Health & Safety

Presence of Children and Minors on Campus and Participating in Campus Events, Activities, and Programs


A.  Purpose
Carleton College is committed to the safety and well-being of children. This policy states Carleton College’s rules with respect to children and minors participating in campus programs, events and activities on campus.

Carleton College has zero tolerance for child abuse and has adopted a separate Policy on Reporting Suspected Child Abuse. Please refer to that policy for information regarding how to report suspected child abuse.

B.  Scope
This policy applies to all students, faculty, and staff of Carleton College; campus visitors; and individuals or organizations engaging in or conducting activities associated with Carleton College or doing business at or with Carleton College and is available through Carleton’s website. This policy applies to “Carleton Facilities,” which includes the Carleton College campus, all properties owned or leased by Carleton College, and all off-campus locations, including study abroad programs, at which students, faculty, or staff or other Associated Individuals participate in College-sponsored activities.

C.  Definitions

  1. “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.
  2. “Associated Individual.” For purposes of this policy, an “Associated Individual” is any individual or organization engaging in or conducting approved activities associated with Carleton College or doing business at or with Carleton College.
  3. “Program Sponsor.” For the purposes of this policy, the term “Program Sponsor” is the department or individual controlling the event or program.


Registration: All College departments that oversee, sponsor, direct, approve or control events or programs involving children shall register each such event or program with the College. Registration should occur at least 30 days prior to the event’s or program’s commencement. Carleton College may, in its discretion, refuse permission for an event or program involving children on Carleton Facilities.

III.  Responsibility for Children

Carleton College is an institution of higher education. Carleton facilities are generally not an appropriate environment for minors unless they are matriculated students or enrolled in a program specifically designed for children and appropriately supervised by adults with the proper training and credentials. However, Carleton College recognizes that faculty, staff, students, and other adults may on occasion bring a child to campus for limited periods of time. 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.

A.  Supervision Required

Faculty, staff, students, and other adults who bring a child to Carleton facilities maintain the sole responsibility for the safety of that child. No child may be left alone on campus at any time for any reason. The responsible adult is accountable for the child’s safety and behavior and must ensure that the child complies with the directions of College personnel. Faculty, staff, students, and other adults are discouraged from asking a student, student employee or anyone else to assume their responsibility for supervising a child who is on Carleton facilities. Carleton facilities may not be used for unsupervised child care. Faculty or staff who use Carleton facilities for supervised child care maintain responsibility for that child’s safety.

The College retains the right in its sole discretion to prohibit faculty and staff from bringing a child on Carleton facilities who is not participating in a College program. There are risks to bringing children to campus and to College-sponsored events. Faculty, staff, students, and other responsible adults are responsible for any and all injuries or damages sustained to or by a child accompanying them while on Carleton facilities or on College-sponsored trips or other events.

B.  Revocation
Allowing faculty, staff, students, and other adults to bring a child on Carleton facilities campus or on College-sponsored trips is a privilege extended by Carleton College. The College may revoke this privilege at its discretion at any time for any reason, including the College’s determination that the provisions of this policy have been violated, the privilege has been abused, the child’s presence poses a safety risk to the child or others, or the child’s presence is interfering with the College’s learning environment. Anyone who is concerned with the presence of a child on campus or at a College-sponsored activity should report the concerns to one of the individuals listed below.


A.  College-Sponsored Events
Carleton College sponsors a number of events in the performing arts, athletics, and other areas that are open to children. The College welcomes the presence of children on campus for these events. In order to ensure their safety and that of other guests, Carleton College requires that the parent or legal guardian agree to the following conditions for the child’s participation:

  1. Carleton College is not responsible for the supervision of a child who attends a campus event, unless the event sponsor states in writing that supervision by College 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 the child.
  4. If a child attending a Carleton College event or program needs an accommodation for a disability or other special need, the responsible adult must submit a request for accommodation to the Office of Accessibility Resources.

B.  College-Sponsored Programs
Carleton College periodically sponsors programs specifically designed for children. The College requires that all adults interacting with the children in these programs have appropriate training and credentials, and have satisfied Carleton College’s requirements for program participation. All programs must comply with the safety practices stated below. Any person who observes any action or inaction in violation of these practices should report the incident immediately to the Program Director or supervisor or, if appropriate, to campus security.

  1. All program staff (paid and volunteer, including Carleton College student staff members) must follow instructions they receive regarding maintaining professional boundaries at all times when working with children in the program. All staff must complete the Carleton required online training course. The Program Director will provide the log-in for the course and be responsible for ensuring every staff member has completed it.
  2. Parents or legal guardians of participants in College-sponsored programs must sign release waivers before a child will be permitted to participate in the program.
  3. 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.
  4. Program staff must inform another staff member when they are taking children out of the program room or area for any reason.
  5. Except in emergency or other exigent circumstances, no child should ever be left alone with a single staff member.
  6. As much as possible, no child participating in a Carleton College sponsored program should be left alone on campus at any time or for any reason.
  7. Employees working in the program may take photographs of children in the program only for program-related purposes and only if the child’s parent or legal guardian has signed an authorization permitting photographs to be taken of the child.
  8. Program directors must ensure that all appropriate forms, including permission forms, medical contact information and liability waivers, on file and readily available.

C.  Programs and Events on Campus Sponsored by Other Entities
Carleton College approves selected outside individuals and entities to rent College facilities for programs/events specifically designed for or including children, such as athletic programs, dance, and academic programs. Through its contract process, the College requires the sponsoring entity to maintain specified insurance coverage, including sexual abuse/molestation liability insurance coverage. Program sponsors will be responsible for ensuring that the College-approved facility use contract, verification of insurance, and other necessary waiver compliance documents have been executed by the outside entity and are on file with the appropriate College office.


