The College of New Jersey

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Fall 2020

Dear Recognized Student Organization Leaders:

This summer OSI has collaborated with a number of offices and stakeholders to develop the guidelines and protocols shared below to help balance the need for individual and group safety with the unrelenting passion you have to pursue the mission of your organizations. We already know that Fall 2020 will be very different, but we hope that we can work collectively to support TCNJ RSOs to help bring life and energy to the virtual campus community in these uniquely challenging times.

With the recent move to a Virtual-Only Fall 2020, we’ve adapted our policies, guidelines, recommendations, and resources to work to advance your organization’s ability to live its mission this coming semester.

We realize there is a lot of uncertainty about all this, but hope the information below helps you get started in your planning for Fall 2020.

As always, we are here to help.  Feel free to reach out to us at involvement@tcnj.edu.  We will share more information as it becomes available.

Key Events that have already happened:
Fall 2020 FYI w/OSI Monday, August 10 at 8pm
Fall 2020 FYI w/OSI Wednesday, August 12 at 3pm
Virtual Student Involvement Fair – August 26, 12pm – 3pm
Virtual Student Org Summit – September 2, 9:15am-1pm

This year, RSOs will likely have very different questions than in previous years. SOS 2020 will help organizations be successful this year by providing the tools necessary to navigate changing social climates, as well as supporting and recruiting members. RSOs will learn about Federal and College policy updates, new guidelines, and will be given information on how to access the support of campus professionals. As a reminder, all organizations are required to send at least one active member to attend SOS, and this program is open to all Active and Inactive organizations (de-recognized organizations may not participate).


Step 1. Mark These Dates Down

FYI w/OSI Open Office hours – September 10
This is your chance to speak one of one with OSI professional staff to discuss the needs of your organization.  To sign-up for a time, email Jenn at simonj@tcnj.edu.  


Step 2. Rethink How Your Organization Operates

We have put together these resources to help you think through how you can live the mission of your group in these challenging environments. 

  1. Rethink the Fall
  2. Member Recruitment
  3. Virtual Event Tips
  4. Zoom Basics
  5. Member Engagement Brainstorm
  6. Fraternity & Sorority Life

Step 3. New Processes and Procedures 

All Student Organization Events and Meetings Should Move Virtual
Many organizations may have held virtual events and meetings in the spring or over the summer.  Others may not have, either way our office will continue to support RSOs as they plan for fall.  Additionally we are extending all RSO Zoom accounts and have included some resources on how to effectively use Zoom for meetings and events. Groups should also consider if attendance should be limited to group members, TCNJ students, or open to all when planning Virtual Only events. RSO Zoom accounts can be used for RSO events and for outsourced events if you follow any vendor, performer, or artist protocol for the event. OSI is happy to help you think through that! 

Spring 2021 Events
Book-It will not open for spring 2021 reservations until we have a better idea of what spring will look like.  We will share more information once we receive it.  

In-Person Off Campus Events
All off-campus activities should utilize the Risk Assessment and Planning Form as a guide to reduce COVID19 related risks. All in-person off campus events, programs, and/or activities must follow physical distancing guidelines and maximum occupancy guidelines from the State of NJ,  Ewing Township, and TCNJ. Currently, these guidelines include limiting indoor gatherings to 25% of a room or structures capacity with a maximum of 25 persons (Most Off Campus Homes in Ewing have a capacity of less than 20, effectively reducing their capacity to the persons that live there). All attendees at indoor events must wear a face mask and maintain a 6’ physical distance from others. There may be additional guidelines and protocols governing these events that should be researched and observed in order to conduct a safe and compliant in-person off campus event. This is just a summary for general planning purposes. 

Outdoor gatherings are currently limited to 500 persons with certain protocol in place.  Some can be found here. In addition, there may be additional guidelines and protocols governing these events that should be researched and observed in order to conduct a safe and compliant in-person off campus event. This is just a summary for general planning purposes. 

Reported failure to abide by any guidelines will be referred directly to the Office of Student Conduct.

