Student Engagement

Terms and Conditions


It is the responsibility of the student organization and their adviser(s) to understand the risks that are involved in any activity and any financial consequences that may result from their actions. Any claims against the student organization would be the responsibility of the student organization.  In some instances when activities are for the direct benefit of ISU or the State of Iowa, the University may provide liability coverage.  General liability coverage for student organization events may be purchased for higher-risk events or when the connection to the university is vague.



Events will not be approved for service of alcohol for individuals under the legal drinking age or undergraduate student organizations.  Special consideration may be given for events whose participants are primarily alumni, or graduate student status and of legal drinking age, by completing the Event Authorization process. When alcohol is approved by the Event Authorization Committee (EAC) for an event, any alcoholic beverage must be served at ISU locations with an alcohol license, under conditions meeting State of Iowa DRAM laws, and must provide event liability insurance as required by the Office of Risk Management (ORM). See also:



All student organization events involving the use of animals must be approved by EAC.  Each event using animals must submit the Use of Animals at Special Events Form by uploading this form to the Event Authorization form.  ORM will forward the form for review by the ISU Non-academic Use of Animals committee.  Final consideration or approval for the event is contingent on the ISU Non-academic Use of Animals committee's recommendations to ORM and an in-person meeting of the student organization with EAC.  See also:


Assumption of Risk

If an event involves an increased potential of risk or harm for its participants, ORM will provide participation agreements for individuals to sign only after the event is approved by EAC.  The participation agreement will explain the potential risks specific to the activity to create awareness of the risks associated and also informs participants that their participation is voluntary.  Student organizations should plan for all possible risks, utilizing their adviser's knowledge of the activity, ORM resources, or other recognized experts to develop methods to improve event or activity safety.



The event is not considered authorized until all affected departments have approved and payment is arranged for services.


Central Campus

a) Vehicles: Driving and parking vehicles on Central Campus is prohibited. Contact the Office of Facilities Planning and Management (FP&M) for placement of grills, tents, etc.

b) Loading/Unloading: Loading and unloading can be done from designated parking lots and service areas with a special permit. Contact FP&M to assist with loading and unloading.

c) Times: Groups sponsoring activities on Central Campus during the noon hour should realize that the time period between 11:45am to 12:15pm Monday through Friday is reserved for carillon recitals. No testing of electrical equipment or warm-up of musical equipment is to occur before 4pm during the class week.



The sponsoring group is responsible for clean up of the area they have reserved. Sponsors of activities that include distribution of leaflets or literature must police the area within 500 feet for discarded materials. If materials are not cleaned up, the organization will be charged for clean-up costs.  Extra trash containers can be rented from FP&M. Recycle containers can be reserved free of charge from FP&M.



Specific rules for signature authority exists for student organizations. Individuals authorized to sign contracts are obligated to be familiar with the University's policies and procedures regarding contracts. Contract insurance and liability language is reviewed by the ORM. Entertainment contracts must be submitted to the Director of Student Activities.



Activities may not substantially interfere with academic or administration activities or previously scheduled activities. Activities may not disrupt free flow on sidewalks or streets. The sponsoring group is responsible for ensuring that the activity (including the audience) stays within the appropriate area.  Amplified sound is prohibited while academic classes are in session, (8 am to 4 pm).


Events Involving Youth (non-ISU students under the age of 18)

Events with youth require additional responsibilities in taking appropriate measures to minimize reasonably foreseeable hazards to minor participants.   Student/campus organizations must collaborate with an ISU department/unit for events involving youth.  The youth program leader must be ISU faculty or Professional and Scientific (P&S) staff and is responsible for completing a Youth Program Registration form for submittal to ORM as well as ensuring compliance with applicable ISU policies and procedures. At a minimum, all youth events must comply with the ISU youth programs policy located in the ISU Policy Library. Student organizations who wish to involve youth in an event should contact ORM six months in advance to assist with review and preparation.  Student Organizations working with a department to host a youth event must also submit the event to the EAC for final approval.  See also: and


Fires, Firearms or Weapons

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa has set rules that cover the authorization of use of fire, firearms and weapons (681 Iowa Administrative Code 9.1). The definition of weapons is outlined in 681 Iowa Administrative Code 13.14(5).  Firearms or weapons that are created and modified for safe use for starting sporting events or theatrical events may be  permitted under the supervision of faculty or staff responsible for such events after submitting a written request to ORM.  Requests for the use of fires on or off campus as a part of a student event and all other student activities involving firearms and/or weapons must be reviewed by both the ORM and Department of Public Safety.  Final approval is granted by the Senior Vice President of Business and Finance. See also: and



The use of fireworks, pyrotechnics, sky-tracker lights and laser or flame effect displays is prohibited in the City of Ames except when done in accordance with a permit authorized by the City Council (Section 727.2 Code of Iowa). ORM is the ISU liaison with the City of Ames for all events including but not limited to, ceremonies, banquets, science demonstrations, theatrical or concert performances on property owned by Iowa State University. All student activities that propose to use fireworks, pyrotechnics, sky-tracker lights and laser displays must meet with EAC to review the activities.  In addition student organizations must contact the ORM to obtain an Application for Use of Fireworks.  Approval is not final until ORM has received a signed contract and certificate of insurance from a display operator licensed to do this type of work in the State of Iowa.  See also:



ORM has developed procedures to maintain the health and safety of individuals who participate in programs and events involving food and beverages.  Student organizations must adhere to health practices outlined in the State of Iowa Food Code and the ISU procedures for food sales or service.  All organization members who serve or handle food must have successfully completed the annual SafeFood 101 Food Handling training available online through the ORM website, and have their SafeFood 101 course completion card with them at the time of service.  In addition, all food items must come from an ISU approved caterer or vendor, and food service that takes place more than once in one week will require a Temporary Food Establishemnt License from the State of Iowa. See also:



Credit card fundraising is prohibited on campus. Raffles and other forms of gambling must be registered through the Campus Organizations Accounting Office (1580J Memorial Union, West Student Office Space • 515/294-1633). SOLICITATION POLICY MUST BE FOLLOWED.


