Student Travel Policy

General Statement

Students traveling on Law School-sponsored business are expected to exercise the same care in incurring expenses that they would exercise on personal travel at their own expense.

Students must obtain authorization for a Law School-sponsored trip from the appropriate faculty member/administrator. Authorization must be obtained prior to travel by completion of the Student Travel Request Form. (Travel arrangements will not be authorized without submission of the Student Travel Request Form and the electronic acknowledgement of the Student Travel Policy certifyinig that he/she has read and will abide by the Student Travel Policy.) A copy of the travel itinerary must also be provided to the Office of Student Affairs.

At the conclusion of a Law School-sponsored trip, a student must submit original receipts with a Student Travel Expense Report outlining his/her expenses. Reimbursement for travel will be made by the Law School on the basis of the Student Travel Expense Report form signed by the student and approved by the appropriate faculty member and administrator.

The Student Travel Expense Report form must be filed within seven business days of return from the trip. It must detail the expenditures for which reimbursement is requested and their nature and purpose; the expenditures must be supported by original receipts. Expense reports that are not legible, or are inappropriately explained and/or supported, will be returned to the preparer.

Expenses not covered include, but are not limited to, bar tabs (alcohol), personal use items (e.g., hygiene products, medicine, umbrella), personal Internet usage and telephone calls, laundry, hotel movies and non-preapproved car rental.

Proof of Payment must accompany all reimbursement requests. Proof of Payment is an original receipt, an original credit card slip, a copy of the cancelled check (front and back), the original invoice showing receipt of payment, etc.

Each student must affix (with cellophane tape) all receipts to one or more sheets of 8-1/2" x 11" bond and attach these to the Student Travel Expense Report. All receipts should be identified and organized in such a manner that they can be readily reconciled with the expenses listed on the Student Travel Expense Report.

Transportation

As a general rule, students should travel by the most economical means consistent with professional dignity. When public transportation is used, round-trip tickets must be obtained unless valid reasons are presented for other arrangements. Travel by privately-owned vehicle may be authorized when it is the most economical means of transportation; the cost of travel should not exceed that of air transportation.

Air Transportation

Tickets must be purchased from one of two Law School-approved travel agencies. An approval code is required before travel arrangements can be made through these agencies. A Student Travel Request Form and the electronic acknowledgement of the Student Travel Policy—certifying that the student has read and will abide by the Policy—must be submitted to Ms. Rocio Cabrera (the administrative secretary in the Office of Student Affairs) who is responsible for assigning approval codes. (The Student Travel Request Form should be obtained online or from the faculty member/administrator authorizing the travel. The faculty member/administrator must provide an account number to which travel expenses, including the airline tickets, will be charged.)

Air travel should be the most direct route, by coach class and at the lowest available fare provided that the fare does not result in (1) greater total cost due to increased costs for meals and/or lodging, or (2) undue hardship to the student. The student is expected to make his/her travel arrangements at the earliest possible date in order to take advantage of available discount fares. The student is responsible for complying with airline regulations concerning cancellation and for avoiding the penalties associated with them, unless the situation results from circumstances beyond the student's control.

A copy of the travel itinerary must be provided to the Office of Student Affairs.

Reasonable cost of transportation to and from the airport (usually by airport shuttle) is reimbursable.

Usage of "frequent flyer" mileage is not reimbursable.

Automobile Transportation

When a privately owned vehicle is used for University business, individuals will be reimbursed at whichever is lowest, the current mileage rate or the lowest discounted airfare. Reimbursement will be at the designated IRS-standard mileage allowance for the dates of travel. (Refer to the Mileage Reimbursement Request form). IRS mileage rates are subject to change.

Reimburseable mileage is based upon the starting point of the trip or the Law School campus, whichever is less. The traveler will be reimbursed for parking and toll fees incurred in the course of the trip. The mileage reimbursement is intended to cover all other costs of vehicle operation.

Mileage Reimbursement - A MapQuest printout must be attached to the Mileage Reimbursement Request Form. MapQuest will be used as a "reasonableness" test and doesn't have to be an exact match to the actual mileage.

Generally, students traveling on Law School-sponsored business would not require a rental car. Rental cars may only be authorized when such rental is based upon "savings" accruing to the Law School from corresponding non-usage of other means of transportation (e.g., taxi, shuttle). Car rentals must be pre-approved by the faculty member/administrator.

