Our Contracts and Policies
In order to ensure that our UK ASB service immersions are safe and successful, we REQUIRE that all UK students, faculty, and staff who volunteer through our program understand and abide by the following contracts and policies:
Service First Contract
As our name implies, we exist primarily as a service organization. Throughout your service trip, you will have many opportunities to engage with the local community and experience a new culture and a group of people. However, the primary goal of a UK ASB trip is to serve. Service can be found in a variety of ways, whether it be building a home, teaching English, feeding people experiencing homelessness, or mentoring youth. In the eyes of UK ASB, no act of service we do is worth more than any other act of service. All service performed can be impactful. As a program, we invest a large amount of time and research to ensure that the sites we partner with will allow UK students, staff, and faculty to serve up to 8 hours every day throughout their trip. Because you are on a service trip, you will more than likely experience conditions that you are not used to. This may include, but is not limited to, cold showers, lack of heat/AC, shared rooms, and smaller meal sizes. As UK ASB operates as a service-immersion program, it is necessary to have immersive service for a successful trip.
Working in service programs at a new location and in a new living situation can be stressful. Loneliness, homesickness, and anxiety may occur and unforeseen mental health issues may arise. Your service experience does not mean you should stop on-going personal care strategies. If you are being treated for a mental health issue, please work proactively with a professional to come up with a strategy to identify and address issues that may arise during your UK ASB experience. This strategy should include: 1) A list of warning signs and positive coping techniques that you can use while on your ASB trip and 2) A plan for how you will access support if you start feeling worse, helpless or out of control. Furthermore, please be sure to raise any personal concerns, including those related to your mental health, with your ASB Site Advisors or Site Leaders prior to your trip departure, so they can assist you in the execution of your personal care strategies.
When submitting your online application, and to participate in the UK ASB program, you must agree that you have carefully read the Service First Contract, and understand commitment expected of all UK ASB volunteers.
Full Value Contract
The University of Kentucky Alternative Service Breaks program aims to promote active citizenship among UK students, faculty, and staff by providing service experiences that are educationally and personally transformative. As such, it is imperative that volunteers engage fully in all aspects of the UK ASB program, including required meetings before, during, and after their actual service trip. These requirements ensure that our volunteers fulfill, to the best of their ability, the commitment they make to our program, to their service team, and to the community. These requirements also ensure that our program fulfills, to the best of our ability, the commitment we make to provide safe and meaningful service experiences.
Because UK ASB strives to provide the highest quality alternative service breaks possible, we require that all volunteers fulfill both pre-trip and post-trip obligations relevant to their experience. These include but are not limited to*:
Attending one pre-trip group interview to finalize your trip placement (for participants, only) Attending four Pre-Connect Meetings (pre-determined, inclusive of training, orientation, and education) Participating in the annual UK ASB Letter Drive Attending one Re-Connect Gathering (pre-determined, inclusive of reunion and reorientation activities
A participant’s failure to successfully fulfill these obligations could result in the forfeiture of their spot on their UK ASB trip. In this case, the participant would be solely responsible for finding a replacement or for paying the full cost of their experience (See Withdrawal Policy).
To ensure that all UK ASB volunteers enjoy a safe and successful service experience, we require that volunteers stay and move with the group for the duration of their service trip. No volunteer is permitted to arrive late, leave early, or leave the group for any reason (e.g. to visit a friend or relative) on any trip, including international immersions. The group will meet on UK’s campus and travel together to the airport. Following the trip, the group will return from the airport to UK’s campus. All members of the group are required to use UK ASB transportation to and from the airport.
*UK students, faculty, and staff participating in UK ASB weekend service trips will only be required to attend one Pre-Connect Meeting.
When submitting your online application, and to participate in the UK ASB program, you must agree that you have carefully read the Full Value Contract, and to invest the time, energy, and commitment required of all UK ASB volunteers. You must agree to fulfill all requirements detailed in the Full Value Contract, in order to ensure that you and others gain full value from their service experience.
Diversity and Inclusion Contract
The University of Kentucky is committed to equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in all programs, events, and services, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability. Likewise, the Alternative Service Breaks program seeks volunteers who are representative of the diverse student population present at UK and does not discriminate on the basis of any of these factors. Diversity and inclusion are core values of UK ASB, and as such, we require that all volunteers interact in a manner suiting these core values. This means demonstrating acceptance and understanding toward others – in words and actions – including other UK students, faculty, staff, and community members at all UK ASB-sponsored meetings, events, activities, etc. In addition, as a program working to address social injustices through our work in the community, we will engage volunteers in regular discussion about issues of diversity and social justice as relevant to each service trip. We expect all UK ASB volunteers to actively engage in these discussions, and to demonstrate respect and open-mindedness toward others and their different viewpoints.
