Regarding Student Groups and COVID-19

Updates for Student Groups

Last Updated 4/4/2020 at 6:11 PM

The University follows recommendations and guidelines set by the Minnesota Department of Health.

The Safe Campus website will be continuously updated as new information comes to light. As more information becomes available, the Student Activities Office will provide updates via these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to student groups and campus partners. As the University monitors the situation, questions will arise that there are not yet answers to. Please know that we will continue to update you as more information becomes available. We encourage students to continue checking this website for more updates.

Students have been impacted in multiple ways by COVID 19, and the University is committed to sharing as many resources as possible. View this Immediate Resources document for more information about access to academic resources off campus, food shelves, COVID 19 updates, and more. This document will be updated as more resources are made known.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can we do to sustain our group and our members?

Many student groups have successfully adapted their events and regular operations to a virtual space. You can read this “Student Groups Operating Remotely” document on how some groups are adjusting to operating remotely.

Our office wants to know what your group is doing to finish the semester remotely. Students can fill out this form to share their group’s plans for remote meetings, events, elections, and officer transitions in this form. We will continue to collect results and share ideas with the rest of the student group community through the “Student Groups Operating Remotely” document linked above.

Additionally, use this opportunity to check in on your members. There have been shifts in our daily lives and you can support your members virtually. Sending messages of support, granting accommodations to membership requirements, and gathering socially in virtual spaces are all possible ways to support your members.

How should we proceed with our student group meetings?

  • We encourage your group to move any meetings or gatherings to a virtual space.
  • The University provided platforms below allow you to conduct virtual meetings rather than in person.

Does our student group event need to be cancelled?

  • Per a message from President Gabel on March 25, 2020, “Stay-at-home executive actions are emerging across the country to limit broad community contact in an effort to slow the exponential growth of COVID-19 transmission—an important next step in our response to this pandemic. Public health officials have encouraged social distancing as a tool to stem the tide and Governor Walz’s order today aligns with that recommendation. For us, it means:
    • Do not leave your home or residence to go to work unless ou have been informed by your supervisor that your job supports 'critical services,' as defined by the Governor's order.
    • Do not visit others outside your home or residence unless there is an urgent need to do so.
    • You may leave your residence for critical needs, such as buying groceries, picking up medication, seeking medical care, and other necessities. Providing care or support for a friend or family member in need is also allowed.
    • If you do need to leave your home to address a critical need or for outdoor activities, continue to practice social distancing (staying at least six feet away from others).”
  • The Center for Disease Control has guidance and resources related to large community events and mass gatherings. Continue to reference this page as you make determinations about your group’s activities.

Does the University’s suspension of domestic travel affect our student group?

  • Individual students or Campus Life Program student groups may have been awarded Student Activities Grant funding for University travel. In this case, travel will need to be cancelled. Please work with the Student Activities Grants coordinator on any questions related to how this will affect grant awards and follow up.
  • Campus Life Programs events are considered University events, and as such, should follow any department guidelines regarding travel restrictions or plans for events moving forward.

How should our group receive our mail?

  • Student groups who have mail sent to Coffman Memorial Union or have the Student Activities Office listed as their mailing address are encouraged to redirect their mail and packages to an alternate address.

What should we keep in mind when canceling or altering our student group event?

Space

  • Contact the facility, University or otherwise, that you have reserved for your event if you plan to cancel or alter any items you have planned. Since there may be cancellation fees assessed, it will be important to find out if any cancellation fee waivers might be offered during this time.I
  • To cancel meeting and event reservations in University classrooms, please email ocmevent@umn.edu.
  • If you have reserved Student Unions and Activities space (Coffman Memorial Union or St. Paul Student Center) for your event and are planning to cancel it, please work with SUA Events Service (suares@umn.edu) to determine any responsibilities for your group.

Funding

  • Please be aware that if you have received funding for your event through the Student Activities Grants, you should contact saogrant@umn.edu with questions about how event cancellation will affect any grant awards and follow up.
  • Groups that received Student Services Fee (SSF) funds for operations and/or Spring 2020 events will be contacted by the SSF advisor with instructions on rescheduling or canceling events.
  • If you have independent sponsors supporting your event, you will want to engage with these organizations directly to see how any cancellations or alterations to the event might affect them. Please review contracts or signed agreements to ensure you follow any necessary binding event cancellation clauses.

What are the limits on large gatherings?