So you’re planning an event on the Indiana University Bloomington campus—but you’re a student, not an event planner. You’ve come to the right place.
Student Involvement and Leadership Center (SIL) Space Reservations typically helps over 2,000 events happen on the IU campus each semester. Let our office support your planning so that you can have a safe and successful event at IU.
Until further notice, in-person events should be minimized whenever possible and virtual events are encouraged as a first option. All gatherings on campus with 25 or more planned attendees require review by the University Event Request Committee (UERC) and approval by an executive vice president or their designee, as outlined here.
All events require physical distancing (at least 6 ft. between people) as recommended by the CDC, Indiana and Monroe County public health officials, and Indiana University. Events will have mandated attendance caps based on venue capacity, physical distancing requirements, and public health guidance. Additional COVID-related guidelines for student organization events are available in the Documents section of the Student Involvement and Leadership Center beINvolved page.
Registered student organizations at Indiana University Bloomington may request both indoor and outdoor campus spaces and get help planning an event that meets campus requirements through SIL Space Reservations.
If you are submitting a request on behalf of a student organization, the group must be registered on beINvolved, and you must be on that organization's beINvolved group roster.
If you are submitting a request for outdoor space on behalf of an IU department or center, you must be a full- or part-time employee on that department or center's staff.
How to reserve space on campus
Read and understand all event guidelines and policies on this page and those related to the COVID event guidelines. If you are hosting a political event, protest, or demonstration, be sure to read the individual policies below for political campaigning and raising awareness.
For designated Open Air Venues, submit the Open Air Venue Request Form available through the Open Air Venue website instead of the Space Reservation Request form.
Complete the event checklist, if required.
If available, the requested space may be held for your organization until the event is reviewed by the UERC and approved. The reservation is not final until event approval and reservation confirmation have been received.
On-campus event policies and guidelines
Student Involvement and Leadership (SIL)’s Space Reservation staff will assist you in event planning and help you meet the following campus requirements.
By reserving any indoor or outdoor space for an event, the student reserving the space and the affiliated organization both accept responsibility for any problems that may arise regarding the event. The student and the affiliated organization agree to cooperate with Indiana University and/or officials acting in their capacity.
IU encourages civil dialogue, expression, and sharing of opinions and beliefs that do not pose a threat of physical harm to any student, faculty, staff, or visitor.
These guidelines are designed to protect individual and public safety, facilitate robust opportunities for expressive activity, and ensure that individual rights to free speech are not in conflict with the rights of students, faculty, and staff to pursue their education, perform their jobs, and participate in the university’s cultural and athletic events.
Demonstrations and counterdemonstrations
Indiana University is committed to fostering an environment where students can assemble and raise awareness. While not required, students are encouraged to reserve appropriate space and seek event approval through the UERC process to help ensure public health, and to gain access to helpful infrastructure such as stages and sound equipment.
To ensure that demonstrators and counterdemonstrators do not interfere with the operations of Indiana University or the rights of others, individuals and groups engaged in expressive activity shall not:
Engage in activity that violates any federal, state, or local law, including but not limited to threats of violence, infliction of harm, and vandalism
Disrupt activities in areas that are used for instructional, administrative, or residential purposes, or are not otherwise open to the general public, such as classrooms, studios, laboratories, residential space, or office areas
Obstruct pedestrian, vehicular, bicycle, or other traffic
Obstruct entrances or exits to buildings or driveways
Disrupt or preclude a scheduled speaker from being heard
Disrupt normal educational functions, business functions, or scheduled ceremonies or events, including but not limited to athletic and cultural events
Damage property, including hard and vegetative landscaping features
Disrupt events or functions by using nonapproved amplification (such as bullhorns or noisemakers) or other sound (such as drums, gongs, banging on trashcans, etc.). Refer also to the policy on Amplified Sound, below.
Visually obstruct or cover up speakers, their supporters, protestors, or signage of demonstrators or counterdemonstrators
Camp overnight, including cooking and living outside or in overnight structures
Wear masks that are intended to obscure the identity of the wearer for the purpose of engaging in vandalism or other criminal activity, or are intended to intimidate or to make others fear for their safety. The use of protective face coverings to limit the spread of coronavirus is mandatory.
Students found violating IU policies related to expressive activities, or any policies outlined in the IU Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, may be held accountable through the student conduct process. Students arrested also may face criminal and legal actions.
Where to demonstrate
Expressive activities may be undertaken in most outdoor areas of campus. Dunn Meadow, outside Sample Gates, and all perimeter sidewalks maintained by the City of Bloomington are available for expressive activity.
