Event Guidelines

Updated August 12, 2021

Please refer to the UNL Events calendar for information on public events.

The following are guidelines for organizing, sponsoring and hosting university events effective August 16th, 2021 until further notice. For the purposes of this guidance, ‘event’ is defined as a clinic, program, activity, camp, conference, or institute of any size. Any gathering of 50 or more people, even if not explicitly considered an event, also must follow this guidance. This guidance applies to events taking place in a university facility. The goal is to help ensure the health and safety of the UNL community and visitors. These guidelines reinforce key elements of the university’s safety and risk mitigation efforts.


No universal or centralized event approval process exists at this time. All Recognized Student Organizations (RSO) planning events must still use the standard Event Planning and Registration (EPR) process facilitated by Student Leadership, Involvement, & Community Engagement (SLICE).

Starting August 23rd, 2021, any event involving the potential for more than 500 people must be pre-approved by campus administration and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. Those requests, including risk mitigation plans (download Excel document), should be emailed to covid19@unl.edu no less than 14 days prior to the event.

Recommendations for Safe Events

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, event sponsors are expected to carefully consider the safety of those attending and the broader UNL and Lincoln communities. Below are risk mitigation strategies to consider incorporating into the event.

  • Hold your event outdoors.
  • Cap attendance, implement social distancing where possible, have multiple smaller events, and/or offer a remote/virtual component for those who may prefer to not attend in-person.
  • Remind attendees about the campus face covering policy.
  • Structure the event in a way that allows attendees to come and go throughout the event instead of requiring everyone to be there at one time.
  • Require registration or RSVPs so you know how many people to expect for planning purposes.
  • Allow extra space for attendees to physically distance themselves from others.
  • Make hand sanitizer available, especially if the event includes shared items.

Indoor Events

Because indoor activities have a greater risk of transmission than outdoor events, organizers are expected to plan with the following expectations in mind:

  • Compliance with the campus face covering policy is required.
  • The Safer Community app must be checked for indoor events of all sizes starting August 16th, 2021. The event sponsor must designate people responsible for checking the Safer Community app in accordance with these instructions. Anyone with ‘building access denied’ status in the Safer Community app may not participate in the event.
  • Attendance tracking is encouraged.

NOTE: Checking the Safer Community app for event access is distinct from its use for building access. Only specially trained Wellness Attendants are authorized to monitor the app for building access purposes.

Outdoor Events

Outdoor activities have a reduced risk of transmission compared to indoor events and are strongly encouraged as an alternative to indoor venues whenever possible.

  • The Safer Community app is not required to be checked for outdoor events. The event sponsor may elect to check the Safer Community app in accordance with these instructions.
  • Compliance with the campus face covering policy is required.
  • Attendance tracking is recommended.


Visitors are expected to follow the campus face covering policy. There are no further restrictions for visitors at events.

Athletic and Arts Events

Athletic event protocols will be governed by Nebraska Athletics, Big Ten, and NCAA guidelines and policies. Programs held in specific venues such as the Lied Center, Carson Theatre, Sheldon Art Museum and the University of Nebraska State Museum are expected to follow their specific approved venue policies and protocols.

These guidelines may change as COVID-19 conditions evolve and in keeping with corresponding federal, state, and local measures. Any university event can be cancelled without notice at any time, even if previously approved, at the university’s discretion in the interest of health and safety.