Best Practices

Special Events

When considering an event on campus, it is best to gather the input of several areas to efficiently and safely host the event. Some typical areas would include:

Risk Management

  • Is there insurance for the event?
    • If this is not a university-sanctioned event, a one-time policy can be purchased from Campus Connexions
      Select Northern Illinois University from the “Campus Connexions – Home” drop-down box, wait for the page to load, and then select products at the top of the page to begin looking for coverage.
  • Are waivers required for any of the activities? (Also, see Office of General Counsel below.)
  • Will minors be involved?
  • Is food or alcohol being served?

Environmental Health and Safety

  • Will waste need to be removed?
    • Portable toilets needed?
  • Will any hazardous or dangerous activities be conducted?
    • Pyrotechnics, strenuous physical activity?
  • Would the fire department or other emergency medical services need to be on standby?
  • Might there be other safety measures needed for the event?


  • Will waste need to be picked up or removed?
  • Are there any landscaping concerns?
    • Ice in the winter?

Public Safety

  • How is crowd control being managed?
  • Does the event involve outdoor activities that require supervision?

Division Approval

  • Events need to be vetted and approved by authorities within the requesting division.
  • If the activity is inherently dangerous (i.e., pyrotechnics, skydiving, bonfire), senior-level authorities may need to review and approve.

Office of General Counsel

  • Will waivers be used for the event’s participants?
  • Are there any compliance concerns? Is compliance with Title IX or the Americans with Disabilities Act a concern?
  • Event review generally goes through each of these areas before approval. The extent of the review depends on the level of risk associated with the event. 

International Travel

International Affairs and Risk Management have vetted several insurance options for individuals traveling abroad. Students are generally required to carry the NIU student health insurance as it provides coverage for medical injuries and emergency situations internationally. Faculty and staff are expected to use their personal health insurance for general medical care. For emergencies, the university purchases a foreign travel policy that may be able to provide assistance.

Insurance status and coverage options

Anyone traveling internationally is encouraged to check their current insurance status and investigate international coverage options. More specifically, you should check:

  • Whether general coverage will apply internationally – this is about a student who seeks treatment for a moderate illness or a flare-up of an existing condition or routine health checks;
    • If so, what are the limits? Are there penalties for seeking treatment outside the U.S.?
    • Are there any exclusions?
    • Can direct billing be arranged, or will students have to pay out of pocket and seek reimbursement? (This is the case with the student health coverage through NIU.)
  • Is there emergency accident coverage? Examples: burst appendix, broken leg.
    • If coverage exists, does it include emergency medical evacuation?
    • Emergency medical repatriation (readmission to home country)?
  • Are there any other coverages extended internationally? These are usually bonuses, but they will want to be prepared.
    • Political unrest evacuation?
    • Natural disaster evacuation?
  • Do they have contact information for claim reporting or questions while out of the country? Who should they reach out to if they break a leg?

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff who wish to discuss the coverages available to them through the university may contact Risk Management to discuss. General medical insurance questions would still need to be directed to the insurance carriers, but questions about emergency medical situations, evacuations, and the like can be discussed with Risk Management.


Students who have the student health insurance can contact Health Services to conduct a coverage review. Students with individual coverages (through their parents/legal guardian or through an employer) are encouraged to conduct the review noted above.

Additional International Coverage

If coverage does not seem sufficient, international policies can be procured through AJ Gallagher:

  • Under the “Enroll Now” section on the left of the page, select “International Travel Enroll”
  • Create an account (hint: add zeros in front of student ID to reach nine digits; if you are not a student, enter zeros in front of empl ID or enter nine random digits for individuals not employed by NIU)
  • Follow the steps to procure the appropriate policy.

Contact Us

Office of Risk Management