Registered Student Organization COVID-19 Updates

(Updated Tuesday, August 9, 2020)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fall 2020 RSO COVID-19 Updates

With the University’s announcement of remaining in Phase 1 for the fall semester, Registered Student Organizations will be hosting events virtually. Once the University moves to Phase 2a, it is important to provide guidance for Registered Student Organizations (hereafter referred to as RSO) as they plan for some level of in-person engagement with their organization members and other students on the Homewood campus. The processes, policy adjustments, and considerations outlined below are the culmination of a collaborative working group that included student and staff stakeholders. The purpose of this page is to provide student organization leaders with the most up-to-date guidance based on current federal, state, and local laws, as well as, JHU public health guidance.

Meetings/Events (Centralized Submission and Evaluation Process)

Room reservations will begin for student organizations on August 3, 2020 for the spring 2021 semester. All meetings and events for the fall 2020 semester will be virtual. It is expected that students register those events in Hopkins Groups. RSOs wanting to schedule meetings/events for the spring semester can still submit those events in Hopkins Groups starting August 3, 2020. If clubs/orgs want to schedule smaller in person meetings (outside preferred), they must submit an event registration though Hopkins Groups. Event requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure feasibility based on JHU’s social distancing guidelines.Events scheduled for the spring 2021 semester will be in a “Pending” status until we receive clarity on the spring semester. In order to secure a location, as well as adhere to physical distancing guidelines, RSOs must keep the group number to 10 students or less. If JHU is in an enhanced phase of operation, SLI will work with RSOs to understand what the new density number are for a given space. With smaller group numbers, clubs/orgs may want to explore hosting more meetings than usual or working with a hybrid situation.


  • Event registrations may change based on the evolving circumstances and guidance at the University, city or state level. SLI will contact organizations if changes need to be made to event registrations. For updated information please visit SLI website.
  • Students should prioritize the number of attendees in their event requests. Scheduling and Event Services will place organizations in available rooms.
  • Please be mindful that back-to-back events will not be allowed. We must allow time between events for proper cleaning of the rooms between events. .
  • Host RSOs and attendees must wear a face mask at all times while on campus and during events/meetings, whether inside or outside. Students not adhering to this protocol will be asked to leave the event.
  • Space and timing will be limited based on academic schedules, staffing levels, and building operation times. You can find building times here [insert link].
  • There will be very few spaces that allow flexible usage for programming purposes. Students should consider that programs will be socially distanced and rooms will be set up in “classroom style” with fixed furniture.
  • Please find a list (Insert PDF) of rooms and their maximum occupancy. While most approved events will be 10 students or less, there may be circumstances where events/meetings are allowed in certain spaces. Again those event/meeting requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis. RSOs requesting to have events during the fall semester with more than 10 people must work with SLI, their category coordinator, and/or advisor in advance of their event submission.
  • Staff will be referencing this rubric (Insert) when evaluating event submissions. We understand student organizations are accustomed to a first-come first-serve environment, however, due to limited space availability, there may be scheduling conflicts that need to be resolved. It will be important to fill out all portions of the event registration form to ensure staff have all the necessary information to evaluate event submissions.
  • Student organizations will be allowed one general body meeting in a calendar month in-person that must still adhere to the attendance requirements for in-person meetings. All other general body meetings must be held virtually or in an outside location. Note: In the event of a scheduling conflict, University affinity building events and activities will take priority over internal general body meetings.
  • Host organizations must require attendees to RSVP in advance for all events whether in-person or virtual. Host organizations and student attendees will have to acknowledge the “risks and liability” associated with participating in all events registered on JHU’s campus.
  • All events or meetings open to others must advertise the SDS accommodations statement in their posting – and the RSO host/event organizer is responsible for contacting SDS if an attendee requests services
  • Groups may utilize a waiting list for events. All students must check into all events via Hopkins Groups. Groups that do not utilize the RSVP function or event checkin function may lose the privilege to host future events.
  • Based on JHU’s COVID-19 phases, please refer to the Homewood Arts Program’s website [insert] for information related to performing arts groups, and the Athletics and Recreational Sports [insert], or Hopkins Groups for information and updates related to club sports for practices, rehearsals, performances, and competitions.


