Role of Office with External Groups
If the Office of External Events & Conference Housing is contacted directly by an outside group about renting a University facility, the inquiry is reviewed for applicability and feasibility. If the inquiry is for an event that has demonstrable benefit, financial or otherwise, to the University, the Office of External Events & Conference Housing will directly manage the inquiry or may advise the interested party to collaborate with an an on-campus sponsor to assist with the planning and execution of the event or conference. The Office of External Events & Conference Housing will act as a consultant to the host department(s) and prepare a contract, obtain proof of appropriate insurance, and collect applicable rental and service fees.
Frequently, outside groups wish to use University facilities for a meeting, event, or conference. The University allows qualified outside groups, particularly community and neighborhood groups, to make use of meeting resources at Northeastern. It is beneficial to the University to make University facilities available to some groups for appropriate reasons, but it is important for outside groups to go through the proper channels when requesting space on campus.
There are legal, risk management, and financial issues at stake when the University opens its doors to an outside group. It is important that the University know who is interested in using Northeastern facilities, who is on campus, and the purpose of the meeting, event, or conference. The Office of External Events & Conference Housing is available to assist with qualifying any interested party.
If a University department wishes to invite an external group to use campus meeting facilities, or if asked by an outside group to book space for them on campus, here are the steps to take:
- Always inform the Office of External Events & Conference Housing before you make any arrangements, including space reservation, on behalf of an outside group.
- The outside group must have a written contract with the University that spells out the terms and conditions of the use of University facilities, with specific dates, times, use of space, attendance, and the costs involved.
- University Counsel has prepared standard contracts for outside groups coming to campus who use University facilities for meetings or events. Our office will prepare a Space Use Agreement for the outside group.
- The Space Use Agreement must be signed by the outside group at least 30 business days before the event. After the agreement is approved and signed by University Counsel and Finance, it is returned to Office of External Events & Conference Housing.
- Outside group must present evidence of insurance to the University as required in the Agreement. The Certificate of Insurance should accompany the signed Agreement. It is optimal to get a Certificate of Insurance from an outside group as far in advance as possible. The Office of Risk Services sets the insurance requirements for outside groups, and reviews and approves all insurance certificates for adequate coverage.
- An outside group is required to pay facility rental fees, and to pay for any direct costs provided by a University service provider. Direct costs include, but are not limited to, building services charges to reset or refresh a room; building services overtime charges for evening and weekend events; cleaning; catering; parking; audio-visual equipment or technical support; in some cases, the cost of an assigned facility manager to monitor the event (this usually applies in the Curry Student Center); cost of a public safety detail if deemed appropriate by the University; signage, if deemed appropriate by the University; and other costs on a case-by-case basis.