Policy on the Presence of Children and Minors on Campus and Participating in Campus Events and Activities

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University

I. Purpose, Scope, and Definition

A.  Purpose.  The College of Saint Benedict (CSB) and Saint John's University (SJU) welcome children to our campus community and in the greater community around us.  The purpose of this policy is to promote the health, safety, and well-being of children on campus and children who participate in CSB and SJU events and to clarify CSB and SJU rules with respect to children and minors. 

CSB and SJU have zero tolerance for child abuse and have adopted a separate Joint Policy on Reporting Suspected Child Abuse.  Please refer to that policy with questions related to reporting suspected child abuse.

B.  Scope.  This policy applies to all students, faculty, and staff of CSB and SJU; campus visitors; and individuals or organizations engaging in or conducting activities associated with CSB and/or SJU or doing business at or with CSB and/or SJU.  The geographic scope of this policy includes the CSB and SJU campuses, all properties owned or leased by either CSB or SJU, and all off-campus locations, including but not limited to monastic property and study abroad programs, at which students, faculty, or staff or other associated individuals of either institution participate in College or University sponsored activities. *

C.  Child, Children, Minor, and Minors.  For the purposes of this policy, the terms "child," "children," "minor," and "minors" refer to or describe individuals under the age of 18.  When the policy refers to children of CSB and SJU faculty, staff, and/or students, the reference includes minor siblings and other minors who are relatives of CSB or SJU faculty, staff, or students.

D.  AssociateFor purposes of this policy, an "associate" is any individual or organization engaging in or conducting activities associated with CSB and/or SJU or doing business at or with CSB and/or SJU, including members of Saint John's Abbey or Saint Benedict's Monastery.

*This policy is as comphrensive as possible, but it is not possible to foresee every situation. If you have questions, about this policy, you should speak with the Human Resources Director or the Dean of Students at your institution.

Responsibility for Children 

CSB and SJU are institutions of higher education.  While CSB and SJU welcome and invite the presence of children on campus, CSB and SJU recognize that the campuses and CSB/SJU events may not always be an appropriate environment for children. 

In recognition of the family needs and responsibilities of students, faculty, and staff may bring their child(ren) to campus for limited periods of time while the employee or student is engaged in work or educational activities, with approval by the supervisor or appropriate designee.  In doing so, students, faculty, and staff must recognize and respect the needs of other community members for a quiet and productive work and educational setting.  No facility or office on campus is to be used regularly in lieu of paid, child care or for unsupervised recreation for children. The adult responsible for a child is also responsible for the child's behavior and actions, and is expected to ensure that the child complies with the directions of College or University personnel.

A.  Supervision Required.  Faculty, staff, and students and other adults maintain the sole responsibility for the safety of their own child(ren) or any other child(ren) accompanying them on campus. 

There are risks to bringing children to the campuses and to CSB and SJU events.  Students, faculty, and staff and other adults should be aware of these risks and are responsible for any and all injuries or damages sustained to or by their child(ren) or any other child(ren) accompanying them while on the CSB or SJU campuses or any properties owned or leased by CSB or SJU, and when bringing child(ren) on college-sponsored trips or other activities.  CSB and SJU shall not be responsible or liable for any such injuries or damages unless such injuries or damages are caused by the sole negligence of CSB or SJU, or their officers, agents, or employees.

B.  Revocation.  Allowing employees and students to bring their child(ren) to campus or on College or University-sponsored trips as described in the sections below is a privilege extended by CSB and/or SJU and may be revoked at the discretion of the College or University if the provisions of this policy are violated or the privilege is abused.  CSB or SJU may also prohibit an employee or student from bringing a child(ren) to campus if other members of the College or University community reasonably object.  Any member of the  community who is not comfortable with the presence of a child(ren) in his or her work or educational setting should advise his or her supervisor, the Dean(s) of Students, or the Director of Human Resources.


