Director of Special Events and Community Relations, Strategic Communications
Wichita State University’s top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our entire Shocker community. Face-to face events hosted by Wichita State units and organizations must be conducted in a safe and healthy manner. The following guidance is intended to supplement University-wide policies and procedures, and federal, state, and local public health and governmental guidance.
General Policy Statement
COVID-19 and Wichita State University’s response to COVID-19, is a complex, challenging and fluid situation which continues to evolve rapidly. All information in this policy is subject to change as deemed necessary by University leadership in accordance with guidance and recommendations issued by federal, state, and local public health and government officials. This may include changes to event attendance (including last-minute cancellation) and health and safety requirements during events. The following guidelines apply to outdoor and indoor face-to-face events.
Minimum Event Requirements
Public Gathering Capacities
Gathering size limits may be limited based on federal, state, or local public health and governmental guidance. Please see the most recent Sedgwick County Emergency Public Health Order for limitations. However, at all times, the University reserves the right to determine the maximum number of attendees that may be present at any on-campus gathering, which number may be less than the number allowed by public health and government guidance.
Face Masks and Face Coverings
Students, faculty, staff and visitors must wear face coverings over their mouths and noses while on Wichita State University campuses in all hallways, public spaces, classrooms and other common areas of campus buildings. Face coverings must also be properly worn when in offices or other work spaces or outdoor settings when 6-feet physical distancing cannot be maintained.
All event attendees (including WSU staff, students, and vendors) will be required to practice social distancing during the event. NOTE: Social distancing does not eliminate the expectation of wearing a face covering.
Unless otherwise approved by the divisional Vice President, all food and drink served at campus events should be limited to individually packaged food and beverage items (e.g., pre-boxed lunches, individually wrapped cookies, bottled or canned drinks, etc.) and may not be consumed at or during the event. Pre-packaged food and drinks should be placed in a way that people only have to touch the item they are taking.
Additional Considerations and Guideline for Scheduling Events
- Consider Virtual Events. Consider virtual events (i.e., livestream, group video chat, YouTube, etc.) before scheduling a face-to-face event.
- Consider Outdoor Events. Consider outdoor event venues instead of indoor venues with an alternate date for inclement weather.
- Communication. Communication is critical to employees, vendors, and guests both before and during
any University event. Before every event, you should notify event staff and employees:
- Of any health and safety requirements prior to and during the event (e.g., social distancing, masks, etc.);
- That attendance may be limited for health and safety reasons;
- To stay home if they feel sick; and
- That, due to the evolving nature of COVID-19, events may be cancelled at any point.
- Event logistics: Consider venues and venue furniture that can be easily cleaned, sanitized and maintained throughout the event. The selected event venue should have the appropriate square footage for mass gathering capacity according to state of Kansas and Sedgwick County guidance. Consider and evaluate traffic patterns from entry to exit. NOTE: Regular room capacities do not apply and each venue will essentially have a revised “social distancing” capacity. Campus venues are adjusting maximum capacities for social distancing.
- Registration. Consider advance online registration and implement no-contact registration at the door to eliminate the use of shared objects (i.e., pens, clipboards, etc.). Marketplace is an online storefront that can be used to sell registrations, shirts or other items online. Two weeks advanced notice is requested to do any required setup for Marketplace. For more information on Marketplace e-mail email@example.com.
- Low-Contact In-Person Sales: Marketplace POS (Point of Sale) is a mobile option for an iPad and card reader that can be used for in-person sales. The POS devices accept regular credit and debit cards, in addition to contactless cards and mobile wallets (Apple Pay, Google Pay). Receipts can be emailed. Marketplace POS devices are available for reservations on a first-come, first-served basis. Two weeks advanced notice is requested to do any required setup for Marketplace POS. Anyone checking out a device is required to complete a brief, online security training. For more information on Marketplace POS e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on accepting debit or credit card payments visit the page by Accounts Receivable.
- Provide Physical Barriers and Guides. Provide physical guides (i.e., tape on floors, signs on walls, etc.) to ensure individuals practice social distancing. Install physical barriers in areas where it is difficult for individuals to remain at least 6 feet apart.
- Signs and Messages. Post signs in highly visible locations (i.e., entrances, restrooms, etc.) that promote protective measures and event guidance. Broadcast regular announcements on reducing the spread of COVID-19 on public address systems (if available).
- Self-health check: WSU employees and event attendees should perform a health self-check before attending any University event.
- Hand sanitizing stations: Incorporate hand sanitizing stations in event plans. Sanitizing stations should include, but not be limited to hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, disinfectant spray, paper towels, gloves, disposable face coverings and waste receptacles. It will be the responsibility of the hosting organization to have some disposable masks on hand. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds whenever possible.
- Designated health and safety champions: Schedule/identify a “champion” or “champions” responsible for managing the health and safety “enforcement and accountability” during the event.
- Enhanced Cleaning Protocols. Make sure common surfaces are wiped down during the event (i.e. door handles, tables, chairs) and oversee sanitizing stations.
- Catering: Consult with Dining Services or approved campus caters for options and recommendations. As general recommendations:
- No buffet or self-serve catering will be allowed; offer served or packaged items
- Use of sneeze guards and other protective measures are encouraged when appropriate
- No shared utensils or service vessels; flatware should be rolled up in napkins or individual cutlery packets provided
- Coffee, beverages and other break items should be attended to by a server unless individual bottled beverages and snacks are provided for guests
- Cocktail napkins should be given to the guest with their beverage by a gloved server
- At served meals, guests should not pass bread baskets, cream/sugar, salt/pepper. Bread will be served and condiments served should be disposable, individual packets or sanitized individual containers
- All linens, clean or soiled, should be wrapped or placed in single use plastic for transport
Who To Contact for Event Venues and Additional Restrictions
Applicable Laws And Additional Resources
This is a complex, challenging, and fluid situation which continues to evolve rapidly. All information on these pages is subject to change as deemed necessary by University leadership in accordance with guidance and recommendations issued by federal, state, and local public health and government officials.