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On-Campus Social Events

September 20, 2021

To: The Caltech Community
From: Thomas F. Rosenbaum, President and David A. Tirrell, Provost
Date: September 20, 2021
Re: On-Campus Social Events

In preparation for the start of fall term and the return of Caltech's undergraduate and graduate students to our campus residences, Student Affairs recently communicated to all students a series of requirements that limit in-person student activities and events through early October. These measures, which strive to mitigate the spread of disease within our community, restrict indoor student gatherings and limit outdoor student events to those that can maintain physical distancing and require participants to wear masks. Serving food and drink at outdoor events is discouraged because of the masking requirement, and will be allowed only in limited and highly controlled settings.

In support of this effort and in recognition of our shared responsibility to support the health and wellbeing of everyone at Caltech, the Institute now requires all campus departments and groups on campus to limit their social events between now and October 15. For any social event held during this period, Caltech expects organizers to plan and execute the event in a manner that: 

  • limits the number of participants to 25 or fewer;
  • prioritizes the use of outdoor spaces;
  • facilitates physical distancing among attendees;
  • ensures that masks are worn by all attendees;
  • avoids serving food or drink; and
  • adheres to the Institute's COVID-19 protocols.  

A safe and successful start to term will allow more flexible protocols for events later in the fall. 

In addition, as of October 18, 2021, Caltech will require that the vaccination status of all eligible participants be confirmed at entry to on-campus social events; this requirement applies to both indoor and outdoor events. This decision aligns with the Institute's vaccination policy, which, as of October 18, 2021, limits indoor access to buildings to individuals who have confirmed vaccination status or an approved exemption. 

Thank you for your continued efforts to support the Caltech community. We know this isn't where we had hoped to be at the start of fall term, but each of these steps is an essential element of keeping everyone in our community safe and healthy. Additional information on the Institute's guidance for on-campus social events is available on the Caltech Together website