Student Organization Fall 2020 COVID-19 Guidelines

Last updated: 10/9/2020

Welcome back, Tigers! We have missed you being physically present and are very excited to have lots of life back on campus. One of the things that makes RIT such a vibrant community is our student clubs and organizations.

As you review these guidelines, we want to make sure you know that they are in place to ensure that you can continue to plan and execute activities and events that are meaningful and engaging. Following these guidelines will assist us in supporting your most creative and fun-filled plans.

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Overview

To ensure the health and safety of the students, staff, and faculty of the Rochester Institute of Technology community, student clubs, organizations, sororities, fraternities, and special interest houses that are affiliated with the Division of Student Affairs will look different and operate with modified parameters during the fall 2020 semester. These guidelines and recommendations have been established with the health and safety of our community at the forefront and follow the recommendations and guidelines set by the RIT Safety Plan, New York State Department of Health, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Exceptions to these guidelines may vary based on the nature of the activity and the sponsoring department. Officers of student groups are expected to lead the implementation and foster compliance with the requirements. While outlined here in the context of student organizations, students should note that many of these policies are also applicable to informal gatherings of on-campus residents during the fall semester.

RIT COVID-19 Alert Levels

Please be sure to monitor the RIT COVID-19 Alert Level. In the event the COVID-19 Alert Level is elevated, student club and organization in person events and activities may be further restricted.

Center for Disease Control Guiding Principles for Events and Gatherings

The risk of COVID-19 spreading at events and gatherings increases as follows:

  • Lowest risk: Virtual-only activities, events, and gatherings.
  • More risk: Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear masks, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).
  • Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings that are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and with attendees coming from outside the local area.
  • Highest risk: Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.

General Guidelines

Updated 10/9/2020

  • Group gatherings carry an increased risk of viral transmission. While we strongly recommend virtual meetings, activities, and events, limited reservations for in-person opportunities will be permitted.
  • Indoor in-person activities, events, and meetings are limited to 25 people, including event hosts and attendees and are based on the maximum occupancy allowed in that indoor space.
  • Outdoor in-person activities, events, and meetings will be permitted based on the occupancy number allowed of that outdoor space.
  • We recommend that each in-person event have at least one designated event host who represents the organization and is responsible for ensuring all guidelines are followed. If an attendee refuses to follow established guidance, they should be asked to leave and reported for non-compliance.
  • Student clubs and organizations will be required to develop an organization-specific COVID-19 Response Plan. This plan will be due by Tuesday, September 1, 2020, or before the organization's first in-person activity, event, or meeting.
  • All in-person student organization and club events and activities will be required to be registered at reserve.rit.edu and complete an Event Plan for every registered event that ensures safety for members and participants. The event plan template can be found HERE.
  • Students that do not feel well or have not been cleared to circulate on campus, are not permitted to attend in-person sponsored events.
  • For anyone that is concerned or wants to report about safety measures witnessed at an in-person sponsored event, please submit a claim at https://www.rit.edu/reporting-incident.
  • In-Person Activities, Events, and Meetings - Updated 10/9/2020

    • All activities, events, and meetings (in-person and virtual) must be registered at reserve.rit.edu. Reservations for non-academic spaces are now OPEN. Reservations for academic and newly appointed academic spaces will not open until Monday, August 31, 2020.
    • Groups that fail to attendance track will lose privileges to host future in-person activities, events, and meetings for the remainder of the semester.
    • Attendance tracking in CampusGroups will be REQUIRED for ALL activities, events, practices, and meetings. There are various options that are in compliance with RIT’s physical distancing requirements and are similar for academic class check-ins. Groups that fail to attendance track will lose privileges to host future in-person activities, events, and meetings for the remainder of the semester.
    • CampusGroups attendance tracking instructions can be found HERE.
    • All hosts and attendees must be checked-in.
    • Advanced RSVP’s and on-site check-in must be facilitated through CampusGroups so it is recommended that you register your activities, events, and meetings at least 7 days in advance, although it is recommended 4 weeks to ensure confirmation of requested services.
    • The use of teleconferencing or video-conferencing is highly encouraged but not required for activities, events, and meetings.
    • In-person activities, events, and meetings must require all attendees to abide by room occupancy numbers, adhere to social distancing guidelines, and wear face masks.
    • Indoor in-person activities, events, and meetings are limited to 25 people, including event hosts and attendees.
    • Outdoor in-person activities, events, and meetings will be permitted based on the occupancy number allowed of that outdoor space.
    • Face masks must be worn during in-person meetings and events and outdoor activities where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Travel/Off-Campus Events

