Change to Zoom Meeting Settings

Based on public feedback, Zoom has announced it will not be enforcing the security changes outlined below, which were originally scheduled to deploy on September 27th, 2020. Instead Zoom will make these security features available for Georgetown to implement at a time of our choosing.

While you currently have the option to create passcodes or waiting rooms and assign alternate hosts for your own Zoom meetings, this will not be required until further notice. Apologies for the inconvenience and any concerns this may have caused.

Zoom originally notified all of its users, including Georgetown University, that effective September 27, 2020, all Zoom meetings will be required to have a passcode or a waiting room. This is a mandatory change being enforced by Zoom in response to concerns about privacy, safety and security.

Zoom meetings without a passcode or waiting room already enabled will be automatically assigned a waiting room. Zoom Webinars are excluded from this requirement.

A “waiting room” places attendees in a holding pattern until the host joins the meeting and admits them. While in a waiting room, attendees cannot see or interact with each other. The meeting Host (creator of the meeting) will be required to enter the meeting and admit attendees into the meeting.

If I have questions or need help understanding this change where can I get help?

Email zoom@georgetown.edu with any questions, or attend online UIS Zoom Office Hours to receive assistance.

How will this affect my Georgetown Zoom meetings?:

Starting September 27th, if you have a scheduled meeting that doesn’t have a passcode or waiting room enabled, a waiting room will be automatically activated at the start of the meeting. For a meeting created after September 27th a waiting room or passcode will be required.

With waiting rooms, the host (and anyone assigned as an alternative host or co-host) receives a notification during the meeting when an attendee arrives, and will need to click the “admit” button to allow the person(s) in from the waiting room to join the meeting. 

The meeting Host (creator of the meeting) will be required to enter the meeting first before others can join. As a result, the “Join before host” will be removed as a feature and will no longer be available. Meeting Hosts can change their user settings in Zoom to automatically allow Georgetown users (faculty, staff or students) to bypass the waiting room and enter the meeting without the host taking any action. For more information and instructions on this feature see our help document on Bypassing Waiting Rooms.

NOTE: Using the ‘Bypassing Waiting Rooms’ setting will affect all of your meetings, and is not recommended for hosts who hold office hours, advising or counseling sessions, or any other meetings where you might not want participants to automatically join.

Will this change affect meetings created in Canvas using the Zoom Conferencing tool?  

If you teach using the Canvas Zoom Conferencing tool for your classes, these sessions will not be affected because by default they are passcode enabled. However, if you’ve altered the default meeting settings and have removed the passcode, and do not already have a waiting room enabled one will be enabled automatically for you.

Office Hours created in Canvas using the Zoom Conferencing tool will automatically have waiting rooms enabled. With waiting rooms, the host (and anyone assigned as a co-host) receives a notification during the meeting when someone arrives and will need to click the “admit” button to allow the person(s) in from the waiting room to join the meeting.

Can I see which of my meetings have Waiting Rooms or Passcodes enabled?

Yes. You can sign into the GU Zoom web portal, and in the “Meetings” tab see a list of meetings that have been scheduled without a Passcode. This is indicated with a red warning icon.

How will this change affect my calendar invitations when scheduling meetings?

If you already have a passcode or waiting room on, there will be no change to how you schedule meetings. If you have a scheduled meeting that doesn’t have a passcode or waiting room enabled, a waiting room will be automatically activated at the start of the meeting. For a meeting created after September 27th a waiting room or passcode will be required.

Waiting rooms for new or existing meetings does not affect calendar invitations. However, the host will be required to enter the meeting and “admit” participant(s) from the waiting room in order to join the meeting.

To ensure you are the host of meetings you created using your calendar, sign into the Zoom software before joining the meeting.

How will Waiting Rooms affect participants joining the meeting by phone?

For meetings with waiting rooms, participants will dial in as they normally do. They will hear a prompt that they are in the waiting room and the host will have to admit them.

Can I still allow others to host meetings that I create or schedule?:

Yes, using the alternative host setting, you can assign anyone with a Zoom @ Georgetown account to serve as host in your place.

In fact, if your meeting is using waiting rooms, we recommend you either assign an Alternative host, or make someone a co-host during the meeting, to help admit and manage participants in the waiting room.