To: All Staff, All Faculty, All Students
From: Alison Byerly, Provost; Patrick Norton, Chief Financial Officer
Subject: Crowd Management Policy
We write to inform you of some regulatory issues that affect our scheduling and use of campus spaces for outside-of-class events. In order to comply with the National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code, a national code recognized and adopted by the State of Vermont, Middlebury College is required to implement a “Crowd Management Policy.” The information below is relevant to any office, department, program, or club that schedules events or activities, other than regularly scheduled classes, that involve more than 50 attendees or participants.
Events scheduled in spaces with an occupancy level of 50 or more will now be required to have a designated “crowd manager” on site. The role of the crowd manager is to make sure exits are clear and ensure that stated occupancy limits are respected. For events with more than 100 people, the crowd manager will also be required to fill out the appropriate forms and submit them to public safety.
We recognize that this unexpected responsibility creates an additional task for event planners, but we are required to comply with these regulations, and there are a variety of approaches to identifying a crowd manager for events. In many cases, offices have found that the simplest solution is to provide training for student, staff or faculty organizers who are already planning to be at an event. Crowd manager training can be completed in a single short session online or here on campus with Ed Sullivan in the Environmental, Health, and Safety Office. If you plan to host an event and do not have a staff member who is trained you can contact Ed Sullivan at extension 5726. Ed has trained students who can be hired as crowd managers. Academic departments who hire student workers for additional office support may choose to have them complete crowd management training. For more information please visit the website below, where the policy and instructions are listed.
We encourage all members of the community to become familiar with the new crowd management policy and to support those who are serving in the role of crowd manager. Please think carefully about capacity as you plan your events. Many event organizers prefer hosting an overcrowded event to taking the risk that a venue will feel too empty for the size of the audience, but it is important that you be aware that we will be required to turn audience members away when we have exceeded the designated capacity of a space. Everyone attending an event can be helpful to our efforts to adhere to these safety regulations by noting exits upon arrival, adhering to limits on seating, and refraining from sitting or standing in the aisles or on the stairs.
We appreciate your support of these required policies, which will increase the safety of all community members at the many events that take place daily on our busy campus.