As outdoor enthusiasts, facing challenges and uncertainty is something we all know in one setting or another. In recent weeks, we’ve started to prepare for the year with welcome events, retreats, and communicating the new guidelines to club leaders for modified, in-person programming. Faced with already challenging circumstances, we recently received news from Chancellor Rebecca Blank of a shelter-in-place order for all undergraduates. This news comes with the the cancellation of all non-essential and non-academic in-person events through September 21st, which includes our in-person programming.

What does this mean for Hoofers? We are excited to still move forward with our Hoofer Welcome Week, with a week-long collection of virtual events to get to know each club. For the rest of the semester, virtual events will continue to be one of our primary forms of engagement, and we’ll continue to assess the viability of in-person programs with guidance from campus.

As we found last spring, the restriction of old possibilities brings a whole world of new possibilities. Though it’s hard to accept that this year will not look like ones in the past, we know that Hoofers is still standing after almost 90 years because of our ability to evolve in incredible ways. As this fall progresses, we will find new ways of engaging with the outdoors and with each other.

Find below a list of important changes to note, as well as resources for updated news and guidelines on the UW-Madison campus and in the local community.

Summary of Significant Changes for Fall, 2020 Semester

  • All official Hoofers programming will be held virtually through September 21st, possibly through the rest of the fall semester
    Refer to your club’s event descriptions to see which online platform will be used (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc)
  • If you do not have virtual capabilities, reach out to your club president or the leaders of a specific event to ask about accommodations
  • All club business will be held virtually for this same timeframe
    • This includes office hours, executive board meetings, and general member meetings
  • Since September 2nd, Wisconsin Union buildings are open to students, faculty, and staff only (for at least fall semester, possibly spring) - Wiscards will be validated at the door
  • We cannot sponsor any inter-state travel at this time and for foreseeable future (for at least fall semester, possibly spring)
  • Limited student leaders and Outdoor UW staff will have access to Hoofer spaces inside the building - including boathouse, storage rooms, leader office, and galley
  • Access to Hoofer equipment will be determined by each club, with respect to campus in-person guidelines and restrictions.
  • Each club will assess an equipment checkout protocol and plan.
  • All events will be required to be posted on Rec Hub for central organization purposes
  • If restrictions are lifted after September 21st, in-person programming must be planned in accordance with safety guidelines and approved by club president, club advisor, and in some cases for on-campus reservations, CESO (Campus Event Services Office)

We are excited to stay creative as well as cautious and pragmatic in our approach for programming this semester. We hope you will join us in our commitment to keeping each other safe, so that one day soon we may all be on the water, in the woods, at the barn together again. Community has always been central to Hoofers, and it is important in times like these that we can be there for each other, demonstrating a tolerance for adversity and uncertainty that we all learn so well through outdoor pursuits.


If you have questions regarding club programming, reach out to your club president or club executive board. If you have questions regarding general Hoofer business, feel free to email Ansley Laev at