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.

Payment Policy

The UK Center for Community Outreach (CCO) operates strictly as a not-for-profit coordinator of the ASB program, inclusive of weekend and week long trips, as well as year-round educational and social programming that takes place pre- and post-trip. As such, we are able to offer service experiences at a reduced cost to UK students – meaning that students pay only for a portion of the projected cost of their trip, as estimated based on prior year spending and anticipated spending for the upcoming year. Once a student is accepted to the UK ASB program and placed on a specific service trip, that student is expected to pay for the cost of their experience in the form of program fees.

These program fees, paid to the CCO, are then dispersed by the CCO to community partners to pay for expenses including: transportation, lodging, meals, trip activities, and trip-related materials well in advance of the trip dates. In this way, the CCO acts as a third-party travel agent, coordinating logistics and distributing funds on behalf of UK ASB volunteers. In addition, program fees are used to cover the cost of year-round programming for all volunteers, leaders, and advisors at no cost to them. After disbursement by the CCO, program fees are non-recoverable and thus, volunteer trip payments are non-refundable except for in certain circumstances (see refund policy, below).

Due to the nature of the UK ASB planning process, it is imperative that UK ASB volunteers pay their program fees by the payment deadlines set for their specific service trip, regardless of unforeseen circumstances, as outlined in the ASB Payment Schedule. Furthermore, we encourage interested students to plan carefully and to be completely familiar with the withdrawal and refund policies, outlined below, before applying. The decision to participate in the ASB program involves an investment of money and requires that each volunteer follow through on their commitment made to UK ASB and its partners by accepting a volunteer slot on a trip.

Deposit Fees

  • Deposit fees are paid by applicants after successful completion of the group interview process and are considered non-refundable.
  • Deposit fees are considered non-refundable, even if a participant withdraws from the UK ASB program for any reason.
  • No exceptions will be made for non-refundable deposit fees, even if a participant withdraws due to an emergency.
  • For 2019-2020 ASB service immersions, the non-refundable deposit fees are:
    • $25/Student for Weekend, Domestic Trips
    • $50/Student for Weeklong, Domestic Trips
    • $200/Student for Weeklong, International Trips
  • If an applicant chooses to be placed on a waitlist for a particular service immersion, UK ASB will not accept a deposit until they are removed from the waitlist and given a spot on a trip.
  • Applicants who pay a deposit fee, but who are asked to leave the UK ASB program at any time for not meeting program expectations (e.g. good academic standing), will not be refunded their deposit fee.
  • Deposit fees are considered non-transferable, even if an applicant vacates their spot and another applicant fills that spot.

Program Fees

  • After successful completion of a group interview night, a student will be considered “accepted” to the UK ASB program, will be placed on a specific service trip, and will be expected to pay for the cost of their experience in the form of program fees. All payments must be made by the respective deadlines set for their specific service trip (See ASB Payment Schedule).
  • If a participant does not maintain on-time payments as per the ASB Payment Schedule, that student will be in jeopardy of losing their spot on the service trip without refund (unless a replacement is identified).
  • If a participant has not paid their total trip costs by the final payment deadline, that student will be in jeopardy of losing their spot on the service trip without refund (unless a replacement is identified).
  • The UK ASB program reserves the right to forfeit a participant’s spot on a service trip to a person on the wait list for that trip if their payments are not received on time as per the ASB Payment Schedule.
  • If a participant chooses to withdraw from the UK ASB program at any time or for any reason, assuming there is no wait list, the participant is solely responsible for finding their replacement or for paying the full cost of their service trip (See Withdrawal Policy).
  • If a participant is asked to leave the UK ASB program at any time for not meeting program expectations (e.g. good academic standing), assuming there is no wait list, the participant is solely responsible for finding their replacement or for paying the full cost of their service trip (See Withdrawal Policy).
  • If a replacement can be found by the participant, the original participant will no longer be responsible to pay the full cost of their service trip, and will be refunded their amount paid, less any fundraising monies and their non- refundable deposit, without exception (See Withdrawal Policy)
  • If a replacement cannot be found by the participant, the participant remains responsible to pay the full cost of their service trip including any remaining amount due, without exception (See Withdrawal Policy).
  • Total service trip costs have been assessed by UK ASB based upon projected costs for each service trip and the previous years’ service trip expenses. All program fees paid by participants are considered “all-inclusive” of transportation, lodging, meals, activities, and materials, including at-shirt.
  • For international service trips, program fees do not include the cost of obtaining suggested or required passports, visas, immunizations, and/or supplemental travel insurance. These additional costs are not included in the program fees, and will be incurred by individual participants as applicable and required.

