Activity, Event & Travel Planning

Revised September 2019

An education that consists solely of class time and homework is an incomplete education, and Biola offers a wealth of opportunities for learning, growing, ministering, and playing that go well beyond the classroom. All students are encouraged to become involved in activities, events, and ministry and missions trips. In order to maintain the quality and safety of these programs and their participants, the following policies have been crafted.








General Guidelines

Disclaimers and releases

All students participating in Biola-sponsored events are subject to giving consent to (and provide signature so acknowledging) the statements below.  Forms with these or similar statements are usually for off-campus activities and on-campus events involving physical or higher risk activities. Please note that minors must obtain similar, but separate, forms where their parent / legal guardian must sign for them.

A. Liability Release: In consideration of being permitted to participate in (activity title) (hereinafter "activity") on (date) I, the undersigned participant, in full recognition and appreciation of the dangers and hazards inherent in this activity including transportation to and from such activity, do hereby agree to assume all the risks and responsibilities surrounding my participation in the activity; and, further, I do for myself, my heirs, and personal representative(s) hereby defend, hold harmless, indemnify, release, and forever discharge BIOLA UNIVERSITY, INC. and all its trustees, officers, representatives, agents, and employees from and against any and all claims, demands, actions, or causes of action on account of damage to personal property, or personal injury, or death which may result from my participation in the activity, and which result from causes beyond the control of, and without the fault or negligence of, BIOLA UNIVERSITY, INC., its trustees, officers, representatives, agents, or employees.

B. Medical Consent: I, the undersigned participant, give my consent to receive treatment for illness or injury, medication, or immunization deemed advisable through the Biola University Student Health Center, and to make the necessary referrals to other facilities, if indicated.  I consent to any x-ray examination, laboratory test, anesthetic, medical or surgical diagnosis, and hospital service that may be rendered under the general or special instruction of any licensed physician, whether such treatment or diagnosis or immunization is rendered at the office of the physician or at a licensed hospital or health department.  It is understood that this consent authorizes the physician to exercise his/her best judgment as to what is best for the individual patient. This consent will remain effective throughout the duration of this event unless revoked in writing and delivered to Biola University.

C. Statement of Responsibility: Biola University has established guidelines for the conduct of the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, and students.  These guidelines also apply to non-students participating in Biola sponsored activities. Participants are expected to refrain from the use of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, illegal drugs, or the abuse of either prescription or non-prescription drugs, and from gambling.  Also, Biola does not allow social dancing at University-related or sponsored activities (any activity that involves an identifiable University group, is publicized on campus, and/or has the appearance of being University-related, whether held on or off campus). Further, they are expected to use discernment to abstain from activities that are morally degrading; this includes movies and television programs viewed and other entertainment, recreational, and social activities.

Responsibilities of the Advisor

  1. Every Biola-sponsored event or trip must have an Advisor.
  2. The Advisor (the faculty, chairperson or staff member directing the activity) must be on the payroll of the university as a full-time 01 or 02 employee. No students may be advisors. The choice and selection of an advisor is usually based on the initiative of the student leaders, program requirements or the department chair/director.
  3. The Advisor is ultimately responsible for the completion, accuracy, and submission of all official forms, such as the Student Activity Log. Student leaders may assist but they may not assume final responsibility.
  4. Responsibilities of the Advisor include an active participation in training and team development; supervision of the group and the student leaders (if any), including administrative support; and development and implementation of emergency procedures in conjunction with the appropriate departments and governing bodies of the University. The Advisor must be accessible for the duration of the trip for communication and emergency needs.
  5. The Advisor should maintain a team roster and have a completed copy of the Student Activity log along with a current itinerary (if the group is traveling).
  6. Advisors or administrative staff involved in the coordination of student activities should be trained in the procedures and use of the Student Activity Log by their respective departments before they are required to use the forms.

