Some important policies to keep in mind as you plan your event
This is not an exhaustive list as different departments and buildings may have their own policies, however this should get you started. Links on this page preceded by an asterik ( * ) will open in a new window or tab as they lead to other departmental websites.
Student organizations should think ahead about designing events that are accessible to all. In situations where that is not possible, OSL will assist student organizations with obtaining auxiliary aids and services for students with disabilities who wish to participate in programs and activities. Student organizations are encouraged to cover the costs associated with the provision of auxiliary aids and services by building them into the overall fees of an event or by budgeting for projected expenses each year. Student organizations can apply for funding to support any costs associated with the provision of auxiliary aids and services.
If a program or activity for which auxiliary aids and services are requested is canceled, postponed, or rescheduled, the student organization is obligated to pay any costs incurred to fill the request.
All student event planners must know and follow the College's general policy on alcohol and controlled substances found in the Student Handbook.
Occidental respects the rights of community members to exercise their legal options regarding alcohol consumption. Each member must make informed decisions regarding personal use of alcohol that reflect a respect for others and the community at large. As part of a larger community, Occidental College is subject to and abides by California State Law and local ordinances regarding the possession, consumption, and distribution of drugs and alcohol.
In addition to the College's alcohol policy, student planners who wish to serve alcohol at their events are required to abide by the following:
- Only persons over 21 years of age may be served and/or consume alcoholic beverages at events.
- Positive identification checks to prevent underage drinking will be made at events at which alcohol is served. Only government issued identification, such as state issued driver's licenses, state or federal agency issued identification cards, or passports, will be accepted as identification for this purpose. Occidental students must also present their Oxy ID.
- Any College event serving alcohol in which the nature of it encourages unsafe behavior is not permitted. (e.g. drinking games)
- Any College event serving alcohol is open only to members of the Occidental community and their invited guests. Campus Safety or designated College officials reserve the right to refuse entry to Occidental students and guests to ensure the safety of individuals and the good order of the event.
- No alcohol may be present at athletic events. The bylaws of the NCAA/Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference specifically prohibit the consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages at intercollegiate contests.
- Alcohol may not be served at events where a signed waiver of liability is required to participate.
- Alcohol may be present only at events registered as Type I, Type III, or Type IV. Otherwise, alcohol is not permitted in any public space, including public areas of the residence halls, the Johnson Student Center or Academic quads, or public spaces of buildings as per state law. Violations of this policy will result in students' being referred to the Office of Student Conduct.
- No student body fees may be used to purchase alcoholic beverages. Funds allocated from ASOC may be used to purchase alcohol services, such as bartenders.
- Alcohol may not be consumed on College club-sponsored, off-campus trips at any time. Alcohol shall not be transported in College vehicles.
Categories of Events
The requirements for individual event types are listed below. Events at which alcohol is present that do not fall into one of these categories are considered to be in violation of this policy.
Type 0. All-Campus, no alcohol
Type I. 21+ Only Student Event where alcohol is served
- Students under 21 are allowed to assist with set up and cleanup, but are not allowed to be present during the event itself, unless they are serving as Student Event Managers.
Type III. All-Campus Student Event where alcohol is served
- Any event that is designated as "all campus" must be held in an appropriate on-campus venue.
- A designated drinking area must be clearly identified, established, and secured for the consumption of alcoholic beverages, staffed by Campus Safety and Occidental professional staff.
Type IV. Guest List Student Event (with Attendance Limit) where alcohol is served
- Any off-campus event in a College-owned venue will require a guest list. Oxy student attendance is capped due to facility size and stated occupancy limits as determined by the Fire Inspector, out of concern for participants' safety and liability. Extension of the cap requires the approval of the Director of Campus Safety, Student Affairs, and the Environmental Health and Safety Manager.
- A guest list will be provided to Campus Safety and Student Affairs at least 5 hours before the event.
- Publicity for these events is limited to personal invitations as they are not open to "all campus."
Common Policies for Type I, III, IV Events
- All events must be reviewed by the Campus Events Advisory Committee (CEAC).