Student Organizations will not be able to host large events, go to conferences, travel, and do many of the things that required larger funds, we are asking clubs to be creative with funding this year by exploring free and/or virtual options and by collaborating with other clubs. Once budgets are released in August, and we resume in-person operations for offices, we will resume making purchases for student organizations. If you need help exploring ideas, feel free to contact Student Leadership and Involvement, your Category Coordinator, or organization advisor for assistance.


Re purposing of annual allocations

  • RSOs that fall under Student Life (i.e. SGA, GRO, Performing Arts, Cultural and Identity, Religious and Spiritual, etc.) will have the ability to find other uses for their funds that adhere to established guidelines. This will not be an opportunity for students to utilize University allocations to purchase merchandise for group members or to repurpose money for gift card giveaways for students, however, if RSOs come up with creative ways to utilize their funds to meet the aims, purpose, mission, or goals of the RSO, those purchases will be allowed. For information related to Academic, Sports Clubs, or the Center for Social Concern, please contact those respective offices.


  • Serving food during the 2020 fall semester will not be allowed during in-person events in order to ensure the health and safety of attendees. This guideline will be re-evaluated for the spring semester.

Registered Student Organization Large Scale Events & Traditions (Centralized Evaluation Process)

In order to maximize the consideration of potential events sponsored by any of our 400+ student organizations and student charter groups on the Homewood campus, we recommend a centralized evaluation and approval process for large-scale events & traditions (200+) to be conducted via Student Leadership & Involvement (SLI) in collaboration with Scheduling & Event Services. Like current student organization/charter group evaluation practices, SLI and their respective professional and student staff will review event request submissions via Hopkins Groups and approve or deny requests based on standard event submission expectations (e.g. submitted 10+ days in advance, space availability, etc.) as well as the new large-scale programming and traditions rubric. Peabody Student Affairs will use the same guidance and protocols with for the student organizations and clubs on that campus.

  • SLI professional staff and student workers will be trained on how to fill out the rubric, and student organization and programming board student leaders will be educated on what values (e.g. Affinity building, student-peer community building, cross organizational/department opportunities, access to information and/or opportunities, and promotion of health and well-being) will be prioritized for the fall 2020 semester as well as how their programs will be evaluated/approved/denied.
  • For RSOs, programming boards, and governing bodies that are advised by non-SLI departments (e.g. JHUnions & Programming, Homewood Arts Program, Office of Multicultural Affairs, etc.), SLI professional staff will connect with said student organization/charter group advisors to review event submission and address event needs/issues as needed.
  • RSOs, programming boards, and governing bodies also be provided a phased planning event worksheet that provides parameters for what types of large-scale events and traditions can take place in each particular phase (phase 1, phase 2a/2b, phase 3) as well as guiding questions for event formatting.
  • If an event request is denied, RSOs, programming boards, and governing bodies may resubmit their requests after addressing any identified submission issues. Due to COVID19 social distancing protocols, events that can be feasibly transitioned to an online format may be encouraged to do so as physical space availability will be limited.

Guests and Third Party Vendors

The University is not allowing any non-JHU affiliates during any in-person gatherings. This may be relaxed when the University moves to Phase 3 of the re-opening process.

Digital Media Center

The DMC will be open by appointment only, offering a no-contact pick up option for equipment, use of DMC resources with a greatly reduced capacity, gaming computers, online Discord channel for chat, and workshops and programs to assist in levering technology for your curricular and co-curricular learning.

Student Leadership and Involvement/JHUnions and Programming Offices

The Mattin 131 office suite, and other Student Life offices, will be operating in a remote fashion during the normal business hours of the school year. The main phone will be answered during this time and students are welcome to call for questions or to speak to staff members. Additionally, when necessary, staff will be present on-campus for in-person events and trainings. Appointments will be set up online. For any mail/package pickups will take place at the Mattin Center front desk (Ross Jones North) utilizing social distance protocols and will be by appointment only (no walk ins) via a student organization leader’s advisor.

