Hosting An Event
The Skidmore Events Policy is based on proven best practices among peer institutions and was formulated under the consultation of Skidmore Campus Safety, the Student Government Association and Office of Campus Life to respond to a growing need in our community to more uniformly, safely and consistently manage our increasingly popular and successful events on campus. This policy outlines the responsibilities and tools necessary for sponsors to comply with room capacity limits, fire-code regulations and laws. The policy will help event sponsors regulate paid attendance to their event and will guide them in appropriately staffing to maintain orderly and safe events. It is also designed to foster greater accountability among event guests.
Events Subject to This Policy
This policy applies to all on-campus, open-to-the-public events including parties, dances and large social events held in the Spa, Falstaff's, Filene and any other approved campus venue.
Events that meet any one or more of the following criteria are subject to the enforcement of these policies:
- any party, dance, or social event advertised off campus (including word of mouth, flyers, Facebook or any means via the internet, etc.); and/or
- alcohol will be served at the event; and/or
- any event with an anticipated attendance of 100 or more, including lectures, private events, etc., is subject to relevant portions of this policy.
Note: Private, member-only/invite-only parties, regular meetings/rehearsals/practices are except from his policy. These events are typically not be advertised.
Admission Policies and Advertising
Managing a safe and orderly entrance and determining and controlling maximum attendance at events have proven to be some of the most difficult responsibilities for event sponsors to meet. Therefore, a College-compliant plan must be in place before your event is advertised, and admission information should be included in all advance publicity and posted at the entrance to your event. Since consistency of campus venue and event management is essential to the ongoing safety and success of all of our programs, all event sponsors will need to follow the same practices for consistency and fairness.
Admission caps are determined by the capacity of the venue and any other attributes that may impact crowd behavior (e.g., alcohol, music).
All sponsoring clubs/groups are required to submit an event registration form and confirm event safety/compliance with a representative from Leadership Activities for each event at least a full week prior to the event. At that time, the professional staff will discuss best practices and explain mandatory procedures with you. Our goal is to help you host an event that you can be proud of, one that meets your goals and reflects well on your club and its members.
Skidmore Student Government restricts the ticket/entrance pricing and encourages all events to be free for the Skidmore community. Event sponsors are at liberty of the SGA Business and Finance Committee to set the admission price for their events, but sensitivity to differences in student access to luxury funds is encouraged. When asking for higher ticket prices, you may wish to consider tiered pricing, and or "sliding scale" options. One option for parties is to offer a lower price before a certain time, such as “only $3 before 11 p.m., $5 after…” In addition to allowing those of limited means an option for reduced-price entry, this also encourages folks to arrive early and gets the party started.
Requests for charging admission to an event must be directed to the SGA VP of financial affairs at least two weeks prior to your event.
In addition to the required procedures as outlined in this policy, event sponsors may choose to establish specific reasonable entry criteria for their event. If any entry restrictions are desired, it is critical that they be included in all advertising. For example, a costumed themed event could limit attendance to only those wearing costumes. This must be clearly listed in all promotional materials and posted clearly at the door.
Similarly, many event sponsors seek to create social events intended primarily for fellow college students and specific guests of Skidmore students. In these cases, event sponsors may elect to set an age limit minimum for their events, such as “over 18 only.”
Below is a sample entry policy you may elect to use for your event, is such a criteria is desired.
- Unescorted attendees must have a valid college ID in order to enter the event.
- Attendees without a college ID must be guests of a current Skidmore student.
- Skidmore students may bring up to four guests each. These guests must arrive and enter with the student host. The Skidmore host is responsible for their guests throughout the event.
It is not acceptable to set any admittance criteria which are discriminatory with regard to race, color, national origin, citizenship status, creed, religion, belief, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, veteran status or any other protected status under applicable law.
The purpose of the Skidmore College smoking policy is to limit the potential exposure of students, faculty staff and visitors to the effects of secondhand smoke, reduce the risk of fires on campus and to provide the community with a healthy, respectful working and learning environment. Smoking is prohibited in all Skidmore College facilities, College owned vehicles and within 25 feet of all facilities on campus. All events are "non-smoking," and no smoking areas will be provided. Anyone found smoking inside the venue may be removed from the event and not permitted to re-enter.
College policies prohibit social events and/or advertising that use alcohol as the central theme or promote or encourage excessive alcohol consumption. An event may be cancelled if the sponsors do not adhere to this policy. It is, however, recommended that alcohol service be noted on any advertising for events for which it has been contracted so that potential attendees may make informed choices.
Similarly, sexually explicit/suggestive marketing is not appropriate for open-to-the-public social events held on the Skidmore campus. Sponsors should remain aware that any advertising for events creates a public image, not only for the sponsoring group and its individual members but also for the institution as a whole and all Skidmore students on campus. Please be good stewards of your own and Skidmore’s collective image and reputation.
When designing your event promotions, think thoughtfully about the impact your advertising will have on the nature of your event, the safety and well-being of your peers and the overall impression of our community. Who are you appealing to and what expectations are you creating? Remember that the Internet can be used to disperse information rapidly, incompletely and far beyond your preferred audience. Even paper flyers can circulate well beyond your intentions. A good rule of thumb for advertising is to avoid using content, images or mixed-message slogans that you, your friends or family would be embarrassed or concerned to see posted on the front door of your home.
All event advertising must bear the name of the sponsoring organization and the accurate admission policy information, including the admission cost, an “ID required” notice and any other criteria set for the event. For popular events, it is advisable to note: “event may sell out: come early” or similar.
