Today's Update: Tuesday, February 9

February 9, 2021

Dear Student Life Team, I love the sweet smell of success. 

You will recall last week we told student organizations that IF the positivity rate for the virus remained low (which would require their strict adherence to the Safe and Healthy requirements), and IF the city of Columbus’s stay-at-home order expired, THEN we would be able to permit them to engage in small gatherings again. 

They did, it did and we are.  

Getting to this phase is a testament to the cooperation of the vast majority of our students, and to the hard work you are doing to engage with them during the pandemic. From our massive testing effort to the innovative ways you have found to create as extraordinary a student experience as possible, I’m proud of everyone. We aren’t done yet, but we are making good progress. 

Here is update we sent to students yesterday afternoon (they were Scarlet and Grateful!), and THANK YOU for your helping in making it happen: 

Dear student leaders: As a follow-up to last week’s message, I am pleased to confirm our plans to resume in-person activities of ten or fewer this week. In-person engagement is so important to our relationships, well-being and sense of belonging and connection. The details of these plans are below. 

Beginning today, February 8, at Noon available on-campus venues will accept space reservations for in-person activities of ten or fewer people. Please note that due to the pandemic, space inventory will be different from a standard year’s offering. Information about requesting space in Student Life facilities, including a link to the space request tool, can be found at Activities may resume as early as February 12. If you choose to hold your in-person activities off-campus, you must still follow the guidelines. Most are the same as shared last week, with additional information about travel. 

  • This permission applies to in-person events and gatherings on-campus and off-campus, including tabling activities. 

  • Adherence to federal, state and local public health requirements and guidance is required. 

  • All in-person attendees must wear masks. Given emerging evidence about potential additional protection, students who will be engaging in more face-to-face activities as a result of the resumption of events/gatherings are encouraged to wear two masks.  

  • Your organization must confirm its risk mitigation details as part of the space reservation process, working with event planning staff from the campus venue in question. Risk mitigation recommendations are available in the Student Org Guidance document (Meetings and Programs section). 

  • Food is not permitted to be served or consumed at events and gatherings held on campus. 

  • Your organization’s primary advisor must be aware of your plans and provide written approval to the event planning contact from the venue hosting your event or gathering. This approval from your advisor can be given via e-mail in reply to your reservation confirmation. 

  • In alignment with university’s restrictions on travel, university funds cannot be used for travel, even locally, and students are encouraged to avoid shared travel. When travel is necessary for approved off-campus activities, students should travel separately or with their “quaran-team” members only. 

  • Sport Clubs should work with Student Life’s department of Recreational Sports to determine approved activities and space reservations. All gatherings of clubs must have pre-approval from Recreational Sports before beginning. 

  • We continue to encourage hybrid and virtual activities to ensure broad access to student organization activities. 

We encourage you to work closely and consult with event planning staffstudent organizations teamsport club staffsorority and fraternity staff and your organization advisor as you make plans for in-person activities. 

We are dedicated to supporting the safe return to in-person activities. As a reminder, we will continue to monitor relevant metrics so that we can respond swiftly to promote the health and safety of our campus community. This will help us determine if activities need to be suspended, or if it will be possible to open up activities more widely. 

Thank you for your patience, resilience and leadership during this time of challenges and change. 

Together As Buckeyes,