Dear students, faculty and staff,
This letter provides an update to guidance and limits on events, activities and social gatherings hosted by members of our university community, including registered student organizations as well as academic and administrative units.
In order to minimize any confusion, I want to clarify how we are defining the difference between social gatherings and events/activities for these purposes.
- Social gatherings: This includes parties, socials, dances and similar activities with unstructured mingling.
- Events/activities: Gatherings that are structured around a specific program or agenda with social distancing and mask-wearing protocols strictly enforced and where unstructured mingling does not occur.
It is important to note that a key input informing our decision-making related to hosting events and activities is asymptomatic testing, which gives us a better sense of the presence of the virus in our community. Participation in our Sentinel Testing Program that offers free testing for asymptomatic students, faculty and staff is growing. Results can be found on the dashboard. We encourage you to get tested — you will be eligible to win tuition and books scholarships, AirPods and more!
On-Campus Social Gatherings
On-campus social gatherings are permitted within the university’s current guidelines for social gatherings as follows:
- Limited to a maximum of 10 participants indoors and 25 participants outdoors.
- In accordance with current CDC recommendations, attendees must wear masks, use social distancing and limit physical contact by maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet or more from people who don’t live in your household.
Off-Campus Social Gatherings
We will keep the moratorium on off-campus parties and social gatherings in place for now. Please note that we are assessing and revisiting this issue on a weekly basis as we get more information about the virus and its presence on campus.
Organizational meetings, committee meetings and other structured events and activities that don’t involve unstructured mingling are permitted. Examples of such events and activities include committee meetings, meetings of a group or organization, seminars, lectures or study groups. These events will be limited to the protocol-adjusted capacity of the rooms and spaces in which they are held along with the following parameters:
- at least 6 feet of distance between attendees,
- mandatory mask wearing for all participants and
- a point person for the event to ensure protocol compliance.
Food service at these events is discouraged for now, although it could be offered with the proper protocols in place.
Organizational meetings, committee meetings and other structured events and activities sponsored by academic and administrative units or registered student organizations (RSO) to be held off campus must be submitted for review and approval through The ForUM at least 15 business days before the date of the event, and attendance must be tracked.
How to submit allowed events/activities, regardless of venue
All aforementioned functions must be registered in The ForUM, regardless of how many participants or whether it will take place on campus or off campus. Designated personnel will review and approve as applicable.
Questions from RSOs should be submitted to Will Takewell with the Ole Miss Student Union Student Leadership and Engagement staff. Questions from academic and administrative units should be submitted to Emily Ferris with the Events and Activities Task Force.
We will continue to monitor the presence of the virus in our campus community and make decisions that allow us to uphold our commitment to preventing the spread of the virus and prioritizing the safety and well-being of our campus community. We appreciate your continued input and patience as we work diligently to provide the best learning, living and working environment possible within the limits posed by these challenging times.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs