Event Planning Resources
Student organization events at UT Austin can have a variety of requirements and needs based on the specifics of each event. We can help plan successful events through event consultations, relevant policy review, and resources like our event planning guide. Before planning an on-campus event, student organizations should review the Student Organization Responsibilities for Campus Events (pdf).
Event Planning Consultations
All general-purpose classroom and outdoor space reservation requests must complete a required event consultation with Student Activities at least 14 days before the event date. That is why these space reservation requests have guidelines requiring request submission at least 21 days in advance of the event. If a consultation is not completed at least 14 days in advance, the request may be cancelled or rescheduled for an alternative date. If the proposed event includes food, guest speakers, more than 10 attendees, and/or needs a work order, rental equipment or other types of structures, plan to complete an event consultation at least 21 days in advance.
The reservation request process includes Student Activities staff contacting the submitting student organization officer to schedule an event consultation. Alternatively, schedule a meeting to choose a time to speak with our staff on Microsoft Teams.
During event consultations, Student Activities staff review any additional steps required by the Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities or other university policies for the proposed event. Event consultations can include referrals to other campus resources. Possible referrals include, but are not limited to:
- University of Texas Police Department for event security.
- Parking and Transportation Services for parking permits.
- Environmental Health and Safety for food distribution and live animal permits.
- Fire Prevention Services for approval for use of open flames and tents.
- Office of Emergency Preparedness.
Event Planning Guide and Forms
Event Planning Guide
Use this easy Event Planning Guide (pdf) to help plan a successful student organization event.
Sales Tax Permit Form
Use this sales tax permit form when planning for a student organization to sell goods or services (including ticket sales for an event).
Weapons Approval Form
A weapons approval form is required for any student or student organization wanting to possess, use or display firearms, facsimile firearms, ammunition, explosives or other weapons on property owned or controlled by UT Austin.
West Mall Space Map
West Mall Space Map (pdf)
West Mall Rally Space Sound Equipment (unavailable)
The West Mall Rally Space sound equipment is normally available for rent to student organizations who have reserved the West Mall Rally Space. However, at this time the equipment is unavailable due to repairs. To check out the sound equipment, a student organization officer must request the key from the Student Organization Center on the day of the reservation, pay the $10 fee, and leave their UT ID card until the key is returned. After the event, the sound system must be locked and the key must be returned to the Student Organization Center. The sound equipment includes an audio jack, one microphone, one microphone cord, and one microphone stand.
Common Student Organization Event Policies
According to existing policy and the Regents' Rules and Regulations, student organizations may not invite the public at large or groups unaffiliated with the university to their on-campus events. This does not apply to academic or administrative units. With approval of the sponsoring academic or administrative unit, specific events of sponsored student organizations may be exempt. A registered student organization event co-sponsored by an academic or administrative unit may also be exempt.
Sound is considered amplified when the noise is produced or made louder by any electric, electronic, mechanical or motor-powered means. Amplified sound is permitted on weekdays in nine areas on campus, with approval from Student Activities staff. The areas in which amplified sound may be used on weekdays include:
- The West Mall Amplified Sound Area (11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.)
- The Union Patio Amplified Sound Area (11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.)
- The Winship Circle Amplified Sound Area (8 a.m.-5 p.m.)
- The Battle Oaks Amplified Sound Area (8 a.m.-5 p.m.)
- The Mustangs Amplified Sound Area (8 a.m.-5 p.m.)
- The San Jacinto Amplified Sound Area (8 a.m.-5 p.m.)
- The LBJ Fountain Amplified Sound Area (8 a.m.-5 p.m.)
- The 2609 University Avenue courtyard (8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
- The Creekside Residence Hall Lawn (8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
The University of Texas at Austin seeks to preserve the limited space on campus for the use of students, faculty and staff. Therefore, student organizations may not cosponsor on-campus programs or events with off-campus persons or organizations.
Student Activities encourages student organizations to work collaboratively with other organizations and university entities for events and programs. Download the Student Organization Event Co-Sponsorship (pdf) checklist for best practices and policies for co-sponsoring events on campus.
Examples of prohibited co-sponsorship activities include, but are not limited to:
- An event that substantially depends on an off-campus person or organization for planning, staffing or management of an event;
- An event that reserves a room or space for the use of an off-campus person or organization; and/or
- An event that operates for the benefit of an off-campus person or organization.
Student organizations may display exhibits on campus by reserving space through Student Activities. An exhibit is an object or a collection of objects designed for temporary display and is not permanently attached to the ground. Examples of exhibits commonly displayed on campus include: a reflection wall, a sailboat, vehicle, a poster display, etc.
