Outside Speakers/Performers

Williams College hosts a wide variety of outside speakers/performers on campus throughout the year. The following policies regulate the use of campus facilities and related resources in support of outside speakers/performers.


To host an outside speaker or performer’s appearance and reserve a space for your event on campus, you must be one of the following:

If an RSO, faculty member, staff member, administrative office, or academic department agrees to sponsor an individual student or non-registered group, the sponsoring entity takes on full responsibility for ensuring compliance with this policy.

Reserving Space

The department/office/student organization requesting the event must submit a reservation request for campus space using Room Scheduler (EMS).

General Support Resources

Student members of an OSL RSO must meet with the Assistant Director for Student Organizations & Involvement in the Office of Student Life at least one month in advance of the speaker/performer’s requested appearance to disclose and discuss contracts, funding sources, location, logistics, publicity, and other details.

Student members of a DC RSO must meet with their Davis Center staff point person at least one month in advance of the speaker/performer’s requested appearance to disclose and discuss contracts, funding sources, location, logistics, publicity, and other details (see the Davis Center’s website for more information).

Academic departments needing advice are encouraged to speak with the Director of Commencement & Academic Events in the Dean of Faculty’s Office at least one month in advance of the speaker/performer’s anticipated lecture/ program to disclose & discuss logistics, contracts, publicity, funding sources, and other details.

Administrative offices needing advice are encouraged to speak with the Associate Director in the Office of Student Life at least one month in advance of the speaker/performer’s anticipated lecture/program to discuss contracts, location, logistics, publicity, funding sources, and other details.

Additional Support

Some events may be determined by the College to require support from campus and/or other resources to be on-site for some or all of the program (including but not limited to Campus Safety, Counseling Center staff, Williamstown Police Department, Village Ambulance Services). In these cases, the sponsoring department/office/RSO is responsible for any and all payments for these services.


Contracts for any outside performer/speaker being paid for coming to campus may be signed ONLY by an agent of the institution. An “agent of the institution” is a faculty or staff member of the College who has been approved by their correlating Senior Staff member to sign contracts. Students are NOT authorized by the College to sign any contracts to bring an outside speaker/performer and/or their program to campus.

The College will not be responsible for providing funding, logistical support, space, publicity, or any other resources necessary to bring an outside speaker and/or their program to campus for which a contract has been signed by anyone other than an agent of the institution as defined above. If a student – whether part of a registered student organization or not – signs a contract on behalf of the College, the outside speaker/performer will not be allowed to present their program on any campus property.

All contracts are reviewed by a minimum of two Williams staff members to ensure all details are covered. Larger, more complex contracts will be subject to legal review as well.

All contracts must include the Williams College Performance Rider.

All contracted payments are subject to a 5.3% Massachusetts Performance Tax.

All third-party contracts, agreements, and arrangements must be disclosed fully to the College.


A confirmed budget allocation must exist to cover all associated costs before a performer/speaker can be booked. Funding for speakers and/or their programs typically comes from the departments/offices/student organizations themselves.

The provision of funding from alumni, foundations, or other non-college sources for a performer/speaker and/or their program must 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 an event. Contact the Office of Student Life for more information on seeking such approval.

Certificate of Liability Insurance

Any contracted performer/speaker being paid more than $5,000 must provide a certificate of liability insurance (COI) with The President and Trustees of Williams College, 880 Main Street, Williamstown, MA 01267 listed as additionally insured, at least one week prior to the campus engagement.

If the performer/speaker is unable to provide their own insurance, the department/office/registered student organization bringing the performer/speaker must purchase the insurance using Tulip (which has a standing insurance policy with the College). This purchase must be done through a department or office of Williams College.

Overnight Stays

Performers/speakers are not permitted to stay overnight on campus and must be housed off campus, with accommodations paid for by either the sponsoring department/office/student organization or at the performer’s/speaker’s own expense.

Right of Refusal

The College retains the right of refusal for any outside speaker/performer and/or their campus sponsor for any reason.