Student Affairs In-Person Event Guidance

Event Planning During COVID-19

For departments and organizations thinking about hosting in-person events this semester, it’s important that you keep up with Directed Health Measures to help promote a safe environment and keep within university compliance. At this time event webinars have ended. If you have questions about policies, please contact the following:

  • RSOs should contact Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement at 402-472-2454 or involved@unl.edu
  • Fraternities and sororities should contact the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at 402-472-2582

Watch the latest webinar from March 24, 2021.

Directed Health Measures (DHM) through April 23, 2021

Updated March 17, 2021

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Participant Limitations

500+ participants requires LLCHD approval

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Gatherings / Event Attendance

75% Occupancy Indoors & Outdoors

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Small Group Activities

Max of 8 People
Per Table / Group

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50+ Attendees (On or Off Campus)

Must Seek University Approval
(see Event Guidelines)

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University or Organization Travel (Includes Travel or Events Outside Lincoln, NE)

Students Permitted With Approval
(Restrictions Apply)
View policy and/or request an exemption

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 Expectations

  • 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 (RSO risk assessment or non-RSO 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 involved@unl.edu.
    • 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 (debra.hendricks@unl.edu).

Event Planning Expectations

Updated March 22, 2021

Safety Measures for All Events
Attendance and Card Swipe Readers
  • Event coordinators must track attendance at the event and maintain this record for 14 days after 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.
  • External guests should be limited and must pass a symptoms screening to be allowed entry:
    • Have you had a fever (temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher) within the last 72 hours?
    • Do they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19?
      • Fever greater than 100.4 degrees
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • New dry cough
      • New loss of taste or smell
      • And/or 2 or more of the following for more than 24 hours unexplained: chills for more than 2 hours, congestion/runny nose, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
    • Have you, or has anybody in your immediate family/household, had a known exposure to COVID-19 within the last 14 days?
    If guests answer yes to any of these questions, they should not be permitted to attend the event.
Face Coverings

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

Events with Shared Objects
  • Equipment that will be shared must be easy to clean, which likely means it must be a hard surface (not fabric or highly porous).
  • Shared objects or equipment must be disinfected between users.
  • Hand sanitizer or hand washing stations should be readily available.
  • Equipment placed on the face should NOT be shared, even with cleaning protocols. This includes but is not limited to goggles, virtual reality headsets, etc.
  • Students must show a “Building Access Granted” status in the Safer Community app to check out shared equipment or participate in events with shared equipment.
Event Duration

Events should be no longer than 2 hours if the event setup doesn’t allow 6 feet of spacing (for example, when a seated meal is provided). If the event setup allows for 6 feet of spacing between participants there is no limit on the duration.

Virtual Integration

Virtual participation should be considered to allow a larger number of people to engage.

Expectations by Audience
Events with 50+ Attendees

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.

Activities that are Open to the Public and Guests

All events with a public presence should be carefully considered and efforts should be made to limit potential virus spread. Mitigation efforts must be outlined in the event’s risk assessment.

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 .

Expectations by Event Type
Banquets & Ceremonies

A banquet is defined as an event with food that is meant to celebrate, recognize or draw attention to a topic. Often there will be a speaker and there may be a performance, but dancing by attendees is not permitted.

A ceremony is defined as a special event where awards or other symbolic items are typically bestowed as part of a tradition, special occasion or commemoration. Some examples of ceremonies, but not all inclusive, are award ceremonies and organizational pinning ceremonies..

Special events such as banquets and ceremonies may be approved when appropriate mitigation protocols are in place. Leaders from the Public Health Advocacy Team will continue to review the pandemic conditions on a weekly basis to make determinations if event guidance needs to be adjusted.

See Safety Measures for All Events, Expectations by Audience, and Expectations by Event Type for applicable guidance and expectations.

Trophies, plaques, awards, certificates, and other items bestowed on someone should follow guidance for Events with Shared Objects.

Dances

Event Approval

  • All formals and dances, regardless of size, must submit a Risk Assessment (RSO risk assessment or non-RSO risk assessment) and an event approval request.
  • The event sponsor is limited to one organization. Events sponsored by multiple organizations are not allowed.
  • 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 Leadership, Involvement, & Community Engagement at 402-472-2454 or involved@unl.edu.
    • Fraternities and sororities should contact the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at 402-472-2582 and notify their Council advisor.
  • Forms must be approved at least 10 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 (debra.hendricks@unl.edu).
  • 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.

Registration & Attendance Tracking

  • Non-UNL guests are allowed and must follow all expectations outlined in this guidance.
  • Registration for the event is required for all UNL students and non-UNL guests.
  • Registration must be completed 7 days prior to the event and must include first name, last name, NU ID (if they are a UNL student), date of birth, email address, cell phone number, and a designation noting whether the individual is a member of the sponsoring organization. Please use this sample template.
  • For Fraternity and Sorority organizations, the event is limited to twice the number of the chapter’s total membership. Staff are not counted in this total. For example, if the chapter’s total membership is 75, the event is limited to 150 plus the required number of staff.
  • The sponsoring organization is responsible for collecting and assigning all registrants to groups of no more than 8 people.
  • Event expectations, including all health and safety measures and testing expectations, must be sent to all registrants 6 days prior to the event.
  • Event attendance must be closely tracked at all entrances for the duration of the event. Only those on the registration list are allowed entry.
  • Attendance lists must be maintained for 14 days after the event, including the composition of small groups.
  • All aspects of registration and attendance tracking are the sole responsibility of the sponsoring organization.

