Campus Events Guide

Published: August 11, 2020

Guiding Principles

Future University Events

Event Planning Safety Guidance
Event Plans
Off Campus Guests
Event Capacity
Cleaning/Disinfection
Event Contact Tracing
Safe Social Behaviors at Events

Guiding Principles

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s (TAMU-CC) policies and protocols for responding to the COVID- 19 pandemic are rooted in the safety and well-being of all students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The primary goals of TAMU-CC’s response are to protect the health of our students and employees while continuing the institution’s vital education, research, and outreach initiatives.

TAMU-CC’s plans are also consistent with guidance provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the State of Texas, The Texas A&M University System, Nueces County, and the City of Corpus Christi. Our knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus continue to evolve and our policies and plans will be updated as more information becomes available.

Campus events are an important part of the University experience for our Islander Students. They build community while participating in student activities, athletic events, speaking engagements, and performing arts. TAMU-CC faculty and staff and community members join students in these experiences on the Island Campus. While the uncertainty of COVID-19 has changed and will continue to impact how events will happen on campus, the importance of events continuing in the best possible format is a necessary component of the campus.

To that end, an Events Reimagined Task Force was created with the following charge:

Task Force Charge

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges for TAMU-CC as well as for all higher education. TAMU-CC students will return to campus in for face-to-face instruction with modifications from previous years. Social distancing of 6-feet will be the minimum standard, enhanced cleaning measures will be in place, and students and employees will closely self-monitor for any signs of an outbreak. This task force was asked to create event and activity guidelines and protocols as we move forward, focusing on:

  • Keeping our campus community healthy and hopeful.
  • Contributing to student success and the “campus experience.”
  • Being creative. Being compassionate. Being flexible.

Members

The task force was comprised primarily of members of the existing Event Scheduling and Planning (ESPN) committee.

Melissa Adames – College of Education and Human Development
Mari Alexander – College of Liberal Arts
Jennifer Anderson – Mary and Jeff Bell Library
Mark Bohling – Islander Athletics
Stephanie Box – University Center
Deshawna Colvin – Provost’s Office
Roy Coons- Environmental, Health and Safety
Dennis Coplen – Recreational Sports
Revae Crenshaw – College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Shawn Elizondo – College of Business
Alison Frost – Theatre and Dance
Nathan Galvan – Environmental, Health and Safety
Wes Jones – College of Liberal Arts
Susan Layton– University Services
Shay Lee – Graduate Studies
RJ Loa – Student Government Association

Erin Longoria – President’s Office
Lee Malone – Islander Athletics
Alexandra McBroom – Institutional Advancement
Leslie Mills – Career Services
Jim Moore – Performing Arts Center
Amanda Morales – Islander Housing
Lisa Perez – SEAS Student Life
Michelle Roth – College of Science & Engineering
Stephanie Schmidt – Student Activities
Crystal Seehorn – Community Outreach
Julie Shuttlesworth – SEAS VP Office
Kellie Smith – Center for Faculty Excellence
Rita Sperry – University College
Russell Wagner – Alumni Relations
Rene Zamora – Office of Recruitment and Admissions

Future University Events

Stages for event planners

The implementation of event stages will be determined by the TAMU-CC President/CEO and President’s Cabinet. This determination for event stages and allowable guest counts will be informed by recommendations from the CDC, the State of Texas, The Texas A&M University System, Nueces County, and the City of Corpus Christi. A&M-Corpus Christi will consider these recommendations and proceed to event stages when it is reasonably safe. A&M-Corpus Christi will employ all recommended safety measures for the welfare of all Islanders and our guests. The TAMU-CC President/CEO and President’s Cabinet will notify the campus community regarding current campus event stage. Exceptions to these stages will only be allowed with TAMU-CC Presidential approval.

Stage 1: Virtual functions only. No face-to-face functions.

