Keeping in mind our overall goal to safeguard the health and safety of our faculty, staff, students, and the local community, these continued precautions related to events, meetings, and all other in-person gatherings must be followed.
If and when in-person meetings and events of ten or more people may resume, event organizers must place EMS reservation requests for gatherings of ten or more people at least one week in advance and must place EMS reservation requests for gatherings of fifty or more people at least two weeks in advance.
This will trigger a reservation process, managed by a new event safety group, which will provide advice on how to conduct the event safely.
Learn more about the Event Safety Group below.
No food at events until further notice.
Choose venues that allow for safe social-distancing practices and/or plan for hosting events remotely.
Ensure all contracts specify cancellation terms due to the actual, anticipated, or potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. No forward-looking contract should involve significant cash outlays that cannot be pulled back with minimal impact to the University.
Prioritize inviting guests that minimize the risk of disruption. This is a good year to feature Colgate’s faculty (utilize as much in-house talent as possible).
Unless the event is funded from discretionary restricted sources, upfront fees/commitments to guests should be minimized if not eliminated until further notice.
Avoid meeting in person by continuing virtual meetings whenever possible. When hosting virtual meetings and events, take steps to safeguard the events:
Staff members must reserve spaces on EMS, Colgate's room scheduling software, for student events; students may not reserve space directly. This measure is in place to manage public health considerations for student events earlier in the planning process and to facilitate the overall reduction of large gathering events.
The Colgate Calendar is more important than ever in providing the community with information about upcoming events. When submitting new virtual events to the calendar, please use the following best practices to ensure your events are displayed correctly:
- Select Webinar/Virtual Event in the Event Format field
- Include a link for event registration — do not publicly share the link for your virtual meeting, as it greatly increases the risk of Zoombombing.
- Indicate that the event is virtual by including "Virtual" or "Webinar" in the event title.
Event Safety Group
The Event Safety Group, comprising staff in Athletics, the Center for Leadership and Student Involvement, the Office of Conference Services and Summer Programs, Residential Life, and the University Events Office, will answer questions from staff charged with planning events, organizing information sessions, setting up meetings, etc.
When EMS schedulers receive reservation requests for spaces that can accommodate gatherings of 10 or more people, they will notify a member of the Event Safety Group, who will reach out to the event organizer to ensure that they have considered various concerns and are taking appropriate steps to promote health and safety.
The EMS scheduler will not confirm the reservation request until a member of the Event Safety Group confirms that the event organizer has addressed several concerns, including the following:
- Reduce in-person attendance and/or offer virtual options whenever possible without compromising the integrity of the event.
- Eliminate or modify events that would require in-person contact.
- Use a ticketing system to confirm attendance in anticipation of changing governmental restrictions on large gatherings and the need to notify attendees about guidelines and recommendations.
- Consider assigned seating to confirm attendance limits and to avoid guests switching seats and increasing exposures after breaks.
- Reserve a space that’s large enough for attendees to practice social distancing. Depending on current guidelines, the nature of the event, and room setups, this could mean selecting rooms that could normally fit double or even triple your anticipated attendance. The Event Safety Group will stay up to date on current government guidelines to provide support to event organizers.
- Increase reservation times to allow for additional cleaning and disinfecting before and after events.
- Avoid bringing speakers to campus entirely and allow participants to participate virtually when possible. (By reducing travel, we will also reduce expenses and potential exposures.)
- Avoid hosting events that are open to participants from outside the Colgate community, including students from other universities. This restriction includes events planned by student organizations.
Budget for extra expenditures related to cleaning and sanitation, including extra custodial costs, hand sanitizers when bathrooms aren’t immediately accessible, etc.
- Food is not allowed at meetings or events until further notice. For example, employees should not host any business lunches or plan any events around meals. If and when those restrictions are lifted, dining will be limited to pre-boxed or made-to-order meals instead of buffets. Also consider using disposable plates and cups instead of reusable items.
- Avoid deliveries when possible and specify specific times when it’s not possible.
Members of the Event Safety Group will also be responsible for tracking best practices at other institutions and updating their advice accordingly with changing government restrictions and guidelines.