Program Policy and Expectations

 Attendance and Participation

  • VISION Participants take full responsibility for meeting the financial responsibilities of this trip (i.e., the program fee and personal expenses). On handing in the VISION Agreement, VISION Participants authorize the VISION program to bill the non-refundable $150 deposit.
  • VISION Participants understand and agree to the expectations and purpose of the service trips as expressed in the informational sessions, interviews, orientations and written material received during these sessions.
  • VISION Participants will participate in at least two orientations, including the Large Group Orientation in order to be well-prepared for the experience.
  • In addition to this agreement (common to all of the VISION trips), VISION Participants agree to meet the specific expectations and responsibilities decided upon by my particular group in our Group Agreement.
  •  VISION Participants must be willing to participate fully in the trip and am committed to supporting and living out the Six Components (Service, Spirituality, Simplicity, Justice Issues, Community, and Cultural Exchange) during this trip. Specifically:

    o Serve as asked.

    o Participate in discussions and educational opportunities offered by the site and group.

    o Embrace a variety of challenging situations and circumstances that may come with visiting another culture and/or another country.

    o Live and serve in community with fellow group members and others at program sites.

    o Engage in nightly reflection and converse with group members about topics such as spirituality and faith.

    o Respect the given rules and structure of the program site.

    o Listen and learn about social and economic injustices from the viewpoint of the people from the area which we visit.

Safety

  • Risks of participating in a VISION Trip. Participation in the service-immersion trip program specified above ("VISION”) involves risk not found in study at the University of St. Thomas (“St. Thomas”). These include risks involved in traveling to and returning from the designated hosts and service sites in vans driven by students or by air travel. VISION participants are asked to make their own investigation and be willing to accept these risks.
  • Institutional Arrangements. St. Thomas does not represent or act as an agent for, and cannot control the acts or omissions of any host institution, organization, or other provider of goods or services involved in the program. St. Thomas is not responsible for matters that are beyond its control. I hereby release St. Thomas from any injury, loss, damage, accident, delay or expense arising out of any such matters.
  • Independent Activity. St. Thomas is not responsible for any injury or loss a VISION participants may suffer when traveling independently or am otherwise separated or absent from any St. Thomas-sponsored activities.
  • Health and Safety.
    • St. Thomas is not obligated to attend to any of my medical or medication needs, and I assume all risk and responsibility therefore. If I require medical treatment or hospital care during the program, St. Thomas is not responsible for the costs or quality of such treatment or care
    • St. Thomas may (but is not obligated to) take any actions it considers to be warranted under the circumstances regarding my health and safety. VISION participants agree to pay all expenses relating thereto and release St. Thomas from any liability for any actions.
  • Alcohol and Drug Policy: The VISION program promotes an alcohol and drug-free philosophy. This prohibits alcohol consumption, illegal or irresponsible drug use by anyone regardless of age, participating on the VISION trip. Drinking during the trip represents a major liability to the program and is inappropriate when dealing with the social issues of VISION sites. Support of this policy by all involved is essential for a safe and socially aware break. Any participant who does not follow this policy will be subject to the following consequences.

1. If a participant has received a scholarship and violates the policy, their scholarship will be revoked.

2.You will be asked to leave the program, and return to his or her place of residence at his or her own expense.

3. You will not be able to apply for another VISION trip for one year.

  • Standards for Conduct.
    • At the signing of the group agreement, VISION participants CAN NOT be on disciplinary conduct probation with the University of St. Thomas Dean’s Office. If a VISION participant is placed on conduct probation between the signing of this agreement and the departure of the trip, they can be taken off the trip without financial reimbursement.
    • St. Thomas has the right to enforce the standards of conduct described above, in its sole judgment, and that it will impose sanctions, up to and including expulsion from the program, for violating these standards or for any behavior detrimental to or incompatible with the interest, harmony, and welfare of St. Thomas, the VISION program, or other participants. Due to the circumstances of travel programs, procedures for notice, hearing and appeal applicable to student disciplinary proceedings at St. Thomas do not apply. If a VISION participant is expelled, they consent to being sent home at their own expense with no refund of fees.
    • St. Thomas is not responsible for providing any assistance to any legal problems under such circumstances that may occur on the trip

EXPECTATIONS

What You Can Expect?

  • VISION will provide a variety of opportunities for participants to explore the six components of Service, Simplicity, Spirituality, Community, Cultural Exchange, and Justice Issues
  • VISION will enforce a "zero tolerance" policy for alcohol and/or drug use during the experience;
  • VISION will strive to involve students from the diverse backgrounds that represent the campus community;
  • VISION will provide you with trained student leaders who will help orientate and prepare you for the experience;
  • VISION will provide educational opportunities prior to, during, and after the experience that expose you to the social issues we will be addressing;
  • VISION will provide any necessary skills/training, although some training may take place on site;
  • VISION will provide a safe and welcoming environment for reflection, whether personal or as a group;
  • VISION will provide information after your return to campus to help translate this experience into a lifelong commitment to service
  • VISION will strive to provide a sense of community and trust within the group.

What We Expect From You:

  • You will attempt to participate in all activities for which you are physically and emotionally able;
  • You will agree to and abide by all service trip policies including
    • You will not use or condone the use of alcohol and/or drugs during the experience;
    • You will attend and participate in all preparation meetings to learn about your group members, agencies you will be serving, and the issues you will face;
    • You will participate in a post trip activity upon your return.
    • You will respect the cultural, social, economic, spiritual, and other backgrounds of the group and try to understand their point of view;
  • You will ask any questions you have about the experience, its goals or components;
  • You will participate in any necessary skills training to prevent injury to yourself, group members, or agency clients;
  • You will keep an open mind in group discussions, contribute any thoughts, ideas, and emotions and uphold confidentiality for shared experiences/information;
  • You will commit to staying with the group for the entire trip, even through adversity.