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Student Organization Fall 2020 Operations

 

* Engagement Level 2 (YELLOW) *

SOLE GENERAL UPDATES

 

As we approach the start of the Fall 2020 semester, please feel free to reach out. There will be additional updates as we approach the start of the school year. It is imperative that you stay on top of your emails and our website. We know that this will be a challenging semester; however, we know that together, TAMIU Together, we will get through this.

To start Fall 2020, the following will be in place :

 

  • Engagement Level 2 (YELLOW) - Limited face-to-face meetings (no events); maximum 10 people in a room.

  • Tabling may, but is not guaranteed, commence the third week of school.

  • All student organization travel will not be approved for Fall 2020. No university funds may be utilized for travel.

  • Fundraising must all be approved by SOLE. There will be NO food fundraising until further notice.

  • Student organizations will be held responsible for their on- and off-campus activities. These rules and guidelines extend off-campus as well.

  • All meetings/events (virtual or in-person) will need to utilize the Event Attendance feature on the Trailblazers Platform.

  • Large-scale, community-oriented events (such as Halloween Fest) will not take place.

 

Yellow Traffic Light

  • SOLE is pleased to welcome a new SOLEMate: Ms. Nayeli Lopez. Ms. Lopez, Assistant Director of SOLE, is originally from Laredo. She received her bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a minor in Music from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree in Higher Education in Student Affairs from Salem State University in Salem, MA. Nayeli also serves as adjunct faculty for the TAMIU Ballet Folklorico. Nayeli enjoys spending time with family and friends, exercising, and learning about different cultures.

 

  • There WILL be a Welcome Week this fall. Additional information, including the Student Organization Fair, will be forthcoming in the next few weeks. Almost all events will be virtual, including the student organization fair. We will need you all work with our office to ensure visibility for the event.

 

  • Democratic engagement is a priority for SOLE this year. Democratic engagement includes participating in the electoral process (registering to vote, voting, serving as a poll worker or election judge) and participating in important institutional efforts such as the Census. If you have not participated in the Census yet, it is imperative that you do. Many student organizations are represented on the TAMIU All-In Democracy Challenge Task Force. We appreciate having student voices represented by a wide array of perspectives.

 

  • All of SOLE’s programming (including Leadership programs) will be virtual this Fall. There is still time to apply for Sophomore Leaders Involved in Change and Leadership TAMIU. The International Leadership Series will focus on Social Justice and Equity and will feature some prominent guest speakers.

 


 

COVID-19 GUIDELINES FALL 2020

 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Texas A&M International University Office of Student Orientation, Leadership and Engagement will be implementing the following guidelines. We greatly value our students, SOLE staff and everyone associated with our Dustdevil family, and want to do everything in our power to provide them with a safe, yet effective environment. In doing so, we plan to make informed, fact-based decisions on meetings, events and all other Office of Student Orientation, Leadership and Engagement activities while remaining flexible and adjusting as situations merit. We will act responsibly and to the best of our abilities, while ensuring the health and safety of our Students and SOLE staff.

As of August 1, 2020, there will be no student organization in-person events for the Fall 2020 semester. Meetings will allowed to take place as detailed below. This is due to city/county guidelines and the recent increase in COVID-19 cases. This decision may be rescinded at a later date. Tabling will not be able to occur until the third week of classes in Fall 2020 semester. Once approved at a later date, student organizations will be allowed to have events as detailed in the following parameters. Given the ongoing, fluid nature of the pandemic, these policies and guidelines are subject to change at any time.

 

  1. TAMIU SOLE will utilize a color-coded Engagement level to make determinations related to events. The document COVID-19 Engagement Level Explanation explains these levels in depth. It is important that student organizations review this document.

        a. Green- Posted Capacity/Outdoor/No More than 50

         b. Yellow- Limited Face-to-Face Meetings/No In-Person Events/ Max 10

         c. Red- Virtual Only

  2. All student organizations should make a concerted effort to host all meetings and events virtually. This will allow for minimum exposure to the virus. Student organizations should record the meeting/event and allow their members/public to view this at their own leisure.

  3. Once approved to have events (Green), utilize outside space as much as possible.

         a. Student organizations should utilize their own tents when possible and explicit permission has been granted.

         b. Moving indoors will not be an option if it is “too cold” or if it is sprinkling/lightly misting. If space allows, you may be able to move indoors if it is severe weather (lightning strikes, tornados, hail or heavy downpour). For cold related movement, outside temperature must be below freezing.

  4. If you chose to host a virtual meeting/event, all meetings/events will need to be registered on Trailblazers, similar to all in-person meetings/events. SOLE will approve the events as we have traditionally done.

  5. All virtual and in-person events/meetings must utilize the Event Attendance feature on the Trailblazers platform. Attendance must be uploaded within 24 hours of the event. Failure to adhere to this rule will result in the denial of future events/meetings and the potential suspension of your student organization. This is to allow for contact tracing that will need to occur.

  6. Always stay home if you believe you have any COVID-19 like symptoms. Do not participate in student organization events if you feel sick.

