Events

Events Planned by Students for 2020-2021

Out of an abundance of caution and care for the college community the room request process for events, meetings, and programs will be different for students for the 2020-2021 academic year.  The baseline expectation is that all student events, meetings, and programming should be conducted through a virtual/online platform. If you need help envisioning what this may look like for you or your group, please reach out to the Office of Campus Life for assistance.

Students that would like to request to utilize a space for an in-person event, meeting, and/or program regardless of if the program is indoors or outdoors can find information on this process and the new request form below. 

Each request will be reviewed and must meet a relatively high bar of need for in-person instead of virtual/online.

Please be aware that the last day an in-person event, meeting, and/or programs for the Fall Semester can occur on is Friday, November 20, 2020. 

  • At a the very minimum all requests must incorporate the following guidelines to be considered:

    • The Williams College Student Community Health Commitment – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dESaHh-QfEGz6TwuAQioVfbtp1UUrc9t/view
    • Massachusetts Guideline for Gatherings – Updated on Nov. 6  – https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-order-54/download
    • Williams College Athletic Activity Guidelines – Updated on Sept. 3, 2020
      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1heMDpF235Zhm_8dH0THCMkvy7ZWoORXXs_4hSRF18cg/edit?usp=sharing
    • Students must have an Advisor/Responsible Individual supporting their organization in order to request in-person events, meetings, and/or programs. The Advisor/Responsible Individual must be a Faculty or Staff Member of the College. As part of this process the Advisor/Responsible Individual must review and give approval for the specific event/gathering that you are proposing.
    • Please note in-person event, meeting, and/or program requests for inside the Residential Halls will be denied because of state guidelines regarding indoor gathering limitations as well as best practices regarding COVID.
    • Please note that spaces in both Goodrich Hall and Paresky Center will not be available for in-person events, meeting, and/or programs. If this changes we will provide you with an update at that time.
    • Please note that no audio visual and/or technical support will be provided for any in-person event, meeting, and/or program.
    • Please note that no services such as tables and chairs will be provided or any in-person event, meeting, and/or program through Facilities.
    • Please note Alcohol will not be allowed at any in-person event, meeting, and/or program. If this changes we will provide you with an update at that time.
    • Please note that Indoor Singing cannot occur as part of any program.
    • Please note the requirements for Singing Outdoors in a group are as follows:
      • No more than 10 students are allowed to gather to sing as a group outdoors.
      • When singing outdoors students must be 25 feet apart and wearing a mask at all times
  • A request must be submitted for each specific in-person event, meeting, and program. For example if you are looking to do something that would be recurring you must submit a request for each specific date. All requests will be reviewed on a first come first served basis.

    All requests for an in-person event, meeting, and programs must be made through the following form found here: https://forms.gle/RVRSYB1kLUSG2JTA6

    Please be aware that the last day an in-person event, meeting, and/or programs for the Fall Semester can occur on is Friday, November 20, 2020.  

  • All requests should be submitted as far in advance as possible for review and preferably seven business days prior to the proposed program date for optimal consideration. The event requests will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis once a week on Monday afternoons. If your request is submitted after 1:00 p.m.on Monday it will not be considered until the next review period (.i.e. If you submitted a request on Monday after 1:00 p.m. for an event on Friday of the same week it will not be considered).

    Finally please note it may be a few days before you hear back regarding your request. Please be aware that no in-person event, meeting, and/or programs will be allowed to occur prior to September 14, 2020. We appreciate your patience and consideration.

General Information

  • Campus Speaker/Performer Policy

    Freedom of expression is central to Williams’ educational mission as an inclusive residential liberal arts institution, and the college is committed to both inquiry and inclusion regarding outside speakers/performers and related events.

    Any guest speaker presenting at Williams should be prepared to listen and respond to questions from the audience. An invitation extended to a guest speaker or performer does not constitute approval or endorsement of the speaker’s or performer’s viewpoint(s) by the college.

    Recognized student organizations (RSOs) may invite speakers or performers of their choosing to campus, subject to the guidelines outlined below. If an individual student or non-registered group seeks to invite a speaker or performer, an RSO, faculty or staff member, or campus office or department may agree to sponsor the event on behalf of that individual or group. In those cases, the sponsor is then responsible for ensuring compliance with this and all relevant policies.

