Student Event and Activities Guidelines 2020-2021

Purpose of Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance for limited in-person student events, while also minimizing risk and prioritizing the health and safety of all members in our community. These policies will be updated and modified as needed based on current public health guidance, New Hampshire state guidance, Dartmouth College policies and the conditions on campus. 

Extracurricular involvement and activities are vital to the health and well-being of students.  Participation in out-of-classroom learning, including membership in a student organization or team, serving in leadership roles, and engaging in health and wellness related activities, are essential to the growth and development of students. At a time when much of our reality is virtual and remote, it is even more important to support opportunities for in-person interactions. They are essential for forming relationships, building community, and fostering a sense of belonging, which are integral elements to creating and sustaining a vibrant and engaging Dartmouth experience. 

Staff in many areas of campus are available to provide support, guidance, and advising on events and activities, creating leadership opportunities, and adapting to current health and safety requirements and expectations.

Definition of Event/Gathering

Event/Activity is characterized as

  • A group of any size, but no greater than twenty-five in-person.
  • Hosted by a college recognized organization or department/office. 
  • Registered with the College and hosted in an approved College space. 
  • Following all facility expectations, room requirements, and College policies. 
  • Any use of organization funds. 

Informal Gathering is characterized as: 

  • A group of nine or less in-person attendees. 
  • Not hosted, organized, or planned by a recognized student organization. 
  • Not advertised. (includes advertising internally within an organization)
  • Following all facility expectations, room requirements, and College policies. 


Policies for Student Events, Meetings, and Activities

Student organizations are encouraged to continue to host online events whenever possible. If in-person engagement is vital to the event, the policies in this document must be followed.

  • Who can host an event: Recognized student organizations in good standing and campus departments may host events/gatherings/activities for students. 
  • Event Attendees: Dartmouth community members, which includes staff, faculty, and students, may participate in events on-campus.  On-campus events/activities are limited to enrolled students who are approved to be on campus. Students who are enrolled remotely, on a leave term, or not approved for fall on-campus enrollment may participate in remote/virtual events only. 
  • Health & Safety/Social Distancing
    • Masks/face coverings are required at all gatherings/events/activities. 
    • All events/activities/meetings must follow physical distancing guidelines. 
    • Students holding events must wipe down all surfaces used after their event. Materials for sanitizing surfaces will be provided in designated event locations.
    • Organizations/departments are required to take attendance at events and record participants. 
    • Anyone that is experiencing COVID symptoms must not attend any in person event. 
  • Event Capacity: Event gathering sizes must follow Dartmouth's Event Limit policy and follow facility occupancy guidelines. For occupancy information, please visit EMS (Dartmouth's reservation system)
  • Location of Events/Activities/Meetings: Events/activities/meetings will be limited to specific locations on campus only. No off-campus events are permitted unless approved by the Office of Student Life (in consultation with the COVID Core Group as needed). For a list of locations, please visit EMS to make a reservation.
  • Event Registration and Attendance: All events/meetings/activities of any size must be registered through the recognizing department or office. (see above for definition of event) Most student organizations will use the Engage platform to register events. (Student Life, Outdoor Programs, Tucker, Club Sports, Dickey Center, Center for Social Impact, Student Wellness Center, Thayer, Greek Life, Residential Education, etc…) Attendance must be tracked for all event/meetings/gatherings and be kept within Engage or other system determined by the overseeing office. More details will be provided by the overseeing department, but the event registration/reservation process will follow these steps: 
    1. Register event in Engage. (
    2. Department reviews event. 
    3. Reserve space in EMS (
  • Sharing of Items: Event organizers should make best efforts to provide individual items for students to use at events as needed. No items may be shared during an event/gathering. This includes, but is not limited to writing utensils, board games, microphones, papers, books, etc.. Please consult with your sponsoring department for area specific pre-approved policies. (i.e. Club Sports, Outdoor Programs) 
  • Outside speakers/guests: No outside speakers, performers, or guests will be permitted on campus for events. Outside speakers/performers are encouraged to participate in virtual events whenever possible. Staff in various offices on campus are available to assist in the planning of these events. 
  • Travel: Travel on organization business is not permitted unless approved by the Office of Student Life (in consultation with the COVID Core Group as needed). Visit the Dartmouth Travel page and the Vehicle Policy for more information. 
  • Physical activity: For continued mental and physical health, physical activity that can be done safely and with all social distancing protocols is encouraged. No physical contact activity may occur. For specific policies for activities related to Club Sports/Athletics, contact the Club Sports office.  ​​​​​​
  • Tabling: Tabling is permissible in specific outdoor locations with prior approval for informational purposes only. Social distancing guidelines must be enforced, and organizations are encouraged to limit interaction with others. Individual materials, single-serve/individually packaged food and beverage, giveaways, and swag are permitted. 
  • Food/Beverage: Only small, single serve/individually packaged food and beverage items are permissible at events/meetings as long as facilities/space policies and social distancing protocols are followed. No food may be consumed in spaces where eating is prohibited. No serving, sharing, or cooking of food is allowed. 
  • Recruitment Events: All organization recruitment events must be remote/virtual. This includes, but is not limited to, social recruitment events, informational sessions, meet and greets, etc...
  • Alcohol and Drinking GamesWhile the alcohol policy remains unchanged, effective immediately, and in order to decrease the risk of the spread of  COVID-19, "drinking games" such as pong are prohibited in any location, on-campus or locally off-campus. These games promote the spreading of COVID-19 through lack of wearing face coverings, lack of physical distancing and the sharing of cups.
  • Arts-Related Groups/Activities: Those engaged in playing music, whether with instruments or by singing, and those engaged in dance must follow all applicable Dartmouth policies including but not limited to the face covering policy, the guidelines for playing music and singing, as well as this policy. 
    • Unless dance activities are incurring in spces approved for the removal of face coverings and individuals are spaced at least 10 feet apart, face coverings are required at all times for those engaged in dance. If participants are not actually dancing, face coverings must be warn at all tiems. 


Accountability & Expectations

The requirements in this document are meant to help students have safe and engaging opportunities to learn, grow, build community and develop relationships. We hope that the mutual interest in maintaining the health and safety of the Dartmouth community coupled with the trust and empathy will be sufficient to ensure compliance with the outlined requirements. These guidelines will be subject to changes and updates to mandates, policies or requirements issued by the College and failure to comply with these are subject to the Community Expectations Agreement that all students have been asked to sign prior to their arrival on campus. In addition, students and student organizations must abide by the Standards of Conduct.

  • Student leaders, event planners and organizations must follow the guidelines above. Students are responsible for developing plans to ensure that the guidelines are met and enforcing them during their program or event. College staff are available to help groups register, plan, and execute events. 
  • Event organizers are responsible for developing plans to ensure attendance is documented, maximum capacity is observed, and physical distancing is enforced.
  • Recognized student groups and individuals that fail to comply with these guidelines will be subject to the student conduct process and may lose the privileges of organization recognition and/or the opportunity to host events in the future.
  • Depending on the type of violation and the severity, students and/or student organizations may be subject to interim social suspension while the group goes through the conduct process.
  • For groups not formally overseen by a College department or College entity that recognizes the group, the group's advisor where appropriate or the Dean of the College and senior leadership would make decisions around consequences of violating the requirements.