Stage 2: University functions allowed with event maximum guest count, determined as the lesser of the State of Texas mandated venue capacity, or TAMU-CC facility capacity dictated by six-foot social distanced spacing. Maximum capacities will not include paid event staffing, per Texas Executive Order No. GA-28.11. No off campus guests. Additional safety protocols include required face coverings for all attendees, pre-and-post function sanitization, and required tracking of all attendees and staff for contact tracing purposes. Virtual delivery should continue for all routine meetings, trainings, events that lend well to a digital format, and for groups with more than the maximum allowable capacity count.

Stage 3: University functions, including those with off campus guests, such as athletics and performing arts, allowed with event maximum guest count, determined as the lesser of the State of Texas mandated venue capacity, or TAMU-CC facility capacity dictated by six-foot social distanced spacing. Maximum capacities will not include paid event staffing, per Texas Executive Order No. GA-28.11. Additional safety protocols include required face coverings for all attendees, pre-and- post function sanitization, and required tracking of all attendees and staff for contact tracing purposes. Virtual delivery should continue for all routine meetings, trainings, events that lend well to a digital format, and for groups with more than the maximum allowable guest count.

Stage 4: University functions allowed with event maximum guest count, determined as the lesser of the State of Texas mandated venue capacity, or TAMU-CC facility determined capacity. Recommended continued use of face coverings and sanitization when social distancing is optional.

Stage 5: Addition of non-University functions allowed with event maximum guest count, determined as the lesser of the State of Texas mandated venue capacity, or TAMU-CC facility determined capacity. Recommended use of face coverings and sanitization when social distancing is optional, or requirements are relaxed.

Event Planning Safety Guidance

Event Plans

Stage 1: All programming (including meetings and events) will need to take place remotely.

Stage 2 through 5: In person events should offer a virtual option for participation/engagement when possible. Groups should consider alternate/creative activities for large events and consider reducing participants, relocation, and staggering attendance to help maintain safe environments. Meetings and activities will be offered remotely or cancelled if they cannot adhere to the safety guidelines or occupancy limits. The sponsoring department or organization of an event is responsible for compliance with these guidelines.

All hybrid or in-person events must submit a COVID-19 event safety plan consistent with the guidance provided in these recommendations when scheduling any university facility/grounds for event use. Please take a look at our Event Risk Assessment Plan for more information. Plans must be submitted two (2) weeks in advance of the event and approved by the facility’s director/manager or designee in the event of their absence. In the event that the university approved Event Stage changes, event plans would need to be updated to reflect the change in safety guidelines. Any university sponsored function held off campus must be approved by sponsoring division Vice President and follow University COVID-19 event safety protocols. If the sponsoring department or organization is providing transportation to an event, safe social behaviors and the proper precautions should be outlined in the event proposal.

A contingency plan should be developed if the event needs to be postponed or canceled. If this is a paid event, consider flexible refund or credit policies for registration fees or tickets.

Off Campus Guests

Stage 1: No off-campus guests allowed.

Stage 2: Only mission critical visitors should be invited to campus and must be approved by the appropriate Vice President. All visitors must also fill out the COVID-19 Self-Declaration by Visitors & Contractors.

Stage 3 through 4: When outside guests are permitted to attend on campus events, University guidelines should be communicated for shared expectations of safe practices. Promotional materials will refrain from using the phrase, “open to the public” even if the event is free. This allows Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to determine time, place, and manner thereby permitting the University to enforce safety protocols. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and event planners will communicate social behavior expectations through social media, University website, signage, and e-communications prior to the event. An approved campus message is attached at the end of this document. It is the standard message that should be used to announce events and the expected safety precautions that attendees should take.

  • A general disclaimer will be posted at each event, registration or ticket purchasing site. Example: “Ticketholder is voluntarily attending the event for which this ticket is issued and agrees to follow all safety protocols. Ticketholder assumes all risks incidental to the event and waives all claims against the event sponsor, facility owner, or issuer. Ticketholder consents to reasonable examinations and/or searches to ensure compliance. Failure to comply with the facility rules may result in refusal of admission or removal from event.” This signage will match other approved University COVID safety precautions signage and will be available through the same link. Any additional signage must be approved.

Stage 5: When non-University organizations are permitted to hold events on campus, University guidelines will be communicated for shared expectations of safe practices. Campus signage indicating social behaviors and safety expectations will be posted.

