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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

Rationale/Purpose of the Policy

The University of Wisconsin–Madison’s event attendance and space occupancy limits are reviewed periodically as Public Health Madison Dane County (PHMDC) issues updated public health guidance for gathering and event sizes. Effective March 8, 2021, we are implementing PHMDC Emergency Order #13 related to university affiliated events on or off campus with one exception: the university is not allowing food or drinks at events. In addition, only those individuals who are participating in our on-campus testing program will be permitted to attend university-sponsored events.

Although PHMDC has now issued a subsequent order further increasing the number of people allowed at in-person events, we will not be adopting these additional changes given our ongoing COVID testing program and our need to continue to mitigate risks to our campus community.  Any future changes in university guidelines will be widely communicated.

The current and previous PHMDC orders may be viewed at PHMDC Current Order.

Rationale/Purpose of the Policy

The following policy for Registered Student Organization (RSO) events is aligned with University of Wisconsin–Madison’s COVID-19 Response, which seeks to mitigates risks to our campus community while allowing for necessary activities. This policy may be modified as new information becomes available from national, state, and local public health agencies. Local units may establish more restrictive policy as deemed appropriate.  The most current University event policy can be found at the COVID-19 Response. Questions about these guidelines may be referred to


Any individual present at an event hosted by the RSO. This includes all students, faculty, and staff. At this time, no visitors/guests will be allowed to attend events.

Any activity (including all meetings, internal or other), regardless of the location on or off university property, coordinated by an RSO to bring people together.

Event Host
The sponsoring RSO, or other connected entity. For purposes of meetings, the event host is the convener.

Event Manager
UW–Madison employee responsible for managing event (or meeting) reservations and logistics in their school, college, or division’s reservable space, and their non-university affiliated counterparts.


This policy applies to the sponsored programs, activities, meetings, or gatherings, regardless of their location on or off university property, of all Registered Student Organizations (hereafter referred to as RSOs).



  1. Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) may host events so long as they follow this campus policy, PHMDC Emergency Order #13 for events where food and drinks are not provided, and CDC guidelines. This applies to all sponsored programs, activities, meetings, and gatherings, regardless of their location on or off university property.
  2. RSO events and meetings that are deemed critical to the university’s mission, but that have aspects which fall outside of this campus policy or PHMDC and CDC guidelines (e. g. size, health protocols, etc.) require approval from Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (or designee).
  3. Student groups that are not RSOs but who are connected to a school, college, or division (e.g. student advisory board) must have any event exceptions approved by their respective Vice Chancellor, Academic Dean, or Research Center Director.
  4. Vice Chancellors, Academic Deans, and Research Center Directors may establish their own more restrictive policy for their units and the spaces that they manage.


  1. Whenever possible, it is recommended that on-line/virtual event formatsare utilized to minimize traffic and density on and around campus.
  2. It is highly recommended that, where technology permits, all events are designed to allow for attendees to participate virtually if they choose not to or are unable to participate in person.


  1. Indoor events are limited to fifty (50) individuals. Outdoor events are limited to one hundred and fifty (150) individuals. See the limits related to events where food or drinks are not offered in the Gatherings section of PHMDC Emergency Order #13.
  2. Attendance will be limited to the venue’s capacity which should be adjusted for 6 feet of physical distancing per attendee. As a standard operating assumption, 113 sq. ft. should be allocated per attendee to maintain physical distancing. RSOs are encouraged to examine hosting events outdoors, when possible, to facilitate physical distancing.