A.  Sponsored Events.  CSB and SJU sponsor a number of events in the performing arts, athletics, and other areas that are open to children.  The College and University welcome the presence of children on campus for these events.  In order to ensure their safety and that of other guests, CSB and SJU require that the parent, legal guardian, or other adult responsible for each child comply with the following provisions:

1.      CSB and SJU are not responsible for the supervision of any children who attend a campus event (as noted in Section II.A of this policy), unless the event sponsor specifically states in a written announcement that supervision by College or University staff will be provided.
2.      Children must remain in the area of campus where the event is located.
3.      The adult responsible for a child is also responsible for the child's behavior and actions and for any damage caused by a child, as noted in Section II of this policy.
4.      If a child attending a CSB or SJU event or program needs an accommodation for a disability or other special need, it is the responsibility of the adult to request such an accommodation, in advance of the event, to the extent possible.

B.  Sponsored Programs.  Throughout the calendar year, CSB and SJU sponsor a number of programs specifically designed for children, such as summer camps and fine arts programs.  The College and University require that children in these programs be appropriately supervised by adults with the proper training and credentials, and subject to CSB and SJU's criminal background check requirements.  Each program has specific operating protocols related to its nature and purpose, but all programs are expected to comply with the safety practices stated below. Failure to follow these practices should be reported immediately to the Program Director or appropriate supervisor.

1.      All program staff (paid and volunteer, including CSB and SJU student staff members) must receive training with respect to working with children.  The level of training will differ depending on the program.
2.      Program sponsors should determine the appropriate ratio of staff to children and follow that ratio.  In all cases, any ratios mandated by law must be followed.
3.      Program staff must inform another staff member when they are taking children out of the program room or area for any reason.
4.      Except in emergency or other exigent circumstances, no child should ever be left alone with a staff member.  It is a best practice for programs to use and enforce the "rule of three," requiring at least two program adults or two children in each group at all times.
5.      Children in any program must remain in the area where the program is being held.  As much as possible, no child who is participating in a CSB or SJU sponsored program should be left alone on campus at any time or for any reason.  The Dean of Students may make exceptions in limited circumstances involving older children based on the written request of the Program Director.
6.      Employees working in the program may only take photographs of children in the program for program-related purposes, and only after the child's parent or legal guardian has signed a College or University provided waiver allowing the photograph.

C.  Programs and Events Sponsored by Other Entities.  CSB and SJU allow selected outside individuals and entities to rent College and University facilities for programs/events specifically designed for or including children, such as swimming programs, summer athletic, dance, and academic programs, and family events such as weddings.  CSB and SJU will work with these entities to assist them in complying with this policy.


A.  General.  Through CSB and SJU's service learning, community service, internships, student teaching and other programs, faculty, staff, and students, are engaged in many off-campus activities involving children.  All CSB and SJU participants in such programs and activities are required to comply with the child protection requirements of the off-campus site where the activities occur, including requirements related to training and criminal background checks.

B.  Use of College and/or University Funds.  Any person using College and/or University funds, including club funds from the Student Senates, to participate in off-campus activities involving children must notify the Dean(s) of Students, in writing, or (in the case of faculty or staff) the Director of Human Resources when applying for the College or University funds and before commencing the activity.  CSB and SJU may, in their discretion, set conditions on the use of College or University funds to ensure compliance with reasonable measures designed to protect children and reduce risk for CSB and/or SJU.

C.  CSB and SJU Sponsored Trips.  Students, faculty and staff may take their own child(ren) on college-sponsored trips under the following conditions:

1.      The student, faculty or staff member wishing to take his/her child must provide advance notice and obtain prior written approval from the person(s) directing the trip.
2.      In order that the child's presence not impede the employee's or student's performance of his or her trip responsibilities, the employee or student may be required to arrange and pay for a childcare provider other than the employee or student to supervise the child at all times during the trip.
3.      The employee or student is responsible for all trip expenses of the child.
4.      The employee or student must drive or ride in the same vehicle as the child.
5.      The child must be included on any roster of trip attendees.

D.  Study Abroad

CSB and SJU support faculty who lead study abroad programs and who live abroad with their families.  Faculty should consult with the Office of Education Abroad with respect to participation by their child (ren) in trips or other activities associated with study abroad programs.