IU Bloomington has designed and reserved the Arboretum and Dunn’s Woods for reflection and quiet respite from the sounds of the rest of campus. Demonstrations, handing out flyers, tabling, and other forms of solicitation and expressive activity are not allowed in these areas.
Students may protest or demonstrate an event as long as they are not disruptive to that event. Physical distancing and the use of protective face coverings is required. In the event that a demonstrator or counterdemonstrator who is a university student, faculty member, or staff member is observed by a university official to be engaging in disruptive behavior in violation of these guidelines, that person will identify themselves upon request of the university official.
Demonstrators and counterdemonstrators not affiliated with IU who are observed by a university official to be engaging in disruptive behavior in violation of these guidelines will be directed to leave the campus immediately or be subject to citation or arrest for trespassing.
Members of a Demonstration Response Safety Team comprising IU officials from appropriate units will staff protests or demonstrations to answer questions and help ensure safety.
Deadlines for requesting campus space are based on the type of event. Please note that if an event requires any of the following, it must be planned at least 15 business days (3 weeks) in advance:
Any event that involves children
Small events (1–24 people attending) require 10 business days (2 weeks) in advance.
Examples of small events include, but are not limited to: student organization meetings, small gatherings, invitation-only events, tabling, flyering, and membership solicitation events with a planned attendance from 1 to 24 people.
Events Requiring UERC Review and Approval
Events requiring UERC review (25 or more people attending) require Safety Plans, including sanitation protocols and crowd control measures, and must be planned at least 15 business days (3 weeks) in advance.
All student organization events having food for public consumption are subject to approval by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS). Along with the Space Reservation Request Form and the UERC Fall 2020 Event Request Form, the student organization must submit the Temporary Event Food Service Application Form online at least five business days (or one week) before the event.
No food is allowed in classroom spaces.
Interim guidance is in place for Temporary Food Events due to COVID-19. Only outdoor temporary food events are encouraged, with food offered as carry out and served at the end of the event. All food items must be pre-packaged and self-service is not allowed. Event staff must be pre-screened before the event for signs and symptoms, and have their temperature taken upon entry.
Select Self-Governed Student Organizations and select student organization events based on size and scope of the event, and all non-IU, outside organizations must provide proof of general liability insurance to the Office of Insurance, Loss Control, and Claims in order to provide services or products for a campus event. Email your proof of insurance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This policy places certain restrictions on commercial solicitation within buildings and facilities as well as on the grounds of Indiana University campuses or under the operating authority of the University to ensure that university employees and students have the opportunity to perform their duties free from intrusions.
Requests to reserve campus space can only be made by a member of the sponsoring student organization, will be limited to certain campus locations, and will be reviewed by the Campus Space Committee. The student organization primary contact and advisor must submit a letter requesting the outside organization in order to reserve campus space.
The Campus Space Committee will review and approve or deny the request. The following limitations are placed on the types of vendors or entities your organization may partner with for a campus event:
NO credit card companies
In the event that IU has a contract for a specific product or service with a vendor, your organization may NOT sponsor other vendors who offer that same service or product
This policy does not apply to official, university-supported solicitations that are intended to address the university's broader mission to serve the community.
Outside organizations and for-profit agents
Students who are acting on behalf of their student organization AND as an employee of a for-profit company may not reserve campus space for their employer. A student organization unaffiliated with the vendor should act as sponsor.
While the outside vendor is set up on campus, a member of the sponsoring organization must be present with the outside vendor for the duration of the event in order to facilitate adherence to university policies. If a student organization sponsor is not present with the outside vendor, the outside vendor will be asked to leave campus space/property. The student organization may also be subject to sanctioning through the Office of Student Conduct
Individual members may not receive compensation directly from for-profit companies if acting as a representative of a student organization. Profits from partnerships must be distributed to the organization itself.
All events on campus sponsored by student organizations that have large attendance, pose security risks, or are open to the public are required to have security measures in place.
All decisions regarding security requirements or security waivers for events will be at the discretion of the Indiana University Police Department in consultation with Student Involvement and Leadership (SIL), the Campus Space Committee, and the UERC.
By reserving any indoor or outdoor space for an event, the student reserving the space and the affiliated organization both accept responsibility for any problems that may arise regarding the event. The student and the affiliated organization agree to cooperate with the Indiana University and/or officials acting in their capacity.