JHUnions Spaces/Programming Spaces

JHUnions spaces (Mattin Center, Levering Lounge, the LaB), as well as Charles Commons will be closed for the fall semester.

Spring 2020 RSO COVID-19 Updates

Student Organization Purchasing

We know the last few weeks have been full of transition and challenge for you as student leaders. With the cancellation of student organization business including events and meetings, there have been questions around spring semester spending and reimbursement for paid expenses for events, trips, and programs that did not occur. The staff in Student Engagement (Center for Visual Arts, DMC, Homewood Arts Programs, JHUnions & Programming, SLI) and our campus partners are doing the best we can during this unprecedented time to support students and student organizations, and assist student organizations remotely. The remainder of this communication is lengthy, but includes a lot of information and answers to questions that many of you have stewarded to staff already. Please read this in its entirety. Also visit the SLI FAQ website for a complete picture of our responses to COVID-19 impacts.

Purchase Requests
Student Leadership and Involvement (SLI), and our HSA partners, will resume making purchases for student organizations this week for approved events and programs.

SLI will work in collaboration with the Dean of Student Life and other Homewood Student Affairs offices to make purchases on a case-by-case basis. If it is a request for an event that was in person (i.e. a speaker, performance, etc.) which can be moved to virtual platform, and the event is already budgeted, we will do everything we can to accommodate those requests. As we look at your 2019-2020 budget request, and what the needs are for your organization for the remainder of spring, there may be scenarios where certain items can no longer be purchased. We will communicate these on an individual organization basis and provide rationale for these situations.

All student organizations must enter the event information in Hopkins Groups in order to submit purchase requests in order to capture pertinent information related to an organization’s specific events and purchase requests. These requests will be reviewed in an expedited manner. Students can view this video which explains how to submit events, and this video which explains how to submit purchase requests in the system. Purchase request submitters will need to reference the event submission number when filling out the purchase request form.

To the best of our ability, we will make purchases necessary to execute any virtual programming. We will be looking to use current University resources wherever possible as a cost-saving measure. Example: If you are looking to purchase a software platform where the University has already procured software that will allow the execution of the program, we will encourage the utilization of the University-sponsored software prior to purchasing new software.

Any purchase request made for a new purchase for a new program, or a transition from an in-person program to virtual program which requires purchases, we will need the following information:

  • Plan and scope of the initiative
  • Estimated cost of the initiative or program (speaker, mail, software, etc.)
  • Logistics of how you collect information and/or execute the program and if there is any shipping involved
  • FERPA release for students who are willing to disclose their home address

Example language that can be utilized: “I hereby authorize The Johns Hopkins University’s Office of the Dean of Student Life, or any subsidiary offices, to disclose and/or release my local address and/or send materials to my local address on file.

The purchase request submitter will need to provide the information in the Purchase Request form via a document upload.

Groups sponsored within the following categories, please contact the following individuals if there are specific questions about purchase requests:

Dean of Student Life (DOSL) Student Organization Events (includes SLI {Organizations recognized under SGA/SAC}, Student Engagement, OMA, Diversity and Inclusion, Charter/Sponsored Organizations, JHUnions and Programming, and Fraternity and Sorority Life)

Dean of Academic Services Events (includes Center for Social Concern, Center for Student Success)

Athletics and Recreation

Academic (KSAS and WSE)

  • Please contact respective department to determine their requirements and whether they will make purchases during this time.

If you are unsure of your contact person, please contact or email Crystal Hooper ( 410-516-4873

Donations – Annual allocations, grants, or other “University funds”, will not be available to use for donations. If a group has money that has been procured via fundraiser, ticket sales, dues payments, etc., organizations can submit a purchase request to donate those funds to another organization or vendor.

