Event Planning During COVID-19
For departments and organizations thinking about hosting in-person events this semester, it’s important that you keep up with Directed Health Measures to help promote a safe environment and keep within university compliance. Join Assistant Vice Chancellor TJ McDowell each Wednesday at 3 p.m. for a quick update on the latest policies and to get answers to your event planning questions in the age of COVID-19. (Zoom: go.unl.edu/eventplanning)
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[00:00:08.010]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): Ok, I'm going to admit everyone.
[00:00:23.280]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): Good afternoon, everyone, my name is DJ McDowell. I'm the assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, and welcome to our weekly event update where we provide you
[00:00:33.780]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): the latest information about local directed health measures, UNL event expectations and guidance, and other information to help you plan and host successful and safe events.
[00:00:44.400]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): So, I will begin. I'll give a brief overview of some of the directed health measures, some of our generic and broad expectations and guidance.
[00:00:53.190]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): And then we're very fortunate today to have Tony Rathgeber here who's going to talk about some, that I think most of your have tuned in about, formal than dance expectations and guidance. And then after we get done with our presentation, we'll open it up for any questions that anybody has.
[00:01:10.110]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): So that is our plan.
[00:01:13.020]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): We move along pretty quickly on this.
[00:01:27.060]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): So, for the risk dial for Lancaster County continues to remain in the yellow. It's been there since February 9. The
[00:01:35.910]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): positivity rate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for the week ended March 20 was 0.95% which is up slightly from 0.68% the week before.
[00:01:48.450]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): But we're very encouraged again by this continuing low positivity rate at this point.
[00:01:54.000]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): But we got to maintain our vigilance. We got to keep more in the face coverings. We got to keep maintaining social distance and we got to keep following the other safety protocols in place to keep us
[00:02:03.480]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): safe and healthy. But thank you to all of you for what you've done to this point and ask that you just continue to do that the remainder of the semester. We're at week 9 or 10 -- we just got a short ways to go.
[00:02:15.870]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): And, and we also need everyone to continue to comply with mandatory mitigation random mitigation testing.
[00:02:22.890]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): The directed health measures which we anticipate being in place until April 12
[00:02:27.270]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): continue to continue to need events with 500 or more participants require Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department approval. I can tell you we've really seen an uptick in these events, with more than 500 participants.
[00:02:41.280]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): We work with MIke Zeleny who works with the health department to get those approved and generally the turnaround is pretty quickly been pretty quick and most of those have been approved at this point. I think, as matter of fact, I think all of them have been approved at this point,
[00:02:54.720]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): but you got to get your stuff in to Debbie. The rated occupancy rate for indoor and outdoor spaces continues to be 75%; the maximum for group or table remains eight.
[00:03:08.820]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): For events with 50 or more participants, we still need to go through the university approval process and completing the risk assessment
[00:03:18.210]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): and getting that approved. And we do, we are allowing some student travel, but it has to go through approval process and restrictions do apply. There's more information on that, about that, on the website.
[00:03:33.270]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): And then I just a reminder again the keep vigilant. Face coverings are required for all events indoors and outdoors. An adviser or university employee is required to attend all events with 50 plus participants.
[00:03:47.130]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): And we really ask that you don't wait till last minute if you have an event with where you're anticipating 50 or more participants that you work to get that process started, so that we can approve it seven days prior to the event.
[00:04:00.900]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): Now it's it's my pleasure to introduce Tony Rathgeber. And I want to thank Tony publicly for all he's done throughout this last year, but in particular, all the work you've done
[00:04:13.140]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): and getting this event approval process in place -- especially for formals and dances which took a lot of work. And so i'm going to turn it over to Tony and thank you again for all his good and hard work.
[00:04:25.800]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Thank you, TJ, and thanks to everyone for tuning in today.
[00:04:32.580]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): As TJ mentioned, we we have been working really closely with a group of student leaders, both from ASUN and a variety of the councils from within fraternity sorority life
[00:04:46.020]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): and developed a really thorough and extensive set of protocols that would allow for formals and dances to take place, yet this semester.
[00:04:59.250]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): I want to stress that this was a really collaborative effort and I don't know if any of the students who were part of that committee are on this call today, but if any of you are, thank you. I think you will see
[00:05:11.430]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): so much of the work and recommendations that you put into place in what we have as a final approved process here.
