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Student Event Planning

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Planning an Event? Get Started Here!

STEP 1: Read this sheet carefully as it will help you plan your event. The Offices of Student Life and Engagement and Student Organizations provide this as a guide to help you have a successful event.

STEP 2: Submit your event on Knight Life. You will received notification that your event has been approved (or denied with explanations on changes that can be made so that it will be approved) within two business days.

Event Planning Checklist (PDF)

Event Planning Guide (PDF)

Event Planning Cheat Sheet (PDF)

Event Planning Process
Registering Your Student Organization
Registering your Event on Knight Life
Campus Rooms and Locations Availability
Equipment Needs
Risk Management and Security
Events with Food
Events with Alcohol
Making Your Event "Zero Waste"
Advertising Your Event
Working with Outside Vendors
Showing and Advertising Films and Movies On-Campus
Off-Campus Events and Traveling
Information for Greek Organizations
Evaluation and Assessment
Free Speech
Event Supplies

Event Planning Process

1)    Make sure you are currently a recognized student organization (if not, please register your organization on Knight Life).
2)    Request to register your event on Knight Life
3)    Request to reserve any equipment
4)    Finalize plans (See Event Checklist)
5)    Advertise your event
6)    Evaluate/assess your event

Registering Your Student Organization
For instructions on registering your organization on Knight Life, click here.

Registering Your Event on Knight Life
Instructions for registering your event can be found by clicking here.
•If your event is approved, you will receive notification.
•If your event is denied, you will receive a notification including suggestions on changes that can be made so that it will be approved.
Notifications will be sent out within two business days!

Campus Rooms and Locations Availability
Check the availability of your preferred location(s) in advance. Many locations are in high demand, so check availabilities a minimum of two weeks in advance. We recommend planning your event even further in advance (8 weeks) in order to increase your likelihood of getting your first choice of location, date, and time. 

Fitness Center
Email Kelly Norman at

IRC, Bagdad Field, Woodstock Field, Walker Center
Email Kristen McGaughey at

Alumni Gym, Clarkson Field
Email Laurel Kane at

Hantz Turf Field
Email Bill Bergan at

Cheel Arena
Email Joshua Bartell at

All other campus spaces
Go to Virtual EMS and select Browse then Browse for Space to check availability. A reservation will be made for you based on availability when your Knight Life event is approved. The Student Activities staff will do their best to accommodate your request in another location if your preferred locations are not available. You will receive an email from Room Reservations with your location information.

Check weather conditions prior to your event. Make sure to account for when the sun rises and sets, as you may need extra lighting for your event: Think of a backup location in case of bad weather. In case of bad weather, at what time will you decide to cancel or move your event?

Equipment Needs
Requesting Audio/Video Equipment From CUB (Clarkson Union Board)

If you wish to use or borrow CUB’s equipment (sound, lights, or stage), or to have CUB run audio or video equipment at your event, you can attend a CUB meeting at least two weeks before your event to make a formal request. You should submit your request in writing to and then make a formal request at the CUB meeting so you can answer any questions they have about your event.  

CUB meetings are held on Mondays at 6 p.m. in the Student Center Multipurpose Rooms. Be sure to have prepared the start time, end time, date, location, and purpose of the event. If your event does not charge admission and is open to all students, CUB does not charge a fee for use of their equipment. There is a $25 late charge for requests made less than two weeks before the event. 

Other Equipment
Accommodations for all other equipment needed for events such as tables, chairs, and podiums should be made with your Knight Life event request.

Risk Management and Security
If your event will attract over 100 people, consider hiring outside security. Please consult with Campus Safety and Security, 315-268-6666, about the needs for additional outside security.
• Have first-aid kit(s) available on site.
• Plan ahead for medical emergencies. Contact the CU EMS,, to support sporting and large scale events.
• Think thoroughly about your risk management plan and ask your organization:
     • What activities are you undertaking?
     • What risks are involved in the event?
     • Could something go wrong?
     • How can the organization effectively manage and/or eliminate those risks?

Events with Food
Aramark (Campus Dining) is the official food vendor on campus. Please contact the Campus Dining Office at 315-268-3816, visit the office on the 1st floor of Cheel Campus Center, or go to to place an order.

Events with Alcohol
Please consider that having alcohol at an event significantly increases risks and creates personal liability for officers and advisors to your organization. If you still plan on having alcohol at your event, please see the full alcohol policy at:

Please also see the Risk Management Policy on Alcohol:

All events sponsored by on-campus entities involving alcohol need special approval. Please fill out the approval form: This form is also accessible by going to,clicking “Campus Links” and then “Event Registration Form for Events with Alcohol”. Please note that requests for events with alcohol must be submitted no less than two full business days in advance.

