University of Southern Indiana

Complete COVID-19 Event Guidelines

COVID-19 Guidelines for Meetings and Events

This information has been revised as of April 15, 2021, and is subject to change based on local, state and federal guidelines related to the mitigation of COVID-19.

The Operations and Logistics committee of the Indiana Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 recommends the following guidelines and methods for scheduling and holding events on the USI campus through Summer and Fall 2021.

Scheduling and Planning Events

Following approval of these COVID-19 Guidelines for Meetings and Events for the Summer and Fall 2021 terms by the Presidential Task Force, Special Events and Scheduling Services (SESS) will begin to accept requests via the Event Request Form on the USI website for event dates through December 22, 2021. Guidelines will be re-evaluated as the COVID-19 environment changes and revised guidelines may be submitted for approval during summer, fall and prior to scheduling for the Spring ’22 term.

  • The Indiana State Department of Health strongly recommends the overall size of an event be limited based on a county’s color-coded metric:

Red – 25 people, not to exceed 25 percent of a facility capacity

Orange – 50 people, not to exceed 25 percent of a facility capacity

Yellow – 100 people, not to exceed 50 percent of a facility capacity

Blue – 250 people, not to exceed 100 percent of capacity

  • USI Special Events and Scheduling services will schedule all events on campus in accordance to the recommendations made by the State of Indiana, Vanderburgh County and per CDC social distancing guidelines and University-established COVID-19 facility capacity limits.

  • Scheduling through December 22, 2021: Internal, and co-sponsored events between the University and external entities may be scheduled beginning on May 3, 2021. Co-sponsored events will require the approval of the appropriate vice president, dean or director. External events may be scheduled beginning on May 3, 2021 for dates up to the end of the summer terms, July 30, 2021. Scheduling of external events will be re-evaluated prior to the Fall 2021 term.

    Student Development will be notified of all student organization events as they are scheduled through the Summer and Fall 2021 terms. This notification will allow Student Development staff, in addition to SESS event planners, the opportunity to provide guidance to these student organizations on USI COVID-19 Event Guidelines, when necessary.
  • Beginning May 2021, Children under the age of 14 may attend events on the campus of the University of Southern Indiana. In addition, summer camps for children under the age of 14 and campus visits by K-8 schools and other organizations may resume until July 30, 2021. External youth organizations may schedule daytime events, no overnight events, in the Outdoor Education Area until July 30, 2021.

  • No events will be approved that are open to the general public without a method of pre-registration in order to ensure University-established COVID-19 facility capacity limits are maintained.
  • If an external event is canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic prior to the start of the event the group will be refunded any monies deposited in advance.

  • All meetings and events held on the USI campus, including departmental conference rooms and housing facilities must be scheduled through SESS to ensure that all safety requirements have been met and that notification has been delivered to USI Public Safety and all appropriate support services.

  • Virtual meetings and events are strongly recommended. Special Events and Scheduling Services will assist in the execution of virtual meetings when appropriate, including providing guidance in setting up livestreams and using Zoom.
  • Face coverings are required at all indoor meetings and events. Face coverings are required at all outdoor events unless attendees are maintaining 6 feet of physical distance between themselves and others.

  • All religious services sponsored by recognized campus ministry organizations will be limited to the same attendance caps mandated by the state of Indiana and/or Vanderburgh County as for all other events. Since the wearing of face coverings is a requirement on the USI campus, the requirement will also apply to those attending religious services on campus unless they are actively drinking or eating.

  • During the scheduling process, event hosts must sign a “COVID-19 Event Agreement” stating the requirements and expectations. The event host is responsible for upholding these event guidelines and utilizing “self-enforcement” for all attendees. The event host must be physically present and on-site for the duration of the meeting or event to ensure compliance with all COVID-19 event guidelines and University policies.

  • Events found to be occurring in violation of University COVID-19 guidelines will be asked to comply or cease operations immediately and the appropriate vice president, dean or director will be notified. A second occurrence of failure to adhere to guidelines will result in revocation of the right to use University-owned or leased property for events. The University of Southern Indiana reserves the right to deny admission, continued attendance at an event, or to stop an event while in progress, without any recourse or cause of action by the event sponsor against the University. 

