Student Centers Policies
The policies and procedures listed below are intended to facilitate the fair allocation and efficient use of facilities within the Student Centers and provide uniform and consistent administration of facility usage.
The Student Centers are available for meetings, activities, and events. Policies and procedures have been created for the temporary use in all Student Center facilities (Alumni Hall, Commons Center, Kissam Center, Sarratt Student Center|Rand Hall, Student Life Center). Student Centers reserves the right to alter and/or amend the policies and procedures. The Director and/or Assistant Directors shall determine all matters not expressly covered by the following policies and procedures.
Hours of operation are based on standard hours during the academic term. Hours may be subject to change based on event schedules. Facilities can be opened beyond the set time for events, but an hourly fee may be incurred.
2.2 Office Hours
Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
2.3 Facility Hours
All facilities are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, during academic periods with use of a valid Commodore Card (excluding the Student Life Center). The following hours indicate when the facilities will be unlocked.
Monday – Friday 7:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Saturday & Sunday 8:00 AM – 12:00 AM
*Student Life Center Hours:
Monday – Friday 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Saturday & Sunday closed except for events
2.4 Available Event Hours
Sunday – Saturday 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM
*Events may load-in as early as 6:00 AM and have until 12:00 AM to load-out. Please let your event manager know how early you will need access to any of the facilities for events.
2.5 Special Hours
During breaks in the academic term and between the end of final exams in the Spring and the first day of class in the Fall all Student Centers will be open Monday to Friday from 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM (closed on weekends), unless otherwise posted at each individual facility. All special facility hours will be posted at least one week in advance. Unless a special program is scheduled, all Student Centers will be closed on News Year Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving (Thursday – Saturday), Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
For the purpose of this section and all that follow, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section.
“Event spaces” means a medium to large, often flexible, space meant to host special events that are not of a recurring nature.
“Events” refers to reservations that are of medium to large nature and take place in event spaces.
“Fronting” means a deliberate circumvention or attempted circumvention of Student Center policies for the financial benefit of another group
“Meeting spaces” means a small or medium space meant to host meetings and small events that may or may not be of a recurring nature.
“Meetings” refers to reservations that are of small or medium nature and take place in meeting spaces.
“Standing reservation” means a reservation that is for a recurring meeting that is scheduled for the same time and same day on an ongoing basis.
3.2 Reservation Requests
Reservations and Events has the authority to coordinate the use of meeting and event space within the Student Centers. All University requests for the use of facilities are to be submitted to Reservations and Events. Reservations for most spaces can be made up to one year in advance. Reservations for event spaces must be made at least 14 days in advance and for meeting spaces at least 24 hours in advance.
3.2.1 Student Organization requests for space must be made by designated officers associated with the requesting organization.
3.2.2 Students interested in reserving space for group study or projects should book study rooms in the library. For more information, please click here.
3.2.3 Reservations and Events can assist with reserving academic spaces. These spaces can be reserved up to one year in advance, but will remain in tentative status until the Registrar’s office has finalized the class schedule each semester.
3.2.4 Reservations and Events recommends that student organizations and Vanderbilt departments reserve space online. Through Virtual EMS groups can check availability of spaces and submit requests 24 hours a day.
3.3 Standing Reservations
Student Centers reserves the right to limit the number standing reservations permitted to student organizations. All student organizations are entitled to two (2) standing reservations per year, provided space is available. Standing reservations are limited to meeting and rehearsal spaces only.
3.3 Reservation Priority
Student Center facilities are reserved in the order in which requests are received. Consideration will be given to the size of the group, type of set-up needed, and space available. Student Centers reserves the right to assign, and if necessary, reassign facilities to assure the maximum and most appropriate use of space.
University Departments and registered student organizations shall not use their privileges to access space, resources or services and “front” for a non-university group or commercial entity in order to avoid fees or receive reduced fees. All instances of “fronting” for off-campus groups or commercial entities will result in an adjustment of all related fees to appropriate rate category.
3.5 Confirming a Reservation
All reservations are considered tentative until confirmed with the submission of the COA/POET String that will be used for billing purposes. In some cases a deposit will be requested. All deposits are made using the COA/POET String to be used for billing purposes. When requested, the event is not confirmed until the deposit is received. Deposits due at the time the reservation is made, and are non-refundable and non-transferable. Failure to provide the information requested to confirm a reservation may lead to the meeting or event being canceled.
4.1 General Guidelines
All groups using Student Center spaces shall obey all published University and Student Center policies, regulations and guidelines, as well as all local, state and federal laws. Violations of these procedures by the group may result in the loss of scheduling privileges where specific violations occurred or in all of the Student Center facilities.
After a room has been reserved, food & beverage service (see section 5), audio-visual requests, and other arrangements may be made.