    All RIT Student Affairs student clubs and organizations are prohibited from nonessential travel for sponsored activities until further notice. Only essential travel will be permitted and requires approval by the sponsoring department. Under limited conditions, student clubs and organizations may require transportation to engage in essential business of the organization within 30 miles of campus. If the organization needs to travel beyond the 30 mile radius, approval will be required from the sponsoring department.

    • Off-campus activities, events, and meetings are REQUIRED to be registered at reserve.rit.edu. Note: off-campus events should not be held in student houses/apartments that do not meet the required space requirements for appropriate social distancing.
    • Attendance tracking in CampusGroups will be REQUIRED.
    • Off-campus events must abide by the same guidelines set forth for on-campus student organization events, in addition to any local and facility-specific regulations. If the university’s policy differs from the local/facility expectations, the more restrictive policy must be followed (Example: If an indoor venue allows for 100 guests, the participant count at the event still cannot exceed 50 people per RIT guidelines).
    • While off-campus, RIT community members should always follow the CDC and New York/Rochester public health guidelines.
    • Use of university vehicles (SG and PATS vans) will be permitted if approved by the sponsoring department.All passengers must wear face masks while traveling in the vehicles at all times.
      • All passengers must wear face masks while traveling in the vehicles at all times.No more than 6 people per van. Two in front, two in center, and two in back with open space/seat between.
      • No more than 6 people per van. Two in front, two in center, and two in back with open space/seat between.The van must be cleaned after use and the cleaning procedure sheet must be completed and returned along with the van charter paperwork.
      • The van must be cleaned after use and the cleaning procedure sheet must be completed and returned along with the van charter paperwork.
    • Students should significantly limit or avoid the use of ridesharing, rental vehicles, or personal vehicles.
  • Event Accessibility

    • Student organizations should continue to remain cognizant of accessibility needs related to their virtual events.
    • Event hosts should ensure that everyone can participate in the event. If an in-person activity, event or meeting is happening, we strongly encourage organizations to offer a hybrid online option to remain inclusive of students that cannot attend in-person.
    • On the CampusGroups event registration form, we recommend allowing participants to to request an accommodation for events.
  • Food and Beverages at Meetings and Events - Updated 8/21/2020

    • Due to risks associated with food sharing and cross-contamination, no food may be served or provided at student organization-sponsored events and meetings unless the items are individual portions, pre-packaged, and purchased from a licensed caterer, restaurant, or food retailer.
    • Food may only be consumed in areas listed in the RIT Safety Plan.
    • No food is permitted in academic spaces.
    • Attendees may their own bring food and beverages but are not permitted to share.
    • If food consumption does take place during an event or meeting, it is recommended to increase physical distance beyond 6 feet when removing masks to eat.
    • Self-serve buffet-style events are not permitted.
    • Bake sales and food sales are not permitted until further notice.
    • Outdoor grilling and BBQs are not permitted.
  • Event with Alcohol

    • No events with alcohol will be permitted on or off-campus due to its ability to impair judgment and suppress the immune system until further notice.
  • Giveaways (Marketing materials, swag, door prizes, etc)

    • Giveaways will be allowed in a limited capacity following additional guidance that is forthcoming.
    • It is recommended that organizations limit the number of materials distributed at activities, events, and meetings.
    • It is recommended that organizations provide digital handouts when possible (Example: QR codes to link to events and handouts and follow up emails to participants with documents attached).
    • Avoid sharing of personal items (ie: pens, laptops, etc) that will require disinfecting.
  • Social Sororities & Fraternities

    • Social Sororities and Fraternities are required to follow these guidelines and the guidelines set forth by their governing councils. For specific guidelines regarding recruitment and council meetings. Please email:
      • College Panhellenic Council - Violet Young, president.cpc.rit@gmail.com
      • Multicultural Greek Council - Killiaun Blatche, mgcpresident@rit.edu
      • Interfraternity Council - Ryan DeVoe, president.ifc.rit@gmail.com
  • Performing Arts Student Organizations

    Due to the nature of these organizations, there will be more specific guidelines set and in place to ensure the safety of all members and participants. The research on the spread of COVID-19 through particles and aerosols created while singing, shouting, exercising, and playing instruments is not fully understood. We recommend holding these events virtually. We will continue to work with RIT’s Performing Arts department to seek more information about these specific areas to determine if appropriate accommodations are possible in the future.

