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University sponsored events: what’s new and how to plan

Recently, the university revised the Use of University Space (Policy 1100) to amend the section on Sponsored Use of University Space (4.12). The revision clarifies the circumstances in which university departments and university-recognized student organizations are eligible to sponsor and support third-party events.

Amidst the changes, you’ll see requirements for dean, executive director and, in some cases, vice president approval of your university sponsored event proposal. Approval from leadership will be required when the majority of intended guests or participants (51 percent or more) are not clearly affiliated to the university or when substantial
resources are required (examples include multi-day or multi-space events).

What’s new?

University departments or university-recognized student organizations requesting to host a university sponsored event will start by submitting a proposal. Approved proposals will require that all parties, including third-party vendors, sign-off on a Facility Use Agreement and provide a certificate of liability insurance that meets requirements as outlined by Risk Management. The Sponsoring department or organization will be responsible for all costs and charges resulting from the university-sponsored event. As a university-sponsored event, rates and charges will be applied at the university rate. See full details in our guidelines.

Why the change?

● To provide accountability for proper utilization of student fees.
● To protect student fees and university auxiliary revenue from misuse by third party organizations who may use university departments and recognized student organizations to “front” access to space, services, waivers and/or discounts.
● To establish objective criteria and authorize the process to determine approval for when university-sponsored events should occur.
● To ensure such university-sponsored events meet the mission and strategic goals of the university via attendance parameters or approvals by executive leadership.
● To ensure university-sponsored events shall not disrupt the educational, research, service, housing and other legitimate functions of the university.
● To limit liability to the university by requiring a facility use agreement and collection of certificate of insurance from the third party or parties engaging in the event.
● To increase financial responsibility and understanding of the financial impact of singular and collective university-sponsored events upon the university through regular collection and reporting of data with respect to number of co-sponsorships requested, approved, and resulting waived or reduced revenue to impacted auxiliaries and service providers.

Tips for planning a university sponsored event

● Start early. Your sponsored event proposal needs to be submitted at the time of booking space with a minimum of 1 month prior to your desired event date.
● Review your event budget and plan accordingly.
● Discuss programming/events with your area leadership before submitting a proposal