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Engagement during Covid-19

Fall 2020 - SPRING 2021 information 

The University of Kansas continues to develop plans to keep campus open. Our goal is to welcome as many students as we can while continuing to prioritize the health of our community. To do this, we must continue preparing a dynamic and flexible educational experience that accounts for the realities of life during and after a pandemic. This means rethinking everything from how we design classes, to how we deliver housing and dining services, to how we accommodate extracurricular activities and events.

On June 29, the university shared the Protect KU plan, which introduced the ways we will protect students, staff and faculty as we work to keep campus open. The plan provides the latest information regarding COVID-19 and summarizes the decisions, protocols and procedures KU is implementing associated with reopening and covers topics such as health and safety, working on campus, and contingency planning.

What does this mean for student organizations? 

The Student Involvement and Leadership Center is open and here to support you as we navigate these new guidelines. Your health and well-being is a priority, therefore, we will be requiring organizations to agree to new health and safety guidelines. Our staff is limiting our face-to-face interactions in an effort to promote social distancing, but we are just a phone call (785-864-4861) and email away from addressing your needs and answering any questions. 

Student Organization Health and Safety Guidelines 

These guidelines are subject to change, please check back regularly to receive the most current information: 

  • Organizations are expected to abide by the regulations from the Protect KU plan; including, but not limited to:
    • Wearing a mask. 
      • Must be worn at all times. The only exception would be to eat/drink (distanced from others), or if medically necessary (i.e. medically diagnosed breathing disorders or sensory disorders)
    • Washing and sanitizing often.
    • Practicing physical distancing.
      • Maintain 6 feet as much as possible with people not in their household (family or roommates)
      • Room capacities for meetings and events have been reduced to account for social distance requirements
    • Conducting daily personal health screenings. 
  • Events, Meetings, and Mass Gatherings:
    • In-person student organizations meeting and events, including room reservations, are limited to 45 participants. We recommend conducting meetings and events virtually whenever possible, regardless of meeting size. 
    • If an in person meeting is necessary, the following guidelines should be adhered:
      • Groups should keep social distance while meeting together.
      • Groups should make efforts to allow remote participants.
      • Meetings should allow a remote option.
      • Meetings should be kept to a minimum and limited to only critical activities.
      • The event requestor is responsible for implementing necessary health and safety measures.
    • All in-person events at KU must be registered through the Office of Event Management and Protocol via the event request form. (Proposed events of 45 or fewer individuals are automatically approved upon completion of the event request form. You must recieve confirmation of approval for events with 45 or more). Online registration and approval of an event of any size does not guarantee room reservations or event services. 
    • As a part of the new requirements for events through the Office of Event Management and Protocol, all in-person student organization events must be registered on Rock Chalk Central. Tutorial can be found on our Resources and Trainings webpage.
    • Attendance must be recorded at all student organization meetings and events. Card swipes will not be available to check out this semester because they require close contact; instead, we recommend using our brand new contactless Event Check-In App and Rock Chalk Central event passes. Tutorial can be found on our Resources and Trainings webpage. 
    • Student Organiations can reserve Danforth Chapel for events Monday-Friday from 7:30 am - 10:00 pm for one and a half hours per day. Capactiy is 19 total. Visit our Danforth Chapel Scheduling webpage for more information. 
    • To schedule a meeting in the Kansas or Burge Union, email eventservices@ku.edu.
  • Tabling: 
    • Tabling is permitted in a limited capacity in the Memorial Unions
    • ONLY three (3) groups may table on Wescoe Beach, two (2) on the Watson Library lawn and one (1) on the Stauffer-Flint Lawn each day. Tabling will be allowed between 10 am and 2 pm, Monday through Friday
    • You will reserve tabling space through the Office of Event Management and Protocol. 
    • A complete list of guidelines for tabling can be found on the Event Management webpage, but student organizations will be required to abide by the following:
      • Distribution of food or beverages is PROHIBITED.
      • Promotional items or giveaways are discouraged, but if flyers or items are given out, they must be placed on the table in a way that a person only touches one item at a time. 
      • Provide cleaning supplies and hand-sanitizer for guests. 
      • Organizations conducting surveys should use a virtual format (e.g. Rock Chalk Central, Microsoft Forms or Survey Monkey) that participants can complete on their personal devices. 
  • Food:
    • Potluck, self-serve, or buffet style food service is prohibited due to increased risk of disease transmission from shared utensils
    • Food should be pre-packaged or plated by a food service professional. Pre-packaged food and utensils (i.e. coffee stirrers) should be placed in a way that people only have to touch the one they are taking.
  • Cleaning:
    • KU Memorial Unions has increased set-up time between events in order to close a room, clean and disinfect, and then open it 30 minutes prior to the next event. 
    • KU Memorial Unions will be closed on Sundays to accommodate cleaning needs.

Student Organization Recommendations

  • Stay informed. Communication is being updated on the coronavirus.ku.edu  and Protect KU pages regularly.
  • Use Microsoft Teams to help stay connected to your organizations. This free platform is available to all students at KU, and provides the following tools: 
    • Virtual meeting space without the limitations of Zoom. Teams meetings can have 300 members present for a meeting and last up to 24 hours.
    • File storage: create, upload, store, and share files with members of your team. Similar to Google Docs, you can collaboratively edits documents in real time.
    • Chat: keep all your conversations in one place. Chat with your entire organization or one-on-one with another member.  
  • Map out the upcoming semester for your organization (meetings, elections, interviews, programs) with your organization leadership and advisors. While some events will simply have to be cancelled, you should think creatively about how you can leverage social media platforms and video-conferencing technology like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Skype to meet some of your programmatic needs and keep your group meetings scheduled. ​
  • Communicate with your organization members and share any updates to the university’s message. Send regular reminders and communications so your membership stays informed.
  • Look at your attendance policies. Set out appropriate expectations for participation and respect individual’s decisions regarding their specific situations.
  • Remember that staff in the Student Involvement and Leadership Center and your advisor(s) are here to help you navigate these unique considerations and conversations.

Additional Resources 

Below you will find a few additional resources with updated information about COVID-19 disease activity and recommendations:


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