Making Your Event "Zero Waste"
Here are examples of how your organization can be sure to have “zero waste” events. Zero Waste events are events where 90% of the waste generated does NOT end up in a landfill. Please feel free to reach out to the Sustainability Coordinator (Alex French: in the Institute for a Sustainable Environment (ISE) for training and resources such as signage and food waste bins. The ISE is located on the 1st floor of TAC between the ERC and the Science Center.

Before Your Event: Be sure to confirm that materials at your events are reusable, compostable, or recyclable and plan your communications strategy.

  1. If using Aramark for your event, be sure to speak with Aramark about options for reusable plates, utensils, and service ware.
  2. Include information about zero-waste on the event invitation to let attendees know your event will be zero waste.
  3. Obtain a green food waste bin, a “Guide to Solid Waste at Clarkson” document, and appropriate waste separation signage from the ISE. Distribute the guide electronically to event stakeholders.
  4. Display signage throughout the event space. Hang recycling, food waste, and landfill posters directly above the bins. Add signage about food waste where event participants are getting food.

 During Your Event:

  1. Station volunteers at waste disposal areas to eliminate contamination at a zero waste event.
  2. Consider making an announcement during the event about why recycling is important.

 After Your Event: Logistics and Reporting

  1. Be sure to put your items that are recyclable, reusable, and compostable in their respective places.
  2. Return the green foodwaste bin to the ISE or near the picnic table that is adjacent to the digester.
    1. Do not directly feed the digester unless you’ve been previously trained.
    2. Please make sure the ISE knows that the bin has been returned.

Advertising Your Event
Please note your event request MUST be approved on Knight Life before ANY advertising can occur.
In order to have a successful event, you should consider multiple avenues for advertising. Below are the most popular ways to advertise Clarkson University student events.

Knight Life
Knight Life is the go-to place for learning about and planning student events. By requesting to registering your event and submitting a flyer, your event will show on the homepage and in the calendar view. See the Student User Guide (page 12), under Campus Links, for instructions on requesting to registering your event on Knight Life.

Digital Signage
Located throughout the campus, the digital feeds display signs advertising University news, events, and other special announcements. Submit your event flyer to the Clarkson digital feeds by following these instructions:
1) Create a digital file 20 x 11.25 in size and save as a JPEG format (you can use PowerPoint to design the image).
2) Log on to (your regular Clarkson ID and password can get you onto the system, but you need to be at a computer on campus).
3) Select add content and follow the steps.
4) Please do not run ads for more than three weeks or submit duplicate ads with the same information at the same time.
5) Ads run for 8 seconds each and should be designed in highway billboard fashion (catchy images with limited text).
6) Please limit adds to two per organization or office running at a time.
7) Submit the ad to the Student Life feed and it should be approved within two business days.

If you have any questions or trouble uploading advertisements, please contact

Flyers and Posters
Below are some helpful guidelines for posting flyers or posters on campus. Clarkson University’s full poster policy may be found here:

1) Your club or organization must be recognized by CUSA or affiliated with an academic department or office in order to post information on meetings and events.
2) There is a limit of one flyer/poster per bulletin board; do not cover other flyers/posters.
3) All advertisements must include the name of the sponsoring group or organization.
4) All advertisements must be removed within two school days after the event has ended.
5) Paper advertisements are not permitted on windows, in or on elevators, floors, signposts, parked cars, vending machines, building exteriors, or any other surface which violates fire code.
6) Posters may not be posted on department, faculty or staff office bulletin boards without the permission of the department, faculty or staff member.
7) Advertisements cannot be larger than 24" X 33" without the approval of the Director of Student Organizations.
8) Postings in residence halls are at the discretion of the residence hall staff. Contact your Area Coordinator for permission.
9)New clubs wishing to form can receive club posting permission for a two weeks status to recruit members by the Director of Student Organizations.
10) Materials posted without compliance with the preceding rules will be removed immediately.

Social Media
Looking to promote your club or event through social media? There are several ways!

Get your club’s events and activities exposed to the broader Clarkson community through Twitter. If you tag Tweets #ClarksonU, Clarkson’s primary Twitter account (@ClarksonUniv) may retweet them! This way, your message can be seen by the 6,800 who follow @ClarksonUniv on Twitter.

If you’re looking to promote an event to a smaller or more targeted audience, Facebook may be the venue for you. Go to, and choose “create event” in the upper right hand corner. If you want to limit the event to just your friends, select the “invite only” option; otherwise, select “public” or “friends of guests” visibility in order to allow a wider audience to see the event and invite others to attend. Once you create the event, Facebook will direct you to a new page and ask who you would like to invite.