Event Capacity

Facility managers will determine maximum capacity for their spaces allowing for six-foot social distancing between attendees. Event planners will be provided information about venue capacity as determined by the lesser number of the State of Texas allowed number or facility manager approved venue capacity with six-foot social distanced spacing. Maximum capacities will not include paid event staffing, per Texas Executive Order No. GA-28.

Cleaning/Disinfection

Service Solutions Company (SSC) teams have enhanced their disinfecting and cleaning practices across campus and are paying attention to high-traffic areas and high-touch fixtures such as door handles, push plates, light switches, elevator buttons, and handrails located in common areas. This disinfecting will be in addition to their routine custodial activities such as mopping, vacuuming, and emptying trash. SSC will monitor soap and hand sanitizer dispensers more frequently. Notify SSC of any empty stations that need to be refilled by emailing facilities.services@tamucc.edu with the exact location using building name, floor, and room number.
Facility event schedulers should allow for breaks between events for proper cleaning/disinfection.

Event Contact Tracing

The CDC recommends that in accordance with state and local laws and regulations, event planners should notify local health officials, staff, and attendees of any case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable  laws  and  regulations. Event planners should advise those who have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home, self-monitor for symptoms, and follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
In accordance with this guidance, all face to face events taking place on campus are required to collect attendee contact information as specified on pages 8-9 of this document. No event on campus can be walk up/come and go, without attendee tracking.

Stage 1: All programming (including meetings and events) will need to take place remotely. Registration and tracing unnecessary.

Stage 2-4: Event attendee must be recorded for all university sponsored functions held both on and off campus, for both campus members and any community guests.

Campus event planners can use existing university licensed platforms including: iEngage (Campus Labs), Fusion, Handshake, and Vendini, among others. The preferred method for event attendance tracking for campus focused events is iEngage, using contactless QR codes or SandDollar$ ID swipes. All current students, faculty, and staff have duo authenticated access, and the platform will also support public/guest attendance tracking.

Contactless QR codes using personal mobile devices is preferred. If an event requires a waiver, this should be done online and in advance. If the waiver needs to be obtained onsite, contactless options should be in place when possible. If registration and entry is monitored by swiping a SandDollar$ ID card, scanning equipment should be sanitized between guests. When possible, attendees can pre-register for an event online and their attendance can be verified at the event entrance. If the event does not require pre- registration, arrangements will be made to register guests at the event entrance.

For ticketed events, whenever reasonably possible, e-ticketing or pre-registration will be used to incorporate and/or augment contact tracing measures.

Each attendance event registration should contain the following agreement of safety compliance for all participants and staff:

To keep our Islander community safe, all event attendees must agree to the following terms prior to engaging in                               event.

I will follow CDC, the State of Texas, The Texas A&M University System, Nueces County, and the City of Corpus Christi guidelines/regulations as posted or verbally stated at this event.

I will wear a face covering during my entire participation in this event.
I will socially distance at least 6 feet from other event participants and staff.
I will not attend this event if I have been diagnosed with or suspect I have COVID-19, exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms, or I am awaiting results from a COVID-19 test.
I have not been in contract with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
I have not been ordered to self-quarantine by a government official or medical professional.
If you are unwilling or unable to comply with these terms for any reason, you may not participate in                                                      event.
Click to agree

All event attendance tracking forms will contain at minimum participant name, email, and phone number. If guests are invited to attend an on-campus event, the guests will also be required to sign in and follow the guidelines put in place.

Event planners will need to provide to university administration a complete list of event attendees and event staff/volunteers if requested by the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District or needed by university administration. Use of iEngage allows for secure and permanent storage of these records.

Training is available for all campus event planners in the use of iEngage by contacting the Student Activities office at 361-825-2707.

Stage 5: Non-University clients will be required to track the attendance of guest attendees. Event tracking will contain at minimum guest name, email, and phone number. Non-University clients will need to provide to university administration a complete list of event attendees, staff, and volunteers if requested by the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District or required by university administration.

