Event Support Meetings

Representatives from the Department of Student Activities, Conference and Events Services, and Public Safety are available at all Event Support Meetings to speak with you about an upcoming event. Whether you’re starting the planning process or nearing the finish line with a few items to tie up, Event Support Meetings are the place for all students to get programming questions answered.

Event Support Meetings are held on Tuesdays throughout the semester; however, some weeks are skipped or altered due to holidays or breaks. Event Support Meetings are from 3 p.m.–4 p.m. Shapiro Campus Center Room 315.  Check out http://www.brandeis.edu/studentlife/activities/leadership/eventsupport.html for the semester dates!

Policies and Procedures

The following is some information that may be useful in the programming process.


All contractual agreements entered into by Brandeis clubs, organizations, or departments must be approved and signed by specific university officials. No student or staff member should ever sign a contract on behalf of the University. This includes agreements with performing groups, service providers, and coaches. These regulations are designed to protect both students and the University from unnecessary liabilities.  All contracts should be turned into the Department of Student Activities, and they will guide you through the contract process to get the contract signed.

Step 1: Determine Contractor Type

  • Is the contractor an entity (e.g., a corporate vendor – any sort of company, LLC, S-Corp, etc. --  with its own W9/W8BEN) or an individual (i.e., regular person or a “DBA” sole proprietorship)?

    • An entity is always an Independent Contractor. Proceed to Step 2

    • An individual may or may not be taxed as an independent contractor based on certain criteria:

      • All performers, speakers, etc. are Independent Contractors.

      • All non-academic instructors may be considered Independent Contractors.

      • Academic instructors are classified as Employees for tax purposes.
      • All sports team coaches are classified as Employees for tax purposes.

Step 2: Determine Documentation Requirements

  • Is the contractor a Brandeis student, staff, or faculty member? If not, are they classified as an Independent Contractor or as an Employee? Depending on their classification, these are the required documents.

    • Brandeis Student

      • Independent Consultant Agreement

      • Student Payment Form (Excel version from Payroll website)

      • Invoice

    • Brandeis Staff or Faculty member

      • Independent Consultant Agreement

      • One-Time Payment Form

      • Invoice

      • Written permission from supervisor if grant funded employee

    • If not a Brandeis student, staff, or faculty, use result from Step 1 to determine classification:

      • Independent Consultant Agreement

      • Other contract documents and/or riders, as required

      • “Brandeis” W-9 (U.S. citizen or company) or W-8BEN (otherwise)

      • Invoice

      • Proof of clear CORI check

        • Individuals must prove certification for themselves

        • Companies need to certify for all of their employees

Step 3: Request Allocations Board Funding

  • Determine the amount necessary to pay for the contractor services. There is an additional 7.7% surcharge that needs to be added to the request for employer FICA taxes for the following cases:

    • Brandeis staff or faculty acting as contractors

    • Brandeis students acting as contractors paid in the months of June, July, and/or August

    • Outside contractors classified by the IRS as employees (see Step 1)

Step 4: Determine SUMS payment type and prepare Withdrawal Form

  • The SUMS payment type is determined by what type of contractor is being paid, as follows:

    • Independent Contractor: NEPRF

    • Student: SPF

    • Employee: PR-1

    • Staff or Faculty: PR-1

Step 5: Submit to Student Activities

  • All documents from Step 2 should be submitted to Student Activities, at least three weeks before any work is performed, with the following information:

    • Club name

    • Club treasurer/representative contact information (name, email, and telephone)

    • Proof of funding (most typically, the SUMS Withdrawal Form for payment)

  • The documents are reviewed and edited by the Director of Student Activities/Assistant Dean of Students, sent to the Vice-President for Student Affairs for signature, and returned once approved.

    • There may be additional questions that the club will need to answer before contracts are approved.

Step 6: Pick Up from Student Activities

  • Once the contract and all associated documents have been reviewed, approved, and signed, they are picked up by the club. The club will need to submit these items for payment (see Step 6).

  • IMPORTANT: Until this step (6) is verified as complete, a contractor is not permitted to perform any work for a student club. In addition, no outside contractor is permitted to come to campus until they are approved.

Step 7: Submit Request for Payment

  • After the forms are returned to the club, the club then submits the entire packet, with the appropriate Withdrawal Form (as determined in Step 4) as the cover sheet, to the Romper Room. No payment will be issued if any of the required documentation is missing. Unless otherwise specified in the contract or approved by the Senior VP, payment will only be issued upon completion of services for that semester.


All arrangements for alcohol are made through Conference and Events. For a club event to serve alcohol, it must be approved by the Department of Student Activities. The following is as outlined in Rights and Responsibilities:

Three locations on campus are already licensed to serve alcohol:

  • Usdan Student Center

  • The Stein Restaurant (Hassenfeld Conference Center)

  • The Faculty Club

Liquor Licenses

Liquor licenses may be purchased for $250 to serve alcohol in programmable spaces not already licensed.  The event where alcohol will be served may not be a fundraiser. If a group wishes to serve alcohol in a residential space, the Department of Community Living MUST give approval.  All arrangements for liquor licenses are made through Conference and Event Services. It is advised to begin working with Conference and Event Services at least six weeks prior to your event when a liquor license needs to be obtained, as licenses need to be obtained through the City of Waltham.  

