Prompted by the Jan. 17 car accident that killed four Yale students, the Yale College Dean’s Office now requires all student groups to submit a detailed itinerary for all organized travel outside the New Haven area.
Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg said the new Travel Guidelines for Undergraduate Organizations — e-mailed to undergraduate organizations Friday — were meant to catch students’ attention prior to the upcoming spring break when many student clubs, such as music groups, will be traveling across the country and the world. The January accident that killed four Yale students when they were on their way back from a Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity event in New York City was an impetus for the new policy, Trachtenberg said.
“Frankly, because of that horrible accident, we wanted to inform students of what their responsibilities are as drivers — and simply remind them to use their good sense when traveling,” Trachtenberg said.
Undergraduate organizations intending to travel within the U.S. or abroad — even for short periods — must provide an itinerary to the Office of Student Affairs at least 48 hours prior to departure. The itinerary should include details of travel arrangements, such as flight numbers and times, at least one daily contact telephone number, overnight destinations, and a list of all travelers.
Proof of the Pudding business manager Amy Zinser ’04 said she thought the Dean’s Office requires only a general idea of where her organization will be, not an itemized, extensive itinerary.
“I think the Dean’s Office is more concerned with being able to contact us if they need to,” she said.
Most universities have extensive policies on employee and student travel reimbursement,but few outline safety guidelines for their undergraduate organizations and require them to give the schools advance notice when they make travel plans. Besides Yale, Texas A&M and American have such safety guidelines.
Some of the common sense reminders include making sure the the designated driver has a valid U.S. driver’s license and that the vehicles are properly registered and insured. In addition, there are guidelines prohibiting the use and possession of alcohol or drugs while traveling.
Undergraduate groups are also expected to follow the guidelines on the Student Affairs Web site, the Yale University Safety Web site, the State Department Travel Warnings Web site, and the Office of International Education and Fellowship Programs Web site.