A.  Minor Students in Classes, Labs and Study Abroad Programs.  Some students in CSB and SJU classes and laboratories and participating in study abroad programs are minors.  Students from Saint John's Preparatory School sometimes take courses at the College and/or University, and some undergraduate students matriculate before they have attained the age of 18.  Minors who take courses and/or participate in College and/or University programs are expected to follow course requirements and the behavioral expectations of all other CSB and/or SJU students, including all College and University policies for students.  Minors and their parents should be aware that SJU and CSB courses are not specifically designed for minors and may include activities, conversations, or topics that would not normally be presented to minors.  CSB and SJU are not responsible for ensuring that course content is appropriate for minors.

Prior to commencement of classes and programs each semester, the Registrar's Office will notify faculty members of the students enrolled in their courses who are minors.  Faculty shall be mindful of the minor status of such students and consider whether any particular measures are necessary with respect to such students.  Faculty members who have questions about minors in their classes or in out-of-classroom events and programs should contact the Academic Dean, Education Abroad Director, or the Deans of Students. The Dean(s) or Director is responsible for assisting faculty members in determining whether any particular measures should be taken with respect to minors.

B.  Minors Who Live on Campus.  Because some enrolled students start school before they have attained the age of 18, CSB and SJU sometimes have minors who live in residence halls.  Minors living in residence halls are expected to follow the same rules as all other CSB or SJU students.  Before minors move into a residence hall, the residence hall staff members will be notified of their minor status and birth date.  Residence hall staff members shall be mindful of the minor status of such students and consider whether any particular measures are necessary with respect to such students.  Staff members who have questions about minors living on campus should contact the Dean of Students.

C.  Employment of Minors.  Occasionally, CSB and SJU may hire a minor to fill an employment position or a student work position.  The Human Resources Office or Student Employment Program must authorize the hiring of any minor.  CSB and SJU comply with applicable law with respect to the employment of minors.  In the event that a minor is hired by CSB or SJU, the Human Resources Office or the Student Employment Program will inform the supervisor that the employee is under age 18 and will help determine whether any particular steps are necessary because of the employee's age.  Minors may not be assigned to work alone or unsupervised without written approval of the Human Resources Director.  


A.  General Rules.  Students residing in college owned housing are welcome to host overnight guests provided that they comply with the CSB or SJU Residential Life Guest Policy.  All guests (including guests under the age of 18) must agree to abide by applicable rules related to the campus guest policies.  In addition, the parent(s)/guardian(s) of guests who are under the age of 18 must sign a campus visit permission and waiver form.

B.  Overnight Visits by Prospective Students.  CSB and SJU sometimes arrange for prospective students to visit the campus on an overnight stay.  All visits by prospective students should comply with the CSB and SJU Offices of Admission Overnight Visit Policy and should be coordinated through the CSB and SJU Offices of Admission.  Prospective students who are staying overnight (and their parents if the prospective students are under 18) will be required to sign a campus visit waiver and must agree to abide by applicable rules related to overnight visits.

C.  Camps and Conferences with Overnight Guests.  The rules regarding overnight stays by minors in connection with CSB and SJU camps and conferences will be determined by the directors of the camps and conferences involved, in consultation with the Divisional Vice President or his/her designee.  Generally, minors who are not registered for such programs will not be allowed to stay overnight as a guest, but special exceptions may be made by the camp or conference director (with approval from the Divisional Vice President or his/her designee.) for special programs.  Outside entities hosting camps and conferences on campus must follow the standards established by CSB and SJU with respect to such overnight stays.



Director of Human Resources Carol Abell, [email protected], 320.363.5511
Dean of Students Jody Terhaar, [email protected], 320.363.5601
Academic Dean Barbara May, [email protected], 320.363.5401


Director of Human Resources Carol Abell, [email protected], 320.363.5511
Dean of Students

Michael Connolly, [email protected]

Academic Dean Barbara May, [email protected], 320.363.3147

As stated above, CSB and SJU have adopted a separate Joint Policy on Reporting Suspected Child Abuse.  Please refer to that policy with questions related to reporting suspected child abuse.

Endorsed by CSB Board of Trustees and approved by President MaryAnn Baenninger, May 20, 2013
Approved by SJU Board of Trustees, May 20, 2013