Senior Gifts – To the best of our ability, we will honor any senior gifts student organizations planned to give to their graduating seniors. Please note that the usual policies and parameters around gifts will still apply. If an organization plans to give gifts, they will need to supply the following information: type and number of gifts, amount needed for the purchases, vendor information, projected timeline of production and shipping plan, and proof of permission to send to individual students. For budgets managed by Student Leadership and Involvement (SLI), our budget managers will work with students on shipping details. For budgets managed by other areas, please work with those individual budget managers to determine the best method of shipping. If there is a need to ship items to individual students, the student organization’s budget will charged for the shipping costs. Please consider this when the organization submits any proposal.

Moving current budgeted programs online – Groups that want to move their budgeted programs to an online format, and originally wanted to give gifts, gift cards, or awards as a part of those programs, we will honor those purchases. We will review the organization’s 2019-2020 budget submissions to determine how much was allocated to those programs and make those purchases. If gift cards, gifts, or awards were a part of the organizations original budget submission, SLI, or the appropriate purchasing office, will work to supply those gift cards to the group virtually. If there is a need to ship a gift or award to a student’s address the student organization will be responsible for shipping costs. We will not transition remaining budgets to gift cards, or other means, to exhaust budgets. There will not be a carryover of annual allocations or grants to next year’s budget for any unspent allocations.

Logistics of purchasing items – There is a limited ability to guarantee packages are delivered to the University. Merchandise or other materials meant for use on campus will not be sent to individual students homes. Virtual programming is going to be the mechanism to execute the program. If there are purchases the organization typically manages during this time (i.e. fixing instruments, ordering equipment, uniforms, etc.), it will be difficult to order if there is not a fixed University address to send the merchandise. Those requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine the feasibility of making those purchases.

Contracts/Independent Contractors – The University will pay any outstanding contracts or reimbursements, especially for events or services rendered prior to the University’s announced closing on March 10th. Groups that have outstanding obligations and/or contracts please provide the original executed contract, with the schedule of payments for the services, scope of work, and/or schedule for services rendered. If the organization cannot provide the documentation needed, it will be difficult to a provide payment to the respective vendor. We have to work with various university offices that oversee contracts and payment processes in or to cancel contracts, or prorate any remaining services which have not occurred. This cannot be accomplished without the schedule of services, scope of work and/or a contract.

This year’s remaining budget allocation Any unspent annual allocation, or other grants from University entities will be recalled at the end of the year. These monies will not be rolled over to the next year. Money raised by members will be rolled into next year.

Next year’s budget allocation The financial implications and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2020 – 2021 annual student organization budget allocations is not clear at this point. However we anticipate that like all parts of the University, our budgets and resources will need to be revaluated and realigned to meet the mission critical needs of the University. Groups that receive money from the Student Government Association via the Student Activities Commission (SAC), or the Dean Of Student Life office, will be evaluated utilizing spending patterns from the previous five fiscal years (2014 to 2019). This means spending patterns for this spring will not be considered when the Student Activities Commission (SAC), or DOSL, make determinations about the 2020-2021 annual allocation. Forms and format for the DOSL 2020-2021 budget request will be out by end of business on Friday, April 10. Organization leaders will be contacted over the summer with their 2020-2021 budget allocation. For groups outside of SGA and DOSL, please contact your respective areas to determine how they will evaluate your budget allocation for next year. Their information is above in the Purchase Requests section.

In order to help with being available to answer specific questions, the SLI Director Calvin Smith will be holding virtual office hours twice a week on Tuesday at 1:00 pm and Thursdays at 11:00 am. Click the date/time to add the details to your calendars.

Student Events and Meetings

NEW – Can I continue to plan my organization’s events?

All in-person, university events (undergraduate and graduate) are suspended through June 30, 2020, including tours, admissions events, and alumni events.

Student organizations are welcome to and are encouraged to move their events virtually. Purchases for spring events and programs are being determined based on remote event opportunities.

The Hopkins Groups purchase request form and the Event request form for any submitted Spring events will be cancelled, and student organizations moving to remote events will be eligible for new submissions for remote spring events aligning with university protocols.

My organization was hosting a ticketed event that is now cancelled. How do we process refunds to guests who purchased tickets?

