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    Prepare for Medical Evacuations Abroad

    Higher education institutions and K-12 schools with study abroad programs should prepare for the possiblility that a student will be seriously injured and require medical evacuation. Insurance that covers evacuation can defray the expenses, but be sure to understand all policy terms, such as by whom and where students are taken, whether hospitalization is covered, and specific exclusions.
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    Protect and Support Transgender Students

    Your college, university, or K-12 school may wish to provide special protection and support for transgender students.  It can take several concrete steps to this goal, including allowing students to change their records to align with their identified gender and to use housing and restrooms consistent with that gender rather than their birth gender.
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    Avoid Unfavorable Indemnity Provisions in Institution Contracts

    Unfavorable indemnification or “hold harmless” provisions within a contract can cause institutions to assume liability for claims they neither caused nor can control. This common source of liability can be mitigated by working with your institution’s legal counsel or risk manager and implementing key practices described in this blog.
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    In-Person Activities and Athletics

    This year, institutions conducting in-person activities and athletics should take extra precautions to protect students. Consider the precautions in this piece for keeping in-person activities and athletics safe from COVID-19.
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    Manage the Risks of Remote Learning in Higher Education

    Institutions may continue offering remote learning or may switch from in-person to remote learning due to a pandemic or other crisis. To ensure a positive remote learning experience for students and employees, administrators can use this guide to identify and manage key risk management issues.
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    Risk Management Guidance for 3D Printing

    Many educational institutions are considering using their 3D printing capabilities to help with medical device and supply shortages. This article addresses the risk management issues that schools should keep in mind during each step of the process.

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    Vetting Third-Party Study Abroad Vendors

    Third-party vendors can increase the study abroad opportunities available to students, but poor risk management practices by these vendors can lead to bad outcomes for students and costly claims against the home institution.  Read this blog for tips on choosing a third-party vendor.
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    Eating Contests: Managing the Risk While Preserving the Fun

    Campus eating contests range from hot dogs to chicken wings to pies and are often fundraising vehicles for student organizations. While these contents are fun, they can be dangerous without proper preparation and oversight. This blog provides suggestions on risk management steps institutions can take to reduce the risks associated with eating contests on campus.
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    Esports in Higher Education: Prepare Your Institution

    The explosive growth of esports creates both opportunity and potential risk for higher education institutions that are considering, or just establishing, their own  programs. This piece outlines some organizational issues to consider, such as where to house esports, and notes certain associated risks, such as  sex discrimination and harassment.
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    Prepare Students With Mental Health Issues to Study Abroad

    American students self-identified with a mental health issue routinely study abroad. This can prove challenging if a student suffers a mental health crisis or does not have access to care. To ensure your institution is prepared to help students with mental health issues in its study abroad programs, consider the following strategies.
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    Student Gambling Policies

    According to the National Center for Responsible Gaming, about 75% of college students gambled in the past year. This blog offers insights on whether to institute a gambling policy and what variables to consider.
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    Fitness Center Safety and Supervision

    Fitness centers at K-12 schools and institutions keep students healthy and active, but they can also create the potential for serious injuries. Read this Insights piece for findings from a review of UE's fitness center claims and  safety and supervision best practices.
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    Student Organizations and Nondiscrimination Policies

    A February 2019 federal court ruling answered some of the questions left open by the U.S. Supreme Court’s narrow ruling in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. Since the June 2010 Supreme Court decision, public colleges and universities have sought guidance on the law’s implications and the extent to which they may require recognized student groups to comply with institutional nondiscrimination policies.
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    Student Organization Advisors

    Student groups and organizations play an important role on campus and in a student’s education. Faculty and staff advisors can help keep these organizations on track and serve as important mentors and sounding boards to participants.
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    K-12 Public Schools Large Loss Report 2019

    The K-12 Public Schools Large Loss Report 2019 summarizes major damage awards and settlements of $250,000 or more that affected public K-12 schools in 2017 and 2018. The cases include a $36.1 million jury award in a school bus incident, a $15.7 million settlement in a sex abuse lawsuit, and a $1.1 million award for an athletic injury.
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    Independent K-12 Schools Large Loss Report 2019

    The Independent K-12 Schools Large Loss Report 2019 summarizes major damage awards and settlements of more than $250,000 that affected independent schools from 2011 to 2018. It can help schools assess their risk management practices and insurance coverage. The cases include a $25.3 million award in a sexual molestation case, a $16.5 million settlement of more than 400 claims of sex abuse, an $8 million child abuse settlement with 88 former students, a $5.87 million award for an athletics injury, and a $4 million wrongful termination lawsuit.
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    Student Business Incubators

