Living and Learning during COVID-19

The health and welfare of Northwestern State University faculty, staff, students,
campus partners and visitors remain our highest priority.

Events and Gatherings 2021-05-28T10:20:06+00:00

Events and Gatherings

The Spring 2021 term will be a time of change for the Northwestern State University community, and we are updating services for student organizations to meet that change. Our goals are to ensure groups have opportunities to engage with each other and with campus.

Facility Use:

  • Please refer to the Student Union Facility reopening guidelines for more information.
  • Appropriate signage will be used outlining established facility protocols.
  • Capacity within each Student Union room/lobby will be based on current state and university regulations.
  • Seating will be spaced at least 6 feet apart within each room and we ask that seating not be moved.
  • If tables are provided, only two individuals are allowed at each table.
  • Host smaller events in larger rooms to provide adequate distance between individuals engaged in activities, events, and meetings.
  • Provide controlled flow of guests within the facility and in rooms with multiple access.

Appropriate signage and advertising will be used outlining established event protocols.  Thermal temperature scanners may be used to ensure the health and safety of workers and participants.  If over the maximum temperature, individuals will not be allowed to attend the event and will be encouraged to see health services.

Meetings and Events

  • All events, meetings, and activities shall be limited by the current guidance from the University and State of Louisiana.
  • All events, meetings, and activities shall observe facial covering facial covering unless the person has been fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine, and 6 feet social distancing requirements and the option of virtual participation for members who are not comfortable attending a face to face meeting. All meetings with a requirement that members attend must have a virtual option.
  • All events, meetings, and activities must be registered on the Purple Portal and booked through the Event Management System (EMS).
  • Only Purple Portal admin users have access to create events to register activities on the Purple Portal.
  • Organizations should make sure members and guests know that if they are sick, they should not attend face to face activities, events, or meetings.
  • Organizations should provide information to all members regarding appropriate action steps if a member reports being ill/sick and/or may have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Events with an expected attendance of greater than 100 will not be scheduled until further notice with the exception of Academic, Athletic, and other University sponsored events.
  • Bring sanitation wipes/spray for your attendees to disinfect surfaces.  High touch areas are to be cleaned before, after, and periodically throughout the event.
  • Currently, all on-campus events and activities may be scheduled through the last day of class for the semester.  This may change if the campus moves to virtual learning for the remainder of the semester.
  • The event host is responsible for following and enforcing all applicable guidelines. Meetings or events found in violation may result in loss of reservation privileges for the remainder of the semester and/or referral through the student organization accountability process.

Social Distancing & Attendance Limitations

  • All events, meetings, and activities will observe 6 feet social distancing requirements.
  • At this time, events indoors are limited to no more than 50 (needs to be 75)  people OR room capacity with social distancing in place, whichever is less. If outdoor (add outdoor) event/meeting attendance is at or over 50 (needs to be 75) individuals, the Fire Marshal Event Notification Form is required to be submitted on the Purple Portal prior to the event, whether indoors or outdoors. This form must be completed at least two weeks before the scheduled event.
  • Large events should be held outside and in a space that encourages and permits physical distancing of 6 feet between individuals. The maximum number of individuals for student organization events is currently 75.
  • Refer to facility guidelines to determine the number of individuals allowed in each room/facility.
  • Limit group size when possible.
  • Provide controlled flow of participants as much as possible from start to end of the event (utilize floor markings, physical barriers, etc.)

Attendance and Card Readers

  • Attendance at all events and activities must be controlled by invitation, tickets, or reservations for contact tracing purposes. It is highly recommended that guest lists for events be generated at least 24 hours prior to an event.
  • All events and activities, on or off campus, must maintain a record of attendance in the Purple Portal by creating an event and tracking those attending for contact tracing purposes. Card readers, check-in lists, and manual input on the Purple Portal are recommended ways to track attendance.
  • Cell phone card readers will be available to be checked out from the Office of Student Activities and Organizations to track event attendance.
  • Readers should be wiped with a sanitizing wipe between each card swipe.
  • Contact the Office of Student Activities and Organizations to learn more and reserve a card reader at

Organization Office Hours

  • Based on office space size and structure, occupancy will be limited and, in some cases, will be 1 member/student at a time. Office hour requirements may be reduced or held virtually.
  • No visitors in offices where space is limited.
  • Occupants must clean/wipe down surfaces before and after use.
  • Organizations need to communicate with their office mates when they plan to be in the office and maintain an office hours schedule. We expect organizations to work together and provide for fair and equitable sharing of office space.

Finding an Event Space

  • Meeting and event space on campus will be limited in capacity due to social distancing requirements at this time. Be sure to consider these capacity limitations when planning your event.
  • Find facility use policies as well as current capacity for meeting and event spaces on campus here.

Face Coverings

  • NSU continues to encourage all employees and visitors to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth, unless the person has been fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine.

