Programs Involving Minors (III.A.6)

Volume ­­III: Ethics
Chapter A: Conduct
Responsible Executive: Vice President for Ethics and Compliance
Responsible Office: Office of the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance
Date Issued: January 15, 2022
Date Last Revised: N/A

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Contacts
Statement of Policy
Reason for This Policy
Individuals and Entities Affected by This Policy
Exclusions
Responsibilities
Definitions (defined terms are capitalized throughout the document)
Related Documents, Forms and Tools
Website Address for This Policy
History and Updates
Appendix

CONTACTS

Policy Clarification

Title/Office

Telephone

Email/Webpage

Director of Compliance

765-496-3158

youthprotection@purdue.edu

 

STATEMENT OF POLICY

Purdue University encourages programs and activities that enhance learning and stimulate creativity in youth. The success of these programs depends on careful planning that makes safety the highest priority. This policy and its associated Operating Procedures for Programs Involving Minors reinforce the safety of minors by putting in place requirements for background checks, program registration, training and other safeguards based on the type of program.

Application

This policy and its procedures apply to any Program that involves participation of minors who are not registered students of Purdue University and where the Sponsor or co-Sponsor is:

  1. A college, school, department, office, organization or other unit of the University, regardless of the Program location;
  2. A Recognized Student Organization, regardless of the Program location; or
  3. A third party who is hosting or conducting the Program on University-owned property or utilizing university servers or branding.

Requirements

All potential Program Staff are subject to a background check that includes, at minimum, a Registry Check. The exception to this requirement is Program Staff for virtual (online) Noncustodial Programs where the Program Staff do not interact directly with minor participants. Refer to the Operating Procedures for Programs Involving Minors for details on Registry Check frequency and how to conduct them.

All Program Staff must complete training on youth safety and Indiana’s requirements for mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect. In addition, Program Directors must complete training on leading youth programs. Refer to the Operating Procedures for Programs Involving Minors for details on creating or obtaining training, frequency and exceptions.

Program Directors must register the Program with the University in accordance with the Operating Procedures for Programs Involving Minors.

Anyone operating a vehicle in conjunction with a Program sponsored by a unit of the University must be an Authorized Driver, as defined in the policy on Use of Vehicles for University Business (IV.A.1).

All Program Staff are required to conduct themselves in compliance with all laws, regulations and applicable university policies. Refer to the Related Forms, Documents and Tools section for a list of common policies.

Prohibitions

No member of the Program Staff may engage in any behavior that could reasonably be expected to cause harm. Prohibited conduct for Program Staff includes, but is not limited to:

  • One-on-one contact with minors, whether in person or online, unless specifically approved by the Office of the VPEC based on appropriate precautions and safeguards. All contact and electronic communication must be in the presence of or include at least one additional person.
  • Meeting with minors outside of established times for Program activities.
  • Touching minors in a manner that a reasonable person could interpret as inappropriate.
  • Engaging in abusive conduct of any kind toward or in the presence of a minor, including but not limited to verbal abuse, striking, hitting, punching, poking, spanking or restraining.
  • Showering, bathing or undressing with or in the presence of minors.
  • Sharing private or semi-private sleeping accommodations (room, bed, tent, etc.) with a minor who is not a close relative, unless specifically approved by the Office of the VPEC based on appropriate precautions and safeguards.
  • Possessing, consuming, using or being under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs during the Program.
  • Using, possessing, or making available to a minor any explosives, guns, or other deadly or dangerous materials or weapons reasonably calculated to cause bodily injury, including fireworks, unless an activity involving a material or weapon is specifically approved by the Office of the VPEC based on appropriate precautions and safeguards.
  • Allowing sexual materials in any form to be viewed or available to minors participating in Programs, or assisting minors in any way in gaining access to such materials.
  • Misusing or damaging Purdue University property or off-campus property used for the Program or allowing a minor to do so.

Reporting Incidents during a Program

The state of Indiana requires anyone 18 years of age or older to report suspected child abuse or neglect. In addition to following the reporting requirements of Indiana, Program Staff are required to report suspected child abuse or neglect that involves a member of the Purdue Community to youthprotection@purdue.edu. Program Directors are further required to report any safety incidents to youthprotection@purdue.edu. Refer to the Operating Procedures for Programs Involving Minors for details on when and how to make these reports.

Supplementing this Policy

Sponsors of Programs are not limited by this policy or its procedures from developing more stringent requirements for their Program Staff. Similarly, units of the University that serve other units and third parties in facilitating Programs (e.g., Purdue Online, PFW Division of Continuing Studies, Intercollegiate Athletics, etc.) may supplement the policy and procedures with additional requirements.

REASON FOR THIS POLICY

The safety of minors participating in activities sponsored by or otherwise connected with Purdue University is of the utmost concern. This policy and its procedures outline requirements meant to reduce the risk of harm to minors and to comply with federal and state laws and regulations.

INDIVIDUALS AND ENTITIES AFFECTED BY THIS POLICY

All faculty, staff, Recognized Student Organizations, units of the University and third parties who meet the definition of a Sponsor of a Program involving minors.

EXCLUSIONS

This policy does not apply to the following:

  • Performances or events open to the general public and not targeted to minors (e.g., festivals, intercollegiate athletic events, concerts, plays, etc.),
  • Private Events as defined in this policy,
  • Activities, such as regularly scheduled classes or career fairs, designed primarily for degree-seeking students of the University, including those regularly scheduled classes that incidentally include dual-credit students,
  • National tests offered by a University testing center, or
  • IRB-approved University research involving minors as human subjects, except those elements of a research project that are not subject to IRB oversight.

