The Office of Leadership & Engagement (OLE) would like to share our continuous appreciation to student organizations and leaders for all that you do. Student organizations play an exceptionally large role in OLE’s mission of providing opportunities for students to “experience a sense of belonging and a holistic education, as well as personal and professional development in preparation for a life of service, accomplishment and purpose.” We recognize the importance and value that student organizations contribute to the Susquehanna University student experience, especially throughout COVID-19. Your commitment and dedication to leading and providing programming, activities, and more for students within and outside of your organization enhances our campus environment and student experience. Student organizations did a great job managing COVID-19 policies throughout the fall semester! It is each of our responsibility to do our part in stopping the spread and to save our semester.
OLE is here to support student organization leaders and membership. We encourage you to remain active, hold events, share your mission, and continue to operate throughout the spring, all while observing the safety procedures outlined below (updated January 8, 2021). OLE staff is available to support and assist student organization members in determining the safest ways to operate and achieve your organization’s mission while prioritizing the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.
Susquehanna University will adhere to state and federal guidelines related to event size, gatherings, and health and safety protocols. Student organization leaders and members should remain aware and flexible as these requirements can change at any point throughout the semester. If Susquehanna’s policies are stricter than the state and federal guidelines, all organizations must follow the stricter guideline. At any time, the Office of Leadership & Engagement has the right to tighten or loosen these policies strictly based on institution, state and federal guidelines related to Covid-19.
In addition to what is outlined in the Susquehanna University Spring 2021 Campus Plan and Community Health Agreement, The Office of Leadership & Engagement has established the following policies in order to maintain a positive student experience while prioritizing the health and safety of your membership.
Susquehanna students have the option to participate in remote learning this semester. Students who choose to reside on campus may not feel comfortable in participating during in-person meetings/events. Organization leadership should contact members to determine what level of involvement they’d like to participate throughout the semester, especially the students who are learning remotely. Offering a remote or hybrid organization experience is ideal as it is important to engage members who are not residing on campus, or not comfortable with in-person attendance. This will also increase accessibility to your organization.
Please contact the Office of Leadership & Engagement for assistance in maintaining your student experience for members who are not physically in attendance.
Policy: Student organizations must not require current or potential members to participant in events/activities that are only offered in-person.
Policy: Student organizations must not require current or potential members to reside on-campus throughout the fall semester.
Policy: Student organizations cannot deny membership based on if a student does not reside on campus throughout the fall semester.
To ensure that there is adequate space for academic courses while adhering to proper physical distancing, space for meetings/events will be limited. Occupancy limits throughout campus have been lowered to 25-40% of normal capacity. These temporary occupancy limits will not be reflected in EMS but will be taken into consideration by the Office of Event Management before approving a student organization’s request. To assist with this, organizations must provide the exact number of participants during the reservation process. It is essential for organizations to reserve spaces in a timely manner. Organizations are required to disinfectant all surfaces, seats, technology, etc. before and after use.
Policy: Do not move tables, chairs, equipment, etc. in a reserved space; everything is arranged to ensure physical distancing.
Meetings, Events, and Activities
As stated in the Spring 2021 Campus Plan and Community Health Agreement, all students, faculty, and staff are required to wear face coverings outside of their residential room or office. Student organizations are required to adhere to this throughout all meetings and events. Student organizations are required to take attendance at all in person events to assist with contact tracing. OLE encourages student organizations to use the CheckPoint app by Presence to keep track of event attendance at virtual meetings, events, and activities.
Policy: All virtual and in person meetings/events must be registered using the Event Registration form on Presence (https://susqu.presence.io/form/event-registration).
Policy: Student organization events and activities are limited to 25 people both inside and outside while maintaining health and safety expectations as outlined in the Spring 2021 Plan and Community Health Agreement.
Policy: Student organizations must take attendance at all in person events using Presence. This will support Susquehanna University in limiting the potential spread of COVID-19 with contact tracing. Contact the Office of Leadership & Engagement to learn how to take attendance at your events.
Policy: Student organization hosting in-person events and activities with expected attendance to be over 25 will work with OLE to determine health and safety procedures to maintain throughout the event. Organizations must contact OLE at least two weeks prior to the desired event date.
Policy: All third-party vendors must adhere to the Spring 2021 Plan and Community Health Agreement (physical distancing, wearing a face covering, etc.) prior to entering campus. If an organization meeting/event includes a third-party vendor, this must be disclosed in the “Event Notes” section of the registration process.
Policy: Student organizations can request approval to travel off-campus to complete service or activities related to the mission of the organization. Requests can be submitted on Presence. Traveling off-campus without receiving approval is a violation of this policy.
Below are items that student organizations should consider when evaluating meetings, events, and activities.
- What organizational operations are essential to achieve your organization’s mission?
- What are the primary goals and intent of your event and how is it related to the mission of your organization?
