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Student Organization Handbook

Chapter 4: Planning Meeting, Events and Activities

Section 9:  Event Policies and Procedures

A. Event Parameters
Planning an event on the Georgia College campus may be a process that takes many steps and various approvals.  There are factors to consider when you are in the planning process to ensure that your event is successful. Campus policies, facility use policies, local, federal, and state laws, and common sense and good judgment are taken into account when events are planned, approved, and carried out on the GC campus.

Listed below are some of the various event parameters that may require following additional policies and/or require further approvals. However, this may not be a complete list covering every possible scenario, event, or activity, so make sure to check with the Department of Campus Life and/or Public Services if you have any questions about whether you need to make further arrangements or get additional approvals.  It is the responsibility of the student organization to provide accurate information regarding the parameters of the planned event to the Public Services contacts well in advance of the event; failure to provide complete information about even parameters may result in event cancellation. 

B. Ticketing/Admission/Paid Registration
The practice of charging an admission price to an event whether by ticket or by registration is under the strict control of the university.  All student organization events involving admission fees for entrance are subject to review of the facility, and approval by the Department or Campus Life.

Facility rental fees will apply and the university and/or the facility may collect a percentage of ticket sales when admission is charged.  Under no circumstances is it permitted for student organizations to collect fees in exchange for admission without previous permission from and arrangements made with Campus Life.

C. Food Service and Sales
Sodexo Dining Services, a unit of Auxiliary Services, has exclusive rights to all food and beverage service and sales on the GC campus.  The GC Emergency Preparedness and Occupational Safety office has official oversight for the safe provision of food and beverage on the GC campus.  All use of food and beverage by student organizations, whether provided free of charge or in conjunction with sales, is subject to the rules, regulations, and approval of Campus Life and EPOS.  Food and beverage of any sort may not be provided to the public or in conjunction with official events without the approval of Campus Life.  Violations of this policy may result in fines and/or disciplinary action. 

D. Commercial Sales and Representation
Auxiliary Services controls all commercial sales and representation on the GC campus.  Sales of items and services must be approved in advance by Campus Life.  Commercial representation, promotions, and affiliation or co-sponsorship in advertising must be approved by Auxiliary Services in advance of your event.  Commercial representation or partnerships that may portray Georgia College to the public in any way is given strict oversight by the Office of University Communications.  Permission is required from the Office of University Communications for activities that imply sponsorship or endorsement by Georgia College to the general public.

E. Promotion
All promotions must be handled by, paid for by, and specify the sponsoring organization.  Promotions must not specify or imply sponsorship by organizations contrary to those indicated on the reservation form.  Organizations violating this policy may be subject to applicable charges and/or suspension of facility reservation privileges.  Off-campus promoters may not be used to promote events for other organizations.  Organization members must be present at the event to assist in event management and coordination.  Advertising on Milledgeville commercial radio stations is considered off-campus promotion.

F. Security, Special Event, and Public Safety Staffing
Department of Public Safety staffing may be necessary for the safe execution of your event at the discretion of each facility and reviews by Campus Life, Auxiliary Services, and Public Services.  All related fees for required Public Safety officers are the responsibility of the event organizer.  Events that may require staffing at cost to the organization include, but are not limited to:

• Admission-based events
• Publicly advertised events
• Events where the capacity of the facility may be reached
• Events where alcohol is being served
• Dances
• Concerts
• Events with controversial or popular speakers, performers, or topics
• Events or organizations with a history of police or incident reports, violence, or other policy violations.

G. Outdoor Amplified Sound
The use of outdoor amplified sound on the campus of Georgia College is restricted according to the following guidelines:

Purpose: It is the intent of the Department of Campus Life to affirm that while outdoor music, speakers, fairs, festivals, celebrations and other activities serve to reinforce the quality of campus life, the use of outdoor amplified sound must minimize any disruption of the central academic mission of the university.

Amplified sound is intended to be heard in the immediate area only.  Decibel levels for all outdoor amplified events are subject to monitoring and regulation by the campus department of Emergency Preparedness and Occupational Safety and may not, at any time, exceed reasonable levels: 65 decibels for 60 seconds when measured at 50 feet from the source utilizing an "A" scale.  Campus officials reserve the right to enforce reasonable outdoor sound amplification levels as described herein, including, but not limited to, immediate revocation of the outdoor amplified sound permit, if necessary.

Only one (1) event with amplified sound will be allowed at any one time (e.g. No outdoor amplified sound events are permitted during the final examination period). 

H. Publicity/Contracts/Purchases
Publicity, contractual agreements with performers or service providers, and purchases are not to be entered into or finalized until the event has been reviewed by Campus Life.  Rules, regulations, and policies must be followed with regard to publicity, contracts, and the use of university and SABC funds.  All plans for publicity and contracts must be disclosed and copies of supporting documents may be required by Campus Life.  

