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UNM Policy Office

MSC05 3357
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
114 A and B

Phone: (505) 277-6531

Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 2205: Minors on Campus

Date Originally Issued: 03-08-2016

Authorized by RPM 2.5 (“Sexual Harassment”) 

Process Owner: Chief Compliance Officer

1.  General 

Although the University of New Mexico is committed to the safety of all members of its community, the University has particular concern for potentially vulnerable populations, such as minors, who may require special attention and protection.  This policy establishes general standards for minors participating in University programs and for minors visiting University workplaces and classrooms.  Individual units of the University may develop more stringent standards to address their particular needs, including ethical standards and codes of conduct.

2.  Definitions

 For the purposes of this policy, the following terms are defined as specified:

  • “Abuse or neglect of minors” means infliction of physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, or exploitation, or negligent treatment or maltreatment of a person under age 18.
  • “Authorized adults” means individuals including program leaders, whether paid or unpaid, who interact with, supervise, chaperone, mentor, or otherwise oversee minors in University programs.
  • “Campus” means all buildings, facilities, and properties that are owned, operated, managed, rented, or controlled by the University for University programs. 
  • “External organization” means a third-party vendor or other non-University organization or individual that uses University facilities to conduct a program or activity with minors pursuant to an approved contract with the University.
  • “Minor” refers to a person who is under the age of 18, but does not include students enrolled at UNM or student employees at UNM.
  • “Program leader” means the person primarily responsible for the management, oversight, and implementation of a University program for minors.
  • “University program” means an activity for minors (1) operated or sponsored by a University department, college, or school,  (2) during which the University assumes responsibility for the care, custody, or control of the minors.  
  • “University program” does not mean:
    • Activities in which minors are supervised by parents, guardians, chaperones, or third parties
    • Kindergarten through 12th grade groups visiting campus as members of campus tours
    • Patrons of educational or entertainment events or activities, such as at Popejoy or the Duck Pond
    • Human subjects research involving minors conducted under the oversight of an institutional review board

3.  Code of Conduct

Members of the campus community, particularly those working with minors, are expected to perform their duties with the highest degree of integrity, honesty, and good judgment consistent with Regents’ Policy 2.18 (“Guiding Principles”). To ensure the safety and wellbeing of minors, those who interact with minors on campus are encouraged to meet in groups or public areas, and to be aware of the impact of their words and actions.  

As discussed in Section 6, under state law, all members of the University community must report immediately if they have reasonable cause to suspect abuse or neglect of minors.

4.  University Program Requirements

Program leaders must obtain from each minor’s parent or guardian a signed copy of the Minor Participant Waiver and Notice of Risk Form (Exhibit A), and the Minor Participant Emergency Contact and Medical Release Form (Exhibit B).  Or, alternatively, program leaders may obtain from each minor’s parent or guardian a signed copy of other similar forms that have been reviewed by the Office of University Counsel.

Program leaders should provide that the ratio of adults to minor program participants follow the American Camp Association ratios:

  • 5 years and younger: 1 staff for each 5 overnight campers and 1 staff for each 6 day campers
  • 6–8 years: 1:6 for overnight, and 1:8 for day
  • 9–14 years: 1:8 for overnight and 1:10 for day
  • 15–18 years: 1:10 for overnight and 1:12 for day 

Licensed Child Care Centers affiliated with the University are subject to the childcare center requirements specified in New Mexico law.

4.1.  Training for Those Participating in University Programs

Program leaders should identify the authorized adults who must complete appropriate training.  Training is offered to employees through Learning Central.  The same training can be offered to other authorized adults who are not employees through links on the Main Campus Compliance Office’s website.  The training includes:

  • Basic warning signs of abuse or neglect of minors.
  • Guidelines for protecting minors from emotional and physical abuse and neglect.
  • Requirements and procedures for reporting incidents of suspected abuse or neglect or improper conduct.

Units may offer additional training to authorized adults to meet the specific needs of individual University programs.

4.2.  Criminal Background Checks

Authorized adults who will have one-on-one contact with minors or participate in overnight activities with minors, must clear criminal background checks prior to participation in these University programs.  Program leaders may require other authorized adults to clear background checks prior to participation in University programs.  Additional information on background checks can be found in UAP 3280 (“Background Checks”).

5.   External Organizations

External organizations must:

  • Establish a contractual relationship with the University for the use of facilities or resources;
  • Identify a contact person or agent who will coordinate with the University;
  • Ensure that their staff has undergone background checks that, at a minimum, comply with Section 4.2; and
  • Provide evidence of insurance coverage that lists “the University of New Mexico” as an additional insured party. 

6.  Reporting Abuse or Neglect of Minors

6.1.  Emergencies 

In case of an emergency, one should immediately call UNM Police at (505) 277-2241 or 911.

6.2.  Reports of Known or Suspected Abuse or Neglect of Minors

Every member of the University community has an obligation under New Mexico law to report any instances or suspected instances of the abuse or neglect of a minor. Anyone who knows, suspects, or receives information indicating that a minor has been abused or neglected, or who has other concerns about the safety of minors, should contact UNM Police or the State of New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department at 1-855-333-SAFE (7233).

Program leaders must take immediate steps to prevent further harm to the alleged victim or other minors, including, where appropriate, removing the alleged abuser from the program or activity or limiting his or her contact with minors pending resolution of the matter.

7.  Retaliation

UAP 2200 (“Reporting Suspected Misconduct and Whistleblower Protection from Retaliation”) protects individuals from retaliation when they make good faith reports of suspected misconduct that may be taking place at the University.   

8.  Minors in the Workplace or Classroom

As discussed in this section, in certain circumstances, it may be appropriate for faculty, staff, and students to bring their minor children to the workplace or classroom. In such situations, the goal should be to foster respect for the needs of all parties impacted by the presence of the minor children.  Faculty, staff, and students:

  • May occasionally bring minors to the workplace for brief visits, specific campus events, situational convenience, or family emergencies. These should be occasional and not in the place of regular childcare.
  • Must obtain prior approval from their workplace supervisor or classroom instructor before bringing a minor to the workplace or classroom.
  • Accept full responsibility for the minor’s safety and supervision, and for any damage to property or injury to persons that is caused by the minor’s presence.
  • Accept responsibility for monitoring the minor’s behavior to prevent interruptions to University business or instruction.  

If a minor is too ill to be sent to the regular childcare location or school, he or she generally should not be brought to the workplace or classroom.  Exceptions may be made if prior approval is obtained from the supervisor or instructor.

Minors are not allowed in high-risk or hazardous areas as defined by the supervisor or instructor. These areas may include mechanical rooms, food preparation areas, areas with heavy equipment, University vehicles, or laboratories or other specialized hazardous areas. 

9.  References

  • Exhibit A: Minor Participant Waiver and Notice of Risk Form
  • Exhibit B: Minor Participant Emergency Contact and Medical Release Form