RSO COVID-19 Resources
Student organizations are a major contributor to the student experience at Drake University. To mitigate the risks surrounding COVID-19, registered student organizations should think critically and creatively on how to accomplish goals while prioritizing health and safety for all (i.e. Does this need to happen? Or do we want this to happen? Is there a way for us to do this differently to lower the risk of transmission?).
Some members of the Drake University community will have more concern or need for reduction of contact with others. Registered Student Organizations should take this into account and work to incorporate opportunities that are accessible for all members, such as hybrid meetings/events where students can participate both in-person and virtually. The COVID-19 pandemic has and will continue to impact the way in which members of our campus community experience daily life. But together, with a shared commitment to a community of care, we can navigate this difficult time and collectively help to make this semester a success.
If your organization is overseen by a national organization or governing body outside of Drake (e.g. fraternities and sororities) that has additional and/or more specific guidelines/rules, follow those guidelines as well.
If your organization is sponsored by, affiliated with, or supported by a Drake department or office, communicate with them regularly and follow any additional guidelines they have in place.
The following Guidelines should be followed by all members of your organization.
The following guidelines should be followed by all members of your organization even outside of organization functions:
- Stay home if you are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19. Encourage your members to stay home if they are sick or showing symptoms of COVID-19.
- Face coverings and/or face shields that cover the nose and mouth are required to be worn by all persons everywhere on Drake property. The only exceptions to this are if you are outdoors and more than 6 feet apart, or if you are indoors and eating/drinking or in a private space alone.
- Please also show care by wearing a face covering when you are out in the community. This includes shopping, riding DART, and in any situation where you cannot maintain a 6-foot physical distance.
- Practice physical distancing (maintaining at least 6ft or more of space from other people) Limiting close face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Student Organization Meetings and Functions
A Registered Student Organization student meeting and/or club function is defined as any activity that is only open to members of the club.
- All regular meeting should be virtual. If there is an essential reason to meet in person, you will need to state that on the Qualtrics form.
- For regular in person meetings that are approved, those can be every 2 weeks. This is to open up space for other organizations.
- Due to space and time limitations, all student organization meetings and events should be held in Olmsted unless there is an essential reason they should be held elsewhere.
- Think critically about your organization’s meetings and only hold in-person meetings when absolutely necessary. With the adjustments in class schedules, space availability in the fall may be limited.
- Students must adhere to physical distancing guidelines and wear face coverings that cover the nose and mouth throughout the duration of the meeting.
- Reserve rooms that will allow for your meeting attendees to maintain physical distancing. All Drake spaces will be limited to an adjusted maximum capacity. Maximum capacity will be determined by the Office of Events, and will be based on no more than 50% and/or most allowed for safe physical distancing) throughout the fall semester.
- All student organization meetings that are on a regular basis (every week, biweekly, etc.) should be virtual unless there is an essential reason they should not be. If your student organization would like to meet in-person weekly, we will request you meet every other week to open up space for other organizations. The following platforms are available for student use:
- Limit contact points between members as much as possible, including (but not limited to) sign-in attendance sheets, community food items, promotional material, ice breakers that involve close contact, shared supplies for activities/crafts, athletic competitions, etc.
- If having food at your meeting (e.g. pizza), contact Sodexo for guidance.
- Student Inclusion, Involvement, and Leadership strongly discourages student organizations from inviting speakers or performers to attend on-campus meetings or club functions. Instead consider inviting them to attend in a virtual format.
- Virtual platform options include
- You could also consider live-streaming these speakers or performers via Facebook Live or Instagram Live.
- If you keep records of attendance, include virtual attendance as fully participating in group meetings. Instead of having your in-person attendees fill out a sign-in sheet, consider options that will allow them to indicate their attendance virtually via personal devices.
- Tabling will only be permitted outside in Helmick Commons. Tables must be reserved via VEMS. If it rains, moving indoors is not an option.
- RSOs will have to submit a Qualtrics form for any events currently in the system (regardless of status) to inform of their mitigation strategies
- Continue to build community with your organization members with a hybrid of in-person and online group activities.
- Maintain an online social media presence as an organization.
- Develop a schedule of virtual meetings/events and try to keep to that schedule so as to allow for maximum participation.
- Recognize your members and their accomplishments virtually (spotlights, virtual awards, etc.).
- If after a meeting or club function a student attendee informs your organization that they have tested positive for COVID-19, respect their privacy and do not share this information with others. Instead, encourage them to self-report to Drake by emailing DOS@drake.edu. Self-reporting is a safe and confidential process and will allow Drake to provide support to those who test positive. It is required that all students, faculty and staff self-report and self-isolate once they receive a positive COVID-19 test result.
*As far as Student Inclusion, Involvement and Leadership is aware, Zoom is the only online platform that allows users to show their preferred names and/or pronouns.
Student Organization Event Requirements
A student organization event is defined as any activity in which non-members of the organization are invited to participate. All recognized student organizations hosting events on or off campus in the fall semester must adhere to the following:
- Submit your event/activities to VEMS.
- Smaller events (e.g. food/merchandise sales, tabling and recruitment events, events with fewer than 50 people) should be submitted no later than 10 business days before the date of the event.
- Larger events (e.g. theme weeks with multiple activities, events with youth, events with more than 50 people) should be submitted no later than 1 month before the event date.
- Depending on the scope and scale of your event, you may be contacted with more questions.
- Student organizations hosting events on or off campus must adhere to Drake University requirements:
- Creating contingency plans should the event need to be modified, postponed, or canceled.
- Instruct individuals to stay home if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or are feeling ill.
