Gathering Approval Process

For all events, meetings, and gatherings of 10-250 people

Each semester, Penn State Harrisburg hosts events, meetings, and other gatherings that draw broad audiences to the campus for its educational and cultural offerings. While the worldwide pandemic has presented many challenges in planning for the 2020 fall semester, the college's goal is to continue to support campus events and activities that can be held safely and in accordance with University and state safety guidelines.

The health and safety of all campus stakeholders remains a top priority. To ensure that the college is meeting all public health protocols, adhering to all University guidelines, and continuing to operate as good stewards of college resources, events on campus will have to be limited and a new approval process is being implemented, as outlined below.

  • As a basic guideline, any in-person or hybrid gatherings/events/meetings of more than 10 people must be pre-approved before any resources (space, technology, etc.) may be allocated.
  • At this time, indoor events with more than 25 people are not permitted. This does not apply to classes, per the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
  • In addition, any virtual events/meetings that require specific campus space, specific equipment, and/or technical support also must be pre-approved.

The approval process involves the organizer’s unit head, the Office of Physical Plant, Police Services and the campus executive leadership team. The process, to be used for events hosted by individual faculty and staff, academic and administrative units, and student organizations, precedes the college's standard procedures for event, space, and technology management on campus.

Requirements and considerations for event organizers

  • Secure the approval of the unit or committee head, or for student-run events, the club advisor. CFW, CORED, DEEC, SAC: seek your pre-approval from Dr. Holly Angelique.
  • Whenever possible, submit the request for approval at least one month in advance of the proposed date of the event.
  • Consider how the proposed event aligns with the college mission.
  • If an indoor meeting/event is being proposed, provide justification as to why the meeting/event cannot take place virtually or in a hybrid format (some participants in person and others virtually). 
  • Provide the total number of individuals expected to attend the meeting or event, which must include the employees working the event.
  • Ensure that employees requesting to participate in the meeting or event have been approved via the Return to On-Site Work process.
  • For all indoor or hybrid events, organizers must outline how they will meet Pennsylvania’s current regulations and the University's protocols for gatherings, including methods and means for social distancing, personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning procedures, etc. Note that masks and other required PPE must be worn if the event is indoors.
  • If the event is on campus, and approved at all levels, organizers should work with the Office of Physical Plant to determine the room capacity that allows for social distancing.
  • Keep a list of all attendees, the ‘return to work’ approval status of employees, the locations from which non-employees are traveling, and their telephone numbers for contact tracing purposes.
  • If the meeting/event is virtual, provide any anticipated technology, equipment, or other support needs.
  • Allow for scheduling flexibility. A specific location and date/time may be requested, however, because indoor event space is extremely limited, requests may be denied due to space limitations or other conflicts.

    NOTE: Events should be scheduled with the full understanding that if University guidelines change or if Dauphin and surrounding counties move to a more restrictive phase, the guidelines for the county must be followed and the event may need to be cancelled on short notice.

Submit a Gathering Approval Request

Responsibilities for organizers/hosts of approved events

  • Maintain a list of all event attendees, the locations from which non-employees are travelling from and telephone number for all attendees for contact tracing purposes. 
  • Define the process that will be followed to ensure that controls are in place to enforce universal masking, social distancing and attendance capacity constraints. 

Outdoor events and the utilization of tents

  • All outdoor events require pre-approval following the same process as indoor events.  
  • Outdoor events offer the ability to conduct slightly larger events, however all masking and social distancing protocols are still required and must be enforced.  
  • Attendance capacity for outdoor events is dictated by the outdoor space that is being utilized to conduct the event.  A representative from OPP should be engaged to determine the maximum safe capacity.  
  • The utilization of the campus tents to host outdoor events is an option in some cases, although the use of tents will be limited.  
  • The campus will have designated tent locations.  
  • Technology requirements, if applicable, must be identified as part of the request for approval process.