On Nov. 10, the Events Advisory Committee reversed in-person event protocols that were announced on Oct. 30 by the Office of Campus Events. Although the Events Advisory Committee only recently announced guidelines to make larger in-person events feasible, a rise in local COVID-19 cases changed these plans.
However, with COVID-19 now spreading at a faster rate in Knox County, KPH issued a press release on Nov. 10 announcing new restrictions on gatherings. According to Kerkhoff, the committee concluded it was no longer safe to uphold the new policy through the end of the semester. There was only one accepted proposal for a 50-person event, but that will now be cancelled, according to Grier.
The original Oct. 30 announcement outlined new safety guidelines — created in consultation with Knox Public Health (KPH) — that would allow indoor and outdoor events of up to 50 people. The Committee accepted 12 proposals for larger events before this week, half of which have already taken place.
The Committee, which is comprised of Dean of Campus Life Laura Kane, Director of Campus Events Howard Grier and Associate Provost Drew Kerkhoff, said low case count and feelings of “student fatigue” on campus motivated the update to the College’s in-person event policy.
Before the most recent moderate alert status, the Committee worked with KPH in order to develop the new safety protocols, but did not instate them until after the most recent quiet period ended. While the Committee mostly focused on outdoor proposals when developing the guidelines, indoor proposals were expected as well.
If the College reintroduces the new protocols in the spring, those interested in having a larger event will need to submit a proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 10 working days before the event’s proposed date.