Student Organization Event Planning Resource

For West Chester University Recognized Student Organizations
Compiled by: Office of Student Leadership and Involvement (Updated August 2023)


NOTE: Please submit special events for Fall 2024 here  on RamConnect until further communication from the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement.

Table of Contents

Introduction    Understanding University Policy   Event Planning Resources   Event Types     Public Safety and Security   Late Night Events (Dances/Parties)    Using 25Live   Work Orders

Event Set-ups   Financial Policies and Contracts   Financial Policies   Food   Marketing and Advertising   Severe Weather   Alcohol   Accountability Process


This guide is offered to provide information to recognized student organizations at West Chester University about policies, procedures, and resources. This complement with the West Chester University's Policy Library should help you plan and implement programming for your organization. If you have additional questions and we encourage you to use your advisor, and additional resources available to you through the offices of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Student Leadership & Involvement, Sykes Student Union, Student Activities, and Campus Recreation at West Chester University.

All student groups must begin their reservation process for any campus space through 25Live. Submitting a reservation request does not guarantee that request has been confirmed.

Understanding University Policy

All registered student organizations are required to follow all university policies and procedures, designed to ensure safety, quality of campus life, and the effective operation of the University and its community. Please, check out the University Event Planning Guide and Policies.

All reserved buildings/facilities have individual policies/procedures that must be followed. For a complete listing of policies/procedures for a building see the link to the facility administrators on campus, please click here.

Before you submit a request on 25Live, you acknowledge you have read this guide in its entirety, and you understand the policies and steps outlined in the document. If you have questions about the document, contact the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement at 610-436-2117 or

Event Planning Resources

Event Planning Checklists

The Office of Student Leadership/LEAD Leadership Consultants

Please complete the Special Event Intake Form to be assigned a Leadership Consultant to help you with planning your event. It is required that you submit this form four weeks prior to your proposed event.

Note - The Special Event Form is closed for the remainder of the 2023-2024 academic year, as the 4 week requirement necessary to submit exceeds the last day of the semester.

Space Managers

Please refer to the Campus and Classroom Scheduling Contact List for a list of spaces on campus and who manages them. Please reach out to these space managers if you have more specific questions about the space.

Event Types


STANDARD MEETINGS/PROGRAMS – Standard meetings and programs are reservations requiring no special setups, food, special hours, no outside speakers or performers, and using basic A/V equipment without training. Reservations for standard meetings/programs may be made up to 24 hours before the program if space is available. Reservations for standard meetings are made on 25Live and can be booked on an individual date or weekly basis. All the below “Event Logistics” policies apply.


These are events other than standard meetings possibly requiring a special setup, food, public safety, electrical needs, special hours, and which may necessitate the use of Public Safety coverage to ensure a safe and secure environment for all WCU students and their guests.

Special Events are defined as any event held on campus, that includes one or more of the following:

  1. Event needs a work order for custodial, moving services, or electrician (see p. 9).
  2. Event requires Public Safety presence – which is necessary when the following are a part of the event: non WCU students will be present, Admission fee collected in cash, size of crowd is 100-500 attendees, event ends after midnight, events advertised off campus, nature of entertainment (e.g., DJ, band, performer). Public Safety will determine if the nature of the special event requires their presence.
  3. Event requires a contract with SSI (see p. 10)
  4. Event requires the SRC Event Rental Request Form.

Additional Special Event Components

  1. All special event requests are made on 25Live at least three (3) weeks in advance of the program date.
  2. In accordance with the Student Organization Special Event Advising Policy, all student organizations must complete a Special Event Intake Form at least three weeks prior to the event and set a meeting with a Leadership Consultant Event Coach.
  3. Its recommended your faculty/staff advisor needs to be present for the special event.
  4. No special events can take place during reading days, fall/winter break or finals week.

Most special event types have specific policies that pertain to them. Before planning a special event, please read and consider the requirements for your special event type.

Notes About Specific Types of Special Events

  • 5Ks or races that start, end, or use campus locations must submit a request for that space on 25Live. 5Ks or races may occur on North or South Campus.
  • 5K Runs/Walks: Typically, these are held on pre-approved courses on north campus or south campus. A reservation must be submitted through 25Live. Public Safety is typically present at these events to monitor traffic.
  • Concerts are considered any event with live music. When hosting a concert/battle of the bands/live music show, OR having music or amplified sound component to another event, please consider the specific policy in the location you are hosting the event.
  • Movies must follow the policy from Sykes Student Union here that also applies to every space on campus.

