Husker football kicks off soon and you can be in on the action from your driveway, living room, garage, backyard, or the great outdoors. We can't all be together on campus or in Lincoln, but we can cheer “Go Big Red” from every couch, each county in Nebraska and beyond. Come together as a Huskers — from across the street or across the globe — and celebrate pride through homegating.
When homegating or attending other social events, every university student and student organization is expected to put safety first.
1) Make a plan, follow the plan, and let others know the plan.
Making a plan is the most important step, and it doesn’t have to take long or happen far in advance. Answering the following questions will help you create an event that is safe for all.
How many guests do you want to attend?
Per COVID-19 expectations, you should gather with 10 or fewer individuals to help protect yourself, those around you and the Husker community.
Recognized Student Organizations, fraternities or sororities planning larger events must abide by all campus event policies. (This would include any event that is organized, pre-planned and typically uses organization funds.) Residence hall residents must abide by the Housing guest policy.
What types of food and non-alcoholic beverages will you provide?
When planning food and drink, try to think of single-serve options. If grilling or cooking be sure to take precautions to keep everyone healthy. View food safety tips.
What do you want to do together?
Get set up tips to host a successful Husker Homegating event.
What problems do you want to avoid?
If your get together starts to get too large or becomes out of hand, do something about it. Whether you’re the host or an attendee, you can help change the situation and the outcome by stepping up.
What will make the event a success in your mind?
No one wants to get in trouble or get others sick by inadvertently spreading COVID-19. Put safety first so you can enjoy your gathering.
Once you’ve created the plan, it’s important to stick to it. Be sure to let everyone know what type of event it will be so they know what to expect. Tell your neighbors and your landlord about your plan. They may be able to help you create the most successful plan.
If the home you use is not your own, know that you're still liable for any issues, property damage, and could be cited for a disorderly house if things go awry.
2) If alcohol will be present, control it.
- Keep COVID-19 in mind and recognize that alcohol can inhibit your own judgement and that of those around you. While you may start off 6-feet apart and wearing face coverings, alcohol may negatively impact your ability to follow proper precautions.
- Consuming alcohol will not destroy the virus, and its consumption is likely to increase the health risks if a person becomes infected with the virus.
- If you choose to drink, do not share drinks with others to help prevent yourself and your friends from spreading the virus.
If alcohol will be present, guests who are 21 should bring—and drink—their own alcohol where permitted. After all, if a guest under the age of 21 drinks too much and causes harm to someone, as the social host you could be liable, too.
Remember that your student organization, sport club, fraternity or sorority cannot purchase alcohol with organization funds. This includes any funds serviced through Student Organization Financial Services (SOFS).
3) Look out for your attendees and their safety.
This is Husker Homegating, and the idea is to enjoy HUSKER FOOTBALL safely! If alcohol is present, be sure to provide alternative beverages and some food; i.e. have a soda with your pizza. As you plan your Homegating experience getting drunk isn’t the plan, it’s all about cheering on Nebraska while enjoying the game safely with friends.
If drinking, keep it in moderation and watch for signs of trouble. If you are concerned about a friend, make the call to 911. The Good Samaritan Law encourages minors to call 911 when they suspect an alcohol overdose without fear of receiving an MIP (minor in possession).
Signs of Alcohol Poisoning or Overdose
- Someone is unconscious, semi-conscious or unresponsive.
- The individual cannot be roused or woken.
- Skin is cold, clammy, pale, bluish, and/or blotchy.
- Breathing is slow – 8 or fewer breaths per minute.
- Lapses in breathing – more than 10 seconds between breaths.
- Exhibits mental confusion, stupor, or coma.
- Has seizures, convulsions or rigid spasms.
- Vomits while asleep or unconscious and does not awaken.
Remind guests to stay home if they are sick
- Tell invited guests to stay home if they have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days or are showing COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who has had close contact with a person who has COVID-19 should also stay home and monitor their health. Invited guests who live with those at higher risk should also consider the potential risk to their loved ones.
- Keep a list of guests who attended for potential contract tracing needs.
- Host your gathering outdoors, when possible. If this is not feasible, make sure the room or space is well-ventilated (for example, open a garage or window).
- Arrange tables and chairs to allow for physical distancing. Roommates or people from the same household can be in groups together and should remain 6 feet away from other groups.
- If planning activities for adults and/or kids, consider those where social distancing can be maintained, like lawn games, sidewalk chalk art or frisbee – just be sure to keep hand sanitizer around and use it!
- When guests arrive, minimize gestures that promote close contact. For example, don’t shake hands, do elbow bumps, or give hugs. Instead wave, give a nod and verbally greet them.
- Limit your guest list to invites only.
- When deciding how many to invite, think about your space and how many individuals can comfortably be 6-feet apart at all times.
- Per COVID-19 expectations, you should gather with 10 or fewer individuals to help protect yourself, those around you and the Husker community. Try to keep to the same group (i.e. your social bubble) to minimize your potential for exposure.
- Recognized Student Organizations, fraternities and sororities planning larger events must abide by all campus event policies.
- Residence hall residents must abide by the Housing guest policies.
Wear face coverings
- Wear face coverings as much as possible and always if less than 6-feet apart from others, particularly those beyond your household.
- Enforce and remind guests to keep their face coverings on. Be diligent in gently reminding guests to mask up after finishing eating or drinking.
Clean hands often
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when entering and exiting social gatherings. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Make sure there is adequate soap or hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol available in the restrooms and encourage guests not to form a line at the door. Consider also providing cleaning supplies that allow guests to wipe down surfaces before they leave.
- Remind guests to wash their hands before serving or eating food.
- Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands so guests do not share a towel.
- Before using the restroom, make sure there is adequate soap and paper towels or hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
Bring your own or prepare food? It’s safest for everyone to bring their own food, although there is no evidence that the virus is transmitted by food. Your communal contact with surfaces, serving utensils or platters could spread the virus.
Ways to reduce the risk:
- Encourage guests to bring their own food and drinks.
- Limit people going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen or around the grill.
- If serving any food, identify one masked person to serve all food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
- Use single-use options or identify one person to serve sharable items, like salad dressings, food containers, and condiments, so that multiple people are not handling the items.
- Everyone should keep face coverings on until eating or drinking and replace them after finishing their food or beverage.
- While face coverings are removed try to stay 6-feet apart when eating or drinking, encourage guests to sit with members of their household like a roommate.
Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items
- Use touchless garbage cans or pails.
- Use gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash.
- Wash hands after removing gloves.
- Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between use when feasible.
- If you choose to use any shared items that are reusable (e.g., seating covers, tablecloths, linen napkins), wash, clean, and sanitize them after the event.
More setup advice for tables and chairs
- Mark off 6-foot-distances and create zones for each household to put their chairs, if they’re bringing their own.
- Set up tables with disposable plates and utensils that can be easily discarded.
- Set a few “visitors chairs” 6 feet from each table so people can mingle.
- Give every table small bags of chips or nuts or some other snacks. And give each table their own dips, salsas or condiments.
- If you have them, put a small bottle of hand sanitizer on each table for guests to use or even take as a party favor.