Stanford University welcomes events that provide for the free exchange of ideas and knowledge in support of the university mission. Such events present important and memorable opportunities for members of our community to engage in stimulating intellectual exchanges.
The university also has an institutional interest in ensuring that these events are able to be held successfully while not impacting the daily business functions of the university overall, compromising the safety of our community, resulting in burdensome financial obligations, or having other impacts that may interfere with the ability of the university to accomplish its research and teaching mission.
Stanford Event Organizer
All events held on Stanford property must have an on-campus, Stanford-affiliated event organizer that is actively involved in the planning, management, and event content. Members of the campus community who are organizing events must review this policy and work with the designated university administrative offices before accepting or extending any event invitations, securing space, or confirming and publicizing events. Event organizers must allow up to four weeks for university evaluation of proposed events.
Types of events
Examples of events that may require security or otherwise involve extraordinary use of campus resources could include, but are not limited to:
- Visits by heads-of-state or currently seated government officials
- Recognizable or well-known celebrity speakers
- Music concerts, film or television events
- Events attended by large crowds (500+)
- Events that may draw significant attention from the news media
- Major athletics events
- Events with potential for disruption
- Events with demonstrated history of harm to persons or property
Consult the relevant contacts below to determine whether your event may require security or otherwise involve extraordinary use of campus resources. In addition to this policy, student-organized events must fulfill all requirements stated on the Student Activities and Leadership (SAL) website.
Core university administrative offices and initial contacts
Non-student organized events (school, department, institute, head-of-state visits, major conferences):
Contact the Office of Special Events & Protocol (OSEP)
Student organized events:
Contact Student Activities and Leadership (SAL) in the Office of Student Affairs, which will in turn work with OSEP on event evaluation.
OSEP and SAL collaborate with various university departments for input that includes but is not limited to:
- Press, film and television events: University Communications
- International faculty researchers or government ministers: Office of International Affairs
- U.S. government officials: Office of Public Affairs
- Office of Risk Management
- Department of Public Safety
- Department of Athletics
Along with ensuring that all funds are available to pay for the logistical planning related to putting on an event, for the safety and security of our community, the university must determine and finalize all security arrangements as a condition of event approval. This includes all events in university facilities on university property, with no exceptions. An event request may be denied if a Stanford Event Organizer cannot confirm all the funds required to cover estimated security costs.
Sponsoring academic departments, schools and units are responsible for underwriting all costs associated with events, including the cost of security, facilities, equipment, ticketing, transportation, parking, receptions, meals, gifts and discretionary staff resources that are an extraordinary burden. Charitable contributions for events may be permissible pending university approval.
Recognized student organizations are responsible for the full cost of their events, but may offset up to 50 percent of the event cost through off-campus fundraising, provided such efforts are consistent with university policy and done with prior university approval. All sponsors of events requiring security must confirm ability to fund events and provide 50 percent of costs in advance, before extending or accepting an invitation, publicizing or confirming events. The university reserves the right to recover unanticipated and incurred event-related costs.
Obligations of university event organizers
University event organizers are responsible for adhering to and complying with all laws and university policies when organizing an event.
The event must be directly related to the goals and purpose of the Stanford event organizer's organization.
University departments, schools and institutes (non-student organizations)
- Banners, Fliers, Chalking & Posters Policy (OSEP)
- Campus Disruptions (OGC)
- Commercial and Non-Profit Event Activity, Unrelated Business Activity (Admin Guide)
- Event Planning Guide (OSEP)
- Ownership and Use of Stanford Trademarks and Images (Business Affairs and University Communications)
- Political, Campaign and Lobbying (Admin Guide)
- Protection of Minors (Admin Guide)
- Standard Insurance Requirements for Events (OSEP)
- Social Media Guidelines (University Communications)
- Stanford Event Organizer Requirements (OSEP)
- University Events (Admin Guide)
- Workplace Violence (Admin Guide)
Common university venues*
- Main Quad & Memorial Court Policy (OSEP)
- Memorial Auditorium Policy (OSEP)
- Memorial Church (ORL)
- Use of the Oval Policy (OSEP)
- White Memorial Plaza (SAL)
*Other venues also have policies, such as Bing Concert Hall, Frost Amphitheater, Cantor Art Center, and venues managed by the Athletics department.