    A Cappella Groups

    • A Cappella groups are permitted to meet in-person.
    • Masks must continue to be worn at all times in accordance with university guidelines.
    • For the safety of participants, groups should make every effort to secure outdoor rehearsal spaces.
    • Rehearsals are limited to room/venue capacities.
    • Participants must maintain a distance of 10ft between members while rehearsing.
      -

    Dance Groups

    • These guidelines have been adapted based on recommendations by the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health.
    • Dance groups are permitted to meet in-person.
    • Masks must continue to be worn at all times in accordance with university guidelines.
    • Activities that require direct or indirect contact are prohibited at all times. These activities include partnering, tactile cueing, direct floor work, touching the same equipment, or traveling across the floor.
    • For the safety of participants, groups should make every effort to secure outdoor rehearsal spaces.
    • Participants should maintain a distance of at least 10ft.
    • Dancers should try to enter and leave practice/performance spaces with dance clothes under street clothes.
      -

    Theater Groups

    • Theater groups are permitted to meet in-person.
    • Masks must continue to be worn at all times in accordance with university guidelines.
    • Participants should maintain a distance of at least 10ft between performers if possible.
      -

    Instrumental Groups

    • Instrumental Groups are permitted to meet in person outdoors only.
    • Participants should maintain a distance of at least 10ft.
  • Non-RIT Guests, Speakers, and Performers

    • Current RIT students, faculty, and staff are the primary attendees at student club and organization events. If there will be attendees from outside of the RIT community, they must be made aware of the RIT Visitor Policy and complete the Daily Health Screen. More information can be found HERE.
    • Co-sponsored in-person events with external organizations are not permitted until further notice.
    • For the safety of the guests and the RIT community, student organizations are required to use virtual resources and online programs to accommodate external, non-RIT guests, speakers, etc.
    • Contracts will be required if an organization is paying for the virtual services and/or the event is being recorded. Please note that student organizations should not record and/or distribute any virtual activity featuring an external guest without explicit written permission from that speaker/performer. The Photo/Video Release form can be found HERE.
    • Student organizations are not permitted to sign contracts and must request one HERE.
  • Marketing & Advertising

    • Student clubs and organizations are permitted to post flyers and event advertisements.
    • All posted materials must be in accordance with the Center for Campus Life Posting Procedures, found HERE.
    • Digital/online marketing and advertising platforms are available for use through the RIT Events calendar, CampusGroups, and digital signage through the Campus Center and Student Alumni Union. More information can be found HERE.
    • Per RIT communication, Message Center will no longer be an option for advertising events. We strongly encourage utilizing the platforms and methods listed above.
  • Budgets & Funding

    • Information regarding Center for Campus Life budget allocations, funding, and spending for purchases will be available soon. Please continue to check back for updates.

Additional Information

Competitive Club/Recreational Sports: In line with rules and regulations set forth by the Center for Recreational Sports, student organizations are not permitted to host sporting events (kickball, dodgeball, basketball, etc.). For additional information regarding competitive club and recreational sports recognized by the Center for Recreational Sports, please email clubsports@rit.edu for additional information and guidelines.

Special Interest Houses (SIH's): For additional information for special interest houses recognized by the Center for Residence Life, please contact Tarra DeFelice at tlorla@rit.edu for additional information and guidelines.

Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement: For additional information for student organizations recognized by the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, please contact Alex Tubridy at abtrli@rit.edu for additional information and guidelines.

We look forward to working with you this fall and we are also working to keep all community members safe and healthy. Any Student Affairs affiliated student club, organization, chapter, or special interest houses found in violation of these guidelines may be subject to disciplinary action. This could result in the organization being placed on hold, frozen, and/or referred to the Office for Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution under RIT’s D18.0 Refusal to Comply policy.

Please note, these guidelines reflect the current situation of COVID-19 and may change at any time depending on the health of the community. Changes will be posted in real time on this page.