Event-Specific Procedures & Policies

Below are procedures and policies that impact some of our most popular types of events. SAO Handbook with Fiscal Policies in Review for the full Student Activities handbook.

Alcohol at Student Organization Programs

  • Register your event via OrgSync.  Indicate that you will be having alcohol at your program and you will be prompted to complete an Alcohol Event Form.  These Event forms and any financial forms associated with the event must be submitted and approved by your treasurer and advisor at least four weeks prior to your event.  If you are contracting a space, this timeline is six weeks.
  • Student organizations may request permission to have alcohol served at their functions, provided that the function will be held in a facility which is licensed for the service of alcohol. In addition, the license holder must hold all responsibility for checking IDs, serving alcohol, and adhering to the laws of the Commonwealth. Alcohol may not be the primary focus of the program. Nothing in this policy limits the right of the University to discipline individuals or the sponsoring organization for misconduct or violations of alcohol laws and policy.
  • Organizations are not permitted to have an open bar at any student organization-sponsored event.
  • Undergraduate student organizations may use organization funds for the costs associated with the service of alcohol, such as service fees, but may not use organization funds for the purchase of alcohol. Generally, permission to have alcohol served at events is not extended to undergraduate student organizations whose average membership age is below 21 (the legal age to consume alcohol in the Commonwealth). Exceptions to this policy may be made by the Assistant Dean and Director of Student Activities, provided all policies related to events with alcohol are met and alcohol is served in a restricted, separate area.
  • Any graduate group that is organizing an event with alcohol must adhere to the following policies:
    • For Small Events Off Campus (generally under 100 attendees): Register the event via OrgSync and submit payment via the Treasury if the group is buying drink tickets and/or food. If you are buying drink tickets, proof of this service must accompany the paperwork. An Alcohol Event Form is not required. A chaperone is not required unless otherwise determined by the Assistant Dean and Director of Student Activities. The hosting group is not required to provide food but the venue must have food and non-alcoholic drinks available for attendees to order on their own.
    • For Large Events Off Campus (generally over 100 attendees and/or a contract is signed to use  the venue/space): Register the event via OrgSync and you will be prompted to complete the Alcohol Event Form. A chaperone is required. Light food and non-alcoholic beverages are required and must be purchased by your group as the hosting organization. The payment and contract must be processed  through Student Activities with all necessary documentation including details of the food being purchased and drink tickets if applicable.
    • For Events On Campus: Register the event via OrgSync and submit payment via the Treasury for Catering on the Charles.  You will be prompted to complete the Alcohol Event Form for events with over 100 attendees. All beverage and food service must be provided through Catering on the Charles. A chaperone may not be required at small events (typically under 100 attendees) subject to the determination of the Assistant Dean and Director of Student Activities. A BU Police Officer is only necessary when the expected attendance is 100 people or more. This policy does not apply to the BU Pub during normal business hours.


Chaperones are required on all undergraduate student organization programs that involve the rental of a 12-passenger vehicle, alcohol, the rental of off-campus facilities, or international travel.

Chaperones must be full-time exempt staff. In most cases, student organizations cover the chaperone’s costs.

Conflict of Interest

  • To avoid conflicts of interest, individuals within a student organization or members of their family cannot benefit financially from services they provide to the group. Additionally, student organizations and their members may not procure the services of an outside vendor if a member of the student organization or a member of his or her family would benefit financially from the arrangement. In determination that no conflict of interest exists in a particular setting, exceptions may be granted by the Director of Student Activities based on a written request for the waiver/exemption/determination which sets forth and fully and accurately describes the particular relationship/conflict.
  • Donations to a high school’s athletics program, or otherwise assisting with fundraising for a high school’s athletic program by an institution, is in violation of NCAA recruiting regulations. This includes all institutional departments or groups.

Contracts for Speakers, Entertainers & Services

  • Boston University policy requires that all agreements between a student organization and an outside individual or company be made in writing via a contract issued by Student Activities. Boston University contracts always take precedence over any other contracts or riders.
  • To begin the contract process send the performer the Performer Contract.  Remember, once the performer completes this form, your student group is obligated to pay the performer, even if your event is cancelled.  Make sure you have a space reserved and enough money to pay the performer before completing this form.  Once you received the contract back, submit payment via the Treasury, uploading the contract so it can be signed by the Boston University designee.
  • Contracts are not needed for Boston University faculty and staff. University faculty and staff may not be paid for providing any service to the organization.
  • Students may not sign contracts.  The University Treasurer will sign all contracts when paperwork is submitted correctly through Student Activities.
  • In cases of events involving lectures and/or performances by Boston University staff or faculty, student groups are asked to complete a Letter of Agreement request to confirm the details of the event with the guest.  This form is available when the event is registered via OrgSync.