Hand Sanitization

  • All meetings, events, and activities should have hand sanitizing stations available to participants and attendees.

Screening Questions & Temperature Checks

  • Event hosts may perform temperature checks for attendees on a “pass/fail” basis prior to entry to the event as long as notice is given prior to the event that temperature checks will occur.  No records of names and temperatures may be kept.  Attendees may enter the event if they meet the required temperature of 100.4°F and below.
  • Examples of screening questions may be found here.  Please note that these are examples and that the most up-to-date screening questions may be found through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Those failing the required temperature and screening questions may be denied entry to a meeting, event, or activity.

If a Member Tests Positive with COVID-19 or has Symptoms

Information Tables

  • Tabling will be available at outdoor locations only. Indoor information tables are not allowed at this time.
  • Items on the table must be for display only. Students may not touch the display items.
  • If the host/organization has giveaways, they must be kept behind the table and given to students individually. Examples of items include flyers, promo items, etc.
  • If the host/organization has a sign up or registration, they must have enough writing utensils to give away to everyone who uses one, OR they must have a “sanitized” and “unsanitized” holder for the writing utensils.  The individual tabling must give the sanitized writing utensil to the individual signing the form.
  • The event host is responsible for bringing sanitation wipes/spray to disinfect the table before and after use.
  • Each table may only have 2  representatives from the host/organization, and there may be no more than two 2 visitors at a time.  All individuals at the table must maintain six 6 feet of distance between one another at all times.

Fundraising and Bake Sales

  • Host is required to wear a face covering (see Face Coverings section above) and gloves.
  • Hand sanitizer should be available for guests and the host.
  • At this time, no food may be sold, including homemade and pre-packaged items.
  • Non-food items for sale must be kept behind the table and directly given to students purchasing the item individually (one at a time).

Events with Food

  • At this time, events with food must be held outdoors.
  • No self-prepared food is allowed at this time. All food must be purchased from an approved food service provider (Sodexo or other approved vendor, on campus. Licensed caterer or restaurant, off campus) or retail location.
  • Food items must be prepackaged and be individually handed out by the host.
  • Buffets are not allowed but plated meals are allowed by an approved food service provider (Sodexo or other approved vendor, on campus. Licensed caterer or restaurant, off campus)
  • Bake sales and other food sales are not allowed at this time.
  • Those serving food must wear masks and gloves.
  • There must be hand sanitizing stations provided.
  • Utensils should be distributed by servers.
  • Consider having food trucks with appropriate licenses at events.
  • Off-campus events with food may be held in restaurants or other venues only when social distancing protocols are in place.
  • Consider food allergies as well. View guidance on food allergies here.

Events with Alcohol

  • All events with alcohol, whether on or off campus, are prohibited at this time by student organizations.

Performance Activities

  • All performances involving 1 performer may occur indoors. Performances involving 2 or more performers should occur in reservable outdoor spaces, and all performers must wear face coverings when 6 feet of social distancing cannot be guaranteed.


  • At this time, student organization travel to off-campus events or activities is prohibited, including when student organization members utilize private funds for travel, competition fees, registration fees, etc.
  • Student Affairs departmental travel is restricted at this time.

Recruitment and Intake

  • Recruitment and intake will still take place for the fall semester ,however, it will look a bit different than it has in the past. There will be virtual components to the joining process for each of the three Greek councils.
  • Formal Panhellenic (CPH) sorority recruitment will still take place September 4-6 but at this time each round will take place virtually.
  • Recruitment events for Interfraternity Council (IFC) fraternities will take place virtually and there may be small face-to-face gatherings, but they must follow all COVID-19 safety protocols with masks, social distancing, gathering size limitations, hand sanitizing, etc.
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) may still conduct informationals and intake. COVID-19 safety protocols with masks, social distancing, gathering size limitations, hand sanitizing, etc. may impact how these informationals are conducted. Please seek additional guidance from your inter/national headquarters and regional directors on how to conduct intake, initiation, and new member presentations following safety protocols. Virtual meetings and events are strongly encouraged.

New Member Education

  • New member education and intake meetings must take place following all COVID-19 safety protocols with masks, social distancing, gathering size limitations, hand sanitization, etc. Virtual meetings for new member education and intake are highly recommended.

Ritual of Initiation

  • The ritual of initiation for each organization must take place following all COVID-19 safety protocols with masks, social distancing, gathering size limitations, hand sanitization, etc. We advise that chapters seek specific guidance on conducting their ritual of initiation following safety protocols from their inter/national headquarters.

