On-site Participation Guidelines
Event Safety During Ongoing Public Health Emergencies
With ongoing public health emergencies, NASPA is prepared to manage our place-based events with the health, safety, and well-being of our attendees, staff, presenters, exhibitors, sponsors, and speakers in mind. All participants, including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, sponsors, volunteers, NASPA staff, service providers, and others are expected to abide by our code of conduct and all polices in effect for any event sponsored by the Association.
We will continue to monitor and update safety precautions for all of our conferences regularly and coordinate with trusted national resources, state and local public health agencies, and the hotels/venues hosting our events.
In all cases, we will continue to assess the risks in the area local to the event and the current status in the United States. In keeping with the Association's duty of care and the responsibility as host, NASPA has implemented safety requirements for many of our place-based convenings.
We reserve the right to modify these policies and procedures at any time given the rapidly changing nature of any current and ongoing public health emergencies.
Attending a NASPA Event
Before leaving home to attend a NASPA Event, please follow relevant guidance on all communicable disease (flu, COVID-19, etc.) from the WHO, CDC, and/or your loal health authority regarding exposure, testing, and quarantine recommendations. You should adhere to government issues travel restrictions and guidance to/from the regions you will be traveling.
Before Leaving Home
- Stay home if you feel unwell.
- Stay home if you are knowingly exposed to the flu, COVID-19, or develop symptoms and/or test positive for any communicable disease within 14 days prior to a NASPA event.
Onsite During an Event
- Follow guidance from the local health authority for everyday preventative actions to help prevent the spread of viruses including:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Throw unused tissues in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with wipes.
- If you so choose, wear a properly fitting, CDC recommended face mask during the event. Face masks should cover from the bridge of your nose to past your chin.
- Adhere to protocols put in place by the Association, the venue, or the local health authorities.
- If, at any time during an event, you feel unwell, learn that you have been exposed to the flu or COVID-19, etc. at or less than 14 days prior to the event, develop symptoms, or test positive for a communicable virus, do not attend the meetings. Please remain in your hotel room or at home and seek medical advice.
In keeping with the Association's duty to care and responsibility as host, NASPA leadership encourage all participants at NASPA events whether a presenter, attendee, exhibitor, staff, guest, or vendor to stay up to date with vaccines. Updated January 18, 2024, the CDC Vaccines website provides definitions and what you need to know about the process.
NASPA strongly encourages individuals to be tested for COVID prior to traveling to any NASPA event. Individuals who test positive should stay home and cancel your registration. If you are on-site and test positive for COVID-19, please contact NASPA staff by emailing [email protected].
Masking at NASPA Events
NASPA will follow the requirements of the city and state in which a meeting/event is taking place in regard to masks. NASPA staff will inform registered participants if the venue and location is requiring masks prior to the event. However, any participant at NASPA events is welcome to wear a protective mask in any of NASPA event spaces. See the CDC webpage for the most updated information about face coverings and masks, including COVID-19 Community Levels to make decisions about what prevention/mitigation measures to implement based on the latest data. We ask participants to honor the choice of others to mask up and/or maintain physical distancing.
Please contact Stephanie Gordon, vice president for professional development, and Amy Shopkorn, vice president for operations at [email protected], for more information.
Venue and Location Safety Information
NASPA event planners will work with vendors, facilities, and local areas to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal requirements and recommendations regarding cleaning surfaces, food service, air flow and circulation, sanitation of common areas, housekeeping services for lodging rooms, and other environmental health and safety.
NASPA is contracting event space from the venue and therefore is able to maintain rules and regulations for that space alone. The Association is not responsible, nor are we able to, require masks or vaccination for the other spaces or areas where events and meetings are being held. NASPA is not able to require vaccinations of the venue’s staff, but we can require masking of staff working NASPA contracted space, should the local area require it.
Information about COVID-19
COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus (SARS-CoV-2). It is very contagious and has quickly spread around the world. People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported - ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Some people, including those with minor or no symptoms, may suffer from post-COVID conditions, also known as "long COVID." There have been millions of documented cases of COVID and over one million deaths since December 2019. The Public Health Emergency was declared over on May 11, 2023.
COVID-19 has impacted the field of higher education and the roles of student affairs professionals. NASPA has assembled select resources related to COVID-19 to support student affairs professionals in their work.
- Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education from the CDC.
- The Higher Education COVID-19 Community of Practice, a multidisciplanary group of campus personnel and students in behavioral risk mitigation, including shared strategies on acheiving high rates of COVID-19 vaccine uptake.
- The National Conference of State Legislatures COVID-19 State Legislation Database.
Information About Monkeypox
Monkeypox (sometimes written as MPX) is a virus which is generally spread through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact which causes symptoms including fever and rash. The virus is spreading in the United States and globally. Transmission is also possible through handling contaminated bedding or surfaces, with ongoing research on other methods of spread within communal environments being evaluated.
On July 23, 2022, the World Health Organization declared the global outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and on August 4, 2022, the Biden Administration declared the United States outbreak a public health emergency.
Monkeypox has the potential to impact the field of higher education and the roles of student affairs professionals. The following resources may help student affairs professionals in their work.
- Preventing Monkeypox Spread in Congregate Settings, including guidance on case identification, response, and cleaning and disinfecting areas.
- Safer Sex, Social Gatherings, and Monkeypox, offering guidance for personal decision-making in situations or spaces where monkeypox could be spread.
- Reducing Stigma in Monkeypox Communication and Community Engagement, to help in framing monkeypox information to different communities and channels.
With ongoing evaluation of spread, student affairs professionals are recommended to work with local and state public health authorities until more specific guidance is made for institutions of higher education.