Policies for Summer Camps & Conferences

Youth Groups

Housing & Residence Life looks forward to welcoming youth groups whose attendees might consider becoming KU students in the future.

Information You Should Collect

Groups should collect the following information during registration to help ensure participants’ health and safety:

  • Personal information (name, address, birthdate, work-, home-, and cell phone numbers, e-mail, 24-hour emergency contact).
  • Health information, including medications, allergies, or conditions that may be useful information in case of emergency.
  • Dietary considerations.
  • Accessibility needs, including mobility, hearing or vision impairment, or use of a service animal. Housing & Residence Life will partner with the conference to provide adequate accommodations.

Staff Ratios and Training

Youth groups are required to ensure one on-site staff member for every 15 guests. Although Housing & Residence Life staff will meet with your staff members to discuss roles, policies, and procedures, we recommend training your staff members on these topics:

  • Medical emergency response.
  • Severe weather protocol, in conjunction with Housing & Residence Life.
  • Crisis and emergency procedures.
  • Notification of guardians.
  • On-call responsibilities and 24-hour response plan.
  • Working with Student Housing staff.
  • Managing behavior, including the lost guest protocol.
  • Information sharing and privacy.
  • Bullying and hazing.
  • Child abuse.

Family Communication

When families know details, they feel more comfortable and are less likely to interrupt the experience. Sharing information on a website or providing an on-site staff member to contact is helpful. We recommend providing families with:

  • A 24-hour contact number.
  • A daily time schedule outline.
  • Expectations for behavior.
  • Cell phone and computer use policies.
  • The medical emergency response policy.
  • Severe weather procedures.
  • Lost guest protocol.

Adult Groups

Adult groups typically follow the same basic policies as youth groups.

We recommend adult groups have a live-in, on-site staff member. This helps ensure a consistent experience for your guests. Although generally housed in separate locations, adult and youth groups may share the dining center. Housing & Residence Life respects the freedom and autonomy of our adult guests. To ensure a positive experience, we ask that guests respect the following policies:

  • Use common areas responsibly. Quiet hours are 10 p.m. through 8 a.m.
  • Alcohol and drugs are prohibited.
  • Candles and open-coil appliances are prohibited.
  • Student Housing buildings are smoke free. Smoking may occur outdoors at least 20 feet away from each building.
  • Housing & Residence Life reserves the right to remove guests and staff members in violation of policy. However, we will always seek to make these decisions in conjunction with the conference director. Please direct any concerns to your conference director or Housing & Residence Life.

The Role of Housing & Residence Life Staff

Housing & Residence Life provides on-site staff for each youth conference:

  • Summer Conference Coordinator (SCC): The SCC is either a graduate student or a full time Complex Director who will serve as your primary contact for on-site issues. The SCC supervises the Summer Conference Assistants and manages residence hall details during your stay. There is a rotating SCC on call to support camps and conferences in after hour emergencies. 
  • Summer Conference Assistants (SCA): SCAs are trained to handle crisis response for their building, work at the desk and provide customer service. They work with the SCCs to solve issues.
  • Service desks: When available, each residence hall will have a staffed, 24-hour service desk. This central contact can provide:
    • Access card and room key replacement. KU Student Housing will work with groups to distribute and collect room keys and the access cards that allow guests into the building and dining centers.
    • Contact information for on-call and after-hours staff.
    • Help to report building and maintenance concerns.
    • Campus maps, directions, and general area information.
    • Dining information.

Staff Training

All conference directors and staff will attend an orientation by Housing & Residence Life staff before guest check-in to review buildings, policies, and procedures. These areas will be covered:

  • Building tour.
  • Severe weather procedure and shelter areas.
  • Emergency and crisis response procedures.
  • Policies about drugs, alcohol, and conduct.
  • Lost guest protocol review.
  • The role of Housing & Residence Life staff and the service desk.

At the end of your stay the coordinator will schedule a final building walk through. This allows Housing & Residence Life to verify numbers, discuss charges, and coordinate lost and found items.

Safety and Security

General Safety Recommendations

Safety is of the utmost importance to Housing & Residence Life. We suggest you:

  • Have strong hiring practices for staff and regularly verify that safety and security protocols are being followed.
  • Make sure participants always have their room key and access card. Immediately report any lost key or card to the service desk.
  • Do not allow anyone you do not know into the building. Be sure to look for others who may be “trailing” behind you or your group when you enter. Never prop doors open.
  • Never allow youth to roam campus without a staff member.
  • Immediately report any suspicious activity, people, or vehicles to Housing & Residence Life staff.
  • Do not leave any personal items unattended in public spaces.