    Sponsoring Organization Responsibilities

    When inviting a non-college individual or group to speak or perform on campus, sponsoring organizations shall:

    • Notify the Office of Student Life (for OSL-advised RSOs) or the Davis Center (for DC-advised RSOs) of plans to have a speaker, performer, or event at the college.
    • Make clear to invited speakers and performers that any event or performance must adhere to college policies.
    • Be clearly identified as sponsors in all publicity materials for the event, and at the beginning of the event itself.
    • Be responsible for the cost of additional security measures if the college determines that such measures are necessary should the proposed event have the potential to cause violence or damage or pose a threat to the safety or security of individuals on campus. In exceptional cases, the sponsoring organization may request additional funding from the college to cover necessary security-related expenses.
    • RSO sponsors must complete & submit the Program Proposal form found on the Office of Student Life (OSL) website at least 45 days in advance of the anticipated program date, and then schedule a meeting with a staff member of the Davis Center (for DC-advised RSOs) or the Office of Student Life (for OSL-advised RSOs) to review the proposal & determine next steps, including location & logistics.

    The following policies guide the use of campus facilities and related resources in support of outside speakers/ performers.

    Contracts

    Williams College will only recognize contracts for an outside performer/speaker being paid for coming to campus that are signed by an agent of the college, defined as a faculty or staff member who has been approved by their correlating Senior Staff member to sign contracts.

    Students are not authorized by the college to sign contracts.

    All third-party contracts, agreements, and arrangements must be fully disclosed at least 30 days in advance of the speaker/performer’s anticipated program.

    Contracts are subject to review by the college’s legal counsel. It may be determined that a certificate of liability insurance is necessary and, if so, must be provided at least one week in advance of the program. All contracts must include the Williams College Performance Rider and are subject to a 5.3% Massachusetts Performance Tax.

    Funding

    All necessary funding must be secured to cover all associated costs before a speaker/performer can be booked. Funding for these programs typically comes from the sponsoring organization.

    Alumni, foundations, and other non-college sources may provide funding for campus speakers. For transparency’s sake, we require that such funding be disclosed to the college. All agreements and arrangements related to such funding must be fully disclosed to the college at least two weeks in advance of the program.

    RSOs must disclose their funding sources when they meet with the Davis Center (for DC-advised RSOs) or with the Office of Campus Life (for OCL-advised RSOs) regarding logistical coordination.

    Funding sources must be disclosed in all publicity for these programs.

    General Support Resources

    RSOs are required to coordinate logistical aspects of these programs (including but not limited to publicity, set-ups, lock/unlock schedules, and other details) through the Davis Center (for DC-advised RSOs) or through the Office of Campus Life (for OCL-advised RSOs).

    Hosts may be encouraged by the Davis Center or OCL to seek out additional resources (through the offices of the Dean of Faculty, the Dean of College, and/or Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) in order to plan the event in a way that will maximize inclusivity as well as educational benefit.

    Some events may require support from campus and/or other resources (including college staff from various offices, Williamstown Police and/or Fire Department, Northern Berkshire EMS, outside a/v tech companies, etc.). These determinations are made by the college, and the sponsoring organization is responsible for all payments for these services.

    Overnight Stays

    Outside speakers/performers are not permitted to stay overnight on campus. If accommodations are necessary, they must be provided off-campus and paid for by the sponsoring organization or by the speaker/performer themselves.

    Protesting Speakers/Performers

    Protests regarding a campus speaker/performer must adhere to the college’s Campus Protest policies.

    Right of Refusal

    In exceptional cases in which a threat assessment indicates significant risk to the community, the president and senior administration will work with event sponsors to determine measures to maximize safety and mitigate risk. Only in cases of imminent and credible threat to the community that cannot be mitigated by revisions to the event plan would the president and senior administration consider rescheduling or canceling the event.