Safe Social Behaviors at Events

Stage 1: All programming (including meetings and events) will need to take place remotely. No outside guests are permitted on campus at this time. Safe social behaviors are taking place outside of the University campus.

Stage 2 through 3: Minimum guidelines should comply with CDC, the State of Texas, The Texas A&M University System, Nueces County, and the City of Corpus Christi. Regulations should always be monitored and enforced. Regulations and guidelines should be examined regularly, and changes/updates should be communicated with the campus community. Individuals not adhering to safe social behaviors will be asked to leave the area/event by the event planners. If the individual(s) remain in the area and continue to disregard posted guidelines, University Police should be contacted. Noncompliance and disregard for posted guidelines may result in a student conduct report, employee disciplinary action, or removal of guest from campus.

Minimum Stage 2/3 requirements:

  • All attendees must wear a face covering while on campus. See catering section for guidelines for accommodating eating/drinking at events.
  • Participants and volunteers are required to have six-foot distance during set up, event, and clean up. Event planners are encouraged to anticipate and plan for activities that allow for safe social distancing.
  • Upon check-in/entry, event attendees must verbally confirm that they have conducted a self- health check and are not demonstrating symptoms.
  • Hand sanitizing or washing stations must be provided by event coordinators at the entrances of their event. Event coordinators should encourage its use.
  • If lines are anticipated, floor/ground markings should be utilized. Check with facility manager for options to mark the floor/ground.
  • Group pictures and lingering/congregating before or after events will not be allowed.

Stage 2/3 recommendations:

  • Prioritize shared experiences rather than shared equipment/supplies.
  • The use of handouts/flyers/promotional items is discouraged in Stage 2. In stage 3, individuals distributing items should wear gloves and not have direct contact with participants. Items to be distributed should be placed for participants to take without touching multiple items. Distribution should be supervised by event staff, and the individual distributing the items should stand 6 feet back.
  • For multiple speakers/presenters, multiple microphones and clickers should be used. If equipment is not available for each presenter, then cleaning between speakers should be planned into the program/ run of show.
  • Event planners should include staff/volunteers to monitor safe social behaviors and be willing to intervene when regulations are being ignored.
  • Extended event times will allow for more total attendees, while limiting to facility capacity at any one time. Staggering participation times and arrival times can allow for greater participation numbers.

Stage 4/5: Guidelines should comply with CDC, the State of Texas, The Texas A&M University System, Nueces County, and the City of Corpus Christi. Regulations and guidelines should be examined, and changes/updates should be communicated with the campus community.

Stage 4 recommendations:

  • Event participants and volunteers are encouraged to wear face coverings.
  • Event should be designed to encourage six-foot social distance during set up, event, and clean up within reason.
  • If there are anticipated lines, floor/ground markings should be utilized. Check with facility manager for options to mark the floor/ground.
  • Group pictures and lingering/congregating after event may be allowed.
  • Hand sanitizer should be provided.
  • Event planners are encouraged to anticipate and plan for activities that allow for safe social distancing.
  • Prioritize shared experiences rather than shared equipment/supplies.
  • Event planners should include staff/volunteers to monitor safe social behaviors and be willing to intervene when regulations are being ignored.

Stage 5 recommendations:

  • Non-University clients and their guests are encouraged to wear face coverings but are not required. Non-University clients are encouraged to design their event to encourage six-foot social distance during set up, event, and clean up within reason.
  • Pre- and post-event lingering/congregating may be allowed.
  • Hand sanitizer should be provided by the non-University client

Face Coverings and/or Masks

Face coverings are required in all campus buildings and in all locations, including outdoors. This requirement is in effect until further notice.

Taking Temperatures

Event planners should communicate that participants/attendees should check their own temperature prior to attending campus events. There may be some instances in which event planners choose to take participant temperatures for added safety at specific events.

Hand Washing and Sanitizing

Announcements regarding hand washing and sanitizing will be made prior to and as possible during campus events. Event participants will be advised to refrain from handshakes and other personal contact.
Hand sanitizer stations are located across campus and will be refilled as needed. Event planners should plan to provide pump style bottles of sanitizer as needed.

