Skip Navigation

COVID-19

Skip Side Navigation

COVID-19 Safeguards and Guidelines for Registered Student Organizations (RSOs)

The University of Oklahoma and the Division of Student Affairs encourages Registered Student Organization (RSO) operations, events, and programs, where possible, to be held virtually on a video conference platform such as Zoom. If the RSO leadership and adviser determine the need to be in-person, the following policies, procedures, and safeguards must be adhered to by organizers and attendees regardless if the event is on or off campus.

All University of Oklahoma faculty, staff, students, visitors, and vendors must adhere to the University of Oklahoma Norman Campus COVID-19 Phase III Return Plan and information posted to the OU Together website. As additional information about COVID-19 emerges, policies and protocols may be updated. The University reserves the right to update and/or change these guidelines at any time.

GUIDELINES

Social distancing refers to keeping a distance of at least six (6) feet between individuals. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it is one of the most effective methods of avoiding infection and reducing the spread of COVID‐19. Social distancing requirements apply in all settings on campus, as well as in public settings, common areas, shared spaces, and off campus OU-affiliated events.

The University of Oklahoma, on each campus, has implemented and will enforce a University Mandatory Masking Policy mandating fabric or disposable surgical-style masks that cover the nose and mouth be worn by employees, students, patients, and visitors when they are:

  • inside University facilities and vehicles and
  • outdoors on campus and social distancing of at least six (6) feet is not possible.

See “Encourage, Educate, Enforce” for more information.

All RSO gatherings and events must adhere to the COVID-19 Space Capacities as determined by the University to allow for social distancing in each space. The COVID-19 Maximum Occupancy number is intended to provide a “do not exceed” baseline number and reduce from there as furniture layouts are added and orientations are changed. Visit Campus Scheduling to browse campus spaces, COVID-19 capacities, and reserve spaces.

  • Come-and-go events with an anticipated attendance larger than the COVID-19 capacity must include a door monitor to regulate access and ensure the space capacity is not exceeded, following a one-in, one-out rule. 
  • Events may be held in outdoor spaces without capacity restrictions, so long as the University’s social distancing and masking mandates can be observed. High Risk events (indoor or outdoor) are not permitted at this time.
  • Events in semi-covered structures, such as tents and parking garages, are considered indoor venues for purposes of determining COVID-19 capacity, social distancing, and masking requirements.
  • Food and drink are permitted in event-specific spaces, so long as social distancing is observed, and masks are worn while not eating or drinking. Food must be individually plated or prepackaged. Self-serve, buffets, and passed food are prohibited.
  • Tabling is permitted in limited locations. Tabling-specific protocols must be followed and reservations to table must be scheduled through OU Reserve on the Campus Scheduling website.
  • The University highly encourages organizers to take attendance or have a check-in process in the event contact tracing[1] would need to take place. Card Readers are available through the Student Organization Resource Office (SORO).

 

[1] The process of identifying, assessing, and managing people who have been exposed to a contagious disease to prevent onward transmission. (Source: WHO)

A Special Event is defined as:

  • Activities proposed to take place on University property which alters the property’s ordinary use and/or involves the erecting or placement of tents, structures, platforms, inflatables, fixed equipment, automotive vehicles, aircraft, or other mobile craft in an effort to assemble persons for the purposes of live entertainment/performances, celebrations, attractions, participation, races, walks, runs, parades, fairs, festivals, rides, competitions, sponsored outdoor catered events, and similar occasions.
  • Events proposed to take place on University property that contain any of the following: third party vendors[1], contracts, large structures or inflatables, animals, an outdoor space larger than 10’x10’, or other risk factors.  
  • All proposed Special Events are required to go through the OU Special Events Committee approval process, unless otherwise approved by Campus Scheduling or the Director of Risk Management. The Special Events Request Form must be submitted at least 15 days prior to the requested event date. All relevant information for the event shall be provided in the application. Any additional information requested by an appropriate University authority shall be provided upon request.

[1] A third party vendor is a company or entity with whom the organization has a written agreement with to provide a product or service on behalf of your organization to your customer, participants, attendees, etc.

