Student Activities

FAQs - Event Planning

Click on the links below for answers to many of your most frequently asked questions. Can't find what you're looking for? Stop by Office of Student Activities, located on the 2nd floor of the UC. We're open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

  1. How can I get sound equipment or a DJ?
  2. How do I rent a stage for my event?
  3. How do I rent outdoor tables, chairs, or linens?
  4. Are there restrictions on renting inflatables for events?
  5. Does my event need insurance?
  6. What constitutes a high risk event? Are there releases or liabilities associated with these events?
  7. Is security required for my event?
  8. Do I need a noise variance permit for my event?
  9. Who can sign my contract?
  10. What are the food policies for events?
  11. What are the alcohol policies for events?
  12. How do I reserve a space on campus for events or meetings?
  13. Are there policies about publicity?
  14. Can I put on an event with another student organization or department on campus?
  15. If my event is outdoors, how do I rent blankets for seating?
  16. How do I make my event "green?"
  17. Are there restrictions on bonfires on campus?
  18. What are the policies for inviting minors to campus?
  19. How can I make sure my event is ADA accessible?

1. How can I get sound equipment or a DJ?

ASWU sound owns a sound system that can be reserved. You will be required to sign a contract of liability for any damage the system sustained during your event. If you do not give 7 to 10 days advance notice, they cannot guarantee your use of the system and a charge of $50 will be assessed. Request ASWU Sound online.

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2. How do I rent a stage for my event?

The ASWU stage is available to any student organization who requests it by completing an online scheduling request on the Scheduling website. Setup of the stage is coordinated by the Facilities Support department. In some cases there will be an additional fee to setup the stage. Contact Jeff Bolt 503-370-6549 for more information.

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3. How do I rent outdoor tables, chairs, or linens?

Please contact Jeff Bolt at Event Support 503-370-6549 for help with tables and chairs for your event. The University has a limited supply of folding tables and chairs for outdoor use. These are provided free on a first-come, first-serve basis. Linens can be rented from Bon Appétit. Call 503-370-6711 for details.

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4. Are there restrictions on renting inflatables for events?

Students are not allowed to work at rental inflatables due to insurance purposes. Portland Party Works has named us as an insured party - so any event done before that date with that company will not require additional purchase of insurance, but will require additional staffing. For a fee of $120-$125 per inflatable they provide staff that sets up, tears down and supervises the equipment the entire time.

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5. Does my event need insurance?

The University insurance covers most official Willamette Events. Events which bring a large number of visitors to campus or have higher risk activities may require the purchase of special event insurance. For more information, contact the Office of Scheduling, Events & Conferences.

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6. What constitutes a high risk event? Are there releases or liabilities associated with these events?

The following events constitute as high risk events and likely need special event insurance:

  • Physical activity (bodily harm)
  • Inviting the public, including minors
  • Certain kinds of music including heavy metal or hip hop
  • Large scale, new events

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7. Is security required for my event?

Security may be required for events where alcohol is served, a significant number of off-campus guests are invited, 200 people or more are expected, or a controversial topic or speaker is planned. Security officers are arranged by the Office of Campus Safety, with a minimum cost of $72 per security officer ($18 per hour, 4 hour minimum).

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8. Do I need a noise variance permit for my event?

If your event uses loud speakers or a public address system, you may need a noise variance permit. Contact the City of Salem or a staff member in Student Activities to see if your event qualifies.

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9. Who can sign my contract?

Students are not eligible to enter into contracts on behalf of the University. The advisor is responsible for negotiating and signing contracts. For contractual obligations that exceed $10,000 or extend for more than a year, the responsible Dean or Vice President will approve the contract.

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10. What are the food policies for events?

Any event requiring food or beverage service held on campus will be contracted through our on site catering company Bon Appétit. There are certain circumstances in which groups may choose to self-cater their event, including:

  • Student organization functions for students, faculty or staff of Willamette University that do not include any participation of the outside community
  • Potluck celebrations for groups of less that 25 attendees
  • Student bake sales
  • Ordering pizza

Please check with Bon Appétit by emailing Marc Marelich at mmarelich@willamette.edu to see if your event qualifies for self-catering and to see how many members must be certified to handle food through Marion County Health Services.

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11. What are the alcohol policies for events?

The University serves alcohol through an exclusive third party vending contract with Bon Appétit. Check out the complete University Alcohol Policy for more details. If your student organization would like to serve alcohol at an event, start the process of obtaining approval at least one month in advance as there are many details and logistics involved.

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12. How do I reserve a space on campus for events or meetings?

Rooms on campus often fill up quickly, so reserve early online through the Scheduling Office. Remember you must be a registered organization to reserve space on campus. Check out "Scheduling an Event on Campus," in the Student Organizations Handbook for more details.

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13. Are there policies about publicity?

Yes. Publicity that contains obscene language or references to alcoholic beverages or illegal substances will not be approved. The name of the sponsoring individual or group must be displayed as well as contact information such as an email address or phone number. A cleaning charge will be assessed if materials are not removed 24 hours after the event. All publicity posted in the residence halls, with the exception of ASWU election materials, must be approved by the Office of Residence Life. The Office of Student Activities reserves the right to discuss concerns with the individual or group prior to posting the material. Please "Publicity Policies for Students and Student Organizations" in the Student Handbook for more information.

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14. Can I put on an event with another student organization or department on campus?

Student organizations are welcome to co-sponsor events with other organizations and departments. The Council on Diversity and Social Justice (CDSJ) and the Associated Student of Willamette University (ASWU) have recently created and approved the Student Organization Collaboration Fund. Funding is now available for new intergroup student organization projects beginning in the fall of 2009. The Student Organization Collaboration Fund (SOCF) is designed to support and encourage intergroup collaborative programming efforts. 

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15. If my event is outdoors, how do I rent blankets for seating?

Contact Daniel Craig (503-370-6135) to order blankets. Just inform him of how many you need and the drop off location. Each blanket is $1.

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16. How do I make my event "green?"

Here are a few tips to make your events "greener":

  1. Reduce the amounts of goods you purchase for an event. Be careful of over-purchasing. Also, borrow as many supplies as you can for events.
  2. Have your event catered with organic food. Use reusable place settings or purchase compostable plates and cups, as well as cutlery made out of corn or sugar cane plastic.
  3. Try electronic advertising and invitations to save paper. Also email agendas for meetings, rather than printing them.
  4. Choose sites for your events that don't need much decorating. If you do purchase decorations, consider natural decorations such as flowers or soy candles.
  5. Use natural light rather than electricity by having your event outdoors.

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17. Are there restrictions on bonfires on campus?

Bonfires are not allowed on campus. Small fire pits are allowed as long as they are contained within the pit, the area is cleaned up afterward with no left over wood lying around, and the ashes are disposed of properly. They also require a permit. Contact Rich Dennis 503-370-6907 for more information.

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18. What are the policies for inviting minors to campus?

If a group is inviting minors on campus, you must provide permission slips or release forms. If their group is arriving in a bus, be sure to contact Ross Stout 503-370-6911 at Campus Safety to discuss parking. Also, if the group plans to eat in any of the dining facilities on campus, it needs to be arranged through Bon Appétit.

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19. How can I make sure my event is ADA accessible?

Speak to the Coordinator of Disability Services at 503-370-6471.

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