What are the guidelines for a UWM department or unit planning an event?

April 2, 2021

The following guidelines for UWM departments or units planning all non-academic events amid the pandemic are in effect through May 23, 2021, with two exceptions listed below. 

Any decisions to update or change guidelines after that date will be made closer to the end of the Spring 2021 semester.

Guidelines apply to events on all UWM campuses and off-site events sponsored by UWM. They are subject to change with public health guidance.

A “UWM event” is defined as one that is UWM sponsored but is not an academic course published in the UWM course schedule (including co-curricular programs).

Non-academic event guidelines

All UWM events must follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local public health and UWM guidelines on masks and social distancing.

All events, regardless of location, will be consistent with City of Milwaukee orders related to “gatherings.” As of April 2, 2021, public gatherings must be the least of these three points:

  • 25% of the total occupancy of the location
  • One person for every 30 square feet
  • Maximum indoor capacity of 50 and an outdoor capacity of 100, not including employees required to operate the event.

UWM events that have 50 or fewer people indoors or 100 or fewer outdoors, meet the other occupancy limits (25% of the total occupancy of the location and one person for every 30 feet) and follow established health guidelines — such as requiring masks and social distancing — are allowed and do not require special approval.


Indoor events with more than 50 people at a time and outdoor events with more than 100 people at a time generally are prohibited through Aug. 6, 2021, unless special approval is granted. This applies to events on and off UWM campuses, and the date may be extended depending on health and safety conditions.

A UWM department that wishes to hold an indoor event with more than 50 people or outdoor event involving more than 100 people at a time must submit a request for review and approval to the university Emergency Operations Center’s Special Requests Team at special-requests@uwm.edu.

Note: Current approved exceptions to these guidelines include antigen testing programs in the UWM Student Union and plans related to any students moving out of University Housing in the middle of the semester.

Events or programming that are NOT sponsored or hosted by UWM are not being considered through Aug. 15, 2021.