[00:05:20.190]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): The policy that I'll highlight, but I'm not going to go over in great detail is something that has been approved by the Lancaster County Health Departments have been approved at all different levels of the institution. So, so we are good to go with the process as it stands now.
[00:05:38.370]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): So what you see on the the slide that I've shared... there's a number of sort of sub-bullet points there starting with the event approval and going all the way down through non-compliance consequences.
[00:05:50.910]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): And all of that information can be found at that URL that's on the screen. I just now put that same URL in the chat and what I want to do is
[00:06:03.810]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): go to that actual website now and just kind of talk through a few of the highlights, because this is a pretty extensive
[00:06:14.430]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): policy and there's a lot of parts to it. So, the Student Affairs event guidance page is where you can find all this information. As you scroll down there are a various number of sections that can expand; and one of the sections is dances.
[00:06:32.070]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): So, there's a lot of information here. I won't go over each of, all of it, but if you're looking to hold a formal or dance, if your organization is going to sponsor one,
[00:06:42.390]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): please really thoroughly read through this. Ask questions if you have them. I know that that the folks in particularly if you're an organization that
[00:06:52.080]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): falls within fraternity sorority life that they will be really good resources for you -- to kind of help go through this experience -- and then ultimately through the approval process can also
[00:07:03.870]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): be a good guide and resource for you.
[00:07:06.720]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): The event approval process is really the same as pretty much all other large events of 50 or more. The really the only difference I want to highlight
[00:07:16.080]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Is that these events have a longer approval period in advance of the event. Normally that the event needs to be approved seven days prior,
[00:07:26.580]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): and for these events they need to be approved 10 days prior. So just please keep that in mind as you think about the the timing of these different events.
[00:07:37.050]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Registration and attendance tracking is the second portion and the important highlights there really is that we need really we need you to keep, and you're responsible for keeping, really accurate records of everyone who is attending that event.
[00:07:54.750]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Whether they are a UNL student or not a UNL student, it'll be important that we have and that you maintain really accurate records.
[00:08:02.880]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): We have provided, in the third bullet point, you'll see a place where we've provided a sample template. And if you click on that link,
[00:08:12.750]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): you'll be able to download an Excel spreadsheet that gives you all of the information that would be important to collect about attendees of that event.
[00:08:23.190]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Should we later find out that there happened to be some spread of COVID-19 from the event, that attendee list will be really helpful in terms of us being able to
[00:08:32.850]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): perform contact tracing and make sure that we're looking to mitigate any spread that took place as much as possible and follow up on those things.
[00:08:41.790]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): So pay attention, please, to that template and make sure that that you're keeping really accurate records. There's some information here about the size of the event as well that I would draw your attention to.
[00:08:56.040]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): At the same time, then the very last bullet point I think is a one to highlight -- all aspects of registration, including attendance tracking are really the responsibility of the sponsoring organization. The university is not going to
[00:09:13.890]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): manage those lists for you in any way. That's that's up to you and your organization to stay on top of those and have them available, should we need them down the road.
[00:09:25.050]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Testing and screening is the part that I think that the students who are on the committee felt pretty strongly about and wanted to have this as part of the policy to make sure that we could
[00:09:36.630]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): provide as much comfort, I think, to those who were attending and maybe peace of mind, in some cases. And so we developed this protocol with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.
[00:09:50.070]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): It would require everyone who attends to show that they had had a negative test in the four days prior to the event, or
[00:10:01.860]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): that maybe they had tested positive sometime in the previous 90 days and had ended their infectious period and now were ready to resume activities after isolation. So that part of that first sort of pre-event test is outlined here.
[00:10:22.710]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): The second part of this is
[00:10:25.830]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): a symptom screening that should take place upon entry to the event. So everyone who attends the event
[00:10:33.060]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): would need to pass a quick symptoms screening. And we've outlined the things that would need to be asked. And if anyone says yes to any of those things, then, then they would not be able to enter the event.
[00:10:46.200]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): And then the last part of the testing protocol would be to complete two tests after the event. One five days after, and the other ten days after.
[00:10:58.500]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): This is one of the things that I think is so great about the saliva testing that we have available to us this semester.
