University Facilities Use Policy
The primary purpose of the use of all buildings and grounds owned, leased, or operated by Washington and Lee University (hereinafter collectively referred to as "University Facilities") is to support the University's educational mission. University Facilities are primarily used for academic courses, educational and University-sponsored events, and programs or activities for University students. The use of University Facilities by external groups or for events that are not affiliated with a University department or group may also be permitted in accordance with this Policy.
This Policy is intended to set forth the processes, procedures, and requirements for the use of University Facilities and to facilitate the efficient, safe, and orderly use of such facilities and grounds, consistent with the University's educational mission. As a private university, Washington and Lee can and does impose conditions for the use of all University Facilities. Individuals or groups not affiliated with the University (including campus visitors) may not use any University Facilities as a platform for their own personal or political displays or statements. Permission given to any individual or group to use any University facilities does not imply endorsement, sponsorship, or support by the University of the views, opinions, programs, or activities of the users, speakers, presenters, or organizers.
This policy applies to all individuals and groups who wish to use any University Facilities.1
Event means any planned gathering of individuals or groups, including, but not limited to, performances, forums, rallies, dances, speakers, conferences, concerts, lectures, social functions, celebrations, protests, tailgates, and other presentations. For purposes of this Policy, the term Event shall include Major Events, unless otherwise specified.
External Group means any group, organization, person, or program not directly affiliated with the University. For purposes of this Policy, individuals who are employed by or affiliated with the University (e.g., alumni) shall be considered External Groups if they seek to use the University's buildings or facilities in an individual capacity or as a representative of a third party organization. Additionally, student groups or organizations that are not Recognized Student Organizations shall be considered External Groups for purposes of this Policy.
Internal Group means any University department, program, or Recognized Student Organization requesting to use a University Facility for its own purposes. For purposes of clarification, a University department, program, or Recognized Student Organization is not considered an Internal Group if it is requesting the use of a University Facility on behalf of or for the use of an External Group.
Major Event means any Event where one or more of the following applies:
- Over 100 people are anticipated to attend the Event;
- Public Safety determines that the Event is likely to impact campus safety or security, or require coordination with local law enforcement or other external agencies;
- The Event is likely to interfere with other University business, functions, and/or activities; or
- Alcohol is intended to be served (other than strictly for religious purposes).
The following activities are expressly excluded from the definition of Major Event for purposes of this Policy:
- Academic courses offered by the University;
- Meetings of the Board of Trustees of the University;
- NCAA-sanctioned athletic events and other University athletic team-related gatherings or events;
- University intramural and club sports events;
- Faculty meetings;
- Student Body Hearings of the Executive Committee;
- University Commencement, Baccalaureate, and Convocations;
- Vigils, forums, or other Events for the primary benefit of the University community which, by their nature, need to be held in a timely manner, provided, however, that such Events must be authorized in advance by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students (for Events held for the primary benefit of the University's students) or by the Provost (for all other Events);
- Events held for the primary benefit of the University's students that are purely social in nature and that are covered by, and subject to the registration requirements of, the Social Event Policy for Residential Areas;
- University alumni and parent/guardian events, provided that they are planned, organized, and supervised by University personnel acting within the scope of their employment; and
- Orientations or other meetings or presentations regularly held or conducted as part of University business operations;
Recognized Student Organization means a student organization that has been recognized by the University's Executive Committee of the Student Body, the Student Bar Associations, and/or Student Affairs.
Sponsored Group means an External Group sponsored by an Internal Group while meeting the following conditions or requirements:
- The Sponsored Group and the associated use of the University Facilities is consistent with the mission of the University; and
- The Internal Group has direct involvement with planning and execution of the Event.
For all Events involving Sponsored Groups, the Internal Group that is serving as the sponsor must take on the following responsibilities:
- Serve as the sole point of contact for all other University department(s) and individual(s) providing support for the Event;
- Coordinate all arrangements related to the Event with the relevant University department(s) and individual(s);
- Ensure that a representative of the Internal Group that is serving as the sponsor is onsite at all times throughout the Event; and
- Ensure compliance with this Policy and all other University policies, procedures, and requirements applicable to the Event.
All uses of University Facilities are subject to request and approval consistent with this Policy. Some University Facilities may also have additional policies and/or guidelines that all users must comply with and/or follow. The University has the sole discretion to approve or deny the use of any University Facility for any reason.