  7. Follow CDC Guidelines:

          a. Maintain social distance.
          b. Face covering must be worn unless alone in your private office
          c. Wash hands frequently
          d. Disinfect surfaces frequently before and after use (desks, phones, chairs, etc.)

  8. Face coverings must be utilized for all events/meetings (inside and outside).

  1. Once approved for in-person events, there will be no fundraisers that involve food/drink. All fundraisers will need to be approved by the Office of Student Orientation, Leadership and Engagement.

  2. Limit usage of paper handouts. Organizations are strongly recommended to utilize QR codes or other electronic forms of communication.

  3. Food to be distributed during in-person events/meetings must be purchased and must be distributed in individualized, pre-packaged containers. All university procedures and policies must be followed in these instances.

  4. Once approved, in-person events may be no larger than 50 people, both in and outdoors, depending on space and location.

         a. Recommended students RSVP & sign up for shifts to attend if larger attendance is expected (e.g. students sign up for a 1 hour shift and can only attend during that 1 hour. This will allow for 50 per hour and will have potential to reach more students).

         b. After each shift of attendees, organization must allow time for disinfecting the used materials/spaces.

         c. Organizations must disinfect materials.

  5. In-person meetings limited to 1 per month in STC 225 or STC 120, unless approval provided by SOLE on a limited basis. Meetings will be limited to no more than 2 hours.

         a. These meetings must follow social distancing requirements (face coverings and maintaining 6 feet distance).

         b. These meetings will be limited to Executive Board attendance only.

         c. Room capacity must be adhered to at all times

         d. Organizations are encouraged to host all members during these meetings via Zoom or other online platform

         e. Exceptions are new member education meetings that must be held in person, initiation, ceremonial, etc.

               i. Meetings will be limited to no more than 1 hour.

  6. Limit the usage/re-usage of materials by participants in events.

          a. If items are to be used/re-used, the item must be disinfected each time

  7. No student travel will be approved in Fall 2020 unless approved by the University President. Travel must fulfill a critical university mission/function.

  8. Student organizations should utilize Trailblazers for RSVPs.

  9. Student organizations may have the ability to input their events into the TAMIU Guidebook App for all students entitled “Engage Your SOLE” which will list important university and student events.

  10. No cocktail tables can be utilized at any event.

  11. All of the event guidelines and policies extend off-campus for student organizations. This means that student organizations are NOT allowed to host any in-person event off- campus. Student organizations that violate this provision will violate the Leader student organization handbook policies and will therefore be subject to the procedures for adjudicating violations as detailed in the Leader student organization handbook.

Specialized Student Organization Guidelines & Event Parameters

*These events can only happen when the engagement color is GREEN*

  1. Large-scale, community-oriented events (such as Halloween Fest and Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony) will not take place as has previously occurred. Every attempt will be made to host events such as these in the future, including looking at the Spring 2021 semester.

  2. Large-scale, TAMIU events (such as Welcome Week, Loteria, Pre-Exam Jam and Maroon Madness) will take place in a different format. Our goal is to provide a similar experience if possible. Students will need to sign up to attend these events.

         a. All attempts must be made to host the event in a virtual format.

         b. Once approved for events, whenever possible, the event should take place outside in an open space to provide for additional social distancing capabilities.

         c. The space will need to be enclosed to ensure proper adherence to attendance requirements.

              i. In accordance with Event Services protocols, enclosure will include barricades, caution tape, stanchions, etc. There will be one entry/exit point.

         d. Recommended students RSVP & sign up for shifts to attend if larger attendance is expected (e.g. students sign up for a 1-hour shift and can only attend during that 1 hour. This will allow for 50 per hour and will have potential to reach more students).

         e. After each shift of attendees, time must be created to allow for disinfecting the used materials/spaces.

         f. Student organizations must disinfect materials.

         g. Event layout must be approved by SOLE and Event Services.

         h. It is the responsibility of attendees to appropriately social distance. Signage must be posted to limit congregating of attendees.

         i. All attendees must wear face covering and adhere to social distance.
  1. For Fall 2020, informational tabling/voter registration/donation drives may not occur until the third week of classes.

  2. Students may have an informational table; however, there may be no more than 2 students per table.

  3. Students should maintain social distancing throughout the tabling event.

  4. Students should limit usage of paper handouts and utilizing alternative methods to get information to students.

         a. If handing out materials (paper, promotional items, etc.), participants must wear gloves.

         b. Student organizations must disinfect frequently utilized materials (e.g. pens, clipboards, etc.).

  5. Tables must remain 3 feet apart from each other in spaces where there will be multiple tables. This will ultimately reduce the amount of tabling opportunities.

  6. Given the reduction, student organizations will be limited to 5 tables per month. Each tabling session can be no longer than 3 hours.

  7. For donation drives, student organization may only touch items that have been placed in donation bin if they are wearing gloves.
  1. Once approved for events, retreats/conferences/ceremonies/banquets/initiations will be allowed to happen on campus in limited campus locations that will be determined by the capacity of the specific location and the organization needs.

