Scheduling & Event Services

WIU Campus Scheduling and COVID-19 Event Guidelines

Events and Meetings can proceed only with social distancing measures in place. Virtual options will continue to be encouraged whenever the outcome of the meeting will be minimally impacted.  In addition to these guidelines, a centralized scheduling process will be implemented for any room request that is not directly associated with the scheduled meeting time of a particular course section, regardless of the facility. This process has been established in order to effectively communicate health and safety guidelines and implement attendance tracking via the centralized University attendance tracking system.

Event Guidelines

Due to social distancing and cleaning measures required for our WIU community to return safely to campus, meetings and events will be significantly impacted throughout the Fall semester. The following guidelines have been set forth to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. They are intended to supplement University-wide policies, CDC Guidelines, and the State of Illinois "Restore Illinois Plan"

  • The University will require adherence to local health department and CDC guidelines at all times for meetings/events, unless an exception has been made by WIU administration.
  • Organizers should continually assess, based on current conditions, whether to postpone, cancel, or significantly reduce the number of attendees (if possible) for large meetings/events. Virtual and/or hybrid meetings/events are highly encouraged.
  • Events should be held outdoors if at all possible. If this is not feasible, health and safety guidelines must be strictly followed.
  • No open admission/general public events/activities are allowed on campus.
  • Due to adjusted operations during COVID-19, space will be limited for meetings/events. Room capacities and setups will be temporarily adjusted to ensure appropriate social distancing.
  • Meetings/events are limited to 50 attendees or less under WIU Phase Three. This number will likely change as health regulations are adjusted.
  • If Non-WIU attendees are expected at an event, they will be required to follow all guidelines in force at the University. Guidelines will need to be communicated prior to arrival on campus.
  • Attendees are required to maintain social distancing (at least six feet) and wear face coverings during all meetings/events as directed. Hand sanitizer must be available for event attendees.
  • WIU Facilities Management will continually clean and disinfect spaces. Cleaning supplies will be placed in event spaces for self disinfection.
  • Plans must be developed to limit congregation during both entry/exit and throughout the duration of the event. Visual markers must be in place to enforce this guideline.
  • Common touchpoints that would normally be present at events must be eliminated (e.g. handouts/shared items).

Campus Event/Meeting Scheduling Process

All events and meetings will be scheduled through a centralized process. This process is applicable to student organizations, departments, campus-wide events, and Non-WIU events. All events, meetings, and non-course meetings (such as departmental meetings, exam review sessions, tutoring sessions, etc.) are required to use this centralized process to submit their room request.

Event Scheduling on the Macomb Campus
  1. COMPLETE CAMPUS SCHEDULING & REGISTRATION FORM: To schedule a non-academic event or meeting, an identified event coordinator from the organization or department is to complete a Campus Scheduling & Registration Form.
  2. COMMUNICATION OF HEALTH AND SAFETY EVENT GUIDELINES: A crucial component of the Campus Scheduling & Registration Form will inform event coordinators of pertinent health and safety guidelines as they relate to events on campus.
  3. EVENT APPROVAL: After completing the previous steps, an official approval will be sent to the event coordinator if the meeting or event is deemed necessary. For events that are more complex than a standard meeting, a pre-event meeting may be scheduled with the event coordinator and additional campus entities involved with the execution of the event.
  4. ATTENDANCE TRACKING: Upon event approval, event coordinators will receive instructions on how to track attendance for contact tracing purposes. All event and meeting attendance must be reported through the centralized University attendance tracking system.
  5. EVENT SUPPLIES: In addition to attendance tracking information, event coordinators will also be provided with a kit of event supplies prior to their event. Event Kits will be provided for events outside of organizational or departmental meetings. Depending on the complexity of the event Event Kits may include:
    1. Hand sanitizer for both event staff and event attendees
    2. Bottles of disinfectant and paper towels to wipe down event equipment
    3. Scanners for attendance tracking
    4. Thermometers if deemed necessary
    5. If outside, pop-up tents to designate event area
    6. Digital access to customizable event signage