  • Campus Protest Policy

    Williams recognizes and supports the right of students on our campus to protest peacefully within the framework of the college’s policies. Protests may take many forms including, but not limited to: assemblies, demonstrations, rallies and picketing, displaying fliers/posters/banners, distribution of leaflets and petitions, chalking, tabling, or the temporary installation of an object. The college is committed to ensuring that protests take place in a safe and responsible manner without infringing upon the rights of others or violating standards of good conduct or public law.

    Williams retains the right to regulate the time, place, and manner of protests. For example, the Student Code of Conduct states: “The College is obligated to maintain orderly and equitable conduct of its affairs, free of intimidation and harassment. While peaceful and orderly protest and dissent are the right of all members of the College community, any action which obstructs or interferes with the fulfillment of this basic obligation cannot be permitted. Violent acts and the incitement of violence are not permitted.”

    To ensure that the safety of the community is protected and that the principles of freedom of inquiry and expression are supported, the college has established the basic rules listed below regarding protests. In advance of a planned protest, students are strongly encouraged to consult with relevant offices including but not limited to: the Dean of the College, the Davis Center, Student Life, the Chaplains, or Institutional Diversity Equity and Inclusion.

    • Protests may not violate or conflict with college policies or the law.
    • A single person or group of people does not have the right to prevent the public expression of others (e.g., preventing an invited speaker from being heard).
    • Protests may not jeopardize anyone’s physical safety.
    • Protests may not prevent, unduly obstruct, or interfere with the normal academic, administrative, or programmatic operations of the college. These include but are not limited to:
        • Academic activities, such as classes, labs, activities in any academic building, libraries, etc.
        • Athletic events, including both varsity and club sports
        • Events or speakers hosted in accordance with college policy by academic departments, administrative offices, or recognized student organizations
        • The functioning of the college’s student residences and dining halls
        • Pedestrian & vehicular traffic flow
        • Access to/from any college facilities
    • In the event that any of the above conditions are violated, college personnel and/or other officials will ask for immediate compliance. College personnel may require students to leave public events at the College for improper behavior. Students are expected to comply with the requests of campus or public officials.
    • Damage or alteration, whether temporary or permanent, to any campus structure or landscape is not permitted, unless authorized in advance by the College. Formal requests can be made to the owner of the location being considered; if the owner is not known, contact Facilities for assistance. Students who damage property may be required to pay for replacement/repair costs (in addition to facing potential disciplinary action).
    • The college reserves the right to determine an appropriate location for rallies & picketing to ensure that college policies are followed, and to relocate or suspend any protest that violates college policies or the law. In all cases, legal building capacity limits must be strictly enforced. Rallies & picketing may not interfere with access to buildings or spaces.
    • Protests in the form of fliers, banners or other large format materials, chalkings, or table tents, must adhere to the college’s Postings policies.
    • The use of amplification equipment for protest is allowed as long as it does not prevent an invited speaker from being heard, interfere with the normal operations of the college, nor violate local noise laws.
    • Non-college groups, and individuals who are not current Williams students, staff, or faculty, are not permitted to engage in protests on college property unless they are invited to campus by a college department or registered student organization in accordance with college policy.
    • Violation of these policies will result in disciplinary processes.
  • These policies address the permitted means of sharing information publicly on campus property in the form of postings.

    Postings are defined as:

    • Fliers (any temporary sign or poster 11” x 17” or smaller)
    • Large Format Materials (any temporary sign, flier, flag, banner, etc. that is larger than 11” x 17”)
    • Chalkings (messages installed on hard permanent surfaces such as brick, cement, etc. with chalk)
    • Other (any physical installation in a campus public area that does not fit within the categories of Flier, Large Format Materials, or Chalkings).

    Clear Ownership

    All postings must clearly indicate the name & email and/or phone for the person and/or group responsible for the posting.

    Installation

    Postings are to be installed by the person/group responsible for the postings. When affixing a posting to walls or windows, use blue or purple masking tape to avoid damaging or marking surfaces (you can pick up some blue or purple masking tape from OSL during regular office hours). Postings may not be affixed to the glass portion of doors. For large format materials, you may check with Facilities in advance for assistance.

    Chalkings may be installed on horizontal outdoor concrete surfaces which are exposed to the elements, i.e., not on walls, pillars or other vertical surfaces, and not under overhangs of any kind.