  • Special Events and Scheduling Services reserves the right to make room substitutions or other changes to meet the University COVID-19 guidelines and prioritization of space. Meetings and events will be scheduled in spaces according to physical distancing capacity limits approved by Facility Operations and Planning. If a single space is not able to accommodate a single event, the physical distancing plan for the event may include more than one space or other event options.

  • Physical distancing requirements and other University COVID-19 guidelines must be met. Plans for more complex events may be submitted by SESS to the Presidential Task Force Safety Committee for determination of the event’s risk level, recommendations and approval.

  • Meetings and events will be scheduled in individual spaces with adequate time between events (minimum 30 minutes) for cleaning and sanitizing furniture, door handles, light switches, and event equipment, such as microphones, conference phones, etc. Cleaning times may vary according to the size of the room and complexity of the set up.

  • Event hosts will be asked by SESS to provide a list of all attendees to be attached to the event reservation to aid in COVID-19 contact tracing if necessary. A RSVP system is strongly encouraged as a way to manage guest attendance and facilitate contract tracing.

  • All events scheduled in spaces outside of the University Center or Griffin Center that require work orders for table/chair delivery or set ups will be charged current Facility Operations and Planning labor rates.

Contact Tracing and Disclosure for External Events

*Protocols for internal and external constituents differ because of insurance requirements.

External (not USI sponsored or co-sponsored) Events:

  • Each external event will need to assign a contact tracing administrator to communicate with the assigned Special Events and Scheduling Services (SESS) event planner. The event contact may serve this role.

  • It is recommended that external event contact tracing administrators complete the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Contact Tracing Training Module, found at jhu.edu/contact-tracing.

  • External organizations are required by contract to send a COVID-19 contact tracing plan to the SESS event planner for review by the Operations & Logistics Committee.

  • No events will be approved that are open to the general public without a method of pre-registration in order to ensure University-established COVID-19 facility capacity limits are maintained.
  • External event sponsors will be required to provide attendee lists prior to the event date. The assigned SESS event planner will be responsible for importing these lists into the SESS database for record keeping and documentation.

  • In accordance with state and local laws and regulations, contact tracing administrators should notify local health officials, staff, and families immediately of any case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Additionally, the University of Southern Indiana would appreciate a notification of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 occurring during the event and up to 10 days after the conclusion of the event. Notifications may be made to the assigned Special Events and Scheduling event planner without any personal information about the individuals involved in order to maintain confidentiality.

  • The assigned SESS event planner will notify USI Human Resources, for faculty and/or staff involvement, and/or the Dean of Students Office, for USI student involvement, any reported cases.

  • USI has the right to request any documentation/information needed regarding the event. USI has the right to request the event to cease operation in order to ensure the safety of all participants and USI staff.

Event Types

Event activities that may be held on the USI campus given that all University COVID-19 guidelines have been met are outlined in the chart below. While this is a comprehensive list of potential event types, additional activities could be approved if the host agrees to and follows the event guidelines. Special Events and Scheduling Services will request approval for additional activities as needed.

Training Programs Meetings Speakers/Presentations
Meals/Receptions Conferences University Ceremonies
Panel Discussions Campus Tours *Admissions Professional Development
Non-Credit Classes Press Conferences Employee Interviews
Event Tables *Outdoors Religious Services Donor Events
Career Fairs Blood Drives Movies
3k and 5k Runs Co-Sponsored Events Outdoor Cookouts
Entertainment/Performances Scavenger Hunts Social Events/Parties
Summer Camps and Conferences *Over age 14 Trade shows/Information Fairs/Exhibits Competitions *Depending on activity


Recommendations on Specific Event Locations

  • Events scheduled in academic classrooms must use the standard classroom set up. Any changes to classroom arrangements or furnishings must be completed through an approved Facility Operations and Planning work order and paid for by the hosting department or organization. Unapproved changes to the room arrangements or furnishings will be subject to a Facility Operations and Planning labor fee.

