Student Organizations and COVID-19

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The University’s top priorities are the health and safety of our community and academic continuity. Below you will find information on how the University-wide guidelines for all meetings, programs, and events on campus apply to undergraduate student organizations. As a student organization leader, it is important that you familiarize yourself with all information outlined below. Throughout the academic year, University leadership will continue to review and adjust these guidelines in response to the evolving pandemic.

All indoor student organization events and meetings are canceled until November 1st.

Outdoor meetings and events that comply with physical distancing and other University safety standards will be permitted. University and local curfews may impact the timing of campus meetings and events from time to time. The Student Center Complex has outlined safe guidelines, policies, and procedures for outdoor reservation requests within its spaces.

Students who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or have come in close contact with others exhibiting such symptoms within the last 14 days, must stay home and not attend campus meetings or events and should contact Student Health Service.

The University's COVID-19 Response

Prioritize Virtual Events

Whenever possible, student organizations should utilize virtual platforms (such as Zoom) to host executive board and general body meetings. In addition, virtual platforms can be used to create hybrid meetings, where some members are physically present and others participate online.

First-time users must activate their University of Miami Zoom account by clicking on the SSO sign-in page, and using their miami.edu credentials to get started.

For technical assistance, contact help@miami.edu, call 305-284-6565, or visit Zoom Support. Training for Zoom is also available on the Zoom website.

On-Campus Activities & Events

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  • Event Capacity

    The maximum number of participants at any given meeting or event will be determined through the reservations process by a combination of:

    • University guidelines
    • Laws, ordinances, and recommendations by government and public health officials
    • The size of the space/room/venue allowing for physical distancing as determined by the
      venue
    • The ability of participants to comply with University guidance related to physical
      distancing and the protection of personal space

    Regardless of the considerations above, no more than 150 people may be in attendance at any student organization event at any given time, regardless of location. Additionally, the Department of Student Activities & Student Organizations and/or facility managers may impose additional attendance limits on individual events based on the nature of the activity.

  • Attendee Tracking Requirements

    All student organization meetings and events in reserved spaces will be required to track participant attendance via Engage. Additionally, informal gatherings with more than 5 members of a student organization will be required to track attendance.

    Instructions on how to utilize event participation tracking on Engage can be found here. Attendance records must be updated within 24 hours of the conclusion of the meeting or event. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Department of Student Activities & Student Organizations.

    Once permitted, events held in indoor spaces with limited capacity should utilize an RSVP system to avoid having to turn away attendees at the door. Instructions on how to collect RSVPs on Egnage can be found here. Student leaders should also consider streaming in-person meetings to a virtual platform so that those unable to physically attend can still participate. Virtual participants do not need to be included in attendance reports.

  • Personal Space Adjustments

    One of the university’s four pillars is “protecting personal space.” Student leaders should work with venue managers to develop room layouts that allow for appropriate physical distancing. Once rooms are set, students should refrain from rearranging furniture.

    All student organization meeting and event attendees are required to comply with University guidelines and local ordinances regarding face coverings. Currently, face coverings are required on our campuses both indoors and outdoors.

  • Communication of University Guidelines

    Prior to a meeting or event, it is the event host’s responsibility to communicate University guidelines to all attendees. This communication should include a reminder about physical distancing policies and protection of personal space (attendees must bring their own face covering). We have created a sample email to event attendees for you to use. Marketing materials for meetings and events should include the following language:

    Students who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or have come in close contact with others exhibiting such symptoms within the last 14 days should contact Student Health Service, and must stay home and not attend. Face coverings are required at all times.

    During the event, it is the host’s responsibility to ensure that attendees are following rules and exhibiting appropriate behavior.

  • External Guest Restrictions

    Guests will not be permitted at student organization events until further notice. Guests are defined as any person who is not a current University of Miami student, faculty member, or staff member. Outside performers/speakers/vendors who are properly contracted are permitted (see “Outside Performers/Speakers/Vendors” below).

  • Outside Performers/Speakers/Vendors

    Only approved University of Miami vendors are permitted to provide services on campus. Student organizations are responsible for ensuring that proper contracting and purchasing procedures are followed, as outlined in the Student Organization Handbook.

    Any outside performers/speakers/vendors coming to campus to support a student event must agree to comply with all University guidelines. 

    Vendor Requirements

  • Food Service

    Food may be served only at outdoor student organization events. Event hosts must follow CDC recommendations and University guidelines related to food safety. Events must provide individually served, wrapped, and packaged food instead of buffets or platters to reduce potential contact.

    Similarly, canned or bottled beverages must be provided in lieu of open pitchers or shared punch bowls. Vendors must sanitize the food and beverage areas before and during the event, and hosts must eliminate the sharing of commonly passed items at events such as serving utensils. Physical distancing must be maintained while eating and drinking.

  • Organization Meeting Guidelines

    Facility managers may limit the frequency of student organization events and meetings in an effort to allow as many groups as possible to access space. Student leaders should strive to minimize the duration of time that groups of students are together for in-person meetings.

    When developing an agenda, consider the items that are best suited for in-person discussion and items that can be sent via email to members of the group before or after the meeting. Additionally, accommodations should be made for students who are unable to attend to participate in the meeting (hybrid meetings).

