Waivers and Releases

Summary: Waivers and releases are written agreements that say the sponsor of an activity will not be liable for harm suffered by the participants.

How to Use Waivers

If your department sponsors activities that go beyond classroom instruction or routine employment, you may need to use liability waivers to control loss, claims, and lawsuits against your department and the University.

Waivers should be retained by the sponsoring department for 5 years after the end of the activity OR 5 years after the 18th birthday of a minor participant - whichever is longer. Waivers can be scanned and stored electronically.

If the participant is a minor, the parent or guardian must sign the form.

Certain high risk activities may require a special waiver or additional risk assessment. High risk activities may include overnight camping, helicopter rides, strenuous physical activities, live animals, fireworks, etc. Contact riskservices@ucmerced.edu for advice and assistance.

With the exception of the fillable fileds, waivers cannot be modified without the specific approval of Risk Services.

Elective/Voluntary Activities - The elective/voluntary activity waiver should be used when a student or other individual participates in an elective/voluntary activity such as a field trip, recruitment program, study abroad, recreation program, or off-campus research activity.

Group Signatures This form can be used to obtain group signatures for the elective/voluntary activity waiver.

Photo/Video/Audio Recording Release - This waiver is used when a person’s photo or video/audio recording will be used by UC Merced in connection with a news article, educational material, photo exhibition, advertisement, website display, etc. A release is needed whether the person is a professional model or not and even when they are unaware of being photographed/recorded. If they are identifiable, a release is needed. It is not needed for private photos or recordings.

Exhibitor Waiver – For vendors who display low value items (literature, pens, candy) at an event on University property. Not for vendors who sell goods or bring high value equipment (vehicles, computers, etc) for display.

If you have questions about the use of waivers, please contact riskservices@ucmerced.edu

Resources: Waiver Frequently Asked Questions