Inviting visitors to campus
With Penn State preparing for a return to a full in-person campus environment for the fall 2021 semester, and with the summer serving as a period of transition, the University has provided updated guidance about inviting visitors to campus during the summer months, including guidelines for individual visitors, group events, employee travel between campuses and hiring. Units inviting visitors to campus should continue to evaluate whether remote options are available, as well as continue to follow all health and safety guidelines.
Employees or student organizations wishing to have a non-employee or non-student visit campus for any period of time must make a request to their unit executive. The visitor should not meet the definition of a Visiting Scholar (guidance about Visiting Scholars is available here). Examples of visitors include, but are not limited to, those wishing to audit a class, those wishing to participate in a meeting in person, invited speakers, guest lecturers/speakers in a class, or research collaborators making a short-term visit. The request to the unit executive should include where the visitor is traveling from, why the interaction cannot take place virtually, and the length of the proposed visit.
When reviewing requests, unit executives should give attention to the locations from which visitors are traveling and the COVID-19 rates in those locations. Acknowledgments of risk may be utilized to communicate the institution’s expectations regarding COVID-19 and require visitors or participants to agree to follow safety protocols. Administrators may consider consulting with Risk Management and the Office of General Counsel regarding their in-person or other programming.
Individual visitors still bear responsibility for adhering to guidelines and protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during travel and while on campus, including wearing masks and physical distancing. A visitor or participant’s vaccination status does not impact their obligation to adhere to these guidelines; however, visitors should consider and evaluate how their own vaccination status impacts the level of risk they are comfortable accepting before visiting campus.
Students are reminded that guests also are not allowed in any on-campus residence hall, due to COVID-19 safety rules.