In accordance with the University’s travel guidance, all RSO-related travel has been suspended until further notice, including conferences, tournaments, etc. This includes all travel for Sports Clubs Student Organizations and Competitive Club Student Organizations

  • Travel to local Norman and OKC metro areas is allowable so long as the event adheres to University policies and protocols.
  • Sport Club Student Organizations may continue conditioning and practicing while maintaining social distancing and masking as required by OU policy. While a distance of six (6) feet is recommended for social distancing, the Health Sciences Center (HSC) advises distancing of 12 feet for exercise.

Organizers should understand the risks associated with hosting an in-person meeting, event, or program and communicate those risks to attendees.

  • The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 spreading.
  • If individuals are wearing masks/facial covering and practicing six (6)-feet distancing, the risk will be lower. Risk becomes elevated when one or more parties are not wearing a mask/facial covering and are within six (6)-feet of each other for a duration greater than 15 minutes.
  • According to the CDC, the risk of COVID-19 spreading at meetings, events, and programs increases as follows:
    • No Risk: Virtual-only activities, events, and gatherings.
    • Low Risk: Smaller, outdoor, in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least six (6) feet apart, wear mask/facial coverings, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).
    • Medium Risk: Medium-sized, in-person gatherings in which individuals remain spaced at least six (6) feet apart, wear mask/facial coverings, do not share objects, and come from outside the local area.
    • High Risk: Large, in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least six (6) feet apart and individuals travel from outside the local area. High Risk events are not permitted at this time.

In an effort to assist the University community in positively educating others, please refer to these Bystander Techniques and to the University Masking Resolution Process for educational, informal, and formal resolutions.

  • Failure to follow COVID-19 policies and protocols, such as the University Mandatory Masking Policy, social distancing, space capacity guidelines, and travel policies may be referred to the appropriate campus administrator to participate in a mandatory meeting and/or the Office of Student Conduct.
  • Possible sanctions may include a rescindment of the RSO’s ability to reserve campus space, be recognized as an active RSO, forfeiture of all Student Government Association (SGA) funds, social probation, fines, and other possible sanctions.

Event organizers must consider many safeguards in order to plan events in adherence with the COVID-19 space capacity, social distancing, and masking mandates.

Can your event be online/virtual?

If yes,

  • Which platform(s) are you using?
  •  How are you ensuring security on the online platform?
  • How are you moderating the online event? (Captioned videos and images, etc.)

If not, then ...

Can your event be outside?

If yes,

  • Please make sure to go through the appropriate reservation process
  • Are special arrangements needed? (tables, chairs, electricity, etc.)
  • Are any third-party vendors involved? If so, complete the OU Special Events Committee approval process listed above.
  • Will you have extra available masks, gloves, hand sanitizer for volunteers and attendees?
  • What is your plan for inclement weather?
  • Are waivers and/or medical forms needed for this event?
  • Will there be someone cleaning the surface areas/equipment?
  • How are you tracking attendance?

If not, then ...

Can your event be recycled for a later date, next semester or year?

If not, then ...

Must your event be inside?

If yes, the following would be reasons for doing so…

  • Dependent on equipment and/or facilities
  • Dependent on weather
  • Identity of participants needs to be protected and kept private

Further considerations:

  • Please make sure to go through the appropriate reservation process
  • Are special arrangements needed? (tables, chairs, electricity, etc.)
  • Are any third-party vendors involved? If so, complete the OU Special Events Committee approval process listed above.
  • Will you have extra available masks, gloves, hand sanitizer for volunteers and attendees
  • Are waivers and/or medical forms needed for this event?
  • Will there be someone cleaning the surface areas/equipment?
  • How are you tracking attendance?
  • Is the event come-and-go? If so, you must arrange for a door monitor to regulate access and ensure the space capacity is not exceeded, following a one-in, one-out rule. 
  • Space must be set up for social distancing.
  • How are you enforcing the mask mandate?
  • The use of directional signage is highly encouraged.
  • How are you marking the one-way entrance and one-way exit to reduce contact?
  • If you have food at the event, can you accommodate all dietary needs and have someone serving food or have it prepackaged
  • How are you minimizing overall contact at your event?