In case of emergency, call 911.

For non-emergencies and for after-hours emergencies, please visit the service desk or call the front desk (number provided to you) to connect with Housing & Residence Life support. SCCs will establish the best process for communication during business hours.

Staff should know the procedures for a participant who needs medical attention. All staff should know the answers to these questions:

  • Where is information on the participant, medical condition and emergency contact?
  • What is the procedure for transporting a participant? Where?
  • If emergency personnel are contacted, who will share the medical and contact information with first responders?
  • Who will contact parents or guardians?

Staff members who are key contacts in emergencies will wear red lanyards provided during check in. Wear this lanyard at all times, especially when on campus, at the dining center, and supervising activities. Tell participants to seek out the person wearing a red lanyard in an emergency.


Severe Storms

Each building has a designated shelter for severe storms. This location will be discussed with staff at orientation. They are to share this information with participants. In case of severe weather, Housing & Residence Life will notify the primary contact.

  • Staff should implement their emergency procedures with participants.
  • Directors will decide when and how to bring participants to safe locations, assisted by the SCC and SCA.
  • The “all clear” will be conveyed by Housing & Residence Life staff.

Extreme Heat

In the event of extreme heat:

  • Train staff to look for signs of heat stroke and exhaustion.
  • Be ready to provide transportation.
  • Ensure that any participant sensitive to extreme heat, or who may have a pre-existing medical condition, is able to travel to any location outside the air conditioning.
  • Evaluate if your travel on campus is occurring at peak temperature times during the day.
  • Consider cancelling activities.

Text Alerts

The University of Kansas has an emergency text alert system that includes severe weather, emergencies, and important updates from the KU Office of Public Safety. Although this system should not be relied upon to communicate all essential information, it is an important resource.

Building Management

Issues related to buildings, maintenance, or custodial services should be discussed with the SCC, who will work with KU’s Facilities Services. Housing & Residence Life also has regular pest control service and fire equipment checks. Immediately report any issues to the SCC assigned to your camp. If the issue occurs after hours, contact the service desk.  

At the pre-arrival meetings, we will discuss custodial services, including such items as the cleaning times for bathrooms and common areas. Outside of regular use, groups are asked to clean common areas or meeting rooms they have used. For large spills or other custodial issues, contact the service desk. Talk with the SCC if you have an activity that may require additional clean up. We may suggest practices to avoid damages.


Housing & Residence Life reserves the right to remove any participant or staff member who violates Housing & Residence Life policies, or who poses a risk to others or the building. The decision will be made in consultation with the director.

Expectations for Participants

Successful groups explain their initial expectations for participants’ behavior and follow up on infractions. Housing & Residence Life's basic expectations are:

  • All participants adhere to the KU alcohol and drug policies.
  • Participants keep the room key and building access card. If either is lost, report it immediately to staff and KU Student Housing service desks.
  • Participants will treat the buildings with respect. Damaged or excessively dirty areas may result in additional charges.
  • Participants will treat all other guests, both in their group and in other groups, with respect.

Expectations for Staff

Staff members should always model positive behavior. Directors should train staff on their expectations. Housing & Residence Life's expectations for staff include:

  • All staff observe alcohol and drug policies. Alcohol and drugs are prohibited in all KU facilities. Housing & Residence Life will call KU Public Safety if any illegal drug use is suspected. Participants or staff members who violate either policy may be asked to leave immediately.
  • Staff who work with youth will not come back to the building after consuming any amount of alcohol.
  • Staff will identify a 24-hour on-call person who is responsible and available.
  • Staff will act appropriately and set a good example.
  • Staff will call 911 and report crisis and emergencies immediately to Student Housing staff.


Housing & Residence Life will not be directly involved in day-to-day management. Issues such as roommate conflicts, logistics, and schedules should be managed by the camp or conference staff. Staff members who see or hear reports of policy violations or risky behavior should investigate immediately, and also tell Housing & Residence Life. The information may potentially affect others. If Housing & Residence Life staff members witness problem behavior, they will report to the camp or conference director.

This is a useful process for investigations:

  • Discuss the behavior with the reporting party. What did they experience? When did it occur? Where did it occur? What about the behavior, specifically, was troubling? Write a quick summary based on these items.
  • Based on the information you gathered or on what you directly witnessed, discuss the behavior with your supervisor if necessary. Create a plan to address the behavior. Consider contacting parents or guardians.
  • Consider the affect the behavior has on the group and potential implications.

