Approved by: President
History: Issued             --
Revised            -- October 10, 2014
Last Reviewed -- July 1, 2022
Related Policies: Accommodations at University Events Policy; Contract Approval and Signature Authority Policy; Political Activity Policy; Posting Policy;Presentations Policy; Tax Compliance Policy; Tax Exempt Bond Compliance Policy
Additional References: Centralized Event Scheduling Software; Events and Conferences Services (ECM) Website; Vendor Application

Policy Owner:

Contact Person:

Vice President for Student Affairs, tel. (202) 319-5619

Executive Director, University Events and Dining Services, tel. (202) 319-5291


I. Introduction


University staff, faculty, and students representing University offices, departments, and registered student organizations may reserve campus spaces for University-related activities in accordance with the mission of the University and the requirements set forth in this policy. All campus spaces must be reserved using the University's Events and Conferences Services (ECS) software.

Departments or units responsible for managing a particular campus space are responsible for entering relevant information regarding that space into the University's Events and Conferences Services (ECS) software as described more fully below. This policy applies to scheduling of all academic, co-curricular, departmental, and external events in campus spaces.

This policy applies to scheduling of all academic, co-curricular, departmental, and external events in campus spaces. For the purposes of this policy, the term “campus space” means any University-owned space or facility typically used by more than one department (for example, but not limited to classrooms, the Pryzbyla Center, the DuFour Center, the Happel Room, the Scullen Room, Ward recital hall, and outdoor spaces such as lawns). “Campus space” does not include private office spaces such as conference rooms typically used by one department only. 

II.  Definitions


A. Campus Space means any University-owned space or facility typically used by more than one department (for example, but not limited to classrooms, the Pryzbyla Center, the DuFour Center, the Happel Room, the Scullen Room, Ward recital hall, and outdoor spaces such as lawns). "Campus space" does not include private office spaces such as conference rooms typically used by one department only.


III. Requirements for Managers of Campus Spaces


Use of the Centralized Event Scheduling Software enables the University to avoid scheduling conflicts, address safety issues, meet technology needs, provide accommodations for qualified persons with disabilities, and prepare effectively for other facility-related issues such as set-up and cleaning. The department responsible for managing a particular campus space (the "managing department") is responsible for entering all relevant information regarding that space in the University's Centralized Event Scheduling Software. Information such as space features, accessibility for persons with disabilities, capacity, and the name of the department or unit responsible for managing the space must be noted. Managing departments will retain the ability to oversee and approve or deny space reservation requests for their spaces under the software system.


IV. Requirements for Requesting a Space


A. Space for Classroom Instruction for Credit


The Office of Enrollment Services directly schedules all academic spaces for all classroom instruction for credit for registered University students.


B. Space for Co-Curricular and other Events


Individuals or groups requesting reservation of campus spaces may not make any contractual or other service agreements until a space request confirmation has been received from the managing department or from the Events and Conference Services (ECS) Assistant Director for Scheduling, as applicable. All requests to reserve campus space other than for classroom instruction for credit must be made the Centralized Event Scheduling Software. Once a request has been submitted through the software it will be reviewed by the managing department. For example, requests for use of space at the Columbus School of Law are approved by the Columbus School of Law Student Life and Special Events Office, and requests for use of the Scullen Room are approved by the School of Engineering.

Requests to reserve campus spaces in the Pryzbyla Center, or other spaces not managed that are specifically managed by ECS (such as lawns and other open spaces), are reviewed by the ECS Assistant Director for Scheduling. Once the event has been confirmed by the Assistant Director, it is assigned to a designated ECS professional staff member who will work with the requestor to plan their event.

When evaluating requests for space ECS considers:

  1. the availability of the space;
  2. the best use of the space and any related facilities, and their suitability to various activities and functions in consultation with the appropriate building administrators;
  3. the appropriateness of the request in relation to the mission of the University, and local and federal policies, laws, and regulations; or
  4. if the event may disrupt normal University functions or pose a risk to members of the University, their guests, or members of the public.


