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Use of Outdoor Space on Campus During COVID and Beyond!

By: Kylie Saulovich

While COVID has made events on college campuses throughout the United States more challenging, a few colleges have used this time to rethink the use of their outdoor spaces. Colleges such as Indiana University, University of Notre Dame, and the University of Rochester worked within their respective campus COVID protocols and have found creative and innovative ways to host events and activities outdoors on campus. Since the Fall of 2020 these schools have been able to host a wide variety of events on campus, creating wonderful experiences and memories for their students. What they have been able to do has been an inspiration for the possibilities we could have here on our beautiful campus!


Indiana University

student playing on keyboard under a canopy

Indiana University created what they call, “Open Air Venues” which are composed of Campus Corner and Performance Hub Venues. The Campus Corner Venues are smaller scale outdoor stages spread across campus in high traffic areas that students can reserve for things such as live musical performances, open mic nights, yoga, and much more. Their Performance students wearing masks and sitting on steps of outdoor amphitheater

Hub Venues are more formal and can host more people. Events/activities such as arts & crafts, club meetings,

and live concerts have taken place in the dedicated space. They also utilized their outdoor amphitheater for movie nights, and during the football season they even hosted “spirit days” to create a way for students to come together and cheer on their team while watching the live game being aired!

University of Rochester

festival tent set up outside, covered in snow

The University of Rochester hosted an array of student activities and festivals using a tent set up similar to Indiana University, along with creating a permanent ice rink in their quad space during the winter months! Students are able to sign up for a variety of skate sessions such as open skate, beginners, and even late night skate throughout the week.

University of Notre Dame

students sitting in small groups outdoors around fires while wearing masks

The University of Notre Dame created a “Library Lawn” and a “South Lawn” for the fall and spring months, and in the winter they created quad lodges to allow students to continue to have events and join in on activities all year round. On their lawns you could find students playing lawn games and sitting with friends around fire pits (even roasting smores on certain evenings). They also created food truck nights. University of Notre Dame hosted activities and events similar to what Indiana University has done as well such as student performances, concerts, contests, fitness classes, karaoke, and game watches.

Just imagine all the possibilities for our outdoor spaces here at Boise State…..

Think- multiple blue & orange chairs around fire pits! Live musical performances from students, faculty, and staff! Movie nights in the amphitheater! Students playing an array of games such as, corn hole and Spikeball in the Quad or on the

statue on Boise State campus

Intramural field in between classes! Food trucks such as Dutch Bros, Mad Mac, and La Tapatia weekly on campus! There truly are so many cool things we could do!

Have any thoughts you want to share?

We would love to hear your feedback on our Outdoor Event Space Form because who knows…maybe we will be seeing some of these ideas implemented on campus soon! 😉

Follow us on social media! Let’s stay connected. @boisestateeventservices