    The location of a posting must not pose a risk to health or safety, including by breaching Fire Codes or similar life/safety regulations as determined by the appropriate College or Town officials.

    For postings that fall into the “Other” category, the installer must meet with the location/space owner of the proposed installation at least 7 days in advance of the proposed installation for consideration. If a location/space owner is not designated or clear, the installer must contact OSL or Facilities for assistance.

    Compliance, Duration, Removal, Damage, Exceptions

    The College seeks to assure the ability of all students to express themselves freely. At the same time, Williams has a responsibility to ensure that no member of this community is intimidated, harassed, or subjected to a hostile learning or work environment. While allowing the broadest possible space for expression, the college may in specific cases remove postings that are deemed to have this effect. In cases that may violate the Williams Code of Conduct, the college will also pursue disciplinary processes.

    Postings that do not appear to adhere to these policies should be referred to the Director of Student Life for compliance review.

    Postings removed due to compliance issues will be held in OSL for one week, after which they will be discarded. An “Oops” card (see below) will be temporarily placed near where the posting was removed, noting the compliance issue(s). The card will show a web address to this policy, as well as a QR code linked to this policy.

    General fliers may be posted for no more than 14 days, after which they will be removed and discarded.

    Program event/series fliers may be posted until the last program date on the flier has passed.

    Large format materials may be posted for no more than 7 days, after which they will be removed and discarded.

    Postings will be removed and discarded campus-wide on the day after the last day of final exams at the end of each semester; at the end of Winter Study; and in mid-August.

    Individual offices/departments often provide dedicated bulletin or other display areas that are managed by the individual offices/departments themselves and may not be available for general postings. These office/department owners may remove any posting on their boards at any time and for any reason.

    If College property is damaged by any posting, those responsible will be charged for any associated costs in addition to possible disciplinary follow-up.

    Individuals who are creating postings as part of academic projects, programs, or assignments may seek exceptions to some of these parameters. Please contact OSL in advance for guidance.

     

  • College property (including but not limited to College buildings and grounds) is primarily designated for use that correlates to the College’s core educational purposes. Its use for such purposes as lectures, plays, musical performances, dances, etc., must be approved by the appropriate College authorities.

    College property may not be used for the purpose of participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.

  • Williams seeks to accommodate requests for the use of College facilities by local groups when the fit with College operations. Click here to learn more.

    Looking for information on Summer Conferences? Click here.

  • Below is a list of questions frequently asked about student events.  If your question is not answered here, contact the Associate Director.

    Q: Who created the formula for alcohol and what does it mean?

    A: The 2004 Alcohol Task Force made the recommendation for the formula based on the percentage of Williams students who are 21 years or older and can legally drink. The recommendation was approved by the Dean of the College. The responsible rate of consumption is based on one drink per hour per person.

    Q: Why do I have to follow the formula for alcohol?

    A: The formula for the amount of alcohol must be followed to ensure compliance with Massachusetts Law and College policy. Furthermore, compliance encourages responsible consumption.

    Q: Why can’t I have more people attend my event than what’s listed on the capacities sheet?

    A: Capacities are set by the Massachusetts Building Code. Some of the factors are the building use group, number of exits and number of bathrooms. For more information on capacities, contact Frank Pekarski.

    Q: How do I book a room for my event?

    A: You must request a room reservation separately through the online room scheduler (EMS).

    Q: I’m a first-time event planner.  What do I do?

    A: If you are part of an organization supported by CampusLife or an individual student, contact Mike Bodnarik, Associate Director to set up an initial meeting. If you are part of a student organization supported by the Davis Center, please contact your organization’s specific advisor.

    Q: Why do people in other offices need to know about my event?

    A: Various offices on campus need to know what events are happening, and sometimes need to ask questions about an event to ensure that the event goes off without a hitch. Sometimes staff in other offices will need to offer assistance, too. So we include folks from Facilities and Campus Safety so they have the same information the Office of Student Life & the Davis Center have, at the same time. It also gives those offices a half-day to bring up initial questions to be shared with the student by the Programming Coordinator or the Davis Center advisor during the meeting the next business day.

