Temporary COVID-19 Guidance for On-Campus Events and Activities

Due to the limited amount of on-campus space and the prioritization of available space for student learning, the scheduling of all space for non-academic purposes on the CU Denver campus will be handled pursuant to the following procedures. These procedures are likely to be in place through both the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters, although they will be reviewed in January 2021.


These procedures were developed with the following campus needs in mind:

Establishing a method of operation that supports limited on-campus events and activities while also mitigating the potential for campus spread of COVID-19;

Determining the highest and best use of limited space at reduced occupancy levels (due to physical distancing and cleaning requirements) and assuring equitable use by all education programs; and

Establishing a campus-wide operating model that is flexible and can be sustained through a second wave of COVID-19 (or that would be minimally impacted in the event of a second wave and any subsequent limitations on movement or activities).

General Principles

Current public health and safety concerns call for limiting on-campus operations to those determined to be important to the mission of the university and its units and also determined to be best held on campus rather than virtually to meet the needs of constituents. In general, units should plan on holding most or all events and activities in virtual environments rather than on campus, and to request approval for on-campus events and activities only in limited circumstances.

All persons seeking to host special events or activities on campus must receive prior approval according to the procedures set forth in this guidance, except that Lynx Crossing and the Student Wellness Center will operate according to their previously approved Unit Safe Return Plans.

These principles apply to all on-campus events and activities, whether during normal business hours or during evenings and weekends, and apply to all spaces whether indoor or outdoor, whether typically roomed through the EMS system or otherwise, and in both CU Denver- and AHEC-managed spaces. This includes spaces in the Lawrence Street Center, the CU Denver Building (including CityCenter), the Business School, North Classroom, and the Student Commons building.

All proposed on-campus events and activities must describe why the activity is important to the unit’s mission and why it is best conducted in person rather than virtually, and must demonstrate the ability to meet all applicable safety requirements prior to receiving a confirmed reservation.

No CU Denver-sponsored events or activities that are non-academic in nature may be held at off-campus locations unless specifically authorized by the chancellor. Separate guidance has been provided for curriculum-related activities off campus. To avoid liability, units should refrain from promoting off-campus events being held by partners or affiliates.

Central Scheduling

All existing reservations for non-academic activities will be cleared from the EMS system (through the spring semester of 2021) to allow all on-campus space to be centrally scheduled during the duration of this guidance.

A unit may request an exception to the central scheduling of spaces by designating private common space (those which are viewable only by select account holders on the EMS Web App) for use in the ordinary course of their on-campus operations in their Unit Safe Return Plan (such as the regular use of a unit conference room for one-on-one advising sessions). Upon approval of the Unit Safe Return Plan, the designated spaces will not be available to other units. Private spaces which are not identified as needed in a Unit Safe Return Plan will be subject to this centralized process, however, the spaces will remain available for reservation requests only to those who can view the space on their EMS accounts.

To preserve its essential function and maximize student access under current public health occupancy guidelines, the Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center is not available for events or activities outside of Wellness & Recreation Services activities, unless approved by the chancellor.

Priorities for On-Campus Space Usage

Classes identified for on-campus instruction will receive first priority for space scheduling (and will be scheduled through the Office of the Registrar).

Other on-campus events and activities will be considered for scheduling in the following order:

  • Activities that directly support prospective student recruitment and enrollment, such as campus tours, open houses, and financial aid workshops
  • Activities that directly support academic instruction and academic success, such as initial academic cohort orientations, faculty use of space for lecture recording, Supplemental Instruction sections, ESL classes, study skills workshops, and small group tutoring
  • Activities that support student retention, engagement, and development for particular students or groups of students identified as benefiting the most from the on-campus environment and/or connecting in person with other similarly situated students, such as first-year students, first generation students, and international students
  • Other types of events/activities best conducted in person rather than virtually, including requests for tabling

Priority will also be given to events or activities that are specifically requested and authorized to be on campus by the chancellor and/or the provost.

Events/activities that will not be approved for on-campus space include:

  • Events requested by external organizations and affiliates (unless specifically approved by the chancellor);
  • Events held by student organizations and student government (these must be held virtually); and
  • Internal meetings, such as faculty meetings, staff meetings, and departmental or unit meetings (these must be held virtually, even if all or most participants are physically on campus).

Safety Requirements

All on-campus events and activities must, at a minimum, follow the same safety protocols that apply to on-campus instruction and office space usage. Those protocols can be found on the CU Denver Safe Return website. In addition, all indoor events must follow the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment guidance on indoor eventswhere relevant.

Due to 6 feet physical distancing requirements, the allowable number of occupants in campus spaces is decreased, typically 10--40% of normal capacity. Revised room capacities will be posted on the CU Denver Safe Return website, under Faculty and Staff Resources.

The state currently limits indoor gatherings to no more than 100 people, and outdoor gatherings to no more than 175 people, regardless of the size of the venue. It is very unlikely that events or activities approaching these sizes will be approved, given current room occupancy restrictions and the challenges involved in ensuring that all group participants adhere to safety protocols. We suggest that units consider 50 to be the maximum number of participants at any event.

Event hosts are responsible for ensuring adherence to safety protocols by all participants. Participants must be approved to be on campus and must follow all pre-campus arrival safety protocols in place for students or visitors, depending on their status.

Application Process

Persons seeking to host an in-person, non-academic activity must submit this application form.

  • Applications will be taken starting July 20. Applications will typically be considered only for those units that also have an approved Unit Safe Return Plan ; however, other requests may be considered on a case by case basis.
  • Applications for dates during the fall semester will not be approved until after all in-person learning needs have been approved. Requests for spring activities will not be accepted until after spring classes are roomed (date TBD).
  • Before submitting, applicants should familiarize themselves with the revised capacity limits for on-campus spaces and the campus safety protocols, which can be found on the CU Denver Safe Return to Campus website under “Faculty and Staff Resources.” Updated capacity limits for AHEC-controlled spaces can be found on the ACES Website .
  • After review of the updated capacities, applicants should submit an EMS reservation request through the EMS Web App (if reserving a CU Denver space) in order to initially verify space availability. All reservations will be waitlisted and then directed to fill out the application form . If a space is being requested that is not scheduled in EMS, applicants can fill out the application form as their first step.
    • For AHEC-controlled spaces, an approved event application must be obtained prior to requesting a room reservation through Auraria Campus Event Services (ACES).
  • Within two business days of receipt, University Events staff will conduct an initial screening of the application for compliance with these guidelines. If more information is needed, University Events staff will contact the applicant.
  • A Campus Events Committee, consisting of representatives from University Events, Institutional Planning, Environmental Health and Safety, Student Success, Facilities, Registrar, and other key offices, will be formed to review applications passed on by University Events staff.
  • The Campus Events Committee will approve or deny the application based on the criteria set forth in this guidance, the availability of appropriate space, campus density considerations on the requested date and time, and consideration of the overall needs of the university.
  • Upon preliminary approval, University Events staff will notify applicants and work with the appropriate system to reserve the requested space. Applicants must receive official approval before EMS reservations will be confirmed and/or any advertising is conducted.
  • Due to distancing requirements and occupancy limits, approved applications may receive a reservation for a room/space different from the specific space requested.
  • Applicants will then be required to work with campus facilities staff to submit an implementation plan detailing how the event/activity will be conducted safely before it will be allowed to take place.

Please note that due to the evolving nature of the pandemic and public health guidance, these restrictions are subject to change. Planners should be prepared to change their activity format with very little notice. Contact events@ucdenver.edu with questions.

Finalized July 9, 2020