Updated: July 21, 2020 at 8:30AM

Gathering Policy

The University’s reopening plans have been grounded in expert medical advice, which counsels against non-essential gatherings of people, and requires observation of health and safety protocols when gatherings do take place. This advice has informed the implementation of such University protocols as required face masks and physical distancing, and has led to the development of policies limiting travel and visitors during the Fall semester. This Gathering Policy is intended to provide guidance for the relatively few instances during the Fall semester when University business may require in-person gatherings larger than incidental meetings that may occur in the regular conduct of daily work; further guidance for the Spring semester will be forthcoming.

  1. To reduce the risk of the potential spread of COVID-19, departmental, academic, and administrative meetings should be conducted virtually or in a hybrid model if at all possible. Some in person meetings may be needed to support morale and productivity, in which case all attendees are expected to follow all public health protocols, including wearing masks and observing physical distancing by remaining six feet apart at all times. When possible, we encourage groups to take advantage of outdoor spaces for meetings. All meetings and gatherings should be conducted in accordance with the University’s Meeting and Event Guidelines.
  2. Given the need for physical distancing, spaces currently used for certain meetings and gatherings may no longer be adequate. Moreover, space will be in short supply during the Fall 2020 semester due to the focus on providing safe instructional spaces. For assistance with reserving space and to receive guidance on the University’s Meeting and Event Guidelines, please call University Events at 574-631-1400 or email VenueND@nd.edu.
  3. Budget constraints dictate that social gatherings using University funds will be curtailed. Any such gatherings must comply with the University’s Meeting and Event Guidelines and must be approved in advance by the manager responsible for the budget that will be charged for the event.
  4. All Masses and sacramental liturgies held at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart follow the guidelines of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. Moreover, the health and safety protocols for the Basilica reflect the University’s guidelines for safe gatherings and worship; additional information may be found here
  5. The University recognizes that student gatherings will occur during the Fall 2020 semester. These gatherings will be adjusted for the Fall semester, conducted in a manner consistent with university health and safety protocols, and must comply with student club and organization guidelines and protocols.
  6. On-campus gatherings hosted by external organizations and those that include attendees who are not part of the University community will be extremely limited and approved by the Vice President for University Enterprises and Events. For those that may occur, they will be limited to small groups and only be permitted at the Morris Inn and Legends, buildings which will continue to welcome the general public per the University’s Fall 2020 Policy on Visitors to Campus. This policy requires a reduction in campus visitors in order to limit the introduction of pathogens to the University community. Moreover, any gathering at the Morris Inn or Legends will be operated in accordance with university safety guidelines and be subject to the mandatory health protocols prominently displayed in each building. 
  7. Any rare appeals to the guidelines outlined above should be made to the University's Executive Officers (i.e., President, Provost, Executive Vice President). In assessing whether to approve the event, the Executive Officers will consider: (a) the need for the requested event to take place during the Fall semester instead of at some later time; (b) the immediate importance of the requested event to the University’s core mission of teaching and research; and (c) the potential long-term consequences to the University of not hosting the requested event during the semester. Appeals may be submitted by completing the University Gathering Exception Request form at least four weeks prior to the requested gathering date.

(effective July 27 - November 24, 2020)