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Event Planning Guidance for Fall 2020

October 23, 2020

As you begin to make plans for your traditional end-of-semester events, we ask that you remain vigilant in your planning efforts with respect to COVID-19 protocols. OU’s Phase III guidelines are still in place, and they specifically address social distancing guidelines and capacity guidelines.

Social distancing requirements apply in all settings on campus, as well as in public settings, common areas, and shared spaces. All gatherings and events must also observe the university’s masking and social distancing guidelines.

All gatherings and events on university property, as well as OU-sponsored events held off campus (including classes, athletic events, co-curricular events, registered student organization events, and general campus events), must adhere to the COVID-19 capacity limits as determined for each venue. Listed below are the guidelines that relate specifically to events.

  • Event organizers must structure events to observe the COVID-19 capacity of spaces and allow for the university’s social distancing and masking mandates.
  • Come-and-go events that would have an anticipated attendance larger than the COVID-19 capacity must include a door monitor to regulate access and ensure the space capacity is not exceeded, following a one-in, one-out rule. 
  • Events may be held in outdoor spaces without capacity restrictions, so long as the university’s social distancing and masking mandates can be observed.
  • Events in semi-covered structures, such as tents and parking garages, are considered indoor venues for purposes of determining COVID-19 capacity, social distancing, and masking requirements.
  • Food and drink are permitted in event-specific spaces, so long as social distancing is observed, and masks are worn while not eating or drinking. Food must be individually plated or prepackaged. Self-serve, buffets, and passed food are prohibited.

Registered student organizations can find out more information about student events and policies here.

All special events involving third-party vendors are required to go through the OU Special Events Committee approval process. Please submit your request at least 15 days before you wish to have the event.

If you have questions about planning an event that adheres to these guidelines, please reach out to the Office of University Events at