Frequently Asked Questions

 

Social Events

Q. Can I provide my own catering or liquor?

A. No. Brandeis Dining Services serves as the exclusive caterer and provides all food and beverage, including alcohol, for campus events. However, cakes may be purchased from an outside vendor.

Q. Do you have a kosher facility?

A. Yes. The Hassenfeld Conference Center has a full meat and dairy kitchen and makes available separate china as well. In addition, Brandeis' on-campus bakery can prepare parve baked goods and cakes. All kosher food is prepared under rabbinical supervision.

Q. If my event is nonkosher, can I provide kosher meals for some guests?

A. Yes. Kosher alternates can be prepared ahead of time for observant guests. These meals are sealed and served cold on upscale plasticware.

Q. Can I start my event at any time, and how long may I reserve the space?

A. We do not book multiple events in the same venue on the same day. This allows us to focus completely on your event, as well as give you full access to parking, function spaces and staff. We rent our facilities for five hours and are flexible with starting times. However, kosher events are bound by the rules of Shabbat when planning Saturday events.

Q. Can I hold my wedding ceremony at Brandeis if my fiancee and I are not religious?

A. Yes. Brandeis has options for couples of all faiths to celebrate their union in their own personal style.

Q. Can I provide my own officiant to perform the wedding ceremony?

A. Yes, you are more than welcome to invite your own officiant to perform your wedding ceremony on campus.

Q. Must I be a graduate of Brandeis University to host my wedding ceremony or reception on campus?

A. No.

Q. Which prayer book do you use for bar/bat mitzvah services at the Berlin Chapel?

A. The Berlin Chapel houses 80 copies of the "Gates of Prayer: The New Union Prayer Book" (gender-neutral edition). You are invited to use this book or supply your own for the service. 

Q. Can my own rabbi officiate at my son or daughter's service?

A. Yes. However, if you'd prefer to have the Brandeis rabbi officiate, please contact Carole Platt in the chaplains office at (781) 736-3576.

Q. Must I be a graduate of Brandeis University to host my son or daughter's bar/bat mitzvah service or reception on campus?

A. No. 

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Department Events

What is an appropriate timeline for planning an event?

The time needed to plan an event varies greatly. Larger events should be planned six or more weeks ahead. Smaller events may only need a couple weeks. Keep these guidelines in mind when planning:

 Deadlines   Timeline
 Liquor License
 4 weeks
 Nonkosher Catering  1 week
 Kosher Catering
 2 weeks
 Audiovisual  1 week

 Please allow time for processing.

Q. What additional costs are associated with obtaining a temporary liquor license?

A. In addition to the $250 license fee, you will have to pay for a public-safety officer, custodian and bartender to be at your event. Please speak with an event specialist for more information.

Q. Can we bring our own food?

 A. No. Aramark has an exclusive contract with Brandeis University and must cater all on-campus events.

Q. What if we do not meet the catering minimums?

 A. Many choices in the catering book have minimum counts. If your group does not meet the minimum, Dining Services will charge the difference.

Q. What is the cost of reserving a room?

A. There is no charge to reserve a room. However, there are charges associated with many services that will be required for your event. Please speak to an event specialist for more information.

Q. Why must I employ a custodian for my event?

A. Custodians are required for any event that requires set-up or where food will be served. If a custodian is already scheduled as part of the regular building coverage, you may not need to pay extra for his services. Please speak to an event specialist for more information.

Q. Can I get a custom menu?

A. You may order off the regular menu or a special seasonal menu. These menus are available through the Dining Services Web site. If these menus do not meet your needs, please speak to an event specialist.

Q. How do I order a sign for my event?

A. Conference and Events Services can provide custom signs for your event at a cost of $20 per sign. For more information about Brandeis University's sign program, please speak to an event specialist. 

Q. Do I need to order food for my event at the Faculty Club?

A. Yes.  The Faculty Club can be an ideal venue for catered events, but minimums do apply.  There is a $1000.00 food and non-alcoholic beverage minimum in order to use the Main Dining Room, and a $500.00 food and non-alcoholic beverage minimum to use the Faculty Club Lounge or President’s Dining Room Monday through
Friday after 3pm and weekends.

Q. Are there minium food-order requirements? 

A. Yes. There is a $1000.00 food and non-alcoholic beverage minimum in order to use the Main Dining Room, and a $500.00 food and non-alcoholic beverage minimum to use the Faculty Club Lounge or President’s Dining Room Monday through Friday after 3pm and weekends.

Q. Can we order off the Faculty Club lunch program menu?

A. No.  The full menu offered for the lunch program is not available, but the Meet & Munch featuring the ever popular Soup-and-Salad Bar can be ordered as well as any selection from the catering book.  

Q. Why do we need waitstaff?

A. All events held in the Faculty Club include China service and therefore require wait staff.  

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Student Events 

Q. How do I know if my student group, club or organization can book space?

A. In order to book space on campus, your student group, club or organization must be recognized by the university. For a list of all approved student groups, please visit the club center listings on the Web.

Q. How do I book space?

A. Student groups should fill out a student group request form in the Conference and Event Services office in Kutz 9, adjacent to the Campus Card office. You may also print out the form and fax it to Conference and Event Services at (781) 736-4318. Space is limited and is booked on a first-come, first-served basis.

Q. Is there a charge to book space?

A. Members of the Brandeis community are not charged for the space per se, but there are costs associated with each event, such as audio-visual equipment, custodial services, catering, etc.

Q. How much will my event cost?

A. It is difficult to figure exact costs before meeting with an event specialist. Please arrange such a meeting as far ahead of your event as possible. 

Q. How do I begin?

A. Attend a Jump Start meeting. They are held most Mondays at 3 p.m. in Shapiro Campus Center 315.

Q. Who attends Jump Start meetings?

A. Representative from Conference and Event Services, student activities, the student union and public safety are available to answer your questions and assist with your event details.

Q. Do I have to sign up for a Jump Start meeting?

A. No.

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