Public Safety/Security



You must notify and meet with Public Safety where one or more of the following criteria is met:

  • There is a potential for non-WCU students to be present,

  • Cash is exchanged,

  • The size of the expected crowd is between 100-500 (special events cannot exceed headcount of 500),

  • Event ends after midnight,

  • The program was advertised off-campus,

  • Nature of the entertainment (e.g. DJ, band, live performer)

  • and/or where other safety concerns are dictated.

If your event requires the staffing of Public Safety officers, it can not take place the day before a major University event, (Homecoming, Welcome Week, Graduation, home football game, etc.) as Public Safety will not have the capacity to assign officers. If one or more of the above criteria is met, your organization will be required to have an in-person meeting with Public Safety to discuss your specific event details and determine if public safety is required to be present at your event. Your event will remain “tentative” and will not be confirmed until that meeting occurs. This meeting must take place a minimum of two weeks before your event. You can email Public Safety Officer Jim Audette ( to set up the meeting with Public Safety. Please include in the email your organization, event description and date, and reasons above indicating a need for Public Safety. Please also include some available times you can meet with them. Per contract, Public Safety needs a minimum of two weeks’ notice to assign officers to events. If Public Safety is needed at your event and you have not met the two-week requirement for your request, or special event meeting mentioned above, your event will be denied or canceled, even if the space is available. If Public Safety is required due to the nature of your event, your organization will be responsible for the costs. Public Safety bills are to be paid at the end of the semester. Failure to pay a Public Safety bill within these 30 days of billing will result in loss of all “dance, party, event” reservations until that bill is paid in full.

Late Night Events (Dances/Parties)



All parties must end by 1:00 a.m. with full lights on/music off and everyone out by 1:30 am. If your event will be going until 1:00 a.m., your party may start as early as 9:30 pm.

ID  Policy

Entrance to a dance, party, concert, or event is permitted with the following:

  • Valid WCU ID (may enter at any time)
  • Valid ID from another college or university (may enter the party only until midnight)
  • Valid State issued ID
  • Only WCU students with ID will be permitted inside after midnight.

Non WCU Students Policy

Non WCU students must be listed on a guest list (in alphabetical order). This guest list must be printed and handed to the Public Safety officers during the event set-up timeframe.

Security Personnel Policy

  1. The number of security personnel assigned to programs is determined by the Department of Public Safety and based on but NOT limited to criteria listed on the previous page (See Public Safety/Security)
  2. Sponsoring organizations must have students responsible for host duties, based on the number of attendees:
    1. Events with up to 199 guests: minimum of 4 hosts
    2. Events with 200-299 guests: minimum of 5 hosts
    3. Events with 300-399 guests: minimum of 6 hosts
    4. Events with 400-500 guests: minimum of 7 hosts
  3. It is the responsibility of the students sponsoring the event to remain out front of the event and are required to be responsible for checking ID’s and administering wristbands for all guests entering the event. An officer will stand by to assist the student if they run into any disruptive students/visitors.
  4. It is the organization’s responsibility to assist Public Safety when called upon to usher guests out at the conclusion of the event.

Event Access Policy

  1. Metal detectors and ID scanning will be used when deemed appropriate by Public Safety.
  2. Officers are to perform cursory search of all large bags bulging jackets or coats.
  3. No one is allowed to enter the event with open containers or glass bottles, or anything that can be used as a weapon.
  4. No one that appears inebriated will be allowed to enter the event. This can be determined by either Public Safety or the event hosts.
  5. Anyone found with alcohol or drugs will be arrested.

Student Host Policy 

Student hosts need to coordinate a walk-through with Public Safety and the space manager of the location, to take place no later than one week prior to the event. The student hosts need to set the date of this walk through by the time the initial meeting is set two weeks prior to the event.

Lighting Policy

Proper lighting MUST be maintained in all facilities during all dances/parties. Programs held in Ehinger Gymnasium MUST keep one set of balcony lights on.

Safety Coordination Policy 

In Sykes Student Union, the Student Director and Public Safety will coordinate safety needs with the group’s requests in setting a desired level of lighting. Safety MUST always be the first concern.

