Best Practices for Student Events

Introduction

Despite the ways that traditional events and programs have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dartmouth believes that student engagement can still be vibrant, effective, and worthwhile. With a communal commitment to certain standards and practices related to health and safety, students and organizations can host safe, inclusive and intentional programs.

Health & Safety

  • ​​​​​​​Event and program leaders should protect the health and wellbeing of all Dartmouth, Hanover, and Upper Valley community members by adhering to all required protocols outlined by the Dartmouth's COVID website. 
  • If you have concerns about a potential infection or illness, call Dick's House at 603-646-9400 immediately.

Inclusion

  • ​​​​​​​Be mindful of accessibility. Make sure clear language, large fonts, and high color contrast are used at all touch points, including presentations. Provide captions and visuals wherever possible for audio and provide descriptions where possible for visuals. 
  • Time zones: Consider Dartmouth's global reach and students who may not be in Hanover or the United States. When possible, be flexible with the timing of events and meetings to allow students in other locations and time zones to join.
  • Consider hybrid events:  Events that allow for a mix of maximum in-person participation as well as synchronous participation or live streaming options for those offsite This may not be possible for every event, but it is strongly encouraged.
  • For events with panels or multiple guests, consider a diverse array of people with varied backgrounds, identities, perspectives and experiences.

Encourage Engagement

  • Ask participants to submit questions and comments in advance or through a chat tool. Chances are the people who ask questions are going to stick around to see if they get answered. Pro tip: Assign a moderator to the task of fielding questions. Most online platforms have interactive features.
  • Ask people to participate in polls or quizzes, take requests and suggestions, or simply shout out names as people join the event.
  • At the end of the event, ask for feedback.

Technology and Security

 

  • Ask speakers and guests to arrive early to allow time for testing any in-person or digital platform technology
  • Consider using passwords or other security measures to secure your event and protect attendee privacy from hacks such as "zoombombing."
  • Encourage recording of events.
  • Make multiple leaders in the group "co-hosts" of zoom events in case of any issues.

Considerations for Planning an Event

  • Before hosting an event, consider the following questions:
    • What kind of experience do you hope to deliver?
    • Can the experience be delivered virtually? 
    • What platform will you use to host the event?
    • Will access be open or restricted?
    • When is the best time for the event?
    • What is the best length of time for the event?
    • How will you promote the event?
    • Do you plan to work with other organizations or partners?
    • Will people have access to the event once it's over?
    • Will/How will you ask for feedback?

Resources

Who to Contact with Questions or for Asisstance with Planning