The use of all University Facilities must comply with the following requirements:
Internal Groups and Sponsored Groups may request to use a wide range of University Facilities for their Events. External Groups may only request to use the following University Facilities:
|University Facility||Facility Contact|
|Evans Hall (Dining Room, Washington Room, East Lobby, West lobby)||Zach Funkhouser, Director for Catering Services, firstname.lastname@example.org, 540-458-8698|
|Hillel House||Margaret Shapiro Haskett, Director of Jewish Life, email@example.com, 540-458-8443|
|Courthouse Meeting Room (2 S. Main 114)||Lori Oliver, Program Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, 540-458-8740|
|Lenfest Center for the Arts (Johnson Theater, Keller Theater, Wilson Concert Hall, Kamen Gallery, Lykes Atrium)||Rena Cromer, Box Office Coordinator, email@example.com, 540-458-8001|
|Sydney Lewis Hall/Law School (Moot Court Room, Faculty Lounge, Classroom B)||Wendy Rains, Administrative Assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org, 540-458-8993|
|Liberty Hall Ruins||Kelsey Goodwin, Director of Student Activities, email@example.com, 540-458-5000|
|University Chapel (for weddings only)||Denise Gorsky, Wedding Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 540-258-1252|
|Athletics Facilities (for athletics events only)||Wanda Scott, Administrative Assistant II, email@example.com, 540-458-8672|
|Belfield||Sue Woodruff, Special Events Assistant/Guest House Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 540-458-8200|
|Morris House||Sue Woodruff, Special Events Assistant/Guest House Coordinator, email@example.com, 540-458-8200|
2. Information Required for Requests
All requests to use University Facilities must be made in writing, accurately identify the individual or group making the request, provide an explicit description of the proposed Event, provide the expected number of Event attendees or participants, and provide information on any logistical needs required for the Event. For Internal Groups and Sponsored Groups, these requirements may be met by requesting the location through 25Live, the University's online space reservation system, if it is available for the requested location, and providing the required information within that system. For External Groups, requests should be directed to the Facility Contact for the specific University Facility being requested.
3. Timing of Requests
A. For Internal Groups and Sponsored Groups
Requests made by an Internal Group or a Sponsored Group to use University Facilities for Major Events must be made at least four (4) weeks prior to the date of the Major Event. Requests made by an Internal Group or a Sponsored Group to use University Facilities for all other Events may be made at any time. Use of University Facilities by a Sponsored Group shall be limited to once per term except for routine meetings or small events that Public Safety has determined do not pose a health and safety risk or disrupt operations, such as athletics, performing arts, or after-school programs, and club or board meetings of community or other groups.
B. For External Groups
Requests to use University Facilities by External Groups for Major Events must be made at least six (6) weeks prior to the date of the Major Event. Requests to use University Facilities by External Groups for all other Events must be made at least two (2) weeks prior to the date of the Event. Use of University Facilities by an External Group shall be limited to once per term except for routine meetings or small events that Public Safety has determined do not pose a health and safety risk or disrupt operations, such as athletics, performing arts, or after-school programs, and club or board meetings of community or other groups.
Additionally, the schedule below sets forth the earliest dates for External Groups to request to use University Facilities other than University Chapel and the Lenfest Center for the Arts:
- For Events during Fall Term – April 15
- For Events during Winter Term – November 15
- For Events during Spring Term – February 15
- For Events during the summer or during other breaks/periods while classes are not in session – no earlier than one (1) year prior to the date of the Event
Requests by External Groups to use University Chapel may be made no earlier than two (2) years prior to the date of the Event for which use of University Chapel is being requested. Additionally, requests by External Groups to use the Lenfest Center for the Arts may be made no earlier than January 1 prior to the academic year in which the Event subject to the request would take place if the request is approved by the University.
4. Evaluation of Requests
In scheduling the use of University Facilities, academic courses shall be given the highest priority. Once academic courses have been accommodated, the use of University Facilities shall be prioritized as follows:
- Internal Groups seeking to use University Facilities for the purposes of carrying out University business;
- Internal Groups seeking to use University Facilities for a purpose consistent with the mission of the University;
- Internal Groups seeking to use University Facilities for any other legitimate purpose;
- Sponsored Groups seeking to use University Facilities for a purpose consistent with the mission of the University;
- Sponsored Groups seeking to use University Facilities for any other legitimate purpose;
- External Groups seeking to use University Facilities for purposes consistent with the mission of the University; and
- External Groups seeking to use University Facilities for any other legitimate purpose.
