Event Planning Resources

Student Organization Event Planning Resources

During the fall semester and throughout the pandemic, all student organizations will play an important role in maintaining a safe campus environment.  In many cases, student organization activities and events will need to be modified to ensure the safety of our students and community members.  As our campus adjusts to these changes, the SORC has put together resources for your organization in order to help in planning events and activities for this fall.  For up-to-date information and more details concerning Pitt’s COVID-19 guidelines, please visit www.coronavirus.pitt.edu.


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Student organizations are encouraged to read and support the Pitt Community Compact.





The information provided below is meant to serve as guidance and a resource to help student organizations engage, build community, and cultivate a sense of belonging while still observing the COVID-19 guidelines.  For assistance in planning your program or meeting, please email sorc@pitt.edu.


Virtual Meetings and Events

We encourage you to hold your meetings and events virtually as a first option whenever possible and in all Postures.  Resources for conducting virtual meetings and/or events can be found below.


Virtual Programming 101 Workshop

This training session discusses the do’s and don’ts of virtual program and meeting planning within your student organization. We walk through how to set up your technology, how to conduct events and meetings on technology, and how to remain interactive in this new remote setting.

Training Video
Training PowerPoint



Creative Virtual Programming

Join Pitt students and staff as they discuss creative virtual programming ideas and tips!

View Recording of Panel

Zoom Video Conferencing

Zoom is an online and mobile meeting solution that combines real-time chat, content sharing, and video in an easy-to-use interface to enrich teaching and learning.  Pitt students are able to create a brand new Zoom account with your Pitt email address or link an existing Zoom account that uses your Pitt email address.  For more information regarding Zoom Video Conferencing capabilities and tips on how to use Zoom effectively, please visit Pitt Information Technology.


If your organization has an event which cannot be met by Zoom Meeting capabilities and would like to request Zoom Webinar capabilities, please follow the directions below:


  1.   Appoint one person from your organization to serve as the coordinator and host of all    webinars for the organization.
  2.   Email your request to the IT Help Desk with the following information:
    • Name of Student Organization
    • Why you need access to the Zoom Webinar license
    • What features you will need from Zoom Webinar
  3.   Requests are not guaranteed.  Student organizations that have a request approved
    should work with the IT Help Desk with any questions.
Microsoft Office Teams

Microsoft Office Teams is an online collaboration workspace that brings together instant messaging, threaded conversations, meetings, audio or video calls, desktop and file sharing, and more.  It works seamlessly with Office 365 apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, SharePoint, and OneNote.  Pitt students are able to utilize this resource through the University.  For more information regarding Microsoft Teams capabilities, please visit Pitt Information Technology.


Both YouTube and Facebook are platforms that can be used for live streaming events.  However, student organizations should be aware that these platforms will make your event(s) accessible to individuals outside of the Pitt community.

Tips to Running Virtual Events

We highly encourage student organizations to attend one of our trainings on Virtual Programming 101.  More information about these trainings is forthcoming.


Running Meetings:


  • Have an agenda:  This will help you facilitate the conversation and provides focus in order to keep the meeting moving.
  • Practice:  Have a "pre-meeting" practice with panelists or those who will be speaking for a major portionof the meeting.  Use this time to test audio/video, screen share settings, procedures for handling chat features, and an overview of the meeting.
  • Facilitation:  Be sure to encourage individuals to speak up during meetings and give time for individuals who may be more quiet or who may not feel as though they are being heard.
  • Stay on Time:  Keep in mind others' schedules and work to end the meeting in a timely manner.  You can always move whatever items you are not able to address to the next meeting agenda.


Additional resources:

The Ultimate Guide to Remote Meetings in 2020
Five Tips for Vitual Meetings


Make your vitual meetings fun!  Consider adding a theme or another item from one of these resources:


Virtual Ice Breakers
15 Virtual Ice Breakers for your Remote Meetings
5 Tips for How to Have Fun on a Video Call

Team Building and Game Apps

It's still important to make sure that your organization is bonding, even in a virtual setting.  Below are suggestions from the Student Life staff for team building and game apps.  (All game apps are available for Apple and Android devices)

  • Bingo Baker--Bingo events
  • Boggle w/Friends
  • Clue (fee required)
  • Family Feud (fee required)
  • Game of Life
  • House Party
  • Kahoot--Trivia Contests
  • Monopoly (fee required)
  • Psych!  Out With Your Friends
  • Quiz Up!
  • Trivia Crack
  • Scrabble Go
  • Uno
  • Words w/Friends
  • Yahtzee w/Buddies

