Important Campus Policies
RSO Specific Policies, Considerations & Updates
RSO events and meetings will be held to Student Affairs Event standards. The information below provides RSO specific details and considerations.
RSO Hosted Events
In addition to the Student Affairs considerations, here are additional RSO-specific considerations.
Definition of an Event
An event as defined by the University, 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.
University entities hosting events are strongly encouraged to utilize the Risk Assessment Guide to assess and develop their event plans.
All events over 50 people in attendance must submit a completed risk assessment for approval through the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs.
General Event Guidance
It is possible to host events during COVID-19 and the Fall 2020 semester, so we are providing some general guidelines to help event planners consider their options when planning activities. The sections provide in-depth considerations for various topics.
Events should be held virtually whenever possible.
- Events must comply with all current state, local, and university guidelines set by officials. This includes, but is not limited to
- Event capacity limits
- Facial coverings
- Physical distancing
- The Risk Assessment can assist with mitigation strategies. Event planners should consider the following:
- Your event’s goal and/or learning outcomes.
- If your learning outcomes can be met in a virtual event, consider hosting an event virtually.
- Number of event attendees.
- Any event with more than 50 people requires approval of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
- A large enough space to host the event. Outdoor venues are preferred.
- Discuss the venue/facility’s specific requirements.
- Physical distancing markers
- Location of various needs:
- Hand sanitizer stations, disinfectant, hand washing stations
- Check in tables/processes
- Any attendee requirements (temperature checks, facial coverings)
- Line management
- Temporary signage expectations: including who is responsible for printing, setting up, and removing signage
- Cleaning and disinfectant expectations/needs
- Virtual option for distance attendees
- Equipment and expectations
- Other details pertaining to your specific plans.
- Entrance and exit options.
- It is best to offer one entrance point and one exit point, as well as directional traffic throughout events.
- Make plans to address all considerations with the facility.
- A virtual option for individuals who cannot attend in person.
- Have a dedicated staff member or student for the virtual participants.
- Arrange for any Services for Students with Disabilities accommodations prior to the event.
- Length of the event/activity.
- Consider staggered attendance options.
- Consider an event where attendees can determine how long they choose to stay.
- Consider splitting the event – offering the same activity multiple times to smaller groups with cleaning time built in (discuss with facility).
- If the event has special considerations (food, performers, etc.)
- Special considerations are outlined below in detail.
- RSVP systems and requirements.
- Pre-event communication to attendees.
- Encourage attendees to stay home if they are sick. Provide links to CDC guidance on what to do if you are sick.
- Encourage attendees to check their symptoms using the 1-Check COVID-19 Screening app
- Remind attendees of policies for entrance: facial coverings, physical distancing, room capacities etc.
- RSVP and Attendance tracking expectations: how will you be tracking attendance and what does the attendee need to have for attendance tracking (NUID, Event Pass, etc.)?
- Acknowledge that the environment is ever changing, and the information is subject to change based on UNL and local guidance.
- If information changes, communicate as quickly as possible.
- Pre-event communication with staff/event workers
- Encourage staff to stay home if they are sick. Provide links to CDC guidance on what to do if you are sick.
- Encourage staff to check their symptoms using the 1-Check COVID-19 Screening app
- Set expectations for staff at the event
- Flow of event
- Miscellaneous considerations:
- PPE - what to do if an attendee does not have appropriate PPE as required by event staff. Consider providing one-time use facial coverings.
- ADA –virtual and in person events feature appropriate ADA accommodations.
- At the Event:
- Ensure attendees follow physical distancing markers
- Enforce facial coverings or other policies
- Follow protocols as described by the facility.
- Promote proper hand washing, sanitizing and disinfecting shared objects.
- Make sure staff for the event are easily identified so participants know who to take guidance from throughout the program.
- After the Event
- Follow up with any attendance tracking technical needs immediately to have a complete list of attendees.
- If for some reason attendee(s) were not electronically recorded as being at the event, make sure they are added manually immediately following the event.
- If attendance records are requested for contract tracing, please provide these promptly. Records can be requested by UNL officials, Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department, or other local agencies.
The NvolveU EPR is open and submissions from RSOs are welcome. ALL RSO events require an EPR on NvolveU. Our three (3) and ten (10) business day deadlines are still in place for indoor and outdoor events, respectively. Approvers will provide additional guidance for EPRs submitted.
RSOs are encouraged to meet virtually in Fall 2020. RSOs are able to meet face-to-face and should complete an EPR to reserve space on campus. Follow the above guidance regarding event planning. In general, in-person RSO meetings must:
- Have an approved EPR on NvolveU
- Comply with room capacities
- Provide for physical distancing
- Require facial coverings
- Record attendance in NvolveU
- Have hand sanitizer available (the University has hand sanitizer stations available throughout campus)
RSOs should have a virtual option available for attendees who cannot come to in person meetings.
