Meeting and Event Guidelines

Fall 2021

Per the recent letter regarding planning for Fall 2021, the University anticipates the following guidelines for gatherings, meetings and events, effective August 21, 2021:

  • The COVID-related restrictions on gatherings and events – including meetings, conferences, and performances – are lifted. This means that event venues can once again be utilized, with gathering size to be determined by venue and nature of the event and subject to public health protocols in effect at the time of the event.
  • Visitors who are not vaccinated will be expected to mask when attending gatherings on campus. Organizers of events should convey this expectation to attendees.
  • The Vice President of University Enterprises and Events is authorized to impose any restrictions on gatherings, including reducing the number of permitted attendees, that might be deemed necessary to protect the health of the campus community or guests.

Current (Summer 2021) Guidelines

The following guidelines are considered a component of the University of Notre Dame Gatherings Policy. Should a gathering, meeting, or event be approved via the Gatherings Policy, it is expected to be facilitated in accordance with the guidelines outlined below.

The following guidelines are consistent with guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and broader hospitality industry. The guidelines complement the State of Indiana and St. Joseph County Department of Health regulations regarding cleaning, sanitation, personal hygiene, physical distancing, and health monitoring.

Physical Distancing

All gatherings must provide six feet physical distancing between attendees. 

Venue Capacities

In order to ensure six feet physical distancing between gathering attendees, new capacities have been identified for common event and athletic venues. All events must comply with the newly defined venue capacities. Such capacities are reflected in the following document:

Campus Venues Physical Distancing Capacities


University hosted gatherings occurring prior to May 19, 2021 are expected to utilize one of the following partners for food, beverage, and catering needs:

  • University Catering
  • Rohr’s / Morris Inn Banquets
  • Legends
  • Campus Dining Casual Catering
  • Levy (required for all Athletics events)

Any externally hosted gathering that is currently scheduled and approved to continue may use one of the University’s preferred external caterers (i.e., LaSalle Catering, Navarre Hospitality). However, any newly scheduled and approved external gathering must partner with a Notre Dame food and beverage provider (i.e., University Catering, Rohr’s, Morris Inn Banquets, Campus Dining, Levy).

Gathering Format and Physical Distancing

  • Six feet physical distance must be maintained between all attendees. As a result, reception style gatherings, tailgating, etc. are prohibited. Appeals may be submitted by completing the University Gatherings Exception Request form at least four weeks prior to the requested gathering date.
  • No more than four people per table.
  • Seating capacities and floor plans for each gathering must be reviewed to ensure appropriate physical distancing (e.g., tables will be placed at least six feet apart).


In accordance with University guidelines, attendees at all gatherings are expected to wear masks, except when consuming food and beverage.

Symptom Screening

Symptom screenings prior to entry at an event venue will be required for those invited guests attending approved University-sponsored events who are not Notre Dame students, faculty or staff. While Notre Dame students, faculty and staff are as a matter of course expected to monitor their temperature daily and complete a daily health check, additional temperature checks may be required at larger gatherings.

Event Operations 

  • Guest Arrival:
    • Guests will enter through doors that are either propped open or manually operated by an employee. This employee will be wearing a mask and gloves and regularly sanitize door handles (both exterior and interior doors). 
    • Until May 19, 2021, guests who are not Notre Dame students, faculty, and staff will complete a brief health screening questionnaire and may have their temperature taken upon entry in order to ensure safety of all staff and other guests. Guests with temperatures of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater will be asked to leave the venue and not permitted to attend the gathering. University Events will ensure that a distinct location for isolation of these individuals is available if immediate departure is not possible.
  • Queuing:
    • Any area where guests or employees queue (e.g.,: elevator lobbies, hallways, registration areas etc.) will be clearly marked with floor decals, stanchions, and/or wall signage to direct guests of positioning for appropriate physical distancing
    • No more than 2 guests per elevator
  • Cleaning/Sanitizing:
    • Hand sanitizer stations will be placed at all entrances and contact areas, reception areas, etc.
    • Event equipment (podiums, audio/visual remotes, etc) will be sanitized before and after every use.
    • All venue room doors, tables, chairs, light switch and other equipment will be sanitized after each group use.
    • Frequency of cleaning and sanitizing will be increased in all public spaces with an emphasis on frequent contact surfaces including check-in counters, elevator buttons, door handles, public restrooms, handrails. Venue specific sanitization protocol will be coordinated with the Division of Campus Safety and University Operations.
  • Registration:
    • Employees will utilize a desk, table or workstation to ensure 6 – 10 feet of physical distancing between employees and guests.
    • If gatherings have name tags or other registration items, touchless registration will be encouraged where attendees pick up their own name tag and registration items.
  • Signage:
    • Signage will be posted outside and inside of venues reminding guests of appropriate physical distancing guidelines.
    • Signage will be posted to explain cleaning procedures.

Food & Beverage

  • Food Service:
    • Hosts may select from one of the following service styles, both reducing risk to staff and guests:
      • Food is brought into the room and placed on a side table. The guests then serve themselves by carrying food from the side table to the dinner table, hence eliminating immediate interaction between staff and guests; OR
      • Salads pre-set; meals are delivered family style to the table or on a side table; Wine on tables during dinner service to minimize service required; Guests expected to wear masks when meals are delivered and cleared from tables;
    • Self-serve buffet style food service (e.g., action stations, self service stations, passed hors d'oeuvres and tableside cooking) will be suspended until further notice from University Events.
    • Coffee must be served in single service cup only and all break items served in individually wrapped or disposable vessels
    • Flatware to be provided as a roll-up at the table.
    • Condiments to be served in individual PCs or sanitized individual containers.
    • Individual bottled water, juice and sodas will be provided in lieu of water carafes on meeting tables, water stations and banquet tables.
    • Sneeze guards will be placed whenever possible and physical barriers between bar attendants and guests or any station in which a team member cannot create a natural barrier to guests.
    • For any gathering that has a concessions style of food service, grab n go options will be reflected on the menu, high touch areas within a concession stand will be sanitized every 30 minutes, disposable service ware will be used, and contactless payment options must be implemented. All concession sales must be administered by Levy or Campus Dining.
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing:
    • Food preparation stations to be sanitized at least once per hour by caterer.
    • All shared equipment and amenities to be sanitized before and after use, or be single use if not able to be sanitized.
    • Clean and soiled linen to be transported in sealed single use plastic bags or water soluble bags into and out of the event space.
    • Service stations, service carts, beverage stations, event tables, bar carts to be sanitized before and after every use.
    • Kitchens to be deep cleaned and sanitized at least once per day.
  • Staffing:
    • All servers will be required to complete training (e.g., food service protocol, sanitization, uniforms, etc.) prior to working at a gathering.


  • Touchless and Cashless parking transactions - Permits scannable/visible from windows
  • Employees working within parking lots will wear masks and gloves
  • 50% reduction of capacity on shuttle services

Third Party Providers

For some gatherings, the University may need to partner with third party providers and volunteer (e.g., Levy, Monterrey Security, Temp pool of ushers, Guest Services Team, volunteer ushers for DPAC performances). Each third party provider will provide a pool of local employees who will complete daily screenings (inclusive of temperature taking) and be trained for the respective functions in which they are needed. All third party employees and volunteers must comply with University health protocols relating to face masks, hand hygiene, and physical distancing. 

Masses and Sacramental Liturgies 

Health and safety protocols for Masses and sacramental liturgies (baptisms, weddings, funerals) have been established by Campus Ministry based on guidelines from the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. More information may be found here.

(Effective through August 20, 2021)