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Campus Event and Activity Guidelines

Procedures for COVID-19 Mitigation, Spring 2021

Procedures for COVID-19 Mitigation, Spring 2021

Note: These guidelines are subject to change. The University of Minnesota Morris’s first priority is the health and wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors. For further information and event planning assistance please contact the Office of Student Activities, Conferences, and Events.

MDH Guidance for Mitigating COVID-19 at Higher Education Institutions provides the following guidance for phasing in campus activities:

  • Continue to support campus activities in a way that reduces transmission potential of COVID-19.
  • Consider canceling large events or activities during the first couple of weeks.
  • Replace with activities or events that can be held with smaller groups of people.
  • Structure events or activities so that attendees are divided into smaller groups.
  • Ensure social distancing and face covering requirements during the activity.

MDH Guidance for Safe Celebrations and Events recommends:

  • Develop preparedness plans for all events.
  • Wear masks and face coverings at indoor and outdoor events.
  • Assure food is prepared/served in accordance with applicable food regulations and guidance.
  • Limit outdoor and indoor occupant capacity to no more than 25%, up to 250 persons.

Facilities and Events Services

  • Event spaces and public lounges, study, and dining space capacities are being adjusted to comply with social distancing guidelines (including removal of furniture and modification of layouts).
  • Meetings and reservations will be restricted to adjusted capacities per MDH guidelines.
    • Room capacities in Astra are being adjusted to reflect new totals.
    • Student Activities, Conferences and Events will work with schedulers to create set-up and tear down windows.
  • Hand sanitizer will be installed at the most used entrances with portable hand sanitizing units available in some facilities. High touch points (e.g. door handles, railings) will be regularly sanitized.
  • New event creation/reservation procedures have been developed to assure event organizers are adequately prepared for all new expectations. These include:
    • Additional forms to walk event planners through preparing for new requirements.
    • A small group will review and approve event requests with representation from:
      • Student Activities, Conferences, and Events
      • Environmental Health and Safety
      • Facilities Management (custodial)
      • Campus Dining (catering)
      • Public Safety

Student Center Spaces and Events

  • Capacities for spaces other than Edson are based on empty rooms and may change based on the furniture setup:
    • Edson Auditorium: 120
    • Oyate Hall: 84 (Alumni Room: 18; University Room: 42; Cougar Room: 24)
    • Turtle Mountain Cafe: 48
    • Louie’s Lower Level: 55
    • Moccasin Flower Room: 12
    • Prairie Lounge: 9
    • Student Activities Conference Room: not reservable for Spring 2021.
  • Student Center tabling will be limited to a total of three tables at any one time.
    • Tables will only be allowed in the following locations:
      • Glass floor across from Edson Auditorium: 1/north area and 1/south area
      • The alcove beside Higbies across from the Turtle Mountain Cafe.
    • Plexiglass barriers will be provided for those tabling.
    • Bake sales and other food sales will not be allowed for Spring 2021.

Event and activities planning and management

  • Student organization leaders and event planners will need to develop thorough plans for events, rehearsals, practices and meetings that assure compliance with University and MDH guidelines. The Event Review Group noted above is creating processes to assist event planners in this work.
    • Event planners should think about how they will manage aspects such as:
      • Assure compliance with physical distancing requirements.
      • Assure room/event capacities are not exceeded.
      • Manage traffic into and out of the venue.
      • Comply with catering and food requirements.
      • Provide participation opportunities for both in-person and virtual attendance.
  • Design events/engagement opportunities so that they don't require large groups of participants.
  • Groups who engage in regular practices, rehearsals and meetings that may include higher risk behaviors (i.e. dancing, singing, martial arts, etc) will also need to develop thorough plans for their activity. These groups must work with Student Activities, Conferences and Events to develop their plan for how these activities can be held safely.
  • Student Activities, Conferences and Events staff will assist student leaders in scheduling and planning routine meetings to ensure required compliance with physical distancing and other safety guidelines.
  • MDH guidelines in Minnesota’s Stay Safe Plan requires the following, effective July 2020:
    • Capacity: 6 feet of social distance, max 25%, maximum of 250 people in an area – see guidance for additional details
    • Capacity: 6 feet of social distance, max 25%, maximum of 250 people in an area – see guidance for additional details
    • Large public gatherings over 250 people: Closed
    • Unstructured / social events (such as receptions):Outdoors: Gatherings of 25 or less;Indoors: Gatherings of 10 or less
  • Virtual programming and meetings are encouraged.
  • Large events relying on large groups of people (over 250 people) will not be allowed.
  • Attendance should be tracked and limits managed through some form or ticketing or RSVP process in order to assist with contact tracing if necessary and ensure capacities are not exceeded.
    • All events in Edson Auditorium will have assigned seating.
    • Ticketing for events in fixed seating venues will be set up through Audience View.
  • Campus Connection can be used to track attendance via card swipe.
  • Higher risk activities such as: dancing, singing, athletic activities, etc which require a greater level of physical exertion or projection of voice are subject to these additional restrictions:
    • Social distancing of 12 feet.
    • Masks should be worn at all times whether indoors or outdoors.
    • Limit to no more than 10 individuals per activity.
    • No physical contact between participants is allowed.
  • Unstructured gatherings will be limited to the MDH required 25 for outdoor gatherings and 10 people for indoor gatherings.
  • Some sizable events (Performing Arts Series, Dance Ensemble, Improv shows) will happen with more limited capacity. The number of performances can be increased to meet audience needs.
  • Food at Events and Meetings:
    • Only individually portioned pre packaged options can be provided such as individually boxed lunches or wrapped cookies. No foods that need to be served (such as a large pizza) can be provided. Beverages must be individually portioned canned or bottled drinks (no 2 litre bottles and cups).
  • Publicity for events on events calendar, posters, and social media should include:
    • Information on the program delivery format(s) - in person options, remote options, registration information, and advanced ticketing information for in person events.
    • For in person events: appropriate messages about wearing face coverings, distancing, hand washing, not attending if experiencing symptoms, etc.
    • See sample poster / text

Sample language for event marketing materials

The health and wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff, and patrons is our first priority. To maintain the highest standard of safety for our community, The University of Minnesota Morris requires that attendants to events comply with the policies and guidelines set forth by the Minnesota Department of Health, the Regents of the University of Minnesota, the President of the University of Minnesota, the Chancellor of the University of Minnesota Morris, and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. For more information, visit