[00:11:05.790]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): It is so quick and easy and convenient to just stop by and take five minutes to drop off a little bit of saliva sample and be on your way again.
[00:11:16.860]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): This isn't an invasive thing or thing that takes a huge amount of time just to schedule an appointment through the app, show up, drop it off and you're good to go.
[00:11:27.810]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): The last point I'll mention here is that managing, monitoring, tracking of all of these different testing and screening requirements, again, is the responsibility of the
[00:11:37.290]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): the organization; and the advisor within that organization should really make sure that that's happening.
[00:11:44.670]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): They certainly can delegate responsibilities to members of the organization
[00:11:48.750]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): to help with this, but, but the organization really needs to step up and say that they're responsible for tracking these things, communicating these things, and making sure that there's good compliance here.
[00:12:00.870]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): We are just here quickly referencing existing transportation guidance that you can find further down in this webpage. So this has been existing.
[00:12:12.810]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): guidance that's been out there for about three weeks, so I don't want to go spend any time going over that, but know that we do provide some guidance on how people should get to and from these events.
[00:12:23.340]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): When it comes to the venue location and setup, one thing that is really important -- the very first bullet point -- is that forms and dances will only be considered if the event is taking place within Lancaster County, Nebraska. We really want to reduce
[00:12:42.060]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): the amount of time that people are in close proximity to one another in a vehicle. We want to reduce the chance of other things maybe happening along the way for a longer trip; and so limited to Lancaster County, Nebraska only.
[00:12:57.570]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Our preference would be that these things take out take place outdoors. To be honest that's where there's the least risk, but we understand that weather is a challenge sometimes in spring in Nebraska and
[00:13:07.230]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): so you may have an indoor venue that is suitable and that's okay, too, but, but just know that our preference would be for an outdoor event.
[00:13:18.420]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): We have listed some duration limits, based on whether or not that event is indoors or outdoors. So if you can have an outdoor event, it can be up to eight hours in total length, so you can have a much longer event if it takes place outdoors.
[00:13:31.740]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): If it's indoors that event is limited to four hours, from the very start to the very end.
[00:13:42.390]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Groups of eight will be really important aspects to dances and we want to make sure that there are groups of eight that are used for seating when folks are not on the dance floor.
[00:13:52.560]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): So we've structured a setup here where there would sort of be two separate areas within the venue. One would be a dance floor area and one would be a seating area.
[00:14:04.080]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): The seating area would have tables with no more than eight people at it. And those would be pre-designated groups of eight that you would stick with during the event.
[00:14:13.890]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): You could consume food and beverage at your table of eight, but would not be able to consume food or beverage at any other place, only while seated at your specific venue table designated table.
[00:14:27.570]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): And then the dance floor is a place where no food or drink would be allowed. You would need to wear a mask, but distancing would not need to be observed there.
[00:14:38.010]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): It's a bit of a give and a take. I get that this is probably
[00:14:41.280]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): very different than what a lot of dances and formals have been like that you're familiar with; but I think these compromises still allow us to to have these events and to be able to still have all the meaningful parts that come along with them.
[00:14:55.920]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): As we scroll down staffing is another expectation that exists. We want to make sure that there are appropriate numbers of people there to just sort of
[00:15:05.490]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): make sure that compliance with these important safety measures is taking place. So we're asking that there's at least one person for every 75 attendees with a minimum of two that are there as staffing for the event.
[00:15:18.480]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Those staff could be hired security. They could be staff provided by the event venue. That could be
[00:15:26.040]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): the sponsoring organization's advisor. Could be UNL faculty and staff. It could even be student officers from the organization.
[00:15:34.680]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): We just want to make sure that any of the staff that were there anyone considered staff and having that responsibility, would not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs while they are at the event.
[00:15:48.000]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): There are some general health and safety measures too. These will come as no surprise to anyone -- face coverings,
[00:15:55.410]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): distancing, and making sure that all the tables have some hand sanitizer there for folks to use as needed.
[00:16:03.720]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): There can be food and beverage that that happened at these events and I talked about how there would be sort of a separate area for eating
[00:16:10.500]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): From where dancing was taking place we've outlined, that the consumption of food and beverage needs to take place, while seated at your designated table, you can have the event catered and the cater can use a.