Advertising  Policy

All advertising must be approved by the Public Safety before posting. Advertising is NOT PERMITTED on the area radio station, except WCUR and must meet the guidelines detailed in the

  • West Chester University's Policy Library and state the following on the flyer:
  • Maximum guests permitted, Ehinger 400 and Sykes 500
  • WCU ID, picture ID from another college or government-issued ID required
  • All IDs will be scanned
  • Metal detectors in use
  • No one under 17 admitted

Wristband Policy  

It is the organization’s responsibility to issue wristbands for each guest and themselves (provided by the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement). All wristbands need to be accounted for. The maximum number of individuals permitted is 400 in Ehinger gym and 500 in Sykes. Once they have all been issued, there will be NO further admission.

Performer Payment Policy 

The practice of paying an artist (DJ, band, etc) with cash or personal checks “under the table” is not permitted. All performers receiving compensation for services must have a contract. Sample contracts can be obtained on the SSI website.

  • DJ will be placed in the balcony of Ehinger gym and area blocked off for access.

Party Scheduling Policy 

  1. Dances and parties ending after midnight may only take place on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.
  2. During Welcome Week, Family Weekend, Homecoming Weekend, and Ramboree, no individual student organization may sponsor or co-sponsor a “dance, party, event” without direct permission from the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement.
  3. Special events may not be scheduled during final exam days or reading days.

Using 25Live

Remember, you do not have a program until you have a confirmed space from 25Live. Never submit a contract or move forward with planning for an entertainer, entertainment group, a speaker, etc, until you have a confirmed space for your program.

You can check the campus calendar at When planning an event, it is important to have alternate dates in mind. Do not forget to take into account the set-up and take-down time you need when looking at space availability. Time is an inclusive term signifying initial entry and final departure.

All reservation requests must be made online at You must sign in to request space for your event with your WCUPA email and password.

Confirmation: Event Confirmations are made via the WCU email. The space requested is not officially confirmed until the requester has received a confirmation form from the appropriate scheduling office. It is ultimately the group’s responsibility to be certain their room has been confirmed.

For assistance with 25Live, you can consult the user guide found here .

Reserving Space in the Student Recreation Center 

All requests to use a Campus Recreation Center Space must complete their request form 2 weeks prior – Student Recration Center Event Rental Request Form

Work Orders


Depending on the kind of event you are planning and the place in which you plan to hold your event, certain special arrangements must be made with various support services groups. If you believe any of these services listed below are needed for your event, it is your responsibility to place the work order.

The following support services require a minimum of three weeks' notice* to accommodate.  Set up needs for all meeting spaces must be received no later than 3 weeks before the scheduled event date.  There will be no exceptions made to the three-week requirement.

  • Electrician - If your indoor or outdoor event in any confirmed campus space requires audio/visual or sound equipment, a campus electrician may be brought in to draw more power from that facility. If you are unsure about the power requirements of your event, check with the contact in the area you are hosting the event.
  • Grounds - If your event is outside on one of the fields or picnic areas, the Grounds Crew may be required to prepare the area before or to restore it afterward. They also reserve the right to deny any event that could compromise the outdoor areas’ ascetics. Grounds are the only staff approved to stake tents and they also can provide outdoor trashcans and recycling cans.
  • Custodial Services - Depending on the nature of your event, an extra custodial crew may need to be brought in so that the facility is in clean, working order for any program or class that may be using the facility after you. Custodial Services can make sure that there are extra trash cans inside of buildings.
  • Staging, Chairs, Tables, etc. - The facility that you are reserving may not have any tables or chairs at all or may not have as many as you need for your event. If you are not utilizing an auditorium that already has a stage, but are using a gymnasium, pieces of staging can be brought in. This is necessary for non-Sykes spaces.
  • Tarp - If you are planning an event in Hollinger Gym that is not an athletic event, the gymnasium floor must be tarped by the campus Maintenance Department

If you need assistance, with the work order, a Leadership Consultant can help you with this process.

For events in Sykes confirm with the space manager if they will submit the work order for support services listed above. The Sykes staff will submit a work order on your behalf after meeting with them about your event and completing their event checklist form, which is attached to your tentative space reservation.

For non-Sykes spaces, work orders can be submitted through iServiceDesk. You must be on the WCU network (on-campus) to submit a work order. After clicking the above link, you will select “Student” and sign-in with your WCUPA email and password.

On the left, you will select “Maintenance Request.” You will then select where the event is taking place and then you will fill out the needed details for the event. Be sure to include time of event, time that maintenance request is needed by, title of event, and any other relevant details in the open-ended section of the form. If you do not know the “type of work,” Facilities will classify it for you. After submitting, you should receive an email that it was received and an email that it was approved.

