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Moody College of Communication Equipment Checkout Policies

Revised: 6-13-18

1.0  Users

1.1  Equipment checkout services are allowed for currently appointed/enrolled Moody College of Communication faculty, staff, and student use only. Priority access of equipment will be given first to students, followed by faculty and staff.

1.1.1       Undergraduate use of equipment must be related to specific Moody College of Communication coursework.   A Moody College faculty member or TA/AI’s authorization is required for classes which have not been pre-authorized.  Authorization requests can be submitted via email ( for review. Independent study and/or internship courses are not eligible for equipment use.

1.1.2       Graduate use of equipment must be related to specific Moody College of Communication coursework and/or research.

1.1.3       Faculty use of equipment must be related to specific Moody College of Communication coursework, research and/or annual reports.

1.1.4       Staff use of equipment must be related to specific Moody College of Communication activities, events and responsibilities.

2.0  Length of Reservation

2.1  Users who reserve their equipment at least 24 hours in advance using the Usher system may keep the equipment for a maximum of 7 days.

2.2  Users who prefer that equipment checkout staff reserve equipment for them and/or reserve equipment with less than 24 hours’ notice may keep the equipment for a maximum of 3 days.

2.2.1       Walk-in reservations cannot exceed 15 items.

2.3  Reservation extensions (1X max, up to 3 days) are allowed, but not guaranteed.

2.3.1       Only reservations under 15 items can be extended.

2.3.2       Extensions can be requested via email ( at least 2 hours in advance OR

2.3.3       In person at the time equipment is due, with all equipment present.

2.4  Reservations may be cancelled if not picked up within one hour of scheduled pick up time.

2.5  All equipment must be returned to the checkout desk from which it was picked up.

3.0  Late Return

3.1  Users will be penalized on a per checkout (reservations returning at the same date & time) basis for returning equipment late, missing components, or broken.  Each violation counts as a separate offense and is not desk specific. Penalties are as follows:

3.1.1       1st Offense – Warning

3.1.2       2nd Offense – 2-week suspension

3.1.3       3rd Offense – Semester-long suspension   Semester-long suspensions remain in place until the 1st class day of the next semester.   Two or more semester-long suspensions may result in permanent suspension of checkout privileges.

3.2  In addition to the above penalties, late fines will be applied for late items. 

3.2.1       The late fine is $0.25 per hour per item.

3.2.2       A grace period of up to one hour may be given depending on the circumstance.

3.2.3       Late fines are calculated 24/7 even when equipment checkout is closed.

3.3  Equipment not returned within 48 hours will be assumed lost.  After 48 hours, a financial bar will be placed on the user’s “What I Owe” account for the full replacement cost of all unreturned equipment and the user may be referred to Student Judicial Services for Scholastic Dishonesty.

4.0  Missing, lost or broken equipment

4.1  Users will be penalized on a per checkout basis (See 3.1 above).

4.2  48 hours will be given to return missing equipment, after which full replacement cost for missing items and applicable late fines will be billed to your “What I Owe” account.

4.3  Refunds will not be given for lost/missing equipment, even if the item is later found.

4.4  Checkout privileges will be revoked until full compensation for replacement/repair has been made.

4.4.1       Users are responsible for the FULL amount of repair or equivalent replacement (new, comparable model) of lost, damaged or stolen items.

4.4.2       Equipment Checkout will be responsible for purchasing all replacement items and facilitating all repairs.

4.4.3       If you damage equipment while attempting repairs, upgrades or cleanings you may be required to pay to replace the item.