  2. All retreats/conferences/ceremonies/banquets/initiations may incorporate:

    1. A table where no more than 4 attendees may sit at if in a ballroom/open room setting

    2. Appropriately distanced movable/fixed chairs if in a classroom setting (subject to capacity concerns)

    3. Open space (if available)

  3. Face coverings must be utilized throughout the retreat/conference/ceremony/banquet except when consuming meals.

  4. Meals must be plated and covered OR pre-packaged. There will be no buffets allowed.

  5. Retreats/conferences/ceremonies/banquets will be limited to no more than 50 attendees. If there are more attendees expected, it is important to have more than 1shift where attendance is limited.

  6. Non-TAMIU participants will not be allowed.
  1. Speaking events should be encouraged to be moved to a virtual environment. Those virtual environments should be recorded and provided to the public (if contract allows).

  2. If moving to a virtual environment is not possible, it is strongly recommended that the organization reconsiders whether a speaker is needed. It is recommended that if the organization determines that a speaker is necessary in person, the organization structures the event so that there can be multiple speeches OR record the speech and replay it either live on Facebook Live or have it available to download at a later date.

  3. Student organizations may reserve a space on campus for the speech/debate. All attendees will be required to maintain social distancing requirements and will be required to wear a face covering.

  4. Given IT need of events of this size, the speaker/debater may not need to wear their face coverings as they may not be heard even with a microphone; please plan accordingly with the SOLE office for risk management purposes.
  1. Once approved for events, the events will be allowed to take place given appropriate adherence to appropriate social distancing guidelines, but must have all appropriate approvals.

  2. Attendance will be limited to 50 attendees. Students must RSVP for the event. Non-TAMIU students/personnel are prohibited.

         a. Live-streaming event is strongly encouraged.

  3. All participants and attendees must have face coverings.

  4. Participants are strongly encouraged to maintain social distancing guidelines of 6 feet. This includes dancing/strolling/unveiling.

  5. All new member presentations/probates will happen outside. No indoor space is allowed, unless severe weather prohibits.
  1. It is strongly encouraged to hold performances and rehearsals in a virtual setting; however, we recognize that this may not always be possible, nor practical.

  2. Performances will be handled on a case by case basis with approval from SOLE.

  3. Rehearsals should be limited to less than 5 people per space and only in the spaces that are approved to hold rehearsals.

  4. Social distancing guidelines should be adhered to whenever possible, including the following:

         a. Maintaining 6 feet distance
         b. Disinfecting usage of shared materials
         c. Proper health/hand hygiene
         d. Limit touching of face

  5. Recognizing that face coverings may not be possible given the type of organization (dance, musical, etc.), attendance for rehearsals and performances may need to be limited.

  6. These types of events will follow protocols for specialized courses (performance courses).

 

Access our 2020 SOLE Re-Opening COVID Plans

 


 

The Leader

 

There are a few additional changes to the overall student organization experience that we had mentioned last Spring that we wanted to bring you up to speed about with the release of the new version of The Leader Student Organization Handbook.

 

  1. Student Organizations must send at least two representatives to the Student Organization Leadership Advancement Retreat (S.O.L.A.R.). This event is free and will be held on Saturday September 19th (VIRTUALLY) from 10:00am to 4:00pm (tentative). Additional information will be provided at a later date.

  2. Student Organizations must send one representative to the newly formed Student Organization Council. This organization will be a forum of information for all student organizations and serve as an opportunity to connect with university departments, hear updates, and collaborate with each other. They will held the first Wednesday of the month 4:30-5:30pm (VIRTUALLY). The first will be held on September 2nd, 2020.

  3. Student organizations will not be required to do community service moving forward.

  4. There is a new student organization recognition process: Student Organization Leadership Development (SOLD) program. Organizations that progress through the different levels will receive additional benefits, including being featured on social media, priority registration for specific events; recognition at University Life Awards.

         a. SOLD TIER MODEL

              i. University Recognized Organizations (meet all outlined requirements)

              ii. Achieving Organizations (no probation; participated in student organization fair; updated and using Trailblazers profile; minimum of 50 service hours per semester; registered, on-campus event (non-fundraiser/meeting) open to TAMIU community*)

              iii. Excelling Organizations (attend all SOLE events; attend 2/3 Dustdevils L.E.A.D. workshops each semester; participate in Spirit Week; nominate a member for Mr. & Ms. TAMIU; minimum of 100 service hours per semester; completed their Trailblazer roster)
  1. Implementation of the TAMIU Expressive Activity on Campus SAP/Policy.

  2. Once travel is approved, a new statement reads as follows “TAMIU WILL NOT REIMBURSE STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS FOR ANY CANCELLATION OF TRAVEL. Student organization assumes all responsibility related to financial obligations for organization activities.”

  3. Event Attendance Tracking is now a requirement.

  4. Room Setup Fee if organization does not reset the room to original form OR leaves excessive trash in room.

 

Access The Leader

Student Center Suite 224
5201 University Blvd., Laredo, TX 78041-1900
(956) 326-2280
Fax: (956) 326-2279
E-mail: sole@tamiu.edu