- The number of attendees should not exceed 50% of the gathering space’s capacity and no more than allows for safe physical distancing (6ft). This includes any events taking place off campus. If using an off-campus space, the student organization will be asked to submit documentation from the venue manager stating that they will adhere to a 50% capacity and safe physical distancing (no closer than 6ft).
- Face coverings and/or face shields that cover the nose and mouth will be required to be worn by visitors to Drake, event attendees and participants, faculty, staff, and students everywhere on Drake property, indoors and outdoors, where physical distancing is not possible.
- If holding an event off campus:
- Face coverings and/or face shields that cover the nose and mouth are also required for all Drake directed events, meetings, and other programs taking place off campus where physical distancing is not possible. This includes all events hosted by Registered Student Organizations.
- If after an event a student attendee informs your organization that they have tested positive for COVID-19, respect their privacy and do not share this information with others. Instead, encourage them to self-report to Drake by emailing DOS@drake.edu. Self-reporting is a safe and confidential process and will allow Drake to provide support to those who test positive. It is required that all students, faculty and staff self-report and self-isolate once they receive a positive COVID-19 test result.
- Contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
- No university sponsored travel is allowed.
Event Planning Best Practices
- Virtual-only activities, events, and gatherings are the lowest risk and should be prioritized.
- Smaller outdoor events (weather permitting), in which individuals remain at least six feet apart, wear appropriate face coverings, and do not share objects present a lower risk of transmission.
- Think critically about whether or not an in-person event is really necessary to fulfill your organization’s goals.
- Consider outdoor options when possible and weather permits. If the event is inside, the more open and well-ventilated the space, the better. Allow for physical distancing wherever possible.
- Make remote/virtual participation available when possible.
- Student Inclusion Involvement and Leadership strongly discourages student organizations from inviting speakers or performers to attend on-campus meetings or club functions. Instead consider inviting them to attend in a virtual format.
- Virtual platform options include
- You could also consider live-streaming these speakers or performers via Facebook Live or Instagram Live. Always check in with speakers and performers on this ahead of time.
- Have widely available handwashing stations and/or hand sanitizer stations.
- If your organization is overseen by a national organization or governing body outside of Drake (e.g. fraternities and sororities), that has additional and/or more specific guidelines/rules, follow those guidelines as well.
- If you are sponsored by, affiliated with, or supported by a Drake department or office, communicate with them regularly and follow any additional guidelines they have in place.
*As far as the Student Inclusion Involvement and Leadership is aware, Zoom is the only online platform that allows users to show their preferred names and/or pronouns.
Hosting Virtual Meetings
The university urges you to utilize Microsoft Teams or Zoom to Virtualize Organization Business, Meetings, and Events. Below are guidance for utilizing Microsoft Teams and Zoom
Microsoft Teams Tutorials
If your organization does not yet have a Team set up on Microsoft Teams, please email email@example.com to have a Team set up.
Communication With Your Organizations Members:
- FaceTime or Video Chat
- Conference Calls
- Social Media Groups/Pages
- Apps like Discord, Houseparty or Slack.
Virtual Activities To Do Together as a Club
Food Service Requirements and Best Practices
- No self-service meals will be allowed/approved.
- All food items served or sold should be prepackaged or preassembled.
- All food items served or sold should be distributed by students organizing the event or Sodexo staff, and not directly accessible by attendees.
- Gloves and face coverings must be worn at all times when serving food.
Student Organization Trips and Overnight Accommodations
- No university sponsored travel is allowed
Student Organization Recruitment and Tabling Activities
- When tabling, limit the number of organization members that are present. It’s recommended that no more than 2 club members staff a table at one time.
- You should maintain a minimum of 6 feet of separation. It is recommended that markings be placed to inform of appropriate physical distance
- Tabling will only be permitted outside in Helmick Commons. Tables must be reserved via VEMS. In case of rain, etc. tabling indoors will not be allowed.
- Giveaways and handouts are not allowed. We encourage you to use QR codes, webforms, Qualtrics, or other tools for individuals to use their own devices to sign up to receive more information.
- Provide hand sanitizer or encourage students staffing the space to provide their own.
- Face masks and/or face coverings that cover the nose and mouth are required for anyone staffing a recruitment table.
- Explore virtual marketing and recruitment tools.
RSO Storage Space & Mail
If your organization currently has storage space in the Student Life Center, once campus physically re-opens you can gain access to your storage space. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
Your organization will be contacted if you receive mail to the Student Life Center with instructions for how to pick it up. If you have have any questions concerning mail please email email@example.com.
Other Tips for Leading an Organization Virtually
Things to Do From Home to Improve Your Organization
- Update Your Organization's Website and Social Media Pages - Stay Active Online!
- Review and Update Your Organization's Documents and Database Information on your Google Doc (INSERT LINK)
- Create New Goals and Objectives For Your Organization
Best Practices for Managing an Organization Virtually
- Continue to meet virtually on a regular basis
- Meet regularly with your adviser virtually for support
- Establish a communication plan with your exec team, adviser, and organization
- Continue to build community with your organization members with online group activities
- Maintain an online social media presence as an organization
- Keep normal routines and schedules as much as possible
- Recognize your members and their accomplishments virtually (spotlights, virtual awards, etc.)
- Use this time to help grow and improve your organization
- Look for ways to collaborate with another organization. By combining your efforts you add meaningfulness and value to your organization
- Ask for help when you need it - the Student Life Center is here for you!
If an RSO acts in violation of the above guidelines, the RSO could be subject to a variety of sanctions. Sanction could include but are not limited to interim administrative leave, suspension, etc.