Policy on Parties during COVID-19

September 2020

Public health and state of Ohio guidance discourage social gatherings because of their potential to trigger the spread of COVID-19. States across the country, including Ohio, have regulated social gatherings, as well as the hours that bars and restaurants may conduct business, to slow the spread of the virus.

Earlier this year, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine placed a limit of 10 people on social gatherings, which are to be limited to close friends and family. Religious services and higher education activities are among the exceptions.

To protect our community, which exists in a congregate setting, Oberlin’s pandemic-related policies meet or exceed state minimum requirements. This approach is reflected in the Community Agreement all students attending class on campus signed before the semester began.

The following policy pertains to academic gatherings and the hosting of a limited number of friends:

  • The Party Registration process is suspended for the 2020-21 academic year. No parties will be approved or permitted. This prohibition applies to students on and off campus.

  • Student visitors to your room in residence halls (who are participating in Oberlin's COVID-19 testing program) are limited to two per resident if you can maintain 6 feet of physical distancing and wear masks.

  • Off-campus parties are defined as any extended social gathering involving more than one guest per resident.

  • Students living off campus are prohibited from hosting social gatherings with non-residents of their housing.  Students off campus may host one guest per resident in order to spend time with friends, so long as they maintain 6 feet of physical distancing and all people wear masks.

  • When possible, academic gatherings or the hosting of friends in accordance with the above guidelines should be limited, and held outdoors.  

  • Academic gatherings or the hosting of friends should not exceed one guest per resident, and should not exceed more than 10 people total.

  • Maintaining a minimum of 6-feet distancing is required both outdoors and indoors.

  • Masks should be worn at all times, unless a person is alone in a room with the door closed.

  • Off-campus, indoor academic gatherings at a residence should not exceed 10 people and be in accordance with the rule of no more than one guest per resident. During such gatherings, all participants should maintain physical distancing of 6 feet.

  • If possible, all eating and drinking during gatherings should occur outdoors.  People may remove their masks during active eating and drinking outdoors, but they must be especially careful to maintain physical distance. Masks should be reapplied as soon as the meal is completed.

  • Eating or drinking indoors during a social or academic gathering is discouraged. If eating or drinking indoors is necessary, students are encouraged to rotate eating together so that the group is not all eating and unmasked that the same time. As in outdoor gatherings, masks should be reapplied as soon as the meal is completed. Maintaining at least 6 feet of physical distance is critically important