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Campus Events and Meetings

Saint Louis University recommends the following precautions when considering how to approach activities and programs on campus. These guidelines will be revisited as needed based upon state, local and University recommendations as the status of the pandemic continues to evolve.

Masked student in SLU Gaming Lab

To learn more about what you can do on campus, keep reading and see our latest guidance on activities, meetings and events. If you have questions about whether something you’d like to do in person is allowed and consistent with University policies, contact the Student Involvement Center ( or members of the Student Activities Board to discuss. 

Failure to comply with the safeguards and/or campus restrictions will result in Community Standards violations. Disregard for campus restrictions and/or repeated non-compliance at in-person gatherings, dining halls, and other community spaces will result in the suspension of allowed in-person activities. 

Why are there limits on in-person activities?

Reducing the spread of COVID-19 is the main reason for limits on in-person gatherings at this time. Health and safety, as well as local city orders, require us to avoid large gatherings and reduce the numbers of people in close proximity to one another. The result is significant limits on in-person activities including:

  • Reducing the number of people participating in indoor, in-person social gatherings
  • Requiring individuals to wear masks and remain at least six feet apart while with others
  • Reducing the number of in-person meetings and events taking place on campus this semester. 

In practical terms, the safeguards we have put in place, as well as recommendations and orders from local, state and federal health officials, mean we simply do not have as much available space for in-person activities as we typically do. We have limited indoor space on campus due to reduced room occupancies (with social distancing), the need to hold classes in event spaces, and the need for as much unscheduled, drop-in space across campus as possible (where students can study, eat, and participate in online classes). For instance, the requirement to maintain social distancing in classrooms has greatly impacted available space on campus, which is why the University adopted the Interim Classroom Space Prioritization policy

Similarly, social distancing requirements in the dining halls and the library mean we need to make other indoor spaces available to students for eating, studying and participating in online classes. We have designated many classrooms and other spaces that are not being used for classroom instruction as drop-in space for students to use for these activities.

Available Student-Use Spaces

These spaces will have new occupancies posted to assure that social distancing is maintained. In order to assure these spaces are available for all students this semester, they may not be reserved.

Finally, it’s also important to remember that all of the changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have put a strain on campus resources, including personnel (like custodial services and facilities staff) and material resources (like the availability of tables and other items that would be required for large gatherings).

What would lead to an easing of COVID-19 campus restrictions?

We would need herd immunity and significant changes to local, state, and federal restrictions and public health guidance before we could ease campus restrictions. We are hopeful that fall 2021 will be more “normal.”

What are the limits on in-person activities?

The University’s Interim Meetings and Events Policy states that meetings and events should not take place in person for the time being.  Events for students may be offered as approved exceptions to the policy, if developed in coordination with the Student Involvement Center and meeting the criteria specified in the policy. We've developed more detailed guidance to help students understand what they can and cannot do in person this semester.

Guidance for Student Activities, Meetings and Events

What increased restrictions could we see -- and what conditions would trigger those?

As we saw after Halloween in fall 2020, there are conditions that could lead to a need for increased restrictions. Depending on what the COVID-19 infection rates and other conditions are, we may need to any or all of the following:

  • Suspend all non-course, in-person events (including ones that have already been approved) 
  • Limit building-to-building visitation in campus residences and/or limit guests in on-campus rooms and apartments 
  • Suspend in-person classes (temporarily or for the rest of the term)
  • Move all dining facilities to carry-out only (temporarily or for the rest of the term)
  • Require additional COVID-19 testing
  • Require on-campus students to move home for isolation and/or quarantine
  • Quarantine full residence halls
  • Other possible restrictions

After Halloween in fall 2020, SLU came extremely close to moving all courses online and sending students home for the remainder of the semester. If such a decision is needed, the conditions on campus will be changing extremely quickly, and we may not be able to provide much warning.

Why are in-person classes allowed if social gatherings are limited?

