ERIC Number: ED319277
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Student v. Union: Colleges at Risk.
ACU-I Bulletin, v58 n1 p4-8 Jan 1990
College union administrators should be careful about the use of facilities, particularly in public schools, because of the potential for legal liability. Institutions of higher education today are vulnerable to being sued in regard to issues of free speech, trespass, and religion. Areas of potential liability include (1) serving alcoholic beverages, (2) certain potentially physically harmful activities, e.g., trampolining, (3) structural hazards such as holes in athletic fields and dangerous staircases (particularly a problem when students have become inebriated), and (4) violations of First Amendment rights. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, although not strongly applying to private schools, is very applicable to public schools. Attempts to restrain, for example, the exercise of free speech during demonstrations, or the banning of activities of certain religious groups must be carefully considered. Additionally, in matters of student discipline, if the institution acts irresponsibly, a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment is possible. Risk management techniques are considered necessary for all college and university administrators in avoiding legal liability. Ten suggestions are provided on improving the institution's prospects if sued. Contains 3 references. (GLR)
Descriptors: Accident Prevention, Administrator Responsibility, Civil Liberties, Compliance (Legal), Constitutional Law, Court Litigation, Freedom of Speech, Higher Education, Legal Responsibility, Safety, Student Rights, Student Unions
Association of College Unions-International, 400 East Seventh Street, Bloomington, IN 47405 ($4.00).
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Association of College Unions-International, Bloomington, IN.