Liability Waiver and Assumption of Risk

The Liability Waiver and Assumption of Risk form serves to minimize UW-Milwaukee legal exposure in the event of injury or property damage in connection with a University-related trip, program, or activity.  Waivers are required for UWM planned or sponsored events, on and off campus, based on a risk assessment.  If risk level exceeds risks of daily life activities, a waiver is required.

  • A UW-Milwaukee waiver serves two purposes:
    1. To explain the risks associated with the activity and to inform the participant that they are assuming the risks by participating.
    2. To hold UW-Milwaukee harmless from liability claims
  • Each purpose in the waiver must have a separate signature line.
  • Each waiver should give the signer the opportunity to discuss the terms. That is why the first paragraph in the agreement must list the person (usually the organizer) knowledgeable about the event or trip and his/her phone number. This gives the signer of the document someone meaningful to contact to discuss the terms. *Note – any variation in the terms should be discussed with Legal Affairs

Field Trip Waivers

  • Students do not need to sign waivers if the trip is required for a course that’s required for graduation (a non-elective) or if there is no transportation provided for low risk field trips (e.g., meet at museum or theater, etc.)
  • A waiver is required if you are planning a high risk activity (e.g., visiting a quarry, construction site, etc.) that is voluntary.
    • You need a waiver if the trip is required but the class is not required for graduation.*
    • You need a waiver if the trip is optional for the class or for graduation.*

*Note – These are considered voluntary activities.  Provide students with a waiver prior to the trip. Do not take students on the trip who have not completed the waiver.

Waivers for UWM Events

(Pantherfest, Panther Prowl, Fest at the Fountain, etc.)

  • For any event that is voluntary and involves High Risk. Examples: Runs or walks, events that involve inflatables (Rock walls, Mechanical Bulls, others)

Student Organization waivers

  • When offering voluntary High Risk activities or events on campus (e.g., Sumo Wrestling, Rock Climbing, Flag Football)

How to complete a waiver?

A waiver must be customized for the type of activity or trip involved. For example, the activity must be stated and the risks unique to that activity must be specified.

The event organizer completes the top sections, editing the first two paragraphs to include information about the program and event.  The Assumption of Risks is edited to reflect the specific risks associated with the event.

The participant signs and dates the form after both the Assumption of Risks and Hold Harmless, Indemnify and Release paragraphs. A parent or guardian is required to sign and date if the participant is younger than 18 years old. * If activity is part of a Program for Minors, please see Camps and Clinics for further information. 

Who keeps waivers and for how long?

  • The department or organization sponsoring the event.
  • We recommend that originals or scanned copies be retained for the current year plus three (3) years. If there were a serious injury or death, you may need to keep these forms longer. (Contact Risk Management for advice about this).
  • Do not send copies to Risk Management or Legal Affairs. Keep in Departmental offices.