Student Group Fall 2020 Event Guidelines

For more guidance and advising about in-person meeting guidelines as well as best practices for virtual events, please schedule an appointment with a Student Activities Advisor at

Last Updated 10/13/2020

The Fall 2020 semester will be a time of change for the University, and we are updating services for student groups to meet that change. Our department’s goals are to ensure groups have opportunities to engage with each other and with campus and prioritize health and safety. In order to comply with the University’s Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan, the guidelines below shall apply to indoor and outdoor on-campus events after the transition to Step 3 (as of October 13).

These guidelines are in addition to those set forth by the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and other state and federal guidelines. Updated guidelines and information will be communicated as they are finalized. Student groups that are non-compliant with University guidelines may lose access to benefits, including requesting and reserving space on-campus, and their student group status may be impacted.

The templates below are for student groups to use if they are planning and executing in-person events:

2020-21 Student Group Public Health Safety Statement (Required for In-Person Events)

2020-21 Student Group Public Health Safety Plan Template

Overall Guidelines

  • If an event or meeting can be hosted remotely, student groups should host remotely.
    • Groups cannot require people to meet in person.
    • Groups must create flexible methods of meeting (especially for those groups with attendance requirements for members and officers)
    • In-person meetings should include a remote option (live or recorded) to be considered accessible and/or open to all students/members.
  • Groups who do create in-person gatherings must follow all guidelines set forth (at the time of the event) by the University.
  • Groups will acknowledge that no in-person gathering at this time is determined “safe”. There is no guarantee that after following all protocols, someone will not contract/spread COVID-19. By hosting an in-person event, the sponsoring student group assumes the responsibility of taking precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19. By hosting an event, all groups agree to the following language:
    • “My group is responsible for complying with and enforcing all University of Minnesota and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines and requirements for our event. The public health safety guidelines that we comply with and enforce will make our event safer, but hosting an in-person event exposes our attendees to some risk. Failure to comply with and/or enforce those guidelines and requirements may result in a loss of benefits and a change in status.”
  • Campus Life Programs are additionally subject to those guidelines set forth by their department.
  • Groups may set additional requirements, beyond those set forth by the University. Groups are then responsible for the enforcement of those additional requirements. Those requirements may apply to on and off-campus events/meetings.
  • Groups that are non-compliant with University guidelines may lose access to benefits, including reserving/requesting space on-campus, and their student group status may be impacted.

Public Health Safety Expectations

  • Student groups will be responsible for maintaining environments that promote the health, wellbeing, and accessibility of their members. Before hosting their in-person event, student groups must complete and submit the Public Health Safety Statement to the venue or space manager.
  • Groups who wish to host an event/meeting on-campus will review and add specific information to a public health safety plan template that aligns with University guidelines and must be signed by the group prior to accessing the space.
  • The public health safety plan for the group’s event/meeting will include a plan for enforcement of the public health guidelines set forth by the University and the group.
    • Per University guidelines, groups will require their members and attendees to wear face coverings.
    • Groups may consult with a student Activities Advisor (, venue manager, or space manager to determine best practices.

Venues and Space

  • University venue and space managers will determine the spaces available for student groups to reserve.
    • The capacities for in-person events, activities and meetings will vary depending upon the venue.
    • The Office for Classroom Management has set a capacity limit of 25 people for any events/meetings in University Classrooms. Reservation requests for events/meetings in University classrooms with more than 25 people will be denied.
  • Venue and space availability may change at any time for, but not limited to, the following reasons:
    • Groups not complying with University guidelines
    • New University of Minnesota and/or Minnesota Department of Health guidelines about events and/or gatherings
    • Internal venue guidelines updated
    • Group’s event plans change (lack of sustainability)
  • Groups are responsible for discussing and/or verifying processes for cancellation with the venue and space manager upon request to utilize the space.
  • Student groups must comply with any directive or intervention from University employees if the event/meeting is not following agreed upon guidelines.
    • Groups who are non-compliant will be reported to the Student Group Conduct Process. Student Unions and Activities may consult with event/meeting staff (student group volunteers, members, and officers), event/meeting attendees, and/or venue managers to determine the outcome of the conduct process.

Attendee Management

  • Student groups holding an in-person event will collect contact information for all attendees at their event. The event/meeting may be pre-register only (via tickets, RSVPs, invitation only, etc.) or employ card-swiping at the door.
    • The student group must be prepared to turn over the contact information to the University of Minnesota or the Minnesota Department of Health in order to conduct contact tracing.
  • Groups are responsible for explicitly communicating health and accessibility guidelines of their event/meeting before the event/meeting occurs.
  • Student groups may not collect, request, or keep medical information of attendees.

Event/Meeting Setup and Planning

  • Student Unions and Activities will work with groups on education and preparedness, considering the varied and complex recommendations and requirements being shared.
  • As event planners, groups should utilize resources established by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH'S Guidance for Safe Celebrations and Events) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC’s Gatherings and Events guidelines).
  • Food at events/meetings may only be served if it meets the following guidelines:
    • Meals are individually packaged. Individuals are encouraged to dispose of everything from the meal themselves.
    • Attendees must be seated and socially distanced while eating and drinking (when face coverings may be temporarily removed)
    • If attendees are seated and not eating and/or drinking, a face covering must be worn.
    • When determining the number of attendees, social distancing must be maintained at all times.
    • The event must follow and conform to the venue COVID-19 Preparedness plan.
  • A food permit must still be obtained for all events requesting to serve food.
  • NOTE: No buffets, plated dinners, self-serve food or pre-packaged items made at home will be permitted.