University Center and Griffin Center

  • Carter Hall and the Griffin Center rooms continue to be available for academic classes during the Fall ‘21
  • Special Events and Scheduling Services may schedule non-academic events around scheduled academic classes.

  • Carter Hall and Griffin Center may be set per individual event needs from May 10 until August 22, 2021. Event contacts will need to work with their SESS event planner in order to determine room arrangements that follow University COVID-19 capacities and guidelines.

    The ability to change the academic classroom set up in Carter Hall and Griffin Center for events in Fall 2021 is yet to be determined.

  • When scheduling events around scheduled classes in the University Center and Griffin Center, adequate time will be considered in order to have the room(s) sanitized and ready for the next academic class time.

Heritage Lounge, Fireside Lounge and Student Life Lounge

  • These lounges are not recommended for use as event spaces as Facilities Operations and Planning has determined that adding additional furnishings to these spaces will exceed the COVID-19 capacity.

  • Persons may freely gather in the lounge spaces, but should be encouraged to adhere to physical distancing guidelines. 
    • Facility Operations and Planning may install physical distancing markers on or around the existing furnishings.
    • Facility Operations and Planning may opt to remove some of the furnishings, but this will depend on the availability of storage.

Traditions Lounge and Dunn Lobby

  • Traditions Lounge and Dunn Lobby may be reserved for event use.

Lobbies, Lounges, Atriums, and Dining Spaces

  • Lobbies, lounges, atriums, and dining spaces, with the exception of Traditions Lounge and Dunn Lobby, may not be reserved for event use.

Event Tables (individual tables reserved by groups or organizations)

  • Indoor Event Table Locations:
    • University Center West Event Desk (1)
    • University Center West – West Lobby (1)
    • University Center East Lobby (1)
    • Business and Engineering Center Lobby (1)
    • Rice Library Foyer (1)

  • Outdoor Event Table Locations:
    • University Center Breezeway/Rice Plaza (5)
    • Business and Engineering Center Lawn (2)
    • Health Professions Center Lawn (1)
    • Liberal Arts Center/Labyrinth (1)

  • Up to two event table hosts, positioned on either end of the 6-foot table, will be allowed per event table.

  • Event table hosts are required to wear face coverings and maintain 6 feet of physical distance between each other.

  • Tables must be spaced at least 8 feet apart in outdoor locations and 15 feet apart indoors to allow for physically distanced gathering.

  • Only food items either pre-packaged commercially or by Sodexo will be allowed as giveaways at event tables (no beverage stations or open foods, i.e. donuts, cookies).

  • A record of visitors to the table is encouraged for contact tracing purposes.

University Center Dining Space

  • Face coverings are not required while individuals are actively eating or drinking, however, 6 feet of physical distance between diners who do not live together is required.

  • Face coverings and 6 feet of physical distance are required when individuals are socializing or studying, not eating or drinking, in all University Center dining areas.

General Outdoor Locations:

  • Face coverings must be worn at all outdoor events unless attendees are maintaining 6 feet of physical distance between themselves and others.

  • Face coverings are not required while attendees are actively eating or drinking, however, 6 feet of physical distance between diners is required.

  • Attendees actively participating in Activities with Modifications, as recommended by the RFWC, must follow specified modification, see chart below. All spectators must wear face coverings unless maintaining 6 feet of physical distance between themselves and others.

  • Signs indicating that face coverings and physical distancing are required and cleaning kits with spray sanitizer for tables, chairs, etc., and hand sanitizer are available for check out through Special Events and Scheduling Services. There is no charge to check out these items unless they are not returned. Replacement value(s) of unreturned items will be assessed as necessary.


Spring Activities with the Recreation, Fitness, and Wellness Center:

  • There may be no end-of-game handshakes.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be provided as available.
  • For all Intramural events, Supervisors and Scorekeepers must wear face covering.
  • Additional safety adjustments may be adapted to or made to each activity.
  • The RFWC COVID-19 guidelines are available on the USI website www.usi.edu/rfw.

