Event Guidelines and Process

Fall 2020 Event Guidelines and Processes 

Overview 

This document was prepared based on the Phase 3 guidelines within the Commonwealth of Virginia. This is a living document. As changes occur, this document will reflect adjustments accordingly. Updates on the Governor’s guidance can be monitored on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Virginia website.    

Current Mason Stage Guidelines  

Mason has approved indoor and outdoor events that adhere to the following guidelines during Mason Stages 3-5: 

  • Meeting participants must wear face coverings.   
  • On-campus events/gatherings limited to 150 participants, including organizers. 
  • Off-campus events/gatherings limited to 10 participants, including organizers. 
  • Groups can occupy a maximum of 50 percent of the event space. 
  • Spaces must be configured to ensure that:
    • Ten feet of physical distance is maintained for exercise activities, singing, or cheering. 
    • Six feet of distance is maintained for all other events. 
  • Events/gatherings must be seated or have clearly marked space to ensure physical distancing. 
  • Events/gatherings cannot be open to the general public. 
  • Exits must be configured to reduce bottlenecks when people leave. 
  • Signs must be posted at entrances stating that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19, or known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the prior 14 days, can enter. 
  • Participants must complete the Mason COVID Health✓™ survey and receive a “green light” status on the day of the event. 
  • Signs must be posted with public health reminders on physical distancing, gatherings, options for high-risk individuals, and staying home if sick. 
  • Staff and participants must have access to facilities to wash hands with soap and water, or be provided with alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 60 percent alcohol. 

*General public is defined as anyone who is not a current Mason faculty, staff or student)
**
Exceptions will be considered for participant limit only. 

 This document provides guidelines and processes for events held on any U.S.-based Mason campus or instructional site with potential adjustments to be made on campuses other than Fairfaxas approved by the Event Exceptions Committee. For the purpose of this document, on campus event approvals will be granted with consideration to the following:  

  • Type of event 
  • Number of attendees 
  • Ability to allow for appropriate physical distancing throughout the program 
  • Venue capacities 
  • Ability to provide appropriate physical distancing for the queuing line into venue. 

Off Campus Events/Gathering Guidelines 

For the health and safety of our community, we are requiring the following: 

  • All student events and/or gatherings hosted by an organization, team, and/or individual, both planned and spontaneous, that exceed ten people must occur either virtually or on campus, following approved university guidelines (https://www2.gmu.edu/Safe-Return-Campus).
  • Organizations and individuals that disregard these health and safety protocols will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. In addition to other sanctions, students that put both themselves and members of the community at risk will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

Event Participant Expectations 

  • RSVP is required for all on campus events. 
  • Participants must agree to Mason guidelines in order to initiate an event RSVP/or purchase a ticket, as well as to gain entry.   
  • Participants at on-campus events are required to wear a face covering unless provided an accommodation by Disability Services. 
  • Physical distancing from other attendees is practiced. 
  • Hand washing prior to the event is expected. 
  • Individuals who are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, should not attend and stay home 
  • Entrance into an oncampus event will require participants to show Green Light Status for that day.   

Accountability 

  • There will be Zero Tolerance for non-compliance with the guidelines. Event coordinators or organizations that are found in non-compliance will be denied future reservations for oncampus space and are subject to their event being shut down 
  • statement will be added in the 25live system so that all requestors must acknowledge and understand the requirement to adhere to the guidelines.  
  • Event Managers/Coordinators will be held responsible for ensuring that guidelines are met. 

Unapproved Events  

Until further notice, no events that fall into the following categories will be permitted on any of the Mason campuses: festivals, carnivals or fairs. 