Withdrawal Policy

  • Once a student has submitted the online application, successfully completed a group interview night, and paid the non-refundable deposit fee, they will have a volunteer spot reserved on a specific service trip.
  • If a participant chooses to withdraw from the UK ASB program for any reason, the participant is solely responsible for notifying the UK ASB program of their intent to withdraw from the program.
  • Withdrawals from the UK ASB program will only be accepted in writing by: 1) Submitting an ASB Withdrawal Form to the Center for Community Outreach in the Gatton Student Center A255, and 2) Sending written notification via e-mail to Site Leaders and ASB Director at ukasb@ukcco.org.
  • If a participant chooses to withdraw from the UK ASB program at any time or for any reason, assuming there is no wait list, the participant is solely responsible for finding their replacement or for paying the full cost of their service trip.
  • If a participant is asked to leave the UK ASB program at any time for not meeting program expectations (e.g. good academic standing), assuming there is no wait list, the participant is solely responsible for finding their replacement or for paying the full cost of their service trip.
  • If a replacement can be found by the participant, the original participant will no longer be responsible to pay the full cost of their service trip, and will be refunded their amount paid, less any fundraising monies and their non- refundable deposit, without exception.**
  • If a replacement cannot be found by the participant, the participant remains responsible to pay the full cost of their service trip including any remaining amount due, without exception.
  • The deadline to withdraw for a weekend trip is two weeks before the trip departure date, the deadline to withdraw from a one week domestic service trip is one month before the trip departure date, and the deadline to withdraw from an international service trip (either one or two weeks) is two months before the trip departure date.***

Refund Policy

  • All deposit fees are considered non-refundable without exception, unless a student is not accepted to the UK ASB program for any reason. In that case, their deposit fee will be refunded.
  • If a participant withdraws from or is asked to leave the UK ASB program for any reason, and a replacement can be found by the participant, the original participant will be refunded only when the replacement participant has paid for their service trip in full.
  • If a participant withdraws from or is asked to leave the UK ASB program for any reason, and a replacement cannot be found by the participant, the participant will not be refunded and remains responsible to pay for the full cost of their service trip.
  • If a participant’s combined payments AND fundraising or combined payments AND scholarships exceed the full cost of their service trip, a refund for the excess payments will be issued following their service trip if requested by the participant.**** This only applies to individuals who paid out-of-pocket in conjunction with fundraising/scholarships. If an individual solely fundraised more than the cost of the trip, the fundraised overage will not be refunded.

*If a replacement is found by the participant on or after airline tickets have been purchased in their name, the original participant will be responsible for applicable ticket change fees, or will remain responsible for paying the full cost of their airline tickets.

**There will be no guarantee that certain costs can be refunded, including (but not limited to) airfare costs and service site programming fees.

***Participants reserve the right to “donate” all or a portion of their excess fundraising to the UK ASB Scholarship Fund for the following academic year or to a fellow ASB trip participant who has remaining trip payments.

When submitting your online application, and to participate in the UK ASB program, you must agree that you have carefully read the Payment Policy and Withdrawal Policy, and to adhere to these policies as well as the payment deadlines set for your specific service trip. You must also agree that you understand that once you apply and are accepted to the UK ASB program, you become responsible to pay for the full cost of your service trip without exception, even if you withdraw from the program at any time or for any reason.