    Q: Do hosts & servers at events with alcohol have to be certified?

    A: Yes. Both TIPS (one-time during Williams career) and Host/Server (annually) and be hired by the Programming Coordinator in Student Life (Ellen Rougeau).

    Q: My event doesn’t include alcohol.  Do hosts need to be certified?

    A:  Maybe – it depends on the event and specific details submitted through your Room Scheduler request. Ellen Rougeau, Programming Coordinator for Student Life or your advisor in the Davis Center will let you know.

    Q: I don’t have all the details of my event worked out – should I still submit the Room Scheduler (EMS) request?

    A: Yes! Submit it as early as possible and fill out the information as completely as you can at the time. We’ll work with you to figure out the details after you submit the form.

    Q: My event involves a contract.  Can I sign it?

    A: No – students are not authorized to sign contracts on behalf of the College. Contracts must be reviewed and signed by a staff of the college. Please see the contract policy found HERE.

    Q: Do I have to meet with someone in the Office of Student Life or the Davis Center after submitting the Room Scheduler (EMS) request?

    A: Yes – so we can help you make sure that your event happens smoothly.

    Q: What if I don’t meet a deadline for submitting the form or for contract review, or for auxiliary services?

    A: You probably won’t be able to have the event on the date you’d like, but we’ll work with you to find a new date that will work.

    Q: Who gets the email or the form when it’s submitted?

    A: Staff from the Office of Campus Life, the Davis Center, Campus Safety, Facilities, and the Dean’s Office.

    Q: I have more questions in about being a certified host or server. How do I get answers?

    A: Contact Mike Bodnarik he will be able to answer any questions you have about becoming or hiring a host or server for your events.

Student Events with Alcohol Policies

  • Please note Alcohol will not be allowed at any in-person event, meeting, and/or program. If this changes we will provide you with an update at that time.

    Students Events with Alcohol Policies

    • Students are required to follow all of the Responsible Party Standards and specific rules related to Basic Events and Complex Events.
    • Student events with alcohol are restricted to member of the College community and their escorted guests.
    • All advertising for events with alcohol must be directed exclusively at the College Community.
    • No off-campus advertising or promotion of events with alcohol is allowed.
    • Advertisements for events with alcohol may not in any way feature alcohol, either in name of the event or in the description.
    • College funds may not be used to purchase alcohol.
    • No admission fees, cover charges, or charges for alcoholic beverages are permitted when alcohol is served unless a temporary license to sell is obtained from the Town of Williamstown and approved by the Board of Selectors. To secure a temporary license please reach out to the Office of Student Life.
    • Bracelets must be used to identify persons of legal drinking age of 21 years.
    • Events must conform to fire code and maximum occupancy limits.
    • A barrier (e.g. bar) is required to separate the alcohol from guests; only servers may have access to the alcohol during the event. The area must have adequate lighting to check ID’s.
    • Events with alcohol may not begin before 6:00 p.m. on days when classes are scheduled or before 12:00 p.m. noontime on Saturdays and Sundays.
    • Events with alcohol must end by 12:00 a.m midnight for events occurring Sunday through Thursday nights; and by 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
    • Hard alcohol, including punch, is prohibited from all registered student events.
    • Senior events (First Chance Dance, 100 Days Dance, Senior Week Events) have an 8-keg maximum.
    • Alcohol is not permitted at athletic events unless purchased from a licensed vendor on the premises.
    • Outdoor events with alcohol must be requested and registered through the Office of Student Life and approved by Facilities & Campus Safety. These events are subject to additional requirements.
    • Alcohol may not be served in Firs Year residence halls or at any event exclusively intended for First Year Students.
    • First Year entries cannot fund alcohol for events, but under separate bulling can sponsor entertainment, food, and alternative beverages.
    • Student-initiated events with alcohol are not allowed during Orientation, First Days, or Final Exam Periods.
    • Student-initiated events with alcohol are not allowed during Reading Periods (except the night prior to Reading Period beginning, until 2:00 a.m.).
  • Please note Alcohol will not be allowed at any in-person event, meeting, and/or program. If this changes we will provide you with an update at that time.