  1. Event hosts are responsible for assessing the health risks of the activity and making appropriate modifications.
  2. Event host(s) will:

a. Follow campus policy, PHMDC Emergency Order #13 for events where food and drinks are not provided, and CDC guidelines.

b. Provide, and require attendees to use as appropriate, face coverings, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies at each event. Some university support may be available. More information will be sent to RSOs and listed in the Student Organization Resource and Policy Guide once determined.

c. Develop, either directly or in accordance with venue guidelines, a plan for the flow of traffic to and from the event space.

d. Register attendees and take attendance through an electronic or manual system.

i. The event host must collect the name, e-mail, primary phone number, and current address of all attendees and send it to the Wisconsin Involvement Network (preferred), or, in case contact tracing is necessary.

ii. The university encourages RSOs to use (WIN), which is free and provides enhanced ease of use for students to collect registration information.

e. Communicate with potential attendees: the event safety measures; expectations of health-related behaviors; the reporting mechanism for non-compliance by the event host or those attending.


  1. Food and drinks are not to be provided at events.


  1. Event hosts are encouraged to check that attendees have a Badger Badge that indicates a green “Building Access Granted” status. Email to request Badger Badge training materials. Those attending events hosted in facilities where Badger Wellness Ambassadors are present (e.g. Memorial Union and Union South) are checked at the entrance to the facility and thus do not need another check at the event itself.
  2. The event host is responsible for monitoring and enforcement of this policy as it pertains to their event or meeting.
  3. RSOs may have their event canceled or prevented from continuing if this policy is not followed. The University is not responsible for related financial expenditures or consequences.
  4. Any student or RSO that fails to abide by these guidelines may be asked or directed to leave the event and may be subject to disciplinary action.
  5. Non-compliance by individuals or groups should be reported via this specialized form.
  6. RSOs will be held accountable through the Student Organization Code of Conductand the Committee on Student Organizations.
  7. Individual students will be held accountable through UWS Chapter 17and the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards.


  1. Adjust in-person event timeframes to allow additional pre-function time for safe queuing practices, crowd management, attendee check-ins, and safety announcements.
  2. When contemplating or planning service learning and community service events, consider the type of activity participants will engage in and the potential health impact on those attending.
  3. Regardless of the event delivery format, e. g. formal, informal, on-line, in-person, etc., consider how the RSO will actively promote safe practices and healthy, engaging community environments.
  4. Instructional/academic use of campus event space is a priority. Event space will likely be in high demand, planning ahead will be paramount to RSO event success.
  5. Run/walk events should not be held and will not be approved.
  6. Consult these additional resources when planning or approving an event:

A. COVID-19 Response website

B. Campus Public Health Protocols 

C. Cleaning/Disinfection to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 

D. Face Coverings Guidance 

E. Virtual Event Platforms

7. Consider using a health protocols checklist (Appendix A) in planning.


Table 1. University of Wisconsin–Madison Events Safety Checklist

Name of Event:

Organization(s) Hosting Event:

Purpose of Event:
Point of Contact:
Point of Contact’s Email:
Point of Contact’s Phone Number:

Date(s) of Scheduled Event:

Time(s) of Scheduled Event: Location of Scheduled Event:

Number of Anticipated Attendees: 

Table 2. Event Host Checklist

As the event host, I:

 …have reviewed and understand the Covid-19 Policy for Events beginning March 8, 2021.

…have a plan for checking Badger Badges if planning to do so for event entry.

…have a plan to provide, either directly or in accordance with venue guidelines, face coverings, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies at each event.

…will require attendees to use the sanitizing and cleaning materials before sitting or engaging in the event.

…have/will develop a plan for the flow of traffic to and from the event space.

…will pre-register all event attendees and include information about my safety plan to attendees (see below).

…will take attendance at the event; attendance information collection will include each attendee’s name, email, primary phone number, current address and this information will be held for four weeks.

…have a plan to sanitize any equipment used during the event (see below). Safety plan information to be shared with attendees:


COVID-19 Response Website

Campus Public Health Protocols

Cleaning/Disinfection to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

Face Coverings Guidance

RSO event planning

Sample Seating/Room Layouts

Virtual Event Platforms


APPROVAL AUTHORITY: Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

POLICY MANAGER: Chief of Staff to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

CONTACT: Chief of Staff to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs — Argyle Wade,

EFFECTIVE DATE: 08-15-2020

REVISED DATES: 11/19/2020; 3/8/2021