I. Copyrighted Materials for Public Performance
Copyrighted materials including, but not limited to, films, videos, and music are subject by law to restrictions on Public Performance.  It is the ultimate responsibility of the event sponsor to adhere to copyright law and secure Public Performance licenses for the use of copyrighted materials.  It is unlawful for student organizations to show films to its members.  Student organizations must obtain a public performance license.  It is relatively easy and usually requires no more than a phone call.  Fees are determined by such factors as the number of times a particular movie will be shown, how large the audience will be, etc.  While fees vary, they are generally inexpensive for smaller performances.  The major films that handle these licenses include:
• Swank Motion Pictures, Inc. 1-800-876-5577;
• Motion Picture Licensing Corp. (800) 462-8855;
• Criterion Picture USA, Inc. 1-800-890-9494;
A student organization officer must show a public performance license or proof or permission from the copyright owner to show the work publicly on-campus.  Ownership, rental or borrowing a film/video from a library does not constitute public performance rights.  The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and its member companies are dedicated to stopping film and video piracy in all its forms, including unauthorized public performances.  The motion picture companies will go to court to ensure their copyrights are not violated.  If you are uncertain about your responsibilities under the copyright law, contact the MPAA, firms that handle public performance licenses or the studios directly.

Per the United States Copyright Revision Act of 1976, the following guidelines apply:

  • All non-private exhibitors or registered copyrighted videos or DVD's must obtain a Public Performance license.
  • The copyright laws apply whether or not an admission is charged.
  • Local video stores are in the business of renting video-cassettes and DVDs for home use only and they cannot provide legal protection or advice.
  • Personal ownership of the videotape or DVD and the right to show it publicly are two separate issues.
  • The copyright holder retains exclusive public performance rights to that program.
  • The purchase of a videocassette or DVD from any source such as a local video store or retail outlet does not convey or carry with it the right to exhibit that cassette or DVD in public or semi-public locations.

"Willful" infringement for commercial or financial gain is a federal crime punishable as a misdemeanor, carrying a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail and/or a $100,000 fine.  Even inadvertent infringers are subject to substantial civil damages, ranging from $500 to $20,000 for each illegal showing.

Contact the Department of Campus Life at (478) 445-4027 for additional information regarding the public performance of copyrighted materials. 

Section 10: Special Events Policies and Procedures     

A. Campus Demonstrations

Campus demonstrations, including picketing, are permitted on campus subject to university guidelines for time, place, and manner.  Guidelines for demonstrations include the following:

  • File a request with Campus Life at least 48 hours in advance of the event.
  • Demonstrations may not occur within university buildings or residences.
  • Demonstrations may not interfere with scheduled meetings, educational programs, or vehicle or pedestrian traffic.
  • No sound amplification equipment may be used unless reserved for that purpose and approvals have been obtained.
  • No person shall carry or possess while participating in any demonstration, rally, picket line, or public assembly any metal stake, club, or pipe, or any length of lumber, wood, or lath, unless that wooden object is inch or less in thickness, and 2 inches or less in width.  If not generally rectangular in shape, such wooden object shall not exceed inch in its thickest dimension.
  • Participants must remain orderly, comply with federal and state laws and university regulations, and must not interfere with Public Safety in the performance of their duties.

B. Dances/Concerts/Other Large Events and Activities/Controversial Programs and Speakers

These types of events are subject to approval by each facility in accordance with its use policies and by Campus Life.  Each of these areas is entitled to make recommendations and requirements regarding the parameters of the event being proposed.

Restrictions on admission and publicity may be limited to allow access to GC students only, and all costs associated with those restrictions for staffing and supervision will be assessed to the sponsoring organization.  Public Safety in conjunction with the facility will have ultimate responsibility for determining appropriate minimum security levels.  Supervision by the student organization advisor, representatives from Campus Life, Public Safety, and/or other representatives may be required to attend for the event to be approved.  Any fees involved for supervision will be assessed to the sponsoring organization.  Members of the sponsoring organization must present to assist with the event management and execution. 
Appropriate staffing by the student organization will be determined by Campus Life and by the facility.  When making determinations about the appropriate management practices for student organization special events, the facility and Campus Life will take into account the following:

  • Event and organization history
  • Nature of the event
  • Controversial content of the event
  • Publicity
  • Safety & Legality
  • Adherence to the academic mission of the university.

C. Fundraising Events
Fundraising is sometimes an important element of event planning. Please refer to Chapter 6: Fundraising and Sponsorship for more information.

Section 11:  Additional Event Planning Items 

• Organizations are responsible for being familiar with the policies and procedures of the Student Organization Handbook.  Failure to "be aware of the policy" shall not be sufficient grounds for granting waivers to the policies and procedures.

• As all requests for events are tentative until approved by Campus Life and Public Services, organizations must not enter into contracts or publicize events prior to the event being approved.

• In case of conflicts on campus space requested for the same date, priority will be given to the organization filling the request at the earliest date.

• All organizations are responsible for all voluntarily incurred debts related to their events.

• Students are not permitted to sign or agree to contracts on behalf of Georgia College. The university will not be liable for any contract signed by the officers of student organizations or any other student or group of students. 

• Student organizations that enter into written or verbal contracts fraudulently or otherwise misrepresent their organization (for example, providing a false organization identity when making a reservation at an off-campus facility) will be subject to disciplinary action.

Each organization will operate itself and conduct all events in accordance with federal and state laws, local ordinances, official University System of Georgia and university policies, policies of Campus Life, and the constitution and/or bylaws of the organization itself.

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