[00:16:22.680]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): served meal approach or a buffet approach. Either is acceptable. If a buffet though, I will note it is only an acceptable option off-campus. Our current on-campus guidance does not allow for buffets to take place.
[00:16:37.620]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): And then the last part I mentioned that the other food option might be instead of working with an outside food vendor. I realize that sometimes that at these events
[00:16:47.550]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): sponsoring organizations may just,
I don't know, order a bunch of pizza or provide food sort of on their own that they bring in. And in those instances,
[00:16:59.730]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): you would be able to do that, but
[00:17:02.550]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): the food would need to be placed at each table. So we wouldn't want people going to a common area to get all of the food if there's not going to be a caterer there to manage that.
[00:17:12.630]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): So the food wouldn't you know if it is pizzas, for example, there would be two pizzas dropped off at every table and then just the individuals from that table would would have access to that.
[00:17:23.850]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): food that's been brought to that specific table. There need to be individual plates, serving utensils -- that sort of thing. We wouldn't want people just, you know, reaching into bags of chips or things like that at tables.
[00:17:37.140]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): For pre- and post-event socials, I understand that that's sometimes part of the event too and
[00:17:41.820]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): we also understand that some organizations maybe have restrictions or limits on what can be done there.
[00:17:47.310]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): So you really need to check with your organization and make sure that you're following what's your organization's
[00:17:52.980]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): compliance is there. If pre or post-event socials are going to take place, our recommendation is that it stays within those pre-designated groups of eight that you're going to be with them while you're at the event.
[00:18:05.490]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): And then the final part, when it comes to non-compliance -- should we hear about an event that took place that wasn't approved, if we find out that their guidance wasn't followed at an event,
[00:18:18.390]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): know that we'll be reaching out to the organization sponsors to collect more information to get those registration lists and then to
[00:18:28.200]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): work through our existing conduct process that we have within the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards to make sure that we can appropriately hold accountable those who didn't follow the outlined guidance.
[00:18:43.140]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): I would guess that this is going to be a part that has a fair amount of questions, so before I go on to slide two, which is on a different topic. TJ, unless you feel otherwise, I think this might be a good point for us to open it up for some questions.
[00:18:58.680]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): I think that's a great idea.
[00:19:04.560]Anna Harris: I'm curious about what constitutes as an advisor.
[00:19:11.910]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): It's a good question. I don't know that I have the answer to that one. Melissa, I'm wondering if you might be able to help us from a Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement experience groups -- that did I get SLICE right? Did I get all the words right on the new name?
[00:19:27.630]Melissa Griffith Phelps: I think so... so we're gonna change it.
[00:19:30.870]Melissa Griffith Phelps: I'm from our perspective, sorry...
[00:19:33.750]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Melissa is the expert! Thank you.
[00:19:35.250]Melissa Griffith Phelps: Yes, oh well, I'll try. From our perspective in SLICE is a student organization's advisor is a full-time UNL faculty or staff member.
[00:19:46.650]Melissa Griffith Phelps: If you are a Greek chapter, I know that gets a little bit different and that's where I might tag in Leigh just because I know, sometimes they have alumni
[00:19:57.750]Melissa Griffith Phelps: advisors and things like that. So if you're just an RSO that is it's a full-time faculty or staff at UNL, but Leigh do you want to talk about Greeks?
[00:20:07.440]Leigh Thiedeman: Sure. Thanks, Melissa.
[00:20:08.730]Leigh Thiedeman: Yeah, so, if you're a member of a
[00:20:10.710]Leigh Thiedeman: fraternity or sorority, your that staff would look like a chapter advisor; a house corporation president, if you have a facility;
[00:20:18.270]Leigh Thiedeman: it could be a house director, if you have a facility; it could be staff with the university could help with the event, but it needs to be somebody who, one of your advisors, that works full time with the organization.
[00:20:33.780]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Thank you, friends, for helping me answer that question. It's good to be able to phone a friend.
[00:20:40.620]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Other questions, we can answer for you?
[00:20:43.740]Nick Anderson: Yeah, I've got one.
[00:20:47.880]Nick Anderson: For example, if there's a philanthropy and you had food or you were planning on distributing food, can you just go over that again like what constitutes...