Event Planning Considerations 

Event Managers/Coordinators are asked to consider the following event management components to ensure they can meet current guidelines. Each event will be evaluated by the event scheduler to ensure it fits within guidelines listed below  

Event Management Components 

  • Goal of the event  
  • Scope of the event 
  • Number of potential attendees and ticketing/RSVP plans 
  • Number of presenters and/or performers and their contractual needs 
  • Number of volunteers needed 
  • Site plan/layout that can meet the physical distancing and capacity restriction guidelines 
  • Facilities Work Order requests (generators, trash, recycling, etc.) 
  • Special guests/VIP invites 
  • Degree of audience participation  
  • Security needs 
  • Event management support services before and during the event (e.g University Events, Event Services) 
  • Support from other campuses (e.g. Fairfax, SciTechArlington) 
  • Internal team resources (see Key Event Team Roles section)  
  • Time zone adjustments if you are live streaming 
  • Technology needs for live streaming 

Attendee Management 

  • All events are required to provide attendees with an RSVP or ticketing option to assist with crowd control.  
  • 2 adults that live together and their dependents if applicable, can be a joint RSVP following the Governors order
  • Participants should receive comprehensive information regarding all that is required of them at the event. 
  • The Event Managers/Coordinators are responsible for attendee management in accordance with this document. All events must track number of attendees (including event organizers and Mason staff) within a space to ensure occupancy standards are not exceeded. 
  • Refer to Appendix A for Attendee Management Per Event Type.

Food and Beverages  

  • All food and beverages must be commercially pre-packaged and individually wrapped. 
  • Pre-packaged food must be laid out in a way that attendees can take one without touching others. 
  • Lines must be managed to adhere to the 6 foot guidelines for social distancing. 
  • Staff or volunteers managing the table(s) must wear a face covering and gloves.

Performers  

  • All events involving performers/speakers will need to abide by Mason’s Safe Return to Campus Guidelines and venue-specific safety guidelines.  
  • All non-Mason performers/speakers will need to sign a contract, which has been approved by the University’s Office of University Counsel, as well as provide a copy of their Certificate of Insurance (COI)meeting the requirements outlined in the contract. 
  • Non-Mason performers/speakers will need to abide by Mason’s Contractor Expectations: COVID-19 Public Health and Safety Requirements. 

Sanitization Standards  

For indoor events:  

  • Venue staff will wipe down touch surfaces between events. 
  • Work orders will be placed by Event Coordinator for housekeeping.* (*Charges will only apply if excessive cleaning is needed that requires additional personnel. 

For outdoor events 

  • Event Services or other external vendors will be responsible for sanitizing surfaces of all furniture that is set-up on site 
  • Event Services will bring sanitizing stands to eventsif available. Supplies will be limited to whatever is brought to the site. There will be no requests for refills during the event. 
  • Event Managers/Coordinators are responsible for ensuring the cleaning of surfaces in between attendee usage (i.estudents moving through DIY experience where a student leaves a seat at a table and another student will come sit in that same space). 
  • A work order will be placed by Event Managers/Coordinators for trash and recycling management. 

Outdoor Space Use on Mason campuses 

Outdoor Space Locations 

Pavement Areas  

  • Parking Lots – Reservable via 25Live by requesting Parking Lot Generic
  • Little K – This can be closed off and used for event space. 
    • Occupancy is still under review 
  • Potential Parking Lot access for the following will be determined. 
    • Back of Lot K – Case by case and needs bike rack reserved 
    • Lot L and Lot I – Case by case per exceptions committee and Parking Services approval 
  • Science and Tech Campus Hylton Hill behind the Tower pending Mason Recreation approval

Grass Areas
the following areas will have a defined perimeter via bike rack that will be set up for most of the Fall semester. 

