Office of General Counsel

Waivers and Releases

From time to time, faculty may wish to offer students the opportunity to participate in off-campus academic experiences. Doing so requires careful planning and supervision by the faculty member. To this end, students should be warned of the specific risks associated with the off-campus activity so that they can make an informed decision about whether or not to participate in the activity. Students should not be allowed to participate in the off-campus event unless they voluntarily agree to accept those risks and they voluntarily agree to release Clemson University from liability for any claims or injuries that may arise from their participation in the activity.

The form linked below, titled “Assumption of Risk and Release from Liability,” is recommended as a template to be used for all off-campus academic activities. The form is designed to inform students of the activity, to warn them of the associated risks, and to document each student’s agreement to assume those risks and to release the University from liability for any claim, injury or other damage caused by his or her participation in the activity.

The following information requested on the “Assumption of Risk and Release from Liability” form should be completed by the faculty member before providing the form to students for their review and signature:

  • The “ACTIVITY” should be described in detail. For example, “field trip to museum” is not sufficient; “trip to Greenville County Art Museum to tour studio space” provides the specific information necessary to help students make an informed decision about the risks attendant with the proposed activity. Similarly, “white water rafting” is not sufficient; “white water rafting trip on the Chatooga River” provides important details that will help students better assess the risks involved with this activity.
  • The department or club that is responsible for organizing or sponsoring the activity should be identified so that students know who to contact with questions or concerns about the activity.
  • The date(s) of the proposed activity also should be clearly set forth for students to consider.
  • The responsible faculty member should give careful thought to the “inherent risks” associated with the activity. The risks involved with touring studio space at an art museum are vastly different from those inherent to white water rafting on the Chatooga River. Remember that inherent risks also may include any risks associated with transportation to and from the activity.

When completing the information on the release, it is also helpful to:

  • Use clear, unambiguous and understandable language; avoid legal jargon.
  • Be sure that each student completes a separate release.
  • Provide each student with adequate time to review and sign the document.

If you have any questions about this form or the waiver and release process, please do not hesitate to e-mail them to