4.3 Room Configurations
Student Centers are required to coordinate all event set-ups, tear downs, and housekeeping. All room re-configurations or specific room set-ups should be given to Student Centers in advance of the requested event. Please provide room re-configurations/set-ups at least seven (7) days in advance of the event.
All Student Centers have in-house AV equipment. Arrangements for the use of AV equipment must be finalized two (2) weeks prior to events in event spaces and five (5) days prior for meeting spaces. Groups are not allowed to bring in AV equipment Student Centers already have in-house. Please contact Reservations and Events for more information on what AV equipment is available.
4.4.1 Sound Amplification equipment may not be used except in specified areas. All other exceptions must be approved by the Director of Student Centers or their designee. Sound amplification may require a technician.
Student Centers reserves the right to require fire, police, or other security personnel for events in or on the premises of the Student Centers. The need shall be determined based on the time, place, and type of event. Security personnel may also be provided at the request of the sponsoring organization. Events requiring security coverage will not be permitted if adequate security is unavailable. The group sponsoring the event is responsible for all applicable security charges. No security may be provided from agencies outside of the Vanderbilt University Police Department or their designee.
The Box Office can assist Vanderbilt departments and student organizations who are interested in ticketing events. A full description of the ticketing policy can be found here.
4.7 Advertising Events
Advertising for university and non-university events prior to an event confirmation is prohibited and may result in denial of the request to use Student Center space. For information on advertising your event in the Student Centers please see section 9.
4.8 Distribution of Propaganda
The distribution of university or non-university leaflets, flyers and other handout materials as well as petition drives will not be permitted without written permission from the Director of Student Centers of their designee.
Student Centers reserves the right to approve any and all outside vendors for event support. Please consult with your event manager prior to contracting with any outside vendor.
Only service animals – guide dogs, signal dogs, or other animals individually trained to provide assistance to a person with a disability – and law enforcement animals are permitted in any of the Student Centers. The Director of Student Centers or their designee must approve animals requested for presence in meetings and events.
At any scheduled event where fire capacity is exceeded the group shall be required to take immediate measures to become compliant or the event may be suspended or closed down.
In the event of an emergency during an event, the Student Center will follow the proper procedures outlined in the Student Center emergency manual. Each Student Center has a specific and individual Emergency Operation Plan. All building occupants are expected to follow all instructions given to them by the Student Centers staff.
The group sponsoring a meeting or event in the Student Centers may determine the participants at the meeting or event. The group is held accountable for the actions of the participants while in the Student Centers. Customer must be in compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws, as amended, including 41 CFR 60-1.4, 41 CFR 60-250.4 and 41 CFR 60-741.4, with respect to nondiscrimination in employment on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin or sex, equal opportunity, affirmative action, employment of disabled veterans and veterans of the Vietnam era, and employment of the handicapped.
4.13.1 Vanderbilt University reserves the absolute right to refuse any request for the use of campus space or facilities that, in the university’s sole discretion, is either inconsistent with the mission of the university or that may present potential or actual adverse logistic or administrative conditions including, but not limited to, any safety and security concern.
4.13.2 The right of refusal for the use of campus space or facilities includes the cancellation of a confirmed event due to any potential or actual safety and security concern for the Vanderbilt University community.
5.1 General Guidelines
After the appropriate facility has been reserved, food, beverage and alcohol arrangements may be made. All food, beverage and alcohol arrangements are the responsibility of the group reserving the space.
5.2 Preferred Caterer
Events hosted by University Departments in the Student Centers are required to request a quote from Vanderbilt Catering. If your group’s needs cannot be met by Vanderbilt Catering an alternate caterer can be used from our approved catering list. We also require that all catering setups and needs be discussed in advance with your event manager and caterer.
To view the approved catering list, please navigate to Plan Your Event Overview and click Food & Beverage.
5.3 Alcoholic Beverages
5.3.1 Alcoholic beverages are permitted in the Student Centers upon approval from the appropriate authority (listed below). No bring your own beverage (BYOB) events are allowed in any of the Student Centers. No kegs are permitted in any of the Student Centers. Food, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages must be provided in sufficient variety and quantity and in a manner commensurate with the availability of alcoholic beverages. All alcohol arrangements are the responsibility of the group renting the Student Center.
5.3.2 In order to serve alcohol a caterer must use licensed bartenders. All alcoholic vendors must have liability insurance. Proof of license and insurance must be provided upon request.
5.3.3 University Departments requesting to serve alcohol must be made at least three (3) weeks in advance of the event. Requests to serve alcohol must be submitted to the Director of Student Centers or their designee.
5.3.4 Undergraduate student organizations may not serve alcoholic beverages except with the authorization of the Dean of Students or the Dean’s designee. All undergraduate student organization events that request to serve alcohol must register the event through the Special Event Registration process and attend Host Responsibility Training. For more information regarding alcohol and undergraduate students and organizations please consult the Student Handbook.
