Thursday, Aug 20, 2020
Dear Rider community,
As a part of the diligent planning for the fall semester, we have been working to establish guidelines for campus events to promote the health and well-being of our campus community and that align with state requirements and health recommendations. Given current state guidelines and Rider’s various delivery models of class instruction, we will naturally have fewer on-campus activities and in-person events and meetings.
With the majority of students experiencing Rider remotely in the fall, all student organizations and campus offices are encouraged to provide engagement opportunities that are inclusive and accessible for students who may never physically visit campus this semester. Considering the current health circumstances, we recommend utilizing Zoom and other virtual connective platforms as a primary way to support community and connection this semester.
Some in-person programming (that adheres to appropriate distancing guidelines) or hybrid options that offer both in-person and remote components may also be appropriate. For in-person events and meetings, outdoor event spaces should be maximized, and we have erected a number of large tents as perfect convening spaces. When utilizing indoor spaces, all protocols will be carefully managed.
We realize the value of campus events in promoting the vibrant living and learning community on which Rider prides itself. We have therefore established the following Fall 2020 campus events guidelines which provide a structure for intentional event planning that promotes adherence to COVID-19 informed health guidance. Campus departments and student organizations’ space reservations in 25Live will be considered once all classroom priorities are addressed. We anticipate departments and organizations can initiate space requests by August 24.
While we benefit greatly from the beautiful facilities on our campus, the Rider community does not exist only in physical spaces where we can connect in-person. When we transitioned to remote instruction in the spring 2020, we saw students, faculty and staff find consistent and creative ways to connect and build community virtually, and we look forward to continuing to do this until we are able to fully utilize our campus to meet again.
Fall student events are already being planned. Check out the student events calendar to engage in Welcome Week and other upcoming events, and get ideas to plan your own virtual or socially distanced activities.
Review the Fall 2020 campus events guidelines on the event planning webpage.
Vice President for Facilities and University Operations
Dr. Leanna Fenneberg
Vice President for Student Affairs
Fall 2020 campus events guidelines
As Rider prepares to begin the fall 2020 semester in Stage 2 of the New Jersey restart plan, there will naturally be fewer on-campus events and meetings. With the majority of students experiencing Rider remotely in the fall, all student organizations and campus offices are encouraged to provide engagement opportunities that are inclusive and accessible for students who may never physically visit campus this semester. We recommend utilizing Zoom and other virtual connective platforms as a primary way to support community and connection this semester.
Some in-person programming (that adheres to appropriate distancing guidelines) or hybrid options that offer both in-person and remote components are also appropriate. For in-person events and meetings, outdoor event spaces should be maximized, and when utilizing indoor spaces, all protocols will be carefully managed.
Events hosted by University departments or student organizations should be exclusive to Rider University faculty, staff, and students and may not include external guests. Events that will include external people must be offered virtually. Exceptions to this will require approval by the Special Events Committee, which includes representatives from Student Affairs, Auxiliary Services, Facilities, and Public Safety, or as determined by Cabinet. All student organizations must follow the Student Event Registration Process during their event planning. All departments and student organizations planning events on campus will be required to adhere to the following guidelines and procedures.
Outdoor events must promote appropriate social distancing and adhere to state guidelines. Each outdoor campus event will need to designate specific plans that limit attendance and distancing appropriately. Each plan must be approved by the sponsoring division, and the Special Events Committee, which includes representatives from Student Affairs, Auxiliary Services, Facilities, and Public Safety. For outdoor events, capacities mandated for each tent and or open area will be enforced.
Sponsoring organizations/departments must document how they will ensure appropriate social distancing, including delineated seating or spaces and flow of traffic, and staffing required.
In addition to the general campus expectation that face coverings must also be worn outdoors while within 6-feet of others, for events accommodating over 50 people, face coverings are required because of the likelihood of proximity.
Face coverings must be worn by all students, faculty, staff, and visitors in all public indoor settings across the University.
Event spacing requires 6 foot distancing between attendees. Max capacity and room set-up will therefore be determined by the campus location. Auxiliary Services Event Operations will set furniture in accordance with restrictions and the plan for your event/meeting. Furniture cannot be reset as it is designated to be in compliance with all safety guidelines.
State guidelines presently allow for a max capacity of 25 people per room for indoor gatherings.
Outdoor tabling is permitted, informed by social distancing guidelines. Two representatives may staff a table, maintaining social distancing and wearing masks. Those approaching the table should also maintain 6’ distance, and wear a face covering. Tabling will be exclusive to the Rider University community (e.g. no external organizations).
Event planning process
Preference for space utilization will be given for academic/class-related needs.
University departments and student organizations requesting indoor or outdoor space, including tents, for campus events will initiate their space request in the University’s 25Live online scheduling tool. An Event Request Information Google form will be used during the reservation process to provide additional details about the event and space needs. Auxiliary Services staff will review the request, work with the hosting group during the planning process, and coordinate COVID-19 related guidelines with relevant offices (Auxiliary Services, Facilities, Public Safety, Student Affairs). The University reserves the right not to schedule an event if it can not occur within University guidelines.
Catering will be available on an as needed basis. Catered products will be served via prepackaged items, individual serving and boxed meals. The Catering website is being updated with new menus and can be viewed at https://ridercatering.catertrax.com/.
Club and intramural sports
Indoor and outdoor club sports will not train or compete during the fall semester (with the exception of E-sports when competition can be done remotely).
Outdoor intramural sports can convene if appropriate COVID-19 related protocols can be maintained, if approved by Recreation Programs.
Residence hall lounges and common-areas will be restricted and will remain locked as per state guidelines. Therefore residential programming should follow the above stated guidelines for programming. Virtual events are encouraged.
Transportation of students
Rider University provides a variety of transportation services to the University through Stouts Charter Services, including a Monday through Saturday shuttle service, as well as athletic, club, and event-related travel. Stouts has plans to address CDC recommendations for travel-related COVID-19 protocols.
Requests for transportation for student groups will be evaluated on a case by case basis to consider appropriate guidelines and event goals.
Events hosted by non-Rider affiliated organizations will be extremely limited. Indoor events sponsored by external organizations will not be scheduled for the Fall Semester. Outdoor events hosted by external organizations will be evaluated on a case by case basis to limit the number of visitors on campus to reduce community exposure, and prioritize space for on-campus events and meetings.
*Note: These guidelines will be updated to reflect changes to national and state guidance.