Indoor Events

Events held indoor in a university facility must not conflict with university programs and events and must be compatible with the purpose of the facility or particular area used. Organizations should contact the MU Event Management Office and the relevant facility to determine availability, regulations and fees for use.



Non-ISU groups must provide proof of liability insurance for events located on ISU property. Each vendor providing services to student organizations or the university (these services are traditionally food or entertainment) must have a contract with the university and provide a certificate of insurance.  Most student organization activities do not require the purchase of insurance when their event is approved through EAC and held on ISU property.  However, higher risk activities,  large scale events or activities that are not within the liability protection of the State of Iowa tort system, will require the organization to purchase additional insurance as determined through consultation with the ORM.



Events involving races, fireworks or loud activities may require a permit and/or City Council approval from the City of Ames.  ORM should be consulted when any permit is needed.  ORM is the ISU liaison with the City of Ames for obtaining permits and any related insurance required.


Posting and Advertising

Signboards are available at the MU Event Management Office to allow organizations to advertise in select locations.  Leafleting may be conducted in a way that avoids substantial littering of the campus.  Signs, decals, banners, chalk, paint, and other display materials are not to be affixed to sidewalks, steps, trees, fences, shrubs, light poles or other fixtures of the landscape. Freestanding displays are not to be placed in any area other than those areas authorized through the Event Authorization process coordinated by the Student Activities Center. All visual displays must be removed 48 hours after authorization has expired. If clean-up is not prompt, the university's campus services unit will remove displays and bill the unit or individual responsible for the display. Unauthorized posted displays, banners and signage will be removed by Campus Services and the unit or individual responsible for the materials will be billed for clean-up.


Public Events

These are outdoor events in which more than 50 persons are reasonably expected to participate and indoor events in which more than 15 persons are reasonably expected to participate.

See the recently updated policy and guidelines for use of facilities and grounds, including expressive activities.


Public Events Outside

Organizations and groups of persons wishing to use outdoor areas for a public event must file with the MU Event Management Office a notice of intent to use an area. If possible, such notice should be given at least 24 hours in advance of the event, but, in any case, must be given at least 3 hours prior to the event. No approval is necessary if the event meets the following criteria:

  • On weekdays between the hours of 8am and 5pm, the event will be held at least 100 feet away from buildings that normally hold classes

  • No other person or group has been authorized to use the area or has filed a notice of intent to use that area or an adjacent area

  • The organizers do not intend to use amplification equipment or equipment requiring use of electrical power connections. Hand–held megaphones are permitted if used so as to direct the sound away from nearby buildings that normally hold classes

  • Participants will not use displays other than signs or banners carried at all times by one or two participants (unattended displays may not be used without permission)

  • The sponsor of the event indicates that the event will comply with the general restrictions indicated above.

  • See the recently updated policy and guidelines for use of facilities and grounds, including expressive activities.



ISU Department of Public Safety (or their designees) may be required for some events. Any costs for overtime or additional services will be the obligation of the requesting organization. Every attempt will be made to accommodate the financial constraints of the requesting organization; HOWEVER, campus safety will be the overriding factor in all decisions.


Student Organization Liabililty

When EAC-approved activities are for the direct benefit of ISU or the State of Iowa, the University may provide liability coverage.  General liability coverage for student organization events may be purchased for higher risk events or when the connection to the university is vague.


Tents/Staking to the Ground-Locates

Contact Facilities Planning and Management (General Services Building • 515/294-0692); requires a 5-class day notification for tents or other objects to be staked to the ground. There is a charge for this service. Iowa State has pre-approved tent, staging, table, and chair vendors.


Travel Review and Authorization

All student organization travel by university-owned, leased, fabricated, and rented vehicles must be approved through the Student Organization Travel Authorization system (SOTA) located at the ORM web site ( Travel funding from student organization accounts will be allowed only for student organization travel that has been approved through the SOTA system.  All travel is subject to the policy and procedures of Transportation Services, ORM and applicable ISU policies including but not limited to the Vehicle Use and Fleet Safety and Travel - Student Organizations. See also:



A volunteer is an individual who performs services in furtherance of the humanitarian, educational, or service mission of a student organization or the university. A volunteer performs services without promise, expectation or receipt of compensation, benefits or consideration for the services provided. Volunteers may be a member of the public, ISU employee, or student who is enrolled at ISU, however, when providing volunteer services, a volunteer is not acting as an ISU employee, is not an ISU student fullfilling a normal mission of a student organization, is not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and is not eligible for university benefits or workers' compensation.  An individual volunteering to provide services (such as coaches) to a recognized student organization at ISU must complete a Volunteer Agreement.   The student organization's adviser and president must consult with ORM regarding the appropriate process for volunteer agreement, approval, and designation. See also:




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