Updated February 21, 2022

As part of the University’s ongoing plans for the academic year, the University has generated policies and protocols related to events and other in-person gatherings.

As with all of the University’s public-health guidelines throughout the past two years, Colgate will continue to monitor the national, state, and local COVID-19 situation, and thus these guidelines remain subject to changes as needed. We thank you for your commitment to this community’s health, and for your understanding as we continue to navigate the spring 2022 semester together.

The Event Safety Group

As part of Colgate’s continuing policies and protocols, the Event Safety Group will continue to review gatherings with people from outside the campus community, including gatherings that are open to the public. The Event Safety Group will also answer questions and provide advice for all gathering organizers.
 

For events that will be attended only by Colgate University faculty, staff, students, and registered volunteers, there are currently no restrictions. All participants will follow current campus guidance for masking, per colgate.edu/colgatetogether, including requirements implemented by event organizers. When possible, gathering organizers are encouraged to implement the best practices detailed below.

Best Practices

While what follows in this section on Best Practices are not formal University requirements, gathering organizers are encouraged to enact the following best practices.

  • When contact tracing is conducted following a positive COVID-19 test, close contacts are defined as people who have been within six feet of that positive case for fifteen minutes or longer within two days prior to illness onset, regardless of whether the contact was wearing a mask. The distance expands to twelve feet for increased exhalation activities such as singing or exercising.
  • To support contact tracing efforts, gathering organizers are encouraged to have attendees RSVP, to use a ticketing system, or utilize a sign-in sheet to confirm attendance.
  • Whenever possible, avoid filling the space to full capacity and provide designated physically distanced sections.
  • When using tents, consider providing additional seating outside of tents, weather permitting, to further spread out the gathering.
  • If people are sitting together at a group of tables, consider setting each table at least six feet away from any other table.
  • Whenever possible, limit receptions and cocktail hours to outdoor spaces to avoid people mingling without face coverings indoors.
  • Refer to colgate.edu/colgatetogether for current campus guidance for face coverings.
    • Gathering organizers should strongly recommend medical-style face coverings (e.g., N95s, KN95s, KF94s, surgical masks) instead of cloth face coverings. High quality, well-fitting masks provide significant protection for the wearer.
  • Event organizers should have a supply of medical-style face coverings available for guests who choose to wear one during the event.
  • Whenever possible, choose outdoor spaces instead of indoor spaces.
  • Weather permitting, limit the use of sidewalls on tents.
  • For indoor spaces, open windows whenever possible. 
  • If your space is equipped with HEPA air purifiers, ensure that they are turned on and running.
  • For long duration events, build more frequent breaks into the schedule.

Events With Guests From Outside the Campus

For events with guests from outside the campus community, including gatherings that are open to the public, review of the event by the Event Safety Group is required. Expectations regarding safety practices must be clearly communicated to guests, including the following, at a minimum:

  • Barring religious or medical exemption, we expect all guests to be fully vaccinated prior to coming to campus, including vaccine boosters for all eligible individuals.
  • Guests should refer to colgate.edu/colgatetogether for current campus guidance for face coverings.
  • Regardless of vaccination status, we strongly recommend that all guests test for COVID-19 prior to coming to campus.
  • Guests who are ill (including but not limited to symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19 and other communicable diseases), regardless of vaccination status, must cancel their visit to campus.

 

Event organizers may choose to implement one or more of the five event options detailed below, regardless of whether or not outside guests will be present. Events with outside guests must implement at least one of the five event options detailed below, in addition to considering other best practices detailed earlier in this document.

