RSOs can resume in-person programming for the 2021-22 school year in accordance with University and Chicago Department of Public Health guidelines. These guidelines are subject to change throughout the year as conditions warrant. Depending on the nature and size of an event, RSOs may be required to limit attendance, include event staff to monitor COVID protocol compliance, or other mitigations for health and safety purposes.
For the 2021 Autumn Quarter, the following requirements will be in place for all in-person activities:
- Event organizers may not ask or record the vaccination status of would-be participants and should, where reasonable, select locations that can accommodate the needs of unvaccinated participants or those who wish to participate in a socially distanced manner.
- Organizers should adhere to the principle below and communicate the written statement to all attendees:
“This convening is open to all invitees regardless of vaccination status and, because of ongoing health risks to the unvaccinated, those who are unvaccinated are expected to adopt the risk mitigation measures advised by public health officials (masking and social distancing, etc.). Public convening may not be safe for all and carries a risk for contracting COVID-19, particularly for those unvaccinated. Participants will not know the vaccination status of others and should follow appropriate risk mitigation measures.”
- Please note that current University policy requires that all individuals wear a face covering over the nose and the mouth indoors at all times, with limited exceptions. This requirement will be true for any indoor RSO activity regardless of whether that activity occurs on-campus or off-campus.
- RSO event attendance may not exceed the capacity of the venue. University spaces have been through a rigorous assessment of their ventilation systems and may have updated capacities and capabilities. Before planning your RSO event, check with the venue to learn about these updates. Information on Student Centers spaces can be found on their website.
- RSOs that hold events with 100+ attendees must complete a request form. The information you provide can help to identify any COVID risks associated with the event and mitigate these where possible. RSO events in any venue, on or off campus, are subject to this approval process.
- All RSO events will require monitoring for COVID risk mitigation compliance. RSO leaders must take on this responsibility during events with fewer than 100 attendees. For events with over 100 attendees, additional University staff members are required to assist with monitoring.
- Event monitors should watch for general attendee compliance with current COVID protocols, assist with accommodations for additional social distancing measures if requested, and ensure overall capacity does not exceed the venue limits.
You can find some additional recommendations and best practices for in-person gatherings in the menus below.
- Convene outdoors when possible.
- Limit gatherings to 90 minutes.
- Provide options for guests to distance from others as appropriate through seating and/or generous circulation space. This is often referred to as “breathing room”.
- Keep a list of attendee names and contact information in case contact tracing is required.
- Limit bottlenecks at check-in, registration, food pick-up, or other areas by staggering arrival or departure times.
- Consider any reasonable accommodation requests to allow participants to engage virtually.
- Monitor federal, state, city, and University guidelines as your event date approaches, and be ready to pivot if needed. Regulations and COVID protocol can change quickly, and all events are subject to current University guidance at the time they occur, rather than the time they were planned.
- Check the venue’s website for COVID-19 protocol descriptions. If protocols are not robust, consider using another venue.
- Confirm what steps the venue has in place to clean and sanitize the event space and shared areas, such as restrooms.
- Provide hand sanitizer for attendees as needed.
- Individually packaged or boxed meals are preferable to buffet-style meals. Avoid shared food and utensils whenever possible.
- Buffet-style meals for events with over 100 attendees are prohibited.
- Unvaccinated individuals should be able to socially distance 6 feet from others while actively eating or drinking.
- Attendees are required to wear masks unless they are actively eating and drinking.
- When using venues with drinking water dispensers, encourage attendees to bring their own refillable water bottle.
- Any RSO wanting to travel (or pay the travel expenses for a visitor) must complete the Travel Request Form.
- RSOs should monitor state and local travel advisories to confirm that there is no advisory for their intended destination.
- International travel is possible; however, the approval process is more involved, and groups should prepare several weeks in advance. Be sure to meet with your RSO advisor before making any international travel plans.
- All events involving minors must go through the RSO event approval process. Please fill out this request form to begin the process.
- Review the University Compliance Checklist in advance of planning any event involving minors.
- Plan to have adequate space for social distancing for all attendees and reinforce masking requirements.