On-Campus Events

Within the University mission of providing a well-rounded, Biblically-centered education, "equipping men and women in mind and spirit to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ," it is important to foster an overall sense of well-being by maintaining positive University-student relations and University-public relations. A key factor in this goal is the careful coordination of University co-curricular and externally-sponsored events, to avoid scheduling conflicts that may take a variety of forms (see following: "What if there are problems with a proposed event?")

The Public Events Board (PEB), in cooperation with the Campus Coordinator, is responsible for the approval of all proposed events at Biola University. Proposed events are examined and screened in light of the University mission and calendar. No event may be confirmed and scheduled without the approval of the Public Events Board and the Campus Coordinator. The Public Events Board is appointed by and reports to the Vice President of University Communications and Marketing and the Vice President for University Advancement and Strategic Planning.

University Events Scheduling Policy

Background: The number, variety, scope and complexity of events occurring on the Biola University campus increases significantly each year. In order to maximize the success of these events, foster cooperation, resolve conflicts and enhance our overall professionalism, a basic system of coordination and scheduling is imperative. This responsibility is delegated to the Public Events Board (PEB), working in concert with the Campus Coordinator, under a mandate from the Vice President for University Advancement and Strategic Planning. This document explains the policies and procedures pertaining to events and their scheduling.

What is an "Event"? An "event" is any University-related or University-sponsored activity, on or off campus, that uses University facilities, equipment and/or set-up services, and/or promotional materials. If you have questions regarding what constitutes an "event" requiring approval, please call the Campus Coordinator at ext. 5816.

Scheduling an Event

Any office, individual, group, or organization planning an event or meeting must submit a scheduling request to Campus Coordination via 25Live.

Events that may be interpreted as a rally, demonstration, march, silent vigil, peaceful assembly, or other such forum may be subject to additional approval through this handbook’s public expression policy. Individual students or groups of students submitting requests for such events may be contacted by the Dean of Students or his/her designee for additional approval. Events that are political in nature are subject to the political activity policy in this handbook.

All events/meetings submitted to Campus Coordination are subject to Public Events Board review and approval. Do not publicize your event, make reservations or other commitments, or book speakers before receiving PEB approval.

Should events take place without submission of a Campus Coordination request, the students or sponsoring organization may be asked to disperse or face school discipline as outlined in this handbook.

Adequate lead time and specific, detailed setup instructions are required. Requests for event setups are to be submitted to Campus Coordination at least three (3) weeks prior to the event (significantly more lead time suggested for larger events). NOTE:  There is a $50 late fee any initial setup requests made less than three weeks before your event. Requests are processed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

After Public Events Board review, you will be notified in a timely manner of your event’s approval or of other decisions regarding your request.

What if there are Problems with a Proposed Event?

Challenges with proposed events generally fall into four categories: (1) the venue for the proposed event is already reserved on that date/time by another group for their event; (2) the setup, parking or sound of the proposed event may potentially detract from a scheduled event; (3) the proposed event may potentially create an unmanageable workload for Facilities Services or Campus Safety in terms of setup or security, due to other already-scheduled events on campus; and/or, (4) the proposed event presents perceived safety concerns or challenges within context of the mission and/or philosophy of the University.

If a proposed event presents challenges within the context of the University's events schedule and plan, the PEB may suggest either relocation or rescheduling of the event, or encourage its modification. If the proposed event presents a perceived challenge within the context of the University mission, the Board may defer this event to the Vice President for University Advancement and Strategic Planning with recommendation for disapproval. In such cases, the PEB’s recommendation may be appealed directly to the Vice President for University Advancement and Strategic Planning

In all decisions, the PEB will keep in mind the need to build relationships within the Biola community and will make its decisions with the success of each event in mind. An unsuccessful event is detrimental to our internal and external public relations.

After the event is approved

  1. After you receive a confirmation email from Campus Coordination, you may update your set-up and logistical needs, if necessary.
  2. The actual setup of tables, chairs, sound systems, special room arrangements, window black-outs, etc., is performed by personnel of the University's Facilities Services department but must be requested through Campus Coordination. For liability reasons, students and other staff are not allowed to do setups.
  3. Late or "last minute" changes in setup requests can be difficult to accommodate. Such requests should be made no later than one (1) week prior to the event. The request(s) are to be made in the same manner as outlined in "Setup Requirements," above.