Off-Campus Activities and Events

All off-campus activities and events within Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe counties are required to be approved by the Department of Student Activities and Student Organizations or the Department of Wellness and Recreation. Approval will be based on the nature of the activity, the ability to meet all current University of Miami guidelines regarding meetings and events, physical distancing, and protection of personal space.

  • Overnight trips and indoor activities are not permitted.
  • Students are required to wear face coverings at all times while participating in off-campus activities/events, including outdoors.
  • The number of University of Miami students permitted to participate in an off-campus event is based on local ordinances (city and county) regarding group gatherings, and may not exceed 25.

In addition to meeting University guidelines related to face coverings and physical distancing, all off-campus activities must relate to the purpose and guiding principles of the organization and must comply with the policies of the University of Miami as stated in the Student Organization Handbook and Rights and Responsibilities.

Off-campus activities are defined as any conference, performance, practice, competition, service project, retreat or other social or professional activity that takes place at a non-campus location, and is (1) supported financially by SAFAC, a University department, or other club funds; or (2) attended by more than five members of a student organization.

Organizations must submit their respective Off-Campus Activity/Event Registration form at least five business days prior to the activity/event and should wait for approval before making any financial commitments related to the activity/event.

Non-FCS Groups   FCS Groups

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  • Activity/Event Leader Responsibilities

    One student who is participating in the off-campus activity/event with the group should be designated the “activity/event leader.”

    This leader:

    • is the main University contact and is responsible for ensuring that the group follows all established policies and procedures.
    • should work closely with the organization’s advisor and the Department of Student Activities & Student Organizations in the planning of the activity/event.
    • is responsible for notifying the appropriate University administrators in the event of an emergency.
    • is responsible for creating an event in Engage, and taking attendance of all University of Miami students at off-campus activities and events.

  • Activity/Event Attendance

    Activity/Event Leaders are responsible for creating an event in Engage, and taking attendance of all University of Miami students at off-campus activities and events.

    Instructions on how to utilize event participation tracking on Engage can be found here. Attendance records must be updated within 24 hours of the conclusion of the activity or event. 

  • Transportation Policies

    All students who operate personal vehicles to get to/from off-campus activities/events are required to have a valid U.S. driver’s license for the vehicle being driven with appropriate classifications, restrictions, and/or endorsements.

    • Vehicles must be properly maintained, serviced and insured.
    • Drivers must follow all laws regarding operation of a vehicle, including no texting or cell phone use while driving.
    • Vehicle passengers must wear seat belts at all times.
    • The total number of passengers in a vehicle may not exceed 50% of the number of seat belts available, to allow for physical distancing.
    • If multiple students are sharing a vehicle, masks must be worn, and it is recommended that windows are opened for ventilation.
    • Driving is not permitted between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. without the permission of the Department of Student Activities & Student Organizations or Department of Wellness and Recreation.

  • Emergency Procedures

    In the event of a motor vehicle accident, the driver or activity/event leader should:

    • Stop immediately and notify the proper law enforcement agency and/or emergency medical services (911). A formal police report is necessary. Inquire with the responding law enforcement officials about how you can obtain the police report number.
    • Obtain the following information from the driver(s) of other vehicles involved in the accident:
      • Name and contact information
      • Driver’s license number
      • Make, model, year, color and license plate number of vehicle
      • Record the names, addresses, and contact information of any passengers and witnesses.
    • Call the University of Miami Police Department at 305-284-6666 and notify them of the accident.

    In the event of any other incident (medical emergency, student arrest, missing person, etc.), the activity/event leader should:

    • Notify the proper law enforcement agency and/or emergency medical services (911) if necessary.
    • Call the University of Miami Police Department (305-284-6666) and notify the dispatcher of the incident. Please be prepared to give the dispatcher the student’s name and a brief description of the incident. The dispatcher will notify the appropriate University administrators.

     

Student Organization Travel

Given the unpredictable nature of COVID-19 spread and the inherent risks associated with traveling, undergraduate student organization travel outside of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe counties will not be permitted during the fall 2020 semester. This includes all student organization trips, conferences, and competitions, regardless of how the travel is being funded. 

All off-campus activities within Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe counties will need to be approved by the Department of Student Activities and Student Organizations, the Department of Wellness and Recreation, or the Dean of Students Office. Approval will be based on the nature of the activity, and the ability to meet all current University of Miami guidelines regarding meetings and events, physical distancing, and protection of personal space. Currently, overnight trips and indoor activities are not permitted.

Information on this approval process will be communicated in the coming weeks.

Club Sports

The Department of Wellness and Recreation has developed an Action Plan for Club Sports that will govern practices and competitions for groups that are a part of the Federation of Club Sports. FCS organizations are required to comply with all policies and procedures established by FCS and the Department of Wellness and Recreation.

Additional Information

We recognize that the impact of COVID-19 makes it challenging for your student organization to engage in the types of programs that may be typical for your group. The Department of Student Activities & Student Organizations will be releasing a series of resources designed to help student organizations be successful in a COVID-19 environment. Additionally, there are numerous departments across campus that can assist with planning.