Washtenaw Community College Administrative Policy
Minors on Campus
Purpose and Scope of Policy
The purpose of this policy is to promote the health, wellness, safety and security of children who are entrusted to the College’s care, custody and control. This policy applies to all College units that provide Programs designed primarily to serve non-enrolled Minors under the age of 18. The College requires all administrators, faculty, staff, students and volunteers working with Minors in College-Sponsored Programs to comply with this policy.
All Programs and activities that involve Minors will fall within the scope of this policy including: Programs operated by the College and Programs under the direction and authority of the College at locations off campus. All Programs subject to state licensure are required to comply with applicable laws and regulations. Program Administrators should consult with the General Counsel regarding licensure questions.
This policy does not apply to: (1) academic programs in which Minors are enrolled in a credit or non-credit class/program or who have been accepted for enrollment; (2) events on campus that are open to the general public and which Minors attend at the sole discretion of their parents or guardians; (3); Minor employees; (4) dually enrolled students; (5) Washtenaw Technical Middle College students; or (6) other Programs as may be designated from time to time by the appropriate College official in advance and in writing as exempted from this policy or specific provisions of this policy.
Each College department is responsible for maintaining a registry of authorized Programs for Minors. Programs must be registered annually. Program administrators are required to address the following topics in the planning and evaluation of registered Programs:
- Selection and screening of Authorized Adult or Program Staff including criminal background checks
- Training for Authorized Adult or Program Staff
- Supervision ratio
- Safety and security planning
- Participation requirement forms
- Transportation – parent pick up and drop off of minors
- Response protocols when there is an injury or illness
- Response protocols when an Authorized Adult or Program Staff is accused of misconduct
- Response protocols when a participant is accused of misconduct
- Program orientation or information for Minors and parents
Authorized Adult or Program Staff Code of Conduct
Authorized Adults or Program Staff should be positive role models for Minors, and act in a caring, honest, respectful and responsible manner that is consistent with the mission of the College. Authorized Adults or Program Staff are required to comply with all applicable laws and College policy. Authorized Adults or Program Staff working in Programs covered by this policy must follow these expectations to avoid conduct that could cause harm or be misinterpreted:
- Do not engage in any sexual activity, make sexual comments, tell sexual jokes, or share sexually explicit material with Minors or assist in any way to provide access to such material to Minors.
- Do not engage or allow Minors to engage you in romantic or sexual conversations, or related matters.
- Do not touch Minors in a manner that a reasonable person could interpret as inappropriate. Touching should generally only be in the open and in response to the Minor's needs, for a purpose that is consistent with the Program's mission and culture, or for a clear educational, developmental, or health related purpose (i.e., treatment of an injury). Any resistance from the Minor should be respected.
- Do not use profanity, vulgarity, or harassing language.
- Do not be alone with a single Minor. If One-on-One interaction is required, meet in open, well illuminated spaces or rooms with windows observable by other Authorized Adult or Program Staff, unless the One-on-One interaction is expressly authorized by the Program Administrator or is being undertaken by a health care provider.
- Do not meet with Minors outside of established times for Program activities. Any exceptions require written parental authorization and must include more than one Authorized Adult or Program Staff.
- Do not invite individual Minors to your home or other private locations. Any exceptions require authorization by the Program Administrator and written authorization by a parent/guardian.
- Do not provide gifts to Minors or their families independent of items provided by the Program.
- Do not engage or communicate with Minors through email, text messages, social networking websites, phone, internet chat rooms, multiplayer online games, or other forms of social media at any time except and unless there is an educational or Programmatic purpose and the content of the communication is consistent with the mission of the Program and the College.
- Do not engage in any abusive conduct of any kind toward, or in the presence of, a Minor, including but not limited to verbal abuse, striking, hitting, punching, poking, spanking, or restraining. If restraint is necessary to protect a Minor or other Minors from harm, all incidents must be documented and disclosed to the Program Administrator and the Minor's parent/guardian.
- Do not use, possess or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while on duty, or in the presence of Minors involved in a Program, or when responsible for a Minor's welfare.
- Do not provide alcohol or illegal drugs to a Minor.
- When transporting Minors, more than one Authorized Adult or Program Staff from the Program must be present in the vehicle, except when multiple Minors will be in the vehicle at all times through the transportation. Avoid using personal vehicles if possible and comply with the Program’s transportation guidelines.
- Do not provide medication to a Minor unless authorized by parent or guardian.
- Possession of or use of any type of weapon or explosive device is prohibited unless authorized in advance by campus law enforcement.