[00:20:57.000]Nick Anderson: Would you prefer us to order food from somewhere with a cater? Or would we be able to provide our own? And if we provided our own, what kind of,
[00:21:06.480]Nick Anderson: what would we have to do for that to happen, basically?
[00:21:10.830]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): So, before answering the question, Nick. I want to ask a follow-up or clarifying question. You said philanthropy, and so I want to ask if that if this particular event that you're thinking about would
[00:21:21.450]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): be something that you'd consider a dance. So would there be a dance component to it or not?
[00:21:28.350]Nick Anderson: There would not, no.
[00:21:29.610]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Okay, so that would that would not technically fall under the the guidance that we've just talked about with dances.
[00:21:38.310]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): There is a section within this guidance that is about philanthropies and fundraisers. And I guess what I would, I would maybe just call your attention to that. It talks about
[00:21:52.830]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): some other pieces of this guidance document that should look at there's an "Events Involving Food" section that I think would answer that question for you . So,
[00:22:02.310]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): all the different points that you'd have to take into consideration are listed under events involving food.
[00:22:11.190]Nick Anderson: Right, thank you. I just wanted to bring it up and make sure that we were following all the all the right things for all the regulations and things like that.
[00:22:20.280]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Yep, thank you. I'm very pleased to hear that you're, you know, considering what you do have to do and what the expectations are out there; and making a good faith effort to follow those. Thank you.
[00:22:34.050]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): We have a question in the chat.
[00:22:37.380]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): About Rocha and whether Roca is in Lancaster County. It is. So Roca is in Lancaster County. Thumbs up to the location.
[00:22:51.480]Alexis Barp: I have a question about the guidance. It says the event sponsor's limited to one organization.
[00:22:57.540]Alexis Barp: Does that mean for dances that it can only be like one Greek chapter? So like a sorority couldn't partner with a fraternity?
[00:23:06.120]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): That's correct. So one sponsoring organization, and then that organization would invite their own
[00:23:15.390]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): sort of date or guests to that particular event. So, let's say that a fraternity is sponsoring it. Each person would be able to,
[00:23:25.020]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): each member of that organization, would be able to have one guest that attends the event.
[00:23:31.110]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): So the answer to that is yes, just one sponsoring organization.
[00:23:34.950]Alexis Barp: Okay, thank you.
[00:23:35.940]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): You're welcome.
[00:23:39.510]Makayla Reavis: I have a question about like advisors. So, did the advisors per,
[00:23:47.220]Makayla Reavis: like people at the event, do they all need to be at the event? Or like if we're bussing people, can we have some on the bus? Or
[00:23:56.460]Makayla Reavis: do they all have to be at the event?
[00:23:59.490]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): The advisor does not have to be present at the event. The advisor should be someone who really closely, makes sure that the organization's following all the guidance. There does need to be the staff
[00:24:13.080]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): requirement that's met, but there are a lot of different people that could make up the staff, so if the advisor chooses to not be one of the members
[00:24:22.830]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): at the event that would be okay. But there would have to be the right numbers of staff that are there; and the advisor would have to be really involved in all of the planning to make sure there was compliance.
[00:24:36.390]Makayla Reavis: Ok, thank you.
[00:24:37.470]Leigh Thiedeman: Tony, I have a question on that for you. Just to make sure I'm following, because with the 50 plus form, you have to have an advisor present at that. Are you saying that the advisor could be separate from the staff? And that there was still needed to be an advisor present because of the 50 plus form?
[00:24:52.770]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Thanks for bringing that up. I was only thinking strictly in the context of this particular policy, but you're right. If this if the dance is 50 or more people,
[00:25:03.180]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): then you would have to comply with the 50 plus guidelines, as well as the dance guidelines. If you had a, which does require an advisor be there, if you had a dance that was less than 50 people, then there would not have to be the advisor present.
[00:25:20.250]Alexis Barp: I also have a question about how you'd like us to approach the testing if people have been completely vaccinated. Do they still need the testing before and the two tests after?
[00:25:31.410]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): They do. Yep. Testing would still be required for anyone who was at any point in the vaccination process, including fully vaccinated.
