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

November 19, 2020

Guidelines have been updated for UWM departments or units planning all non-academic events amid the pandemic. The following information replaces previous guidance about UWM “large group events.”

These guidelines will be in effect from Nov. 30, 2020, to Jan. 24, 2021. Guidelines will be reviewed and updated as needed for the Spring 2021 semester, which begins Jan. 25, 2021. 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).

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.

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 Oct. 26, 2020, 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 10 and an outdoor capacity of 25, not including employees.

UWM events with 10 or fewer people indoors or 25 or fewer outdoors are allowed and do not require special approval.

Otherwise, indoor events with more than 10 people at a time and outdoor events with more than 25 people at a time are generally prohibited through Jan. 24, 2021. This applies to UWM events on and off campus, and the date may be extended depending on health and safety conditions.

A UWM department that wishes to pursue an indoor event of more than 10 people or outdoor event involving more than 25 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.

  • The Special Requests Team may require event organizers to work with designated venue management (see Managed Venues, below).
  • The Special Requests Team will bring any recommendations to the COVID Management Team (CMT) leadership for final approval.

Advance ticketing/reservations is highly encouraged for all events and will be required for some. This may include assigned seating within event spaces.

Food and beverage service for UWM events is discouraged and must receive prior approval from the Special Requests Team. Approval may include strict limitations.

Union Event Services, which is reachable at reservat@uwm.edu, will be the central hub for all nonacademic, co-curricular special event requests held in venues on the Milwaukee campus that do not have dedicated event management staff.

Exceptions to this policy may be granted only by the chancellor (or designee) after a submission to the Special Requests Team (special-requests@uwm.edu).

Third-party requests

Third-party requests generally will be denied between Nov. 30, 2020, and Jan. 24, 2021. If you feel that you still need to hold an event involving non-UWM attendees, please submit a request to the Special Requests Team (special-requests@uwm.edu) for evaluation. The request should include who is expected to attend and any pertinent details about why the event is essential and should receive an exception by the university.