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Planning your club's event on campus

 Excited Penn State Beaver students jump on the steps outside the bookstore.

If your official student club is planning a campus event, such as speaker, dance, movie, or meeting, read these guidelines to make your activity a success!

For more information, contact the Office of Student Activities at (724) 773-3956.

At a Glance:

  • Reserve room(s) or space by using a campus Internal Events Notification (IEN) form. These can be obtained through the Office of Student Activities/Student Affairs.
  • Determine if there are any conflicting events before submitting your IE.
  • Create a comfortable, inviting atmosphere and build trust by offering food, informal discussions, and time to linger and talk after the event.
  • Plan your program budget carefully and, if necessary, raise funds for your event or project, but only with the approval of the appropriate campus administrator(s). Please be sure to contact Amy Gartley, associate director of student affairs, 724-773-3956, to obtain more information about fundraising guidelines.
  • Promote your events ahead of time and, if possible, arrange for photography on the day of the event.
  • End the event on a positive, constructive note.

Scheduling Your Event or Meeting

Check the "News & Events" link on our campus home page to see if there are any major events on campus that might conflict with, or have an impact on, your program. Stop by the Office of Student Activities (SUB 101) to begin your planning, or call 724-773-3959. Reserve your campus facilities as soon as possible by using a campus Internal Events Notification (IEN) which can be obtained in the Office of Student Activities.

Note: Be sure to have back-up dates ready just in case your first choice for your event date isn't available.

If your event will be held outside, make sure you have a back-up location planned in case of bad weather. Organize a committee within your organization or club so that you aren't working on the project by yourself!

Money Matters

It's important for you to know the specifics of your budget. Knowing how much money you have to work with before you start planning an event will save you time and headaches in the future. One of several sources of funding for clubs and organizations is Student Activities. Each fall, the Student Government Association (SGA) conducts a budget allocation process. This information will be announced to your club via email and your club mailbox. In addition, the Student Activity Fee (SAF) is a source of funding for students.

To obtain the (SAF) application form, go to http://www.br.psu.edu/StudentLife/activtyfee.htmto learn how to request funds and obtain deadlines for this year’s allocation process. All clubs and organizations recognized by the campus are eligible to raise funds, but fundraising projects must always receive administrative approval first. Start in the Office of Student Activities to register your fundraiser and fill out the appropriate forms. If you have questions about your club budget, please contact Denise Turyan, staff assistant, Office of Student Affairs, 724-773-3951.

Policies and Rules for Student Organizations

This document provides a comprehensive listing of policies and rules by which student organizations must operate. Fundraising, organization recognition, and grievance procedures are addressed here. All clubs and organizations are responsible for the information in this document, which can be found at http://www.sa.psu.edu/usa/studentactivities/pdf/PoliciesRules0405.pdf.

Program: Sexual/Graphic Content

When student organizations request the use of campus facilities, they will be asked the following question and given this information:"Will this event contain the presentation of material, whether oral, written, or visual, which is sexually explicit or graphically violent? If so, your group will need to meet with a staff member from the Office of Student Affairs to ensure that certain requirements for public display are made prior to the event."

Publicizing Your Event

If you want people to come to your event, you have to let them know about it!

There are lots of ways to get the word out about your event. The Student Development Office (SUB 101) is in charge of all club postings on campus and can approve your advertisements! Clubs are responsible for creating their own flyers and digital signage. Please contact Jill Bender, staff assistant, Office of Student Activities, 724-773-3959, for specific information about advertisements and digital signage.

The most popular ways to advertise are Stall Stories and table tents which are created by student workers and posted every Friday. To submit your event for inclusion in Stall Stories and table tents, you must submit your information the Friday prior to the publication's print date by emailing event details to Jill Bender. Please be sure to include the date, day, times, location (back-up location, if needed), and event fee (if applicable).

It takes approximately four weeks to plan a major event, considering that you'll need turnaround time to process checks, contracts, food requests, and other support services. To begin, contact the Office of Student Activities and, depending on the complexity of your event, you might need to meet with several campus staff members as well.

Contracts

When you're bringing someone from off-campus to perform or speak at your event, you'll need to prepare a contract. Even if the artist or speaker is performing for free, you'll still need to prepare a contract, in most cases, in order to protect your group from liability issues.

Visit the Office of Student Activities and set up an appointment to meet with the coordinator of student activities, obtain contracts, and review processing procedures. Some situations in which you'll need to use contracts include performances by bands, comedians, speakers, and DJs. It's important to remember that it's University policy to issue Penn State contracts for any event for which you're paying $5,000 or less. If the cost of the event exceeds $5,000, the contract must go to Penn State University Park for approval.

Club Advisor Information

Be sure to inform your potential club advisor of crucial information!

  • What is your club or organization's mission and vision?
  • What expectations do you have for the advisor who is attending your meetings?
  • How accessible does the advisor need to be for your group?
  • When and where does your group meet?
  • Provide your potential advisor with your expectations before offering him/her the position.
  • Set up a meeting between the advisor and a member of the Office of Student Activities.
  • Be considerate of your advisor’s schedule and personal time.
  • What is your club or organization's mission and vision?
  • What expectations do you have for the advisor who is attending your meetings?
  • How accessible does the advisor need to be for your group?
  • When and where does your group meet?