Student Affairs In-Person Event Guidance

Updated January 22, 2021

In addition to published campus guidance, all Student Affairs facilities (Nebraska Unions, Campus Recreation facilities, and University Housing facilities) and affiliated organizations (departments, facilities, student organizations including all Recognized Student Organizations, fraternity and sorority organizations, and sport clubs) must meet or exceed the following guidance and use of resources. These guidelines are subject to change as the situation evolves.

Definition of an Event

An event as defined by the university guidance is any “university (or its associated entities) hosted on or off-campus gathering of individuals.” This should include all “typical events” as well as the in-person portion of events that might be streamed or recorded.

General Guidance

  • Affiliated organizations should offer a virtual option for events whenever possible, regardless of room capacities.
  • Physical distancing must be practiced while meeting.
  • Event approvals are required for all events of 50 or more.
  • Any event that includes travel outside of Lincoln, NE requires an approved travel exemption request.

Risk Assessment & Approval Process

  • All university sponsored, organized or hosted events are expected to fill out a Risk Assessment and submit the completed form with the event approval request.
  • All events are required to have an event point of contact. This person must be a UNL staff member or the sponsoring organization’s advisor. The event point of contact is required to be present for the duration of the event(s) and responsible for ensuring compliance with all Directed Health Measures and venue guidelines.
  • Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs) still need to submit an Event Planning Request (EPR) on NvolveU and follow RSO event guidelines. For questions:
    • RSOs should contact Student Involvement at 402-472-2454 or
    • Fraternities and sororities should contact the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at 402-472-2582.
  • Forms must be approved at least 7 days before an event will take place. Event organizers should plan 7-10 days for the review process to be completed.
  • For questions on approvals, please contact Debbie Hendricks (

Event Planning Considerations

Attendance and Card Swipe Readers
  • Event coordinators must track attendance at the event.
  • Departments should use Husker Scan wherever possible or a comparable no-touch option (eRezLife). If departments or organizations don’t have a no-touch option, contact Student Involvement to discuss if using NvolveU is an option.
  • When scanning IDs, participants should scan their own NUIDs. Event personnel will not handle NUIDs.
  • Attendees will be required to show the “Access Granted” Status Card from the Safer Community app – either on the attendee’s smart phone or a printed copy from the event date – to enter an event. Individuals with Building Access Denied will be denied entry to events.
  • Non-University attendees not part of the University’s testing system will need to complete the University of Nebraska-Medical Center 1-Check COVID app and show they have received a result of “Low” to enter an event. Individuals with any result other than “Low” will be denied entry to events.
Face Coverings, Masks and Face Shields

Face coverings are required for all attendees at all events taking place indoors and outdoors.

Activities that are Open to the Public and Guests

These events continue to be strongly discouraged until further notice.

Events with Youth/Minors in Attendance

These events continue to be strongly discouraged until further notice.

More information about events involving minors can be found here.

Events with Shared Objects

Events with any shared equipment continue to be strongly discouraged until further notice.

If events do have shared objects, review the below additional guidance and restr ictions for these objects:

  • Events with shared fabric items are suspended.
  • Events such as board or video game activities may be held if there is no physical exchange of controllers, game pieces, cards, dice, or other objects.
  • Shared objects must be disinfected between users.
  • Hand sanitizer or hand washing stations should be readily available.
Large Scale Events and Campuswide Activities

In accordance with campuswide event guidance, any event with more than 50 people requires approval of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

All events will be reviewed using current Directed Health Measures. If Directed Health Measures change after approval, the event will need to adhere to the Directed Health Measures in place on the date of the event.

When possible, large events should be held outside and in a space that encourages and permits physical distancing of 6 feet between individuals.

When outside space is not compatible with the event, indoor space limitations regarding maximum capacity and the ability to physically distance must be followed.

To request approval for your event, complete the Event Approval Request Form to submit for review by the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs. All events must be approved 7 days prior to the start of the event. Event organizers should plan 7-10 days for the review process to be completed.

Handouts and Giveaways

Handouts and giveaways are discouraged.

If you choose to provide handouts and giveaways, the following should be completed:

  • Every item should be disinfected.
  • Any individual handing out giveaways should wear gloves and facial coverings.
  • Individual attendees should pick up the items directly from a table.
Inflatables & Carnival Rides

These events are suspended until further notice.