If your organization setup event ticket purchasing through JHU Tickets (the Hopkins Groups event registration process) there is an option for guests to be refunded. A request to refund guests for a cancelled event must be made explicitly to the SLI office so be sure to email to make the request.

My organization is having a meeting with less than 10 people, am I still able to have my meeting?

Language shared by the university is as follows: All student organization meetings, events, and programs regardless of location (on or off-campus) have been cancelled until June 30, 2020. This includes all in-person chapter meetings, regular membership meetings, recruitment events, fundraisers, rehearsals, practices, performances, socials, parties, celebrations, and/or other types of gatherings. This includes governing bodies, programming boards, and arts groups. Meeting in person is prohibited until further notice to promote social distancing.

What will happen with my organization’s pending purchase requests?

The university will be cancelling any submitted financial transactions for Spring Events submitted in Hopkins Groups. All purchase requests that have been submitted through Hopkins groups related to events that were scheduled between now and the end of the semester will be cancelled. Reimbursement requests for event purchases that were submitted and approved prior to the University’s announcement on Tuesday, March 10 will be processed.

Will I still receive my reimbursement for purchases I’ve made even if the event is cancelled?

Yes, all reimbursement requests that were submitted and approved prior to the university’s announcement on Tuesday, March 10, will be processed.

What are some of the ways that my organization can host virtual meetings?

Microsoft Teams is an awesome and accessible resource for student organizations to connect. Students can access Microsoft Teams by going to and signing in with their credentials or accessing it from their JHU O365 email portal. A quickstart guide is available at PDF Document: Microsoft Teams Quick Reference Guide.pdf. Some great features when using Microsoft Teams include file sharing, group chat, video and audio chats, messaging, and more!

We ask that student organizations be aware of using Zoom as a platform as our faculty will be teaching on Zoom, as will other campuses, so other platforms and methods may be more appropriate.

Can students who are staying on campus still put up flyers in residence halls for virtual meetings and events?

Hanging physical flyers in the residence halls is currently prohibited. We encourage organizations to utilize virtual means for sharing information, including Hopkins Groups and ORCA TV Screens.

Should I still show up to my weekly volunteer assignment, shadowing opportunities, etc.?

At this time volunteering at other sites is inclusive of what JHU considers an undergraduate student event or meeting so therefore are suspended. Based on the advice from our own Student Health and Wellness Center, as well as public health officials, please contact your site supervisor or connection to let them know that you will not be attending based on directives and recommendations from the Homewood campus. If you get any pushback, please consider reaching out to the Center for Social Concern at

My group’s largest/only event for the year is being cancelled. Will my group have an opportunity to reschedule our event for a later date?

All events for the spring semester are cancelled, but organizations have the option to shift their event online. To discuss this change, please contact your advisor and/or SLI. Student organizations moving to remote events will be eligible for new submissions on Hopkins Groups for remote spring events aligning with university protocols. All spending for events occurring this academic year would need to be spent in this fiscal year.

How do I cancel contractual services for my cancelled event?

If you have a cancelled event and have an executed contract with a vendor for goods or services, you can contact Purchasing through the Service Now Portal with a copy of your signed agreement. Information and instructions can be found at

For events where a contract or agreement was signed and submitted through JHU Procurement and executed by a University official, please work directly with the advisor, category coordinator, staff, or faculty member that submitted the contract on your behalf. That person will work with procurement and procurement will contact the affected vendor to cancel contracts or make payment arrangements as necessary.

Note: For events where a contract or agreement with a vendor was signed by a student, the student should engage in a conversation with the vendor to postpone or cancel the contract. University policy requires an agent of JHU to sign any contract that is considered binding. In that scenario the University is not obligate to cover the costs associated with the contract.


Will the deadline for re-registration be adjusted?

Yes. The new 2020–2021 Modified Re-registration Deadline for student organizations is Wednesday, March 25, 11:59pm.

Am I allowed to request more than the caps listed for a specific category for my organization’s annual budget?

Annual budget requests that are submitted should follow all guidelines including the caps that are outlined per category. Budget requests that exceed caps may be denied as they do not follow guidelines.


