/ Campus Health

Campus Life & Events

While campus life looks and feels different this year, we strive to provide unique, rich and transformational student life experiences.  

How is a "gathering" defined?

A “gathering” brings together two or more persons at the same time for a discrete, shared or group experience in a single room, space or place such as a residence, park, auditorium, stadium, arena, conference room, meeting room, classroom, or other indoor or outdoor space. However, it does not include situations when residents of the same residence hall room, cottage or apartment are together in their own assigned living spaces.  It should be noted that ALL events are defined as a gathering and should adhere to the guidance found below.

All events are limited to 10, with special approval available for outdoor events up to 50. See below for more guidance on event approval and organizing.


Guidance for All Gatherings
  • Required physical distancing: 6 feet of space must be maintained at all times.
  • For gatherings at the Knickerbocker Theatre, Jack H. Miller Concert Hall, DeWitt Theatre, DeVos Fieldhouse arena and all outdoor athletic facilities, the organizer must maintain a record for each attendee that includes their name, time of entry and a phone number. The organizer must deny entry to any attendee that does not provide the necessary information.
  • Face coverings must be worn over the nose and mouth at all times indoors or when outdoors and you cannot continually maintain 6 feet of spacing from others.
  • Discourage handshakes, hugs and other physical contacts.
  • Pre-configured layouts will not be changed and additional seating/capacity will not be added. Rooms have been configured for 6 feet physical distancing and should not be altered.
  • Please make every effort to eliminate food or drink from your gathering. All food and beverages at gatherings must be either (1) provided by Hope College Dining Services, or (2) brought by each individual attendee. If your gathering must have food or drink, all attendees must be seated at least 6 feet apart; attendees should not move about while eating. Catering is limited to pre-packaged meals, snacks and bottled beverages. There should never be shared food or self-service-style food at any gathering. 
  • Hand sanitizer stations need to be provided for each event. Most venues at Hope College have hand sanitizer stations already in place, but you should double-check your space. If a hand sanitizer station is not present, please request one from the Physical Plant at least 48 hours ahead of time.
  • Unless in a large space (outdoors, Jack H. Miller Concert, Knickerbocker Theatre) please be sure to wipe down all seats and tables with the cleaning items at the venue prior to the event.
  • People from outside the Hope community (employees and students) cannot be invited to attend an event at this time.
  • Events that feature an outside performer or speaker should be avoided. If necessary, student groups should seek permission from studentlife@hope.edu and academic events should seek permission from the Academic Planning Subcommittee by completing the Guest Speakers and Curricular/Co-curricular Events Request form. Organizers should not publicize the event until approval is received.
  • All Standard Gatherings must have a named organizer:
    • The organizer is responsible for ensuring that the size of the gathering does not exceed 10 persons. If those limits are exceeded, the organizer must immediately discontinue the event and disperse all attendees.
    • The organizer is responsible for ensuring that all attendees maintain six feet of distance from one another at all times, including by designing the gathering to encourage and maintain distancing.
    • Only campus locations that have been previously configured for COVID capacity and safeguards will be approved for use
    • Regardless of the event size, face masks are required at all outdoor gatherings. 
    • The organizer is responsible for ensuring that the space is cleaned in the COVID-recommended manner prior to the gathering.
  • Larger gatherings may only take place outdoors.
  • Larger gatherings must be requested through and approved by the Safety, Health and Operations Subcommittee (SHO). If approved, gatherings must then be scheduled through the Events and Conferences Office (ECO) using their standard processes and lead-time requirements. For more information see below.
    • A named individual who will be present at the event must be designated as the “organizer.”
    • SHO will communicate with the organizer indicating the approval or denial of the gathering.
  • The organizer is responsible for ensuring that the size of the outdoor gathering does not exceed 25. In the event the maximum attendance is exceeded, the organizer must immediately discontinue the event, disperse all attendees, and notify the ECO.
  • The organizer is responsible for ensuring that all attendees maintain six feet of distance from one another at all times, including by designing the gathering to encourage and maintain distancing.
  • Regardless of the event size, face masks are required at all outdoor gatherings. 
  • The organizer is responsible for ensuring that the approved space is cleaned in the COVID-recommended manner prior to the gathering/event.
Thinking of organizing an event?

Use this event planning document to start planning!

COVID-19 Event Planning Document

Thinking of taking a group off-campus?

The college's Risk and Responsiblity Committee will need to approve all off-campus, college-sponsored group travel, whether local, regional or national travel. Please email risk@hope.edu.

Academic Events and Guest Speakers

Given heightened risks associated with bringing off-campus individuals into the campus community and increased demand for large meeting spaces, the Steering Committee and Academic Planning Subcommittee strongly recommend that events and classes featuring guest speakers be held virtually or postponed to later semesters/years. This recommendation is in accordance with current CDC guidelines and gives Hope College the greatest chance of healthy operations throughout the semester. If a department or academic program wishes to postpone annual events until a later semester they can discuss carrying over event budgets with the dean or the provost.

In a situation where an on-campus guest speaker/visitor is essential to the functioning of the sponsoring program (e.g., academic accreditation), programs should first email their divisional dean and department chair to inform them about the proposed event or proposed speaker/guest and then to discuss the appropriateness and necessity of the event or visitor. If the dean, chair and faculty agree that it is essential to pursue the event or invite the visitor, the faculty member must request to host an external speaker/visitor to the APS via the Guest Speakers and Curricular/Co-curricular Events Request form. The APS will provide an answer to the request within a week of its submission. Faculty should not schedule additional out-of-town speakers until completing this process and receiving approval.

Make a reservation

The Events and Conference Office will review your reservation and help you prepare for a safe and healthy gathering. (Please note, events with more than 10 attendees needs approval from the Safety, Health and Operations Subcommittee (see above)).

Reserve a virtual event in EMS
We know that many events will take place virtually this year, so we have added an “online building” with a “virtual” room to the list of reservable spaces on campus. When making your virtual reservation, you will be able to request that your event appears on the campus calendar and also request assistance with video streaming/recording platforms as well as other technical resources.


How many guests will be in attendance?
If the gathering guidelines allow for it and your event has more than 10 guests in attendance, please make your reservation 72 hours in advance so we can ensure you have all of the necessary resources to make it safe and healthy for your guests.

For a complete listing of spaces available for reservations along with their COVID capacities, click here. 

Are you having food at your event or meeting?

Although virtual meetings are being encouraged whenever possible, there may be times when in-person meetings are scheduled. If these meetings will include catering support, please follow the usual protocol by reserving space for your meeting in EMS and indicate that you desire catering support. The catering office will contact you to work out the details.

All guidelines and directives put forth by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC will be followed. For now, this means we are limiting support to pre-packaged meals, snacks and bottled beverages. We will, of course, offer more options as allowed and appropriate.

Visit the Creative Dining Services catering website to place your order.

Guidelines to ensure the health and safety of everyone

  • Food preparation and service:
    1. Have all food and drinks individually packaged (boxed meals, individual cans or bottles, pre-wrapped utensils, etc.)
    2. Guests may bring their own “grab and go” meals from one of the campus dining facilities.
    3. It is recommended that groups stay on campus for meals to reduce the risk associated with eating in restaurants
  • Ask guests to use hand sanitizer or wash hands before and after eating
  • Ask guests to dispose of their own garbage

Upcoming and Current Events


Our team made a valiant attempt to plan a commencement ceremony in August, but in the end we determined it was not going to be the proper celebration our students have earned and deserve. For this reason, we have decided to further postpone in-person commencement for the Class of 2020 to May 2021. For the full message from President Scogin to recent graduates and their families, please visit the Commencement website.