Event Planning Best Practices

Modified Event Space
  • Limit attendance or seating capacity to allow for social distancing, or host smaller events in larger rooms.
  • Block off rows or sections of seating in order to space people at least 6 feet apart.
  • Seats adjacent to aisles should be killed in accordance with distancing guidelines.
  • Arrange furniture in event space to be at least 6-ft. apart. If furniture cannot be moved, limit furniture use to ensure social distancing.
  • Eliminate lines or queues if possible or encourage people to stay at least 6 feet apart by providing signs or other visual cues such as distance dots.
  • Prioritize outdoor activities where social distancing can be maintained as much as possible.
  • Offer online registration options in addition to in-person attendance to help reduce the number of attendees.
  • Eliminate items that encourage gathering such as step + repeat, photo ops.
  • Eliminate soft/porous furnishings as much as possible.
  • If a facility has multiple areas, capacity restriction should apply to each event space.
Limited, Staggered, or Rotated Shifts and Attendance Times
  • No open admission/general public events/activities are allowed on campus.
  • Stagger and limit attendance times to minimize the number of guests at the venue.
  • Prepare a venue-specific emergency evacuation plan that allows for patrons to maintain 6-ft social distancing.
  • Designate doors as entry-only and exit-only to reduce likelihood of close contact and congestion points.
  • Load event space from front to back to eliminate crossover contact.
  • Open lobby at same time as the event space to allow guests to move directly to seats or load event space by row/entry door.
Physical Barriers and Guides
  • Provide physical guides, such as distance dots on floors or sidewalks and signs on walls, to ensure that individuals remain at least 6 feet apart in lines and at other times (e.g., guides for creating one-way routes).
  • Install physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions, in areas where it is difficult for individuals to remain at least 6 feet apart. Barriers can be useful at event registration and other areas where maintaining physical distance of 6 feet is difficult.
Food Service
  • There is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread by food. However, people sharing utensils and congregating around food service areas poses a risk.
  • If the event includes food service, refer to CDC’s COVID-19 considerations for restaurants and bars.
  • Use touchless payment options as much as possible, if available.
  • Ask customers and employees to exchange cash or card payments by placing them on a receipt tray or on the counter rather than by hand to avoid direct hand-to-hand contact.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as pens, counters, or hard surfaces between use and encourage patrons to use their own pens.
  • Provide physical guides, such as distance dots and signs on walls, to ensure that individuals remain at least 6 feet apart when waiting in line to order or pick up.
  • If a cafeteria or group dining room is used, serve individually plated meals or grab-and-go options, and hold activities in separate areas.
  • Use disposable food service items including utensils and dishes. If disposable items are not feasible or desirable, ensure that all non-disposable food service items are handled with gloves and washed with dish soap and hot water or in a dishwasher.
  • Individuals should wash their hands after removing their gloves or after directly handling used food service items.
  • Avoid offering any self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, and drink stations. Consider having pre-packaged boxes or bags for each attendee.
  • Follow restaurant and bar guidelines for self-service stations, as well as eliminating water carafes on meeting tables and/ or water stations and providing individual bottled water or beverages upon request.
Shared Objects
  • Ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high-touch materials to the extent possible; otherwise, limit use of supplies and equipment to one group of staff members or attendees at a time, and clean and disinfect them between use.
  • Eliminate common touchpoints (e.g. remove shared items in commons areas).
  • Minimize use of coat checks and clean area frequently.
Communication
  • Signs and Messages
    • Post signs in highly visible locations ( at entrances, in restrooms, etc.) that promote health and safety guidelines such as handwashing, social distancing and wearing face coverings.
    • Broadcast announcements regarding health and safety guidelines during prior to and during the event.
    • Include messages about behaviors that prevent spread of COVID-19 when communicating with staff, vendors, and attendees (such as on the event website and through event social media accounts).
  • Prior to the event, event hosts should clearly indicate face covering requirements, social distancing guidelines, cleaning protocols, and any reduced capacity limits on websites and within event registration information.

FAQ's

Can we still have meetings or events?
  • Yes. We suggest all meetings be held virtually. If an in-person component is required for the success of the meeting, your event must be held in a space that allows for social distancing (6-ft. distance between attendees).
    • Work with Scheduling & Event Services staff to choose the appropriate space for your event
    • Attendance should be limited to 50 People or Less
      • Consider multiple sessions of the event
      • Consider virtual options for the event
    • Face coverings must be worn by all attendees
    • Hand sanitizer stations should be provided
    • Attendees should be encouraged to stay home if they are feeling unwell
  • Require Event Staff to:
    • Answer screening questions and self-monitor for symptoms of Covid-19.
    • Not report to the meeting/event and seek medical attention if they exhibit any symptoms.
    • Physically distance from guests, where possible.
    • Wear a face covering if within 6 feet of an attendee or fellow staff/volunteer.
  • All events larger than 50 people must be reviewed and approved by the Director of the University Union and the Executive Director of Risk Management and Auxiliary Services.
Are face coverings required?
  • All staff, faculty and students are required to wear a face covering in all campus indoor settings. Face coverings are also required in outdoor spaces when social distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained. More information regarding face coverings on campus can be found here.
Is temperature taking required before entry?
  • Temperature checks may be required depending on the nature of the event. Upon event submission, Scheduling & Event Services staff will notify you if temperature checks will be required for your event.
  • If temperature checks are required for your event, touchless thermometers will be provided.
What if I want to have food service at my event?
  • Sodexo Catering is staying up to date on the FDA’s Best Practices and Guidelines. It is advised to work with Sodexo staff on events when considering food service.
Will the facilities be clean for my event?
  • Building Services staff has a thorough checklist which they utilize when cleaning every facility
Should I cancel my meeting or event?
  • Meetings and events can still be held if the health and safety protocols can be followed.
  • It is advised that event coordinators have virtual backup plans if stricter attendance requirements are put into place.
More Questions?

Please direct any questions or concerns regarding meeting and event guidelines to Scheduling & Event Services at UnionSES@wiu.edu or 309-298-2421.