Risk Management for Student Organizations

The Office of Student Activities & Leadership supports the planning and execution of student events. To that end, there are times when events may take on a higher level of risk due to certain factors. Members of the staff are trained and able to assist students in reducing the amount of risk within their event. Below is a quick guide for students who have elements of risk within their programs.

If you'd like to schedule a risk management meeting to discuss a specific event or general concerns for your student organization, please do so here: risk management appointment calendar

Risk manager training sessions

Every semester, the Office of Student Activities & Leadership hosts at least two (2) training sessions for new and returning student organization risk managers. These trainings cover all of the topics below in more detail. 

To check out the latest recording of a risk manager training session click here. Please note this information is from early in the Spring 2021 semester and the most up to date information on specific programming guidelines for the remainder of the Spring 2021 semester can be found here.  

If you have any questions about the risk manager training sessions, please contact Colleen Barker-Williamson (crb3@case.edu).

Risk manager description

The Risk Manager of an organization is responsible for: 

  • Implementation of and adherence to campus and organizational risk management policies. You can pursue a care-focused role by helping members set goals for programming success. Similarly, as the organization sets goals and creates an activities calendar, ensure members balance all student responsibilities.
  • Meeting with a staff member in the Office of Student Activities & Leadership (SA&L) to develop an appropriate risk management plan for programs or services which include high physical activity, travel, minors or alcohol at events. To serve as a liaison to the SA&L in attending a variety of risk management workshops.
  • Discuss the campus, and organizational policies which impact the programs, events and services with all event managers. In addition, invite members to consider their own boundaries and how they can feel supported rather than pressured when those boundaries are challenged.
  • Discuss examples of healthy versus unhealthy risks, as well as healthy versus unhealthy stretching of personal boundaries. Ensure everyone clearly understands where personal boundaries may conflict with the organization’s boundaries and discuss solutions for how to align those boundaries.
  • Serve as a role model for healthy risk-taking. Recognize that members will look to you for confirmation regarding what is acceptable. They will observe whether your actions consistently align with the policies you preach.
  • While you are ultimately responsible for implementation of and adherence to campus policies, you can pursue a care-focused role by helping members set goals for physical, psychological, social, emotional, and/or spiritual development. Similarly, as the organization sets goals and creates an activities calendar, ensure members balance all student responsibilities.

Questions to Consider as a Risk Manager:

  • Do members have a clear understanding of university policies which might impact our programs, services & events?
  • Have I clearly communicated all risk-management policies, procedures, and boundaries through the lens of well-being?
  • Do I spend more time policing or coaching?
  • Is our organization’s calendar balanced between academic, social, organizational, etc. responsibilities?

Spring 2021 events

In acknowledgment that the campus community is all in this together, and to support our commitment to think about others, any in person events for student organizations will need to reviewed to ensure that they are being carried out in a manner consistent with the safety and guidelines set forth by the University, state and local governments and the CDC.

Use this form (Operations Programming Plan form) to register all events, meetings or initiatives to distribute giveaways for the Spring 2021 semester with in-person components. If you have more than 10 events to register, submit another copy of the form. This form should be submitted at least two weeks prior to an event. 

If you are a Greek Life organization, please use this GLO Operations Programming Plan form

Before you begin filling out an operations programming plan, please review the Rules of the Road programming guidelines.

In the Operations Programming Plan form, you will be asked to provide the following details about each of your group's events:

  • Name of event
  • Date of event/meeting
  • Is this a virtual event/meeting?
  • Is any part of this event/meeting in person?
  • Is this a recurring event?
  • Number of participants
  • Location (space must be reserved prior to completing this submission)
  • Description of event (including detailed plans to protect the health and safety of attendees)
  • Will food be present and if so, how will it be distributed?

For events with an anticipated attendance over 15, student leaders will need to meet with a professional staff member in the Office of Student Activities & Leadership before the form can be approved.    


The university expects responsible behavior of all members of the community who choose to drink alcoholic beverages and requires an environment free of coercion for those who choose to abstain. Therefore, all must adhere to guidelines provided by the university for responsible and legal consumption of alcoholic beverages. Individuals must accept responsibility for their own behavior and should demonstrate a concern for the safety and well-being of others in the university community.

To serve alcoholic beverages at CWRU-sponsored events, coordinators of the events must identify a sober monitor who will complete an Alcohol Use Report (AUR) and participate in a risk management meeting with appropriate staff. During this meeting, policies will be reviewed and a risk management plan discussed. After the meeting, the form will be approved by the staff member and forwarded to the Office of Student Affairs for final approval. Once the group receives the full approved form, it must be posted at the event.

Next Steps

If you have any questions about the form or process, please contact the Student Activities & Leadership Office. Additional information and guidance is available from the Office of General Counsel.


Student organizations who wish to rent vehicles for travel to events or programs MUST arrange to meet with Suzanne Leach in the Office of Student Activities & Leadership to make arrangements. Student organizations should have had the expense approved by the Undergraduate Student Government prior to making any arrangements for travel. For more information, read the complete University Travel Policy. In addition, students must meet with a staff member to create a risk management plan and waiver.

Minors at Events

Student Organizations often invite to campus or engage with area youth. For each program where minors (under the age of 18) are present student leaders must meet with a member of the Student Activities & Leadership staff to create a plan for managing risk and following the University's Youth Programs Policy.

Events Involving Physical Activities

Student Organizations who are sponsoring an event with intense physical activity must meet with a member of the Student Activities & Leadership staff to create a plan for managing risks associated with the activity and to create a waiver for the event.


Student organizations are required to have waivers (see below) available for participants to sign. Waivers are primarily used in two circumstances:

  1. If a student organization is traveling off-campus for an event or program that they have sponsored.
  2. If a student organization is sponsoring an activity that is considered physical in nature (Powder Puff football, basketball, etc.)

If an event falls into one of these two categories, representatives from the organization must meet with a member of the Office of Student Activities & Leadership to create a waiver specific to that event. The organization will obtain signatures for the waivers prior to the event and retain them for the duration of the event. After the event, the waivers need to be returned to Student Activities & Leadership. For questions or for more information about waivers, please email the Office of Student Activities or call 216.368.2679.