***The College’s highest priority is the physical and mental health, safety, and well-being of individual students and the campus community. As a means to be in compliance with the Campus Health and Safety policy and encourage student reporting, any student sharing information with a contact tracer, the College, or the local health department shall not be formally charged for the unlawful use or possession of alcohol and/or drugs if reporting includes these details. Although this does not relieve any student or organization from responsibility for other policy violations that may have occurred during a time where community members could have been impacted by COVID-19, the effort to share all relevant information (such as: time and location of potential case exposure and students and/or individuals in attendance) for the affected student may be a mitigating factor in sanctioning. Affected students may be required to complete an evaluation or other education programs, but will not face disciplinary charges or sanctions as prescribed through the student conduct process.

SFB Funding
(UPDATED September 1): All organizations that want to receive funding for an event must submit a base budget or special application form with all appropriate signatures to sfbea@tcnj.edu. If they have been approved for SFB funding then to receive those funds they must go through the voucher process. First they must fill out  https://forms.gle/UJmTBNQwVTi6uLCG8  and receive all appropriate signatures for their vouchers. Then, they can check the check pick up log here:https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xFCU_q0eDxreBqxNMd43yZ9dGf724p-wcmzcriY_64o/edit#gid=1849519464 or on the SFB website:https://www.studentfinanceboard.com/ to see the status of the check. Once the check is processed we will update it on the log.

As you read in an earlier email this summer from President Foster, there will be no Student Activity Fee for the 2020-2021 academic year. Working to support these financial cost-savings for students and balance RSO ability to deliver engaging virtual programs, SFB has been working to identify funding in their reserves that can be used in a limited capacity for the Fall 2020 semester. Due to these circumstances, SFB has decided to rescind all Base Budgets submitted for the Fall 2020 Semester or 2020-2021 Academic Year. 

Organizations do have an opportunity to create a new budget with virtual events. RSO’s are encouraged to think creatively and plan for virtual events. The budget will only be for the Fall 2020 semester and students will have the opportunity to reapply for the Spring 2021 semester for funding.

Compared to previous years, this year the SFB will be loosening deadline restrictions on base budgets due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The base budget will have a rolling application period and organizations will also have the opportunity to submit special applications requests after submitting a base budget. The SFB will start reviewing the base budgets starting August 14, 2020. Special applications must be submitted two weeks prior to the event date to be reviewed for approval. All special applications and base budgets must be submitted to sfbea@tcnj.edu for review.

Base budgets that do not have all appropriate signatures will not be reviewed. Please visit this link to view and contact your liaison.

SFB will be also be funding Virtual Events through its Special Application process. The Special Application and more information can be found on their website.  Applications can only be submitted for events during the Fall 2020 Semester, and the Application will open on Sunday, August 23, with SFB’s first meeting on Wednesday, August 26. For virtual events during the Fall Semester, a RSO must submit their Special Application by Tuesday at 12PM (Which can be emailed to sfbea@tcnj.edu) if they would like to present the following day (Wednesday) during the weekly G-Board Meetings, as stated on SFB’s Website. For the Special Applications, normal SFB procedures must be followed in which the Application must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the event date, all signatures must be present, supporting invoices/documents should be included, and additional information which can be found on SFB’s website.

Despite the restrictions behind the Fall 2020 Semester, RSO’s will still be able to access their Fundraising Balances. Furthermore, Cash Advances that were taken out during the Spring 2020 Semester but were not returned will be due back to SFB by September 30th, 2020. With limited in-person interaction, SFB will be releasing a new system that connects Recognized Student Organizations with the Student Finance Board through a mobile payment service. More details on this will be coming shortly, so please look out for this information!

Please reach out to sfboard@tcnj.edu with questions.

Fundraising
OSI will be continuing the Interim Fundraising Process for the Fall 2020 semester. 

Student Travel
The Student Travel policy will be suspended for the Fall 2020 semester and all related student travel is cancelled.  Please also don’t encourage members to travel on their own (as part of the group).  

Advertising, Marketing, and Community Engagement :
RSOs will be able to use the new Roar app to advertise their groups and events. RSOs are also encouraged to create Google email groups to send information to group members and interested students and the Recognized Student Organization Google group still exists for sending information to other RSOs. RSOs that tag OSI on Instagram can get a re-share.  Additionally, OSI will be crating a new ThisWeek@TCNJ.edu weekly email to all students publicizing your events and opportunities. More info coming soon on how to submit for this!   

 

 

 

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