  • Merten Hall Lawn Area   
    • ~515 ft perimeter of fencing 
    • Generator needed (A work order with facilities must be submitted if needed) 
    • 150 seating/ 108 max seating with max tables 
    • Adequate lighting for safety exists. Additional lighting needs to be rented through a Facilities Work Order 
  • Finley Quad  
    • ~450 ft perimeter of fencing 
    • Generator needed (A work order with facilities must be submitted if needed) 
    • ~50 seating with no stage/ ~45 seating with a stage/ ~40 max seating with max tables 
  • York River and Patriot Circle Lawn area (outside Nguyen Engineering Building 
    • ~250 ft perimeter of fencing 
    • No power access 
    • Maximum seating 50 (not a venue for a stage) 
  • Holton Plaza –  Not able to be reserved at the same time as Mason Pond.  
    • ~500 ft perimeter of fencing 
    • Maximum seating 96 with grass and concrete areas fenced in together with a stage 
    • New lighting has been added to Holton Lawn and Plaza.  No additional lighting should be needed. 
  • Mason Pond Lawn Area – Preferred venue for CVPA performances 
    • ~515 ft perimeter of fencing  
    • Generator needed (A work order with facilities must be submitted if needed) 
    • 150 seating with no stage/ 140 seating with a stage/ ~114 max seating with max tables 
    • Parking Services will review on a case by case basis in regards to use of Mason Pond Drive and parking spaces for mobile trailers as needed for events. 
    • Adequate lighting for safety exists. Additional lighting needs to be rented through a Facilities Work Order 
    • Considerations around event timing should be made to minimize disruption to classes 

Outdoor Space Reservations 

Outdoor event space options will be listed specifically in 25live where all reservations must be made 

Approval or denial of events will be determined by Events Management. Those events in question will go to the exceptions committee. 

Outdoor Space Infrastructure 

  • Reservable outdoor event spaces will be fenced off to ensure that the size of the space, entrances and exits, the predetermined layouts, and social distancing requirements are all met. 
  • Spaces will be placed in 25live as reservable, including the limited layout options for each space.

Bathroom Access 

  • The generally accepted approach in event management is to provide 1 bathroom per 50 people for an event that is 2 hours or more 
  • Adjacent to the aforementioned spaces are building with bathrooms to help meet this need (during each buildings operating hours or by request).  
  • Parking lot events will need to consider the rental of public toilets.

Tents 

  • Tents can be rented as needed. Contact University Events for referrals to tent rental companies.  

Entrances and Exits  

  • For every 50 people, one entrance and one exit are required. 
  • For 150 people, three entrances/exits are needed to avoid congregation. 
  • Exits and entrances should be equally distributed around the event. 

Site Layout Options 

  • Seated or have clearly marked space to ensure physical distancing. 
  • Table and chairs event with space to accommodate a stage and sound equipment 
  • Each  space is per individual

Power 

  • Access to power is limited in the identified outdoor event locations. 
  • Generators will need to be arranged by client via facilities work order for most outdoor locations. Holton Plaza has adequate power built in.  facilities work order for the rental of a generator will need to be submitted to provide power to the parking lots. 

Event Execution Process 

As part of the event planning process, it is important to identify all internal and external resources that will be needed to support the event. For oncampus events, it is recommended that the host unit/organization defines key roles. Support can be provided from Events Management and Event Services as needed. The event team should meet during the planning phase and clearly describe each team member role/responsibility in support of the event. 

Key Event Team Roles 

Role  Responsibilities 
Event Manager(s)/ Coordinator(s) 
  • Serve as primary point of contact overseeing planning, organizing, and execution of the event. 
  • Meets with all stakeholders and event support resources to ensure all requirements/needs are met. 
  • Can be internal to the unit/organization requesting the event or Mason’s Event Management Team within University Events. 
Crowd Control Coordinator(s) 
  • Ensures that the number of attendees entering the event meetthe capacity limits per the guidelines. 
  • Ensures that the queueing line for entry into the event is properly set up with social distance markings. 
  • Manages the layouts for the queueing lines at the event to ensure they meet the social distancing requirements. 
  • Refer to Appendix A. 
Safety and Sanitization Coordinator(s) 
  • Manages all work orders needed for trash and recycling. 
  • Ensures cleaning and sanitization supplies are procured and onsite.  
  • Ensures signage is clearly posted that outlines guidelines for face coverings and social distancing. 
Event Services/Facilities/ and Vendor Coordinator(s) 
  • Manages all communication and requests with Event Services or external vendors providing support. 
  • Manages all contracts and communication with external vendors. 
  • Manages all requests and communication with Event Services. 
  • Manages all facilities requests for generators as needed for outdoor events. 
Ticketing/RSVP Coordinator(s) 
  • Manages all reservation/ticketing operations prior to the event. 
  • Ensures that the Crowd Control Coordinator has all the information needed to ensure appropriate management of attendees (i.e., lists of RSVP, information regarding ticket types and seating, etc.). 

