Programming Guidelines

Spring 2021 Programming Guidelines for Student Organizations

In acknowledgment that our campus community is in this together, and to support our commitment to think about others, the following are guidelines student organizations should follow for organizing and attending social, campus and recreational activities in a manner consistent with the health and safety guidelines set forth by the university, state and local governments and the CDC.

These guidelines have resulted from the input of many university student leaders and administrators, and will assist all of us devoted to creating opportunities to gather together during these difficult times and continue to celebrate university traditions and services.

Please note: guidelines are subject to change based on evolving health guidance from university leaders and/or public health experts.

Programming Planning

  • Each organization must complete an Operations Programming Plan explaining the organization’s plan to create safe and healthy opportunities to engage. Each program, meeting of the organization, or intention to gather should describe and a plan for safe delivery outlined. 
  • Greek Organizations must complete the Greek Life Operations Programming Plan, which will be reviewed by the department which directly supports or advises the submitting organization. 
  • Operations plans for all clubs engaged in sporting or other athletic activities should be submitted to head athletic trainer Tom Monagan for review by the athletic department COVID Action Team. 
  • Due to the uncertainty of how a return of the university community may impact the number of positive COVID-19 cases, proposals for in-person events will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Safeguarding measures organizations should consider include: 
    • planning outdoor events
    • limiting participants to 15 or fewer
    • selecting venues and activities that allow for safe distancing and limit physical exertion. 
    • limiting the duration of indoor events to less than two hours. 
  • Student organizations planning an in-person event must schedule a meeting with the appropriate staff members: 
  • If an event involves an in-person component, prior to completing the Operations Programming Plan, student organization leaders must reserve the appropriate venues (both indoors and outdoors) for the event. Leaders will work with venue managers to assist the organization in outlining the health and safety measures and programs that will be in place.
  • In the rare event that organizations would like to schedule an event for more than 15 participants, they must first obtain use of an appropriate venue on/near campus (within walking distance), consult with their advisor, develop a thorough health and safety plan and submit a new Operations Programming Plan to the appropriate office. If you’re planning an in-person event with 100 participants or more, groups must meet with the Student Activities Staff and create a one-page proposal to be reviewed and approved by university administration.
  • Any organization interested in offering alcohol at events must indicate this on the Operations Programming Plan and engage in developing the appropriate risk management plan by filing an Alcohol Use Report (AUR) and working with the appropriate professional staff. These staff members are indicated in the AUR. 
  • Special supplies to help student organizations successfully sponsor events or programs will be distributed through the Sparta Center. These include but are not limited to:
    • spray chalk (to mark safe distancing),
    • 6-foot marker flags,
    • megaphones (to assist coordinators or facilitators at the event),
    • sanitizing wipes,
    • plastic gloves,
    • disposable masks. 

Event Requirements and Guidelines

  • The recommended size of an event is 15 attendees or fewer. This number includes any members of the student organization. 
  • All events listed on CampusGroups should include the number of intended participants. 
  • All events must take place in settings where a minimum of six feet of distance between attendees is assured. 
  • In some cases, student organizations may be required to arrange for CWRU police or security personnel to be present at in-person events to assist in safeguarding the participants. This will be determined by the number of attendees expected or the location of the event. 
  • All events should be for members of the Case Western Reserve University community only. No guests will be permitted. 
  • Following university guidelines, travel off campus is discouraged. However, small group outings engaged in close proximity to the campus or University Circle are permitted after consultation with a staff member in the Student Activities & Leadership Office. In the event student organizations have been approved to travel in close proximity with the university, both the event and transportation protocols must be approved beforehand (only two individuals per vehicle, masks required, etc).
  • Modeling the protocol for all academic classes, indoor dance and singing practices are prohibited. 
  • Attendees should complete the daily health assessment prior to attending any event. Do not attend any events if you feel sick or are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. 
  • Although we are highly recommending that all events take place outdoors, we also realize the need to gather inside university venues. Organizations must practice safe physical distancing. All safe distancing protocols must be in place both indoors and outdoors, and masks are mandatory when gathering indoors and outdoors. This may be updated in compliance with current City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County or State of Ohio mandates. 
  • All food served at events must be “grab and go” style, individually packaged or wrapped and prepared by a licensed food vendor. If individual items are to be distributed it must be by only one or two individuals wearing masks and gloves while practicing safe physical distancing. As the risk of consuming food in small groups is significant, consuming food at the event is discouraged until later in the spring semester when the event may be held outdoors. If food is a necessary component of the event, please schedule a meeting with Student Activities and Leadership. All indoor food consumption must be in a university-approved dining facility, and all outdoor food consumption should include 10 to 12 feet in physical distancing.
  • Masks must be worn at all times whether an event is indoors or outdoors except within personal residence hall rooms and/or when alone in a room. 
  • If utilizing classroom spaces, organization leaders must adhere to cleaning protocols and use cleaning supplies provided in all areas. Supplies may be obtained through the Sparta Center.
  • Any attendees who are noncompliant with health and safety practices must be told to comply or leave any event. 

Additional Resources to Guide Programming Efforts

If you have any questions regarding these guidelines please do not hesitate to contact Colleen Barker-Williamson.