Suggested activities for your organization:

  • Large video conferencing meetings may be hard for some members, but connecting in small groups will help!  Consider developing a small group membership program in your organization.
  • Connect with PittServes to see what time of opportunities exist for community service.  Have individuals/groups report back on their experiences.
  • Share a special treat virtually!  Taco Tuesdays?  Ice Cream Sundays?  The options are endless!
Engage Student Organization Management System

Engage offers a variety of features to help your organization operate online, including elections, constitution/bylaw amendments, email messaging, documents, forms, and roster management.  For step-by-step instructions on how to use all of these features, please visit the Engage Support page.  For questions about Engage, please email sorc@pitt.edu


In-Person Events


Student Organization Meetings and Events

Student organizations wishing to hold an in-person activity on OR off campus in the Elevated or Guarded Postures must submit an Activity Request Form and have their activity approved by the Vice Provost and Dean of Students.  (In-person activities are NOT permitted in the High Risk Posture.)



  • FOR ON-CAMPUS ACTIVITIES FOR SPACES AVAILABLE IN EMS: The anticipated start date for in-person activities and events is February 16th.   Information can be found on the WPU Reservation’s Covid page **If you need help accessing your EMS account, please email ems-help@pitt.edu. **


  • FOR ON-CAMPUS ACTIVITIES FOR SPACES NOT AVAILABLE IN EMS: The anticipated start date for in-person activities and events is February 16th.   Activities/events scheduled prior to February 16 WILL BE DENIED.


  • FOR CAMPUS RECREATON FACILITIES: The EMS opening dates for reserving Campus Recreation facilities remains to be announced. Please refer to our Campus Recreation website for the announcement of these dates and for a list of available facilities. For questions concerning Campus Recreation facility reservation requests contact Hunter England, Coordinator of Competitive & Recreational Sports, hje2@pitt.edu.


  • FOR OFF-CAMPUS ACTIVITIES: The anticipated start date for in-person activities and events is February 16th.   Activities/events scheduled prior to February 16 WILL BE DENIED.


  • CLUB SPORTS (COMPETITIVE & RECREATIONAL) ONLY: Club Sport organizations will receive further information on Activity Plan submissions for the Spring semester from Hunter England, Coordinator of Competitive & Recreational Sports. Club Sport organizations do not need to complete the Activity Request form provided by the SORC Office, as the Club Sport organizations Activity Plans will be managed by the Department of Campus Recreation.
Face Coverings

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  • Face coverings are required while on campus.  For more information on when face coverings should be worn in each Posture, please click here.
  • Student organizations should require face covering for all events and activities.
Information Tables

Information tables may be reserved in the Elevated or Guarded Postures through EMS.  Hosting an information table is considered an in-person activity and must be approved by the Vice Provost and Dean of Students.




Fundraising and Bake Sales

Student organizations may resume fundraising efforts and should be sure to following the Fundraising Guidelines.  Should you need to make a deposit to your SORC account, please email sorc@pitt.edu for instructions.


Bake sales are suspended for the duration of the pandemic, until the University declares it has resumed normal operations.


Any food or beverage that is provided or consumed as a component of a Student Activity must adhere to the University's Food Service Standards and Guidelines.


In addition, bake sales, potlucks, and buffet-style catering as components of Student Activities are suspended for the duration of the pandemic, until the University declares it has resumed normal operations.

Guests on Campus for Events

Student organizations desiring to have a guest on campus should fill out an Activity Request Form for an in-person event and include the requested details regarding their guest.


Depending on the nature of your guest's visit to campus, you may be required to fill out a Contract or Contract Waiver in addition to an Activity Request Form.  Please visit our Contract webpage or contact SORC (sorc@pitt.edu) for more information and/or questions regarding contracts.

Student Organization Travel

Student organizations are not permitted to travel outside of Allegheny County in the Elevated or Guarded Risk Postures.  No student organization travel is permitted in the High Risk Posture.


Student organizations wishing to travel within Allegheny County in the Elevated or Guarded Risk Postures must submit an Activity Request Form and have their travel approved by the Vice Provost and Dean of Students.


Organizations traveling should be sure to review the CDC Guidelines for Protecting Self During Transportation and include these guidelines in their Health & Safety Plan on the Activity Request Form.


*Club Sports organizations wishing to travel off campus, must work with Campus Recreation to have your travel approved.  Please contact Hunter England, Coordinator of Competitive & Recreational Sports for more details.