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Changes to campus events policy

March 3, 2021

Updated April 19, 2021: The policy described below remains in effect until May 9, 2021. Additional details on campus events policies after May 10 will be posted at

With increased COVID-19 testing, fewer positive cases, and continued vaccinations, UW–Madison has made changes to its campus events policy.

Effective March 8, the new campus events policy will allow up to 50 people to gather indoors and up to 150 people outdoors. Facial coverings and maintaining physical distancing are required. No food or drinks are allowed at events. Only individuals who can participate in the Safer Badgers program can attend university-sponsored events; no guests or visitors are allowed.

A green “Building Access Granted” status is needed to enter campus buildings. Event hosts are also encouraged to check attendees’ Badger Badge status in places where a Badger Wellness Ambassador is not already checking at the entrances. Information on how to use the Badger Badge for events is available by emailing

Whenever possible, the university still recommends that events and meetings continue to be held virtually. The campus policies apply to all university-sponsored programs, activities, meetings, or gatherings, regardless of their location on or off university property. These policies do not apply to formal classroom experiences.

Additionally, per the university’s policies, campus attendance will be limited to a venue’s capacity, which should be adjusted for 6 feet of physical distancing per attendee. As a standard operating assumption, 113 square feet should be allocated per attendee to maintain physical distancing. Hosts are encouraged to consider outdoor venues, when possible, to facilitate physical distancing.

Event hosts will be responsible for assessing the health risks of the activity and making appropriate modifications. They must provide — and require attendees to use as appropriate — face coverings, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies at each event. They also must register attendees and take attendance, among other requirements.

The new campus events policy for schools, colleges, divisions and departments can be found here. It includes a requirement that each Vice Chancellor, Academic Dean, and Research Center Director designate who has the authority to approve events. The new campus events policy for registered student organizations (RSOs) can be found here.

If event organizers believe they will not be able to follow all of the current campus policies, CDC guidelines or PHMDC orders, they may request an exemption from their vice chancellor, academic dean or research center director. RSOs will need to obtain an exemption from the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Before an exemption is provided, event organizers will need to verify health and safety precautions will be met.

Any university employee or student who fails to abide by the policies may be directed to leave the event and may be subject to additional follow-up measures by the supervisor or appropriate campus administrator. The event may be canceled or prevented from continuing if campus policy is not followed. Non-compliance by a student or RSO should be reported via this specialized form.

The events policy may be modified as new information becomes available from national, state and local public health agencies. Campus units may establish more restrictive policies as deemed appropriate. Questions may be referred to: