Release of Liability/Waivers FAQs

What is a Release of Liability?

  • Releases of Liability, or "Releases" are legal documents that transfer responsibility for injuries and property damage to the participant
  • Releases must be read and signed by persons who voluntarily participate in University activities/trips that may have some additional risk
  • Releases protect University, faculty and staff from liability
  • ​​Releases inform the participants about possible risks associated with the activity/trip

Why do I have to use a Release document for an activity?

  • The CSU Chancellor's Office requires the use of Releases to reduce the University's risk of liability from activities (see the CSU Handbook)


When do I need to use a Release?

  • Releases are required for all campus planned or sponsored events, on and off campus, and based on a risk assessment
  • Releases are required for all academic field trips or other off campus activities and trips
  • ​Releases are required for participants when third-party groups rent facilities on University property (i.e.; community swim club participants, soccer camp participants)

Can I just make my own Release to use at my campus event?

  • No. All campus events must use the CSU approved standard Release document
  • ​​The standard Release cannot be altered, but you may request a customized Release document specialized for your activity/trip from Safety & Risk Management

Can multiple members or groups sign the same Release?

  • No. There must be a Release form for each individual involved in the activity
  • ​Special arrangements can be made for activities where individual releases are not feasible (contact Safety & Risk Management)

I'm under the age of 18, can I sign my own Release?

  • No. Minors under the age of 18 cannot sign a Release; a parent or guardian must read and sign the Release on their behalf


Do I have to sign a Release? What if I don't agree with it?

  • If you want to participate in the University activity/trip, then you must sign a Release
  • ​If you do not sign a Release, then you cannot participate

Can I just put the Release verbiage real small on my activity flyer/ticket/registration form, etc.?

  • No. Legal requirements state that Release verbiage cannot be "fine print"; the CSU policy is that the Release font cannot be smaller than 12 pt.
  • ​Release documents must be a separate document from other informative paperwork

What do I do with the signed originals of the Releases I gather for an activity/trip?

  • Original signed Release documents must be saved for three (3) years or until participant is 20 years, but they may be archived electronically after one (1) year
  • Academic departments must retain the Release records at their office for the required time
  • Student Organizations must submit their signed Releases to the Safety & Risk Management (SRM) office
  • ​Third-party rental groups or organizations should submit their signed Releases to the SRM office, or as specified in their written agreement with the University

I'm traveling for University Business; do I need to sign a Release document?

  • Employees do not sign Releases while traveling for University Business (includes any paid employee, any paid student assistant, and any official volunteer)
  • Students who are unpaid and not employed by the University must sign Releases for all voluntary travel with the University (i.e.; academic field trips, conferences)
  • ​Students traveling for any voluntary reason must sign a Release (i.e.; student organization trips)