Testing & Screening

  • All students and non-UNL guests must show proof of one of the following to be allowed entry to the event:
    • Negative test administered in the 4 days prior to the event.
      • Because choosing to attend a dance is optional, all attendees may be asked to show a test result within the specified time period. Students who test on-campus can do so by selecting "View History" in the Safer Community app to see the date of the most recent test.
      • Negative tests from outside of Safer Community can be verified by making sure the date the test was administered (sometimes called the ‘sample collection date’) is within 4 days of the event, shows a result of negative for SARS-CoV-2, and the name on the test result matches the name of the attendee.
    • A positive test result within 90 days of the event, but no less than 11 days before the event.
      • Prior to the event, organizers should calculate the time period for 90 days prior to the event and 11 days prior to the event. Any positive tests shown to take place between the two dates would be acceptable.
  • All students and non-UNL guests must also pass the following symptoms screening upon entry. The answer must be ‘no’ to all screening questions to pass.
    • Have you had a fever (temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher) within the last 72 hours?
    • Do they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19?
      • Fever greater than 100.4 degrees
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • New dry cough
      • New loss of taste or smell
      • And/or 2 or more of the following for more than 24 hours unexplained: chills for more than 2 hours, congestion/runny nose, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
    • Have you, or has anybody in your immediate family/household, had a known exposure to COVID-19 within the last 14 days?
  • All students and non-UNL guests must have a COVID-19 test 5 and 10 days after the event.
  • It is strongly encouraged that UNL students use the university's saliva testing for the pre- and post-event testing. All positive test results for students not conducted through UNL’s saliva testing system must be reported to covid19@unl.edu the same day that results are received.
  • Managing, monitoring, and tracking of testing and screening requirements is the responsibility of the organization advisor with help from the organization members.

Transportation

See Transportation and Travel section of this page for requirements.

Venue Location & Setup

  • Events can only take place within Lancaster County, Nebraska.
  • It is strongly encouraged that events take place outdoors.
  • Indoor events will be considered.
  • The duration of the event is dependent on the venue.
    • Outdoor events can span up to 8 hours from the arrival of the first attendee to the departure of the last attendee.
    • Indoor events can span up to 4 hours from the arrival of the first attendee to the departure of the last attendee.
  • Groups of 8 must have their own table and can only sit at their table.
  • All tables must be spaced in a way that no two people from different tables are within 6-feet of one another.
  • A designated dance floor must be provided. Face coverings must be always worn while dancing. No food or beverage is allowed on the dance floor.

Staffing

  • Staffing should be arranged that will monitor and enforce all requirements in this document.
  • Staff can be hired security, venue-provided staff, advisors, UNL faculty/staff, or student officers from the sponsoring organization. Staff must not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Staff must be provided at the ratio of at least 1 staff per every 75 attendees, with a minimum of 2 staff regardless of number of attendees.

General Health and Safety Measures

  • Face coverings are required at all times, including while dancing, unless seated with your designated group of 8.
  • All attendees should maintain 6-feet of physical distancing unless seated at a table or dancing.
  • Every table should have an adequate supply of hand sanitizer.

Food & Beverage

  • Consumption of food and beverage is only allowed while seated at your designated table.
  • Food provided by a caterer must be served or via a self-service buffet (if off-campus) in adherence to all current Directed Health Measures.
  • Food provided by the sponsoring organization must be placed at each table and include individual plates and serving utensils.

Pre/Post-Event Socials

If permitted by your organization, it’s strongly recommended that any gatherings of event attendees prior to the event or after the event should be limited to the designated group of 8.

Noncompliance Consequences

If the sponsoring organization is suspected of having not complied with one or more aspect of this guidance, the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards could initiate formal conduct action that includes one or more of the following:

  • Written notice
  • Temporary suspension while the matter is investigated
  • Probation
  • Restriction or revocation of social privileges
  • Withdrawal of recognition
  • Notification to advisory, national, and/or governing bodies

Events Involving Food

  • Food and beverage is only allowed while seated. Face cover can only be removed during moments of active eating and drinking while seated.
  • Face cover must be worn when not seated.
  • Table seating is limited to 6 attendees per table.
  • Events with food must follow the University Wide Food Policy.
    • 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.

Guest Lecturers, Speakers & Shows
  • Face coverings are always required by attendees, performer(s) and accompanists.
  • Seating must be physically distanced.
  • If the event is not seated, adequate physical distancing (6’) for attendees should be required.
Inflatables & Carnival Rides

These events are suspended until further notice.

