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Statement and Purpose

One method of addressing risk associated with particular events and activities is to require that participants complete waivers prior to participation.  In general, a waiver is a legal agreement in which a participant agrees to assume the risks involved in a particular event, releases SPU from some or all liability, and/or agrees to indemnify SPU in the event of losses or legal claims.  While no one will be forced to sign a waiver, a person who refuses to sign and return a waiver may not participate in an event for which a waiver is required.

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Waiver Process

​The Office of Risk Management (ORM) maintains forms of waivers that can be used for SPU events and activities.  The steps below outline the process for determining whether a waiver is appropriate, drafting the form of waiver, and obtaining waivers from participants.

  1. If you are planning an event or activity and you think a waiver may be needed, contact ORM by emailing 
    • If possible, please inquire with ORM at least one month before the event or activity, to allow adequate time for discussions, drafting the waiver, and obtaining signatures. 
    • When you email ORM, please include a description of the event (e.g., activities that will be involved) and identify the date(s) and location(s) of the event.  If you are a student, please also copy your staff or faculty advisor on the email.
    • The email address is received by SPU's University Counsel (Nick Glancy), Contracts Specialist (Caryn Ragin Johnson) and Executive Assistant for Risk Management and University Counsel (Audrey Kamemoto).  
  2. ORM will review and respond to the waiver inquiry.
    • ORM will try to respond to the waiver inquiry within two business days.  The initial response may be a simple acknowledgment that the inquiry has been received.
    • ORM may request additional information about the event (e.g., through email, a phone conversation, or through an in-person meeting).
  3. If ORM determines that a waiver should be required, ORM will draft a waiver for review by the event sponsor.
    • ORM will determine whether a waiver should be required.
    • If a waiver is required, ORM will use one of its templates to create a waiver.  Depending on the situation, ORM may require that each participant sign a separate waiver, or ORM may provide a form that can be signed by multiple participants.
    • ORM will send a copy of the proposed waiver to the event sponsor for review, to confirm that the description of the event is accurate. 
    • ORM will try to have an initial draft waiver to you for review within two weeks of your request.    
  4. After the event sponsor has reviewed the waiver, ORM will email a final version of the waiver to the event sponsor, and the event sponsor will obtain signatures from participants.
    • If a waiver is required, the event sponsor is responsible for obtaining signed waivers from all participants before the beginning of the event or activity.
    • The signed waivers should be returned to ORM in Demaray Hall 250 (unless other arrangements are made). 
    • If possible, the event sponsor should not only obtain the signed waivers before the event, but should also return the signed waivers to ORM prior to the event.
  5.  ORM will retain the signed waivers in its office records.
    • After signed waivers are delivered to ORM, ORM will store the waivers in its office (unless other arrangements are made).​


Policy Version: 1.0

Responsible Office: Office of Risk Management
Responsible Executive:
  Assistant VP for Risk Management and University Counsel

Effective Date: November 15, 2019
Last Updated:  
November 15, 2019

Entities Affected By This Policy:  All University faculty, staff and students.

When a Waiver May be Required​

Generally, waivers are required for activities with greater risk of personal injury or property damage, and/or where SPU has less control over the activity.  While there is not a comprehensive list of which events require a waiver and which do not, the following guidelines illustrate when a waiver is likely to be required:

  • SPU-arranged transportation.  SPU's default policy is that SPU is not responsible for arranging for transportation to off-campus events for students.  However, in situations where SPU does arrange for transportation, a waiver may be required, particularly if transportation is out of state and/or long-distance.
  • Retreats.  Retreats may or may not require a waiver, depending on the destination and activities involved.  Local retreats that only involve indoor, passive activities are unlikely to require a waiver.
  • Physical games and activities.  Games and activities that involve risk of physical injuries likely will require a waiver, particularly if the event has a high risk of collision, involves travel for competition, or has unusual aspects that are not commonly practiced.  Sports clubs generally must require participants to complete a waiver annually.
  • Activities involving animals.  Events involving animals (e.g., horseback riding, petting farms) generally require a waiver. 
  • Hall Balls / Banquets.  These types of events in themselves generally do not require a waiver. 
  • Activities involving outside groups and/or minors.  If an SPU event is available to the public, and/or if an event involves minors, it is likely that a waiver will be required.
  • Off-campus service projects.  Off-campus service projects may require a waiver, particularly if the service involves rigorous physical activity or the service occurs in a setting not subject to SPU control.
  • Conferences.  Conferences generally do not require a waiver, but may require a field trip form. 
  • Hiking and camping. Light, day-hikes generally do not require a waiver, but strenuous hikes and/or overnight camping likely will require a waiver.

If you are not sure if you need a waiver for your event please email ORM at  Also, even if a waiver is not required, ORM may be able to assist you in planning the event in a way that reduces risk of injury, damage, or loss. ​