Travel Policy and Protocol

Gustavus Travel Policies and Guidance Related to COVID-19 for 2020-21

Cabinet Approved: August 27, 2020, Updated December 1, 2020

An important element of minimizing infections at Gustavus is limiting travel to and from campus. 
Gustavus believes that all employees and students should be held to the same level of responsibility for the wellbeing of the whole community. Since College employees leave campus daily to go home, we believe that students should be able to leave campus too. With this freedom, comes the responsibility that all members of our community should uphold the Gustavus COVID safety expectations at all times (in the classroom, in their residence hall room, at home, and on the weekends).

Employee/Student Personal Travel

All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to limit their personal (non-college sponsored) travel as much as possible. If travel is needed, people should take health and safety precautions as outlined by the CDC (a summary is below). For advice on how to safely meet basic household needs within your local community, see CDC’s webpage about running essential errands.

Because travel increases your chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19, avoiding unnecessary travel is the best way to protect all individuals (others and yourself) from getting sick.

If you are thinking about traveling away from your local community, ask:

Protect yourself and others during your travel:

  • Avoid close contact with others. Keep 6 feet of physical distance from others.
  • Wear a face covering in public.
  • Clean your hands often.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Pick up food at drive-throughs, curbside restaurant service, or stores.
Faculty/Staff College Sponsored Travel
  • Until further notice, the College is only permitting essential travel that has prior approval from a member of the President’s Cabinet.
  • Special considerations will be given for Advancement and Admission staff where travel may be required for them to fulfill essential job responsibilities.
  • During the 2020-21 academic year, employees will not be permitted to attend in-person professional development activities that involve groups of people of more than ten, such as professional conferences and workshops. Virtual professional development activities will be allowed.
  • During the 2020-21 academic year, all meetings/events with off-campus colleagues should be attended virtually.
  • A request for College-sponsored travel for faculty research or scholarly work needs to be submitted to your Academic Dean at least one week prior to travel for consideration of approval.
  • Health and safety precautions must be followed for approved employee travel.
College Sponsored Travel with or by Gustavus Students
  • College-sponsored travel by students (with or without faculty mentors) to professional conferences and workshops is not allowed during the 2020-21 academic year.
  • Travel for co-curricular programs (sponsored by student organizations or administrative offices) will be restricted and is permitted only with prior approval from a member of the President's Cabinet.
  • The College strongly encourages community-based research or learning sites and academic course travel to move to a virtual format in the 2020-21 academic year.
    ○ Faculty may submit a written request to the Provost’s Office for approval for a course travel experience, with rationale as to why the travel is essential to meet the student learning outcomes of the course. The request must be submitted to the Provost’s Office at least 14 days prior to the intended travel. 
    ○ The Provost’s Office will consider the nature of the travel, location, risks involved, mitigation efforts, ongoing outbreaks, and necessity of travel.
    ○ Generally speaking, course-based trips and activities that are local (within a 30 minute drive) and are held in an outside location will be permitted as long as COVID safety expectations are followed during transport and the activity.
    ○ Course-based trips that involve overnight lodging will not be approved in the 2020-21 academic year.
  • Departments with required experiential experiences (i.e. nursing, education, athletic training) should work with the Provost’s Office to ensure COVID safety measures can be implemented.
  • Students may choose to drive their own vehicle to a college-sponsored activity, but no student will be required to drive their own vehicle. If a student chooses to drive their own vehicle, they will not be reimbursed for travel expenses and liability remains with the owner of the vehicle. If a student chooses to take a passenger(s), the occupants should follow the same safety precautions as if using a college-owned vehicle.
  • Travel for athletics will follow the guidance established by the NCAA and MIAC.
Study Away
  • International study away and domestic programs are canceled for the 2020-21 academic year.
  • January Interim 2021 study away programs are canceled.
  • College funds may not be committed to future international travel to a country designated with a Level 3 or 4 travel advisory (as determined by the State department) AND the College decides to permit college-sponsored international travel as a body.
International Travel Quarantine
  • Gustavus will expect employees and students to follow MN Department of Health and CDC guidance for quarantine for all individuals arriving from international locations.
Domestic Travel Quarantine
  • Gustavus will expect employees and students to follow state and local travel restrictions.
  • For up-to-date information and travel guidance, check the state or local health department where you are, along your route, and at your planned destination. 
Gustavus Motorpool

If travel has been approved by a Cabinet member and the use of a college-owned vehicle is needed, the driver/passengers will follow these guidelines.

