I think that’s accurate. The liability has to do not with what someone signs, but with whether or not there was negligence, or otherwise (supposedly) some other mistake, omission, or irresponsibility that was not covered by the disclaimer.
For example, you sign the MUni Weekend waiver. Then, I lead you down a trail that’s patently unsafe, that erodes away as you ride and has a huge dropoff. This is negligence on my part. I have no business taking my “guests” on that trail.
That said, all the trails we will ride at MUni Weekend are legal bicycle trails. They may be dangerous, but people ride on them all the time. All riders are expected to use caution, and walk the sections they don’t feel confident about.
What the disclaimer does is protect the organizer in the event of a claim, by proving the claimant was aware of the situation he/she was getting into, and acknowledged this by signing the form.
Back to the original topic of this thread:
Yes, it’s hard to go from being a school-sponsored club to independent. To use the school facilities, without a sponsoring person, requires insurance. So if a person can’t be found, the choices are insurance, or going someplace else. The school would be the preferred environment, especially for what started as a school club.
The Unicycling Society of America is sorting out a new insurance carrier. Eventually it is hoped we may be able to help unicycle clubs get insurance as well, but this will take further research and may not be available for a year or more. Until then, I hope the leads provided by Bruce Edwards will help you.