Supervision and Safety
At the University of Texas National Institute in Forensics (UTNIF) – we take our responsibility to maintain a safe environment for all participants very seriously. Likewise, the University of Texas, through its Youth Protection Program (YPP) has policies, practices and procedures in place to protect minors on our campus during summer programs.
Our supervision policy guarantees that campers are supervised at all times by our staff of professional, authorized adult chaperones (who have passed criminal background checks and Youth Protection Program training).
Inside the dormitory, campers will be supervised by administrative staff and inside the classroom, campers will be supervised by instructional staff. Likewise, during the transition (IE: walk) between dorm, meals, class, etc. staff members will always be present to assist campers as they move around the campus.
Additional information about the Youth Protection Program can be found in the Parent Guidebook below, however PLEASE direct any and all questions you might have to Eric Lanning, UTNIF Program Coordinator – NOT the YPP program or staff.
Direct Link to the YPP Parent Guidebook - https://youthprotectionprogram.utexas.edu/parents/youth-protection-program-parent-guidebook/
Arrival Procedures (Check-In and Late Check-In)
You should plan to arrive for “Check-In” on the first day of your program between 12:30 – 3:00 PM CST.
*Please be aware that we cannot under any circumstances process early arrivals and will be unable to assist you at that time if you arrive before your scheduled Check-In date/time. There are, however, waiting areas in the dormitory where campers can sit pending the start of the check in.
We totally understand if you are unable to schedule transportation to Austin/Campus during this timeframe, so it is possible to arrange “Late Check-In” to provide more flexibility for parents and campers.
If you know that your planned arrival will be after the Check-In window, please reach out directly to Program Coordinator, Eric Lanning via email to make the appropriate arrangements in advance.
If your travel plans are delayed/change on your arrival day, please reach out directly to the UTNIF via the ‘emergency contact’ line (which is monitored 24/7 by administrative staff), which we will provide via email prior to arrival day for assistance.
Finally, while many parents choose to personally accompany their campers for drop off/check-in, we do not require that guardians be physically present, and many campers arrive and check-in by themselves.
Please note however that transportation organizations (including both air carriers and ground transport) have their own policies for unaccompanied minors, and it is your responsibility to confirm (BEFORE booking and/or traveling) that your plans are consistent with the relevant policies, rules and regulations.
Except in the event of an emergency, medical or otherwise – the UTNIF cannot arrange or provide transportation for campers to, from or on our campus.
This means that you will need to arrange transportation to and from campus on the first and last date of your program.
Please keep in mind that transportation organizations (including both air carriers and ground transport) have their own policies concerning unaccompanied minors, and it is your responsibility to confirm (BEFORE booking and/or traveling) that your plans are consistent with the relevant policies, rules and regulations. Although we will have a staff member at the Austin airport on arrival and departure days to help provide guidance for arriving campers, we still strongly recommend that you confirm your travel arrangements with the airline and ground transport services you are planning to use.
Although we are unable to recommend a particular method or service, if you are unable to arrange transportation – please reach out to Program Coordinator, Eric Lanning for assistance.
All campers staying (overnight) with us on campus during the UTNIF will be housed in a secure, modern and luxury dormitory called ‘The Castilian,’ which is operated by American Campus Communities.
UTNIF campers will be living on floors exclusively occupied by other UTNIF campers and administrative/teaching staff – which means there will be no UT students, or participants in other summer programs alongside our campers.
Most of our campers will stay in suite double rooms, which means they will have a roommate (another UTNIF camper) and shared bathroom facility with their suite mates (2 campers per room and 4 campers per bathroom).
However, The Castilian also has some single suite rooms, which are available for campers who require accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or for similar considerations.
You can get more information on the Castilian generally, and floor plans specifically below. PLEASE keep in mind however that many of the ‘amenities’ and ‘services’ offered by the Castilian to UT undergraduate students will NOT be available or included for UTNIF campers.
PLEASE direct any and all questions about the dormitory or housing to Program Coordinator, Eric Lanning and NOT the staff of either The Castilian or American Campus Communities.
Floor Plans –
2323 San Antonio Street
Austin, TX 78705
Please also note that this address is NOT the mailing address for the UTNIF offices themselves, and that both before and during camp you should instead send any mail to:
1 University Station
Mail Code A1105
Austin, TX 78712
During camp, meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are provided in The Castilian cafeteria by American Campus Food and Dining Service.
For campers with food allergies, please include this information in your Youth Protection Program docusign forms under medical information. Inside the dining facilities, ingredients will be listed and accommodations are available upon request. Please reach out to Program Coordinator, Eric Lanning for any and all questions about meals on campus.
For campers with dietary restrictions, including vegetarians and vegans, plant-based protein options will be available for every meal, as well as numerous side and snack options.
All medication at the UTNIF, including both prescriptions and ‘over the counter’ forms, must be listed on your Youth Protection Program forms (sent via DocuSign) that you complete as part of registration. Upon arrival at camp, campers are required to give the administrative staff/office their medications (stored in a plastic bag, with the original packaging and clear, printed instructions on their use). Our office staff are prohibited from “administering” medication, which means that we can only provide the medication to the camper to administer themselves as per the authorization and instructions provided.
We understand the importance of maintaining a safe, private and comfortable environment for campers and will make individual arrangements with them to ensure they receive their medication at the appropriate time, in an appropriate setting and with minimal disruption to their scheduled programming at the UTNIF.
For medications, either prescription or ‘over the counter’, that fall into the category of ‘as needed’ we will have processes in place which allow campers to discreetly request access, via a conversation with any staff member, visiting the camp’s administrative office or texting/calling the camp’s 24/7 administrative phone number/line.
In certain circumstances, campers can be authorized to carry medications that fall into the category of ‘emergency’ aid on their person, including for example Albuterol Inhalers or Epi Pens.
If you have any questions, issues or concerns about medication please reach out directly to Program Coordinator, Eric Lanning for assistance.
Authorization for “Short-Term Leave” Pick Up/Drop Off
During the course of camp, some but not all campers will make arrangements for ‘short-term leave’ and the UTNIF has procedures in place to oversee this pick up/drop off process.
In order for a camper to be picked up/dropped off for short-term leave during camp, you MUST provide the necessary information on the approved adult chaperone BEFORE the start of camp.
Please also be aware that these pre-approved individuals need to bring a valid form of state issued identification in order for us to release the camper from our supervision. These adults will need to come into the administrative office to verify their identity and your authorization before picking up and dropping off the camper.
This information (and release) is included in the Youth Protection Program forms (sent via DocuSign) that you complete as part of registration.
If you have already submitted these forms and would like to add authorization for an approved adult, please reach out directly to Program Coordinator, Eric Lanning.
Departure Procedures (Check-Out and Early Check-Out)
When planning for your departure from camp, please keep in mind that the final day of each program is exclusively for Check-Out (with only the exception of the Individual Events camp which will complete at 12:00 noon on the final day). Your travel arrangements should include adequate time to pack your belongings, clean your dorm and complete the Check-Out procedures. However, after this process is complete there is no additional instruction or programming and you should plan to leave camp/campus within the check-out time window.
*Please be aware that we cannot under any circumstances accept late departures and will be unable to assist you in any way if you remain after your scheduled Check-Out date/time.
However, in order to be flexible and understanding of travel arrangements – we can arrange for campers to check-out and depart early. Our instructors will do their best to make sure campers still get the full experience, even if they need to leave early. If you know that your schedule will require early check-out – please reach out to Program Coordinator, Eric Lanning as soon as possible to make the necessary arrangements.