V. Scheduling Priority


Scheduling priority is given to academic scheduling and official functions of the University. Co-curricular needs of University-registered student organizations and members of the faculty or staff receive next priority. Consistent with the mission and non-profit status of the University, campus spaces may be made available to off-campus organizations or groups with established ties to the campus community. Campus spaces are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. They may be reserved on a regular basis (e.g., every Tuesday, 7-9 p.m.) for one semester up to one year in advance. Specific spaces may have limitations that may prevent such advanced scheduling. Consult the ECS Assistant Director for Scheduling for details concerning those spaces.

A. Date/Time Restrictions


  1. Events can be scheduled between 8 a.m. - 11 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. - 1:00 am on weekends. The Scheduling Coordinator must approve exceptions.
  2. No other events may be scheduled during Orientation, Homecoming, Family Weekend, or Commencement unless they are directly associated with those programs.
  3. Non-academic use of classrooms may be scheduled after the third week of the fall or spring semesters.
  4. Non-academic use of classrooms may be scheduled after March 1 for the following summer semester.
  5. No events other than exams or make-up classes may be scheduled in any academic space during final examinations.
  6. Student organization programming usually ends after the last day of class of each semester, and may resume after the last day of finals.
  7. The University is closed for Christmas during the time period when the University staff is on leave. No events may take place during that time.
  8. Limited scheduling may occur during Easter break, but no extra services may be available (custodial, DPS, etc.)

VI. Requirements for Events Occurring in Campus Spaces


 A. Event Sponsor Responsibilities


The person making a reservation on behalf of an organization or department is responsible for the accuracy of all the information provided.  Only the sponsor indicated in the reservation is authorized to use reserved facilities or make changes to the reservations. Authorization cannot be transferred, assigned or loaned to another organization or individual without prior approval from ECS. The sponsor is also responsible for any damages to the facility incurred during the course of the event or during the event set-up and take-down. 

Once an event is confirmed by ECS, it is the responsibility of the event sponsor to communicate with their assigned ECS point of contact regarding event support services, such as catering, use of audiovisual equipment, and layout of the space. These details should be provided to the ECS point of contact, in most cases, at least two weeks prior to the event date. In turn, the ECS point of contact will coordinate the support services with internal partners, such as Cardinal Catering and Facilities Management. If external catering services are used, the event sponsor must work directly with the caterer and provide the relevant information to their ECS point of contact.


B. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance


With respect to meetings and events at the University open to the student and University community, or open to the public, every effort will be made to schedule such meetings and events in accessible campus spaces. This requirement applies to academic events, whether curricular, or co-curricular, and to all student organization meetings. Organizers of closed meetings must be prepared to certify them as such. See the Accommodations at University Events Policy for details and requirements.


C. Alcohol


Alcohol may be served at officially-sanctioned University events sponsored by student organizations or University departments. Guidelines for planning events where alcoholic beverages are served are available in the Office of Campus Activities.


D. Cancellations


If the University experiences an emergency closing due to weather, utility failure, or natural disaster, then the event is cancelled. Except as noted above, only the event sponsor may alter or cancel a scheduled event. Such requests to change or cancel must be communicated to the managing department, ECS, and service departments in a timely fashion. Failure to notify a managing department or ECS  in time may result in fees being charged to the sponsor. The Department of Public Safety may end an event if it disrupts normal University functions, poses a risk to members of the University or the public, or if the University is forced to close in the event of one of the previously-mentioned emergencies.


E. Co-Sponsorship


University departments, offices and registered student organizations may make facility or service commitments for or with off-campus agencies and organizations with the understanding that the off-campus user will be assessed a fee as stipulated by ECS. Refer to the ECS Guidelines above or contact ECS for further details. The University event sponsor (or someone he or she designates in the reservation) serves as the contact person and is required to attend the event, remain in the facility for the duration of the event, make sure that it ends on time, and assures that the facility is returned to its original configuration.