IUPD and approved security presence does not relinquish the student organization's responsibility for private intervention in the event of any problems, except when crime is imminent, is being committed, or has taken place, or when confrontation could lead to physical harm.
IU encourages students, faculty, and staff members to exercise their constitutional right to vote and to actively participate and express their opinions regarding local, state, and national political candidates, issues, and referendums.
However, as a public institution, IU receives tax-exempt status under sections 115 and 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. In order to maintain this status, the university (including USOs) shall not participate or intervene in any political campaign and must prevent its resources from being used in any way that could appear to support a political candidate.
Inviting candidates to speak at events
A student organization may extend invitations to candidates to speak at events. A Self Governed Student Organization is not obligated to invite all legally qualified candidates if the student organization is using its own funds and resources. However, no campaign fundraising may occur, and the student organization must include a brief statement when introducing the candidate. This statement must indicate that IU does not endorse or oppose any candidate or organization in connection with this or any other political campaign or election.
The nature of the event will determine the facility rental charge that the student organization will be assessed. If it is a campus-community event and is not open to the general public, then the normal fees (if any) will be applied. However, if the event is open to the general public, facility rental and usage fees must be charged.
Using university resources
Examples of university resources that should never be used to support a political campaign or candidate include, but are not limited to:
The IU name, logo, or other identifying marks
IU funds, facilities, office supplies, photo equipment, letterhead, telephones, fax machines, or computers
IU information technology resources, such as email, websites, and online discussion boards
IU shall not expressly or implicitly endorse any candidate for public office.
Hyperlinks to websites of candidates for public office shall not be placed on IU websites in any manner that favors one candidate over another.
No political fundraising may occur on university property or through the use of IU technology resources.
Student organizations shall not use the name of Indiana University or any IU trademark, such as its logo, in connection with political candidates or partisan political activities. (Learn more about licensing and trademarks.)
Student organizations shall not use IU funds on behalf of a candidate for public office in a political campaign or to influence the public legislature.
Organizations conducting ongoing or planned events that are designed to include or serve children/minors under the age of 18 are engaged in a Program Involving Children (PIC) and are subject to the Programs Involving Children Policy. Programs Involving Children must be registered to ensure legal and policy compliance. (Learn more about PIC.)
Staging and lights
If you are having an outdoor event that involves staging, lighting, or sound equipment to support bands, DJs, musical artists, spoken word artists, or an emcee, you must hire Stagehand Local Union 618 to set up, manage, and tear down any needed equipment. For Some outdoor venues are equipped with semi-permanent staging, lighting, and sound equipment. Once an event is approved and the venue confirmed, contact Mark Sarris at email@example.com to make arrangements for your event.
In order to prevent disruption to businesses, offices, and classes, amplified sound can be included in approved events during permitted times:
No earlier than 6 p.m. Monday through Friday
No earlier than 12 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
No later than 9 p.m. or sunset (whichever is earlier) Sunday through Thursday
No later than 10 p.m. or sunset (whichever is earlier) Friday and Saturday
Weeks of Welcome at Indiana University is a part of an invaluable orientation process and early transition period for new students. As such, the university wants to provide an optimal matriculation experience during that first week before classes begin.
There are often official volunteer opportunities for student groups to participate in Weeks of Welcome and IU Guide Programs. Please contact First Year Experience for more information on ways groups can formally participate. Organizations interested in developing virtual programs or appropriate in-person events that align with the goals and purpose of Weeks of Welcome may submit program proposals to the Office of First Year Experience using this form.
Student organizations are prohibited from hosting events, tabling, or distributing flyers or other materials for the express purpose of membership recruitment and/or social activities involving first year students during Weeks of Welcome through the end of the IU Guides Program without prior approval from the Campus Space Committee.
Weeks of Welcome concludes at the close of the IU Guides program on the first day of the fall semester. At that time student organizations may begin to have recruitment and social events.
Will your event need security? All events that have large attendance, pose security risks, or are open to the public are required to have security personnel.
Will your event have a DJ, band, musical artist, or emcee? If you need staging, lighting, or sound equipment, you must hire the university’s approved vendor to set up, manage, and tear down the equipment.
Will you serve food or beveragesto the public at your event? You must submit a Temporary Food Service Application at least five business days before the event date.
Is your event geared toward children? If your organization is working with children, please read the university policy on Programs Involving Children.
Is your event sponsored by an outside organization? At least one representative from your student organization must be present for the duration of the event. Otherwise, the outside organization will be asked to leave.
Refer to the policies and guidelines outlined above for additional details on these topics.