College events during COVID-19

Guidelines and updates for campus events

In planning campus events in gatherings, we must continue to abide by physical distancing guidelines. Event organizers should plan their events keeping in mind that attendees will need to maintain a six-foot distance.

Review the Community Health Guidelines

Guiding principle

All events will be requested and approved through engageGettysburg and 25Live. A number of campus spaces have been repurposed and all spaces have reduced capacities to promote physical distancing. Outdoor events will be an option with the addition of tents. These events will follow the same scheduling procedure and protocols as indoor events and will include maximum capacity numbers as well.

In addition to outdoor options, student clubs and organizations are also encouraged to explore other event methods, including sponsor virtual, and grab-and-go. or outdoor activities or events (adhering to physical distance guidelines) during the fall semester. A new software platform called engageGettysburg is being implemented to keep students aware of and allow them to sign up for activities on campus. The Office of Student Activities and Greek Life has new resources and guidance for organizing student events.

Policies and procedures

Each Event must adhere to the following:

  • All events must be registered through engageGettysburg/25Live
  • RSVP/registration check in process so we know who is in attendance – engageGettysburg can be used for tracking attendance
  • Physical Distancing of 6 feet or more
  • Density numbers at or below capacity determined by architects and Facility Services
  • Masks to be worn by everyone in attendance (unless eating)
  • No events with alcohol
  • No rain locations for outdoor events will be available
  • Grab-and-go food from Dining Services only, no outside food vendors. Attendees may bring personal food and drink for their consumption.
  • Events will be limited to the campus community and not open to the public
  • No event will be permitted to take place in an academic or administrative building lobby or lounge to ensure appropriate ingress/egress
  • Large events (exceeding 25) will be asked for a plan once approved to address social distancing and appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Reserving organization study spaces may be significantly limited or unavailable due to space constraints as a result of expanded class schedules

Campus Community is defined as any person who is employed by Gettysburg College or enrolled as an on campus, in residence, or commuter student at Gettysburg College

Table events

  • Tables can be reserved along edge of Plank facing Stine Lake pending weather
  • Only 4 tables per day
  • Only available 3 days per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
  • Each space may only be staffed by one member of an organization at a time
  • Table events will not be used sell anything, all sales will go through engageGettysburg

Use of recreational facilities

Recreational facilities including courts and fields cannot be reserved for events, but they may be used by individual students.

Public expression on campus

Students planning a public expression event are required to notify College Life to discuss the logistics of the event. During those meetings, locations, physical distancing, and personal protective equipment (PPE) will all be addressed.

First-Year Walk

The First-Year Walk has been postponed until Fall 2021, when the Class of 2024 will join the Class of 2025.

Homecoming Weekend

Homecoming Weekend, planned for September 25-27, 2020, is canceled, though virtual programming will be offered. The Class of 2015, which would’ve celebrated its 5th Reunion at Homecoming, will combine with the Class of 2016 next fall for a joint reunion over Homecoming, September 24-26, 2021.

Family Weekend

Family Weekend, planned for October 23-25, 2020, is canceled, though virtual programming will be offered. In addition, students will be returning home from the fall semester no later than November 20, 2020, so it is likely families will get the chance to see one another less than a month after what would have been Family Weekend.

Commencement 2020

When we first announced our plans to postpone in-person Commencement in late March, we were hopeful that in the months that followed, the COVID-19 pandemic would evolve in our favor, making a ceremony on October 9 and 10 in Gettysburg possible. As we’ve partnered with health experts, collaborated with the College’s working groups, and heeded state guidance in preparation for our decision to be in residence for the fall semester, we’ve realized that it will not yet be safe to gather the large number of friends and family (more than the permitted 250 in the green phase) that we plan to welcome to campus for Commencement.

Health and safety remain our driving priority, but it does not override our commitment to celebrate your great accomplishments in the way that you deserve, in person, when the circumstances become more manageable and safe. With that in mind, we have decided to further postpone Commencement to May 7–8 2021. More information will be forthcoming.

Travel plans and hotel reservations

We recognize that some families may have already made travel plans and hotel reservations for October, and we apologize for any inconveniences this decision may cause. Corresponding with the College’s commitment to reducing density on campus during the fall semester, we will be using hotel space to accommodate physical distancing of students. As a result of our efforts to ensure the best possible education for our students in these unusual circumstances, the Gettysburg Hotel will need to cancel all reservations in the coming weeks, including those made for October 9 and 10. The hotel will be in touch with those who made reservations to cancel.

Commencement 2021

Commencement for the Class of 2021 will be held May 1–2, 2021 in Gettysburg. More information for the Class of 2021 about this change will be forthcoming.