Student Engagement

Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Events Authorized

Q: What events have to be authorized?
A: Events that are not open to the public (i.e. open to only organization members) do not have to be authorized. If your event includes guests, members of other organizations, is open to the Iowa State Community, or individuals from other universities, you do need to have your event authorized.

Q: How do I get my event authorized?
A: You will begin by completing the University Event Authorization Training in the Student Organization's Database. This training will teach you how to submit your event to the University Event Authorization System. The University Event Authorization form should be submitted online at least ten business days prior to the date of the event (no later than four business days when hosting smaller, routine events). Large special events and theme weeks are expected to submit the form at least two months in advance. You may be required to fill out other forms, such as a Food Sales and Service Agreement, which you will submit if you are planning to provide food at your event.  You will learn more about these requirements while going through the Event Authorization Training.

Q: Will I have to attend a meeting?
A: Based on the type of event you are holding, you may or may not have to meet with the Event Authorization Committee (EAC). If you have further questions please email

Q: How do I know if my event is approved/denied?
A: Student Engagement will keep you updated throughout the authorization process. Once your event is approved or denied, you will receive an email from the Event Authorization Chair stating the decision on your event. If you have questions, you can email

Q: When do I have to have the form submitted for authorization?
A: The sooner the better! Once you start your planning process, we recommend that you fill out the University Event Authorization Form. Your request must be submitted at least 10 business days prior to the event. Large special events are recommended to submit at least two months in advance.

Reserving Space on Campus

Q: How do I reserve a classroom/auditorium on campus for my event?
A: To reserve a classroom/auditorium on campus (outside of the Memorial Union) you will need to fill out the Room Reservation Request.

Q: How do I reserve a room in the Memorial Union for my event?
A: To reserve a room in the Memorial Union, submit a request online. Memorial Union only reserves rooms for student organizations one semester in advance and based on your organization tier.

Q: How do I reserve Central Campus or other green space on campus?
A: To reserve space on Central Campus or any other campus green space, submit a request online. Note the revised policy and guidelines for use of facilities and grounds, including expressive activities

Q: How do I reserve a room in the Alumni Center for my event?
A: To reserve a room in the Alumni Center, visit the Events Management Office in the Alumni Center at 420 Beach Ave, call 515-294-4625, or email

Food and Beverages at Events

Q: I am planning on serving food at my event, are there restrictions?
A: Yes. Please visit the Office of Risk Management website for details. A list of approved vendors and caterers can be found on their website.

Q: Do I have to use ISU Catering for my event?
A: It depends on where the event is being held. If you are hosting your event in the Memorial Union, you are required to use ISU Catering. If your event is somewhere else, you can use ISU Catering but are not required to. You are required to have the food vendor approved prior to your event. Visit the Risk Management website for more details.

Q: Can my student organization hold an event with alcohol?
A: Professional and Graduate student organizations may hold events with alcohol under certain conditions when approved by the Event Authorization Committee. Undergraduate student organizations may not hold events with alcohol. Under no circumstances may a recognized student organization host an event at a bar.

Campus Services

Q: Can I drive or park a vehicle on campus lawns?
A: Personal vehicles are not allowed to drive or park on campus lawns. Vehicles or equipment required to set up or mobilize displays or activities can not park on campus lawns. Coordinate with Facilities Planning and Management for displays or activities which require a vehicle or special equipment for set up or mobilization. Contact Barb Schumacher ( from FP&M to coordinate.

Q: Can I grill on campus?
A: Personal grills are not allowed on campus.  Industrial grills are allowed. Facilities Planning and Management transports all grills to and from campus lawns. Contact Barb Schumacher ( from FP&M to coordinate.

Q: Can my group use golf carts on campus?
A: You must receive small vehicle orientation/training and review insurance requirements prior to using small vehicles such as golf carts, gators, utility carts, etc. on campus. This includes leased and borrowed vehicles. Contact the Risk Management Office at 515.294.8612 for more information.

Q: Where do I put my trash?
A: Food events should plan for at least two 55 gallon trash receptacles for every 50 attendees. Contact Barb Schumacher ( from Facilities Planning and Management for access to trash receptacle and trash bags.

Hint: Space trash receptacles at outer limits of your event activity area, and deposit the trash bags in a near by dumpster.

Q: How do I get electricity for my event?
A: Contact Facilities Planning and Management Facilities Services for information and assistance with electrical needs. Contact Barb Schumacher ( from Facilities Planning and Management to coordinate. 

Note: Facilities Planning and Management doesn't provide extension cords.

Q: I need a tent, who do I contact?
A: The university has a contract with a tent supplier and installer. Contact Purchasing Department for coordination and contract information.
Note: Tent installations require locating underground utilities before tent is installed, contact Barb Schumacher ( from Facilities Planning and Management for this service.

Fireworks, Gambling, Animals, etc.

Q: Can I have fireworks for my activity?
A: Fireworks and pyrotechnic displays require special permission from ISU, and permission and a permit from the City of Ames. Also requires a licensed official to discharge the fireworks. Fireworks can not be discharged after 12:30 am.

Q: I am planning on having animals as a part of our event. Is this possible?
A: Yes it is possible. You will need to fill out the Use of Animals Form on the Risk Management website. You will also be directed to complete this form when you submit to the University Event Authorization system.

Q: What kind of gambling is permitted on campus?
A: The Campus Organization Accounting Office handles the regulations on the gambling permit. Visit the Campus Org website for more information. You may need to fill out a Gambling Permit Usage Request.

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