New Outdoor Tented Areas Provide More, Safe Options for Small Events and Community Use

Ancell Plaza can be reserved by Columbia schools and departments for events up to 50 people. (Photo: Eileen Barroso)

As part of an effort to encourage open space use during the COVID-19 pandemic, Facilities and Operations has erected tents at four locations on the Morningside campus to facilitate small gatherings during the 2020-21 academic year.

The new initiative supports the University's reopening efforts to provide access to covered outdoor spaces, based on guidance from health experts that activities held outdoors are safest when health and safety guidelines are followed.

To address this campus-wide need, Campus Operations identified outdoor locations most suitable and proposed tenting at Ancell Plaza, Dodge Plaza, Fairchild Plaza, and Hamilton Lawn. These tented areas provide access to a mix of lawn and hardscape areas that can be used for small classes, social gathering, dining spaces, and leisure that adhere to New York State Department of Health guidelines.

Community tenting at Dodge Plaza and Fairchild Plaza is available daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and can be used without prior reservation.


The tent at Fairchild Plaza will be available for community use and can hold a maximum of 36 people. (Photo: Eileen Barroso)

Tented spaces at Ancell Plaza and Hamilton Lawn can be reserved by schools and departments during the day. Reservation requests for the fall term can be submitted through Event Management until September 28. These spaces will be available to the Columbia community outside after 6 p.m.

The Columbia community is required to follow New York State and University event guidelines as well as the University's Health Compact while using these spaces, including wearing a face covering and maintaining six feet of distance between others.

In addition to the tented areas, the Morningside campus's other outdoor spaces remain available for open-air community use, including South Lawn, Philosophy Lawn, Van Am Quad, and more. The Grounds team has made numerous grounds improvements in recent years and will continue to maintain these spaces to encourage passive recreational use.