Frequently, outside groups wish to use University facilities for a meeting, conference, or event. The University allows qualified outside groups, particularly community and neighborhood groups, to make use of the meeting resources at Northeastern. It is beneficial to the University to make our 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 knows who is interested in using our facilities, who is on campus, and the purpose of the meeting or event. University Events will help you to qualify the group, if necessary.
Therefore, if a University department wishes to invite an external group to use campus meeting facilities, or if you are asked by an outside group to book space for them on campus, here are the steps to take:
- Always let us know first 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 and locations, and the costs involved.
- University Counsel has prepared standard contracts for outside groups coming to campus to use University facilities for meetings or events. University Events 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, it is returned to University Events.
- 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 Management 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 rent 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.
A cosponsored event is a joint effort between Northeastern and an outside group. Events that are jointly sponsored may or may not require a Space Use Agreement, insurance coverage, and facility rental fees. If you are considering hosting a jointly sponsored event on campus, please contact us so that we can assist you in determining the right steps to take.
Role of University Events with external groups
If our office is contacted directly by an outside group about renting a University facility, the inquiry is reviewed by this department. If the inquiry is for an event that has demonstrable benefit, financial or otherwise, to the University, we advise the interested party that an on-campus sponsor, either a Northeastern academic or administrative department, needs to partner with them as their host. The Office of University Events will assist the host department by preparing a contract, collecting an insurance certificate, and advising the outside group of rules and regulations concerning events at the University.
Role and responsibilities of University host
The on-campus sponsor is the point of contact between the external client and University service providers, including the Office of University Events, building services, facility managers, catering, media services, the parking office, and others.
The on-campus host may be asked to provide an internal budget number to any Northeastern department that provides billable goods or services to the outside client. The internal budget number may be necessary to guarantee payment in the event that the outside client defaults on payment. If an outside client fails to pay a University department for event services, the host budget may be charged for that expense, and the host department may need to collect payment from the outside group. Chartwells, for instance, will provide catering for an outside event only if the external client pays in advance via cash or MasterCard, or if an internal department guarantees payment with a University budget number.
On occasion, an outside client may ask for an adjustment to facility rent. It is initially the responsibility of the host department to determine whether that request is reasonable. If so, the host department may submit a request in writing to the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance. The Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance is the only person who has the authority to adjust facility rental fees. Please contact University Events before you submit a request form for a rent adjustment.
The host unit may be expected to provide staff resources to attend pre-event planning meetings, to assist the outside client with questions or direction, and to provide staff resources to be on-site or on-call the day of the event to respond to client needs.
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