5.3.5 Graduate and professional student organizations may serve alcoholic beverages with the authorization of the relevant school’s dean. All graduate and professional student organization events that request to serve alcohol must register the event through the Special Event Registration process and attend Host Responsibility Training. If an undergraduate student organization cosponsors an event with a graduate or professional organization, or if undergraduates are invited or present at an event, the policies governing undergraduate events must be followed. For more information regarding alcohol and graduate and professional student organizations please consult the Student Handbook.
6.1 This section covers the policies and procedures related to decorations, exhibits and displays as they relate to meetings and events. For information on general advertising and posting information in the Student Centers please see section 9
Decorating and posting limitations must be discussed an approved with Student Centers two (2) weeks prior to an event.
6.3.1 No tape, glue, tacks or nails are permitted on the walls, doors, floors, ceilings, glass, woodwork, draperies, moveable walls, or any painted surface of any of the Student Centers facilities. Groups that cause damage to the any of the these surfaces by taping or adhering will be held responsible for the cost of the repair.
6.3.2 Decorations, exhibits, or displays must not block or obstruct doorways, hallways, corridors, staircases and fire exits.
6.3.3 Light bulbs may not be placed where heat from the bulbs might create a fire hazard. Approval for special effects equipment (such as smoke, fog and fire machines, sparklers, etc.) is by the Director of Student Centers or their designee.
6.3.4 Banners and displays (including centerpieces) made with flammable materials may be used only where no danger of fire exists, as determined by Student Centers.
6.3.5 Candles are permitted in the Student Centers given that the candle is enclosed in glass and that the flame is entirely contained with the glass container (no part of the flame should reach above the top of the container).
6.3.6 Restricted materials include hay, sand weights, confetti, rice, dance wax, powder, glitter, or similar materials. Groups will be assessed a fee for any extensive clean-up.
6.3.7 Any use of fireworks, including sparkelers, will require a permit through Metro. The permit must go through a licensed pyro company to be approved. A minimum 4 weeks notice must be given.
Groups utilizing decorations, exhibits or displays must arrange for labor to set-up and remove the materials (when applicable). If a ladder is required, groups will either need to sign a liability release OR request to pay for the Student Centers staff to assist. If an aerial lift is required, groups will need to show proof of licensing to operate the lift and sign a liability release OR request and pay for the Student Centers staff to assist.
Decorations, exhibits and displays must be removed immediately following the event or activity, unless other arrangements have been approved by Student Centers. Disposal of unwanted materials is the responsibility of the group and additional fees will be assessed for extensive clean-up.
6.6 Lost or Stolen Items
Student Centers will not be held responsible for the loss of any materials, displays, gifts, favors or other items left in any of the Student Center facilities.
6.7 Special Needs/Requests
Any special needs or requests for decorations, exhibits or displays beyond the scope of this policy must be approved by Student Centers.
7.1 Financial Responsibility
The group reserving the Student Center space will be held financially responsible for any charges related to the meeting or event scheduled, including any special clean-up, maintenance, or repair, resulting from a meeting, event or activity.
7.2 Meeting & Event Charges
All meeting and event charges, including any deposits and invoices, are processed through Student Centers. Payment is to be made through COA/POET string. All payments are charged the month the meeting or event occurs.
7.3 Event Quotes
For large scale events it is recommended that organizations and departments get a quote from Reservations and Events. All quotes are estimates only and charges may change based on event needs.
If circumstances arise that a meeting or event will not be taking place, please follow the prescribed cancellation policy based on the type of reservation. By canceling, the space will then be available for use by another group. By canceling a reservation groups may still be responsible for charges related to the meeting or event. All cancellations should be communicated to your event manager or Student Centers.
7.4.1 Meetings (reservations for meeting spaces) that are to be canceled should be received at least 24 business hours in advance of the scheduled meeting.
New cancellation policy for events occurring on or after July 1, 2024, in the Student Life Center Ballroom:
7.4.2 In the unlikely event that the client decides to cancel, or date change this event, the following charges will apply:
- 50% of the room fee within 180 calendar days of the event date
- 100% of the room fee within 30 calendar days of event date
New cancellation policy for events occurring on or after July 1, 2024, in Student Centers' spaces excluding the Student Life Center Ballroom.
7.4.3 In the unlikely event that the client decides to cancel, or date change this event, the following charges will apply:
- 100% of the room fee within 14 calendar days of the event date
7.4.4 Failure to observe the cancellation deadlines will result in charges for services associated with the reservation (housekeeping, setup, production services, rentals, etc).
7.5 No Shows
If a group reserves a space but does not show up for the meeting or event the full invoice will be charged, and additional penalties may be assessed.
