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Event Planning

The university has a number of policies pertaining to university events and activities. Recognized student organizations have the privilege of sponsoring events in the name of Stanford provided that they follow all university policies and work in close coordination with the university. Informal or unrecognized groups are not permitted to hold events at Stanford or use the Stanford name. Approved student organizations that sponsor public events must receive prior university approval before any commitments are made or advertising/promotion occurs.  An overview of key policies is below.  In addition to this policies highlighted here, student sponsored events and activities must fulfill all requirements stated on the SAL web site.

University Mission. Events must complement the group’s existing university approved mission and the educational mission of Stanford University.

Should Not Compete with Stanford's Academic Schedule. Most student organization events should not be held during the regular academic week (M-F, 9am-5:30pm) because they compete with class time and classroom space (classrooms cannot be reserved for any event beyond classes M-F, before 5:30pm). The Registrar cannot honor any request made for a classroom before 5:30 pm the first two weeks of each quarter. Instead consider a non-academic space such as Tresidder Union, community centers or other similar spaces. Addtionally, there are restrictions on events during the end of the academic quarter.  For additional information see calendar for specific restricted dates and the university policy.

Student Led. In accordance with the university's policy of local autonomy, student group events must be initiated, led, and implemented by their student leaders. Planning, funding, decision-making, developing program content, designing publicity materials and onsite supervision is solely within the purview of the student organization. All monies raised and spent must be done so through a student organization's account.

Student Audience. Events must be targeted primarily at Stanford students and occur during the regular academic year, and not during university holidays or academic breaks. There are also limitations on when major events and parties can occur during the "end of the quarter period"in order to best support academic priorities.

Off-campus Relationships. Off-campus co-sponsors may be involved but only in limited ways and only with prior university consultation approval. Acceptable practices include funding, in-kind donations and free swag, sponsoring a competion prize or participating on a panel of experts. Off-campus entities may not serve as your representative in planning your event, inviting speakers or providing internal funding on your behalf since this is considered fronting and in violation of university policy.

Fronting. Student organizations cannot sponsor, schedule or front a non-university group or commercial vendor in order to give them access to university space or name or when the off-campus organization makes the decisions or provides the bulk of the funding.  On-campus organizations can only hold events in the name of Stanford which they directly plan, fund and will attend and supervise.

Finances. All funds including all expenses and revenue  earned through tickets or other means must be deposited into the group’s ASSU's account.

Off-campus Fundraising. Fundraising from off-campus sponsors including cash, services, donations and sponsors all must be done in consultation with Student Activities and Leadership. Most require prior university approval and all require advance consultation. 

New or Significantly Larger Size, Scope and Budget of Existing Event. Events that are new or existing ones that have increased the size and cost, must be carefully planned within the organization's existing mission and resources, looking at the org's history of financial management, event planning success and fundraising. Early advance consultation with Student Activities and Leadership is expected a minimum of three months prior to the event.

Public versus Private Events. All campus events and meetings are considered public events unless declared " SUID only",  “invitation only” or “member only” at the time the facility is reserved and the event approved:

  • A “public event” is defined as one open to all those who wish to attend, including the members of the general public and the press.
  • A “Stanford only” event is open to all members of the campus community, including campus press. In terms of a media presence, off-campus media are permitted at public events and on-campus media are permitted at Stanford only events. In all cases the sponsor may request the media identify themselves at the outset so that others present know their comments could be captured.
  • “Member only” events may be restricted to an organization’s existing member roster. They must not be advertised broadly.
  • “Invitation only” events must have a guest list. They must not be advertised broadly.
Security. The Department of Public Safety has final authority on determining all security requirements for events. This review will occur for events:
  • Sheduled in campus auditoria or other large spaces. 
  • Outdoor events.
  • Large scale conferences, tournaments or competitions, 
  • Visits of dignitaries, government officials or other high profile individuals.
  • Events surrounding campus buildings, campus traffic or the ongoing business or activity of the university.
Events Requiring Extraordinary Resources and Other Special Requirements. Major events, outdoor events, activities with youth and those requiring substantial resources including security have additional requirements and will likely require review by the university's student events group.

University Approval Required. Student group events cannot be promoted, advertised or tickets sold without final facility confirmation and written university approval through Student Activities and Leadership.


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