Although research approved by the IRB is excluded, camps or other programs associated with that research are not. Any camp or other non-IRB approved portion of such research projects are required to register and follow all the requirements of this policy and its procedures.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Director of Compliance

  • Oversee administration of this policy and its associated operating procedures.
  • Make available to Program Sponsors/Program Directors a template and/or sample communication plan; supervision plan, including appropriate ratios; transportation and medical authorization forms; liability waivers; and any other required plans or forms. The director may delegate this responsibility.

Sponsors

  • Ensure that all requirements for the appropriate use of Purdue University facilities, servers and/or branding associated with the Program are met.
  • Ensure that all Registry Check, training, and registration and certification requirements of this policy and its procedures are met.
  • Notify the University of any incidents that occur during the Program, in accordance with the operating procedures.
  • Safeguard all records associated with the Program and make them available to the University upon request.
  • Identify a Program Director (or co-directors) to carry out the responsibilities of that position.

Program Directors

  • Prioritize the safety of Program participants.
  • Oversee/direct the completion of Registry Checks in accordance with the operating procedures.
  • Ensure that all training requirements are met.
  • Register and certify the Program in accordance with the operating procedures.
  • Notify the University of any incidents that occur during the Program, in accordance with the operating procedures.

Program Staff

  • Prioritize the safety of Program participants.
  • Complete all required training within the specified timeframe.

Offices of the VPEC and VPHR

  • Consult with Sponsors who notify them of a match on one of the sex offender registries.

DEFINITIONS

All defined terms are capitalized throughout the document. Some defined terms may only be used in the Operating Procedures for Programs Involving Minors. Refer to the central Policy Glossary for additional defined terms.

Custodial Program
Any Program in which Program Staff assumes responsibility for the care, custody and control of minor participants. A Program is custodial whether this responsibility is continuous (assumed for the duration of the Program) or intermittent (assumed for one or more brief periods at any time during the Program). Any Program that does not require the continuous presence of a parent, guardian, teacher or other responsible adult other than the Program Staff is custodial. This includes the following:

  1. Synchronous virtual Programs, unless a responsible adult other than Program Staff is expected to be present and on-camera with each minor participant for the duration of the Program.
  2. College visits, open houses and admissions fairs targeted to prospective students who will matriculate in the next 24 months that include an overnight stay.
  3. Student recruitment activities targeted to individual prospective students, such as “Official Visits” sponsored by Purdue University Intercollegiate Athletics or scouting trips that include an overnight stay.
  4. Recognized Student Organizations that accept members who are minors not enrolled as students of the University or adults not affiliated with the University as faculty, staff or enrolled students.

In the case of a Recognized Student Organization as noted above, the organization itself is considered a Custodial Program, regardless of whether or not there are any non-Purdue members who are minors at any given time, and all requirements of this policy and its associated procedures apply.

Noncustodial Program
Any Program that does not assume responsibility for the care, custody and control of minor participants for any duration of time. Examples of Noncustodial Programs include class field trips, speaking engagements at events or programs not sponsored by the University, presentations to K-12 classes, and fully asynchronous virtual programs.

Operational Responsibility
Any authority over budget, contracts, management, policies, procedures, staffing, assignments, activities, day-to-day decisions, scheduling, logistics and/or program structure and design.

Private Event
A social gathering open only to individuals who are invited by and known to the person organizing the event, or to the person on whose behalf the event is organized. Examples of Private Events include, but are not limited to, birthday parties, weddings, and baby showers.

Program
Any program or activity including camps, academic enrichment opportunities, daycares, clinics, conferences, fairs, workshops, clubs, lessons, projects and practices that include participants under the age of 18.

Program Director
The primary person(s) acting on behalf of the Sponsor(s) who is responsible for the organization and execution of the Program, including adherence to these procedures. The Program Director also is considered part of the Program Staff.

Program Staff
Any individual, paid or unpaid, who is expected to critique, interact with, supervise, chaperone or otherwise oversee minors during a Program. Individuals may be faculty, staff, students, volunteers, employees, or contractors of the University or of a third party. Guest presenters and lecturers who do not interact with, supervise, chaperone or otherwise oversee minors are not considered Program Staff.

Recognized Student Organizations
Clubs, groups, teams and other organizations, including fraternities, sororities and cooperatives, that are registered and approved by the University through the applicable campus office (Fort Wayne Student Life and Leadership, Northwest Office of the Dean of Students and Student Life, and West Lafayette Student Activities and Organizations).

Registry Check
A verification that an individual is not listed as having any convictions of certain sex and violent crimes on the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website nor the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry, nor any other national or state registry that may become available. The operating procedures describe the appropriate method of conducting a Registry Check.

Sponsor
Any group, department, school, college, organization or individual involved in supporting a program, operationally and/or financially, whether a unit of the University or a third party.

RELATED DOCUMENTS, FORMS AND TOOLS

Operating Procedures for Programs Involving Minors

Youth Protection website

WEBSITE ADDRESS FOR THIS POLICY

www.purdue.edu/policies/ethics/iiia6.html

HISTORY AND UPDATES

January 15, 2022: Policy established separately from the operating procedures, which originally went into effect January 1, 2015.

APPENDIX

There are no appendices to this policy.

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