COVID-19 safety precautions

As of July 16, 2020, Allen County, Ohio, is a Level 3 (Red) county per Governor Mike DeWine’s Ohio Public Health Advisory System. This means Bluffton University falls under a health order with specific guidelines we must follow while in public spaces. 

Wearing a facial covering (mask or shield) is REQUIRED while indoors. Graduates MUST wear a facial covering during check-in at Founders Hall, while seated in Sommer Center and during processional line up in Sommer Center. We strongly encourage all guests to also bring a facial covering to wear during the ceremony in the stadium.

In accordance with guidelines set by the Governor of Ohio, and in collaboration with the Allen County Department of Health, Bluffton University ensures the following safety precautions will be taken during our 2020 Commencement Ceremony:

  • Posting clear signage of best practices for hygiene and socially distanced space markings
  • Reducing Salzman Stadium’s normal capacity down to 20% by limiting the number of guests each graduate may bring
  • Cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces
  • Maintaining public restrooms and providing supplies for proper handwashing, as well as monitoring the capacity of each restroom to ensure social distancing practices
  • Denoting available socially-distanced seating options and mark one-way traffic where applicable
  • Requiring all faculty and staff to perform a daily symptom assessment prior to arriving on campus
  • Encouraging all graduates and guests to perform a daily symptom assessment prior to arriving on campus
  • Encouraging all graduates and guests who are or become ill between now and Saturday, July 18, to celebrate via livestream.
  • Requiring all faculty and staff to wear facial coverings, except for one of the following reasons:
    • Facial coverings in the work setting are prohibited by law or regulation.
    • Facial coverings are in violation of documented industry standards.
    • Facial coverings are not advisable for health reasons.
    • Facial covering are in violation of the business’ documented safety policies.
    • There is a functional/practical reason for an employee not to wear a facial covering, and a written justification has been provided to the local health officials.
  • Requesting all graduates and guests wear facial coverings if they are unable to maintain a six-foot distance from another guest
    • Please note: Family members living in the same household are not required to social distance themselves from each other
  • Allowing adequate space for graduates to check in and prepare for the Commencement ceremony while remaining socially distanced
  • Closing Salzman Stadium immediately after the conclusion of the ceremony to limit congregation