Due to physical distancing requirements and room capacities, all indoor social dances are suspended until further notice.

Guest Lecturers, Speakers, Activities with a Passive Audience

A passive audience is defined as an audience that does not participate in the performance; the audience are simply spectators. Participants in a passive audience may answer questions but small group activities are considered an active audience.

Events with a passive audience must adhere to all event specific guidance.

Additionally, these protocols apply to in-person performance-based activities.

  • Face coverings are always required by attendees, performer(s), and accompanists when indoors.
  • Seating must be physically distanced.
  • If the event is not seated, adequate physical distancing (6’) for attendees should be required.
Activities with an Active Audience

An active audience is defined as an audience with members participating by singing, dancing, moving, collaborating in small groups (under 8 people as defined by the Directed Health Measures in Lincoln and Lancaster County). Participants in an active audience will likely be contributing to the larger performance or activity. An RSO worship service would qualify as an active audience.

At this time, whenever possible, these events should be hosted virtually.

When performance-based activities are hosted virtually, the performers still need to follow university guidelines including physical distancing, facial coverings, and time length considerations.

When hosting in person, stricter physical distancing must be followed.

  • Indoors:
    • Must maintain 10’ distancing with facial covering required.
    • Events should not exceed 50 minutes in length followed by 50 minutes of “down-time.” 50 minutes provides enough time for adequate air exchange. Additional down-time may be required by the facility for cleaning efforts.
  • Outdoors
    • Must maintain 10’ distancing with facial covering required.
Performance-based Activities & Rehearsals

A performance-based activity is defined as an activity with performances that involve active performances such as singing, dancing, or playing instruments with the mouth. An event should be considered both for the performance as well as the activity of the audience.

When hosting in person, stricter physical distancing for the performers must be followed.

  • Indoors:
    • Performers must maintain 10’ distancing with facial covering required.
    • Events should not exceed 50 minutes in length followed by 50 minutes of “down-time.” 50 minutes provides enough time for adequate air exchange. Additional down-time may be required by the facility for cleaning efforts.
  • Outdoors:
    • Must maintain 10’ distancing with facial coverings optional.

Dance practices, singing rehearsals, or rehearsals for performance-based activities should follow:

  • Dancers/Participants observe 10’ physical distancing.
  • All participants must wear a facial covering.
  • The total number of people in rehearsal, including instructor and accompanist, cannot exceed 12.
Events Involving Food

Banquets, philanthropy events, and other luncheon/dinner type are strongly discouraged for spring 2021.

If an event involving food is necessary, in order to minimize risks associated with COVID-19, events having food must follow the University Wide Food Policy.

  • Under current Directed Health Measures, self-serve buffet food options are prohibited.
  • On campus facilities may have additional requirements beyond the University Wide Food Policy. Affiliated organizations should follow the additional requirements for each facility.

University Housing and Dining operates the dining centers with a venue specific plan that complies with current Directed Health Measures pertaining to restaurants to provide a safe dining environment for residential students.

Off Campus Events
  • Events hosted off campus are expected to follow the current Directed Health Measures of the State and Lincoln/Lancaster County and the guidance provided by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln regarding event location, attendance, activity, etc.
  • The hosting venue may have additional restrictions that are beyond the above guidance. It’s expected that affiliated organizations follow all university guidelines as well as additional guidelines the venue may require. Documentation must be provided by the off-campus venue demonstrating their compliance with all current federal, state, and local guidance related to COVID-19 and may be required in the risk assessment.
  • Organizations with national or international affiliation, and membership in fraternities/sororities and clubs and organizations that have membership with a coordinating national, international, executive or headquarter offices are expected to observe the requirements of those organizations as it relates to meetings, activities, and events. If there is a difference in requirements, organizations are expected to observe the most stringent requirements or guidance received regarding meetings, activities and events.


No university funds (including fee dollars and SOFS funding) may be used to pay for any form of travel until further notice.

  • Conferences, service trips, competitions or other organized activities outside of the state are strongly discouraged, and may require students to self-quarantine upon return to campus.
  • Travel exemption requests are required for any proposed travel. These will be reviewed within 5 business days of submission.