General University Reference Utility
The purpose of this policy is to define the responsibilities and limitations of the University in responding to requests for use of facilities not related to an educational program of the University. The intent of the policy is to ensure optimum use of resources and develop and maintain good public relations with organized groups wishing to use these resources. This policy does not apply to The Nittany Lion Inn, The Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel, or the Bryce Jordan Center.
Accommodations in residence halls are available only for students and Continuing Education participants and, as required, for participants in University-sponsored programs. (See Policy AD03.) Any exceptions to this statement must be approved by the Associate Vice President for Auxiliary and Business Services. Specific facilities may be subject to additional policies.
Use of University facilities by non-University groups such as organized civic, cultural, service, religious, and industrial organizations, public school groups, and college and university groups with memberships not restricted to Penn State students, faculty, and staff may be approved subject to the guidelines established by this policy and other appropriate University regulations.
This policy does not apply to registered student organizations at any location of the University.
University use of all facilities shall have absolute preemptive priority over all non-University groups. The University reserves the right to cancel, postpone, or alter arrangements for any event if necessary.
The use of facilities must be for purposes which do not conflict with the general aims and purposes of University regulations or local, state and federal laws. Approval to use facilities does not necessarily imply approval of the aims and purposes of the sponsoring organization nor the event being planned.
The use of the facility must be for noncommercial purposes. (See Policy AD27.)
Except as set forth below, the use of facilities shall not have as its purpose the raising of funds for activities or causes unrelated to the University.
If any fund raising activity takes place, a detailed plan for the designation of funds must be specifically approved by the appropriate budget executive at the respective University location. No funds can be distributed to any organization or individual other than a tax-exempt organization.
Any use of the name of the University, other than to indicate the location of the event, must be approved in advance by the University through the Office of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business/Treasurer (per Policy AD07).
The provision of food and beverages by other than the authorized University agent operating or contracting for food and beverage services is specifically prohibited. (Refer to Policy AD26.)
Individuals and groups may post commercial and noncommercial announcements on the University's general purpose bulletin boards. As appropriate, related noncommercial announcements may be posted on specific purpose bulletin boards. (General purpose boards and specific purpose boards will be specifically labeled.)
Except as permitted herein, no poster, handbill, or any form of announcement or statement can be placed on, attached to, or written on any structure or natural feature of the campus such as doors, buildings, windows, the surface of walkways, roads, fountains, posts, waste receptacles, trees or stakes, or posted on motor vehicles.
Information must be provided in advance to the University concerning any financial activities or transactions planned by the non-University group during its use of the facility.
The group will reimburse the University for identifiable increments to the University's operating or overhead expenses imposed by the use of the facility. In addition, the University may charge a fee for the use of its facilities provided that all provisions of Policy AD15 are met.
The group using the facilities must agree to take precautions to assure the physical safety of participants and University property, and to release the University from any liability in conjunction with the use of the facility. An Indemnification Agreement must be used for this purpose. (See the applicable instructions in GURU.) Agreement forms are available in the Department of Community Relations, Office of Strategic Communications at University Park. At all other locations, they are available in the office of the campus executive officer or dean/provost.
A copy of the completed Indemnification Agreement must be forwarded to the Risk Management Office at University Park.
The University reserves the right to require insurance coverage and may require the presence of University Safety personnel for any group requesting to use University facilities. (See Administrative Guideline ADG04.)
Non-University groups wishing to use the University Park facilities (except The Nittany Lion Inn, The Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel, and the Bryce Jordan Center) within the above policy (or policies AD01 and AD03), shall apply to Strategic Communications. After applications are reviewed by appropriate personnel, including those designated with management or assignment responsibility for specific areas, actions relative to the approval are issued through Department of Community Relations.
NOTE: Prior to approval of requests for use of facilities at University Park, Strategic Communications shall check with The Nittany Lion Inn, The Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel, and the Bryce Jordan Center, to assure that approval for the use of specific facilities requested will not interfere with plans in progress by these entities for the use of those facilities. When approvals are granted, copies of such approvals shall be provided to The Nittany Lion Inn, The Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel, or the Bryce Jordan Center, as appropriate.
Non-University groups wishing to use facilities at locations other than University Park within the above policy shall apply to the budget executive at the campus or facility. These applications are acted upon by the budget executive who is responsible for ascertaining the appropriateness of the request within the policy set forth above and for making the final decision concerning the request.
Strategic Communications (at University Park), and the budget executive (at locations other than University Park), shall keep complete records of the authorized use of facilities by non-University groups. The records will include the name of the group, the purpose of the meeting, the meeting date, the approximate attendance, the cost reimbursement or fee, if any, and the University facilities used.
For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of Strategic Communications.
Other Policies in this manual should also be referenced, especially the following:
AD01 - Auditoriums, Policies and Procedures for Use of University,
AD03 - Conducting Educational Programs Using the Name of The University,
AD07 - Use of University Name, Symbols and/or Graphic Devices,
AD15 - Fees and Charges for Facilities and Services,
AD18 - Possession, Use and Distribution of Alcoholic Beverages,
AD26 - Sale of Food and Beverages at University Locations,
AD27 - Commercial Sales Activities at University Locations,
AD51 - Use of Outdoor Areas for Expressive Activities, and
ADG04 - Providing Emergency Medical Services at University Events at University Park
Effective Date: September 11, 2006
Date Approved: September 11, 2006
Date Published: September 11, 2006 (Editorial change, August 21, 2014)
Most recent changes:
Revision History (and effective dates):