Important and helpful tips

  1. Event and facilities reservation requests are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Requests for facilities are often made months in advance. Wherever possible, academic departments, University departments, and student groups are encouraged to submit their event requests for the following academic year no later than 6 months before the date of the proposed event.
  2. Events requiring the use of the gym are subject to its availability. Athletic contests will receive priority even if the event is not on the master calendar.
  3. University resources of tables, chairs and AV equipment are limited and are handled on a first-come, first-served basis.
  4. The safety and protection of the Biola community and its guests are of the utmost importance. Please note that you may be required to have Campus Safety officers assigned to cover your event. Any questions or concerns related to officer support at an event should be directed to the Campus Safety Administrative Office at x 4877.
  5. "Traditional Events" receive "calendar priority."
    1. What is a "Traditional Event"? Biola University is committed to the development of the whole person in all its programs. Certain annual cultural, social and co-curricular events are considered to be of such value and significance in the life and history of the University that they are accorded special status. These events are called "Traditional Events." Traditional Events usually involve a large segment of the campus community, but do not necessarily appear on the Academic Calendar. Most Traditional Events have at least a ten-year annual history at the University. Current Traditional Events are listed below.
  6. What is “calendar priority”?
    1. Traditional Events are de facto on the University Events Schedule. When these events occur on their normal dates, a scheduling request is unnecessary. (Equipment set-up requests are still required, however, and can be made through the Campus Coordination email icon.)
    2. Other events may be scheduled concurrently with a Traditional Event. However, such concurrent scheduling may be the exception rather than the rule. As specified in the University Event Scheduling Policy, any event scheduled on the same date and time as a Traditional Event must be approved by the Public Events Board.
    3. If the date(s) of a Traditional Event needs to be changed, the event planner must submit an event scheduling request, to coordinate the preferred new date(s) with calendar availability.

The following are Biola University Traditional Events:
Traditional Events
Traditional Dates Event Coordinator
Fall Student Orientation Activities Friday prior to week classes begin Student Development
Parents Opening Day Luncheon Saturday prior to week classes begin Parent Relations
Art Gallery Openings 1st Tuesday of each month Art Department
Athletic Contests Per each sport's conference schedule Athletics
Family Weekend 4th weekend of October Alumni/ Parent Relations
Torrey Conference 3rd week of October Student Ministries
Lyman Stewart Lectures Last Tues. and Thurs. of October Talbot
University Day 1st Thurs.-Sat. of December Admissions
Christmas Tree Lighting 1st Friday after Thanksgiving Break Alumni Relations
Fall Commencement Third Week of December (M-F) University Events
Homecoming  3rd Fri. or Sat. of February Athletics/A.S./Alumni
Nursing Commitment Ceremony 2nd Saturday of March Nursing Department
Missions Conference 3rd week of March Student Missionary Union
ACSI Science Fair 4th Fri. in March (unless good Fri.) Science Department
Spring Banquet 3rd Friday after Spring Break Student Relations
Major Works Concert 2nd Saturday in May Music Department
Graduation Banquets Wednesday before Commencement Alumni Relations
Spring Commencement Full week prior & first Sat. in May University Events

[Some additional Music Concert Series events are considered traditional in nature, but the annual dates cannot be specified with certainty. These selected events will have the same calendar priority as other traditional events as the Music Department specifies their dates.] 

Travel Policies and Approval Protocol

In the interest of preserving students’ safety and security, students traveling overseas on a Biola-sponsored trips are subject to Biola’s Travel Risk Approval Policy ( and the policies and procedures outlined on the Travel page ( Further, students are not permitted to travel to locations that Biola University and/or Risk Management, designates as dangerous. Students who travel to proscribed locations will be considered to be in violation of university policy and therefore subject to discipline and sanctions, including disqualification from future Biola-sponsored international travel.