A fee structure is in place for off-campus organizations or agencies including groups co-sponsoring events with University departments and offices. Those groups are required to make facility and service requests through ECS. Depending upon the nature of the activity and/or the sponsor, ECS may request a certificate of insurance or an acceptable bond indemnifying the University against liability. For outside sponsors, ECS requires these items at all times.


F. Entertainment Copyright License


The University annually pays licensing fees to rights management companies, including ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. The payment of these fees entitles departments to put on public performances of music on campus, such as concerts and dances, and to play musical works over the internet.

The uses listed below are not covered by the annual license fees and require separate permission. The school, department, or other unit hosting the event is responsible for obtaining the license.

  • Grand Rights: Dramatic uses of music. This includes operas, musical plays and ballets.
  • Mechanical license: Required when copying and distributing music written by someone else. An example would be taping a concert performance of lyrics/music written by someone other than the University or its agents, and handing out or selling CDs to attendees at the concert.
  • Synchronization rights: Required for using musical works or sound recordings with visual images and making them available to the public. There may be fair use exceptions in certain circumstances, such as use in a classroom setting.
  • Public Performance license for showing movies on campus: See Copyright Guidelines for Showing Movies on Campus available on the Office of General Counsel webpage. If you have any questions or concerns you may contact the Office of Campus Activities.


G. Campus Event Security


The Department of Public Safety (DPS) reserves the right to require officers for any event. Large social events usually require one officer to be present for every 100 people. Two officers per 100 people are required if alcohol is served at the event. If the sponsoring group is unable or unwilling to hire the officers after DPS has notified them, then the event may not occur at all. Consult the Director of DPS for further details.


H. Fees and Liability


University-registered student organizations and members of the faculty or staff are not charged for the use of campus spaces. All users are expected to pay costs associated with additional services or conveniences. This includes food service, audiovisual services and overtime staff wages.


I. Tentatively Reserving Space


Event sponsors may tentatively request one or more campus spaces while they finalize other event plans. The event sponsor must make a decision on the campus space (if the Great Room or Caldwell Chapel has been tentatively scheduled) no later than 15 working days prior to the event or within 24 hours after notification from staff of another request for the same space.


J. Political Activities


As a non-profit, private institution of higher education whose activities are regulated in part by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, The Catholic University of America is prohibited from participating or intervening in any political campaign of a candidate for public office. Complete guidance can be found in the Political Activity Policy.


K. Presentations Sponsored by Student Organizations


University-registered student organizations that want to sponsor an off-campus speaker or contract entertainment for a major event must meet with the Director of the Office of Campus Activities prior to facility approval. They must submit a completed and approved presentations review report before any final arrangements (room reservations, contract officers, requisitions etc.) can be approved for films, speakers, or performers invited to campus. This report must be filed at least 20 days prior to the program date. Refer to the Presentations Policy for details.


L. Private Parties


Private parties are not scheduled on campus. These activities place the University in direct competition with local establishments. The University's tax-exempt status prohibits or limits unrelated business revenues. Private functions for University employees, students, and alumni may be permitted, but must be coordinated through ECS.


M. Religious Services


The University Chaplain must approve all religious services on campus. The University Chaplain can be reached in the Office of Campus Ministry (tel. 202-319-5575).


N. Vending and Information Distribution


University-registered student organizations and members of faculty or staff may reserve a table in the Pryzbyla University Center daily between the hours of 8:00 am and 10:00 pm. Because of limited space, the number of tables available may be limited on any given day. There is no charge to University organizations or departments distributing campus-related materials or selling items such as baked goods, plants, buttons, balloons, etc. for approved fundraising. Information distribution is also subject to the Posting Policy.

ECS staff must approve any off-campus vendor before a table space can be scheduled. A Vendor Application is required along with appropriate vending and liability insurance licenses, a list of references, and a sample of their merchandise. Because of limited space, usually only one table per vendor is available and may be scheduled for three consecutive working days. A fee may be charged. Contact ECS for further information (tel. 202-319-5291). These activities may only occur at the Pryzbyla University Center. The only exception is for USG and GSA elections, which may be set up at other areas throughout campus.