    Student incubators encompass many risk management and legal considerations, but they also provide a unique learning opportunity for business-minded students by giving them access to institutional resources, such as office space, funding, and business or legal guidance. Successful student businesses have operated in industries as diverse as Internet commerce and online media, professional services, food and beverages, and sports and recreation.
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    Large Loss Report 2019

    The Large Loss Report 2019 summarizes major damage awards and settlements of more than $250,000 that affected schools, colleges, and universities in 2018. The most frequent and costliest cases involved sexual abuse claims, many of which had multimillion-dollar settlements in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Educational institutions can use this report to assess their risk management practices and insurance coverage.
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    Skiing and Snowboarding Safety

    During the winter season, many institutions sponsor student skiing and snowboarding activities, whether as recreation or a course. These sports pose many risks that novices may not fully appreciate, and more experienced skiers and riders may disregard. The following practices can help ensure the safety of all participants.
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    Combatting Food Insecurity on Campus

    Food insecurity, the lack of resources to obtain nutritious food, affects college students throughout the country. When resources are low, students must choose between educational expenses (such as tuition, books, supplies, and housing) and food. Fortunately, many higher education institutions can help tackle this issue head-on and provide security to students who otherwise would go without some meals. Read this Insights blog to learn more.
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    Canceling Study Abroad Programs

    When is canceling a study abroad program warranted? Widespread media coverage of the Zika virus in Central America and terrorist attacks in Western Europe are just two recent events leading families and institutions to reconsider international travel. The decision to cancel or alter programs should be based on an objective factual analysis and the institution’s risk tolerance.
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    Webinar: Camps on Campus: Emerging Issues

    The growing number of minors on campuses—plus recent legal developments in disability accommodation and civil rights—affects how colleges and universities streamline operations and consider new approaches. This webinar focuses on making camps on campus safer.
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    Preventing Greek Organization Hazing

    In most states, hazing is a criminal offense. Forty-four states have anti-hazing laws. Despite these prohibitions, the practice continues. In a study of 162 United Educators Greek claims received from 2010 to 2014, 12 percent of the claims came from hazing incidents—most occurring  at a pledging or initiation event. Read this Insights blog to get ideas for preventing hazing on your campus.
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    Theater Production Safety

    Each year, United Educators receives a number of claims arising from theater productions. Falls from stages, injuries from props, and fires are just some of the perils. Yet, with proper planning, your institution can enhance theater production safety.
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    Greeks and Risk: Lessons From Claims

    UE conducted a five-year study of 162 claims to extract best practices and recommendations for dealing with Greek organizations. This publication highlights the risks presented and the steps institutions can take to reduce injuries arising from Greek activities.
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    Checklist for Managing Field Trips in K-12 Schools

    A review of United Educators’ claims shows that injuries can result when educators are ill-prepared to lead students on educational ventures off school grounds. To keep students safe and avoid similar claims, this checklist gives K-12 administrators an overview of sound risk management practices for planning school field trips.
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    Managing Unsanctioned Greek Organizations

    Unsanctioned college fraternities and sororities pose serious safety and liability risks by operating without the institution’s oversight. UE has received many claims involving unaffiliated Greek organizations alleging such issues as hazing, assault, and rape. Colleges can be legally bound to manage unsanctioned Greek organizations, especially if institution employees are aware of such organizations but do nothing to curtail or manage their activities.
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    Minors and the Use of Releases

    Many educational institutions rely on releases to educate students and parents about an activity’s risks and to transfer or share liability. But releases signed by or on behalf of minors are not enforceable in most states. To effectively use releases when dealing with minors, the following practices are recommended.
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    Concussions in Club and Intramural Sports

    Although club and intramural sports pose a risk of concussions, many participants do not receive the same education or training as varsity athletes. These sports programs usually lack the oversight and resources of an intercollegiate program. Poor concussion management can lead to improper identification and treatment of this serious injury; student athletes may not recognize their concussion symptoms and fail to seek medical care.
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    Student Dance Events

    Student dances can be a healthy way for students to unwind, but without proper attention and planning, these social events can quickly get out of hand. United Educators has received claims related to student dances that included physical and sexual assaults, alcohol and substance abuse, and slips and falls. College policies governing student dances can help to ensure student safety and mitigate risks to the institution.
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    Student Organizations and Activities

    Student Organizations and Activities

    Your campus’ student organizations can be both an asset and a risk to your institution. These groups can greatly enrich your students’ experiences, but student events or trips can be dangerous. This United Educators (UE) analysis of claims related to student activities helps your institution better manage risks.
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