When submitting your online application, and to participate in the UK ASB program, you must agree that you have carefully read the Diversity and Inclusion Contract, to support UK’s commitment to equal opportunity and nondiscrimination by contributing to a climate of mutual acceptance and understanding. You must also agree to actively participate in and contribute to discussions about diversity and social justice as relevant to your service trip, and to remain respectful and open-minded toward others and their different viewpoints during these discussions.
Alcohol and Drug Free Policy
The UK alcohol policy, as described in the UK Code of Student Conduct, extends to UK students who participate in UK ASB-sponsored meetings, events, activities, etc. whether on-campus or off-campus. In alignment with UK’s Alcohol Policy, UK ASB maintains a strict alcohol and drug (including tobacco and tobacco products) free policy that also aligns with our program’s core values.
All UK ASB volunteers are prohibited from consuming alcohol or other drugs at UK ASB-sponsored meetings, events, activities, etc. in order to:
- Ensure the safety of all volunteers on our service trips,
- Maintain focus on the primary purpose of our trip – service,
- Maintain group cohesion among volunteers who are diverse in age, and
- Ensure that a group’s presence in the community does no harm.
Consequences of a volunteer’s failure to adhere to our full-engagement policy are at the leadership team’s discretion and may range from a verbal warning to a volunteer’s expulsion from the program at their own expense. Depending upon the violation, consequences may also include other disciplinary actions through the UK Dean of Students Office and/or legal ramifications through local law enforcement.
When submitting your online application, and to participate in the UK ASB program, you must agree that you have carefully read the Full-Engagement Policy, and to abstain from using alcohol and other drugs at UK ASB-sponsored meetings, events, activities, etc. You must also agree to abstain from using alcohol and other drugs for the duration of your service trip – which begins when you depart Lexington and ends when you arrive back in Lexington.
Code of Conduct
In addition to the fulfilling the contracts described above, all UK ASB volunteers are expected to conduct themselves such that they are a positive representations of themselves, UK ASB, and the University of Kentucky at all times. As a University of Kentucky-sponsored program, all Alternative Service Breaks volunteers are bound by the UK Code of Student Conduct throughout their participation in UK ASB. As a representative of UK ASB programs and service teams, all volunteers must also abide by the UK ASB Code of Conduct built on the principles of participation, accountability, and responsibility.
Participation means fully engaging in trip-related service, group discussions, educational sessions, community partner visits, team reflections, meetings, and excursions as outlined in the Full Value Contract. Failing to fully take part in any aspect of the ASB trip itinerary for any reason without prior consent from the ASB Site Advisor and/or Site Leader may result in disciplinary measures including expulsion from the program and return to Lexington (at your own expense).
Accountability means that all UK ASB volunteers will be held liable for their words, actions, and attitudes expressed at any UK ASB-sponsored activity. Furthermore, volunteers are expected to act as a positive support for their fellow trip participants at all times. Volunteers must always inform a Site Advisor or Site Leader of their whereabouts. Volunteers should also never knowingly leave any group member alone. If a volunteer feels that they, or another ASB volunteer are overwhelmed, this issue should be promptly brought to the attention of a Site Advisor or Site Leader.
Responsibility means that you will be a positive representative of yourself, the ASB program, and the University of Kentucky, at all times. Expectations include respect for and appreciation of your fellow ASB volunteers, trip leaders, and community organizations. At all times on a UK ASB trip, volunteers are expected to: Keep the group’s interests in mind when making speaking and acting. Be polite and respectful at all times with noise levels, personal boundaries, and interpersonal interactions.
Furthermore, UK ASB does not tolerate any form of sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, or domestic violence, or the threat of any of those against any party involved with a UK ASB experience; UK ASB also does not tolerate any form of verbal, physical, or emotional abuse; UK ASB does not tolerate any behavior that prevents another individual from fully engaging in ASB, or any University program/activity.
Failure to abide by the expectations outlined in this Code of Conduct, or other related situations that arise, may result in disciplinary action including expulsion from the program and return to Lexington (at your own expense). Trip Site Advisors will make the ultimate determination if volunteer conduct is in conflict of these general policies.
When submitting your online application, and to participate in the UK ASB program, you must agree that you have carefully read the UK Code of Student Conduct. You must also agree to abide by the UK Code of Student Conduct at all times as a UK ASB volunteer. Finally, you must also agree that you understand there will be consequences for your actions should you violate any contract described herein, the UK Code of Student Conduct, and the UK ASB Code of Conduct. By agreeing, you certify that you will accept these consequences even at your own expense, as you are the sole person responsible for your behavior.