The University will evaluate all requests to use University Facilities received by External Groups based on the following criteria:
- Compatibility with the University's mission;
- Potential for economic enhancement;
- Opportunity to support University alumni and friends;
- Development of community relations;
- Compatibility with maintenance and construction requirements; and
- Potential for disruption to University operations.
There is no set timeline for the evaluation of requests to use University Facilities. The University will evaluate and respond to requests in its sole discretion. Pending requests may be deferred for any length of time or for any reason.
All reservations for the Use of University Facilities must be made using 25Live, the University's online space reservation system, when available. For specific locations that do not use 25Live, reservations must be made in accordance with the policies, procedures, and practices applicable to the specific location. External Groups must contact the Facility Contact listed in Section 1 of this Policy for the specific University Facility being requested in order to request a reservation.
The facility usage fees for University Facilities will vary by the specific Facility being used. Internal Groups and Sponsored Groups will not generally be charged a facility usage fee, but may be responsible for other costs associated with the Event, as determined by the University in its sole discretion. External Groups using University Facilities may be charged a facility usage fee depending on the type or nature of the Event and/or the Facility being used. Depending on the specific University Facility, a deposit may be required. External Groups will also be responsible for all other costs associated with the Event, including, but not limited to, parking attendants, security, audio visual services, catering, custodial services, and technical equipment.
7. Written Agreements
The University requires all External Groups to sign a written agreement to use University Facilities. Once a request to use a specific University Facility is made and approved, the Facility Contact listed in Section 1 of this Policy for the specific University Facility will provide a written agreement to the External Group. All written agreements must be signed by an authorized representative of the External Group and returned to the Facility Contact for the specific University Facility at least two (2) weeks prior to the Event if the Event is not a Major Event and at least four (4) weeks prior to the Event if the Event is a Major Event.
Internal Groups will generally not be required to sign a written agreement. Sponsored Groups may be required to sign a written agreement if requested by the University.
8. Event Registration
In addition to a written agreement, the University requires all External Groups to submit an External Group Event Registration Form. For Major Events, External Groups must submit the form at least four (4) weeks prior to the date of the Major Event. For all other External Group Events, the form must be submitted at least two (2) weeks prior to the date of the Event.
Internal Groups and Sponsored Groups are required to submit an Internal/Sponsored Group Event Registration Form only for Major Events. The form must be submitted at least two (2) weeks prior to the date of the Major Event.
9. Signage and Promotional Displays
No signage or promotional displays related to Events may be affixed to any University building. All signage and promotional displays related to Events must be approved in advance as part of the Event Registration. All student groups (Internal, Sponsored, and External as defined herein) must additionally receive approval for any signage or promotional displays with the Director of Student Activities in advance. All non-student External Groups must receive approval for signage or promotional displays from the specific University facility being requested. All signage or promotional displays related to an Event must identify the individual/group responsible for the signage/promotional display and must be removed within two hours of the conclusion of the Event.
10. Parking and Security
Due to the size and nature of certain Events, concerns relating to the health and safety of our community and the security of University property may arise. To address these concerns, the Director of Public Safety will review all Event Registration Forms and assess the Event to determine whether the Event requires parking attendants and/or security. In making a determination as to parking attendants and/or security needs, the Director of Public Safety may consider the following factors:
- The proposed location of the Event;
- The anticipated number of attendees;
- The time of day that the Event is taking place;
- The date and day of the week of the Event;
- The proximity of the Event to other activities or locations that may interfere, obstruct, or lessen the effectiveness of the security measures being implemented;
- The resources necessary to secure the Event;
- The anticipated weather conditions;
- The anticipated duration of the Event; and
- Any similar considerations relevant to the assessment of security needs.
If the Director of Public Safety determines that the Event requires parking attendants and/or security, the Director of Public Safety will notify the primary contact designated on the Event Registration Form. External Groups must pay all costs associated with the provision of these services. For University-Affiliated Groups and Sponsored Groups, the Director of Public Safety will determine how any costs associated with parking attendants and/or security will be allocated, in his/her sole discretion.
