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Hosting non-SDSU Events on Campus

The public will still be able to rent space on campus to host events. However, the events must follow all of the JacksRBack Event Protocols and adhere to any special parameters placed on events based on containment of the virus. Space will be limited as many campus event facilities have been converted to academic classrooms during the fall 2020 semester. Please review the following before your event. 

Preparing for your Event: 

Space Prioritization

  • During COVID-19 facilities may have altered the priority of their space.  As such, the following will be the priority for determining use:
    1. Academic classes
    2. Facility Owner (i.e. University Student Union: Registered Student Organizations; Frost Arena: Athletics; PAC: Performing Arts; etc.)
    3. Admissions
    4. Divisions, colleges and departments
    5. Non-SDSU individuals/entities
      *Where a conflict exists, date of reservation and this prioritization will be considered in determining the priority.

COVID-19 Occupancy Adjustments

  • Occupancy/Room Layout Options will be provided by the facility manager for that location. Occupancy rates may vary depending on the type of event you are hosting. Indoor events will adhere to an appropriate square footage per person based on the room layout and type of event and outdoor events will adhere to RECOMMENDED CAPACITIES from Facilities and Services. Please visit the Room Capacities Page for more information.


Event Plan Submission

Each event exceeding the maximum pandemic capacity (Outlined in the Color Chart or under further restrictions set forth by the COVID-19 Response Team) will develop a management plan to hold the event due to the increased risk associated with hosting the event. This management plan must be submitted a minimum of two weeks prior to the event to the COVID-19 Response Team for review. Full submission guidelines are outlined in the Full JacksRBack Event Protocols Plan

How do I submit a plan for approval by the COVID-19 Response Team?

  1. Make a reservation with the desired venue. (Non-athletic outdoor spaces are reserved through Central Reservations.)
  2. Once Reservation request is complete, Event Manager will receive the Event Management Plan and Request for Exception Form via DocuSign or by the Facility Manager.
  3. Event Manager Completes the Event Exception Form. Once complete via DocuSign the form will route to the Chair of the COVID-19 Response Team, Tracy Greene. If not using DocuSign, the Facility Manager will forward to the chair.
  4. Once reviewed by COVID-19 Response Team, the Event Organizer will be notified by the Facility Manager.
  5. If event is approved, the SAARF Form and Reservation will be completed via DocuSign.

Event Managers

  • Event managers acquire a certain responsibility during this time to adequately communicate with their attendees of the University Event Protocols, help in enforcing these protocols and adhere to any university event or facility use measures in place pre-pandemic. 
  • Event managers should understand that the situation can and will change rapidly. Prior to planning they should be comfortable with all protocols at the various color coded levels, Red, Orange, Yellow and Green. They should discuss, and fully embrace the impacts of a color change with the facility managers and other outside vendors.
  • Event Managers should be in constant communication with the Facility Managers regarding any potential changes to their events.

Facility Managers

  • Facility Managers should outline the safety measures the facility has in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
  • Facility Managers should communicate with Event Managers about what they have learned from previous events in their space.
  • Facility and Event Managers should discuss if this event requires additional signage and outline a plan if needed.

Hosting Your Event

Setting Event Expectations

  • Event host should read a statement at the start of events to set event expectations:
    1. Sample: South Dakota State University takes the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously and is doing all that we can to help mitigate its effects on our campus and the surrounding community. We ask you please adhere to any notifications throughout the building, maintain appropriate social distancing and respect the additional precautions we are taking to allow collaborations and connections, such as these events, to continue to take place safely and responsibly. Stay safe and thank you for joining us this evening.
      • *If there are many more requirements from logistics that must be called out specifically, they will be done so here as well.

Communicate with Employees, Vendors and Guests 

  • Is there anything specific that I need to communicate to our attendees in advance?
    1. It is the responsibility of the event manager to clearly communicate expectations of attending the event and to provide access to:
      • Symptom information
      • Hand-washing information 
      • Face covering guidance 
      • Expectations of social distancing 
      • Traffic and wayfinding signage 
      • Further event logistics and expectations
    2. Check out the JacksRBack Youtube Playlist. This will give you a glimpse into what campus will look like under the COVID-19 protocols. 
  • Is there anything specific that I need to bring or prepare in advance of the event?
    1. Event managers should be acutely aware of the Expectations of Event Managers section of the JacksRBack Event Protocols. 
  • Do I need to prepare any specific signage for the event?
    1. Facilities will provide signage in common spaces of the building/space.
    2. Event managers should provide signage inside the space as it pertains to ensure appropriate social distancing, hygiene and face coverings based on the style of the event. 
    3. Signage available for download: Branded by either CDC or SDSU


  • Food must be ordered through Aramark, the University Food Service provider. Aramark Catering has its own set of guidelines and protocols in place and those must be adhered to by the Event Organizer and Facility Manager.
  • Under the current Color Chart, or under further restrictions set forth by the COVID-19 Response Team, Aramark Catering is only offering Drop-n-Go prepackaged meals and silverware. No buffets or plated meals are allowable until a yellow status is reached.


Day-of Considerations

  • As the event planner, what should I consider for the day of the event?
    1. Swag/giveaway items should be limited.
    2. Registrations/check-in should be done in a way that limits shared pens/items, limits any backlog in lines, and should provide an electronic method prior, if possible. If shared items cannot be reduced, cleaning protocols must be in place.
    3. Become familiar with the appropriate waivers needed and provide a mechanism for those waivers to be collected and stored.
    4. Provide method to create attendee list. 

Face Coverings 

Individuals or groups who reserve and use university facilities are required to comply with the face covering protocols.

The university is currently until Level 3 and will remain in effect until further notice. Level 3 requires face coverings in all public indoor spaces on campus.

After the Event

Event Follow-up

  • Attendee lists will be retained by the event organizer.
  • Event organizers should evaluate how the event went and what precautions they can further develop for future events. 

Announcement Regarding Events

Posted Sept. 9, 2020

Due to the rise in Brookings and local campus COVID cases, Brookings County moving to substantial community spread status, and in an effort to slow potential transmission, effective September 9, 2020, through September 23, 2020, the SDSU COVID Response Team will adhere to the following limitations:

  • No indoor events or activities with more than 120 participants will be approved, regardless of adjusted COVID facility capacity. This aligns with adopted classroom health and safety standards.
  • Non-SDSU, as defined in the JRB Event Protocols, event plans continue to require COVID Response Team review and approval. No events for external groups with more than 60 participants will be approved, regardless of adjusted COVID capacity.
  • Previously approved group activities must stringently comply with health and safety event management protocols as they proceed during this time.

Please be aware that COVID Response Team large group event exception approvals are conditional and may be modified based on changes in the COVID situation. This is an evolving situation, and the COVID Response Team will monitor community transmission levels and may lift these limitations earlier if community transmission levels decrease. The team may also impose future more restrictive measures based on the situation.  Please continue to watch for communications from this team and/or modify plans accordingly and resubmit. Thank you for your cooperation during this difficult and uncertain time.