Protocol for Trip Approval

  1. MARC will provide current short-term mission (STM) guidelines and a proposal format to the Student Missionary Union (SMU) each spring after the new SMU staff is hired. All Proposals must include the following information:
    1. Team leader’s name and phone number
    2. Names of any faculty or staff advisors or leaders that will accompany the team
    3. Advisor’s name and phone number
    4. Location of the trip including specific detail as to the cities that will be visited
    5. Sponsoring agency including address, phone number, and name of a contact person at both the agency and on site at the ministry location  
    6. A list of intended activities (e.g., street evangelism, teaching children, conducting worship, building projects, etc.)
    7. Initial fundraising plan
    8. A list of potential difficulties that the team might encounter (eg. Language barriers, hostility toward foreigners, remote location, lack of certain resources, etc.)
    9. A corresponding list of potential steps to be taken to manage the recognized concerns
  2. MARC will receive and review all proposals for SMU sponsored STM teams.  Proposals must be received no later than September 30th for Interterm trips, November 30th for Spring Break trips, or February 28th for Summer trips. 
  3. MARC may consult the University Legal Counsel and/or Risk Management regarding legal or liability issues related to a STM. 
  4. MARC will either deny, return a proposal for revision or issue an initial approval for the proposed team within two weeks of submission.
  5. Non-approved teams may resubmit proposals after the requested revisions are made.  
  6. A copy of each approved proposal will be forwarded to the supervising dean and to the Provost.
  7. MARC will facilitate the education of SMU and other STM sponsors on the Biola University campus by requiring:
    1. One individual from each team to take INCS 470, Short Term Mission Leadership, or be involved in an alternative form of training.
    2. Each team leader to attend a Fundraising training session sponsored by the Department of Development before their fundraising may begin.
  8. MARC maintains the authority to either disapprove or cancel a STM if deemed in the best interest of the University. Reasons for disapproval or cancellation may include but are not limited to:
    1. Lack of responsible leadership on the part of the team by not adhering to general timeline.
    2. An incomplete Student Activity Log 
    3. Loss of a team advisor
    4. Lack of financial support
    5. Loss of a sponsoring agency
    6. World unrest determined to be a potential threat in the proposed STM location
    7. Current State Department Advisory statements.
    8. Any circumstance that may place the university at undue risk. 
  9. MARC maintains the authority to recall an STM from the field if deemed in the best interest of the University.  Reasons for recall of a team may include but are not limited to:
    1. Loss of a sponsoring agency
    2. World unrest determined to be a potential threat in the STM location
    3. Current State Department Advisory statements.
    4. Any circumstance that may place the university at undue risk as determined by MARC in consultation with the University Legal Counsel and/or Risk Management.

Budgetary policies

  1. All funds must be secured prior to departure.  Biola University does not extend financing to STM teams.
  2. If a cash advance is requested, the individual requesting the advance becomes responsible for the funds. Final check request(s) may be submitted no later than 1 week before departure date.
  3. Completed expense report(s), along with complete set of receipts and any unspent cash, are to be submitted no later than 2 weeks after the ending date of the STM. Failure to submit a complete and accurate expense report in a timely manner may result in financial obligation and/or disciplinary action toward the student.


Biola generally does not allow guests on university sponsored or sanctioned trips.  If there is a necessity for a guest to participate in a trip, a request may be made to Risk Management.  If approved, guests may be subject to any number of stipulations, including, but not limited to, signing legal forms, immunizations, etcs.

Student Activity Logs

Student Activity Logs (SAL) are completed online.

