The University of Memphis

Children on Campus


Issued: August 2, 2010
Responsible Official: Vice President for Business & Finance
Responsible Office: Business and Finance

Policy Statement

Policy Statement

The University of Memphis encourages safe, supervised campus visitations by children for the purposes of making decisions about their academic future; attending music classes, educational, cultural, or sporting events and camps; and authorized use of facilities such as the Campus Recreation Center.

The University of Memphis campus grounds and infrastructure are designed to provide an environment conducive to academic and occupational activities performed by students and employees. For reasons that include safety of children, and assuring professional efficient performance of academic pursuits, operations, and services, the University cannot routinely accommodate unsupervised children in campus workplaces, classrooms, or any other venue or circumstance on campus.



To assure the appropriate supervision of children on campus and set out appropriate conditions, locations, and situations where children are permitted.  



Minors under the age of 18.  

Minors Enrolled as Students

Properly enrolled students under the age of 18 who have the rights and privileges of any other student in the classroom and on campus grounds, except that such minors between the ages of 13 - 15 must have a signed release form on file in the Admissions Office indicating whether they will be accompanied on campus by a responsible adult and must be in compliance with that form.  Properly enrolled students under the age of 13 must always be accompanied by a responsible adult.  


An adult designated as responsible for the child is providing direct on-site care and attention to the child's health, safety, and welfare.  An adult responsible for the child who is present but performing work, teaching, or other activities that distracts his/her attention from the child does not meet this criterion.   


The adult responsible for the child is not present or is performing duties that distracts from the adultís attention to the child.



Presence in classrooms is restricted to properly enrolled students or visitors with legitimate purpose, who may be adults or minors. Instructors of record are responsible for ensuring that individuals who attend their classes are properly enrolled or have been invited for the purpose of making special announcements, guest lecturing, or other authorized reasons. Instructors are also responsible for addressing situations when unauthorized individuals attend their classes.


Instructors have the discretion to make infrequent exceptions due to temporary, unforeseen emergencies.  In these cases, children must remain in the classroom and are not allowed to sit in the hallway or be unsupervised in other locations on campus. 



Children are allowed in offices on campus in the following situations:

  • Short, occasional visitation by children who are accompanied by a responsible adult.
  • Infrequent exceptions granted by the supervisor due to a temporary, unforeseen emergency and only when the responsible adult is able to be present and attend to the care and welfare of the child.

Children are not allowed in offices on campus in the following situations:

  • An alternative to regular childcare provisions, e.g., infant care or childcare during summers and holidays.
  • When the child is too ill to be sent to regular childcare location or school.
  • Provision of regular and routine childcare after the Campus School or any other school has dismissed, regardless of duration each day.
  • Presence of child interferes with normal operations.

Supervisors are responsible and accountable for ensuring that children on campus policies are met.  Should employees require time to resolve their childcare situation, they are required to leave work and annual leave or sick leave will be assessed, as applicable.

Campus Grounds and Facilities

Due to safety issues, under no circumstances may unsupervised children be allowed to play on campus grounds, roam campus buildings, or sit unaccompanied in campus buildings or benches on the grounds. Areas that are off limits to unsupervised children include, but are not limited to:

  • University of Memphis Libraries
  • Dunavant Plaza in front of McWherter Library
  • The ellipse behind McWherter Library
  • Elma Roane Field House
  • Elma Roane Field House Track
  • Garages and parking lots
  • Residence halls, except Student Family Housing where resident parents are responsible for knowing their children's whereabouts and activities
  • Cafeterias
  • University Center
  • Recreation Center*
  • Vending areas
  • Game rooms
  • Basketball courts
  • Athletic fields
  • Trams that are primarily used for campus tours – The presence of one adult in each occupied car is required when a group of minors participate in an authorized campus tour or activity via a tram, excluding the driver.  Supervising adults may include tour guides, teachers, parents or guardians of the minors, or other assigned responsible adults.

*The Campus Recreation Intramural Services General User Regulations state that children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult in the Student Recreation and Fitness Center. Further, children under 16 are not permitted in weight, cardio, whirlpool, steam and sauna rooms. For further information, go to

Anyone finding an unaccompanied child on campus grounds should first determine if the parent(s) are on campus and try to reunite the child with the parent(s). If unable to do so, the adult should inform Police Services of the location of the child.  Call 678-HELP to request such assistance from a University Police Officer.

