This policy applies to all George Mason University employees, students, volunteers, independent contractors, and external organizations that interact with Minors in University-run programs or activities, or on University-owned or controlled property.
This policy does not apply to general public events where parents or guardians are invited or expected to provide supervision of minors, or to events where parents or guardians are explicitly required to accompany their children.
Minor – for the purpose of this policy, means a person under 18 years of age who is not: (a) in the custodial care of their parent of guardian, (b) admitted and matriculated as a student at the University; (c) employed by or volunteering at the University; or (d) participating in activities that have been given Institutional Review Board approval.
Program Staff– means individuals who interact with, supervise, chaperone, or otherwise oversee Minors in Program activities. This includes but is not limited to employees, volunteers, students, and independent contractors.
Program – means an event or activity attended by Minors offered by the University, or by non-University groups on University-owned or controlled property, during which Program Staff may be in custodial care of a Minor. This includes, but is not limited to workshops, services, camps, conferences, seminars, campus visits, and similar activities.
Program Administrator – means the person(s) who has primary and direct operational responsibility for managing a Program.
Abuse or Neglect of Minors – has the same meaning as defined in the Code of Virginia, §63.2-100.
Definitions of Internal Event and External Event have the same meaning as stated by Policy 1103, Space Utilization and Scheduling.
III. POLICY STATEMENT
A. Reporting Suspected Abuse or Neglect
All University employees and Program Staff must immediately report suspected instances of abuse or neglect of any person under the age of 18 to the Virginia Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline, (800) 552-7096, as well as to their supervisor and/or University Police. Failure to report may expose individuals to criminal sanctions under § 63.2-1509 of the Code of Virginia.
B. Program Staff Code of Conduct and Training
Program Staff are required to comply with all applicable laws, University Policy, and guidelines listed on the Business Services Administration’s Shop Mason website. Program Staff younger than 18 may be employed or volunteer if all State and Federal laws are followed, however they must not have sole or unsupervised custodial care of a Minor.
Program Administrators must ensure that Program Staff who may be in custodial care of Minors have undergone training prior to their employment/volunteering in the program. This training should be completed at least annually and may differ based on role. The Program Administrator must keep records of training completion.
Programs offered by external organizations must sign a contract with the University indicating that Program Staff who will be interacting with Minors (and anyone who supervises such individuals) have received training.
Lists of required and suggested training will provided by Business Services Administration via Blackboard.
C. Criminal Background Checks
Program Administrators must ensure that Program Staff have cleared a criminal background check prior to participating in Programs. A Human Resources Program Coordinator Form listing all staff must be submitted for each Program.
For University employees who work with Minors, see University Policy 2221, Background Investigations.
External organizations that operate Programs on campus must ensure that their Program Staff have cleared criminal background checks that meet University standards, [including a review of the employee’s records to include social security number search, criminal records (any misdemeanor convictions and/or felony convictions), the Sex Offender Registry, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control of The US Department of Treasury (OFAC) Prohibited Parties Search] and must submit a signed contract to that effect before being allowed to use University Facilities. External organizations must also provide insurance in the amounts listed at risk.gmu.edu.
D. Fiscal Controls
All Program Administrators must be knowledgeable of and adhere to four university policies that address the handling of university funds. These policies are referenced above and include Policy 2103 Internal Controls, Policy 2105 Cash Handling, Policy 2110 Credit and Debit Card Security and, Policy 2114 Reconciling Departmental and Sponsored Fund Accounting Records. Documentation supporting each camp’s financial activities, including the reconciliations, must be retained according to the University’s records retention guidelines and are subject to audit by university or state auditors.
Sanctions for violations of this policy may include suspension, dismissal, termination, and where appropriate, exclusion from campus.
A. Effective Date:
This policy will become effective upon the date of approval by the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Provost and Executive Vice President.
B. Date of Most Recent Review:
VI. TIMETABLE FOR REVIEW
This policy, and any related procedures, shall be reviewed every three years or more frequently as needed.
Carol D. Kissal
Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance
Mark R. Ginsberg
Provost and Executive Vice President
Date Approved: January 29, 2016
Revised: August 30, 2017
Revised: June 15, 2021