If a report of hazing, bullying, or harassment occurs, Housing & Residence Lifewill quickly investigate the issue, in conjunction with staff. Student Housing will take action if necessary.

Essential Items

Lost Keys and Cards

During check-in, guests are issued a red access card that allows them to enter only their building and to use the dining center. A lost or malfunctioning card can be replaced. The guest or director should inform the service desk at their building. Lost cards should be reported immediately so Housing & Residence Life staff can electronically disable the card.

Individual room keys will be distributed to each guest at check in. Room keys are not transferable. If a key is lost, stolen or broken, immediately notify the service desk staff. Conferences will be charged $50 for each lost key. Charges are added to the final invoice. For security purposes, it is important to report a lost card or key immediately.

Linens and Laundry

Linen packages can be rented. They are convenient for guests and will help them feel welcome. You may request linen packages be placed in the room before guests arrive. Housing & Residence Life staff will coordinate a central drop-off location each week for used linens and pick-up location for fresh linens. Times and locations will be decided at the pre-arrival meeting. Linen packages have a fitted bottom sheet, flat top sheet, pillow and pillowcase, and a warm blanket. Extra blankets and towels are available at the front desk for those groups that requested linen. If a guest has forgotten linens, please contact your SCC.

Laundry is available in each building. High capacity, high efficiency machines.


Wireless Internet is available upon request. Upon check in, each guest will get a unique username and password. Internet service in Student Housing is provided through Apogee. Their customer service is available 24 hours a day, 1-855-643-2149. KU Student Housing does not provide Internet on campus, such as in academic buildings or the KU Memorial Union.

A land-line telephone is located in building entrances and each floor lobby, but not in guest rooms. Land-line phones may be used for 911 and on-campus calls only.

Printing stations are not available for guest use, but arrangements for printing can be made through KU Information Technology. Your wireless Internet and printing needs should be discussed during your pre-arrival meeting.


Groups arranging media coverage that would occur in Housing & Residence Life buildings must first gain approval from Housing & Residence Life. Requests should be made at least 48 hours in advance. In the event media requests are immediate, please contact your SCC.

Reserve Meeting Space

Housing & Residence Life offers space from meeting rooms to large gathering spaces. To reserve space on a first-come, first-served basis, contact Housing & Residence Life with a description of the event, number of attendees and whether food will be provided.

Housing & Residence Life is pleased to offer four technology equipped classroom spaces for your exclusive use for an additional fee. Housing & Residence Life can also provide limited technology support between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. in those classrooms. Those using meeting space with technology will sign an acceptable use agreement, distributed upon your arrival. Housing & Residence Life is able to provide chairs and tables upon advance request. Although most items are arranged through KU Facilities Services, some buildings may have tables and chairs available in the hall. Housing & Residence Life does not provide meeting space outside of our facilities but will work with our campus partners to make arrangements, with advance notice. On-campus space is reserved, maintained, and invoiced independently of Housing & Residence Life.

Common Spaces

Each Housing & Residence Life building has common spaces to encourage interaction but please check with Housing & Residence Life before using lounges, lobbies and study spaces. Furniture in common spaces should not be moved and personal property should not be left unattended. Housing & Residence Life is not responsible for lost or stolen items.


Housing & Residence Life is happy to provide services for special events you may plan. Through our relationship with KU Dining Services, we are also able to provide food. If you’re planning an event, such as an opening or closing reception, contact Housing & Residence Life.


Housing & Residence Life encourages groups to contact KU Parking and Transit at 785-864-PARK, or on the KU Parking website, with questions. KU Parking and Transit operates the KU on Wheels bus system. Coordinate with KU Parking and Transit before making plans based on summer bus routes. Those routes are limited.

Storage Needs

Groups with special storage needs should ask about possible locations but should not keep items in public or common spaces. Sports equipment is not to be used in Housing & Residence Life buildings as it may cause damage.


Conference staff members will have the opportunity to see an estimate of overall costs as the contract is finalized. Groups should keep close watch on numbers, dining costs, and incidentals to ensure the final invoice reflects the agreed-upon costs discussed during the contract process. During check-out, Housing & Residence Life staff will review the final check-in numbers and any other charges with staff. Soon after, a single invoice for housing and dining costs will be generated by Housing & Residence Life and is due within 30 days. If there are questions, the director should contact Housing & Residence Life.