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University updates in-person event guidelines

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Article Originally Published by Ileana Garnand on North Texas Daily

Article Originally Published by Ileana Garnand on North Texas Daily

On June 4, the university updated its in-person event guidelines, broadened available venues, repealed COVID-19 test requirements and reinstated the former event scheduling process.

“We are excited to host in-person events again.” University Program Council Advisor Molly Orr said. “Although we learned a lot about hosting virtual events, we know we can offer more engaging events when they are in person so we are looking forward to having that opportunity again.”

Effective immediately, Apogee Stadium’s HUB Club and all academic classrooms are now approved for groups to reserve as venues. After Aug. 1, student organizations’ and university departments’ event plans no longer need to be reviewed by an events subcommittee. Previous requirements for COVID-19 testing for event attendants will also end in August.

Until Aug. 1, departmental events do not need to be reviewed by a subcommittee if no more than 50 participants, including staff, are expected to attend and the event takes place in an approved location. Student organization events that expect fewer than 50 participants in an approved location will be reviewed only by Student Activities. Student-led events that do not meet this criteria can use the event application through OrgSync.

Summer programs and summer camps are not subject to these updates and current COVID-19 testing protocols still apply. Following Gov. Greg Abbott’s May 18 executive order, face masks are no longer required anywhere on campus. Throughout the summer, the university will also move away from the six-foot social distancing guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President Neal Smatresk announced in an official notice on May 19.

The university updated in-person event guidelines because it wanted to bring back the full university experience for students, according to a statement released through email on June 4.

“As a department that coordinates a number of events, from small to large, [Student Activities is] excited to have the opportunity to provide our traditional in-person activities this upcoming school year, as we know that students have missed gathering together at events like Mean Green Fling and Homecoming,” Director of Student Activities Christa Coffey said. “I know student organizations have missed the opportunity to gather, recruit new members and fulfill their missions.”

Common on-campus activities from previous years include movies shown in the Union’s Lyceum and events where students were provided free meals. It is not clear if food will be allowed at upcoming events. The CDC recommends limited food and beverage service at events where attendees are likely to congregate in food service or pickup areas. 

“The CDC advises that fully vaccinated individuals can resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, including attending an outdoor event or eating at an indoor restaurant,”  said Alex Reed, Division Manager of the Denton County Health Department. “We recommend COVID-19 vaccination for individuals aged 12 and older to protect you from getting sick or spreading COVID-19.”

Featured Image: A banner inside of the University Union says that the full university experience will return this fall on June 12, 2021. Image by John Anderson

Source: North Texas Daily

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