[00:25:46.800]Natalee Noble (she/her): I also have a question regarding the testing. So, you said that all, like everyone that attends the event, would have to be tested after the fact.
[00:25:57.240]Natalee Noble (she/her): Like five days after and then 10 days after. Is there, like, an easy way to keep track of that? Because we switched from like the randomized testing
[00:26:06.600]Natalee Noble (she/her): that like if certain groups or that's my thought is certain groups like a certain for in a dorm had a higher positivity right then
[00:26:12.780]Natalee Noble (she/her): that group would be selected for randomized testing, again. Is there a way that we could like do we have settings so everyone that attended the formal,
[00:26:20.400]Natalee Noble (she/her): like, if we got there any new ideas or something we could just like reset their Safer Community app so we're like ensuring that they are getting tested again after? Sorry, that was a really long question.
[00:26:31.050]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): That's a good question, Natalie. We actually started trying to to figure out a way that we could do that within the Safer Community app where
[00:26:38.790]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): you could provide us a list of everyone who attended and then we could go in on the backside and sort of put different dates in the Safer Community app and ask them to comply with those dates.
[00:26:51.300]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): The problem that we ran into was from a technical aspect. We just have some limitations within the back end of the system and
[00:26:59.490]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): people not being able to be in multiple groups at a time. And so, as we look at people who are currently maybe in certain testing regimens because of being a student-athlete,
[00:27:09.150]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): they're in a group and we wouldn't be able to have them be in two groups at a time. Or someone who was
[00:27:15.210]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): selected for random testing in the same week that they were attending a formal and dance couldn't exist in two groups, at the same time. And so that's where we ran into a bunch of problems. Student teachers are
[00:27:25.380]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): getting tested at a specific frequency based on LPS guidelines and that creates problems as well. So, we just technically couldn't find a way
[00:27:33.450]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): to pull that off on the on the back end of the app. So, unfortunately, what that means is that the sponsoring organization is responsible for tracking that..
[00:27:42.330]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): We did try to build that into the sample registration tracking spreadsheet that we provided where it does provide a column for you just to sort of mark that that's happened.
[00:27:52.710]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): We know that, that you know it's sort of a good faith effort, right? We're going to need to trust that you are doing due diligence to make sure that people who attended are getting that test done.
[00:28:04.230]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): And so we just expect that you do your best and that you make it really clear to everyone who attends that they need to comply with that testing expectation.
[00:28:13.350]Natalee Noble (she/her): Thank you.
[00:28:14.160]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): You're welcome.
[00:28:15.930]Edgar R: I have question. So...
[00:28:19.920]Edgar R: Okay, i'm sorry. So, what would the process and regulations look like for MGC Greeks to hold a New Member presentation at the Nebraska Union?.
[00:28:34.560]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Might ask my friend Leigh to help me out a little bit here because I don't know if I know enough about that particular event and what it might entail.
[00:28:43.050]Leigh Thiedeman: Sure, I can help a little bit; and Edgar, if I miss anything you can you share some information too. But typically new member presentations are a...
[00:28:52.260]Leigh Thiedeman: I would say in an active presentation by that New Member class. There's typically some
[00:28:56.790]Leigh Thiedeman: dancing that's involved in it on a stage and then the audience is watching it. So there's typically people in the audience watching this as well. So I'm thinking Edgar wants to know like following this guidance would that be the same?
[00:29:09.420]Leigh Thiedeman: Guidance that they need to follow --personally I'm thinking it's maybe more in the performance-based piece that a new member presentation would fall under as opposed to the dances part -- but Edgar maybe we should pull up that performance-based so you can see that difference there.
[00:29:24.930]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Leigh, I think you're spot on. An Edgar correct us if we're, if we have any of this wrong, but to me this sounds like more of a dance performance, not an active dance where all attendees could be dancing with one another.
[00:29:37.530]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): And so that in our minds falls under a performance-based activity and there's some guidance that are that's provided about performance-based activities to follow and help you navigate that particular new member event.
[00:29:51.930]Akangkha Khan: um.
[00:29:53.070]Edgar R: Yeah, oh sorry, so like dancing is, I guess dancing is a part of it. But it's not like a dance. it's more of a presentation for our new members that are joining
[00:30:03.000]Edgar R: a fraterntiy or sorority in the MGC council.
