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Hosting SDSU Events off Campus

What do I need to think about if I host an event off campus? 

Event organizer will need to follow the guidelines of the JacksRBack Protocols at both on- and off-campus sites. If the off-campus venue has more stringent restrictions then those must also be followed. 

If I host an SDSU event off campus, do I still need COVID-19 Response Team approval? 

If your event exceeds the capacity guidelines Outlined in the Color Chart, you must submit a plan to two weeks prior to the event for approval.  

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/hold with the desired venue.  
  2. Event Manager will need to complete the Event Exception Form.
  3. Submit to Chair of the COVID-19 Response Team, Tracy Greene for review. 
  4. Once reviewed by COVID-19 Response Team, the Event Organizer will be notified the COVID-19 Response team if it is approved, approved with conditions or denied. 

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.


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
  • 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. You should ensure your off-campus venue has adequate and appropriate signage encouraging social distancing, use of face coverings as it pertains to City ordinances, and directional traffic signage. Campus event organizers should be prepared to provide this if it is not provided by the facility/venue. 
    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 would need to be provided by the venue's food service affiliate. 
  • Food is strongly discouraged under codes orange and red and should be contactless drop-n-go options.  


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 

University sponsored events off campus are encouraged to follow the the University's status.  City ordinances should also be followed. 

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, in effect until further notice.

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, and reviewed bi-weekly, 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.