Student eating and drinking outside

Eating & Drinking at Indoor Gatherings

Designated Locations for Eating and Drinking (Non-Dining Locations)

Students, student organizations, faculty, or staff may consume food and drink for more formalized gatherings in indoor locations where 6’ physical distancing is maintained between participants, and approved locations include those listed below. The sole exception to the 6’ physical distancing guideline is Younts Conference Center Ballroom and Shaw Hall, where participants can be seated 4 to an 8-person round table.

  • Younts Conference Center—Ballroom (54*), Shaw Hall (32*), Atlanta Room (16*), Birmingham Room (16*)
  • Hartness Pavilion (48*)
  • Trone Student Center—Room 208 (26*), Watkins Room (26*)
  • North Village—J300 (39*)
  • Daniel Chapel—Garden Room (25*), Conference Room (8*), Meeting Room (8*)

*The above spaces are available during weekday evening hours and weekends due to spaces being used for academic or other purposes at other times.

Furman Bon Appetit Catering is the only provider for food and drink at approved indoor locations. External vendors, potlucks, and BYO are prohibited.

Event requests including food and drink at indoor gatherings must be submitted to the venue/facility operator with 14-days’ notice to ensure ample time to review program needs and setup, confirm catering, and notify facilities for appropriate sanitation post-event. The event must also be compliant with all other Event Planning Policies & Guidelines for health and safety.

The venue/facility operator reserves the right to require a designated monitor (e.g. faculty/staff advisor, venue manager) for the event.

Food and drink must be consumed while seated and at a planned eating time during the event only; wandering eating and socializing (e.g. reception/cocktail-style) is prohibited. Paladin Promise guidelines must be maintained throughout, and eating or drinking is not an excuse for removing a face covering and keeping it off for the duration of the event.

Other Locations

Food or drink may not be consumed at other locations (e.g. residence hall lounges, lobbies, other meeting rooms, etc.) during a meeting or event. The only exception is the Trone Atrium, where individuals may eat while sitting alone and 6-feet from others.

For individuals who feel they must have access to water during an indoor meeting or event, they must use a personal bottle with a sealed lid and a self-contained “straw” or similar device for drinking the liquid by vacuum rather than “pouring” into the mouth. The straw or similar device should be of a design that it can be slipped under the face covering to take a drink.Example of an appropriate water bottle with a straw

No other beverages and nothing that can be spilled from an open container creating a bio-hazard for others will be allowed.

Individuals should not eat during a meeting or event in any other indoor locations unless there is a medical emergency/medically approved necessity, and in those cases the individuals should separate themselves from others at distances of greater than 6 feet. The exception to this policy is that faculty and staff may eat in their offices alone with the door closed.

*Denotes maximum capacity allowed in each location.

Eating & Drinking During Class

  • For students who feel they must have access to water during class, they must use a personal bottle with a sealed lid and a self-contained “straw” or similar device for drinking the liquid by vacuum rather than “pouring” into the mouth.
  • The straw or similar device should be of a design that it can be slipped under the face covering to take a drink.
  • No other beverages and nothing that can be spilled from an open container creating a bio-hazard for others will be allowed.
  • The straw or similar device should be of a design that it can be slipped under the face covering to take a drink.
  • Faculty can use water bottles of similar design (self-contained “straw”).
  • Individuals should not eat in classrooms or academic buildings unless there is a medical emergency/medically approved necessity, and in those cases the individuals should separate themselves from others at distances of greater than 6 feet. The exception is faculty and staff may eat in their offices alone with the door closed.

Guidelines when Eating with Others in Informal, Small Groups

There may be instances where students, faculty, or staff gather to eat informally as small groups (e.g. students dine together in apartment or off-campus restaurant, faculty/staff eat lunch in break room).  Regardless of location, the following are recommended practices in an effort to keep one another healthy and safe:

  • Minimize your pod or the number of individuals with whom you eat.
  • Arrange tables and chairs to allow for 6’ physical distancing.
  • Avoid wandering while eating or drinking.
  • Wear face coverings at all times with the exception of when you are actively consuming food or drink.
  • Wash your hands before serving and/or eating food.
  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items before and after use.
  • If serving any food or drink, consider identifying one person to serve all food or drink so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
  • Use single-use options or identify one person to serve sharable items (e.g. salad dressings, food containers, condiments) so that multiple people are not handling the items.
  • Avoid any self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, and condiment or drink stations. Use to-go meal options, if available.
  • Use disposable food service items including utensils and dishes.