RSOs need to complete the EPR for entirely virtual meetings, to provide new students an opportunity to find their meeting times and attend. RSOs can enter a virtual meeting location on the first page of the EPR. If an RSO intends to use SOFS funds for any event purpose, an EPR is required.
Additional resources and information about how to hold a virtual student organization event can be found here.
Face Coverings/Masks/Face Shields
All event attendees (students, faculty, staff, and guests/visitors) are required to follow the university’s policy on facial coverings. The policy requires face coverings for all indoor and many outdoor events on the UNL campus with the following exceptions:
- When eating; however, social distancing practices must be observed.
- When alone in a room.
- When an alternative is necessary as indicated by a medical professional during patient care.*
- When exercising either in a campus recreation facility or during a university-sponsored activity when use of a campus recreation facility is not practicable.
- When pertaining to children under the age of 2 years
General Purpose Classroom Reservations
General Classroom space for RSO meetings will be limited for Fall 2020; academic classes will have priority for these rooms. If a room is available after making accommodations for classes, a pending queue of UNL departmental events will need to be processed initially before RSO room requests could be made.
RSOs can check the Special Event Request Form to see if the reservation form for General Classroom reservations has been posted. If the link is available, this indicates reservation requests are accepted. If the form is not yet available, RSOs are encouraged to check back.
Seating capacity for General Classrooms on City and East campus have been greatly reduced for physical distancing, but all new temporary General Purpose Classroom capacities have been posted on the General Purpose Classrooms website.
University of Nebraska Police Department & Your RSO Events
University of Nebraska Police Department will still review RSO EPRS for the following reasons: 100+ people in attendance, potentially loud music, minors in attendance or if the event is potentially controversial. RSOs may also request a dedicated officer for a fee. Reach out to UNLPD to inquire about the costs associated at least 15 business days prior to your event.
Special Events Considerations
No university funds (including fee dollars) may be used to pay for any form of travel until further notice. RSOs will be held to all University guidelines regarding travel.
Activities that are Open to the Public and Guests
These events are strongly discouraged for fall 2020.
Events with Youth/Minors in attendance
These events are strongly discouraged for fall 2020.
Events with Shared Objects
Events with any shared equipment are discouraged for fall 2020.
If events do have shared objects, review the below additional guidance and restrictions for these objects:
- Events with shared fabric items are suspended.
- Events such as board or video game activities may be held if there is no physical exchange of controllers, game pieces, cards, dice, or other objects.
- Shared objects must be disinfected between users.
- Hand sanitizer or hand washing stations should be readily available.
Handouts and GiveawaysHandouts and giveaways are discouraged.
If you want to have handouts and giveaways, the following should be completed:
- Items should be disinfected
- Any individual handing out giveaways should wear gloves and facial coverings
- It is also recommended that individual attendees pick up the items directly from a table
Inflatables & Carnival RidesThese events are suspended for Fall 2020.
DancesDue to physical distancing requirements and room capacities, all indoor social dances are suspended for Fall 2020. Some examples are formal dances typically sponsored by fraternities and sororities, The Rainbow Ball sponsored by the LGBTQA Resource Center, all dance groups including ballroom dance, and Love Gala Sponsored by OASIS.
Guest Lecturers, Speakers, Activities with a Passive Audience
A passive audience is defined as an audience that does not participate in the performance; the audience is simply spectators. Participants in a passive audience may answer questions, but small group activities are considered an active audience.
- Events with a passive audience must adhere to all event specific guidance.
- Additionally, these protocols apply to in-person performance-based activities.
- Face coverings are always required by attendees, performer(s), and accompanists when indoors.
- Seating must be physically distanced.
- If the event is not seated, adequate physical distancing (6’) for attendees should be required.
- A time length consideration based on the event and location (for air exchange)
Performance Based Activities & Activities with an Active Audience
An active audience is defined as an audience with members participating by singing, dancing, moving, collaborating in small groups (under 8 people as defined by the DHM in LLC). Participants in an active audience will likely be contributing to the larger performance or activity. An RSO worship service would qualify as an active audience.
- At this time, whenever possible, these events should be hosted virtually.
- When performance based activities are hosted virtually, the performers still need to follow university guidelines including physical distancing, facial coverings, and time length considerations.
When hosting in person, stricter physical distancing must be followed.
- Must maintain 10’ distancing with facial covering required.
- Events should not exceed 50 minutes in length followed by 50 minutes of “down-time.” 50 minutes provides enough time for adequate air exchange. Additional down-time may be required by the facility for cleaning efforts.
- Must maintain 10’ distancing with facial coverings optional
Events involving food
Banquets, philanthropy events, and other luncheon/dinner type are discouraged for Fall 2020.
If an event involving food is necessary, in order to minimize risks associated with COVID-19, events having food must follow the University Wide Food Policy.