Organization Facilities

  • At this time, gathering sizes in organization facilities, whether on or off-campus, will be limited to no more than 50 individuals or 50 percent of room or space capacity as determined by the Fire Marshal with social distancing in place, whichever is smaller.
  • It is highly encouraged that as many meetings, gatherings, and events take place outside and virtually as possible.
  • Organizations should implement set hours of when the facility will be open to members and under what provisions they may have access and organizations must maintain a record of who is present in the facility and when for contact tracing purposes.
  • Facilities should be regularly cleaned and disinfected.
  • Organizations should make efforts to cover or not allow the use of fabric furniture for the time being. Surfaces and materials should be easy to wipe down and disinfect.
  • If a live-in member or an organization facility, whether on or off-campus tests positive with COVID-19 or has symptoms immediately contact NSU Health Services at and follow the protocols outlined here.
  • Additional guidance for organization housing can be found in the “resources” section of the guidelines.

Chapter Consultant Visits

  • It is highly encouraged that chapter consultant visits to take place virtually if possible.
  • Any face to face meetings must take place following all COVID-19 safety protocols with masks, social distancing, gathering size limitations, hand sanitization, etc.
  • If staying in town, consultants should stay in private hotel accommodations and not at chapter facilities or in chapter member homes or apartments.
To assist with contract tracing the University will implement the following:

  • Staggered attendance times are encouraged.
  • Implement an RSVP requirement for all events/meetings to ensure room max capacity will not be compromised.
  • Create all events/meetings in Purple Portal and require swipe in of each participant and worker.
  • Readers should be wiped with a sanitizing wipe between each transaction.

Please email the Office of Student Activities and Organization ( if you require help in establishing an RSVP process &/or creating your event(s) in Purple Portal.

  • Prepackaged food items are allowed (sealed-grab and go options).
  • Buffets are allowed but closely monitored
  • Bake sales are not allowed at this time.
  • Staff serving food should wear masks and gloves.

Iberville Dining Hall, Chick-fil-A, Steak ‘n Shake, Café Demon, Vic’s and C-store are open. Masks are required for dine in at Iberville Dining Hall, Vic’s and Steak ‘n Shake at less than 75% capacity.  Seating has been arranged to allow for social distancing. Chick-fil-A is take-out only. Reduced hours and seating capacity allows for extra cleaning and sanitation measures to be in place.

The safety of our customers and employees is of the utmost importance, so we will follow guidelines set out by the local, state, and federal government.  Check our website at for updates.

Iberville Dining Hall

  • Breakfast: 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.
  • Lunch: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Dinner: 430p.m-6:30 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday:

  • Brunch: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
  • Dinner: 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Chick-fil-A is open 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday- Saturday.
Closed Sunday

Steak ‘n Shake is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Café DeMon is open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday.
7 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Vic’s is closed

C-Store is closed

Touchless payment will be available with Credit card and Declining Balance.  To-Go options are available at all locations.

Hours are subject to change.

All dine-in eating establishments (Iberville Dining Hall, Vic’s, Steak ‘n Shake, Café DeMon, and Chik-fil-A) will adhere to the following:

Social Distancing

  • Dining tables will be spaced 8’ apart with 75% capacity. Table seating capacity will be monitored
  • Floor signs in place for 6’ spacing and traffic patterns
  • Protective shields/barriers are being installed at registers


  • All employees will be in uniforms, masks, gloves, and appropriate PPE
  • Increase in hand washing, with hand sanitizer stations available to all
  • All meals will be either dine in or packaged in To Go containers
  • Grab and Go stations will be sanitized regularly
  • Trash areas will be monitored regularly
  • Tables will be disinfected after each use


  • Normal menus with reaction to service levels and packaging, and may reflect service station and kitchen restraints with a possible reduction in offerings due to space limitations
  • Pre-packaged items will be available


  • Staff will enter/exit through side, rear, or front doors while practicing social distancing
  • Hand washing and PPE use will be trained and enforced
  • Social distancing in service area might require reduced staff and longer service times


  • Iberville Dining Hall at 75% capacity is approximately 413 guests
  • Vic’s at 75% capacity is approximately 128 guests
  • Steak ‘n Shake at 75% capacity is approximately 77 guests
  • Café DeMon at 75% capacity is approximately 22.5 guests
  • Chick-fil-A will only be offering to-go meals. No dine-in services at this time.
NSU encourages all events to be conducted virtually. For those events that are held face-to-face, there should be virtual options for participants if possible.

There are multiple tools that can be used to conduct meetings, events, and activities virtually. Those recommended by the NSU are:


Webex is a video conferencing system that is available for all faculty and students to use. It allows you to speak to organization members in real time and can be utilized for a variety of different kinds of meetings. Click here for more information on WebEx. Training sessions can also be provided to organizations.

Microsoft Teams

NSU has a Microsoft feature called “Teams” that allows you to meet online (similar to Zoom, Skype, etc.).  This is a great way to conduct virtual organization, general body, executive board, or one-on-one meetings. Click here for more information on Microsoft Teams. Training sessions can also be provided to organizations.

Purple Portal

NSU Purple Portal offers a variety of features to help your organization operate online, including document uploads, roster management, form creation, event attendance tracking, and a custom website for each organization. For questions about Purple Portal, please email