Outdoor Space/Gatherings Guidance
There are many outdoor spaces and venues on campus that can accommodate groups ranging from a handful of people to several thousand. Outdoor space requests should be processed with some consideration, including, but not limited to compliance with the WMU COVID-19 health and safety plan. The following guidelines should help in decision making for any request for campus space:
- The ability of the group to maintain six feet of social distance in the event space
- The ability of the organizer/sponsor to ensure all attendees wear a face covering at all times.
- The ability of the organizer/sponsor to identify persons attending the gathering for possible contact tracing in the event of a positive COVID-19 exposure.
- The ability of the group organizer to administer a health screening questionnaire to determine if anyone might have symptoms or possible exposure to COVID-19 before that person is admitted to the event.
- To consider if the event or gathering supports student engagement or academic mission.
WMU is operating with very limited resources. Care should be taken when processing non-university affiliated group requests. All spaces that have events need the support of WMU Custodial, and/or Landscape Services. If groups require access to restrooms for their event, then it will need to be coordinated with Facilities Management to ensure proper support for the event. They will be responsible for any costs associated with this support.
In addition to the above guidance, below is a summary of WMU’s outdoor gathering requirements.
Outdoor gatherings at non-residential venues are permitted among persons not of the same household only in the extent that:
- At non-residential venues, 300 or fewer persons are gathered,
- Face masks must be worn at all times,
- Six feet of social distance must be maintained.
- Organizer must make efforts to collect contact information for potential contact tracing.
Other resource and guidance can be found at Event Planning and COVID-19 Questions and Answers
The above information based upon current Michigan Executive Orders dealing with COVID-19 and can change as the pandemic evolves. Federal, state, and local guidance, recommendation, and declarations may become more or less restrictive as the severity of the pandemic changes.
There are a number of outdoor spaces on campus that Registered Student Organizations may reserve to set up information tables, program and promote their activities and organizations.
For outdoor spaces the Facilities Management support team provides custodial, landscape, and maintenance services for events taking place on the university campus. In addition to the form required by the Bernhard Center, please note Facilities Management also has a mandatory facility event service request form to determine the required level of support and any associated costs.
If possible, reservations should be made five days prior to the event.
For tables and chair requests, be sure to contact Logistical Services at (269) 387-8811, please note that these requests will need to be made within five days or more of the event date. A fund and cost center number is required to use university tables and chairs.
- A limited number of tables are available to check out from the Bernhard Center for outdoor space reservations. Please make note on your request if you'd like to use a Bernhard Center table.
- The use or sale of alcoholic beverages at any outdoor function is a violation of state law.
- Requester will incur any costs related to clean up, trash removal, or any other costs required to put an area back to its original form.