Recommended Activities with modifications:

Activity Recommended Modifications
Badminton Sanitize birdy and racquet between games.
Billiards Sanitize edge of table, pool sticks and balls for each game. Remain spaced during turns. No more than 1v1.
Bowling 2 bowlers per lane practicing physical distancing, Changed the event to 2 nights to cut down on the number of people there at once, mask to enter, you can take off mask when you get to designated lanes, no sharing of balls.
Cornhole

Singles only, designated areas of 6ft when waiting for your turn, we will clean the bags before and after use.

Disc Golf

Singles only, each participant has their own set of discs, check out disc but will clean before and after use.

Dodgeball

6v6 only, having balls start on the 10 ft line to cut down on contact when retrieving balls, 6' physical distancing while playing.

E-Sports Play online. No sharing of consoles or controllers. Sanitize equipment after each use.
Fantasy Sports Online only.

Flag Football

4v4 only, No contact, No spitting, No end of the game handshakes, Hand sanitizer before/after game, Flag belts sanitized, staggered games and fields to create separation, Benches will be opposite sidelines, No in game celebrations.

Additional Safety Considerations: Face coverings worn at all times, Wider neutral zone to create physical distancing, Receivers cannot catch a pass until passed the neutral zone.

Game Show

Hold virtually or in large indoor area with face coverings.

Golf Scramble

Students should bring a face covering and physically distance, if more than 1 person per cart, all must wear face coverings.

Kickball

8v8 only, two balls one for each team, clean balls between innings, have two clean balls each inning to rotate in.

Pickleball

2v2 only, clean the balls and paddles before and after games, no sharing of paddles.

Ping Pong

1v1. Clean ball and paddles after the games.

Scavenger Hunt

Open spaces and no more than 4 on a team.

Soccer

3v3 only, No throw-ins (kick-ins instead), No Goalkeepers, No spitting, No end of the game handshakes, all subs will be

spaced out 6ft apart on the sidelines. Hand sanitizer stations used before and after the game, Benches will be opposite sidelines, No in game celebrations.
Soccer Golf

Singles only, stagger tee times, groups of 2 tee off, each participant has their own ball, physical distancing, clean balls before and after round.

Soccer Tennis

2v2 only, quadrant play, no contact, clean balls before and after games.

Softball/Baseball

Back the catchers up to the fence, back umpires up 6 ft. behind (purchase strike zone mat to help with calls), Space out dugouts so players are 6 ft. away, make extension of dugouts using bleachers, marking off designated spaces for players to stay socially distanced, each team is designated their own balls and bat for each inning use, no checking out of gloves, spaced out fans, staggering games times, using ID scanner to count participants, changed the process so one team at a time can check in, requiring mask for entrance to the field and dugout, but not while they are playing, all supervisors and scorekeepers will be required to wear a mask at all times, umpires will have a mask in their pocket for pregame meetings and any interactions with participants but will not wear while officiating, designated entrance and exits on the field, scorekeepers will only be checking ID’s not keeping them, spray bottles at each dugout, bats will be cleaned between each at bat, scorekeeper will have cleaning supplies, as well the supervisors in the concession stand to clean the equipment to get ready for the next game, players cannot lead off bases to effectively physically distance, no sunflower seeds, and no spitting.

Tennis

Singles only, mark balls for each server to avoid cross contamination, clean rackets before and after use.

Volleyball

4v4 play, mark quadrants for players to stay in, space out subs on sidelines, mark 3’ on either side of the net to reduce net play, clean balls before and after games, teams stay and play on one side of the net.

*If a specific activity type is not included in this section, contacts should work with their event planners to discuss the approval of the activity with modifications.

***** NO END OF GAME HANDSHAKES or HUGS FOR ANY ACTIVITIES******


Activities not allowed because of too much Person-to-Person Contact*:

  • Basketball (3v3)
  • Floor Hockey
  • Futsal
  • Rugby
  • Spike Ball
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Wrestling

*These sports will be reevaluated later in the summer for the fall semester as we are waiting for NCA guidelines and information from the RFWC, and will remain adaptive as the COVID-19 conditions change and more information is available.


USI Physical Distancing and Cleaning/Sanitation Requirements and Recommendations for Meeting and Event Spaces:

  • Food brought in from off campus sources to serve at internal or co-sponsored events is prohibited unless the items cost less than $250 and the event is held in approved locations. All items must be commercially pre-packaged in single serve units. Individuals may bring in food or beverages from off campus sources for personal consumption.

