I. General Policy
Rice University hosts events on campus to support our mission of education, research, and service, and to create an intellectually and physically vibrant community, helping to engage our home city of Houston, and extending Rice’s reach and impact nationally and internationally. This policy governs the use of all indoor and outdoor physical spaces on the Rice campus, and is intended to increase support and coordination of those events to optimize Rice event facilities and availability for internal groups.
II. Roles and Responsibilities
Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration has authority over all facilities, outdoor spaces, and general administrative operations that support events.
Director of Athletics is responsible for scheduling athletics venues and fields, and will coordinate larger events or non-athletics events with the Campus Events Manager.
Office of the Registrar is responsible for scheduling classroom and laboratory spaces, which have priority over most events.
Public Affairs is responsible for approving requests for potentially partisan political activities on campus.
Campus Events Manager is responsible for: the coordination of events on the Rice campus according to this policy and procedures; providing resources for venue managers and event requestors; facilitating communication between requestors, venue managers, and other Rice departments responsible for services relating to events; serving as the chair of Events Steering Committee.
Venue Manager is the person, department, or school responsible scheduling and managing a venue(s).
Events Steering Committee, chaired by the Campus Events Manager and comprised of major campus stakeholders, meets regularly to review and make recommendations on event venue policies and procedures, ensure venues are efficiently used, and monitor this policy to ensure compliance.
Event: A planned program, ceremony, gathering, occasion, or conference that is held in a Rice building or outdoor space on the Rice campus (other than regularly scheduled instructional or academic activities, or athletics practice or competition).
University Event: An event rises to the level of a ‘university event’ by virtue of its size, requirement for significant coordination, or special circumstances. A University Event must be in keeping with Rice's mission and values, and in accordance with our nonprofit 501(c)3 status. It must be sponsored and coordinated by a campus organization (including those sponsored by a department and produced by an outside entity); or contracted by an outside entity through the venue manager’s established policy for usage (in conjunction with Public Affairs).
Academic Event: Academic events include any symposia, workshops, and conferences, or other programs that involve the public. Typically such events are treated as University Events, and are coordinated through the appropriate department, school, or the Provost’s Office (depending on the size and complexity) and the Campus Events Manager.
Rice Campus: Rice Main Campus and other Rice properties listed on the University Events website.
Event Requestor: An individual or entity requesting venue space to host an event on the Rice campus.
Sponsor: A current Rice faculty or staff member, department/unit, or student organization producing a university event and/or responsible for hosting an external entity on campus for the production of a university event.
Venue: Any indoor or outdoor space on the Rice campus that can be used to host an event.
IV. Elaboration of Policy
All event requests must have a Rice faculty or staff sponsor responsible for the event. All events must support and further the mission of Rice. To be a sponsor of an event, an individual must either:
- have appropriate budget authority to cover the anticipated cost of the event (or must coordinate with someone who does, such as supervisor or dean).
- have a written plan for raising revenue that has been approved by the appropriate vice president, vice provost, dean, institute director, athletic director.
Events should be held in the most appropriate, available venues, regardless of which entity manages the venue. The university has a large number and variety of venues that could be used to host high-quality events, and to the maximum extent practical, they may be made available to the Rice community. It is expected that the Rice community will support each other and collaborate in order to meet the intent of this policy through participation in university wide processes for communicating available spaces and reservation processes.
Venue managers generally have discretion to prioritize its departmental/unit events in relation to other university events. Should a venue manager be unable to fulfill a request, the Campus Events Manager will assist the requestor in finding an appropriate venue.
- Publicity and Use of Rice University Name and Logo
Events may be publicized using reasonable electronic or physical means, with the exception that fliers or posters may not be placed on the outside of buildings.
The Rice University name and logo may only be used by Rice University sponsors. Any co-sponsor or partnering organization must have prior approval from Public Affairs to use the Rice University name or logo.
All events must adhere to the city ordinance on sound (Chapter 30, Noise and Sound Level Regulation), which establishes a maximum decibel level for any sound that can be heard off campus, based on the time of day. If a complaint is made, the Rice University Police Department will enforce the ordinance. Additionally, sponsors or sponsoring departments will be liable for any fines or penalties assessed by the City of Houston for violations of the ordinance.
- Safety and Security at Events
Depending on the size or complexity of an event, additional security or medical support may be required by RUPD. Additionally, certain events will require coordination with Environmental Health and Safety, Risk Management, and Crisis Management.
An event requestor may only request a venue for an event that the requestor will use and they are responsible for the venue’s condition as a result of the event. Failure to use a reserved venue or leaving a venue in a poor condition may result in the event requestor (and/or the event requestor’s department/unit) being assessed a financial penalty for damage or excessive cleanup, and/or being restricted on future venue reservations.
Events may be rescheduled, postponed, or cancelled for safety related reasons (e.g. weather emergencies), with the approval of the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration.
- Applicability of Other Rice University Policies
Event sponsors must be aware of other Rice University policies that may apply to their particular event. Some common examples are that events with alcohol must also follow policy 848, events with partisan political activities must also follow policy 807, events that have drones/unmanned aircraft must also follow 847, and events that have minors must also follow 811.
The links to these specific policies are below. All Rice University policies may be accessed at https://policy.rice.edu/.
V. Cross References or Related Policies
VI. Responsible Official and Key Offices to Contact Regarding the Policy and its Implementation
Responsible Official: Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration
Key Office: Campus Events
VII. Procedure and Forms
Under Development (link will be updated)
David W. Leebron, President
December 9, 2019
January 7, 1982
February 5, 2018 (to bring into current format, and add responsible official)
December 1, 2022 (Updated responsible official)
August 15, 2023 (updated title of responsible official)