Change in campus events as a result of university recommendations


Events across the Iowa State campus have been canceled, postponed or will go virtual after recommendation from university.

Logan Metzger

Editor’s Note: After the publishing of this article, the university announced that all Iowa State events, activities and exhibitions, on or off campus, must be canceled, postponed or virtualized, effective Monday, March 16, and continuing through Saturday, April 4, 2020.

After Iowa State’s recent decision to move coursework online March 23 through April 3, some events on campus have been canceled and delayed, while others will continue as planned.

Event sponsors and organizers have been working with Iowa State for the last couple of days to evaluate whether or not large events scheduled to take place on campus from March 23 to April 3 should continue.

Some groups also are making decisions about campus-based events on additional dates outside the March 23 to April 3 timeline. Entries on the online events calendar are being updated as details are finalized.

This is not a comprehensive list, and Iowa State has created guidelines to help groups decide if they should change campus-based events in the future.

“Department, college, university and third-party events between March 13 and Saturday, April 4, are to be canceled, postponed or virtualized if the event meets three of the following six criteria,” according to the Changes and Closures part of the coronavirus FAQ page.

  • Is the event expecting 200 or more attendees?
  • Does the venue have size or floor plan limitations that would make social distancing, six feet between people, impractical?
  • Are you expecting attendees who have traveled from international destinations that may be impacted by travel bans or from countries that have stopped reentry during the duration of the event?
  • Are you expecting attendees whose age and health status categorize them as being in vulnerable populations for COVID-19 infection, for example, having serious chronic medical conditions or being older adults?
  • Would an increased housekeeping workload exceed the capabilities of the venue’s staff?
  • Is the event open to the public and does not require attendees to register?

One of the biggest groups of events that have been canceled that may affect a wide range of individuals is the Lectures Series programming. All lectures from March 23 to April 10 have been canceled.

“The university issued a set of recommendations saying that large group events should be postponed, and we just felt that it was not practical to postpone the events with so much uncertainty, and then because we had a large number of events the week after the initial two-week suspension of activities and with the intricacies of travel and people coming in from other places, we decided it would be best for public safety to cancel all events through April 10,” said Amanda Knief, director of the Lectures Program.

Knief said if the suspension of activities is extended, her team would look into canceling more events due to university recommendations. However, Knief said her team is looking to reschedule some of the canceled lectures.

“We decided that with everything so uncertain, none of the canceled lectures will be rescheduled this spring, but we are already in talks of rescheduling many of those events for the fall,” Knief said.

Lectures were not the only large events to be canceled, postponed or altered, they are listed in chronological order according to the Changes and Closures part of the coronavirus FAQ page.

  • College of Human Sciences: Find Your Future in Food and Nutrition through Science visit day, March 13, canceled
  • Admissions campus visit programs, March 16-April 4, canceled
  • College of Veterinary Medicine programming, March 23-April 4
  • Ivy Women in Business awards ceremony, March 25, postponed
  • ISU Research Day, March 25, canceled
  • Memorial Union-sponsored programming, March 25-April 5, canceled
  • State Science and Technology Fair, March 26-27, portions canceled, some moved online
  • Go Further Girls STEM Conference, March 26, canceled
  • College of Design undergraduate open house, March 27, canceled
  • AST Club lawnmower service days, March 27-28, canceled
  • Greek Week, March 29-April 5
  • WiSE STEM Fest, March 30, canceled
  • Admitted Student Day, March 30, canceled
  • ISU Extension and Outreach Annual Conference, April 1, will be moved online
  • Transforming Gender and Society Conference, April 4, canceled
  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Hertz Lecture on Emerging Issues in Agriculture, April 7, postponed
  • College of Design Wearables Design Show, April 8, postponed
  • CALS Advantage Day, April 8, canceled

The Workspace in the Memorial Union, though not hosting any large events like those listed on the Changes and Closures part of the coronavirus FAQ page, has also decided to cancel some of its programming.

“The Workspace will be closed March 13 to April 5 with all classes and events during that time canceled,” said Letitia Kenemer, Workspace and fine arts coordinator for the Memorial Union, in an email.

Reiman Gardens, though not directly on campus, has also decided to cancel some of its programming.

“We are following the university’s recommendation to evaluate all rentals and events moving forward and, for now, have determined that we are canceling [three] events for certain, and we will continue to evaluate the rest of our events and rentals as this situation develops,” said Renee Rule, events manager for Reiman Gardens, in an email.

The events Reiman Gardens that has canceled are the following:

  • Reiman Gardens After Hours, March 13
  • Reiman Gardens Day of Insects Reception, March 27
  • Reiman Gardens Day of Insects, March 28

When it comes to Ames Public Library events, some presenters and program partners have cancelled upcoming programs at Ames Public Library, but the library has not issued a system-wide cancellation, according to Jillian Ocken, community relations specialist for the Ames Public Library, in an email.

University Museums is still determining their schedule when it comes to events being canceled or postponed or exhibits being closed.

For events that involve the Maintenance Shop, Iowa State Center and Student Union Board, check out this other Iowa State Daily article.

For more information about event cancellations, those interested can check with the event sponsors and organizers if they have questions. If someone has a large public event to add to the list, they can send details, including event name, date, status and website for more info, to [email protected].