Guidelines for Requesting Event Approval from the COVID-19 Decision Group

Approved by COVID-19 Decision Group — September 15, 2021

Since Seattle Pacific University requires vaccinations for campus constituencies and with our current rate of vaccinations on campus, the COVID-19 Decision Group (CDG) has updated the approval process for classes, conferences, events, programs, and other activities to be more decentralized. The guidelines below identify factors for determining whether a proposed event needs to be submitted for CDG review. The following guidelines are not intended to be exhaustive and may be revised from time to time. In situations where CDG review is required, organizers of programs should contact CDG with an outline of the program at least two weeks in advance, preferably four weeks in advance, by emailing


Size of Group

  • General guidance: Any program that anticipates 150 or more attendees should be submitted to the CDG for approval.
  • Depending on changing guidelines, a final check-in for the program may need to occur one week prior. This should be communicated via CDG.
  • Events that occur outside need to follow current guidelines regarding health and safety protocols (see COVID-19 Health and Safety Expectations webpage).

Type of Event — Increased Risk of Transmission

  • General guidance: If there is an increased risk for transmission of the virus due to type of activity, then the program should be submitted for CDG review.
  • Examples of activities that could involve increased risk of transmission include: fitness/athletic activity; singing, especially corporate; programs that require audience participation; events that involve overnight stays; and events that require group travel (e.g., in vans or busses).

Internal vs. External Audience

  • General guidance: Programs for SPU participants only will keep the “closed” community and not increase possible transmission of the virus due to external (i.e. visitor) audiences. Because of this, programs limited to internal groups do not need to be approved by CDG unless other factors listed in these guidelines require CDG review. Internal groups are students, faculty, and staff. Alumni and parents are not considered internal groups.
  • Programs that include internal and external audiences should be submitted to CDG for review.
  • For academic departments hosting external speakers, the academic department will be responsible for following COVID-19 Health and Safety Expectations webpage. Unless other factors in these guidelines require review by CDG, simply including an external speaker does not require CDG review.
  • Programs for external audiences only are typically overseen by Conference Services. Conference Services may follow other protocols that have been developed with the Office of Facility and Project Management and that are separate from these guidelines.

Department Specific Guidelines

  • General guidance: Some departments are already implementing guidelines that have been approved by CDG for specific types of events and activities. These departments (identified by CDG) may continue using such guidelines without seeking CDG approval unless additional factors require CDG review.
  • For example:
    • Regularly scheduled classes do not need to be approved by CDG.
    • Athletics may follow protocols already reviewed by the Office of Facility and Project Management for athletic activities and sporting events.
    • University Ministries and departments in Community Life (e.g., Residence Life, Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, and Multi-Ethnic Programs) may follow protocols already approved by CDG for their events.

Employee Meetings and Programs

  • General guidance: Departmental meetings and programs (e.g., professional development, start of the year training) can be scheduled without CDG review and approval, unless other factors in these guidelines require CDG review. It is expected that those leading these interactions will keep in mind general safety and hygiene practices.

Student-initiated Activities and Programs

  • General guidance: Student-initiated activities and programs need to be reviewed for approval by departments associated with a specific student group (e.g. club, organization, residence hall). The program should also be submitted for review by the CDG whenever the program invites others outside that specified group to participate or other factors listed in these guidelines require CDG review.
  • Students getting together in an ad hoc fashion should follow general University guidelines for health and safety protocols.
  • Students can schedule study sessions and class project meetings without approval from CDG.