Student Organization Events 

  1. Student groups must have a conversation as early as possible with a member of the Department of Student Activities in order to discuss the program. An easy way to do this is by attending an Event Support Meeting. Be prepared to discuss the following information:

    1. The rationale behind the addition of alcohol to the program

    2. The amount of alcohol ordered

    3. The estimated number of legal drinking age students in attendance

    4. The logistics of the event  

  2. Student organizations must first reserve appropriate space through Conference and Event Services noting appropriate beverage requests and quantities on the appropriate forms.

  3. Alcohol must be provided and served by Sodexo. Sodexo will staff all events with bartenders and ID checkers. Organizations must hire at least one bartender and one ID checker for every 100 legal age students expected.

    1. For all events that serve alcohol, food and non-alcoholic beverages must be served as well.

  4. Public Safety will schedule at least two security personnel and possibly more depending on the attendance expected at the overall event.

  5. All student organization-sponsored events with alcohol must have a restricted area for distribution and consumption of alcohol, except when held in The Stein Restaurant. This area will have a physical barrier, usually a double-layered fence, to separate the alcohol area from the rest of the event. This will be arranged with Conference and Event Services.

  6. The event can only be open to Brandeis community members.

  7. Student Activities will address issues of marketing and promotion in regards to the availability of alcohol with the student group.

  8. Sodexo will have on hand at the event a list of 21+ students to verify any discrepancies and in order to validate any out of state licenses. Students must have a Brandeis ID AND a photo ID (passport or state driver’s license). Professional staff members from Sodexo must be in charge of checking IDs for entrance into the “beer garden” and will secure bracelets on legal drinking age students.  

*Brandeis University reserves the right to change and amend these policies as necessary.

Timing for events

Though the timing of events varies, the end time for most events may not go past 2a.m. Special permission is sometimes given from the Director of the Department of Student Activities.

Outdoor Events

Planning an event outside requires a bit more thought and consideration. It is strongly recommended that you attend an Event Support Meeting to discuss the logistics. Some of the information discussed includes:  

  • Nature of the event (e.g., performances, cookouts)

  • Location

  • Time span

  • Need for Public Safety

  • Facility needs

  • Noise permits (must be obtained through Conference and Events for $10 for any event that will be projecting sound)

    • If you’re event is on the Great Lawn, you will need to get a noise permit through Student Activities instead.

  • Staging, lighting, sound needs

  • Weather location/plan

Please note: This is a City of Waltham regulates that outdoor events with amplified sound cannot go past 10 p.m.

The Department of Student Activities and other university officials reserve the right to limit the nature of the sound equipment used and to determine volume limitations based on the event location. Any event occurring outside risks the possibility of early termination based on complaints from either the Brandeis or Waltham community. The Department of Public Safety will work in cooperation with the Department of Student Activities to determine when and if an event will have to end due to complaints.

To reserve the Great Lawn outside the Shapiro Campus Center, use the Shapiro Campus Center Request form at http://www.brandeis.edu/activities/forms.html. Note that groups may not cook on the Shapiro Patio. To reserve all other outdoor spaces on campus, contact Conference and Events Services.

Noise Permits

For any outdoor event with amplified sound you must obtain a noise permit. To do so, contact Conference and Events Services. You must request a noise permit at least 10 business days in advance of your event. Failure to do so could result in the cancellation of projected sound at your event. For events on the Shapiro Campus Center Great Lawn, please contact the Department of Student Activities.


A member of the University community may protest and demonstrate provided it does not obstruct physical movement to, from, or within any place on the campus, including University property located off the main campus. While the campus must be open to a free exchange of ideas, the University may limit the time, place, and manner of the demonstration. All members of the community are expected to conduct dialogues with dignity and courtesy. Violence or threat of violence against persons or property, obstruction of freedom of movement, and disruption of University activities by any member of the University are prohibited. It is recommended that any person(s) planning a demonstration communicate their intentions to the Dean of Students Office at least six hours in advance. Please refer to Rights and Responsibilities (Section 7) for a more detailed demonstration policy.

Political Campaigns

Student organizations are not allowed to spend Student Activities Fee (SAF) allocations for partisan activity. If student organizations want to use their fundraising accounts to sponsor partisan activity, they can do so.  Any marketing must include the following language: Brandeis University does not support or oppose any political candidates. The views expressed are those of [the candidate or other partisan political speaker] only. The [Brandeis-related group] is sponsoring this event."

Coffeehouses (small intimate programs)

Many clubs on campus, for purposes of publicity or fundraising, choose to hold coffeehouses on campus. These events might include on campus a cappella performances, comedy performances or open mic sessions.

