July 1: Campus Events and Gatherings Policies in response to COVID-19 effective July 1, 2020
While the university encourages organizers of events and gatherings to continue the pursuit of alternative virtual modes of participation as their primary method of conducting such activities, effective July 1, 2020, indoor and outdoor events and gatherings at all University-owned, -occupied, or -controlled lands and buildings (“University Properties”) located within the state of Florida will be allowed to resume on a gradual, controlled, and phased approach. Approval of requests for in-person activities will depend upon local public health conditions, the university’s capacity to effectively or successfully execute safety and security protocols, and the availability of university space as the instructional space needs for the Fall Semester become more clearly defined.
Due to the current public health circumstances in Florida, the university is not scheduling new non-UF person, group, or organization requests for in-person activities at University Properties through July 31, 2020. Non-UF person, group, or organization requests for in-person activities for July that were approved prior to June 26, 2020 will be honored.
The following restrictions and requirements apply to in-person events and gatherings:
- Face coverings must always be worn in University-owned, -occupied, or -controlled buildings and at outdoor events or gatherings held on University-owned, -occupied, or -controlled lands by all people older than 2 years of age.
- Physical distancing (currently, a minimum of six feet) must be observed at all indoor and outdoor events and gatherings with special attention given to ingress/egress of the venue as well as general queuing and ticketing logistics.
- The maximum attendance for indoor events and gatherings is 50 persons. This includes large meeting and function spaces. Depending on the venue layout and space available to ensure the minimum prescribed physical distancing requirement, the maximum attendance could be less than 50 persons. Additionally, venue managers have the latitude to set lower maximum attendance capacities for their venues.
- The maximum attendance for outdoor events and gatherings is 250 persons. Venue managers have the latitude to set lower maximum capacities for their venues.
- Organizers of events or venue managers must produce a roster with contact information for each event attendee and maintain such information for a minimum of one month after the date of the event. This does not apply to campus visitors entering public facilities such as museums and galleries.
- Every person coming to University Properties - whether a faculty member, a staff member, student, volunteer, vendor, or visitor - is expected to adhere to these policies.
- Where possible, technology options such as web conferencing including video meetings and webinars, or live streaming events, should be an option to those invited, but reluctant to attend the event or gathering in person.
- UF-hosted and -sponsored in-person events and gatherings must provide appropriate accommodations and alternative options for those who have a disability and cannot attend in person (or follow the policies of in-person attendance) because of that disability.
- Communications advertising the event must include a statement encouraging those individuals at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 (including older adults and people of all ages with certain underlying medical conditions) to avoid such events and gatherings at this time and when available, direct them to virtual participation options.
- On-site event signage must include university-approved print communications addressing mandatory face coverings and physical distancing in prominent locations.
- Food and beverage service must comply with the restrictions and requirements established by the Office for Business Services (https://www.bsd.ufl.edu/catering).
- Classroom spaces are to be used only for classroom uses and co-curricular activities approved by a College Dean. Non-class uses of classroom spaces are suspended until further notice. Scheduling of future non-academic use requests is also postponed until further notice.
- Event request/approval processes must be observed for all campus events and gatherings (see a more detailed description of the approval processes at the end of this document).
These policies are further modified by the following:
- Campus museums, performing arts venues, theatres, auditoriums, galleries, and other large indoor venues may operate at up to 50% of building capacity while complying with the face covering and minimum prescribed physical distancing requirements. Depending on the venue layout and space available to ensure the minimum prescribed physical distancing requirement, the maximum attendance could be less than 50% of building capacity. Additionally, venue managers have the latitude to set lower maximum attendance capacities for their venues.
- UF/IFAS off campus meeting spaces considered University Properties will follow the same restrictions and requirements.
These policies are not intended to address instructional activities, University Athletic Association team practices and competitions, or RecSports programming and activities. Ancillary events held in spaces controlled by the University Athletics Association or RecSports are to follow these policies.
UF-hosted and -sponsored in-person events and gatherings held at non-University Properties are to follow these policies as well. Non-UF persons, groups, and organizations utilizing University Properties for in-person activities must accept responsibility for complying with these policies and shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the University from any and all claims or liabilities the University may incur related to the non-compliance by non-UF persons, groups, and organizations.
If the university determines that an event or gathering does not comply with these Campus Event and Gatherings Policies, the university reserves the right to:
- Deny or rescind the event organizer’s permission to use the venue (even if the event has already started); and
- Restrict the event organizer from reserving campus space in the future.
Finally, these policies will be adapted as needed as local, state and federal guidelines and declarations are revised and as public health circumstances on the campus and surrounding areas evolve.
Any exceptions to the events and gatherings policies must be obtained in writing from the Vice President for Business Affairs or designee.
Campus Event Request/Approval Processes
Organizers of events and gatherings are required to submit COVID-19 safety plans for their requested in-person activities. For requests submitted through the GatorConnect Event Permitting System (directed to Student Affairs or Business Affairs), the safety plans will be covered by questions in the online event application process. For event requests at UF/IFAS facilities or at Certain Venues with Delegated Authority to Approve Event Requests, please include your responses to COVID-19 safety-related questions, which can be found at (https://businessaffairs.ufl.edu/events/), as part of your event request.
Registered Student Organization (RSO) Requests
RSOs submit all event/permit requests to the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee through the GatorConnect Event Permitting System [orgs.studentinvolvement.ufl.edu].
User Requests for UF/IFAS On- and Off-Campus Locations
Requests for events and gatherings at UF/IFAS-controlled or -occupied facilities on- and off-campus require UF/IFAS administrative approval. The approvals will be made by the local UF/IFAS leadership, with further approvals up to the relevant UF/IFAS Dean. For events at county-owned facilities, the county and UF/IFAS must both agree to host the requested event. This step is a prerequisite for any additional university event or permit approvals required by the Office of Business Affairs through the Business Affairs GatorConnect Event Permitting System [https://businessaffairs.ufl.edu/events/].
User Requests at Certain Venues with Delegated Authority to Approve Event Requests (excluding requests from RSO’s)
The following venues have authority to approve events (subject to the appropriate university requirements) held in that venue:
- Austin Cary Forest Campus (sfrc.ufl.edu/forestcampus)
- Emerson Alumni Hall (uff.ufl.edu/eah/)
- Florida Museum of Natural History (floridamuseum.ufl.edu)
- Harn Museum of Art (http://harn.ufl.edu/)
- Wayne Reitz Union (www.union.ufl.edu)
- Housing Facilities (https://conferenceservices.housing.ufl.edu/)
- Recreational Sports Facilities (https://recsports.ufl.edu/)
- Stephen C. O’Connell Center (oconnellcenter.ufl.edu)
- Straughn Professional Development Center (https://straughn.ifas.ufl.edu/)
- University Athletic Association Facilities (floridagators.com)
- UF Historic St. Augustine (staugustine.ufl.edu)
- UF Performing Arts Venues: (performingarts.ufl.edu)
- Curtis M. Phillips Center for Performing Arts
- University Auditorium
- Baughman Center
Organizers of events and gatherings looking to reserve space in one of these venues should contact the venue as a first step. The staff managing these venues will assist the event organizer with any additional event or permit requirements.
All Other User Requests
All other user requests are to submit event/permit requests to the Vice President for Business Affairs or designee through the Business Event Permitting System [https://businessaffairs.ufl.edu/events/].