Event and Gathering Guidelines

The purpose of this document is to provide general guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic regarding the planning and hosting of events sponsored by Allegheny College and all entities within the College community. The health and safety of our community members is our highest priority. Therefore, these guidelines will be revised and augmented as needed based on advances in scientific understanding, shifts in public health policy, and the prevalence of the virus.

For purposes of clarifying policies and recommendations within these guidelines, “groups” refers to clubs, teams, performers and ensembles, service organizations, social and honorary fraternities and sororities, and other sponsoring organizations or individuals; “events” include all performances, lectures, discussions, services, gatherings, and meetings that include invited participants and/or guests beyond the scope of regularly scheduled individual courses; “hosts” are the community members responsible for scheduling, organizing, and overseeing these events.

It is the responsibility of those hosting any event to ensure that current federal, state, and campus guidelines are strictly observed. Hosts must prepare thoroughly, and must actively staff and monitor events in order to adhere to all requirements. Group members should consult with entities on campus charged with resolving event questions (Office of Student Involvement, Office of Conference and Event Services, Allegheny College Health Agency) but responsibility for the viability of an event and the safety of participants ultimately rests with the designated host(s).

It is the goal of the College and this operational team to hold events on campus in a responsible, safe, and inclusive manner.

Events for members of the campus community (student clubs and organizations, academic discussions, etc.) will be permitted, so long as they meet all safety and physical distancing guidelines.

Visitors, defined as any person who is not a current Allegheny student, faculty member, or staff member, will not be permitted to attend campus events in person.

Guest speakers and performers should be facilitated remotely. Allegheny alumni and other guests may likewise be invited to attend events remotely as appropriate. Policies for limited visits through the Office of Admissions can be found on the Admissions Visit page.

On-campus events sponsored by outside entities (local groups, extra-collegiate conferences) will not be permitted for the 2020-21 academic year.

Attendance Limits at Gatherings and Events

Hosts of gatherings and events on Allegheny College campus must limit attendance to the lesser of the physical-distanced capacity of the space, the Pennsylvania State limit on event attendance (15% capacity of an indoor space, 20% of an outdoor space) OR Allegheny College guidelines, which limits gatherings to a maximum of 25 persons for an indoor event or 50 persons for an outdoor event. The capacity of each campus space can be found in Scheduler.

(Updated: 03/09/21)

All persons attending events must wear appropriate face coverings over the nose and mouth and maintain six feet of physical distance at all times.

Events can and should be held outside when possible with appropriate contingency plans to account for inclement weather.

Weather cannot be an acceptable reason to overcrowd indoor spaces as backup venues. All event hosts should recognize, too, that outdoor and indoor spaces alike may need to curtail loud sounds, presentations, or music as the need for improved ventilation will likely require open windows.

Event sponsors are responsible for:

  • Scheduling of spaces appropriate to the activity and number of attendees
    • Sponsors should reserve the desired space in Scheduler, paying careful attention to the section with attendees/set up information. This will provide information about “physical distancing set up, air flow guidelines and capacity.
  • Learning and directing ingress and egress protocol to facilitate functional traffic flow while maintaining physical distancing for the reserved space
  • Monitoring the wearing of face coverings and the observance of physical distancing for the duration of the event
  • Utilizing hand sanitizer and/or directing attendees to washing areas
  • Cleaning of spaces, furnishings, and/or equipment, per the posted instructions and/or guidelines for that space.
  • Modifying event plans as needed to follow changes in health and safety guidance
    • Event hosts should follow Allegheny’s Covid-19 page for updates

Food at Events

Pre-packaged food may be purchased and served at gatherings and events as long as hand washing and physical distancing practices are adhered to throughout, including when obtaining the food, its distribution to attendees, and during consumption. When food is included, the gathering space (ideally outside) must allow for at least six feet of distance between people so they can remove their face covering to eat. As always, Parkhurst Dining has the “right of first refusal” before food can be purchased from an outside vendor or 3rd party and brought to campus. Parkhurst Catering has created a new reduced contact menu to meet your needs, and Tony Pollock, Director of Catering, will work with each event host to talk through options and arrangements. Tony can be reached at: apollock@allegheny.edu or 814-332-4387.

(Updated: 02/24/21)

Resources and assistance for student organizations can be obtained from Student Leadership and Involvement (SLI).