- Only beer and wine are permitted.
- Licensed bartenders approved by the College may be the only servers. Alcohol must be served in clear, plastic beverage cups. Alcohol must be consumed within the designated drinking area, which is determined by Campus Safety.
- When alcohol arrives at the event, a member of the sponsoring group must stay with the alcohol until Campus Safety and the bartenders open the alcohol. Only bartenders and Campus Safety may open alcohol containers.
- Attendees may not bring alcohol into any college event. Violators of this policy will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.
- Campus Safety Officers will be assigned to every event at which alcohol is present. The number of officers is determined by the Director of Campus Safety. These officers will be responsible for checking government-issued identification and distributing wristbands to guests who are over 21, maintaining a designated drinking area clearly separated from the main area of the event, and overseeing the safety and good order of the event.
- There must be one Student Event Manager per 50 anticipated attendees at the event. Student Affairs shall make the final determination about how many Student Event Managers are needed.
- Substantial food and non-alcoholic beverages must be available to all guests throughout the event. Food should be offered in the designated drinking area as well as in the main area of the event.
- Alcoholic beverages may not be sold without the proper liquor license. Admission may not be charged nor shall any form of fundraising occur during an event where alcohol is served, unless the proper liquor license is secured.
- No alcohol will be served to anyone for ½ hour prior to the end of the event. Unused alcohol will be confiscated by Campus Safety.
- According to TIPS alcohol service training manual, the following are California State Law:
- Attendees who are intoxicated will not be served.
- Attendees with known habitual drunkenness will not be served. Campus Safety and other professional staff members in attendance will assist bartenders in identifying these students. Students will be notified in advance if they will not be served.
The following guidelines serve to support the policy above. They may be changed at any time to best reflect the needs of the College.
- The amount of alcohol at each event is determined on a per event basis. Campus Safety and Student Affairs will work with the sponsoring club to determine the quantity and type of alcohol that will be allowed. Campus Safety and Student Affairs will have the final approval for the quantity and type of alcohol. A number of factors go into making this decision:
- The history of the particular event, or a similar event.
- The number of students who will be 21 by the time of the event
- Approximately 550-650 students are or turn 21 during the Fall Semester
- Approximately 650-800 students are or turn 21 during the Spring Semester
- A reasonable estimation of the number of students 21 or over who will attend the event
- The length of the event
- Campus Safety and OSL will use the following serving information as a guide:
- One keg of beer is approximately 245 8-ounce servings.
- One case of wine is approximately 55 5-ounce servings.
- Campus Safety and Student Affairs will work with the sponsoring club to monitor alcohol consumption using tickets, wristbands, delay in opening the containers, and/or some other means.
- Campus Safety and Student Affairs staff reserve the right to determine if alcohol containers should not be opened based on the number of attendees.
- Student Event Managers
- Any event with alcohol present must have Student Event Managers who assist Campus Safety and other professional staff in maintaining the safety of the event. Any student, regardless of age or class year, is eligible to be a Student Event Manager.
- The sponsoring student group is responsible for providing Student Event Managers.
- Student Event Manager responsibilities are as follows:
- Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the event. Check in with Student Affairs and Campus Safety upon arrival.
- At least one Student Event Manager must be the event's planner.
- Be unimpaired, and remain so, throughout the event.
- Check in with Student Affairs and Campus Safety regularly throughout the event.
- Be responsible for minor clean up after the event.
- Monitor the event for signs of alcohol overconsumption and other dangerous behaviors and report such to Campus Safety and Student Affairs staff.
- Advertising must be tasteful and not focus on the alcohol portion of the event. All publicity for student events with alcohol must be approved by Student Affairs.