You received confirmation from the facility administrator through 25Live and your event location, date and time are confirmed.

Event Set-Ups

A/V Needs

If your organization is planning an event that requires audio/visual or any kind of technical equipment, you should be aware of what departments on campus can take care of your needs. Check with the contact of your reserved event space to ensure the equipment you need is available and your organization is permitted to use it.

  • Student Groups are NOT permitted to use any audio/visual equipment in academic classrooms unless their trained advisor is present during the event.
  • For any A/V needs in classroom space, equipment needs to be reserved through Space Management.


  • Always let the facility administrator know of your plans for decorations, especially latex and latex balloons as severe allergic reactions may occur. Other considerations include glitter, confetti, and taping or hanging items on other surfaces.
  • All groups using the facilities are responsible for the proper use of the reserved space, furnishings, and equipment. Any damage or missing items will be billed to the sponsoring organization.
  • All groups are required to return the space to its original condition before departing their reserved room. The space should be free of all trash and event materials. Failure to clean up after any event will result in additional charges to the group.

Financial Policies and Contracts

Financial Policies

All student organizations are required to follow the Student Government Association Financial Policies and Procedures . Organizations with SSI accounts must follow all SSI Policies and Procedures.


For any services rendered at your event requiring or not requiring payment, including but not limited to, a performer, DJ, a moon bounce or novelty, or any outside vendor providing any service at your event you must have a contract.


SSI Executive Director must sign all contracts.

All forms for spending funds can be found on the SSI website here, including a Sample Contract.

To ensure that agreements for services are legal and appropriate, the following are policies for all officially recognized West Chester University student organizations regarding contracts:

  • For SSI/SGA funded student organizations sponsoring both on-and-off-campus events and programs:
    • All contracts and/or agreements with outside agencies must be approved and signed by the executive director of SSI.
    • Under no circumstances can a student sign a contract or agreement with an outside agency.
  • For student organizations not funded by SSI/SGA sponsoring on-campus events and programs:
    • All contracts and/or agreements with outside agencies must be approved and signed by the executive director of SSI if the amount is over $300.
    • All contracts and/or agreements with outside agencies must be approved and signed by the student organization’s official faculty/staff advisor if the amount is $300 or under.
    • Under no circumstances can a student sign a contract or agreement with an outside agency.
  • Verbal Agreements and email correspondence may be viewed as a contract by an agency, legally binding you if your language isn’t clear. Be specific when you are researching a performer/entertainer/service that you are simply looking and not committing to anything.

Collecting Money


The Office of Student Leadership and Involvement highly encourages all student organizations to utilize the SSI Venmo system. Student Services, Inc. offers the opportunity for student organizations to accept money for events via Venmo. SSI has set up a general account for students to utilize if they would like to have other options of payment besides, cash, check, or Ram Bucks. Students may not use other electronic banking applications because those applications deposit funds into personal savings or checking accounts.

If student organizations are accepting Venmo at an event, we ask that all individuals send their funds directly to our Venmo account (@wcu-ssi). When sending money to the account, SSI requests that individuals write in the description box the organization’s name and number and the reasoning behind the money being sent. This way when funds are reconciled SSI will know which organizations the funds are to go to and why.


Please note that collecting cash at an event is a safety concern and will necessitate Public-safety's presence at your event.

All cash collected on campus must be immediately deposited into the student organization’s Student Services, Inc (SSI) account before leaving the event. This pertains to ALL events, including but not limited to bake sales/vending sales, admission charge for events, canning, donation drives, registration fees, tournament fees, etc.

To deposit cash, please count the money you collected, fill out an SSI Deposit Slip (obtained at the SSI Service Center on the ground floor of Sykes), place in a sealed envelope, and place in the drop safe. The drop safe is underneath the information desk on the first floor of Sykes Union. The drop safe is accessible during the hours the student union is open (See Sykes website for updated hours). Money must be deposited in those hours even if your event has not ended.

Cash boxes, money bags, and change can be obtained at the SSI Service Center for your event. Please note the SSI Service Center Hours are 8:30 am-4:00 pm Monday-Friday. If your event takes place outside of these hours, please arrange for the money box or change to pick up before or during SSi business hours. Cash boxes with money inside can be left in the Sykes Union Administrative Office Safe before your event only. After your event, you must count and deposit the money using the steps above and leave the empty cash box in the Sykes Administration office for pick up by SSI. Please note there are no other cash boxes on campus if you forget to pick up ahead of time. Sykes Administration is not responsible for money not properly deposited after your event.