Areas Totally Off Limits to Children, Regardless of Supervision

Due to safety and health hazards, and in the interest of an effective learning environment, some areas are totally off limits to children, regardless of supervision by a responsible adult. These areas include, but are not limited to:

  • The fountain on the Student Activities Plaza
  • Construction areas, typically marked with yellow tapes or marked as "hard hat areas"
  • Student computer labs   
  • Physical Plant - all shop areas
  • Engineering Technology - all shop areas
  • Engineering Building - shop
  • Manning Hall - shop
  • Theater & Communication Arts - scene shop
  • Opera Memphis scene shop
  • Animal care facilities
  • Research laboratories
  • Teaching laboratories where chemicals are present
  • Chemical storage areas
  • University vehicles, golf carts, and Segways that are primarily used for work purposes 
  • Parking lot watch towers
  • Mechanical rooms
  • All kitchens

For restricted work areas on the above list, supervisors may request from the University Safety Officer or the Physical Plant Safety Coordinator an exception to this restriction for infrequent, special events at a time when  (1) work is not being performed in the facility and (2) proper precautions are taken to ensure the safety of children. Supervisors who are granted this exception assume responsibility for the children's safety. Examples of a special event would be a Holiday Party or Retirement Reception.


I am a supervisor. What should I do if my employee brings his child to work without permission?

You should direct the employee to leave work and make alternative childcare arrangements for that day as well as any other similar situations that may arise in the future. Charge the employee's absence to his or her leave balance; sick leave may be charged only if the child is ill. To reinforce understanding of this policy, you should prepare a memo to the employee that reinforces this policy.  A copy of the policy should be attached to the memo. Periodically, you should reiterate your intent to comply with this policy at department meetings or through other means of communication.

This policy creates a hardship for me. What am I supposed to do if my child cannot come to my office after classes are over at Campus School?

The University of Memphis understands that every parent must work around work schedules and financial issues when providing care for their children. However, the University's first priority is to provide a working and learning environment for employees and students. Therefore, every employee is responsible for making childcare arrangements that conform to this policy. In some cases, you may request an alternative work schedule or FlexTime.  For more information on Flextime, see policy UM1262, Timekeeping & Leave Reporting at: 

I am a student with a 3-year-old child. I am working hard to get my education and cannot afford child care while I am in class. Where can I get help?

The Child Development Center is designed to meet the needs of student-parents at the University. They provide, for a small fee, quality childcare for children ages 30 months to 12 years. For more information, go to


Can employees of the University use the campus Child Care Center also?

Due to limited space, the Child Care Center is able to provide childcare only to children of students. 

Faculty and Staff may choose to enroll their dependent(s), age 2-6, in the Barbara K. Lipman School & Research Institute This is a privately funded pre-school institution affiliated with the university's College of Education. The school is located on campus at 3771Poplar Avenue.

How does the University assist employees with their childcare arrangements?

The University benefits package includes a Flexible Benefits feature that allows regular, benefits eligible employees to convert a portion of their salary and wages to pre-tax dollars. After creating an account, you would send your childcare receipts to the company that administers the program and receive reimbursement, up to a limit, from a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account. For more information, contact the Employee Benefits Office, Room 167 Administration Building, or email

Occasionally I see employees and students bring their dogs and other pets to campus. Why is that allowed, and I can't bring my child?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifically defines a service animal as a "guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability."  Presence of these animals anywhere on campus is entirely appropriate since they serve as guide animals for the sight-impaired, hearing animals for the hearing-impaired, service animals for persons with mobility and strength impairments, and seizure alert animals for persons with epilepsy.

Animals may be brought to offices and classrooms only for the valid reasons listed above.  Owners are reminded that the presence of pets in the workplace or classroom raises these health and safety concerns:

  • Some animals are well trained, but all animals are, by their nature, subject to intentionally or unintentionally harming a person.
  • Some people suffer allergic reactions to animals.
  • Some people are simply afraid of animals and must not be required to work or learn with animals present.
  • Disruption of the workplace and/or classroom, e.g., barking, attention-seeking behavior, making messes.
  • Animals may spread fleas or other parasites and disease.
  • Animals spoil the landscape.

My child attends Campus School. What resources can the University suggest for his care after school lets out each day?

Ask your child's teacher or a staff member in the Campus School office for a list of childcare facilities that offer after-school pickup services.  You can also access this information at

Revision Dates


UM1645 Rev.2 -- updated August 2, 2010
UM1645 Rev.1 -- updated October 14, 2005
UM1645 -- issued June 15, 2005

Subject Areas:

AcademicFinanceGeneralHuman ResourcesInformation TechnologyStudent Affairs