Office of Student Life

Student Activities

COVID-19 Information

Below is general information and frequently asked questions for our student organization community related to operations in 2020-2021. This content will continue to be updated as new information is available. Please refer to the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website and the Student Org Guidance document for additional details.

Please contact csls@osu.edu with any additional questions or for more detailed information. Our staff is available to consult with your student organization about specific questions and needs.

The following information was last updated May 10, 2021.

Can my student org hold in-person gatherings and events?

From an email update to student organizations on May 7, 2021, student organizations may hold in-person events with more than 10 people in accordance with all federal, state, local, university and venue guidance. This applies on-campus and off-campus, indoors and outdoors.

The number of in-person attendees will be determined by the capacity of the venue. Check with venue staff as most capacities are reduced from previous standards.

For on-campus events, your event planner will work with you to confirm risk mitigation plans including securing necessary approval from the Events Review Committee. Advisor approval is no longer required for on-campus events.

All in-person activities should continue to follow all health and safety guidelines for mask wearing, physical distancing and hand hygiene. At this time there are no special considerations for attendees who are fully vaccinated.

Visit the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes events webpage for additional details about group size/capacity limits, eating/dining, contact tracing and other essential event elements.

Is meeting, programming and tabling space available on campus?

Requests are now being accepted for on-campus space. Information about requesting space in Student Life facilities, including a link to the space request tool, can be found at ohiounion.osu.edu/meetings_events/space_requests/

All in-person activities - whether in a meeting room or at a reserved tabling space - must follow the health and safety guidelines outlined. Please consult with your venue's event planner for specific guidance on your plans.

What resources are available to hold virtual meetings and programs?

Student organizations may use university resources - CarmenZoom and Microsoft Teams - or may choose to use non-university resources to hold virtual meetings and programs. 

Check out the Student Org Essentials recorded workshops for additional guidance on virtual operations and meetings including socially distant service, meaningful virtual meetings and virtual member recruitment.

Review Security Considerations for Virtual Activities for additional resources to prevent and address disruptions or "zoombombing" in virtual activities.

Do student orgs have to provide live-captioning for virtual events?

Accessibility, including live-captioning, should be a key consideration for all virtual events. Review the Student Org Caption Guidelines for full details. Student organizations do not need to provide live-captioning and may use automated captioning, as long as communication standards are met.

If an attendee requests an accommodation, student organizations may work directly with the ADA Coordinator's Office (ada-osu@osu.edu) to make those arrangements. The staff will help organize and fund those services.

How can we distribute materials to our members or program participants?

Distribution of materials, or tabling, may happen on campus only in reserved spaces. Tabling may not take place in non-reservable spaces like open lounges, dining seating areas or library study spaces.

Can we purchase PPE as give-aways?

Student organizations are able to purchase PPE items from university approved vendors. They must follow university branding and purchasing guidelines and seek art approval from University Marketing and Trademark and Licensing. If a group is specifically interested in purchasing masks, the two approved vendors are The Flag Lady (300 minimum, 2 color logo) and Mask Essential (100 minimum, 2 color logo). Organizations are welcome to work with Student Life Marketing to help design and procure the items. 

What resources are available for student org leaders who are feeling stressed?

It is normal for student organization leaders to be feeling higher levels of stress right now. Here are some resources that are available immediately and by appointment:

How do we manage gatherings with strenuous exercise?

According to the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes webpage on Recreation, there is an exception for mask wearing when engaging in strenuous exercise. In these cases, continue to practice physical distancing and hand hygiene, limiting in-person events and gatherings to 10 or fewer. Participants should also have their masks available to wear after the strenuous exercise is finished.

How will annual registration work?

The requirements and timeline for annual student organization registration - for renewing and for brand new organizations - will be the same as in past years. Visit the Registration webpage for full details.

Student organizations who have significantly adapted operations for any portion of the upcoming year may request a registration extension through autumn 2021. Significant adaptations might include choosing not to recruit new members, postponing officer elections or suspending regular meetings. The extension is intended to provide a more flexible timeline for operations and support the needs of leaders and members. Contact csls@osu.edu to request an extension.

In March 2021, the Council on Student Affairs approved a temporary suspension of membership size through spring semseter 2022. In recognition of the difficulties with membership recruitment and retention due to the pandemic, student organizations eligible to achieve or maintain Active-Established status will be required to have a minimum of 5 members, instead of 15. Contact csls@osu.edu with questions or for additional information about this.

Can we apply for Operating and Programming Funds?

Yes, all student organizations can apply for Operating and Programming Funds on the regular application deadlines. Visit the Funding webpage for full details. You may apply with any status, but only Active organizations will receive funding.

Additional guidance is available for virtual and in-person programs. Please refer to the Student Org Guidance document for additional considerations.

Can we still use the Resource Room?

Yes, the Resource Room is open for service. Visit the Resource Room webpage for the current hours of operation.

Student organizations may use the Online Order Form to request copying, poster printing and buttons. Payment for online orders must be made using your line-of-credit. For other items, or for non-student org clients, orders may be placed by calling 614-292-8763 during our regular hours.

Until further notice, shared items including popcorn machines, snocone machine and board games are not available for use.

Can we travel for a conference or competition?

In alignment with university restrictions on travel, university funds (Operating and Programming Funds) cannot be used for travel of any kind through at least June 30, 2021. Student organizations are encouraged to avoid shared travel.

When travel is necessary for approved off-campus events, students should travel separately or with their "quaran-team" members only.

What are the potential consequences if we don't follow university guidance for safety protocols?

Health orders, directives and advisories apply to all student organization activities and gatherings, whether on- or off-campus. Failure to abide by those directives, orders and advisories can - just like failing to follow all applicable local, state and federal laws - subject students and student organizations to disciplinary action under the Code of Student Conduct.

Although each situation is approached on a case-by-case basis, possible consequences could include the loss of access to university resources (e.g., funding, Resource Room line-of-credit, discounted space reservations) or loss of Active status. Individual student consequences could include suspension.