Major Events - Twin Cities Campus

Responsible Officer
Myron Frans
Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations
Owner
Katharine Bonneson
Assistant Vice President for University Health and Safety
Primary Contact
Katharine Bonneson
Assistant Vice President for University Health and Safety
Last Revised
Effective Date

Policy Statement

The University of Minnesota is committed to free speech and the robust exchange of ideas both in the classroom and throughout the campus community. This policy seeks to uphold these priorities by facilitating the scheduling of major events on campus. It also aims to balance these priorities with the need to ensure campus safety and the responsible use of the University’s resources. 

This policy outlines the University’s definitions and protocol related to the planning and hosting of on-campus major events and events that place significant demands on University resources. This policy applies to anyone, be it an individual, a group, an academic department, college, or administrative unit, proposing to host a major event on the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus. Requesters other than Academic Departments and Centers, Colleges, and Administrative Units should not enter into any major event commitments until they have completed review pursuant to this policy.

Requests for Major Event and Venue Reservations

Venues may only be reserved by Requesters primarily responsible for planning, implementing, and financing an event. A venue may be held while the review provided for in this policy takes place, but the reservation will only be confirmed upon completion of review of the Major Event Proposal. Requesters should submit the Proposal at least 30 days in advance to allow adequate time for the review process.

Review

A Requester seeking to host a major event on campus must complete a Major Event Proposal form and submit it to the Major Events Committee for review. This information will be used to facilitate the Major Events Procedures and provide venue organizers and others the information they need to ensure a successful event.

The Major Events Committee (“Committee”) will review the proposal and consider the information provided by the requester along with at least the following factors to determine whether the proposed event can be held safely on campus:

  • the time of the academic year during which the event will occur;
  • other events happening on campus at or near the same time;
  • potential impact of the proposed event on parking and traffic;
  • anticipated weather conditions;
  • public health concerns;
  • the compliance history of the requesting party with University policies;
  • University holidays; and
  • whether the University’s Department of Public Safety is aware of any security concerns surrounding the proposed event.

Priority for use of University facilities is governed by Administrative Policy: Use and Lease of Real Estate.  Committee decisions will be informed by that policy’s Appendix: Using and Leasing University Real Estate (Permissible Uses and Scheduling Priority).

This policy assumes that most major events will be approved as proposed in support of the University’s free speech and exchange of ideas priorities. A Proposal will be denied only if

  • the requested venue is an indoor facility that the University has designated as not available for hosting major events;
  • the venue is already reserved for another event;
  • the venue is not large enough to accommodate the anticipated audience;
  • the event poses a clear and present risk to public health or safety and the University does not have sufficient resources to adequately address such risk; or
  • the event necessarily would involve activity that is unlawful under federal, state, or local law.

The Committee will communicate any denial of the use of a requested venue in writing and will provide the reason(s) for the denial. If the proposal is denied for one of the first four reasons listed above, the Committee will give the Requester the opportunity to request another available alternative venue or a different date/time. If possible, the Committee will suggest an alternative venue. The potential reaction to the event will not be used as a basis for denying a proposed event. Registered student groups hosting an event will not be charged for security costs arising from protests of a planned event.

Approval

The Committee will respond to the proposal in no more than 14 business days after receipt of the proposal.

Notification of Academic Department and Center, College, and Administrative Unit Events

Academic Departments and Centers, Colleges, and Administrative Units that schedule major events on campus must notify the Major Events Committee of a scheduled event as early as possible, and preferably at least 30 days before the scheduled event, to facilitate the efficient and effective allocation of University resources, including public safety and parking and transportation resources.  This notification must include the date, time, and location of the event and the identity of any guest speakers.

Aside from this notification, Academic Departments and Centers, Colleges, and Administrative Units do not need to complete the Proposal or undergo the review described in the preceding section for events that are planned by and directly connected to the mission of the Academic Department or Center, College, or Administrative Unit. 

Events where a Requester outside of the Academic Department or Center, College, or Administrative Unit seeks to rent or use space controlled by the Academic Department or Center, College, or Administrative Unit, however, are subject to the review described in the preceding section, including the completion of the Proposal.

Liability

During an event, the Requester is responsible for preserving and maintaining the facility it reserved. If the Requester, or its invitee, causes any damage to University facilities, the Requester is responsible for any associated repair costs.

Elected Official Events

Requests for campaign events (candidate running for elected office or ballot initiative)) must follow Administrative Procedure: Elected Official Events. The University of Minnesota is a nonpartisan organization, and it will not host political campaign events or rallies in its venues that incur any cost to the University.

Reason for Policy

The University of Minnesota is committed to free speech and the robust exchange of ideas both in the classroom and in the campus community. It also recognizes that it has a duty to facilitate this free speech and exchange of ideas in a way that ensures the safety of its campus community while marshalling its resources responsibly.

Contacts

Policy Contacts
SubjectContactPhoneEmail
Primary Contact(s) Katharine Bonneson 612-625-0518 [email protected]

Definitions

Major Event
Events where the requester has raised security concerns, events where the University’s Department of Public Safety has identified a significant security concern, or events taking place in an indoor or outdoor space on campus with an anticipated audience size of at least two hundred involving an outside speaker. Events may include, but are not limited to, concerts, lectures, public appearances, performances, speakers, and rallies.
Major Events Committee
Consists of members from the Office of the Senior Vice President, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, University Health and Safety, University of Minnesota Police Department, University Services, University Relations, Office of Equity and Diversity, and the Office of the General Counsel. Parking and Transportation, Student Unions and Activities, the venue contact, and other campus stakeholders impacted by the specific major event proposal will be included as needed for specific events.
Elected Official Event
These events may be political/non-official or official government activities.
A political/non-official event involves the presence and participation of a political candidate, or the candidate’s surrogate, with the objective of promoting the candidate’s campaign, political agenda, or a ballot initiative.
An official government event involves the presence and participation of a sitting elected official with the objective of promoting or conducting official government business.
Requester
Any individual or group seeking to host a major event on the Twin Cities campus, including student groups and excluding Academic Departments, Colleges, and Administrative Units.

Responsibilities

Academic Department and Center, College, and Administrative Unit
Provide notice of a planned major event in a timely fashion. Respond to questions.
Major Event Committee
Charged with working with the requester proposing a major event to ensure the event is conducted in a safe and orderly fashion and does not disrupt other campus activities.
Requester
Provide requested information in a timely fashion. Respond to questions. Pay the University for all allocable costs.
Venue Operator
Work with the requestor proposing a major event and the major events committee to implement the event in a safe and orderly manner.
Department of Public Safety
Review event proposals to identify safety needs and recommend appropriate staffing and plans to ensure the safety of those who are present as well as University assets.

Related Information

History

Amended:
September 2020 - New Policy:
  1. Upholds the University’s commitment to free speech and the robust exchange of ideas.
  2. Recognizes that we have a duty to uphold this commitment in a way that ensure campus safety and responsibly utilizes our resources.
  3. Specifies the request and review process.
  4. Includes a procedure specific to political campaign events.

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