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Off-campus student events and social gatherings

The CDC has consistently urged caution with gatherings and outlines numerous prevention measures needed for activities.

Updated: February 16, 2021

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The university follows CDC guidance and urges anyone considering an off-campus event to do the same for their own protection and the safety of the campus community.
  • As an alternative, hosts should consider a virtual event or requesting an event on campus, where it will be subject to the university’s extensive health and safety guidelines.

Although the need to socialize is understandable, the CDC urges caution with gatherings and outlines numerous prevention measures needed for activities. The university follows CDC guidance in campus events and operations, and urges anyone considering an off-campus event or social gathering to do the same for their own protection and the safety of the campus community.

As an alternative, hosts should consider a virtual event or requesting an event on campus, where it will be subject to the extensive guidelines provided by the Office of Campus Event Services.

Student organizations hosting an off-campus event should follow CDC guidelines and communicate safety expectations to their members and guests. Enforcement of mask wearing and social distancing are critical. Off-campus events must also comply with any local or state restrictions on the the size of gatherings.

Student organizations are encouraged to contact the Center for Student Engagement, the Office of Campus Event Services, or the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life if they need assistance with a safety plan for an off-campus event or social gathering.

Reports of conduct concerns

Various university offices receive reports, often including images, of students hosting or participating in potentially unsafe off-campus events and social gatherings. We take these reports seriously.

When the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards receives a report, it is evaluated based on CDC guidelines. Key factors include indications that the activity put others at risk, whether masks were worn, and whether social distancing was sufficient for the number of people in the space.

COVID-19 is a serious, highly transmittable disease that can cause harm to you or those around you. Unsafe gatherings, while posing a relatively low risk to college-age people, can lead to life-threatening illness in rare cases and can inadvertently result in spreading COVID-19 to more vulnerable populations. The numerous safety measures in place on campus are a model for limiting the spread off campus.

We urge students to follow CDC guidelines in their off-campus activities—not just to avoid a student conduct issue but for their own health and the safety of the campus community.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
865-974-1000


The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.