  • Indoor attendance is limited to no more than 50% of the space’s standard capacity, or the total number of attendees will be limited such that at least six feet of distance can be maintained between individuals who are not members of the same party/household/family (i.e. approximately 100 square feet per attendee or 250 square feet per group of four attendees).
  • If the only person from outside the campus community in attendance is a guest speaker or performer, the event organizer may select a venue and setup where the guest speaker or performer can maintain twelve feet of distance between themselves and the audience, in lieu of limiting overall attendance.
  • All attendees are required to wear face coverings.
  • Because of the need to remove face coverings while eating or drinking, this is not an appropriate option if you are serving food or beverages.
  • For indoor events, attendees five years of age or older from outside the campus community must present documentation showing that they are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccination, have recently recovered after a positive COVID-19 test, or have had a recent negative test.
  • Attendees from the campus community can either present the same documentation or their ‘Gate card, indicating that they fall under the University’s vaccination and testing requirements.
  • We will accept time-stamped pictures of at-home tests; however, we ask attendees not to bring the actual tests.
  • Acceptable documentation for individuals who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccination must include proof of COVID-19 vaccination with the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Proof of up-to-date vaccination must also include proof of a vaccine booster unless the individual:
    • is under twelve years of age,
    • completed the single-dose J&J vaccine less than two months prior to the start of the program,
    • completed the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccine less than five months prior to the start of the program, or
    • provides proof of a positive COVID-19 test, dated less than 90 days prior to the start of the program.
  • Acceptable documentation for individuals who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccination, including those with religious or medical exemptions, includes:
    • a positive COVID-19 test, dated between 14 and 90 days prior to the start of the program,
    • a negative PCR test, taken no earlier than 72 hours prior to the start of the program, or
    • a negative antigen test, taken no earlier than 24 hours prior to the start of the program.
  • Gathering is entirely outdoors and physical distancing is possible. Unvaccinated attendees are expected to wear masks where physical distancing cannot be maintained, including while in transit to and from their seats, when waiting in lines, and in indoor spaces (e.g. restrooms). Refer to colgate.edu/colgatetogether for current campus guidance for face coverings.
  • If one of the above options cannot be followed or if there are additional considerations (due to an event’s size or duration, for example), the gathering organizer must submit an event plan, including a detailed section on public health and safety measures, for review by the Emergency Operations Center. Please submit as soon as possible and at least one week prior to the proposed event.

Additional Considerations

Children’s camps, field trips, community outreach activities, and other gatherings with children in attendance can operate on campus as follows:

  • Children who are not fully vaccinated should maintain three feet of physical distance while seated in a classroom setting. All children, employees, and volunteers who are not fully vaccinated should maintain six feet of physical distance in other settings, including both indoor and outdoor spaces, unless safety or the core activity requires a shorter distance. When possible, unvaccinated children should also wear face coverings.
  • Prior to agreeing to host field trips, community outreach activities, etc., University employees and students should request a list of policies that the school or group would like University employees and students to follow during the activity. If the University agrees to host the activity, University employees and students should follow the school or group’s policy whenever it is more restrictive than the University’s policy, possibly including face covering and physical distancing requirements for fully vaccinated individuals.

Performers should follow current campus guidance for face coverings, per colgate.edu/colgatetogether, including practices, lessons, etc.

Guests will not be allowed to eat in Colgate dining facilities, unless an employee or a sponsoring office or department first confirms that they are fully vaccinated, have recently recovered after a positive COVID-19 test, or have had a recent negative test. Contact Auxiliary Services at auxiliaryservices@colgate.edu for meal tickets and additional information.

To help protect the health and safety of alumni, parents, and friends of the University, the University reserves the right to require additional guidelines for off-campus gatherings in areas with localized outbreaks or low vaccination rates or in other instances where the University determines that additional guidelines are in the best interest of the health and safety of the campus.

To this end, all offices and departments organizing gatherings off-campus should notify the Event Safety Group by emailing Serenity McCracken at smccracken@colgate.edu and Cody Tipton at ctipton@colgate.edu, in addition to maintaining a list of off-campus gatherings.

About the Event Safety Group

Event Safety Group membership includes staff from the ALANA Cultural Center; the Center for Leadership and Student Involvement (CLSI); Conference Services and Summer Programs; the Department of Theater; Facilities; Information Technology Services (ITS); the Max Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education; the Office of the Chaplains; the Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics (PERA) Division; and University Events.

Representatives from the Event Safety Group meet with the EOC regularly to review any changes to CDC or NYS guidelines, to make recommendations for policies and procedures for any additional issues that they foresee to the Executive Group (EG), and to ask the EOC staff to provide policies or clarifications for any issues that they encounter.