If you’re looking to promote more than just a one-time event, creating a group ( or page ( may be a good fit for you. If you’re looking to create a forum for discussion among friends or club members, a group is the best way to interact with others around a common topic. If you’re looking for an informational outlet to impart information to a number of followers, then consider creating a page. A page allows you to post as your club or organization’s name, while you must post information as yourself in a group. Questions? Email Clarkson’s social media manager Annie Harrison at

Advertising Events with Alcohol
Promotion materials must neither encourage any form of alcohol abuse nor make reference to the amount of alcoholic beverage (such as the number of beer kegs available or expressions like "all you can drink").
• Alcohol beverages (such as kegs or cases of beer) must not be provided as free awards;
• No promotional activities shall include drinking contests or games;
• Postings must not portray drinking as a solution to personal or academic problems of students or as necessary to social successes;
• All events sponsored by on-campus entities involving alcohol need approval for posting from the Alcohol Review Committee (ARC);
• A copy of the proposed flyer must be submitted to the ARC;
• The ARC will determine approval of the posting. Appeals to the decision process may be made to the Dean of Students;
• If approval is granted, a maximum of 20 flyers or posters will be approved for posting for a two week period.

Any questions about posting policies can be directed to Kelsey Deso, Director of Student Organizations and Student Center at

Working with Outside Vendors
If you are bringing in an outside speaker or company for an event, the contract will need to be reviewed and signed by Director of Purchasing and Risk Management, George Giordano. Please submit your contract for review at least two weeks before your event to

To request parking accommodations for visitors who are not faculty, staff, or students, please Campus Safety (315-268-6666).

Guest Speakers
Will your organization sponsor a speaker who is not a student, faculty or staff member?
• Check availability of the guest far in advance.
• Guests cannot solicit their off-campus business, organization or service.
• Guests cannot hand out materials unless they are sponsored by a student organization and your organization’s name is located on the materials.

Showing and Advertising Films and Movies On-Campus
In order to show and advertise a film or movie on-campus, you must obtain a "public performance license" from the film's distributor prior to the screening. There is a fee for the license, which varies depending on the film, and tends to range from $200-$500 per film. Even if you show the film for free, you are still required by law to obtain a public performance license.

If you are interested in showing a film on campus, please contact Tamera Rizk at with the name of the film and your preferred time and date of the showing. You will then receive the film information and pricing.

If the film is not procured through the Office of Student Life and Engagement (OSL), then the organization or individual must provide proof of purchasing the movie rights by providing OSL with a copy of the invoice or other documentation.

If the movie is a small, independent film or student made film and the public performance movie rights have been waived by the filmmaker, then a letter from the movie studio, production, or distribution company must be provided to OSL waiving said rights. This is to remove any liability from the organization hosting the film showing or Clarkson University from any potential copyright infringement or public performance violation.

Under the Education Exemption of the law, copyrighted movies may be exhibited in a college without a license only if the movie exhibition is:
• An “integral part of a class session” and is of “material assistance to the teaching content.”
• Supervised by a teacher in a classroom.
• Attended only by students enrolled in a registered class of an accredited nonprofit educational institution.
• Lawfully made using a movie that has been legally produced and obtained through rental or purchase.

For more information regarding copyright law:

Off-Campus Events and Traveling
Consider transportation: How will you get there? Officers and Advisors need to discuss student conduct while representing Clarkson off campus. Transportation should be provided by a University approved transportation vendor or approved driver.

Off-campus events still need to be approved on Knight Life. You should also make sure you and all of the students attending the event have read and signed the Activity Waiver, found on the CUSA Knight Life.

Information for Greek Organizations
 Events must follow the Alcohol and Risk Management Policies for Fraternities and Sororities.

Items Not Permitted
Perishable food items
Coca-Cola products

Permitted Items
Baked items
Pre-packaged snacks or beverages
Merchandise sales
Publication sales
Non-perishable food
Non-alcoholic beverages
Donation requests

Evaluation and Assessment
Evaluate your event to see if your goals and objectives were met. Assessment questions to ask:
• What were the goals of your event?
• Did you accomplish these goals? Why or why not?
• Did any unforeseen problems occur? If yes, how can you better prepare for next time?
• Will you have this event again? If yes, are there changes that need to be made for next time?
• What was the crowd’s reaction to the event?
• Did you make it accessible for people with disabilities?

List names and contact information for campus resources that assisted with the event for your records.

Free Speech
Clarkson encourages students, faculty and staff to exercise their right of Free Speech. See Freedom of Inquiry and Expression (

Event Supplies


Where to Get It

Activity Waiver (for travel and high risk activity)

CUSA Knight Life


Campus Safety & Security

Cash Box



Campus Dining

Coat Rack

Include in your Knight Life event request


Risk Management

Events Calendar

Knight Life

Maps (directions to campus and parking)




Marketing and External Relations

Parking Permits

Campus Safety & Security



Projector, Projector Screen


Signs, Directional

Make your own, printable in the CUSA office

Stage (Student Center only)

Include in your Knight Life event request

Tables and Chairs

Include in your Knight Life event request


Campus Dining

Tape, Staplers, Pens

Clarkson Bookstore


Off-campus party rental companies

Thank You Gift

Clarkson Bookstore or Knight Armor Store




Campus Dining