Gloves

While the CDC states that gloves are not necessary for general use and do not replace good hand hygiene, high touch activities such as taking tickets and distributing supplies require additional precautions. If an event requires a paper ticket, event planners should designate a specific person that is protected by a plastic barrier or window and wearing a clean set of gloves. If possible, tickets should be shown and not collected.

Catering

Event attendees should be reminded that before and after eating, everyone should wash their hands thoroughly. Given the difficulty in complying with social distancing while serving food, you must wear a face covering/mask in catering areas until you are ready to eat. Face covering /mask should be worn when exiting the catering areas as well. At events where food is served, those not actively eating should be wearing a mask and those actively eating should practice social distancing.

Stage 1: No on-campus functions, so catering service will not be available.

Stages 2 & 3: Contactless catering service may be included in event planning utilizing TAMU-CC University Catering and their set safety protocols. Contactless Catering Guide can be found at https://dineoncampus.com/islanderdining/catering-menus/ External vendors for food and beverage service will not approved. Distribution of pre-packaged individually wrapped snacks can be requested through University  Services  at  https://universityservices.tamucc.edu/assets/food_exemption.pdf. Hand sanitizers should be available for patrons, Prepackaged food should be distributed in a contactless method or by individuals wearing gloves.

Stage 4: Priority is placed on utilizing University Catering with their safety protocols in place or prepackaged items. Student Organizations and campus units may be allowed to distribute prepackaged food with approved catering exemption form from University Services. https://universityservices.tamucc.edu/assets/food_exemption.pdf

Stage 5: Full catering services resume utilizing University Catering with their safety protocols in place. Non-University clients and their guests are encouraged to wear face coverings as appropriate for dining, but they are not required.

Promotional Materials

Stage 1: The distribution of handouts/promotional items for events and activities is not allowed at this time. Virtual distribution via social media, campus monitors and iNews is encouraged.

Stage 2: The distribution of handouts/promotional items is discouraged If a department or student organization wishes to distribute printed promotional materials, it should be done from a central pick-up point and not directly from an individual. Virtual distribution via social media, campus monitors and iNews is encouraged.

Stage 3 & 4: Individuals distributing items should wear gloves and not have direct contact with participants. Items to be distributed should be placed for participants to take without touching multiple items. Distribution should be supervised by event staff, and the individual distributing the items should stand 6 feet back. For events with multiple promotional pieces (expos and fairs), those promotional items should be collected prior to the event and distributed in bags at a single point of contact. Virtual distribution via social media, campus monitors and iNews is encouraged.

Stage 5: Handouts/promotional items may be distributed. Non-University clients should follow Stage 3-4 guidelines above to safely distribute materials.

Signage

Stage 1: Approved safety and security signage will be posted across campus. Event signage is not needed at this time.

Stage 2- 4: Signage will be posted at all event venues with current guidelines and regulations and include reminders of safe social distancing, face coverings, and hand sanitizing. Signage will also remind event attendees that participation is voluntary and at their own risk. Signage will be created and provided to each venue to post at each event entrance point confirming guests have performed a pre-arrival health check list, the social distancing requirement, face covering requirement, and voluntary attendance agreement language. Venues include, but are not limited to, PAC, Library, Athletic Fields, Dugan Wellness Center/Island Hall, and University Center. When appropriate, signage should be in place to indicate traffic flow directions and if there are anticipated lines, floor/ground markings should be utilized. Directional signage to nearest hand washing station should be in place.

University required safety signage will be available for checkout during set up. Metal signs or a-frames can be used and managed by building operations staff. Signage can be handled like equipment checkout and must be returned in a timely manner. Required signage and locations will be detailed in the space reservation form.

Stage 5: Signage will be posted at all event venues with current guidelines and regulations and include reminders of safe social distancing, face coverings, and hand sanitizing. Signage will also remind event attendees that participation is voluntary and at their own risk. University required safety signage will be posted by building operations staff for non-University clients.