- Substantial food is required at events with alcohol. Snacks with protein (1 ounce) and carbohydrates (3 ounces) are encouraged for those drinking, and some carbohydrates (2 ounces) for those not drinking. Below are some suggestions:
- Chips and Dip (such as hummus)
- Cheese and Crackers
- Meat of some kind
- Fruit or Vegetable Tray
- Sponsoring clubs shall include an educational/preventative program prior to the event. At least 10% of the event budget should go toward prior programming, such as speakers, educational movies, or discussions. Additionally, publicity for these events should be socially responsible; students are strongly encouraged to speak with a Student Affairs staff member about this marketing. Events should connect with the College's Mission statement, and the sponsoring club should include this connection in their event proposal.
Only licensed bartenders are allowed to serve alcohol at College events. Risk Management maintains a list of vendors who have been on campus before.
Occidental College recognizes the importance of holding candlelight vigils on campus and their role in building campus community. Vigils provide a quiet and comfortable setting where groups of people can meet, support each other, and spread a message. To ensure vigils are conducted in a safe manner, the following guidelines are imposed.
- Reserve space through Master Calendar
- Fill out Event Plan Form - to request fire extinguisher and bucket, turn irrigation off (if on grass surfaces)
- LED candles are preferred
If using lighted candles, the following must be abided by:
- Candle holders must be used for safety and to keep melted wax off of surfaces
- Reserve a bucket and fire extinguisher from Facilities
- Have bucket of water and fire extinguisher on site during vigil
- Indoor spaces - candles must be secured in glass containers with at least 1 inch higher tip of flame
- Outdoor spaces - fire department review required - work through Risk Management
- Outdoor spaces - grass surfaces preferred
Any student group sponsoring programs for local children or youth, whether on- or off-campus, must consult with OSL early in the planning process. Sponsoring such programs requires prior approval due to the considerable responsibility involved. Please contact OSL for information on special requirements for these programs. Students should ensure programs and activities are age-appropriate. OSL must be consulted before youth overnight trips (on- or off-campus) or day-long conferences are planned.
Waivers will be required for both on-campus and off-campus events involving minors. These waivers will need to be signed by the child's legal parent or guardian.
Occidental College serves to foster and support student-led enterprises. As such, the College supports opportunities for students to broaden their understanding of the food service industry, including food safety, food preparation, and food sourcing along with all aspects of cooking, baking, and food presentation. It is important that student organizations who wish to engage in food service enterprises understand that their operations fall under the the health license issued to Occidental College and are subject to the same rules and regulations. In addition to the food safety requirements all clubs must abide by, clubs who wish to perform catering operations must fulfill certain special requirements.
What is considered catering? For our purposes, catering operations will be those organizations that choose to:
- charge for their food service
- conduct their food service at regular intervals
- offer and accept orders or reservations
- serve potentially hazardous foods (e.g., meat, poultry, fish, uncooked or partially cooked eggs, mayonnaise, custard, or any foods that would require temperature control)
Requirements to perform catering operations:
- Maintain at least 2 persons on their club roster who have been Serv-Safe certified (manager level)
- Upon registration/activation of the student organization, meet with the Associate Vice President for Hospitality Services
Occidental reserves the right to restrict food service activities of student organizations as warranted by the Associate Vice President for Hospitality Services.
Students shall not enter into verbal or written contracts of any kind. Occidental College contracts are required in most situations. Exceptions must be approved by OSL. Some contracts are embedded within invoices from vendors, which may negate the need for an Occidental contract. OSL must approve these invoices/contracts. Students may not sign invoices, except to receive delivery of items for an event or confirm pick-up after an event.
All clubs must adhere to copyright law. Activities that bring copyright law into play would include showing a movie, producing a play, playing audio recordings and other music, or reprinting pieces from published works, including photographs. Generally, you must secure permission from the author or publisher before presenting copyrighted material. Please contact OSL for assistance in determining whether permission is necessary and how to seek it. This is a time-consuming process and may necessitate the need for extra planning time before an event.
If an event planner wants to show a movie, there are certain considerations that need to be made. Public showing of films without the appropriate licenses is a violation of copyright law. Contact OSL early in the planning process if you would like to show a film. OSL has a relationship with a company that assists with acquiring the necessary licenses for public showing of movies.