Classes and social gatherings fall under different categories of interaction, so they have different rules for engagement. Classes are essential to the educational business of the University. While social gatherings are important to community-building and student connection, they are not essential business in the ways in-person learning is.

Additionally, there are structures and mechanisms in place to ensure all safeguards are followed in classrooms that are typically not available for social gatherings. Unlike social gatherings, classes have an instructor who can enforce restrictions as well as policies to allow those who are non-compliant to be dismissed from the class. Additionally, there may be serious consequences for a student’s grades if repeated non-compliance results in their being asked to leave the class multiple times.

How can students build community with these restrictions in place?

While it won’t look the same as it usually does, students can still connect and build community. Student groups are continuing to find ways to connect outdoors or virtually, and students are gathering in small groups, informally, indoors and out. RAs are working to build community among floormates, and the Student Involvement Center is working with the Student Activities Board on virtual programming. To learn more about things you can do this semester, consult the Guidance for Student Activities, Meetings and Events.

What safeguards must be adopted when students are gathered or participating in in-person activities?

All of our public health safeguards must be followed at all times. Key safeguards for in-person activities are:

  • Wearing a mask at all times if you are unvaccinated
  • Maintaining six feet of distance between unvaccinated individuals at all times
  • Practicing good hand hygiene
  • Submitting the Campus Clear daily symptom report
  • Cleaning/sanitizing surfaces (as applicable).
What happens if students fail to comply with required public health safeguards?

Individuals who fail to comply with public health safeguards risk one or more community standards violations. Depending on the situation and potential harm to the community, possible sanctions include:

  • Warning
  • Probation
  • Revocation of housing contract
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion

If individuals and groups repeatedly fail to comply with public health safeguards, restrictions on in-person gatherings (even informal ones) may be increased.

What about club sports?

Due to the nature of different kinds of sports, certain club sports will be safer and allowed, while others may not be. Much depends on the type of activity being engaged in, whether equipment is shared, whether social distancing is possible, etc. Club sports are currently working through Return to Play guidelines with the Simon Recreation Center staff.

What about student travel — is it allowed?

University-sponsored travel currently is not allowed. This includes student groups.

What exceptions will be allowed to the restrictions on in-person events? Can students propose events exceptions?

The University’s Interim Meetings and Events policy explains criteria and processes for limited exceptions to the restriction on in-person events. Students (as individuals) and student organizations (as organizations) cannot request exceptions for events. Student-facing events must be developed in coordination with and requested by the Student Involvement Center.

Affiliated groups and groups of students who believe that their event can: be operated safely, would serve a significant portion of the University community and would not otherwise be viable in a virtual setting, may apply for consideration through the Student Involvement Center.

Apply to the SIC for an In-Person Event Exemption

What should I do if I observe individuals/groups failing to comply with the required safeguards?

There are different reporting mechanisms, depending on the role of the individuals who are non-compliant.

Report Staff or Faculty Non-compliance

Report Student Non-compliance 

Whenever possible, students (as well as faculty and staff) are encouraged to gently encourage peers to honor the public health safeguards. Proactively, it can be helpful to think about what you would say if you found yourself in a situation where you were uncomfortable with behaviors happening near you (e.g., too many people entering your residence, someone standing closer than six feet without wearing their mask). Some students have found value in speaking from their own experience.

For example, “I know we all have different comfort levels with different levels of risk. Because I often visit my aging grandparents, I really prefer to maintain as much distance as possible and to have everyone around me wearing their masks. It’s important to me not to risk spreading COVID-19 to my grandparents. Thanks for understanding.” Or, “If I test positive for COVID-19, I will be asked about individuals I’ve had close contact with. In that moment, I want to feel good about my answer and to be able to say that I have put no one at risk. I appreciate your helping me do that.”

Can I, as an individual SLU student, continue to engage in activities on my own, independent of my organization?

Members of our University community are empowered to make their own personal decisions on their health, safety and well-being, pending that this is done within the guidelines and expectations of the CDC and our valued city partners. Community members will continue to have agency in decisions about their own engagement.