Enter/Exit Control for Events

Administrative Operations in coordination with Environmental Health and Safety has placed signage at building entrances noting if the door is an entrance only, exit only, or for the event attendee to please stay to the right. Events should also plan for phased/staggered entrance and exit times at all events whenever reasonable.

Outdoor Events

Outdoor events will be held to the same standards for COVID-19 safety as indoor events. Outdoor campus space is scheduled through University Center scheduling. Event planners will abide by capacity limits in place through UC Scheduling. All outdoor events should have designated entrance and exits. At least one entry/exit is required for events with 49 and fewer people. For events with 50 and more, at least two exit/entries are required. At least three exit/entry points are required for events of 100 and more people. An attendance control method should be used by all event planners hosting outdoor events, including attendee wristbands, roped off areas, or mobile temporary fencing to assist event planners in limiting outdoor location capacity. Set up charges may apply.

Organizational Meetings

Student organizations should hold meetings virtually using WebEx. Events open to the campus community will utilize the safety protocols found in these recommendations and will be allowed pending safety plan submission and scheduling approval. Please contact the Student Activities office for guidance for student organizations.

Sport Club Events

Sport Clubs will operate in accordance with CDC, the State of Texas, The Texas A&M University System, Nueces County, the City of Corpus Christi and NCAA guidelines. All practices and events must be submitted in advance for approval from Recreational Sports.

Athletic Events

Attendance at Islander Athletic events will be managed in conjunction with CDC, the State of Texas, The Texas A&M University System, Nueces County, the City of Corpus Christi, NCAA, and conference guidelines and in adherence to all state and local orders. This may include, but is not limited to, restrictions on capacity, social distancing requirements and personal protective equipment such as face coverings/masks. For up to date information regarding protocols for Athletics events, visit goislanders.com.

Restrooms

Where there is more than one urinal, every other urinal will be closed to maximize the distances between individuals. In restrooms with stalls, users are encouraged to occupy every other stall, if

possible. After using the restroom, wash your hands thoroughly or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.

Information Tables

An information table is a reservable space on campus where information about events or services is normally distributed to passersby. The number and location of information tables across campus will change. This section addresses how and when tables are available, as well as the expectations of those making information table reservations.

Stage 1 & 2: Information tables involving one or more persons standing at or near the table is not allowed. Display tables may be set-up by campus departments or student organizations only, but no one may be at the table to talk to or interact with passersby. Passersby may take photos of or read the displayed information. Nothing may be left on the table for pick-up, such as printed materials, food, drink, candy or pre-packaged snacks.

Stage 3: Tabling is only available to campus departments and student organizations. Only one person per table who must wear a face covering may stand behind the table. Fliers or posters are encouraged so passersby can take photos. Nothing may be distributed, including printed materials, food, drink, candy, or pre-packaged snacks.

Stage 4: Tabling is only available to campus departments and student organizations. Only one person per table who must wear a face covering may stand behind the table. The display of fliers or posters is encouraged so passersby can take photos. However, printed materials and promotional giveaways may be placed on the table for pick-up only. Individually wrapped and pre-packaged snacks (chips, granola bars, candy, etc.) may be distributed.

Stage 5: Tabling may be made available to non-University clients in accordance with university procedures.

Appendix – Approved Event Safety Message

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Safety Protocols The safety of all Islanders and our guests is a top priority. All University guests are required to wear a face covering and adhere to social distancing and other safety precautions set forth by the University. Designated entry and exit points are clearly marked and hand sanitizer stations are placed throughout our facilities for your convenience. Failure to comply with safety precautions may result in refusal of admission or removal from an event.

During any event, you will see employees wearing face coverings. For some job duties, employees may be wearing gloves. Our custodial staff frequently clean and disinfect guest areas using EPA approved disinfectants, and you may see them conducting this work while you are a guest.

In addition, all Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi faculty, staff and students, as well as contracted employees, are required to perform a daily self-screening and health evaluation prior to arrival on campus. Any employee who feels ill must stay home. In addition, employees and students must wear face coverings in all public areas and in shared offices/spaces and are encouraged to wash their hands frequently and practice other safety behaviors.