What is a Public Performance? (From our contact at Swank Motion Pictures)
Any exhibition of a movie outside the privacy of a home setting is considered a public performance. Charging an admission fee (or not) is irrelevant in determining whether a movie showing is a public performance.
Each event has unique fire safety needs, and will be assessed as such. Generally, the principles for fire safety include:
- No open flames.
- No moving flames.
- Decorations must be flame retardant.
- No free floating decorations; all decorations should be affixed to a surface.
- Use battery operated candles whenever possible.
- Candles, if approved, must be in fire safe containers.
- Fire extinguishers are required at any event with BBQs or approved candles.
- Fire exits must be kept clear of equipment, chairs, tables, etc. at all times throughout the event.
Most events will require submitting a site plan to Risk Management. OSL can assist in this process.
Every student group is encouraged to send at least two representatives to Food Safety Training, sponsored by Campus Dining. These trainings are offered at the beginning of each semester. Attendance at this training is required for event planners that wish to have homemade or store-bought food at their events or to sell food on campus. When having food at an event, a member who has attended Food Safety Training must be present for the duration of the event.
There are certain spaces on campus that have special rules and applications before being allowed for use. Please contact the respective departments for the spaces listed below:
Branca Patio - Green Bean Managers (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cooler/Samuelson Pavilion - Master Calendar (email@example.com)
Cushman Board Room/AGC Rotunda - Master Calendar (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Green Bean Coffee Lounge - Green Bean Managers (email@example.com)
Gresham Dining Room - Hospitality Services (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hameetman Science Center - Master Calendar (email@example.com)
Herrick Chapel (Lower and Upper) - Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Johnson Hall/McKinnon Center - Master Calendar (email@example.com)
Thorne Hall - Theater (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The distribution of prizes or gifts by chance where money is exchanged is prohibited. However, free drawings or "give-aways" may be held if:
- All persons who request a ticket are accommodated.
- No participant is required to donate money to obtain a ticket for the drawing, and this is printed on the tickets.
- It is made clear whether the ticket holder needs to be present to win.
- Organizations must have winners sign for their prizes to acknowledge that they received it, in accordance with the College's Prize Gift Award Policy.
Bingo Games: Occasionally, groups wish to host bingo games for fundraising. According to California law, bingo games may only be operated for charitable purposes. Occidental College represents a charitable organization, so groups may use bingo to fundraise for these events. Additionally, those under 18 years of age shall not be allowed to participate in bingo games. Positive identification checks should be conducted.
College policies on noise are based upon local ordinances. While it is important to be mindful of noise at all hours of the day, there are specific guidelines that must be followed. Current guidelines include:
- Amplified sound is not permitted during class hours.
- Amplified sound must be significantly curtailed by 11 PM on weekdays and 1 AM on weekends.
- For indoor events, open only windows and doors that face away from neighbors who are likely to be disturbed.
- For outdoor events that use amplified sound during late evening hours, neighbors must be notified in writing via letter at least 5 business days prior to the event.
- Events may be shut down by LAPD due to neighbor complaints and concerns. Campus Safety monitors noise levels around the campus to reduce this risk.
It is important that off-campus groups receive accurate information about the College. If a student event planner wishes to sponsor a tour for an off-campus group, this must be registered through OSL. OSL will work with Admissions to provide support. Events of this nature will not be approved in April, as this is during Admissions Open House events; staff and resources are limited.
Student organizations are required to register their trips with the Office of Student Life at least one week prior to departure. If a trip is going overnight or out of the country, two weeks is required. Any student organization trip not registered with OSL is considered unauthorized by the College.
To register your trip with OSL, begin by completing the Travel Registration Form. Then contact the Office of Student Life to discuss the trip details.
Student organizations can use personal vehicles, College vehicles, or hire a chartered transportation service for their trips. Students need to have passengers sign a Passenger Waiver if using personal vehicles. Please refer to Facilities Management for policies pertaining to use of College vehicles. All chartered companies must be approved through Risk Management. Check here for a list of approved companies.
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- On Campus: Johnson Student Center 102
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- Voice: (323) 259-2918
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