Space Utilization and Scheduling

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University Policy Number 1103


Responsible Office:

Policy Procedure:

Related Law & Policy:

I. Scope

This policy applies to all George Mason University faculty, staff, students, and external organizations that reserve and use space owned, leased, or controlled by George Mason University. This policy applies to all university offices, departments, units, divisions, regardless of location or function, and includes all auxiliary enterprise operations except classroom assignments made by the Office of the University Registrar. Specific procedures on scheduling and management of events are maintained by University Events.

II. Policy Statement

This policy is strictly applicable to the use of space in support of the mission of the University. Pursuant to the Regulation, unless space is reserved for university purposes under this policy, open areas of the university are generally available to faculty, staff, students and the public for any lawful non-commercial use. Commercial use of space is arranged through the Office of University Events.

All use of space must comply with university policy and procedures and federal, state, and local law; and may not be used for personal financial gain without a separate contract with the university. The university may deny, reschedule, or renegotiate the use of space by student organizations, employees, or external organizations in the event of a conflict with this policy, with other events or to preserve health and safety.

All events must be scheduled and entered into the university’s centralized scheduling system and must accurately represent the nature of the event (i.e., internal, external, or sponsored). The university requires information about events prior to reserving space; failure to provide all required information will result in forfeiture of space reservation. As detailed below, certain events require prior approval. Space use fees must be assessed as per University Policy. Mason Dining (Sodexo) shall get the right of first refusal for all external groups that require on campus catering.

Outdoor space not in use for scheduled events is generally available for any lawful non-commercial use.

III. Definitions

Event: A meeting, conference, presentation, gathering, or other activity that occurs on university property. Routine department or activities that occur in space scheduled by a department in space assigned to the department, do not include any non-university employees or students that are not conducting bona fide university, and do not exceed 30 people are not considered an event.

Event Space: An area on university property (indoors or outdoors) used to hold an event.

Event Client or Point of Contact: The primary point of contact for an event. The Event Client must be on site during the event or appoint a designee to assume this role for the duration of the event. Responsibilities include scheduling, responding to emergencies, and communicating logistical and financial information to the event coordinator.

Event Coordinator: Office of University Events representative who is the liaison to the Client. The Event Coordinator coordinates the event from origin to completion. The Event Coordinator must be on site during the event or appoint a designee to assume this role for the duration of the event.

Special Use Space: Includes but not limited to the Patriot Center, Center for the Arts, Athletic and Recreational Spaces, Departmental Conference Rooms, Housing Spaces, Parking Lots, Point of View, Loudon and Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation. Special use space is subject to the approval of the facility manager.

Event Type:

External Event: An event that meets any one of the following criteria is defined as an external event:
• The organization is identified as a business, including but not limited to an LLC or 501(C).
• The organization does not hold a university organization code.
• The Event Client is not an employee or registered student of the university;
• The event is identified by or references an external organization exclusively;
• The university receives payment for resources or services from an external individual or organization to host an event; or
• The event charges a fee to participate and revenues generated from the event are routed to a non-university account.
University departments, employees, and recognized student groups may not accept payments on behalf of external organizations to reserve or use university space.

Internal Event: An event organized by a university office or a registered student organization for the benefit of, and where participants are, university employees, students, or prospective students. Recognized student organizations that hold events on university property for the purposes of fund raising for the organization are considered internal events.

Sponsored Event: An event scheduled by an external organization in collaboration with a university department. Sponsoring departments must complete a Sponsorship Request Form, which must be approved by the Vice President of Communication and Marketing. The university reserves the right to enter into a formal contract with external organizations for use of university spaces when it is mutually beneficial to do so. Employees and registered student organizations may not schedule space on behalf of an external organization.

High Impact Events: Events that require significant resource commitment or may disrupt normal university operations. Events that may qualify as high impact events will be identified by event coordinators and evaluated for campus-wide impact by the Vice President of Communications and Marketing.

University Major Events: Certain regularly scheduled events are critical to the university mission and will have highest priority for scheduling and use of university support resources.

IV. Use of Outdoor Space for University Purposes

Use of outdoor space for an internal event must be scheduled through university’s centralized scheduling system. Use of outdoor space for sponsored events must be scheduled through the Office of University Events. Employees and registered student organizations may not schedule space on behalf of an external organization.

V. Compliance

The Office of University Events is responsible for scheduling non-instructional space. University Events will advise users as to what support is required based on the needs of the event. In situations where event type is in question, the issue will be referred to the Vice President for Communications and Marketing and reviewed by Executive Council as appropriate.

A. Priorities
Whenever scheduling conflicts arise, events will be given priority based on their potential benefit to the university’s academic and civic mission.

B. Exceptions
Exceptions to this policy may be granted with the approval of University Events and the Vice President for Communications and Marketing.

C. Policy Enforcement
The Vice President of Communications and Marketing, in consultation with the Executive Committee.

VI. Dates:

A. Effective Date:

This policy will become effective upon the date of approval by the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Provost and Executive Vice President.

B. Date of Most Recent Review:


VII. Timetable for Review

This policy, and any related procedures, shall be reviewed every three years or more frequently as needed.

VIII. Signatures

The policies herein are effective upon publication.  This Administrative Policy shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, annually and to become effective at the beginning of the University’s fiscal year, unless otherwise noted.


Maurice W. Scherrens
Senior Vice President

Peter N. Stearns

Date approved: February 24, 2003

Revision approved: September 4, 2013

Revision approved: April 27, 2015