COVID-19 Guidelines for Meetings and Events
This information has been revised as of July 28, 2021, and is subject to change based on local, state of Indiana, and federal guidelines related to the mitigation of COVID-19.
- All meetings and events held on the USI campus, including conference rooms and housing facilities must be scheduled through Special Events and Scheduling Services to ensure that all safety requirements have been met and that notification has been delivered to USI Public Safety and appropriate support services.
- USI Special Events and Scheduling Services will schedule all events on campus in accordance with the recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), State of Indiana, Vanderburgh County, and per University-established COVID-19 facility guidelines.
- Beginning August 15, 2021, Special Events and Scheduling Services will accept requests for internal, and co-sponsored events between the University and external entities for Spring 2022 and future semesters, per standard scheduling guidelines. Any event scheduled in an academic space is subject to re-location should the space be requested by an academic class until 2 weeks into the fall and spring terms and 1 week into summer terms. Special Events and Scheduling Services will work with displaced groups to find an alternative event space.
- External events including summer camps sponsored by external entities may be scheduled through August 15, 2021. Special Events and Scheduling Services will resume processing external event requests for the fall term on September 15, 2021 to give student organizations and other campus entities priority access to fall dates and locations.
- During the scheduling process, event hosts must sign a “COVID-19 Event Agreement” stating the requirements and expectations. The event host is responsible for upholding these event guidelines and utilizing “self-enforcement” for all attendees. The event host must be physically present and on-site for the duration of the meeting or event to ensure compliance with all COVID-19 event guidelines and University policies.
- Virtual meetings and events are welcome, as are in-person meetings, or a hybrid of the two. These decisions can be made by individual departments and/or groups. Safety and distancing protocols should be followed. Special Events and Scheduling Services will assist in the execution of virtual meetings when appropriate, including providing guidance in setting up livestreams and using Zoom.
- Center for Campus Life will be notified of all student organization events as they are scheduled. This notification will allow Center for Campus Life staff, in addition to Special Events and Scheduling Services event planners, the opportunity to provide guidance to student organizations on USI COVID-19 Event Guidelines, when necessary.
- The Outdoor Education Area may be reserved for daytime or evening events only; no overnight events will be allowed.
- Events open to the public require approval from the Steering Committee and must maintain a method of pre-registration or sign in at the door. The event should not exceed University-established COVID-19 facility capacities.
- If an external event is canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic prior to the start of the event, the group will be refunded any monies deposited in advance.
- Special Events and Scheduling Services reserves the right to make room substitutions or other changes to meet the University COVID-19 guidelines and prioritization of space. Meetings and events will be scheduled in spaces according to physical distancing capacity limits approved by Facility Operations and Planning.
- Physical distancing of 3 feet or more is recommended whenever possible. Room set ups should be planned to allow for 3-foot distancing in all situations.
- Face coverings are required indoors on the USI campus, regardless of vaccination status. Individuals are not required to wear face coverings outdoors unless 3-foot distancing is not possible.
- Classrooms and event spaces on campus will be cleaned and sanitized once a day by USI Dining staff in the University Center and Facility Operations and Planning Custodial staff in all other buildings using cleaning agents that kill the COVID-19 virus. Additional cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer will be available in the rooms so that those using the rooms for classes or events may clean the area prior to use.
- All events scheduled in spaces outside of the University Center or Griffin Center that require work orders for table/chair delivery or set ups will be charged current Facility Operations and Planning labor rates.
- Face coverings are required in enclosed vehicles during shuttle service operations. Open golf carts may be used to facilitate a shuttle service or event hosts may communicate designated drop off areas for guests who may be unable to walk long distances. Face coverings are required in open vehicles if 3-foot distancing is not possible. Reserved parking will continue as space allows and per current reserved parking rates.
- Event hosts are required to keep the Special Events and Scheduling Services event planner informed of accurate attendance numbers to ensure the event does not exceed approved 3
room capacities. It is the responsibility of the event host, if the turnout is higher than expected or exceeds the COVID-19 capacity of the room, to turn guests away. A RSVP system is strongly encouraged to manage guest attendance and facilitate contact tracing. Events with the potential to exceed current capacity limits by the State of Indiana or Vanderburgh County must be formally approved by University administration and the Vanderburgh County Health Department.
- It is recommended that only one person operate a single keyboard, laptop, microphone, conference phone or other event presentation equipment. Disposable microphone covers will be provided. Proper cleaning and sanitizing of event presentation equipment between uses will be done by Special Events and Scheduling Services staff in the University Center and Griffin Center.
