COVID Event Guidelines

We look forward to supporting your organization’s success this academic year. There are many questions about how to plan events within changing public health guidelines. With leadership and agency, it is possible to ensure your members’ safety and hold great events and build community. Registered Student Organizations are empowered to set additional safety measures for their events and productions.

As always, contact your SOMeCA advisor as soon as you have an event or production idea. We can help navigate requirements and recommendations. The following guidelines were developed by students and staff after consulting with campus health, safety, and legal experts. 

Please note the following:

  • For registered student organizations, an event proposal is required for all on-campus events and activities, regardless of event scale. You must meet with an advisor or Peer Advisor, who will inform you of your requirements before signing.
  • Registered student organizations hosting events must be informed by and compliant with up-to-date requirements. SOMeCA staff will provide current facts and requirements of the CA Dept of Public Health, the City of Santa Cruz Public Health, Cal/OSHA, the UC system, and UC Santa Cruz.
    • Any updates will be sent to all registered organizations in a timely manner. 
  • Individual campus venue/building managers have  discretion to implement requirements to reduce risk and provide a comfortable, safe experience within each venue and building. 
    • Please do not assume that venues are open or at full capacity. 

We have all seen how the dangers of COVID-19 can change unexpectedly. When planning events please remind your members to be flexible and understanding if changes are needed, including cancellation of events due to an increase of COVID-19 cases. 


Event Guidelines

For event-scale definitions, please refer to our Event Scales.

  • Event Scales are defined by the size, complexity and impact on the campus. The event scale will be discussed collectively with your SOMeCA Advisors when planning your event.

All events regardless of scale must adhere to:

For all events, please keep in mind that financial transactions, including 204 form processing, contracts, and service purchase orders can require planning 2 - 3 weeks in advance.


Small Events:

  • Indoors, in person:
    • Max of 50 individuals in attendance
    • Indoor venues will be capped at 75% capacity of the event attendees, allowing for physical distancing and air flow to remain in compliance with recommended Environmental Health & Safety guidelines. 
  • Outdoors, in person:
    • Max of 50 individuals in attendance
  • Advance planning required:
    • Minimum of 1 week required for small-scale event proposals

Mid-Scale Events:

  • Indoors, in person:
    • Max of 100 individuals in attendance
    • Indoor venues will be capped at 75% capacity of the event attendees, allowing for physical distancing and air flow to remain in compliance with recommended Environmental Health & Safety guidelines. 
  • Outdoors, in person:
    • Max of 100 individuals in attendance
  • Advance planning required:
    • Minimum of 2 weeks required for mid-scale event proposals

Large Events:

  • Indoors, in person:
    • Max of 200 individuals in attendance
    • Indoor venues will be capped at 75% capacity of the event attendees, allowing for physical distancing and air flow to remain in compliance with recommended Environmental Health & Safety guidelines. 
  • Outdoors, in person:
    • Max of 200 individuals in attendance
  • Advance planning required:
    • Minimum of 4 weeks required for large-scale event proposals

Major Events:

Please see the Division of Student Affairs & Success Major Events Policy for all details. Please meet with your advisor 7 weeks prior to your proposed date to review.

Event Safety Information

  • Indoor Event Guidelines
    • All on-site indoor events with expected attendance of 25 or more attendees may require proof of being fully vaccinated or a recent negative COVID-19 pcr test result for admittance. 
    • Registered Student Organizations may require face coverings for specific events, such as those with the possibility of high density or close contact. 
    • The student organization should provide attendees with reasonable notice of the requirements of the event in advance. 
      • Attendees who do not meet specified event requirements will not be permitted entry. 
    • Accurate attendee registration is recommended for all events to aid in contact tracing if needed.
  • Food & Entertainment
    • No drink or food is to be consumed in classroom spaces and some indoor facilities. Facilities may prohibit the consumption of food or beverages. 
    • If the event is serving food:
      • It is strongly recommended that all food be limited to outdoors; and grab-and-go or individually boxed meal options are served to guests. 
      • If the organization chooses a buffet-style dining, food and drink must be served to guests (no self-service) and will be reviewed during the food permit approval process. 
      • Potluck style food is allowed for private events only. Please consult with your SOMeCA Advisor.
  • Fundraisers 
    • Fundraising at the Quarry Plaza for student organizations will be limited to 10 spots at the Quarry Plaza. The spots have been designated by our Campus Fire Marshall and will be assigned by the BayTree Bookstore Staff.
    • For all fundraisers:
      • It is strongly recommended that all drinks and food be individually pre-packaged items. 
      • Drinks and food must be purchased from a grocery store (ex. Safeway) or a restaurant. 
      • Drinks and food cannot be prepared on campus (no approved kitchen) and/or homemade for sale distribution.
    • All small-scale fundraisers will require a meeting with SOAR Peer Advisors and/or SOMeCA Advisor to review availability, event conditions, fiscal processes and receive food permit approval
  • Tabling
    • Tabling at the Quarry Plaza for student organizations will be limited to 10 spots at the Quarry Plaza. The spots have been designated by our Campus Fire Marshall and will be assigned by the BayTree Bookstore Staff. 
    • To reserve your space for the Quarry Plaza, a meeting with the SOAR Peer Advisors and/or SOMeCA Advisor will be required.
  • Travel
    • To be considered for sponsorship, the travel must meet the following:
      • The travel is in compliance with campus policies including UCSC Travel Guide and UCOP Travel Policy.
      • There is sufficient planning time to address the complexity of the travel and risk associated with travel. 
        • SOMeCA does not sponsor International travel. 
        • Mid-Scale Travel is defined as: 
          • Out-of-State travel involves no more than 2 students. 
          • In-state travel involving no more than 10 students.
        • A Large travel is defined as: 
          • Out-of-state travel includes no more than 10 students.
          • In-state travel involves no more than 24 UCSC students.