Student organizations may display exhibits in outdoor locations on campus designated by Student Activities, as long as they do not impede pedestrian or vehicular traffic or pose a safety risk. No exhibits may be displayed on the Main Mall between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekdays. Exhibit space may be approved for up to 14 consecutive days.
A student organization officer must submit a temporary exhibit form to Student Activities staff and receive approval before the exhibit can be displayed.
Student organizations may sponsor slide shows or films on campus provided they comply with all copyright regulations. This policy means that student organizations must obtain permission from the individuals who own the rights to the film prior to showing the film. This also applies to virtual movie night events on campus. Student organizations should not use streaming platforms (Netflix, Hulu etc.,) or video conferencing platforms (Zoom, Google Duo, etc.,) to show films on campus. For more information about obtaining rights to films, refer to mplc.com and swank.com.
Student organizations may film their on-campus events strictly for archival purposes. Film recordings may be used for: recruitment videos, videos used for the promotion of the student organization or videos used for the promotion of the student organization events. Film footage may be posted on the student organization's website and social media accounts.
The filming of student organization events for archival purposes does not require a permit from University Communications. Visit Student Filming for more information.
If you have questions regarding student organization film policy on campus, please call Student Activities at 512-471-3065.
The university follows all local and state health and sanitation regulations and guidelines with regard to food handling. Students must have a current food distribution permit to distribute or sell food and beverages on or in university properties, including off-campus preparation for distribution or sale on campus.
The site and facilities for on-campus preparation of food or beverages must have a permit issued by Environmental Health and Safety (EHS). Student organizations must obtain food permits from EHS seven days in advance of their event. For more information about the sale or distribution of food on campus or to download the necessary permits, please visit Environmental Health and Safety - Food Safety. Environmental Health and Safety can also be reached at 512-471-3511.
Fundraisers and the solicitation of funds may be conducted outside university buildings by student organizations. Prior to collecting money or fundraising in any on-campus building, student organizations must receive approval from that facility's building manager.
Student organizations may receive donations from non-university entities; however, non-university organizations may not cosponsor activities on campus. Organizations may thank their donors through public announcement or on a program for a performance (i.e., "Special Thanks to...") but may not advertise for companies or use corporate logos.
Fundraisers may not be conducted for private gain of individuals or for-profit businesses. Consult with Student Activities to ensure compliance with applicable rules and policies.
Student organizations may present guest speakers who may make speeches, give performances or lead discussions in fixed indoor or outdoor locations on campus with advance approval from Student Activities. A guest speaker is not a student, faculty member or staff member.
Guest speakers may distribute literature to persons who attend the event, but not to others who have not chosen to attend the event. The guest speaker may not address potential listeners who have not chosen to attend the event. The guest speaker may not help staff a student organization's table or exhibit. Finally, a guest speaker may not solicit for her or his off-campus business, organization or service.
When presenting a guest speaker, the student organization must make clear that the organization, not the university, invited the speaker and that the views expressed by the speaker are her or his own and do not necessarily represent the views of the university. The student organization should make the following introductory comments:
"Tonight's event is being hosted by [name of student organization], a registered student organization. This is not an event sponsored by The University of Texas at Austin. The views expressed tonight are of the student organization/invited guest speaker and do not represent the views of the University or its officers."
Student organizations requesting parking spaces will be asked to pay for the use of those spaces. If other services are required, such as the use of a guard to reserve parking spaces, additional fees will apply.
To arrange for the use of parking spaces, complete the Parking and Transportation Services Event Parking Request. Student organization requests must be submitted at least 14 days prior to the event start date. A copy of the outdoor space/room reservation confirmation must be provided to Parking and Transportation Services when picking up permits.
The freedoms of speech, expression and assembly are fundamental rights of all persons and are central to the mission of the university. Students, faculty and staff have the right to assemble, to speak and to attempt to attract the attention of others and the corresponding rights to hear the speech of others when they choose to listen and to ignore the speech of others when they choose not to listen.
However, these activities are subject to the well-established right of colleges and universities to regulate time, place and manner so that the activities do not intrude upon or interfere with the academic programs and administrative processes of the university. The university shall not discriminate on the basis of the political, religious, philosophical, ideological or academic viewpoint expressed by any person.
University persons and organizations may publicly assemble on campus in any place where, at the time of the assembly, the persons assembling are permitted to be, without advance permission, as long as there is no disruption to other university activities.
To ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff, student organizations may be required to hire The University of Texas Police Department (UTPD) for on-campus events. There will be a cost per hour per officer. Student organizations may not hire private security for an on-campus event.
To arrange for UTPD security at a student organization event, contact UTPD's Special Events Requests at 512-471-4441 extension 3 to arrange a meeting.