NEW – Do I have to cancel my organization’s travel if Hopkins is not sponsoring the trip?

Yes. All university-sponsored or organized undergraduate and graduate student travel (including travel sponsored or organized by student organizations, regardless of funding source) is suspended for the remainder of the academic year.

I have travel booked by Hopkins that need to be cancelled. What should I do?

Students should visit for more information about how to move forward with cancelling travel plans that are booked by Johns Hopkins directly.


Are there any updates about the SGA elections process?

Below please find the results of the 2020 SGA Executive Board Election. The declared winners have been highlighted in each category. There were a total of 1,435 votes cast.

SGA Executive President

Sam Mollin 754 52.54%
Pritika Parmar 306 21.32%
Eric Armstrong 292 20.34%
Abstain 50 3.48%
Write in: 33 2.29%

SGA Executive Vice President

Mehak Ali 1094 76.23%
Abstain 256 17.83%
Write-In 85 5.92%

SGA Executive Secretary

Breanna Soldatelli 731 50.94%
Greta Maras 443 30.87%
Abstain 217 15.12%
Write-In 44 3.06%


SGA Executive Treasurer

Addy Perlman 729 50.8%
Daniel Weber 465 32.4%
Abstain 199 13.86%
Write-In 42 2.92%
  • The Committee on Student Elections (CSE) has not made a decision on Class Council Elections. Once they do they will update the student body on how to engage in that process.

(Updated on March 17, 2020)


I don’t have access to a computer when I’m not on campus. What should I do?

Contact your Financial Aid representative to discuss options. The Financial Aid office can be best reached at or by phone at (410) 516-8028.

Student Engagement Remote Work Plan (Student Leadership and Involvement, JHUnions and Programming, Homewood Arts Program, Digital Medial Center, and the Center for Visual Arts)

Student Leadership & Involvement

  • The offices within the Student Leadership & Involvement suite in Mattin Center 131 are closed.
  • Staff are working remotely and routinely answering calls, voicemails, and emails.
  • Staff are utilizing Zoom and Microsoft Teams for advising meetings and students are encouraged to use Calendly to schedule meetings with teams.
  • Stay connected with updates posted on Hopkins Groups
  • FAQs:
  • Connect with us: / 410-516-4873 / @slijhu and @jhufsl

Homewood Arts Programs

JHUnions & Programming

Digital Media Center

  • The Digital Media Center, located in the Mattin Center, is closed. This includes the gaming stations.
  • Staff are working remotely and are prepped to consult with students via online tools.
  • Connect with us: / 410-516-3817 / @dmcjhu

Center for Visual Arts

  • Students enrolled in CVA courses should have received information from their faculty regarding online instruction. Check Blackboard if you have not already.
  • Questions or concerns should be directed to your faculty or instructor.

(Posted on March 12, 2020)

Update: JHUnions and Programming Space Hours

All events on campus have been cancelled for the remainder of the semester, so meeting spaces will not be accessible to students during that time.

All events on campus have been cancelled as for the remainder of the spring semester and the JHUnions spaces will not be accessible to students during that time.

The following are the building hours from March 13th until further notice.

Levering Hall

7:15am – 6pm: Friday, March 13

Closed: Saturday March 14 – Sunday March 15

7:15am – 2pm: Monday, March 16 – Tuesday, March 17 (Spring Break Dining Hours)

Closed: Wednesday, March 18 – Friday, March 20 (Spring Break)

Closed: Until Further Notice


9am-6pm: Friday, March 13

Closed: Saturday March 14 – Sunday March 15

Closed: Starting March 16 until further notice (including all practice rooms, DMC gaming stations)


5pm – midnight Wednesday, March 11 – Thursday, March 12

Closed Friday, March 13 – Sunday, March 22 for Spring Break

Closed: Monday, March 23 until further notice

Please read this communication and the University-wide communications’s again to ensure you are fully informed of the decisions made thus far and implications for your groups.

For questions related to or from:

Thank you in advance for your compliance during this challenging time and evolving situation. Please be well and take care of yourselves.