  1. For Single-Day Trips: 
    1. No budget or itinerary are necessary
    2. No Student Health Form are necessary
    3. After receiving and processing the SAL, the Risk Management Assistant will send the trip leader a link to a liability release form – ALL participants must sign this release before engaging in the activity
  2. For Multi-Day, Domestic Trips: 
    1. Itinerary may be requested
    2. All participants must have a Student Health Form on record (submitted once a school year)
    3. After receiving and processing the SAL, the Risk Management Assistant will send the trip leader a link to a liability release form – ALL participants must sign this release before engaging in the activity
  3. For International Trips: 
    1. A budget must be submitted to the Risk Management Assistant
    2. A detailed itinerary must be submitted to the Risk Management Assistant
    3. All participants must have a Student Health Form on file.
    4. All participants must have an appointment with the Health Center where an Immunization Form will be generated
    5. After receiving and processing the SAL, the Risk Management Assistant will send the trip leader a link to a liability release form – ALL participants must sign this release before engaging in the activity.

As submissions of Student Health Forms and Release Forms come in, the Risk Management Assistant will keep a record of them and send the team leader periodic updates. It is fully up to the team leader to ensure that all documents are signed and submitted in a timely fashion so as to allow everyone to participate. After everything has been submitted and logged, a copy of all the files will be sent to the Trip Advisor and will also be made available to Campus Safety, in case of an emergency. For all INTERNATIONAL trips - There is a $58/person charge associated with international trips to cover the costs of Biola’s Travel Accident coverage. This will be charged to the trip’s account once the SAL process has been completed. 

For all DOMESTIC trips - There is a $30/person charge associated with domestic trips to cover the costs of Biola’s Travel Accident coverage. This will be charged to the trip’s account once the SAL process has been completed. Domestic trips includes anything within the United States outside a 100-mile radius from Biola’s Campus. 

Questions can be directed to the Risk Management Assistant at  Review and approval of SALs for the Risk Management Department are handled by the Risk and Insurance Administrator and can be contacted directly at

Emergency & Communication Procedures

If an emergency occurs during a Biola sponsored or sanctioned international trip, please follow the protocol outlined on the Risk Management Travel page under Crisis Communication and Emergency Contact.


For the well being of the students participating in a program, all immunizations required by the Health Center must be completed in order to participate in the event or trip. Immunizations may be obtained through other health care providers.

Biola Health Center requirements are based on information from the Centers for Disease Control. In the event of differences in recommendations between Biola Health Center and other Health Care providers, the Biola Health Center will take precedence.

An Advisor may petition to the appropriate Dean, on behalf of the team, for an exemption from required immunizations. The Dean shall consult with the Director of the Biola Health Center and the doctor in residence to determine whether these may be waived for the group. The Biola Health Center has the final decision-making authority whether the exemption may be granted. Individual student team members may not request exemptions directly from the Health Center.

Immunization disclaimers and releases

  • The participant agrees to take full responsibility for the implementation of required immunizations.  These immunizations are available at the Student Health Center, but may also be acquired through a private physician or clinic.  Required immunizations must be completed one month before travel and the participant acknowledges that if he/she has not received the required immunizations within the required time, they will not be allowed to participate in the activity.  
  • The participant also understands that, in planning to participate in this planned activity, there may be recommended immunizations for the activity.  The participant will take full responsibility for their own decision to receive, or not receive, any of the recommended immunizations. Further, the participant understands that refusing recommended immunizations or medications could result in serious medical illness. The participant will not hold Biola University or the Student Health Center responsible for contracting diseases, which could have been prevented through receiving recommended immunizations and/or prophylaxis for malaria.


Students may have reason to drive on behalf of the university for employment, volunteer, or similar reasons.  Such occurrences of driving activity fall subject to the Approved Drivers Policy for University Owned, Leased or Rented Vehicles (, which includes screening of drivers prior to approval.  

Please note that driving in a vehicle not owned, leased, or rented by the university (i.e., a personally owned vehicle) does not fall under the stipulations of the Approved Drivers Policy, except for the No Carpooling policy (see the Approved Drivers Policy for more details).  Drivers / owners are responsible for their own insurance, maintenance, and any liability associated with these vehicles.

Driving to and from class and class-related field trips is considered a personal cost associated with going to school and is therefore not eligible for reimbursement from the university.  Faculty may choose to organize approved modes of transportation for field trips, but are not required to do so.

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