  • Shuttle service or valet parking is not recommended. Event hosts may communicate designated drop off areas for guests who may be unable to walk long distances. Reserved parking will continue as space allows and per current reserved parking rates.

  • Maintain 6 feet of physical distance between attendees in any room set up.

  • Face coverings are required at all indoor meetings and events. Face coverings are required at all outdoor events unless attendees are maintaining 6 feet of physical distance between themselves and others.

  • While on the USI campus, faculty, staff, students, contractors, vendors, and visitors are required to wear a face covering when in buildings and in outdoor areas where physical distancing is not possible.

  • Separate entrances into event venues and exit routes are recommended when possible.

  • Event hosts are required to keep the SESS event planner informed of accurate attendance numbers to ensure the event does not exceed approved room capacities. It is the responsibility of the event host, if the turnout is higher than expected or exceeds the COVID-19 capacity of the room, to turn guests away. A RSVP system is strongly encouraged as a way to manage guest attendance and facilitate contact tracing. Events with the potential to exceed current capacity limits by the State of Indiana or Vanderburgh County must be formally approved by University administration and the Vanderburgh County Health Department.

  • All meeting and event spaces in the University Center and Griffin Center will be cleaned and sanitized between events by USI Dining staff using cleaning agents that kill the COVID-19 virus. Events will be scheduled with a minimum of 30 minutes of cleaning time prior to the next event. Additional cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer will be available in the rooms for the convenience of those guests who would like to ensure their area is clean before use. University Center and Griffin Center spaces utilized by academic classes with less than 30 minutes between classes will be cleaned and sanitized by USI Dining staff prior to the first class of the day. It will be the responsibility of the instructor and students to clean the area prior to use between classes.

  • Classroom spaces will be cleaned and sanitized once a day by Facility Operations and Planning Custodial staff using cleaning agents that kill the COVID-19 virus. Additional cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer will be available in the rooms so that those using the rooms for classes and events may clean the area between classes.

  • Hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies will not be provided by Custodial staff for outdoor events. These items may be purchased through Facilities, Operations and Planning.

  • Cleaning kits including spray sanitizer for tables, chairs, etc., and hand sanitizer for outdoor events are available for check out through SESS. Signs indicating that face coverings and physical distancing are required are also available. There is no charge to check out these items unless they are not returned. Replacement value(s) of unreturned items will be assessed as necessary.

  • Water coolers in University Center meeting and event spaces will not be operational. Touchless bottle fillers are available at UC water fountains.

  • Event hosts shall be required to bring their own laptops and slide advancers.

  • All event attendees and staff are encouraged to perform proper hand hygiene and sanitizing prior to and following events.

  • It is recommended that only one person operate a single keyboard, laptop, microphone, conference phone or other event presentation equipment. Disposable microphone covers will be provided. Proper cleaning and sanitizing of event presentation equipment between uses will be done by SESS staff in the University Center and Griffin Center.

  • The USI Information Technology Department will not be able to clean classroom keyboards and other equipment between uses and recommends that monitors are not touched unless wearing gloves or other protective barriers, such as a capacitive stylus for use on touchscreen enabled monitors. No cleaners or sanitizers are to be used on the screen surface of any monitor. For mice and keypads, cleaning information and cleaning supplies are provided at the lectern for self-service cleaning. Disposable microphone covers will be provided where microphones are available.

  • Self-serve buffets and beverage stations are not allowed. Served stations staffed by USI Catering and single serving food items either pre-packaged commercially or by Sodexo are encouraged. USI Catering charges $25 per hour, per person (minimum 1 hour) for buffet servers. This charge will be assessed in 1-hour increments and will not be pro-rated for time less than the hour.

  • If nametags or other materials are provided, it is recommended that attendees be allowed to pick up the items from the registration table and not handed to individuals.

As the University continuously monitors and reviews the vast amount of COVID-19 information disseminated, scheduling and event protocols may be updated and adapted to respond to changing situations.

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