In the face of the continuing health crisis and as part of Colgate’s comprehensive, multi-layered plan to allow for in-person education, the University has adopted new policies and protocols to help ensure safety. These include guidelines and precautions related to events, meetings, and all other in-person gatherings.

As part of our continuing policies and protocols, the Event Safety Group will continue to review gatherings under the following circumstances:

  • gatherings with people from outside the campus community (including gatherings that are open to the public) and
  • large indoor gatherings (>5,000 people).

Event Safety Group

Anticipating numerous questions from staff charged with planning events, organizing information sessions, setting up meetings, etc., the University has created an Event Safety Group. Membership includes existing event planning staff in the Center for Leadership and Student Involvement, Conference Services and Summer Programs, Department of Theater, the Facilities Department, Fraternity and Sorority Advising, the Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics (PERA) Division, and University Events, who will be trained on best practices for safely conducting various types of gatherings.

Representatives from the Event Safety Group will meet with the EOC regularly to review any changes to CDC or New York State guidelines, to make recommendations for policies and procedures for any additional issues that they foresee and to ask the EOC staff to provide policies or clarifications for any issues that they encounter.

Gathering Guidelines

The Event Safety Group will help confirm that gatherings adhere to NYS guidelines and requirements, University policies, and the current 'Gate. They can also help provide advice on current best health practices and strategies for working within guidelines.

Gathering Details

  • Attendance
    • Indoor gatherings of 5,000 people or more must be approved by the Emergency Operations Center, per ongoing New York State guidelines.
    • Gathering organizers are encouraged to use a ticketing system to confirm attendance for larger gatherings.
  • Types of gatherings
    • Performances: Performance groups can practice, train, rehearse, and perform as follows:
      • During increased exhalation activities (e.g. singing), individuals who are not fully vaccinated must maintain twelve feet of physical distance from everyone else.
      • In addition to physically distancing, all individuals who are not fully vaccinated are expected to wear a face covering while indoors on campus, including while performing.
      • During increased exhalation activities (e.g. singing), performers must maintain twelve feet of physical distance from an audience.
      • Increased exhalation activities (e.g. singing) should continue to use HEPA filters, in addition to opening windows whenever possible. Building breaks into the schedule and spreading people out are also encouraged.
      • Higher risk instruments such as bass trombones, oboes, and trumpets should continue using bell covers.
    • Gatherings with children: Children’s camps, field trips, community outreach activities, and other gatherings for children (excluding prospective students and children traveling with parents and guardians) 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.
      • All children, employees, and volunteers who are not fully vaccinated must wear face coverings in indoor spaces. (Note: People should not wear face coverings in Lineberry Natatorium because they become ineffective when wet.)
      • All individuals who are not fully vaccinated are also expected to wear face coverings outdoors in any setting where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
      • Children who are not fully vaccinated are not permitted in any dining venue on campus.
    • Gatherings with food: While food can be a catalyst for discussion and community building, the University asks that you carefully consider whether such an expense is needed, both in service to environmental sustainability and as good stewardship of the University’s resources.
    • University-sponsored travel: Departments, offices, and student organizations may sponsor trips per the Travel Policy. The gathering must adhere to both the site’s policies and regulations and all Colgate University guidelines.

Guests and off-campus gatherings

  • Campus guests (attendees, participants, speakers, musicians, performers, vendors, etc.)
    • The gathering organizer must notify the attendees, participants, speakers, musicians, performers, vendors, etc. about current Colgate University policies and guidelines, including the following:
      • COVID-19 variants remain a persistent threat to individuals' health and a return to normalcy, and available vaccines show significant protection against these variants. It therefore remains important to vaccinate to protect yourself and our community. We expect all campus guests to be fully vaccinated prior to coming to campus, barring religious or medical exemption.
      • All individuals who are not fully vaccinated are expected to wear a face covering on campus while indoors and in any setting where physical distancing cannot be maintained. Additionally, individuals who are not fully vaccinated should avoid direct contact (e.g. sharing food, being coughed or sneezed on, hugging, kissing) and spending ten cumulative minutes within six feet of someone.
      • Campus guests who are ill (including but not limited to symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19 and other communicable diseases), regardless of vaccination status, or who otherwise cannot adhere to University or New York State guidance for health and safety, must cancel their visit.
  • Gatherings open to the public (anyone who is not a student or employee, including parents, alumni, Village of Hamilton residents, etc.)
    • Although the University reserves the right to require additional guidelines when it determines that it is in the best interest of the campus community, gatherings that are open to in-person participants from outside the campus community generally must adhere to one of the following options:
      • Option A: The entire gathering must be limited to 2,000 or fewer people indoors or must be entirely outdoors. (Note: Athletic competitions are exempt from this and should base their policies on the Interim Guidance for Professional Sports Competitions with Fans During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.)
      • Option B: 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 4 attendees) within the space available.
      • Option C: Participants from outside the Colgate community must adhere to at least one of the following:
        • Wear face coverings for the duration of the gathering or
        • Physically distance for the duration of the gathering.
      • Option D: Participants from outside the Colgate community must present documentation showing that they are fully vaccinated, have recently recovered after a positive COVID-19 test, or have had a recent negative test. Acceptable documentation includes:
        • proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination with the Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine (at least two weeks after a second dose of the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or the single-dose J&J vaccine),
        • a positive COVID-19 test, dated between ten and ninety 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 six hours prior to the start of the program.
      • Option E: The gathering organizer must submit a formal event plan, including a detailed section on public health and safety measures, for review by the University’s Emergency Operations Center.
  • Off-campus gatherings
    • To protect 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 its best interest. 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 should maintain a list of off-campus gatherings.
    • Gathering organizers must record attendance and should consider using a ticketing system or other mechanism.