It is highly recommended to sell tickets through the SSI ticketing window. You can visit the service center window on the ground floor of Sykes. From there, you will fill out paperwork and your tickets will be available to be purchased on SSI can also give you physical tickets to sell at your event with the cash box or with credit card via the website.


Depending on the space you are requesting, food may or may not be permitted. Groups utilizing a disposable food set up are responsible for the clean-up of the materials at the end of their event.

The following are polices that all student organizations must follow when having food at their program:

Private Event

Student/campus organization programs, meetings, and events that are closed to the public and considered “private” will be permitted to bring food in from an outside vendor with the appropriate approvals from the venue in which the program is being held.

Public Events

  1. All Public events on campus are required to use Aramark/New Street Catering for their programs, meetings, and events. Information about Aramark/New Street Catering can be found by visiting this website.
    1. If you would like to use another food service vendor for any reason, you must obtain a signed waiver from New Street Catering granting that permission. You may contact New Street Catering at (610)436-3130 or via
    2. Public events are considered any event where non-members of your organization/department will be present. The waiver takes two weeks to process, so please plan accordingly.
    3. After obtaining that waiver, all catering for public events must gain additional approval through the Chester County Health Department to ensure the safety of your attendees, if the vendor is licenced outside chester county.

Food Preparation

  1. Food prepared in a non-commercial, unlicensed facility/setting will NOT be permitted.
    1. This is a regulation from the Chester County Health Department Bureau of Environmental Health Protection which specifies that: “No food prepared in a private home or which has been processed in a place, other than a commercial food processing establishment regulated by the CCHD or any other appropriate, official, regulatory agency, shall be sold, offered for sale or given away.
    2. Baked goods, soft pretzels, water ice (must use a disposable scooper to dispense) and similar items are exempt from this policy.

General Guidelines 

  1. General guidelines for all events, either private or public, where food will be served:
    1. You must thoroughly wash your hands before handling food or putting on gloves.
    2. You may not touch food with your bare hands. Single-use, food-grade gloves (not latex) is the suggested practice.
    3. Tongs, deli wrap, or wax paper sheets are permitted for baked goods.
    4. Food must remain covered at all times. Covered containers, plastic wrap, or individual serving containers are all acceptable.

Marketing and Advertising

The university has specific policies regarding advertising on campus. Find them in the West Chester University's Policy Library to make sure your group is in compliance. All flyers must be approved by building managers before being places in on-campus buildings.

Severe Weather

If the University is closed due to severe weather, generally all events will be canceled. If the University is closed, information to that effect will be communicated via the web, text messaging, WCU information line, and TV and radio.

If the University is not closed and the event is happening on the weekend, the individual in charge of a specific event occurring on the weekend will determine whether the event will occur, in consultation with the Director of Student Leadership & Involvement.

The individual in charge of the event will communicate with the Director of SLI by noon on the Friday prior to the event via 610-436-2117.


Use, sale, exchange, possession, or consumption of alcoholic beverages on-campus or off-campus, if such off-campus use violates local, state, or federal law is prohibited. Any violation of the University’s alcohol policy, outlined in West Chester University's Policy Library, shall be construed as a violation of this section. In the absence of extraordinary or mitigating circumstances, a sanction of suspension or expulsion will be imposed on any student found guilty of providing alcohol to minors. Alcohol is not allowed, unless approved by the President’s Office, on the West Chester University campus and it is a violation of this policy to possess alcohol. Demonstrating that a student has knowledge of the location of alcohol and the intent to exercise control over the alcohol shall constitute possession.

Accountability Process

If a student organization fails to abide by any of the policies outlined in this document, or any policies of the space venues on campus, the group will be held accountable through the Office of Student Leadership & Involvement. Accountability procedures are outlined in the Student Organization Policy and Procedures Manual (SOPPS) Article V .

Accountability sanctions can be the following:

  1. Warning
  2. Suspension
  3. Recommendation of derecognition to the Student Government Association

Special Event Submission Form 

**NOTE*** The Special Event Form is closed for the remainder of the 2023-2024 academic year, as the 4 week requirement necessary to submit exceeds the last day of the semester."