Framework for Coordinating Safe Campus Events
COVID-19 has shifted the manner in which meetings, events, and activities will take place on campus. Therefore, all students, faculty, staff, and guests must take steps to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 when planning campus activities. This framework provides guidance for campus departments, student organizations, and outside organizations (rentals) that are planning to organize activities on campus. The University will adhere to orders, proclamations, and regulations of the Governor of Louisiana, guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Louisiana Department of Health, and University policies and protocols regarding COVID-19. The University reserves the right to cancel any scheduled activity if it is deemed unsafe; or, require testing and/or change of location for events that will bring together a large number of attendees.
The Office of Dean of Students along with the Office of Environmental Health and Safety will serve as the official university authority in assessing safety of all meetings, events, and activities that are scheduled on campus. All on and off campus events must be pre-approved by the Office of the Dean of Students. Students, faculty, staff, and guests must complete a Registration of Activities Form (www.southeastern.edu/roa) to seek approval to schedule a campus event.
Definitions of a Campus Event
A campus event is defined as a gathering where any portion of the activity will be held on property owned or controlled by the university, to include buildings and grounds. Campus events include, but are not limited to, banquets, carnivals, celebrations, concerts, conferences, convocations, demonstrations, drives, employer interviews, fairs, forums, intramural/club sports, lectures, performances, philanthropic programs, planning meetings, rallies, recruitment, social gatherings, speaker presentations, and tabling. Events departing from or ending on campus, such as parades, are included in the definition of campus events as well as off-campus activities sponsored by registered student organizations. This framework does not apply to activities and sporting events sponsored by Athletics.
Before Scheduling an Event: Factors to Consider
- Reasons. What is the purpose of the event? Is the event necessary?
- What type of venue or facility do you need based on crowd size?
- Can your event take place outdoors on campus rather than in a confined or closed space?
- Can your event take place virtually instead of on campus?
- Are your attendees likely to be in a COVID-19 high risk group?
- What is the level of interaction among participants? Can participants properly social distance?
- How long will your event last? Is it possible to keep the duration of the event under one hour?
- How can your group, if needed, support COVID-19 contact tracing efforts following your event through online ticketing, pre-event registration, recording names of attendees as they enter the event, and other methods.
Event Guidelines and Recommendations
- Require face coverings at all indoor events. Face coverings are recommended at all outdoor events.
- Provide a face covering to any patron without a proper face covering and expel any violator from the event.
- Inform participants that all attendees should be fully vaccinated; any unvaccinated person is at higher risk of contracting COVID-19.
- Arrange room layouts and seating configurations with at least 6 feet of distance between patrons. Social distancing at all events, indoors and outdoors, is recommended.
- Observe basic food safety protocols when serving food at events. It is recommended that food items be prepackaged in individual portions. No self-serving of food should be permitted. It is strongly recommended that food or beverages served on campus be purchased through Dining Services. Orders can be placed online (www.southeasterncatering.com) or by contacting Dining Services by phone at 985-549-3989 or by email via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Provide hand-sanitizing stations throughout the event location.
- Encourage participants who are at high risk to refrain from attending the event.
- Ensure that proper supplies are available to wipe down tables, chairs, door handles, etc. before and after use.
- Provide signage with a wellness messages (e.g. “If you are sick, stay home”).
- Provide signage that informs participants that they assume some risk while attending.
- Remind attendees to take simple measures to lower risk and prevent the spread of viruses: Do not shake hands or bump fists; and, as directed by the CDC, cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing immediately disposing of tissue in a proper container. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into the inner elbow, not the hands. Do not touch your face and wash your hands frequently/use hand sanitizers.
Violations of any part of this framework, or any university rules and regulations governing use of campus facilities, may result in forfeiture of the ability to register for activities and/or disciplinary action in accordance to the Code of Student Conduct and university policy.