  • Occupancy of the vehicle will be at 50% or lesss.
  • Occupants will be 6 feet apart, or as far apart as possible, as allowed by the 50% capacity.
  • If more than one person is in the vehicle, all occupants will leave a face covering on for the duration of the trip.
  • The driver will sanitize high touch areas before and after use.
Local Transportation - Gus Bus, Community Service Shuttle, Safe Rides
  • Routes should be adjusted so passengers are not in the vehicle for more than 15 minutes.
  • Occupancy of the vehicle will be at 50% or less.
  • Occupants will be 6 feet apart, or as far apart as possible, as allowed by the 50% capacity.
  • If more than one person is in the vehicle all occupants will leave a face covering on for the duration of the trip.
  • The driver will sanitize high touch areas before and after use.
  • Currently for the 2020-21 academic year, 
    ○ Gus Bus will not be operational 
    ○ Safe Rides will become safe walks
    ○ Community Service shuttle will be in service

Protocol for On-Campus Academic Program Activities Going Off-Campus

Please note: this policy does not apply to faculty-led January off-campus travel courses.
When/if these protocols conflict with Fall 2020 COVID guidance, the above COVID policy/guidlines will supersede the protocols below.

Travel Planning Form
Preparing to Travel with Students Off-Campus
  1. Strongly encourage students who will be traveling with you to make sure their emergency contact information is current with the Dean of Students. Direct them to the online form at
  2. Faculty member fills out the Travel Planning Form and compiles a list of the students going on the trip, the reason for the trip (field trip to nearby park or business, regional or national conference, etc.), and the date and times of departure and return. This should be done at least 10 school days before the actual off-campus trip.
  3. The Provost's Office forwards the list to Dean of Students.
When You are Off Campus with Students
  1. Make sure you have a cell phone that is charged and working and that students can reach you at all times. If there are multiple vehicles, ensure that cell phone numbers for at least one person in each vehicle are shared.
  2. If traveling in multiple vehicles, set designated meeting places in case you are separated. Have a set of travel directions in each vehicle. Don’t assume that you will be able to stay together in a caravan—this can be especially tricky in heavy traffic.
  3. If anything extraordinary happens (e.g., serious injury) happens, you, as the faculty member in charge of the off-campus academic program activities, should immediately contact Campus Safety at 507-933-8888.
  4. Campus Safety will contact all relevant parties on campus for you.
  5. If a student needs to go to a medical facility, you, as the faculty member in charge, should go with the student, unless an alternate plan is devised with Campus Safety or the Dean of Students Office.
  6. Notify appropriate people (Academic Dean and Dean of Students, parents, etc.) if your schedule changes. This includes early returns, delayed departures, etc.
Emergency Phone Numbers
  • Dean of Students, JoNes VanHecke
  • Campus Safety (answered 24/7) 507-933-8888
  • Dean of Students on Call 507-933-8888 (after business hours)
  • Gustavus Health Service 507-933-7630
  • Gustavus Counseling Center 507-933-7027
  • Gustavus Chaplains Office 507-933-7446
  • American International Assistance Services (coverage through ISIS & ITIC)
  • Inside US and Canada 800-626-2427
  • Collect from all other locations 713-267-2525
  • When calling the US from overseas, you will need to know how to get an international operator and know the US access code. It may also be helpful for you to have a number for the company or your preference (AT&T for international calling instructions: 1-800-331-1140 within the US or 412-553-7458 collect from outside the US).

College Travel Policy

Travel at College expense is allowed for persons who travel on College business as approved by the department chair, supervisor, or budget officer. The College travel policy complies with Internal Revenue regulations and requirements of governmental funding agencies. The full policy is available in the All-College Policies.