 

University Support Options 

Organization  Support Type  Contact Information 
Events Management 

 

  • Ensures reservation is in 25live & tagged appropriately for campus resources. 
  • Coordinates connections between client and other campus service providers. 
  • Assists in the testing and run-throughs of event and agenda if virtual component of event is needed. 
  • Assists with venue set-up plans and diagramming. 
  • Assists with registration, and event promotion as needed. 

 

SciTech Events  

eventsst@gmu.edu 

 

Potomac Science Center pscevent@gmu.edu 

 

University Events (25live admin) gmuevent@gmu.edu 

 

Arlington Events  

alrevent@gmu.edu 

 

Event Services 

 

  • Pre and live-event support: Provides portable A/V equipment (audio, video, lighting) for in person and hybrid events. 
  • Provides oncall support on site and hired tech support on site. 

 

Sean Cox scox8@gmu.edu 

 

Krisztina Roder kroder2@gmu.edu 

 

Es@gmu.edu 

 

Arlington (arlevent@gmu.edu) 

 

Sci-Tech & Potomac Science Center  

William Smith wsmith41@gmu.edu 

Ticketing or RSVP Resources Support 
  • Mason 360 for Student Events 
  • Tickets.com for CVPA events 
  • Ticketmaster for EBA events 
  • Affirmation of Mason Event Guidelines needs to be included in the rsvp/ticketing processes for event participants (see Appendix B). 
mason360@gmu.edu 
Mason Police  Not responsible for enforcing for face covering or physical distancing guidelines.  

 

 

 

 

Event Requests and Execution 

All events must adhere to University Policy 1103Space Utilization and Scheduling  

Faculty/Staff  

  • Space requests must be made through the university’s centralized scheduling system, 25live.  
  • To gain access to 25live and/or view a training video and stepbystep guide to requesting space, visit: events.gmu.edu/scheduling  
  • Due to the extra steps needed to ensure the safety of attendees at events, Event Scheduling asks that event requests be made no less than 15 business days prior to the event.   

Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) 

  • Space requests must be made through the University’s centralized scheduling system, 25live 
  • To gain access to 25live and/or view a training video and stepbystep guide to requesting space, visit: events.gmu.edu/scheduling.  
  • Two members of each RSO are given the opportunity to have 25live user account.  
  • All RSO-led events should be registered in Mason360.  
  • Due to the extra steps needed to ensure the safety of attendees at events, Event Scheduling asks that event requests be made no less than 15 business days prior to the event.  
  • Inperson student-initiated events may need to complete an event checklist. 

Event Planning Resources 

Event Checklist 

Event Managers/Coordinators are encouraged to consider the following checklist when planning an event:  

  • Consider goal and scope of event; 
  • Identify and assign key event team roles ; 
  • Determine RSVP and/or ticketing needs; 
  • Consider site plan and layout that will meet social distancing and capacity guidelines; 
  • Consider needs for work order requests, security, and event management support services; 
  • Adhere to Mason Branding Guidelines when promoting event 
  • Consider special needs and ensure accessibilityfor all attendees. Contact the Office of Disability 
  • Services (ODS) and Assistive Technology Initiative (ATI) for support. 

Event Planning Resource Links 

Best Practices and Considerations 

As events are being planned and implementedEvent Managers/Coordinators are encouraged to review and consider the following:  

  • Work with Events Management/Event Scheduling to identify most appropriate venue (outdoor or indoor) based on intended scope and scale of event.  
  • Be clear on time needed for set-up and clean-up to provide Events Management with accurate information around needs. 
  • Consider virtual event delivery as backup option should weather or other factors interfere with in-person event.  
  • Avoid activities that will involve high touch surfaces.  
  • Plan pre-packaged food needs in advance of events (ideally in bulk for the semester as a cost saving measure).
  • Ensure appropriate accessibility needs for all events. (Reach out to Disability Services or Assistive Technology Initiative for support.) 