[00:30:08.340]Edgar R: Sorry, there's two of us here. So usually they're on stage and they're speaking. So they're standing still in one spot 95% of the time and the dancing component is our strolling -- I don't know
[00:30:20.400]Edgar R: if majority of you know -- it's like our syncronized dancing to each organization and we kind of do that towards the end.
[00:30:31.470]Edgar R: And then there's pictures taken for each org so we can show our support on our social media and stuff. So the dancing isn't the main
[00:30:38.520]Edgar R: thing on it. The most more important thing we're trying to figure out is like how we would be on like the stage in the auditorium and then how many people are really going to be able to allow inside considering
[00:30:52.560]Edgar R: you know they're not going to be interacting with each other as much. They're going to be like with within their organization sitting with themselves but
[00:31:00.270]Edgar R: they're not like really we're not going to be on a dance floor or anything like that. So we're just kind of confused on how we would go about that for us personally for each org to prepare and stuff.
[00:31:10.710]Leigh Thiedeman: I think you would follow what's needed for this performance-based activities, since the performance is happening by the people on stage.
[00:31:17.430]Leigh Thiedeman: And then you'd want to work with the capacity of whatever room you decide to hold that in -- if it's in the ballroom at the Union, if it's at
[00:31:24.360]Leigh Thiedeman: The Sheldon in their space, like
[00:31:26.280]Leigh Thiedeman: whatever the capacity is. So, I've been to some of the new member presentations before. I know they're usually jam-packed. It will not, it would not be able to be that full. We'd have to follow capacity,
[00:31:35.100]Leigh Thiedeman: but you would be able to provide an online option too, so people could join via Zoom for those that can't be in the audience.
[00:31:40.980]Leigh Thiedeman: And then, I think you would just want to think through the pictures part, right? Just to make sure we're following all of our policies
[00:31:46.740]Leigh Thiedeman: with masks and distancing during those pictures. But we can help you in the Office of Fraternity Sorority Life as you're filling out those forms as well. So that you are not, you don't feel stuck, while you're filling out any of that information.
[00:31:59.880]Edgar R: Alright then, sounds good. Thank you.
[00:32:02.550]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Yeah, thanks for the question.
[00:32:08.340]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): What other questions could we help answer?
[00:32:10.860]Josie Anderson: Um, so I had a question. Going back to the testing. When it said every five or 10 days after you have an event...
[00:32:17.010]Josie Anderson: But if we had an event, closer to like dead week or finals week for like a formal and we had girls, maybe say they don't have a final they go home earlier than expected,
[00:32:26.130]Josie Anderson: how would we approach, like the testing? Like would they still get tested like if somebody went back to like Colorado or something and send that in? Or I don't know how we go about that.
[00:32:36.000]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Yeah, that could be really tricky for those events at the at the very end of the semester. I think we would, our hope would, just be that while anyone who is still
[00:32:45.000]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): In Lincoln for that 5 and 10 day post-event period would get the test. If they've wrapped up their semester, by the time they get to day 10 and they're out of state or have moved to another area, we're not going to worry about that since the semester is ended.
[00:33:12.510]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Okay, I think that's covered all of our existing questions there, TJ.
[00:33:18.510]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): I think so.
[00:33:20.400]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): To the students, thank you for your really good questions.
[00:33:27.240]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Great, well I'll move on to then the second thing that I'm want to talk about today, which is what happens for summer events. And we have worked really closely again with university administration and with the Lancaster County Health Department to offer a new approach to summer events.
[00:33:45.960]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): The summer events are going to look pretty different than what our events have looked like for this fall. So, currently what we have outlined for the summer would include
[00:34:00.360]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): any event that's taking place on May 10 or after -- there would not need to be the risk assessment completed for that event.
[00:34:09.960]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): The 50 plus event approval goes away, so you would be able to have events larger than 50 without going through that approval process.
[00:34:19.650]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Some general health and safety measures have been created specifically for summer events that are found that that link there.
[00:34:28.560]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): And I'll put that link in the chat so that you can easily navigate to that and take a look at it.