Under current directed health measures, 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.
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 is 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 are required in the risk assessment.
The Student Involvement Office
The Student Involvement office will be open and functional during the Fall 2020 Semester. Specific hours for Student Involvement and other campus resources located in the Nebraska Union will be updated on the Nebraska Union’s website.
Our office will be observing all policies set by the University and the Nebraska Unions. Our student staff desk has been outfitted with Plexiglass for everyone’s safety. You are welcome to stop by our office, but please follow policies including facial coverings. We have moved all RSOs process to NvolveU and will continue to transition processes, as necessary.
RSOs are expected to keep track of attendance at events for contact tracing. NvolveU features RSVP options and attendance tracking. This resource will help you use the RSVP, Event Pass, Event Check in App and Attendance features.
Pepsi product pickups will ONLY be handled in 200 Nebraska Union for Fall 2020. East Campus pickup will not be available. When students pick up Pepsi products, there will be an additional guide for distributing and returning unused product safely.
Cooler & Cambro Check Outs
Cooler and Cambro check outs are suspended until further notice to comply with the University Food Policy.
Mail & Packages
RSOs may still receive mail at the Nebraska Union. RSOs should continue to check their mailboxes frequently. RSOs will be alerted if a package is delivered and will be asked to pick up the package. Staff will be utilizing hand sanitizer and facial coverings while sorting mail.
Elections & Compliance
RSOs are expected to maintain their compliance with Student Involvement. Annual Orientation is being offered via Zoom sessions and in a virtual, on-demand format. Dates and times for Annual Orientation, as well as the virtual, on-demand details can be found on NvolveU, in the Common Resources box. RSOs who are out of compliance will not be permitted to submit EPRs, SOFS payment requests or participate in Big Red Welcome events.
RSOs may have delayed their elections in the Spring. Student Involvement suggests hosting your elections as soon as possible to get your new officer team started and in compliance. Resources:
Details can be found in the Nebraska Union COVID-19 Response Manual. The Nebraska Unions will follow the allocated space recommendation from Union Board and work to transition spaces at the beginning of the academic year. Groups with changing allocated space from the 2019-2020 academic year must have their spaces empty and moved out by 5 pm on Friday, September 4. Groups moving into new spaces will be able to move in beginning at noon on Monday, September 21.
Groups with office space must follow additional safety precautions designated by the Nebraska Unions. The users must adhere to safety standards outlined in the Nebraska Union Policy Manual.
SOFS will operate as normal for Fall 2020. RSOs will submit all SOFS payment requests through the Payment Request System. Deposits will be accepted in 200 Nebraska Union and 333 Nebraska East Union. Students will be able to decide if they want to have reimbursement checks mailed or picked up.
Organizations with National or International Affiliation, and Membership an Fraternities/Sororities
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.
If an RSO is found in violation, they will be referred to Student Conduct & Community Standards. Appropriate sanctioning will result. Failure to comply with these guidelines could result in suspension of activity or future activities, or additional sanctions, as determined appropriate.
RSO Advisor Guidance
Student organization advisors should encourage the group and members to follow the guidance, policies, and guidelines of the University and the current directed health measures as stated by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services regarding the prevention of spread of COVID-19.
Recognized Student Organizations should follow the guidelines of the Departments that support them as well as the above RSO guidelines set by Student Involvement and Student Affairs.
Encourage student members to be conscientious of the parameters of physical distancing and avoiding high risk activities and environments. An excellent resource for assessing the risk of an activity or event can be found in the Risk Assessment Matrix.
We encourage you to continue to meet regularly with your organization but make your level of comfort with face to face meetings with the group clear. If you prefer to meet with them through virtual means that should be an option.
Help students understand the importance of wearing a face covering and physically distancing themselves when that is not possible. Many resources highlighting the importance of wearing a face covering and physically distancing can be found on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
Help students understand that some people cannot wear face coverings, or do not feel comfortable meeting/participating in person. We recommend that the RSO have virtual opportunities to participate when possible. If your group would like assistance in offering a virtual option, the Student Involvement team would be happy to help.
Coach/mentor students on how to make thoughtful decisions about having conversations with their members or guests about wearing face coverings and/or physically distancing.
Often our advisors fill a role similar to a “manager” for their RSO. If you are, or have been, wondering how to manage this remote dynamic with student leaders, Gallup® has some great lessons on “how to manage remote employees.” While written from a business perspective, there are many crossovers that advisors might find useful: How to Manage Remote Employees
- Another great resource in this area is a webinar discussing the transitions of working and schooling remotely. It covers practical ways to help your students by addressing common major stressors related to working remotely, providing examples of how you can help your students stay connected, and what they might need from you throughout this process. You can find the recorded webinar here: Coaching Collegians Remotely.
Support your student’s wellbeing, and be aware of the resources available to students.