September 3 update from Vice President for Student Life Jon Dooley

Students received the following update from Vice President for Student Life Jon Dooley about a new emergency declaration by the Town of Elon that continues to limit mass gatherings to no more than 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

Dear Students,

Earlier this week Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 163 that moves the state of North Carolina to “phase 2.5” of reopening. Among the many provisions, this order allows Elon to reopen indoor recreation facilities, which Campus Recreation and Wellness will be doing on Monday, September 7, using new procedures and guidelines for operating the facilities.

The governor’s order also raised the limits on the size of gatherings, while allowing local municipalities to enact more restrictive guidelines as appropriate to their communities.

The Town of Elon issued an emergency declaration today that retains the current mass gathering limitations – no more than 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. In other words, the gathering size limitations will not change within the Town of Elon.

As a higher education institution, Elon is exempt from the state and local mass gathering limitations for university-sponsored activities (classes, university events, officially recognized student organization events, etc.), where protocols for face coverings and physical distancing are monitored.

The mass gathering limits do apply to unrecognized student social activities on- and off-campus, and the university will continue to enforce these expectations, named explicitly in the Healthy Elon Commitment. University and Town police will continue to address violations and issue citations. As announced previously, students who host gatherings that violate the limitations will also face suspension and those who attend such gatherings will face university probation.

Two important points to keep in mind:

  • Although no more than 10 persons are allowed at an indoor gathering, some spaces on campus have lower capacities, dictated by space limitations and physical distancing. For example, Residence Life has communicated capacity limitations for residents and guests for residence hall rooms and university apartments.
  • Even in smaller settings you should not socialize with others without wearing a mask and maintaining physical distance. The virus doesn’t care how large or small your group is, and it only takes a few cases from an ill-conceived social event to spread quickly.

Our community efforts to combat the spread of the virus have been admirable during these first three weeks of the semester. The limits on mass gatherings have helped us control a common source of transmission among college students – parties and large social gatherings. Our continued commitment to mask-wearing, physical distancing, and adherence with mass gathering limitations will be among the important steps we can take to ensure that in-person learning continues this semester.

Thank you for doing your part to keep our community healthy this fall!

Dr. Jon Dooley

Vice President for Student Life


The next weekly COVID-19 update will be sent to all students, faculty, and staff at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, September 9, unless an earlier message is warranted. For the most updated information, visit the university’s Ready and Resilient website.