    Food Requirements for Events with Alcohol

    Food and non-alcoholic beverages must be provided for consumption throughout the duration of any event with alcohol. Adequate amounts of non-salty/non-sweet food must be provided as well as ample quantities of non-alcoholic beverages.

    The requirements for different ever with alcohol are as follows:

    • Unregistered Intimate Events with Alcohol
      • Max # of people in attendance is 20,
        • 2 lbs of food and 5 liters of non-alcoholic beverage must be provided.
    • Basic Events with Alcohol
      • Between 21 and 50 people in attendance.
        • 4 lbs of food and 10 liters of non-alcoholic beverage must be provided.
    • Complex Events with Alcohol
      • Between 51 and 99 people in attendance.
        • 4 lbs of food and 10 liters of non-alcoholic beverage must be provided.
      • Between 100 and 199 people in attendance.
        • 8 lbs of food and 20 liters of non-alcoholic beverage must be provided.
      • 200 or more people in attendance
        • 24 lbs of food and 60 liters of beverage must be provided.
  • Additional Event Policies

    • Events must end by 12:00 a.m. midnight for events occurring Sunday through Thursday nights; and by 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
    • Events must conform to fire code and maximum occupancy limits.
    • Student-initiated events are not allowed during Orientation, First Days, or Final Exam Periods.
    • Student-initiated events are not allowed during Reading Periods (except the night prior to Reading Period beginning, until 2:00 a.m.) The only other exception is for Final Performances.
    • Smoking is not permitted at events held indoors – all College buildings are considered smoke free.
    • Foam machines and parties are not permitted in any College buildings.
    • Fog and smoke machines are not permitted for use in any College buildings. If you would like to use these machines outside of a College building you must check with the Office of Student Life and Environmental Health and Safety prior to usage.
    • If you are considering candles during an event it must be discussed in advance. Be sure to speak with the Office of Student Life and Environmental Health and Safety.
    • Outdoor events must be requested and registered through the Office of Student Life and approved by Facilities and Campus Safety.
  • Please note that Host and Servers will not be available for the Academic Year 2020-2021 if this changes we will provide you with an update at that time.

    Host and Servers

    Hosts – are the gatekeepers, monitors, and policy enforcers.

    Servers – are those responsible for safe alcohol service.

    Host and Servers are responsible to do the following:

    • Accept and carry out full responsibility of all aspects of the event including compliance with all Massachusetts State Laws concerning alcohol.
    • Comply with all registration form information.
    • Sign for alcohol at beginning of event (21-year-old).
    • Arrive substance-free at the start time and remain substance-free though clean-up.
    • Use the bracelets as supplied by the Office of Student Life to identify of-age guests.
    • Serve the alcohol only to of-age guests as identified with a wristband.
    • Monitor and controls alcohol service and use.
    • Prevent minors from drinking alcohol.
    • Prevent alcohol from being passed to minors.
    • Prevent intoxicated persons from drinking more alcohol.
    • Ensure a secure area for alcohol.
    • Ensure that any guest whose behavior is disruptive or creates an unsafe environment, or anyone who fails to comply with you in your role as a server, will be required to leave the event, enlisting the aid of Campus Safety if necessary.
    • Remove any guest from the event who fails to comply with Massachusetts law or College policy.
    • Enlist the aid of Campus Safety, when necessary, to ensure compliance with Massachusetts law and College policy.
    • Carry out additional tasks and responsibilities as assigned by the Event Coordinator and other event team members.
    • Ensure that the event sit is cleaned up and furniture is placed in its original location at end of the event.
    • Prevent alcohol at non-alcohol events.
    • Prevent hard alcohol from being brought into an event.
    • Dispose of any unsupervised beverage cups throughout the event.

    The Office of Student Life in conjunction with Campus Safety and Security determines the number of hosts/servers that are required for an event. The number needed is determined based upon the event, location, sponsoring organization, history, and other additional relevant factors.

    The Office of Student and Campus Safety and Security may require professional hosts and/or servers to be hired for an event.

Events Planned by Faculty or Staff

Faculty or Staff planning events should refer to the Office of the Dean of the Faculty event planning site.