[00:34:38.460]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Different venues and units across campus may have specific guidance when it comes to summer events. So we'd want to make sure that you were still in compliance with
[00:34:48.540]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): whatever was outlined for that particular event. So, for example, the Nebraska Unions may have particular event capacity restrictions that are in place, you would need to make sure that you were in compliance with whatever venue-specific expectations were there.
[00:35:06.870]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): And then, I think as everyone knows, things are changing and evolving still at a rapid pace in the pandemic and so
[00:35:15.450]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): we anticipate that there could be some changes that take place between now and various points over the summer. Maybe that means restrictions loosen up a little, or maybe that means things have to tighten up a little bit, but
[00:35:27.000]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): we just want to make sure that everyone stays in tune with what the current guidance is and are referring to our websites where will always keep those things updated for you. So, speaking of website, the website that I
[00:35:40.770]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): had just posted in the chat I want to go to that page quick and show you all
[00:35:48.600]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): what you'll see when you get there. The summary event guidelines
[00:35:54.210]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): really break things down into sort of two types of events. This may not be familiar to
[00:35:59.940]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): everyone on the call, but there are a lot of youth events that take place on campus over the summer various youth camps and conferences so we've outlined some specific
[00:36:09.720]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): expectations for youth events that take place; and then adult events. And any college student event would be considered an adult event.
[00:36:19.320]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): So you can see a list of guidance that that is been put together for those summertime adult events. If we're talking about college student events,
[00:36:29.250]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): the 500 or more approval process is still in place for the summer. So, if you are looking to have a large summer event with 500 or more people in attendance, that does still have to get approval from the LIncoln-Lancaster County Health Department.
[00:36:44.820]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): But I would just reference the website that I included in the chat and take a look at what's listed here. And I think that'll help you safely navigate any summer events that you have.
[00:36:56.880]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): I would, I would guess one question might be, what about fall events and the fall seems like
[00:37:03.450]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): the very, very far future at this point to a lot of us, but we, we hope, our hope for the fall, is that we go back to pre-pandemic processes for the fall semester. So there would be
[00:37:16.650]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): no approval process -- no special COVID approval processes in place for events. There still would be the regular processes that are in place through the SLICE or Student Involvement Office. Those would still need to be followed as they were before the pandemic.
[00:37:33.750]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): There might still be some health and safety measures in place. It's kind of too far in advance for us to know that. But, for example, there might still be.
[00:37:41.910]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): capacity restrictions to some extent. There might still be a need to wear a mask at certain events or types of events but
[00:37:48.450]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): we will allow announce more about fall events in the summertime, probably in the month of July. If I were you right now planning a fall event, I would plan for very few restrictions
[00:38:01.200]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): and start planning that event now; and then just make sure that you're checking in over the course of the summer to see if there are changes or updates.
[00:38:10.710]Tony Rathgeber (he/him): Any questions about summer events?
[00:38:24.630]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): Well, if there are no questions -- Tony, thank you for your very thorough presentation on both the formal expectations and guidance and our summer events. It's,
[00:38:33.900]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): I'm taking it as good news, so thank you and thank you for all your good work on that. Thank you to all the staff who've done so much to support students, as they plan events.
[00:38:42.750]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): I see Leigh who's on vacation and still joined us, and all the support she does with the Greek community; and Debbie who's doing all the approvals and...
[00:38:49.710]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): all of you, Carrie and Jacob, who are who are, and Monte on the Fraternity Sorority staff, who I see who do so much. And Debbie whose workload has increased significantly last couple of weeks as we've had a lot more approvals come in. And so thank you to all of you for your work.
[00:39:07.320]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): And I appreciate you. Thank you to the students, for your interest and your excellent questions and for all that you're doing to continue to make sure that these events are safe and that we stop the spread.
[00:39:18.540]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): We plan to be together one more time next Wednesday at 3 p.m. We're going to have one more time where we're going to get together for an update and answer questions.
[00:39:26.730]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): And then we don't anticipate having to do this, after that, because there won't be any more changes this semester.
[00:39:31.650]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): As Tony alluded, we may do some summer and some follow up dates, but this will be next week will be the last one. So, if you have questions and need more information, please join us next Wednesday at 3 p.m.
[00:39:43.020]T.J. McDowell (he/him/his): Alright, thank you, everybody.
[00:39:46.590]Edgar R: Thank you.
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