Vehicle Rental

  • Vehicle should be rented from approved University vendors only.  A list of vendors can be found in OrgSync.  Keep in mind most rental company’s have restrictions on the age of drivers.
  • All drivers, including chaperones, must read and sign the “Tips for Van Drivers” booklet available in our office and complete an online course.  Please visit SAO at least two weeks prior to your trip to complete this process.
  • All drivers of rented vehicles must also submit a Driver Release Form to ensure their driving records is in compliance with University standards.  Please complete this form at least three weeks prior to your trip.


Please consult the Director/Associate Director of Student Activities to be sure that your student group is in compliance with the following University policies:

  • If a student organization wishes to co-sponsor a program with another recognized Boston University student organization or a Boston University department, all arrangements and financial transactions must be completed through one account only. Necessary funds must be transferred to that organization in advance of program approval.
  • If a student organization wishes to co-sponsor an event with an organization outside of Boston University, all arrangements and financial transactions must be completed through the student organization’s Student Activities Business Office account. All profits or proceeds from the event must go into the student organization’s account and cannot be used as a donation or profit split with the outside organization. In the case that the outside organization is a registered 501(c)3 with nonprofit status, the student organization may make a donation based on sales, provided they take the proper steps beforehand with Student Activities.
  • The registered student organization assumes responsibility for all aspects of the event, and must take measures to ensure that all policies and regulations of Boston University are followed, especially by outside organizations or vendors. To assist with this:
    • The recognized student organization must specify one point person for the event who will act as a liaison between Boston University/Student Activities and the outside organization.
    • Any arrangements between the student organization and the outside organization must be submitted in writing to, and approved by, Student Activities in advance of the program.  You can upload this document in your Event Request in OrgSync.  Make sure to document outlines what the outside organization is providing and what the student organization is providing.
    • All sponsorship from outside vendors must not conflict with contracts already held by the University itself.  Contact sao@bu.edu to review the sponsorship(s) you are seeking prior to committing to any outside vendors.

Failure to comply with the policies above can result in the cancellation of the event in question.

Non-BU Guest Policy

  • The guest policy for having non-BU students attending a student organization event is two non-BU students per one BU ID. However, the policy will be determined on a case-by-case basis by Student Activities staff.
  • As with all University functions, individuals and organizations will be held responsible for the conduct of their guests at University events. Organizations that violate University policies jeopardize their privilege to host events.
  • All guests must have college IDs or be over 18 years of age with proof of age.
  • Organizations must arrange in advance to receive permission to allow more than two guests per Boston University ID.


  • Boston University does not encourage the use of personal vehicles for any student organization business or activity. If a personal vehicle is used in such an instance, the vehicle owner’s insurance would provide coverage in the event of any accident.
  • All students traveling as part of a student organization program must submit an electronic waiver administered through Eventbrite rsvp. to Student Activities at least one business day before departure. Eventbrite pages require two weeks to be set up.
  • The organization must also submit a list of names and BU ID numbers of all students traveling.
  • Any time an undergraduate student organization is renting a van larger than a seven-passenger capacity, a chaperone must attend and adhere to the chaperone requirements. Graduate students over 25 years old may drive a larger van without a chaperone.
  • For air travel arrangements, all flights should be booked using Shorts Travel. Please meet with an Activities Consultant for information on this process.
  • International travel requires extensive review and approval. Any group planning a trip outside the U.S. must complete an Event Registration in OrgSync four months prior to their intended travel date.

Ticket Sales

Online Tickets: Eventbrite

For events in most campus venues, tickets will be created and sold online using the Eventbrite ticketing system. All student organizations are required to sell their tickets through Eventbrite. Ticket sales must be set up through the Student Activities Business Office. No alternate methods of online ticket sales will be permitted. The cost of using Eventbrite is $0.50 per ticket sold and is charged after the completion of the event. There is no charge for using Eventbrite for events that are not charging admission.

  • Complete the Online Ticket Sales form no less than five business days before the first day of ticket sales. Images and event descriptions indicated on the form must also be submitted to saotix@gmail.com by this deadline. Failure to follow deadlines may result in a $50 fine.
  • Tickets will go on sale at the date and time requested.
  • Revenue from ticket sales will be deposited into the student organization’s account within approximately 10 business days after the event.


Metcalf Ballroom

For events taking place in the Metcalf Ballroom, tickets may be purchased in person the evening of the event at Activities Information on the second floor of the GSU. Credit cards will be accepted, but not cash.

Other Venues

Groups may pick up a Cash Collection Bag at SABO if they wish to sell tickets at the door. General admission tickets will be provided and groups may sell up to the venue capacity. The Eventbrite system is currently unavailable for door sales at venues other than the Metcalf Ballroom. Venmo is not permitted to be used for ticket sales or as a payment method.