Events on Campus


Resources for Event Planners


During this time, NMU is exercising the utmost caution to ensure the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and community members. Each event comes with a unique set of logistical challenges, degree of impact, timeline for execution, and resources required. This resource has been developed to assist student organizations and campus departments in determining if and how an event can proceed safely for the students, employees, volunteers and guests involved.

Campus event attendance is restricted to Region 8 (Upper Peninsula) residents except for events deemed essential that take place at the Northern Center or NMU Sports Complex, those held completely outside, or for prospective students and their family members participating in the Admissions Office’s modified campus visit program. All events must comply with current guidelines and requirements set forth by the Centers for Disease Control, State of Michigan and Northern Michigan University at the time of the event. For the latest information, please reference the links below:

  • Can accommodations be made for high risk attendees to participate remotely or in other ways if they choose not to attend in person?
  • Is there an opportunity for your event to be held virtually? Can you provide a hybrid event experience, blending in person and virtual attendance, for those whom in-person attendance is undesirable or restricted due to the travel?
  • Will your event involve large groups of people traveling far distances? What travel restrictions are currently in place that may affect guest speakers/guests?
  • What plan will be in place to ensure the safety of your guests and volunteers?
  • Is there an indoor or outdoor space that can accommodate your event with required social distancing?
  • Do you have to limit ticket sales in order to ensure both six foot social distancing requirements and venue capacity restrictions can be met?
  • When hosting information and check-in tables, do you need to limit the number of representatives allowed in order to accommodate a six foot distance?

All NMU sponsored or affiliated events held by student organizations, faculty and staff must submit a request for approval using the COVID Event Approval Form a minimum of 30 days prior to the event date. Requests will be reviewed by the Center for Student Enrichment (student organizations) and Northern Center & Event Services (faculty/staff.) Requests require endorsement by the appropriate department head (faculty/staff events) or student organization advisor (student organizations.) Approvals, requests for additional information, and/or additional instructions will be communicated via email to the contact person provided.

Each event must plan for the following:

  • Develop a plan outlining what measures will be taken by the organizing party to ensure social distancing requirements can be met by all guests, volunteers and staff in attendance.
  • Develop a clear and publicized traffic flow plan. Limit pinch points and clearly mark entry and exit.
  • Create a sign-in mechanism for all attendees (students, faculty, staff and community members) to help with any contact tracing that might be needed. It is up to each event to develop the form that works best for their event and see that it is completed by all attendees, including event staff and volunteers. This information must be kept on file by the event organizer for at least 30 days after the event. The sign-in mechanism should include the event title, event date and attendee name, phone and email.
  • Designate an On-Site Event Monitor to float throughout the event to communicate social distancing and other expectations to attendees. On-Site Event Monitor should be aware of the steps to take when confronting a guest who is refusing to abide by an expectation.
  • Station a volunteer or staff at each entry to communicate expectations for behavior to guests (mask required unless seated and eating/drinking, must maintain 6’ distance from other guests, traffic flow plan, hand sanitizer locations, etc.) This individual should track how many attendees are in the event at any one time; the Center for Student Enrichment has a limited number of tally counters available to student organizations upon request.
  • Set up hand sanitizing stations at the entry and exit.
  • Obtain and post signage asking guests to wear masks and communicating other expectations for event attendees. This includes “stand here” floor stickers and directional arrows, as needed to communicate desired traffic flow.
  • Routinely clean surfaces and objects that are frequently touched; see NMU’s Preparedness Plan for requirements.
  • Check-in tables and sign ups must be facilitated by designated event staff or representatives on behalf of guests, or be equipped with “clean” and “dirty” pen cups, sanitizing pens after each use. Tip: have guests verbally provide information rather than using a shared laptop, iPad or pen.
  • Consult public safety and venue manager to determine what barriers (partitions, plexiglass, etc.) unique to your event may be needed above and beyond what is required by the venue.
  • Develop a diagram for your event illustrating entry/exit, traffic flow, stationary staffing needs, seating and all other furniture/equipment involved so that it meets 6’ social distancing. Tip: When determining event layout and equipment needs, physically layout the space to the best of your ability to ensure 6’ distancing can be met as much as possible. For example, set up a check-in table two tables deep to create a physical barrier between guest and event staff.
  • Remove all candy dishes, fish bowls and opportunities for common touchpoints. Individually packaged materials should be distributed by a volunteer in a distanced manner using PPE, or upload resources to a common location online to the greatest extent possible. Tip: In place of physical handouts, collect information from attendees and follow up with digital materials/applications.
  • Blood Drives – defer to industry standards supplied by Blood Bank partner to determine if/how a blood drive can proceed successfully, and what additional steps/modifications are needed.

A limited number of indoor and outdoor spaces have been designated for student organization tabling use. All tabling activities must be approved by the Center for Student Enrichment. The following guidelines must be followed:

  • Face masks are required by all participants and representatives.
  • Tables must be spaced 10 feet apart from one another. Directional arrows and signage posted where applicable to allow for one-way traffic flow.
  • High touch surfaces need to be cleaned and sanitized regularly.
  • Limit the staffing of each table to two people, abiding by social distancing..
  • Avoid the use of shared pens. If necessary, have a cup of clean pens and dirty pens.
  • Remove all candy dishes, fish bowls and opportunities for common touch points. Individually packaged materials (brochures, information packets, etc.) must be distributed on the table for individual consumption, and placed so they do not touch other items.
  • Place hand sanitation stations throughout the event or on the table.
  • Have members on hand to supervise proper social distancing during the event.

Confirm the event and check in: Northern Michigan University has rescheduled many events and expanded our virtual experiences.


Confirm that your event will still be held on campus. Check whether registration is required; to ensure maximum allowed capacity is not exceeded, many events do not allow walk-in visitors. In situations where a guest would like to meet with a member of the NMU community, the visitor should arrange for the meeting before coming to campus. Whether the visit is a pre-arranged meeting or attending a public event, there will be a sign-in mechanism for visitors to help with any contact tracing that might be needed.


Assess your wellness: Before you arrive, we ask you to self-assess for the common symptoms of COVID-19. If you have COVID-19 symptoms or feel otherwise unwell with new symptoms (unrelated to known health conditions) do not visit campus. In addition, if you have been exposed to persons diagnosed with COVID-19 or persons experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, do not visit campus until you have been symptom-free for 14 days. Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Cough, newly developed or worsening
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills or repeated shaking with chills
  • Feeling feverish or have fever above 100.4F
  • Muscle aches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Recent loss of smell or taste


Do not visit our residential spaces: We are not allowing visitors to the residence halls or apartments. If you wish to meet with friends or family, meet either virtually, outside or in a public space.


Face coverings: Our students, faculty, and staff will be wearing protective face coverings. Each visitor is expected to bring and correctly wear a face covering over their nose and mouth. Face shields are permitted if cloth masks are not medically tolerated. If you did not bring a face covering, a free disposable mask can be obtained at the NMU Police Department located on Sugarloaf Avenue.


(NOTE: Currently, the State of Michigan requires masks for all except children younger than five, those who have a medical condition that keeps them from wearing a mask, and people who are seated in a restaurant. At NMU, face shields are recommended if cloth masks are not medically tolerated.)


Maintain physical distance between people: Social distancing of six feet between people who do not live in the same household must be maintained. Walking single file, when possible, is safest and can be done with three feet of social distance. Choose to walk outdoors when possible.


Honor our health hygiene expectations:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Refrain from shaking hands and other physical contact.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.