4.4.4       Damage includes concealed or unreported damage discovered after return.

5.0  Abandoned/Unattended Equipment

5.1  Abandoned/unattended equipment may constitute a penalty under the structure in section 3.1 above.

6.0  Hazardous Use (Approval Required)

6.1  Sand or Dust

6.2  At heights (such as rooftops, ladders, etc.)

6.3  In, on or around Water

6.4  Extreme Cold/Extreme Heat

6.5  High Humidity

6.6  Explosives/Fire

6.7  Car Mounted/Horseback

7.0  Fake Weapons (Approval Required)

7.1  Weapons approval form must be submitted at least 10 days in advance

7.1.1       Off Campus: Keefe Boerner,, CMA 3.104   Keefe will advise which other parties need to be contacted

7.1.2       On Campus: Wanda Brune- Office of the Dean of Students, SSB 4.104, Campus Mail Code A5800, Fax 475-7942   UT Police will be notified

7.2  Approval letter must be kept on set during production. 

7.3  Fake weapons users must have this document before checking out equipment.

8.0  Real Weapons

8.1  Never allowed in ANY UT projects.

9.0  User Responsibilities

9.1  Project information must be included in each request for equipment.

9.2  Count, inspect and test all equipment before leaving equipment checkout- once you leave equipment checkout, you are financially responsible for any damage or missing pieces (even if you didn’t use that piece of equipment).

9.3  Be sure that any damage or missing pieces are noted on your loan agreement form before you leave equipment checkout to avoid assuming responsibility for prior damage.

9.4  Return the equipment in good condition: equipment should be clean and free of tape or other residue, cables should be properly coiled and secured with the fastener provided.

9.5  You are responsible for any damage due to your use of generators.

9.6  You are expected to be present during your check-in.

10.0         Travel with Equipment

10.1         International travel will be permitted by petition only

10.2         If traveling via plane, equipment must be carried on, not checked.

10.3         Travel must be approved in advance.

11.0         Liability

11.1         University of Texas at Austin, its governing board, officers, employees and representatives are not responsible for damages, injuries, losses, claims or liability of any kind or nature whatsoever, including legal expenses arising from the use or operation of the equipment.

12.0         Safety Policy

Special safety precautions for your crew, actors and others in the area are required if you are undertaking any hazardous activities while filming, including but not limited to ANY driving or horseback/livestock shots, shooting in or around water or heights, or if you are using stunts, flames, pyrotechnics, squibs or simulated weapons.  Please note that unlicensed handguns and other real weapons are never permitted in RTF studios or on location shoots.  In addition, you must follow all federal, state and local laws and the rules of any venue or location at which you are filming regarding hazardous activities, including University of Texas at Austin rules if filming is done on campus.

Student filmmakers must submit a detailed safety plan to their course instructor and the Assistant Director-Production Services if a script or project involves driving or horseback/livestock shots, shooting in or around water or heights, stunts, flames, pyrotechnics, squibs, weapons or any other hazardous activities (this requirement applies to all shoots, including documentary projects, but please see the special guidelines for documentary driving shots below).  It is the responsibility of the student to hire experts in the field and budget at least $600/day for expert consultation and on-set supervision if, in the judgment of the class instructor and the Assistant Director-Production Services, such expert consultation or supervision is necessary.  In addition, any utilization of pyrotechnics on the University of Texas at Austin campus requires prior review and approval through the Fire Prevention Services office by the University Fire Marshal or their designee.

Students should understand that driving while filming will be permitted only in strictly limited circumstances, such as on a private road or drive.  In most circumstances, students who wish to undertake driving shots will be required to arrange for a police escort and a city permit.  Monitors inside the vehicle will NOT be allowed while filming in a vehicle.  Filming from the back of trucks is not considered safe and is not permitted under any circumstances. 

Documentary filming of an interview while the interview subject is driving is only permitted if the cameraperson is secured in a seat belt and is not directing the driver of the car in any way, besides engaging in a conversation in which the driver/interviewee has been informed not to look at the camera or the interviewer at all during the interview.  In addition, any filming from a vehicle, for drive-by B-roll, must be done by a cameraperson secured in a seat belt, where the driver is not being directed in any way by the director, so that they are driving as they normally would.  As noted above, any documentary student planning on filming in any vehicle must submit a safety plan to their course instructor and the Assistant Director-Production Services.

13.0         Violation of Policies

13.1         Violation of any of these policies may result in permanent suspension.

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