Stakeholder Communication 

This document will be distributed to the University community via the following communication channels:  

  • Email to University Community 
  • The George 
  • Relevant University Life listserves including Registered Student Organizations 
  • Around Mason 
  • Provost Newsletter 
  • Link from Mason360 Event Form Instructions

In additionthe following list of department stakeholders will receive these guidelines and are asked to distribute as needed to additional event managers/coordinators.   

Academic Integrity   ODIME+LGBTQ Resources  
Admissions   Office of International Programs and Services  
Antonin Scalia School of Law   OIPS, Compliance and Advising Team  
Arlington Campus Events Management    Parking and Transportation  
Arts Management   Mason Recreation  
Business Services   Schar School of Policy and Government  
Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution   School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution  
Center for the Advancement of Well-Being   School of Art  
Club Sports – Women’s Club Volleyball   School of Dance  
College of Science   School of Music  
Communication   School of Theater  
Computer Game Design   SciTech Campus, Executive Office  
Contemporary Student Services   STEM Outreach, Information Sciences and Technology  
Counseling and Psychological Services   Student Centers  
Disability Services    Student Conduct  
Events Management Arlington Campus   Student Health  
Events Management SciTech Campus   Student Health Services  
Film and Media Studies   Student Involvement  
Fiscal Services   Student Media  
Fiscal Services – FAST   Student Support and Advocacy Center  
Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center   UL ADVANCE Success Coach Team  
Graduate Student Life   UL Arlington  
Green Machine    UL Communications and Marketing  
Housing and Residence Life  UL Mason Korea  
Hylton Performing Arts Center  UL SciTech  
Intercollegiate Athletics   University Career Services  
Leadership Education and Development (LEAD)  University Information 
Learning Services   University Libraries  
Mason Arts Academy   Washington Scholars Program and Partnerships 
Mason Care Network   Women and Gender Studies Center  
Mason Community Arts Academy, CVPA   
Mason Dining    
Mason Game and Technology Academy, VSGI, CVPA   
New Student and Family Programs     

 

Appendix A: Attendee Management Per Event Type   

Seated Event:
Outdoor Movies/Lectures/Seminars/Speakers/Live Entertainment 

  • Live entertainment must be approved on a case by case basis. 
  • Space chairs/seats 6 ft apart according to physical distancing guidelines.  
  • Encourage attendees to bring blankets/stadium chairs to sit on if necessary. 
  • Plan for larger spaces with further distancing allowances for those individuals using assistive devices. All participants must pre-register in the selected method per Ticket/RSVP Coordinator. 

Seated Activity:
Make and Take/Craft/Tutorial/DIY Activities/Interactive Group Non-Physical Games 

  • Space chairs/seats/spots 6 ft apart according to physical distancing guidelines.  
  • Have spots/seats pre-set for number of participants in advance. 
  • Ensure supplies are on tables and available for individual use or have volunteers delivering supplies and other needs. 
  • Participant spots must be sanitized between users.  
  • Timed entries are recommended for events which do not require complicated instructions or are short in duration.  
  • Plan for larger spaces with further distancing allowances for those individuals using assistive devices.

Appendix B: Affirmation of Mason Event Guidelines  

By agreeing to this, I am confirming that my event is in compliance with all University policies and procedures, particularly (https://universitypolicy.gmu.edu/policies/space-utilization-and-scheduling/) Policy 1103: Space Utilization and Scheduling. Additionally, I agree that I will comply with the requirements listed in this document, Fall 2020 On-Campus COVID19 Event Guidelines and Process. Any failure to comply with these requirements will result in cancellation of my event and possible forfeiture of future event reservations for my group or organization.