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.
    • See Safety Measures for All Events, Expectations by Audience, and Expectations by Event Type for applicable guidance and expectations.
Performance-based Activities & Rehearsals
  • A minimum of six feet of distancing must exist between all individuals.
  • Facial coverings are required.
  • Indoor rehearsals are limited to 30 minutes followed by at least 30 minutes of downtime to allow air exchange.
  • The maximum number of people will be determined by capacity of the space with six feet of distancing between all individuals.
Philanthropies & Fundraisers

Special events such as philanthropies and fundraisers may be approved when appropriate mitigation protocols are in place. Leaders from the Public Health Advocacy Team will continue to review the pandemic conditions on a weekly basis to make determinations if event guidance needs to be adjusted.

See Safety Measures for All Events, Expectations by Audience, and Expectations by Event Type for applicable guidance and expectations.

Sports Activities
  • Face coverings must be worn at all times, including during the activity.
  • Lists of participants must be maintained for 14 days in case contact tracing becomes necessary.
  • Spectators should not be invited, but casual observers are permissible.
  • Competitions with teams from outside UNL are not allowed.
  • Travel is not allowed.
  • Activities must be supervised by UNL staff to ensure compliance with guidance. (Trained students are staff acceptable).
  • Participants must have a “Building Access Granted” status in the Safer Community app to participate.
Sports Clubs
  • All Sport Clubs may be permitted to hold meetings, workouts, practices, and competition with other UNL teams if face cover wearing guidelines can be maintained.
  • Non-contact Sport Clubs (Badminton, Bowling, Crew/Rowing, Curling, Running) and limited contact Sport Clubs (Baseball, Softball, Volleyball) may be permitted to compete against teams from outside of UNL.
  • All UNL and opposing team players and coaches must agree to pass a pre-game symptom screening. Both teams must agree to strict face cover wearing before, during and after the competition.
  • All teams must keep a record of all players and coaches who were involved for 14 days after the activity.
  • UNL Sport Clubs must follow established Off Campus Event expectations and event Transportation & Travel expectations.
Tabling Activities
  • Each group tabling must be assigned a specific location
  • Representatives of sponsoring group must maintain 6’ of physical distance from everyone including from other representatives and people approaching the table.
  • Facial coverings are required.
  • Any individual handling promotional material must wear gloves.
  • Promotional materials should be placed on the table in a spaced manner for individuals to take, not handed out by people working the table.
  • Table activities may not involve shared equipment (bucket toss game, spin the prize wheel, etc.).
Transportation & Travel

Transportation shall be defined as remaining within the local community and applies to trips within Lancaster County. Examples include going to Nebraska Wesleyan University or Roca Berry Farm for an event/activity.

Travel shall be defined as a trip from your local community to another community for an event/activity (i.e. outside of Lancaster county) but does not include commuting to and from classes/work or moving between counties to carry out everyday activities or standard errands. Examples include going to Doane University, Platte River State Park, or Omaha for an event/activity.

Special events requiring transportation or travel may be approved when appropriate mitigation protocols are in place. Leaders from the Public Health Advocacy Team will continue to review the pandemic conditions on a weekly basis to make determinations if event guidance needs to be adjusted.

Transportation should be included in an event approval request and reflected in the risk assessment.

Travel exemption requests are required for any proposed travel. These will be reviewed within 5 business days of submission.

Passenger vehicle transportation and travel:

  • All vehicle occupants must:
    • Wear a face cover at all times.
    • Have ‘Building Access Granted’ status on the Safer Community app.
    • Pass a symptoms screening before entering the vehicle.
    • Sit in the same location in the vehicle the entire time to and from the destination.
  • HVAC should be set to bring in outside air (not recirculate) with the fan on high.
  • At least two windows positioned diagonally from one another should be partially open.
  • Travel should only be done in weather that does not prohibit or discourage open windows and ventilation.
  • No more than two people per row of seating, regardless of an aisle splitting the row.
  • All passengers should space themselves as far apart as possible.
  • It is recommended that everyone use hand sanitizer each time they enter and exit the vehicle.
  • No intermediate stops (gas stations, rest areas, etc.) should be made on the trip.
  • Food and beverage should not be consumed in the vehicle so face covers can be worn the entire time.
  • All Driving and Motor Vehicle policies should be followed.

Bus transportation and travel:

  • All bus occupants must:
    • Wear a face cover at all times.
    • Have ‘Building Access Granted’ status on the Safer Community app.
    • Pass a symptoms screening before entering the bus.
    • Sit in the same location in the bus the entire time to and from the destination.
    • Not move around in the bus once seated.
  • HVAC should be set to bring in outside air (not recirculate) with the fan on high.
  • No more than two people per row of seating, regardless of an aisle splitting the row.
  • All passengers should space themselves as far apart as possible, including staggering seating from row to row.
  • It is recommended that everyone use hand sanitizer each time they enter and exit the vehicle.
  • No intermediate stops (gas stations, rest areas, etc.) should be made on the trip.
  • Food and beverage should not be consumed in the vehicle so face covers can be worn the entire time.
  • University rental vehicles are available from fleet management and may carry additional restrictions.