- The USI Information Technology Department does not clean classroom keyboards or other equipment between uses and recommends that monitors are not touched unless wearing gloves or other protective barriers, such as a capacitive stylus for use on touchscreen enabled monitors. No cleaners or sanitizers are to be used on the screen surface of any monitor. For mice and keypads, cleaning information and cleaning supplies are provided at the lectern for self-service cleaning. Disposable microphone covers will be provided where microphones are available.
- Events found to be occurring in violation of University COVID-19 guidelines or University policy will be asked to comply or cease operations immediately and the appropriate vice president, dean or director will be notified. A second occurrence of failure to adhere to guidelines will result in revocation of the right to use University-owned or leased property for events. The University of Southern Indiana reserves the right to deny admission, continued attendance at an event, or to stop an event while in progress, without any recourse or cause of action by the event sponsor against the University.
- Events scheduled in academic classrooms must use the standard classroom set up. Any changes to classroom arrangements or furnishings must be completed through an approved Facility Operations and Planning work order and paid for by the hosting department or organization. Unapproved changes to the room arrangements or furnishings will be subject to a Facility Operations and Planning labor fee.
- Griffin Center will continue to be used for academic classes through 2021.
- Special Events and Scheduling Services (SESS) may schedule non-academic events around scheduled academic classes. Room set ups may only be changed from the classroom set up with the approval of SESS and USI Dining.
- Griffin Center may be set per individual event needs through August 22, 2021. Event contacts will need to work with their Special Events and Scheduling Services event planner to determine room arrangements that follow University COVID-19 capacities and guidelines.
Lobbies, Lounges, Atriums, and Dining Spaces:
- Heritage Lounge, Fireside Lounge, and the Student Life Lounge may be used as event spaces through 2021. Please work with your Special Events and Scheduling Services event planner to determine availability, capacity, and setup options.
- Fireside Lounge may not be reserved during dining hours, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- Persons may freely gather in the lounge spaces, unless reserved for an event, but should be encouraged to adhere to physical distancing guidelines.
Event Tables (individual tables reserved by groups or organizations):
- Indoor Event Table Locations:
- University Center West North Event Desk (1)
- University Center East Lobby (2)
- University Center East - Second Level (1)
- Business and Engineering Center Lobby (2)
- Rice Library Foyer (1)
- Outdoor Event Table Locations:
- University Center Breezeway (10)
- Rice Plaza (4)
- Event, registration, and vendor tables may include up to two event table hosts per 6-foot table. Hosts are not required to wear face coverings at outdoor event tables unless 3-foot distancing is not possible. Tables must be spaced at least 6 feet apart to allow for gathering.
- A record of visitors to the table is strongly encouraged for contact tracing purposes.
- All event and vendor tables are subject to USI Dining food policy.
- Face coverings are not required while individuals are actively eating or drinking, however, 3 feet of physical distance between diners who do not live together is recommended.
- Face coverings and 3 feet of physical distance are required when individuals are socializing or studying, not eating or drinking, in all dining areas.
General Outdoor Locations:
- Cleaning kits with spray sanitizer for tables, chairs, etc., and hand sanitizer are available for check out through Special Events and Scheduling Services. There is no charge to check out these items unless they are not returned. Replacement value(s) of unreturned items will be assessed as necessary. Additional supplies may be purchased through Facilities Operations and Planning.
Recreation, Fitness, and Wellness Center Activities:
- The RFWC activity information is available on the USI website, USI.edu/rfw/intramural-sports. Contact the Recreation, Fitness and Wellness Center for more information.
*Protocols for internal and external constituents differ because of insurance requirements.
External (not USI sponsored or co-sponsored) Events:
- In accordance with Centers for Disease Control (CDC), State of Indiana, Vanderburgh County and per University-established COVID-19 facility guidelines, contact tracing administrators should notify local health officials, staff, and families immediately of any case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Additionally, the University of Southern Indiana would appreciate a notification of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 occurring during the event and up to 10 days after the conclusion of the event. Notifications may be made to the assigned Special Events and Scheduling Services event planner without any personal information about the individuals involved to maintain confidentiality.
- The assigned Special Events and Scheduling Services event planner will notify USI Human Resources, for faculty and/or staff involvement, and/or the Dean of Students Office, for USI student involvement, of any reported cases.
- USI has the right to request any documentation/information needed regarding the event. USI has the right to request the event cease operation to ensure the safety of all participants and USI staff.
As the University continuously monitors and reviews the vast amount of COVID-19 information disseminated, scheduling and event protocols may be updated and adapted to respond to changing situations.