- Can your meeting can occur virtually?
- When meeting in person all the health and safety expectations, as outlined in the SU Community Agreement, must be followed (masks, physical distancing, etc.). How will leaders enforce this with their membership/attendees?
- Organizations with membership over 25 people are expected to create an alternative meeting opportunity such as Zoom and/or alternating member attendance (half of membership attends on week one, and the other half of membership participates via Zoom, group alternates the following week).
- How will the organization limit attendance to no more than 25 people (indoor and outdoor) and stay under the space’s occupancy limit?
- Consider using a Presence form to have participants RSVP to your
- Can you meet the intended goals of your event in multiple spaces, or outside?
- Is your event possible without outside guests (to include national office staff, campus ministers, alumni, or off campus vendors)?
- Can outside guests join you in a virtual meeting/event?
- Have these outside guests reviewed and agreed to the SU Fall 2020 Plan and Community Health Agreement?
- Is it possible to implement physical distancing measures in the space without negatively affecting your event goals?
- Is this event possible in an online space?
- Have you communicated with outside partners to ensure they can accommodate your event or activity?
- How much space is required that can accommodate this event with physical distancing in place?
- What and how many staff or volunteers are needed to enforce physical distancing expectations?
Virtual Meetings - Zoom
- Students can access Microsoft Teams through their Outlook email apps menu, free of charge.
- Microsoft Teams does not have a participant or time restriction.
- Has similar features to Zoom.
- Students will go to https://susqu.zoom.us (not https://zoom.us) to create their accounts and log in using their SU email and SU password.
- Student accounts are restricted to 40 minutes. However, you can exit the meeting, use the same link and immediately return to the meeting if you meet the 40-minute time limit.
- Enhanced accounts with no time limit can be purchased. Please contact OLE with questions.
It is likely that all student organizations will need to reimagine how to host their fundraising events. Just as all meetings and events need to follow the health and safety guidelines, so do fundraising activities. Student organization tabling cannot take place in hallways or lobbies of buildings this semester due to the need to maintain appropriate physical distance. As usual, all fundraisers must be registered with the Office or Leadership and Engagement using the Event Registration form on Presence. For assistance with implementing fundraising events that follow all policies within this document please contact the Office of Leadership & Engagement prior to registering your event.
Policy: Student organizations that fundraise with food or drink should individually package items prior to event. Items should be prepared in a sanitized environment. Those who prepare items should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
In addition to meeting, event, and activity considerations outlined above, student organizations should also think about the following when planning fundraising events.
- Is it possible to hold this event while adhering to the policies outlined in this document?
- If selling food/drink, how can those items been prepared properly?
- Can you meet your desired goals or intent of this event if it is held outside?
- Can you provide individually, prepackaged items?
- How will you manage traffic to ensure appropriate physical distancing?
Policy: The serving and consumption of alcohol is not commensurate with safe practices. As such, alcohol is not permitted in social events unless or until alternate guidance is issued by the OLE.
Food and Beverages
Student organizations need to require face coverings, physical distancing, and disinfectant when considering offering food and beverage at meetings, events and activities.
Policy: Student organizations cannot offer self-service food or beverage options at meetings, events, and activities that are not individually packaged.
Below are items that student organizations should think about when considering food and beverage.
- Is food and beverage service an essential factor in the success of your event?
- Can you meet your desired goals or intent of this event if food or drinks are not available?
- Can you provide individually, prepackaged items?
- Does your location allow for appropriate distancing for attendees to remove face coverings to ingest food/beverage?
- How many staff or volunteers are needed to properly serve the food/beverage?
- Can Dining Services provide catering and staff to serve food/beverages?
Signage and Communication
- What instructions about your event can be provided to participants beforehand?
- What signage and floor markings do you need at your event to direct traffic and ensure attendees practice social distancing?
Student organizations can contact the Office of Leadership & Engagement for additional assistance in providing appropriately signage and communicating throughout the event planning process.
The Student Government Association (SGA) manages all financial allocations to student organizations. Questions regarding the fall allocation process can be directed to SGAtreasurer@Susqu.edu.
- What supplies must be purchased to carry out your plan?
- Does your organization have access to funding to support these purchases?
- Has the organization considered these possibilities within its SGA allocation request?
- Will you require participants to take additional health and safety measures (gloves, etc.)? Are there additional costs required to follow this protocol?
Violation of Temporary Policies
Student organizations found in violation of these policies could have their meeting, program, or event closed immediately and lose student organization privileges such as hosting in-person events, SGA funding, etc.
Information & Support
Students should regularly review guidance, expectation and policies set by the Office of Leadership & Engagement to ensure compliance. For more information regarding student organization operations, review Resources for Student Organizations found in the Student Handbook. Student organizations should also contact The Office of Leadership and Engagement for membership, event, and meeting support and guidance.