A.  General
Through Carleton College’s service learning, community service, internships, field trips, student teaching and other programs, faculty, staff, and students are engaged in many off-campus activities involving children. All Carleton participants in such programs will be required to comply with Carleton policies in the same manner and extent as if these programs were conducted on campus. If the off-campus program host or sponsor organization has additional requirements, the Carleton participants will be responsible for knowing and complying with those requirements as well.

B.  Carleton College 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 obtain prior written approval from the person responsible for supervising the trip.
  2. Requests of a student, faculty, or staff member to take a child on a Carleton College Sponsored Trip may be denied in the discretion of the College for any reason, including concern that the child’s presence could negatively affect the program or ability of the student, faculty or staff member to participate in or perform his or her responsibilities during the program.
  3. The student, faculty, or staff member is responsible for all trip expenses of the child.
  4. The student, faculty, or staff member must drive or ride in the same vehicle as the child.
  5. The child must be included on any roster of trip attendees.
  6. Student, faculty, or staff members who take a child on a College-sponsored trip are responsible for the child’s behavior and any and all injuries, liabilities, and/or damages sustained to or by the child.

C.  Study Abroad
Faculty must consult with the Office of Campus Studies in advance regarding their child’s participation in trips or other activities associated with study abroad programs. Carleton College in its discretion may determine that participation by a child in such a program is not appropriate.


A.  Minor Students in Classes, Labs, and Study Abroad Programs
Some students in Carleton College classes, laboratories, and study abroad programs are minors. Minors who take courses and/or participate in College programs are expected to follow course requirements and comply with the College’s community standards policies and behavioral expectations. Minors and their parents or legal guardians should be aware that Carleton College courses are not specifically designed for minors and may include activities, conversations, or topics that would not normally be presented to minors. Carleton College is not responsible for ensuring that course content is appropriate for minors.

Prior to commencement of classes and programs each term, the Registrar’s Office will notify faculty members of the students enrolled in their courses who are minors. Faculty members who have questions about the participation of minors in their classes or out-of-classroom events and programs should contact the Office of the Provost. The parents or legal guardians of minors, who wish to audit, volunteer or participate in college classes and laboratories must sign a permission and waiver form.

B. Minors Who Live on Campus
Because some enrolled students start school before they have attained the age of 18, Carleton College sometimes has minors living in residence halls. Minors living in residence halls are expected to follow the same rules as all other Carleton College students. Before minors move into a residence hall, the residence hall staff members will be notified of the student’s status as a minor and birth date. Residence hall staff members shall be mindful of the minor status of such students and consider whether any special measures or precautions 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, Carleton College may hire a minor to fill an employment position or a student work position. The Student Financial Services Office and Human Resource Office must authorize the hiring of any minor. Carleton College complies with applicable law with respect to the employment of minors. In the event that a minor is hired by Carleton College, the Student Financial Services Office or Human Resources Office will inform the supervisor that the employee is under age 18 and will help determine whether any particular steps or limitations are necessary because of the employee’s age. Minors may not be assigned to work alone or without close supervision without written approval of the Student Financial Services or Human Resources Office.


A. General Rules
Students residing in College-owned housing are welcome to host overnight guests provided that they comply with the Carleton College 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, which must be provided to the director of the residence hall prior to the guest’s overnight stay.

B. Overnight Visits by Prospective Students
Carleton College sometimes arranges for prospective students to visit the campus on an overnight stay. All visits by prospective students should comply with the Carleton College Admission Office Overnight Visit Policy and must be approved through the Carleton College Admission Office. Prospective students who are staying overnight (and their parent or legal guardian if the prospective student is a minor) will be required to sign a campus visit waiver and must agree to abide by all rules related to overnight visits. The College will assign a responsible adult in the residence hall to be available as needed to provide assistance to the prospective student during the overnight visit. Students serving as a host to a minor during an overnight visit are required to comply with the Carleton College Community Standards policy. The student host must remain with the student during the overnight visit.

C. Camps and Conferences with Overnight Guests
The rules regarding overnight stays by minors in connection with Carleton College camps and conferences will be determined by the directors of the camps and conferences involved, in consultation with the Risk Manager. Generally, minors who are not registered for such programs will not be allowed to stay overnight as a guest without written permission by the camp or conference director. Outside entities hosting camps and conferences on campus must follow the standards established by Carleton College with respect to such overnight stays.


Carleton students, faculty, staff, and volunteers who participate in College-run or affiliated programs or activities involving minors must complete the Carleton online training. Training may be expanded depending upon the program or activity and the person’s role in the program or activity.

All Carleton participants in non-Carleton organizations 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 in addition to the Carleton training.


Director of Human Resources: Kerstin Cardenas,, 507-222-4068
Risk Manager: Randie Johnson,, 507-222-4178
Provost & VP for Academic Affairs: Michelle Mattson,, 507-222-4303
VP for Student Life & Dean of Students: Carolyn H. Livingston,, 507-222-4248
Off Campus Studies Office: Helena Kaufman,, 507-222-4349

If you have questions, about this policy, you should speak with the Director or Human Resources or the Dean of Students.

Last Revised: June 1, 2016

Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees

For: Faculty, Staff, Students

Last Reviewed: August 26, 2022

Maintained by: Dean of Students Office