New Committee Created To Review All Events This Semester

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, BW has created the Event Review Committee, which will review and authorize all events in order to keep the health and safety of their students, staff, and faculty their top priority.

Over the summer, the university created a Health Advisory Committee as the central committee for COVID policies and procedures. As this committee began to discuss the possibility of events in the fall, they realized the many intricacies when it came to planning events, so a subcommittee was formed, and the Event Review Committee was born.

The main idea the Event Review Committee focused on at first, “… was getting everything to a central form to fill out so that every single student organization, every department, every group that was trying to plan an event was being held to the same questions and to the same standards.” said Event Review Committee head, Jon Burke.

When scheduling events this semester, every event creator will need to fill out this form which includes questions such as: how many people will be attending the event, how will the event follow safety procedures, how will safety violations be addressed, etc.

“What we like to see,” said Burke, “is that people have actually thought about things that maybe people don’t normally think about when planning an event and that they understand what the event review committee is looking for.”

One of the new requirements for events is if an event consists of 11 or more people, a faculty advisor will need to be present. Burke explained that these advisors are not meant to be in charge of the event but to instead be a support system and a resource for the student organizers in the case of peer pressure or “a fear of trying to enforce policies on other peers.”

However, there has been some concerns about this new requirement. Clare Helmer, Student Body Vice President of BW, said, “I don’t think that there should be a faculty or staff member required to be there because we’re training these campus leaders to lead their organization and to mold it into what it is… it undercuts the students’ position of leadership on campus.”

On the other hand, some students and advisors think it is a necessary precaution. Both the President of Zeta Tau Alpha, Olivia Wagoner, and their faculty advisor, Rena Meadows, agreed that it is a great precaution to take because it is possible for organizations to hide safety violations and this policy will be very helpful to keep the community open and safe.

Regarding safety violations being broken, Burke said “If an organization submits the answers to the questions and they do not follow the policy and procedures that we’ve created, or that they were informed of, or that they’ve agreed to, they will be held accountable.” He explained that there are different ways they could go about handling those situations such as student conduct or preventing groups from reserving rooms, but it all depends on the situation at hand.

As the Event Review Committee, Burke said, “We really do believe that the groups on campus want to have successful events and they want to follow the rules and they want to make sure they can continue to do it.”