Student Centers are intended for the use of student, faculty, staff, guests of the University and participants in authorized on-campus activities.
8.2 Smoke Free
Vanderbilt University is a smoke-free campus. Smoking is prohibited in all buildings on campus, including the Student Centers, and on the grounds of the campus with the exception of designated outdoor smoking areas.
In the event of an emergency the Student Centers staff will alert you and direct you to safety. Most meeting rooms have a copy of the emergency procedures on or near an entrance/exit door.
Departmental Emergency Operation Plans (EOPs) are maintained by Student Centers and the VUPD Campus Emergency Preparedness Office. The plan’s primary purpose is to establish response procedures in conjunction with the Campus Emergency Preparedness program that mitigate danger and protect the safety and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and visitors in the event that an emergency occurs at Vanderbilt University.
Copies of the Student Centers’ EOPs are available upon request.
8.4 Lost and Found
Student Centers are not responsible for any lost, stolen or damaged property belonging to guests of the facilities. All items found in the Student Centers will be held for one month. After this time items will be discarded or donated.
8.4.1 Vanderbilt University Students, Faculty and Staff who lose their Commodore Cards within the Student Centers will be contacted directly by Student Centers with the location of your recovered Commodore Card.
Only service animals – guide dogs, signal dogs, or other animals individually trained to provide assistance to a person with a disability – and law enforcement animals are permitted in any of the Student Centers.
8.6 Recreational Equipment
The use of bicycles, skates, skateboards and other wheeled recreational equipment are prohibited in the Student Centers. In addition, they should not be operated near entrances of buildings, on steps or walls adjoining buildings, or so that they impede foot traffic along walkways. The owner may carry these objects through Student Centers, with the exception of bicycles (must be left outside and secured to designated bike racks). Please do not secure bikes to railings along stairs or accessible ramps.
9.1 Print Advertising
Only student organizations and University departments may post within the Student Centers. Display boards are available in the Commons Center, Kissam Center, Sarratt Student Center|Rand Hall, and Student Life Center. Please click here for more information on publicity promotions and advertising.
9.1.1 Postings cannot exceed two (2) 8.5″ x 11″ OR one (1) 11″ x 17″ up to 24″ x 36″ poster per display board.
9.1.2 No postings are permitted on walls or glass. These posters will be removed and disposed of by Student Centers.
Only approved banners, co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students may be hung in the Student Centers. Banners will be hung by Student Centers. All banners must be collected by their sponsors no later than 3 days after the event. Only commercially made vinyl banners are permitted inside the Student Centers. Hand-painted paper or sheet banners may be hung on the poles in front of the Rand Wall on a first-come, first-serve basis with no reservation required. Please click here for more information on publicity promotions and advertising.
9.3 Digital Signage
9.3.1 Student Centers manages screens in the Commons Center, Sarratt Student Center, Student Life Center, Kissam Center, E Bronson Ingram, and Zeppos College
9.3.2 Student Affairs' departments and student organizations are permitted one (1) 10-second slide at a time, which will play for a minimum of three days and a maximum of 21 days. It is the responsibility of each area director to determine which slide to have posted. All signs must be submitted by a representative of the specific department, or officer of the student organization. Student Organizations in need of help creating digital signage are encouraged to use the free services of Dores Design team.
9.3.3 Please submit your digital signs by email to firstname.lastname@example.org one week prior to your requested ‘start’ date. All files should be in widescreen format, saved as a .jpg or .png file type. This is an aspect ratio of 16:9 or 1920 x 1080. Include your run dates in the file name or in the email.
9.3.4 Other campus departments may request to post a sign by submitting it in the same format to the email address above. Please note that priority is given to student organizations and SA departments. Signs from other departments will be accepted as space on the queue allows.
9.3.5 All requests for exceptions to the policies above should be directed to an Associate Director of Student Centers.
10.1 Event Parking
Parking is available on campus for events. In most cases charges will apply. The fees associated with parking will depend on the location and time of the event as well as the number of parking spaces requested. For more information on event parking please contact your event manager. Please note that reserved parking is not guaranteed Monday – Friday before 6:00 PM.
10.2 Visitor Parking
Visitor parking is available across campus. For more information on the location of visitor parking please click here.
10.3 Handicap Parking
Handicap parking is available across campus. A visitor with a state-issued handicap placard may park in any metered space on campus for free. If you have additional questions about parking for a special needs visitor, please contact the office of Parking Services at 322-2554. If you would like to reserve handicap parking for an event, please contact your event manager.
10.4 EV Parking
EV charging stations are available across campus. Please view this map for specific locations and details.
Please note that these policies are intended for use internal to Vanderbilt University. For specific policies related to individuals, groups, and organizations outside of Vanderbilt, please click here or contact us directly.