11. Compliance with Laws and Policies
All Events must comply with all applicable laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations of any federal, state, or local government or administrative agency, and no Event attendee should make, display or distribute any statement directed to incite or produce imminent violation of the law on any property leased, owned, or otherwise controlled by the University. Additionally, all Events must strictly comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, which may be reviewed at http://go.wlu.edu/policies. Such policies and procedures include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Alcohol Service Guidelines
- Computing Resources, Network and Email Use Policy
- Confidentiality Policy
- Copyright Guidelines for Showing Movies and Other Audiovisual Works
- Sexual Discrimination and Misconduct Policy
- Smoking Policy
- Solicitation/Sale of Goods and Services
- University Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Other Than Sex
- Weapons and Prohibited Items Policy
All users of University Facilities shall be fully responsible for any damage, loss, or destruction of University property that occurs as a result of an Event, ordinary wear and tear excepted.
No Internal Group, Sponsored Group, or External Group using University Facilities for any Event shall discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran's status, or genetic information.
A. Insurance Requirements
For Major Events, External Groups must provide and maintain, at their own expense and at all times during the use of any University Facilities, comprehensive general liability insurance in the amount not less than One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00) per occurrence. Depending on the nature of the Major Event, the University reserves the right to require that the insurance policy contain no exclusion for sexual molestation. The University and its officers, trustees, employees, agents, and volunteers must be named as Additional Insured under such insurance policy and the External Group must provide the University with a certificate of insurance reflecting the coverage and this designation at least ten (10) calendar days prior to the Event. The University reserves the right to require External Groups to provide insurance coverage for other Events, in the University's sole discretion. If these requirements are not met, the University Facility may not be used. For Internal and Sponsored Groups, the University will determine whether any additional insurance will be required and how such costs will be allocated.
External Groups are responsible for insuring their own property and any business income/extra expense exposure. Under no circumstances will the University be liable for any loss or damage to any property of the External Group.
B. Special Event Liability Insurance Option
To assist External Groups in meeting the general liability insurance requirements of this Policy, the University provides access to Special Event Liability Insurance, a cost effective insurance option for all External Groups who have been authorized to use University Facilities and who do not maintain their own insurance coverage that meets the University's specifications. Please note that this option only provides general liability insurance. Any other coverage required by this policy must still be provided by the External Group.
This Special Event Liability Insurance, which has been vetted by the University and meets the University's insurance requirements, is provided by an independent insurance company and the University does not receive any remuneration for this insurance. The application process can be completed online. Once the application process is completed and submitted, the matter will be referred to the insurance company who will then (in a timely manner) notify the individual listed as the contact for the External Group via email that a quote has been generated and is available for review and purchase. Upon acceptance of the event by the insurance company and the payment of the applicable premium by the External Group, the applicant can expect to receive the coverage.
To apply for a quote, please visit the following website: https://www.TotalEventInsurance.com/app/Customer/CustomerLogin.aspx?bid=jjrk8qsM69c$, click the "Apply for an Instant Quote" Tab, and select the "Special Event Liability" option. Select either the option for a Short Term Organizer/ Promoter or Short Term Exhibitor/Vendor, as appropriate, and complete the process for filling out an application for a quote.
Please note that in all cases, whether using the Special Event Liability Insurance option or another insurance provider that meets the University's requirements, the University REQUIRES that the policy name the University, its trustees, officers, employees, agents, and volunteers as Additional Insured. In the application for the Special Event Liability Insurance, External Groups MUST complete this section where prompted. The address for the University that should be used on the additional insured page is: Washington and Lee University, 204 W. Washington Street, Lexington, VA 24450.
Proof of insurance, as well as a certificate of insurance naming the University as Additional Insured, must be submitted to the University at least ten (10) calendar days prior to the Event.
Portions of this Policy were adapted from the following policies of other institutions, which served as valuable resources in the development of this Policy:
- Davidson College's Facility Use Policy for Non-College Groups
- Haverford College's Facility Use Policy
- Ohio Wesleyan University's Facilities Use Policy
- University of California, Berkeley's Major Events Hosted by Non-Departmental Users (Interim)
- University of North Carolina Wilmington's Facilities Use Policy
1Notwithstanding the foregoing, this policy shall not apply to camps and conferences which are approved by the Director of Special Events or his/her designee pursuant to separate internal practices and guidance.
Revised May 3, 2021 to add provisions re signage and additional insurance for internal and sponsored group events; previously revised September 18, 2018.
Revised July 29, 2021 to change the name of Lee Chapel per bylaw revision adopted June 2021.
Revised August 17, 2021 to add provisions re timing of events and compliance with the law.