Carter Brown – Staff Writer
The Involvement Fair took place on Tuesday, Sept. 14 and was packed with plenty of students and student organizations looking for new members. It was a busy event full of people looking to join new initiatives. As with most student activities there are still cautions and questions as to how student organizations will operate with COVID lingering in the air. The COVID Response Coordinator,Barbara “Barb” Larson-Taylor says there are no special restrictions or regulations on student organizations regarding COVID other than the ones that already apply to everyone.
“There are no COVID event plans needed this year.” said Taylor. “We always hope students planning meetings or events will be respectful of each other knowing that people have different comfort levels for COVID precautions. Plus, there may be many reasons why a student may be more concerned about COVID transmission and should keep more distance and wear a mask even when not required”, Taylor said.
In light of the new vaccination mandates the current attitude towards COVID-19 policies is focused around making sure that student attitude reflects caution and consideration while trying to bring student operations back to normal. The Involvement Fair was one example of this, yet it brings up another question. While there are no current policies regarding student organizations specifically, what about events or gatherings? The answer remains the same.
“There are no official COVID restrictions on student organizations meeting or planning events.” Taylor said.
“While cases are high in the surrounding area, which they are right now in the state of Minnesota, we ask that students reduce capacity and leave extra space between people when possible,” Taylor said.
While this is not a direct policy, it is a good reminder of the mindfulness expected from students regarding the campus’ current situation with COVID and safety.
Other than that, most of the policies regarding the reservation and usage of spaces remain the same.
“The best way to reserve a space on campus for a meeting or event is to use the form at gustavus.edu/events/reserve. On this site, a group can look to see if a space is available.” Taylor said.
While this is the same, students should still remember that the COVID policies in place for the general student body are the same, which is that masks are required to be worn indoors at all times. Any beverages or food items are only allowed in designated dining areas, with the exception of seated events that have food. Using the website gustavus.edu/events/reserve, “[Students] can submit their request for use of a space, as well as submit their requests for set-up needs like tables and chairs, event tech such as mics, and food.” Taylor said.