Brown Supported Domestic Travel Policy

Brown recognizes that members of student organizations may travel off campus as part of their regular group activities. Groups may be engaged in ongoing work at an off campus location, travel as part of competitions or attend social or educational events, including conferences, which occur away from Brown. It is important that students engaging in these activities take appropriate steps to protect both the travelers and the university. This policy is intended to provide guidance on appropriate travel safety planning.


Students traveling as part of student group activities, via personal vehicle or public transportation (e.g. RIPTA), and within a 100 mile radius of Brown campus are not required to notify the university of their specific travel arrangements.  Undergraduate student organizations intending to travel away from this radius, but within the United States, even for short periods, should provide an itinerary to the Student Activities Office (or their recognizing department for departmental groups) no less than two weeks in advance of their departure. The itinerary should include details of travel arrangements (e.g., flight numbers and times), at least one daily contact telephone number, overnight destinations (including contact information), a list of all planned activities and a list of all travelers. Groups may submit their form online through the BearSync system. Depending upon the details of the trip, staff in the SAO may want to meet with the trip leaders ahead of time.

Any incident (medical situation, accident, etc.) should be reported to Brown’s Department of Public Safety who will inform the Administrator on Call. The Administrator on Call is available as a resource to students, even when they are away from campus and can be reached at 401.863.3322.

Student organizations planning on traveling internationally should follow the relevant university guidelines maintained by the Office of International Programs. These guidelines can be found here. The university does not regulate or monitor students’ individual, non-university related travel plans.

Travel via Rented Bus

Student organizations traveling with more than 20 people will find it most cost effective to rent a yellow school bus. The Student Activities Office works regularly with certain companies and can help connect you to options. If buses are used, all passengers must sign a university waiver before travel begins. Please contact the Student Activities Office at least two weeks in advance for assistance in obtaining a waiver and arranging for buses. Coach buses are also available for additional cost.

Travel via Personal Vehicle, ZipCar, or Car Rentals

If traveling via personal vehicle or ZipCar, designated driver(s) of vehicle(s) must have a driver’s license that is valid for driving in the United States and a clean motor vehicle record (parking tickets are not relevant). If personal vehicles are used, the vehicle owner’s personal auto insurance is the only insurance that applies in the event of an accident.

All privately owned vehicles must be properly maintained, registered and carry adequate insurance. If the driver is not the owner of the vehicle, the owner must give permission for its use.

If a vehicle is rented from an outside agency, it is essential that the terms and conditions of the rental contracts are followed, particularly with regard to age restrictions and licensing of the drivers. Only students who are listed as authorized drivers on the rental agreement are allowed to drive the rental vehicle.

Student drivers should be well rested. On long trips, drivers should rotate every two hours. Another student should be awake and alert in the front seat. Driving through the night should be avoided. Students should be aware of hazardous weather conditions and predictions and be willing to change or cancel their travel plans accordingly.

Use of 12 and 15 passenger van use is prohibited. According to a Federal Government safety advisory, these vehicles are more likely to be involved in rollover accidents than smaller vans and cars.

Students are expected to comply with the law concerning the use and possession of alcohol or drugs. There must be no consumption or possession of alcohol or drugs while traveling, by drivers or passengers and drivers should observe all distracted driver and cell phone & texting laws.

Travel via Plane or Train

If traveling via plane or train, students should contact the Student Activities Office prior to purchasing tickets. If tickets are being funded through the student group’s funds, the tickets may be purchased in the SAO. Trip information (e.g. flight numbers, departure and return dates and times, names of travelers) should be included in the trip itinerary provided to the SAO.

Travel via University Owned, Leased or Rental Vehicle

Students wishing to drive a university owned vehicle or a vehicle leased or rented through the university’s contract with Enterprise are required to comply with all safeDRIVE policies, including completion of appropriate training. Complete information on driver requirements and a request form for training can be found on the university’s administrative policy page which can be found here.