In those instances when car rental is authorized, the most economical package available — which meets the business requirement — must be selected. When renting a car in connection with Law School business within the United States, no insurance coverage should be purchased as the University provides collision and liability coverage through its master policies. In addition, the fuel surcharge option should be avoided; individuals should ascertain the agency's fuel replacement policy (e.g., full tank or only the amount of gas that was in the tank at the time of rental) and make appropriate arrangements to ensure the gas tank is refilled prior to returning the car to the agency.

Miscellaneous Ground Transportation

Reasonable cost of transportation to and from the hotel to conference/meeting site or restaurant is reimbursable. Original receipts should be submitted, with explanatory notations made on the Student Travel Expense Report.

Lodging And Meals

Lodging

The choice of accommodations must be reasonable and ordinarily will be that recommended by the conference organizers or comparably priced lodging. When making arrangements for lodging, such issues as quality and location should be checked. Student safety is a prime concern.

Hotel reservations should be made as early as possible to ensure the availability of lodging. When reasonable, students are expected to share rooms.

Pre-payment of the hotel room can be arranged. A Hotel Credit Card Authorization form 1) should be obtained from the hotel; and 2) submitted to Ms. Rocio Cabrera (Office of Student Affairs). She will make arrangements with the hotel for pre-payment of the hotel room on a Law School—authorized charge card. Only room and tax are pre-paid. Within seven (7) business days of return from the trip, students must submit directly to Ms. Cabrera the hotel bill which reflects the pre-payment charge for the hotel room and tax.

When pre-payment arrangements for the hotel room are made on the Law School's authorized charge card, it is expected that a student will make appropriate personal arrangements with the hotel to pay for any additional charges incurred. In most cases, hotels will require a student to provide his/her own credit card to which additional expenses (e.g., telephone, mini-bar, movie) can be charged.

To obtain reimbursement when the cost of lodging is paid by the student, the original hotel bill and receipt must be attached to the Student Travel Expense Report. A notation should be made if more than one student shared the room, including their names. An explanation should be provided if reimbursement is being requested for expenses extraneous to the cost of the room and applicable tax (e.g., business purpose for Internet usage).

It is expected that lodging expenses will only be approved for those nights that are directly attributable to the purpose of the trip. Approval of "extra" days of meals and nights of lodging is based upon "savings" accruing to the Law School from discounted hotel/airfares. For example, when an airline requires a Saturday night stay for the discounted airfare and the airfare savings exceeded the extra lodging costs for the weekend stay, the weekend costs (meals and lodging) are reimbursable.

Personal telephone calls and Internet usage, laundry, hotel movies, mini-bar items and other such expenses are not reimbursable.

Meals

Daily Meal Allowance is based upon $10-$15 for breakfast, $15-$20 for lunch and $25-$30 for dinner, resulting in no more than an average of $60.00 per day, including gratuities not to exceed 15%, based on service. For example, if travel is four days and perhaps on days 1 and 2 an individual spends $50.00 each day on meals, on days 3 and 4 up to $70.00 each day me be spent. The four day period should not exceed $240.00 ($60.00 x 4 days).

Two receipts are required for all meal reimbursements. The original itemized receipt (showing all items ordered) and the original summary charge slip (showing any taxes and tip).

If a meal is shared with the bill divided among students and only one set of original receipts (itemized receipt and summary charge slip) is provided, the individual who paid the bill will submit the original receipts with his/her Student Travel Expense Report. The other students who shared the meal will submit photocopies of the two receipts with their individual Student Travel Expense Reports and explain who is submitting the original receipts. Each student must list on the receipts the names of those who shared the meal.

Alcohol and bar tabs are not reimbursable. If a receipt includes any alcoholic beverages, they should be identified and their cost must be deducted from the bill.

Miscellaneous Expenses

Reasonable and customary gratuities are considered an expense of travel and are reimbursable.

Expenses such as entertainment, sightseeing, clothing items, personal use items (e.g., hygiene products, medicine, umbrella), hotel movies, personal telephone and Internet charges, bar tabs and excessive gratuities are not reimbursable.

Travelers who combine a personal trip with official Law School travel are responsible for transportation costs in excess of the round-trip discount fare to the business destination. If a student's family accompanies him/her on a trip, all expenses applicable to the family must be excluded from the Student Travel Expense Report.

*You must acknowledge electronically on the Student Travel Request Form that you have read and will abide by the Student Travel Policy. Travel arrangements will not be authorized without submission of the electronic acknowledgement and the Student Travel Request Form.