Health & Safety

Ensuring the health and safety of all participants is paramount, especially when engaging off-campus. As you are preparing for your off-campus engagement opportunity or making travel arrangements, you might find it helpful to consider the following questions:

  • Do you know what you would do in an emergency? Who would you contact?
  • Do you have any health concerns or medical needs that require advance planning?
  • What will you and other participants be doing at the engagement site?
  • How will the environment in which you are engaging potentially impact participants’ safety?
  • How will you support safe behavior while engaging off-campus to minimize risk?
  • If you become ill or injured, do you have insurance and know how to obtain treatment?

Assess Risk

Off-campus engagement opportunities vary greatly, and different kinds of activities result in different levels of risk to both participants and community members.

Are participants doing clerical work? Playing in the band? Painting a house? Working on an excavation site? Tearing down a building? Working with dangerous materials? All of these activities are unique and result in very different risk profiles.

When gathering information about your engagement site, familiarize yourself with the safety risks of your destination and plan accordingly.

Prepare for an Emergency

To help prepare for a potential emergency, consider doing the following prior to departure:

  1. Identify an appropriate U-M departmental emergency contact. This may be someone from your dean’s office or the office sponsoring your project/travel, or your department chair, key administrator, supervisor, faculty sponsor, or student organization advisor.
  2. Identify the non-emergency protocols at your engagement site and of your U-M sponsoring department.
  3. Learn about the local support resources at your destination or engagement site through the program leader, on-site contact, host institution, online searches, or other means.
  4. Update your personal emergency contacts on Wolverine Access and in your travel registration, so your family, significant other, or other contact can be reached in the event of an emergency.
  5. Add the following phone numbers to the contacts in your cell phone:
    • U-M departmental emergency and non-emergency contacts
    • U-M Division of Public Safety and Security (DPSS): +1 734-763-1131
    • On-site coordinator, host institution, and/or local support contacts, as appropriate
    • Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC) 24/7 hotline:
      +1 734-936-3333
    • Personal health insurance contacts
    • Personal emergency contacts (e.g. family, significant other, etc.)
    • Any other relevant local contacts at your engagement site or destination, as appropriate

Health Insurance

Illnesses, injuries, and health-related emergencies may occur while engaging off campus, and health insurance may help to offset the resulting costs.

When engaging off campus and traveling domestically, students, staff, and faculty are responsible for their own health care expenses.

Currently-enrolled students are eligible for some free health care services at the University Health Service (UHS) through their health service fee. Some students may have access to health insurance through a parent or guardian’s policy, if they meet their provider’s eligibility requirements. Students may also purchase optional, cost-reduced health insurance through the University, though coverage options and amounts may not cover all incurred health care expenses while traveling.

Staff and faculty who receive health benefits through the University should review their coverage prior to departure and plan accordingly.

Personal Well-Being

You may experience unanticipated challenges while traveling or at your engagement site, which can lead to stress or conflict. The following resources may help prepare you to cope with and respond to challenging situations when, and if, they arise.