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ESU Fall 2020 Return to Campus Events + Functions Guidelines

Emporia State University Events + Functions Guidelines

Effective June 15, 2020

Guiding Principles

The Guiding Principles should be applied to programming and campus event planning hosted by or held on behalf of Emporia State University and will be applicable to external users of the campus:

  • The safe return of ESU students, faculty and staff is paramount.
  • High-quality learning. ESU will continue to deliver highest-quality learning opportunities for students.
  • Look to experts. ESU will adhere to health guidance and benchmarks from university, local, state and federal entities and follow, to the extent reasonably practicable, discipline-specific guidance provided.
  • Forward progress. ESU will take reasonable and prudent measures and will transition to the next stage when we have, at minimum, fulfilled guidance from state and local health officials.
  • Additional steps. ESU may apply additional restrictions to provide a safe environment for our campus community.
  • Recognize individual circumstances. ESU will work with employees and students who are members of vulnerable populations or who live with someone who is a member of a vulnerable population.
  • Remote work. ESU will encourage and support remote work to the greatest extent possible for as long as necessary, with supervisor approval.
  • Target dates and stages will be used to provide timelines and parameters to gradually return faculty, staff and students to campus. Each department will use the ESU Roadmap and associated planning tools to build individualized return to campus plans with department-specific timing.

In addition to the ESU Guiding Principles, the development and management of events and functions associated with all events of ESU will work to meet the following five general guidelines and actions:

  1. Prioritize making decisions in a manner that keeps students in class and able to participate in classes in the defined face-to-face manner.
  2. Create an experience for students, faculty and staff that is engaging and supportive.
  3. Create a priority matrix or guidelines for campus planning given limited resources.
  4. Develop a “Best Practices” resource for the campus community related to planning of events.
  5. Make an immediate recommendation/decision on Homecoming for 2020 and communicate all changes or decisions once approved.

Summary

General Programming

  1. All event planning and group gatherings related to Emporia State University-sponsored programming, either on campus or off campus, are expected to follow all guidelines established by Emporia State University, including but not limited to social distancing, hygiene practices, use of face masks, established guidelines related to food services, and any other additional measures established to protect and support the continuance of face-to-face practices.
  2. Event management and event size will be dictated by defined capacities as they relate to social distancing in academic, non-academic, interior and exterior locations (until further notice, social distancing is defined as 36 square feet per individual).
  3. The Memorial Union will continue to be the first stop for all campus event planning and will assist in helping to establish participant limits and associated procedures related to the events.
  4. To the extent possible, priority will be given to university-affiliated programming and event requests. Understanding normal resources will be limited, it is understood all requests may not be able to be granted. Further, to the extent possible the programming needs of Admission and new student recruitment will rank high in priority for available space.
  5. Specific to the Performing Arts, alternative plans have been and continue to be developed by Theatre and Music that support the campus guidelines and all associated aspects. Further, each program is and will support campus, county, state and federal guidelines.
  6. Specific to Athletics, alternative plans are being developed and continue to be developed as they relate to MIAA Conference, NCAA, campus, county, state, and federal requirements.
  7. Understanding multiple delivery methods may be used to present programming and events, accessibility and access will continue as a priority.
  8. Should external entities wish to schedule and/or use campus space and there is no conflict with campus organizations and campus programming needs, all external entities will be expected to follow all guidelines established by Emporia State University, including but not limited to social distancing, hygiene practices, use of face masks, established guidelines related to food services, and any other additional measures established to protect and support the continuance of face-to-face practices.

Given the uncertainty associated with the time frame related to the fall 2020 semester, the general understanding related to the first “large” group function is assumed to be the December 2020 graduation. Further, it is understood situations will be monitored to determine potential modification should they be necessary for that event as well as all potential spring events. Should circumstances warrant continuation of social distancing into the spring 2021 semester, these guidelines will serve as the foundation for such changes.

Homecoming 2020

Specific to Homecoming 2020, the single biggest event in the fall semester, the collective group feels that the concept of Homecoming should not be canceled or moved to the spring 2021 semester. However, it is well-understood that traditional events must be rethought, and strategies developed to engage target audiences using the guidelines. As such, with notice now, the Homecoming Committee can refocus and develop a new and unique experience for 2020. Further, this working group recommends support for “anchor” programs (football game, Homecoming musical, etc.,) be afforded the opportunity to make changes to their associated role while not losing the spirit associated with Homecoming. As such, leadership associated with Homecoming will be reaching out to IT and Marketing and Media Relations to seek assistance and resources as part of the planning process.