Social Event Policy

for Registered Student Organizations

Revised Spring 2011

The RSO Social Event Policy pertains to those on-campus events sponsored by University of Houston registered student organizations meeting the following criteria:

  • Includes admissions, cash donations at the door, or advanced ticket sales.
  • Attracts persons without a valid UH ID.
  • Is a mixer or social event.

This policy was originally developed by the UH Task Force on Student Organizations Social Function in 1992-93, amended in February 1996, and revised in Spring 2011.

Article 1
Responsibility of Hosting Organization

The hosting organization will take active responsibility for the event, and is to be visible, proactive and accessible. The expectation is that the full membership of the hosting organization is knowledgeable of and responsible for their duties during the Social Event.

  • Host organizations must appoint organizational representatives to monitor the event.
  • Any host organization sponsoring an event as described above is accepting responsibility for the actions of their guests. Responsibility includes fiscal obligation in the event there was damage caused to property and the perpetrator cannot be identified and/or does not make restitution.
  • Host organizations may be subject to appropriate disciplinary sanctions if policy violations or disruptions occur.

Article 2
Venue Capacities

The host organization planning the event must comply with all of the rules and maximum occupancies for their reserved venue. If maximum occupancy for a mixer for a particular venue has not been established, the occupancy for the event will be determined by the UH Fire Marshal in conjunction with the UHDPS Special Event Coordinator and the facility manager for the facility under consideration.

The following list includes most major venues at UH and capacities of these venues for events that fall within the parameters of this policy. (NOTE: these are the maximums for the venues listed. The number of attendees for each event will be determined in the planning meeting referred to in Article 3 and will be based on a number of factors such as history of event and event layout.)

Room/Venue Maximum Occupancy
Houston Room proper 338
Houston Room and Perimeter Rooms 667
Cougar Den 200
OB Ballroom 312
OB Multipurpose Room 231
Campus Rec Multipurpose Room 1 and 2 309
Campus Rec, MAC 606

Article 3
Registering and Planning a Social Event

Hosting organizations must build in a minimum of thirty (30) business days of event planning time for routing of paperwork and reservation of venues and services through other required offices/areas prior to submitting an Event Registration with the University.

Events that fall within the parameters of this policy will not be permitted during all-campus events such as graduation dates, Frontier Fiesta, and home football games.

Timeline Requirements:

  • Twenty five (25) business days prior to the event, the host organization must meet with the Risk Management Advisor in the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) and complete the Event Registration cover sheet.
  • Twenty (20) business days prior to the event, one of the three registered officers of the host organization, and the members organizing the event, must meet on-site with UHDPS Special Events coordinator, the CSI Risk Management Advisor, the organization’s advisor (if applicable), and the manager or representative of the reserved venue. The meeting will be arranged by the CSI Advisor.

Topics covered in the meeting will include (but are not be limited to):

  • Staffing by UH personnel
    • Events hosted by fraternities or sororities must be staffed by a team member from the Center for Leadership and Fraternity & Sorority Life, or the team’s designee
    • Events hosted by non-fraternity or sorority registered student organizations must be staffed by a team member from the Center for Student Involvement, or the team’s designee
    • Events hosted by a fee-funded organization must be staffed by their assigned advisor or his/her designee
  • Determining suitable security
  • Role of the host organization in the event management
  • Safe and appropriate use of props
  • Establishing the facility set up
  • Logistics for the event from set up to clean up
  • Admission and readmission plan
  • Approximate costs for the event including security, facilities, and any other services
  • Maximum occupancy for the venue (see list in Article 2)

Article 4
Requirements for Admission to the Event

University of Houston students must present a valid UH ID for access to the event. UH students with a valid UH ID may bring up to two guests into the event.  Guests must have either a valid government-issued ID or a valid college ID. Guests must be at least 18 years of age. The Dean of Students may waive or modify this requirement under special circumstances.

Article 5
Advertising of an RSO Social Event

In any advertising of an RSO Social Event, the hosting organization shall use methods designed to:

  • Invite a group of a size consistent with the established venue capacity for a Social Event. Maximum capacity for the venue must be on the advertisement.
  • Advertising must state that attendees have to present a valid UH ID, guests must be accompanied by a UH student with a valid ID, that capacity will be enforced, and that the hosting organization has the right to refuse admission.
  • Specify that no alcohol will be allowed or served (when applicable).
  • Under no circumstances shall the event be advertised until the CSI Risk Management Advisor has finalized the Event Registration.

Article 6
Event Security and Safety

The role of UHDPS at RSO Social Events is to ensure that a safe environment is provided for event participants. During the event, UHDPS has the authority to require the hosting organization and UH personnel to implement additional safety precautions up to and including ending the event.

In order to ensure a safe environment, hosting organizations are required to do the following:

  • Hosting organization shall post signs at the event entrance with language that indicates that UH reserves the right to deny admittance to or remove anyone from the event.
  • Hosting organization must post signs provided by the Center for Student Involvement that address safety needs as determined during the planning meeting with UHDPS and UH personnel.  Signage may address issues such as loitering, no smoking, no standing or sitting on stairs, etc.
  • The UHDPS Special Events Coordinator and the hosting organization shall establish venue specific “loiter-free” zones in the vicinity of the event and for appropriate time periods during and after the event.
  • As determined by the host organization’s representatives, the UHDPS on-site supervisor, and the other UH Personnel in attendance, admittance shall be denied and/or guests shall be removed by UHDPS if they:
    • Are obviously intoxicated or belligerent
    • Are being disruptive
    • Fail to cooperate with the police or host organization.
  • The hosting organization may be required to utilize metal detectors, at the expense of the organization.  
  • After maximum occupancy has been met, no one will be admitted or readmitted to the event, even if other attendees have left the event.

Article 7

The Social Event Policy shall be reviewed as needed or at least once every three years by the Dean of Students.

*Determined on 5/26/2011 by the University of Houston Fire Marshalls using Life Safety Code, 2009 edition, NFPA 101.