Your event publicity should state clearly if it is an ADA-compliant accessible event and whether or not anyone may be contacted for special-needs arrangements (e.g., welcoming accommodations for guests who are blind, hearing impaired, mobility impaired, etc.)
Be sure to review the College’s Event Publicity Guidelines.
Party and Large Event Staffing
The cornerstone of responsible party or large event hosting begins with adequate staffing. If your organization wants to host one of these events, you must provide sufficient responsible staffing for the comfort and safety of your guests, the welfare of the general campus community and to ensure compliance with all campus policies, and federal, state and local laws. Typically, organization members constitute the working staff of a party or large event. It is also possible to enlist the assistance of another MHC organization, in exchange for goodwill, payment to the organization and/or in trade for services. (A written agreement is strongly encouraged; for example: “We’ll staff four of the eight people required for your party today; you’ll contribute four staff for our party next month.”)
Serving as event staff is an important, responsible and official college role. Event staff must remain sober and on duty throughout their shift. The club sponsoring the event remains responsible for all event staff, even if they have been recruited from another club. The host club must supply the event captains (more info on event captains below). All names of event staff must be listed on the event staffing schedule (obtained from the Office of Leadership Activities). Below are minimum standards required of all event hosts. If you cannot guarantee the required staffing throughout your event, you should not plan to host the event.
Event captains (or event co-captains, if your club prefers) are required, as designated "host-managers" of the event, responsible for communicating with Campus Safety, Dining Services, Leadership Activities and other college staff and ensuring that all doors and entry station are fully staffed at all times. Event captains must be members of the sponsoring club. They are required to monitor the event for safety and compliance & bring any safety concerns to the attention of Campus Safety. In the event of a sponsor staffing shortage, the event captain must immediately recruit sufficient staff to meet stated minimums or the event cannot proceed and/or must be ended. The event captain on duty cannot be one of the designated door or ticket-station staff for more than a few minutes, as they need to be mobile to oversee all aspects of the event (event captains may substitute briefly for door and/or ticket station staff to allow them reasonable bathroom breaks). If your club has designated co-captains, at least one of the two captains must be present and on duty at all times.
Event captains are encouraged to meet with a professional staff member in Leadership Activities approximately two weeks prior to the event.
Event Staffing Minimums
- Staffing of other approved venues must be discussed in advance with the Leadership Activities professional staff.
- All doors and ticket stations must be staffed a minimum of 20 minutes prior to the advertised start time.
Failure to staff your event according to the prescribed standards, or to adhere to any of the other outlined campus event policies, will result in early termination of the event and/or campus sanctions for the sponsoring organization. (See below for more information.)
All working staff must commit to remaining on site at their post, in compliance with Skidmore's code of conduct, and must be sober prior to and throughout the duration of their shift. It is inexcusable to have intoxicated persons representing your organization and the college.
All on-duty event staff are encouraged to be clearly marked with badges, T-shirts or other club-provided labels.
Be sure your event staff is aware of the best entrances and exits for guests with mobility issues who might be using wheelchairs or crutches or require special parking considerations. See Creating Inclusive Events for more information.
Entry Procedure: Exit Doors
Event staff working any designated exit doors are responsible for maintaining the doors as "exit only" for the event. No one, including club members, may enter through these doors with the exception of the on-duty event captains and Skidmore professional staff (Campus Safety, Dining Services, etc.) working the event. Politely direct guests back to the entry.
Consider a training workshop for event security for students who will be working these events. The Campus Safety officer in charge of the event will brief all student workers about appropriate safety and emergency procedures at the pre-event meeting.
Unless other arrangements are made before the performance, no one other than performers and College officials shall be allowed on the stage during the performance. Any event that does not adhere to this policy may be terminated.
Barriers may have to be used at some events to keep the crowd a safe distance from the stage.
Dereliction of Duty Sanctions
Failure to staff your event according to the prescribed standards, or to adhere to any of the other outlined campus event policies, will result in early termination of the event and a possible loss of club social event programming privileges in the future.
A Skidmore student club is only as strong and reliable as its weakest member or worker. Ultimately, it is the sponsor/host who is held responsible for any shortcomings in its event staffing. If an individual or individuals abandon any staffing post, the club must immediately provide replacements. There are no acceptable excuses for failure to maintain minimum staffing. Therefore it is wise to plan for several dedicated backup staff in case of delay, illness or dereliction of duty by others. In advance, optimally during initial planning and reinforced throughout the process, make sure everyone in your club agrees to contribute to the event you are sponsoring. As hosts, you accept these tasks and responsibilities.
The host club retains responsibility for all event-related staffing and protocol. Individual Skidmore students remain responsible for their own law abiding and college policy compliant behavior, and are subject to the sanctions administered by the dean of students offices, as outlined in the College Policies section of the Student Handbook (found online under "Dean of Students").
Additionally, performers should be advised that encouraging student behavior that violates College policy is not be permitted. For example, performers who encourage students to engage in illegal or unsafe behavior (e.g., drug use or rushing the stage) may have their show terminated by College officials. For example, performers who encourage students to smoke marijuana or rush the stage may have their show terminated by College officials.
Professional staff, in conjunction with College Facilities and appropriate College risk mangers, encourage all students to use good judgment and take all necessary precautions when planning events. At times, students may be asked to volunteer to, but not limited to, move furniture, break down a stage, and clean up after an event. Should a student have physical limitations and/or does not feel comfortable completing the task at hand, once the professional staff member has been advised, accommodations will be made that are within the student’s abilities. Students are encouraged to make a professional staff member aware of any and all concerns related to maintaining a healthy and safe college environment for all.