Criminal Background Screening
All Authorized Adults or Program Staff who work with Minors in Programs covered by this policy are required to submit to an initial criminal background screening. Returning Authorized Adults or Program Staff are required to submit to a criminal background screening every two years, thereafter. Criminal background checks must be completed and evaluated before the Authorized Adult or Program Staff may begin working with Minors. The criminal background screening will be administered by the Human Resources office. If a criminal record history is revealed, the application must be referred to Human Resources for evaluation consistent with Human Resources guidelines.
Parents or legal guardians of Minors and Minors must submit required forms before being allowed to participate. These forms include but are not limited to a participation agreement, health form, emergency contact form, photo and recording release, and participant code of conduct.
It is important for all members of the College community to act immediately when possible criminal activity is taking place, or in a circumstance where you find yourself either a victim or a witness to questionable activity. If this is the case, please take one of the following steps:
- If you require immediate emergency assistance or believe a crime is in progress, contact the WCC Public Safety Department at (734) 973-3411 or dial 9-1-1 to connect you with non-campus police.
- For a non-emergency situation, call the WCC Public Safety Department. Campus law enforcement professionals can help assess the situation and determine what other notification or action is necessary.
Reports of Known or Suspected Abuse or Neglect of Minors
Anyone participating in a College-Sponsored Program 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 MUST inform the WCC Public Safety Department.
In addition, one should promptly notify his or her supervisor or Program Administrator, when it is safe and appropriate to do so.
Anyone who knows or suspects abuse or neglect of Minors should also notify the Michigan Department of Human Services by calling (855) 444-3911.
Mandated Reporters and Their Legal Obligations
Michigan’s Child Protection Law, MCL § 722.621, et seq., designates individuals in certain occupations and professions as mandated reporters. Mandated reporters must immediately report known or suspected mental or physical abuse or neglect of a child made known to them in their professional or official capacity directly to the Department of Human Services by calling (855) 444-3911 (24/7 toll free number). A written report must be submitted to the Department of Human Services within 72 hours of the initial verbal report. Even those who are not mandated reporters may report known or reasonably suspected child abuse to the Department of Human Services.
Mandated reporters include those employed in the following positions: physician, dentist, physician's assistant, registered dental hygienist, medical examiner, nurse, person licensed to provide emergency medical care, audiologist, psychologist, marriage and family therapist, licensed professional counselor, social worker, licensed master's social worker, licensed bachelor's social worker, registered social service technician, social service technician, a person employed in a professional capacity in any office of the friend of the court, school administrator, school counselor or teacher, law enforcement officer, member of the clergy, or regulated child care provider.
College faculty, staff or students who are working with Minors in their professional or official capacity and who have questions about whether they may be considered mandated reporters under Michigan law should contact the General Counsel.
Authorized Adult or Program Staff: Individuals, paid or unpaid, who interact with, treat, supervise, chaperone, or otherwise oversee Minors in Program activities. This includes but is not limited to faculty, staff, volunteers, students, interns, employees of temporary employment agencies, and independent contractors/consultants. The Authorized Adult or Program Staff’s roles may include positions as counsellors, chaperones, coaches, instructors, health care providers, etc. For the purposes of this policy the term “Program Staff” is also assigned this definition. This definition does not include temporary guest speakers, presenters or other individuals who have no direct contact with Program participants other than short term activities supervised by Program Staff.
Direct Contact: Providing care, supervision, guidance or control of Minors or having routine interaction with Minors.
Minor: A person under 18 years of age (MCL§ 722.1(a)).
One-on-One Contact: Personal, unsupervised interaction between any Authorized Adult or Program Staff and a participant without at least one other Authorized Adult or Program Staff, parent or legal guardian being present.
Program: Programs or activities offered by various academic or administrative units of the College, where the parents or legal guardians are not responsible for the care, custody or control of their children. This includes, but is not limited to workshops, services, camps, conferences, campus visits and similar activities.
Program Administrator: The person(s) who has primary and direct operational responsibility for managing a Program.
Sponsoring Unit: The academic or administrative unit of the College that offers a Program.
College Facilities: Facilities owned by or under the control of the College.
College-Sponsored Programs: Programs that are directly managed by College faculty, staff, and Sponsored Student Organizations on behalf of the College. All College-Sponsored Programs must be registered.
Michigan Mandated Reporters’ Resource Guide: https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-73971_7119_50648_44443---,00.html
Michigan Department of Human Services Children’s Protective Services: https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-73971_7119_50648---,00.html