
- Use discretion when supervising while Minors are showering, changing, or using the restroom.
Allegations of Inappropriate Conduct
College Liaisons and Authorized Adults shall:
- Immediately report any violation of the behavioral standards of this Policy to the College Liaison, Campus Safety, and/or emergency responders as appropriate.
- Assure the safety of Minors participating in Programs covered by this Policy, irrespective of any other limitation or requirements. This includes a duty to remove Minors from dangerous or potentially dangerous situations and to immediately notify the Office of the General Counsel, and/or Campus Safety, as appropriate, of the condition causing the removal.
- Discontinue any further participation in the Program covered by this Policy when an allegation of inappropriate conduct has been made against him/her, until such allegation has been satisfactorily resolved.
Other Reporting Responsibilities
All College Liaisons and Authorized Adults must be familiar with and comply as required with the College’s CMC’s Policy on Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect , the College’s Clery Act Reporting Requirements and the College’s Title IX obligations, regardless of whether any Minors are exempt from this specific Policy.