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Meeting and event guidelines

Responsible engagement and risk-reduction steps for on-campus events, meetings and activities

Posted March 3, 2021. Takes effect March 8.

 We recommend you consider virtual meetings and events whenever possible, as they are the safest and recommended best practice to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.

For meetings and events that necessitate being in person, departments and student organizations are required to follow these guidelines.

Starting March 8, all in-person gatherings and events limited to 10 people or fewer can be scheduled. Only University of Akron students, faculty, or staff are permitted at attend.

Departments and student organizations are required to meet the following guidelines to promote healthy behaviors to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • Adherence to federal, state and local public health requirements is required.
  • For on-campus events, attendees must be a current student or employed by The University of Akron. Guest attendance is not permitted at this time.
  • Require the use of facial coverings in facilities and at events.
  • Identify someone in your group to confirm protocols are met.
  • Food is not permitted to be served or consumed at on campus events/gatherings.
  • Vocal or singing rehearsals are not approved.
  • Facility equipment (tables and chairs) should not be moved, as it will be spaced in adherence with distancing guidelines. Keep venue doors open.
  • Space used must meet COVID capacity requirements. 
  • Understand the risks of COVID transmission at events, your level of risk acceptance and your role in identifying and managing those risks.
  • Communicate The University of Akron’s safety policies and procedures to staff and attendees, including their role and responsibility in having a safe event.

If applicable:

  • Confirm with your National Governing Body that meeting is permitted and what best practices need to be implemented.
  • Confirm that you meet all insurance requirements for your organization.
  1. In marketing materials, require staff, volunteers and attendees to stay home if they do not feel well, have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or had direct contact with an individual diagnosed with or suspected to have COVID-19. Continue to share event expectations in order for attendees to be properly prepared for your event.
  2. Determine event layout to enforce all safety protocols including 6 feet of physical distancing in all venue spaces where individuals congregate – queuing areas, or ingress or egress.
    • Know your maximum number in attendance at one time (cannot exceed 10).
    • Don’t forget to create signage for your event. The following are recommended signs you should have at an event: practice proper physical distancing, enter and exit only signs, reminding attendees to wear face coverings and using hand sanitizer.
  3. Assign staff to cleaning tasks performed before, during and after the event.
  4. Events may have multiple shifts; clean and disinfect common spaces between each group of people. Be sure to provide enough time between groups to allow for cleaning products to work. Determine how you will document who was at your event and when they were at your event for contact tracing purposes.  Use assigned seating as much as possible. 
  5. Prepare adequate supplies to protect volunteers and staff, and to clean surfaces.
  1. Use a contactless method for exchanging or verifying items like identification or event attendance.
  2. Documentation of attendee names, time of arrival and departure for each attendee in case contact tracing is needed.
  3. Tracking information to collect:
    1. Student ID Number
    2. Name
    3. Email/Phone Number
    4. Time of Arrival
    5. Time of Departure
    6. Event Location
    7. Attending Identify: In the last 14 days I have not been in contact with a person that has tested positive for COVID-19 or has COVID-19 symptoms. I do not have a fever and am not feeling sick.
  4. Provide hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol near the event entrance and exits.
  5. Document who has attended an event, when they arrived and left for contact tracing purposes.
  6. Attendees should be at least six feet from one another. Provide culturally appropriate messages and materials to prohibit certain actions like handshakes or high-fives. This could be shared via signage and announcements.
  7. Attendees are required to wear a face covering that correctly covers their nose and mouth.  Face shields are not a suitable alternative.
  1. Tracking documents are required for student organization meetings, events and activities. Contact the appropriate department for additional details.
  2. Retain attendance tracking information for 14 days following your meeting or event.

Earlier guidelines

We appreciate your patience as the University continues to navigate best practices in pandemic operations.

Facility managers across campus came together to discuss the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on preparation for fall semester operations. In the best interest of community health and safety, as well as a review of trending guidelines, the group has made the following recommendations, which are supported by University administration:

  • Strongly encourage department and student organization events and meetings to be held virtually whenever possible.
  • In person meetings, events and activities will be held for 10 or fewer participants, ideally outside.
  • In person events, activities and meetings should be for University of Akron community members when possible.
  • All events, activities and meetings will adhere to current protocols, including facial coverings, physical distancing, and appropriate hand washing/sanitation.
  • Strongly recommend documenting attendance for each event for potential contact tracing needs.
  • No external/public guests rentals.
  • Specific facilities, based on their designated use, will have additional safety guidelines.
  • Any proposed event/program falling outside these recommended guidelines will be vetted by a University committee for determination of essential business needs.

These decisions allow for a focus on the transition to reopen campus safely in consideration of longer-term preparation and planning, both for UA and the event organizers. We look forward to updating this recommended plan for future dates when clear state and federal guidelines continue to become available.