The most popular location to hold a coffeehouse on campus is Cholmondeley’s (Chums’), located on the first floor of the Usen Castle. Please note that Chums’ coffeehouses are not open to the public. 

Coffeehouses in Chums’ are traditionally held from 9pm until midnight. We ask that you please schedule louder acts (bands, etc.) before 11pm due to the venue’s proximity to Skyline Residence Hall. Chums’ does have a small sound and lighting system that groups may use.

The fee to hold a coffeehouse in Chums is $50 for an event happening during regular hours. For events outside normal working hours, there is a $75 event fee. (extra fees may apply if coffeehouse is held outside of normal operating hours). For information on booking, contact the booking manager of Chums or staff within the Department of Student Activities.

Other places to hold coffeehouses include the following: residence hall lounges (with permission from Area Coordinators), Shapiro Campus Center (contact Operations Specialist for booking), Schwartz Auditorium (contact Conference and Events Services for booking), or any other small place you see fit for an intimate setting.

Movies, Copyright Compliance & Public Performance

Movie nights are a great way to have a casual night with your club members or to have a major campus showing as part of an event. However, please be aware that public viewings of movies and TV shows (e.g., any showing outside your room) are subject to Copyright Law. Below is a summary of copyright law as pertaining to movies. If you are planning to screen a film, you should contact the Department of Student Activities. They can help you obtain rights to the film.

Q: What exactly is a public performance?
A public performance is the exhibition of a movie that is shown outside of someone’s home--this includes residence hall common areas.

Q: Why should I obey copyright law?
Violating copyright law through unauthorized use of a movie:
-Leaves individuals open to embarrassing publicity, possible jail time and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
-Prevents those who worked hard on a film from receiving their just compensation.
-Essentially robs motivation to create from authors, computer programmers, playwrights, musicians, inventors, movie producers and more.

Q: Who does copyright law apply to?
This law applies to everyone, regardless of whether admission is charged, whether the institution is commercial or nonprofit or whether a federal, state or local agency is involved. This means businesses, colleges, universities, public schools, public libraries, day care facilities, parks, recreation departments, summer camps, churches, private clubs, prisons, lodges and more all must properly license movies to show them publicly.

Q: What happens to those who violate copyright law?
Motion picture companies can and will go to court to ensure their copyrights are not violated. Those convicted could face embarrassing publicity, up to five years in prison and fines ranging up to $250,000.

Q: Do we need a license even if we don’t charge admission?
Yes. A license is required for all public performances regardless of whether admission is charged.

Q: What if someone owns the movie?
The rental, purchase, lending, or download of a movie does not provide the right to exhibit it publicly outside the home unless the screening is properly licensed.

Q: What if a third party says it is okay to exhibit the movie?
All movies are sold as “home use only” and do not contain legal permission for use outside the home. You can only obtain copyright licensing directly from a licensor (such as Swank Motion Pictures) or the studio itself, not from a third party.

Q: Who’s responsible if a film is shown without a license?
The management of the venue or premises where the movie is shown bears the ultimate responsibility and consequences of copyright infringement. However, anyone involved with the public performance of copyrighted material could be implicated.

Q: If I purchased a license to show a movie, can I show that movie whenever I want?
Unfortunately, no. Licenses are valid for a specific, designated time frame. However, Swank can tailor this license to fit your needs.  

Q: A small group is having an informal gathering in our facility. Do we still need a license?
Yes. A license needs to be obtained regardless of the number of people attending the screening if the movie is being shown outside the home.

“Fair Use”

In some instances, it is not required to obtain a Movie Copyright Compliance Site License when exhibiting copyrighted materials such as videocassettes or DVDs. This “face-to-face teaching exemption” applies only IF: A teacher is in attendance and the showing takes place in the classroom setting and the movie is used as an essential part of the current curriculum being taught.

This legal requirement applies:

  • Regardless of whether an admission fee is charged;

  • Whether the institution or organization is commercial or non-profit;

  • Whether a federal or state agency is involved.

The “Education Exemption”

Under the “Education Exemption,” copyrighted movies may be exhibited in a college without a license only if the movie exhibition is:

  • An “integral part of a class session” and is of “material assistance to the teaching content”

  • Supervised by a teacher in a classroom

  • Attended only by students enrolled in a registered class of an accredited nonprofit educational institution

  • Lawfully made using a movie that has been legally produced and obtained through rental or purchase

How to Obtain a Public Performance License

Obtaining a public performance license is relatively easy and usually requires no more than a phone call. Fees are determined by such factors as the number of times a particular movie is going to be shown, how large the audience will be and so forth. While fees vary, they are generally in the range of $400-$1,200 per film. The major firm that handles the majority of licensing is: Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.  (800) 876-3344

Travel Information

In some cases, you may need to get your club or organization to a site off-campus. The Department of Student Activities advises that you let the staff know where and when you are traveling for safety reasons.