COVID-19 Operational Guidelines
The following Operational Guidelines will serve the community and staff of Common Grounds throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and may be changed or modified at any point in light of current and real time health and safety guideance from local and university officials. Wherever there is variation between the following COVID-19 Operational Guidelines and other normal operating policies outlined below, the COVID-19 Operational Guidelines will be followed and enforced, until such time as this website is updated.
- Face coverings are required at all times in the University Commons and Common Grounds, with the exception of brief periods of removal for eating or drinking. Masks must be reapplied when not eating and drinking
- Food and beverages are available for dine in or carry out
- Food and drink may be consumed in Common Grounds when seated at a single occupancy table
- Capacity will be limited to 34, including all patrons and staff
- Use of Common Grounds is limited to current students, faculty and staff with a valid EMU ID, in light of the EMU campus being closed to the general public
- Customers will comply with line spacing and directional traffic flow, as required by posted signage
- Furniture may not be rearranged
- Events may be filmed/live-streamed from Common Grounds, with the support of the Events Manager, while audiences will remote in
- Microwaves are not available for use by patrons
- Travel/personal mugs are not permitted in the coffeeshop
- Barista will enforce these policies and kindly ask customers to leave if the choice is made not to comply with these guidelines
I. Scheduling An Event
Any EMU person, organization or department is welcome to make use of Common Grounds for an event during the Fall or Spring Semester while classes are in session. An event must first be requested by filling out and submitting an Event Request Form at least 2 weeks prior to the event. Each request will be reviewed by the Events Manager and the contact person will be responded to promptly. Common Grounds reserves the right to refuse any event submitted with less than 2 weeks notice or that cannot be adequately supported. Common Grounds will take event requests in advance within a given academic year, but not more than 6 months in advance if requested for subsequent academic years.
And remember…Wednesday nights are “open” nights with no scheduled events. So come on down for a night of uninterrupted studying, hanging out, or relaxation.
Common Grounds management reserves the right to refuse a request to hold an event in the coffeeshop during mid terms and finals weeks.
Non EMU related groups may not hold regularly scheduled events in the space. By the same token, we are a business open to the public and many local community members enjoy using our space for a quiet conversation over a cup of coffee, keeping in mind the following common sense guidelines:
- Limit gathering size so as not to interfere with normal/other business and use (for example, one table group is acceptable)
- Tuesdays evenings are reserved for regular events and Wednesday evenings are reserved for quiet studying only
- Any group choosing to use Common Grounds for their gatherings must ensure that activities are quiet and do not cause a disturbance to others in the space (for example: no singing, solicitation, loud conversation, or any activity which makes it uncomfortable for other patrons to go about their business in the coffeehouse)
If your group would like to reserve an on-campus space for a regular meeting, contact the Office of Conferences and Events
II. Events During Closed Hours
Any campus group wishing to hold a special event in Common Grounds during non-operating hours will be charged $20/hour for additional staffing and operations. If an event requires scheduling additional staff in order to host an event successfully, an additional $20/hour fee will be assessed. For example, Common Grounds will charge $20/hour to supply 1-2 staff people, $40/hour to supply 3-4 staff people. Common Grounds is closed on Saturdays with the exception of special events. Depending on the nature of these events, the out of hours and additional staffing fees will be waived. This determination will be made at the discretion of management.
III. Event Cancellation
Common Grounds is a highly sought after space for activities and organizations. Anyone who schedules the space for use is asked to do so only after the time, date and setup logistics have been determined. “Last minute” changes or cancellations impact not only the operations of Common Grounds, but also other groups interested in using the space.
When event details change (eg. time or date) or an event is cancelled within 2 weeks of the reservation, a fee of $20 will be applied at the discretion of the Events Manager. In addition, any staffing costs and the cost of supplies or food purchased for the event will be invoiced to the reserving party for payment.
IV. Outside Food
Common Grounds recognizes itself as a legitimate business and views any food brought in location for special events as a form of competition. An organization wanting to provide food for its event has three options:
- Purchase the food from our Menu
- Purchase the food from our Catering menu
- Provide their own food, but group will be charged a $30 fee
- CAC and Residence Life will not be assessed the Outside Food fee for events that they host on Friday nights
V. Candles and Open Flames
An open flame or candle poses a serious risk to the safety of both the public and the building, and is therefore generally prohibited in Common Grounds. For specified events, the limited use of candles is allowable, given the following criteria:
- The Events Manager is notified ahead of time on the Event Request Form. If adequate notice is not given, Common Grounds reserves the right to refuse the use of any candle or open flame.
- Common Grounds provides both the candle and the container.
- Common Grounds determines the area and sets it up: outside the flow of traffic, not on the platform, & on a sturdy table.
- Candles are only lit for a specific time-frame associated with an event, and are never left unattended or used as general ambiance.
- Extinguished candles are returned to the Common Grounds staff at the conclusion of the event.
VI. Weather Delays and Cancellations
- Common Grounds will maintain normal operating hours in the event of class delays due to inclement weather.
- Common Grounds will operate on a delayed schedule in the event of class cancellation or campus closure due to inclement weather, opening at noon on these days.
VII. Customer Use of Personal and Travel Mugs
Common Grounds encourages the environmentally sensitive practice of customers bringing in their own reusable mugs. Please keep the following in mind when requesting Common Grounds personnel fill an order using a personal or travel mug:
- Personal and travel mugs come in a variety of sizes. We reserve the right for our barista staff to determine the volumn of a Common Grounds “small” or “large” in your personal mug
- We will not wash or rinse personal or travel mugs
- For your health and the health of other customers, Common Grounds only serves the following beverages in personal or travel mugs: house coffee, monthly coffee, decaffeinated coffee and hot tea (no tea steamers or other specialty hot tea or coffee drinks)