Event and Gathering Guidance for Fall 2021


Important Update:

The Mayor’s Emergency Executive Order, the “Key to NYC" program, requires the university to post this sign or a similar one in a conspicuous place that is viewable by prospective patrons prior to entering certain indoor entertainment, recreation, food services, gym, and fitness premises where vaccines are now required. The sign alerts patrons to the vaccination requirement and informs them that employees and patrons are required to be vaccinated. Columbia affiliates should be advised that a green pass does not meet the "Key to NYC" requirements and individuals with approved religious or medical exemptions can not access these specific facilities. 


Gathering considerations and restrictions will be based on Columbia’s Framework for COVID-19 Risk Assessment and Management Plan, which takes into consideration that circumstances remain fluid. This guidance is designed to help you plan for your gathering but does not imply permission to proceed.


All gatherings initiated by faculty, staff and students must adhere to the Columbia Compact and must adhere to the protocols put in place by their school or unit.


Types of Events

Campus events and gatherings are defined as any convening on campus, other than classes comprising the academic curriculum, including conferences, performances, campus tours, exhibitions, athletic competitions, protests and religious services. All event spaces, both indoor and outdoor, are subject to these considerations including but not limited to Faculty House, Wallach Gallery, Athletic Facilities, Miller Theater, the Visitor’s Center, The Italian Academy, Lerner Hall, Low Library, The Chapel, The Forum, Low Plaza, Alumni Auditorium and the Schaefer Gallery, and more. Off-campus events and gatherings that are sponsored by Columbia are subject to the same considerations, restrictions, and approvals as those that are on campus.

Off-campus events and gatherings sponsored by Columbia are subject to the same considerations, restrictions, and approvals as those on campus.

Conferences

Conferences or other gatherings that include participants from outside the Columbia community should be held virtually in the fall term (or in a hyflex format where outside participants join virtually), with exceptions to be considered only where it can be shown that an in-person format is necessary to advancing the mission of the sponsoring program. Exceptions are more likely to be granted if the proposed event is to be held on a weekend or otherwise in a manner that will not compete with instructional use of space. Please also note that priority will be given to gatherings that are specific to advancing the mission of the University.

Requests for exceptions can be made using the Request for Exception form. These requests will be reviewed by the President’s Advisory Task Force on COVID-19 as quickly as possible. Please note that alternative plans may be suggested as conditions for approval. The requesting school or unit must be responsible for adherence to safety protocols associated with the levels described below.

Risk Levels

Lower/Green

  • No capacity restrictions indoors or outdoors for CUID-holder-only gatherings.
  • No restrictions with serving food and beverage. Must adhere to essential policies as in place under normal operating conditions.
  • Gathering must adhere to protocols put in place by local school or unit.
  • Events/gatherings that include non-CUID holder visitors, panelists, or guests may be considered.
    • Requests for these events must be submitted in advance using the Request for Exception form. This form must be approved by your local dean or EVP and then submitted to the President’s Advisory Task Force on COVID-19 for review.
    • Requests must be submitted as soon as possible in order to give ample time for full review. Thirty (30) days in advance is recommended.
    • Academic gatherings (as defined in the Framework for COVID-19 Risk Assessment and Management Plan) will be given priority.
    • Food and beverage may be considered on a limited basis.
    • Non-CUID holders may be subject to proof of vaccination, symptom attestation, and may be required to wear a mask.

Low/Yellow

  • CUID-holder-only gatherings:
    • Academic gatherings will have no capacity thresholds.
    • Administrative and team gatherings will have capacity limits of 250 indoors; 500 outdoors  
    • Social or extra-curricular gatherings will have capacity limits of 25 indoors; 50 outdoors. 
    • “Grab and go” or single-portion food only.
    • Gathering must adhere to protocols put in place by local school or unit
  • Events and gatherings that include non-CUID holder visitors, panelists, or guests will be restricted. However, exceptions will be considered on a very limited basis. Requests for exceptions may be submitted in advance using the Request for Exception form. 
    • This form must be approved by local dean or EVP and then submitted for review to the President’s Advisory Task Force on COVID-19.
    • Submit your requests as soon as possible in order to give ample time for full review (30 days in advance is recommended).
    • Scholarly and pedagogically focused events will be given priority.
    • “Grab and go” or single portion food only.
    • Non-CUID holders will be subject to proof of vaccination, symptom attestation, and may be required to wear a mask.

Moderate/Orange

  • Events will be limited to CUID-holders only and will require approval by local dean or EVP.
  • Capacity limited by physical distancing. Masking required indoors. No food or beverage. This includes academic gatherings, which will have capacity thresholds limited by six feet physical distancing.
  • Administrative, team, social, and extra-curricular gatherings will be limited.
  • Events and gatherings that include non-CUID-holder visitors, panelists, or guests will be restricted.