Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer Toggle Navigation Menu

Policies & Procedures

Welcome to Policies and Procedures

Macalester College and its facilities are host to a large number and variety of events. Our facilities vary from traditional classrooms, multipurpose spaces and outdoor locations. The following policies have been set forth in order to provide the community with equitable access to space reservations and to efficiently manage Macalester College facilities, resources, and personnel.

Making and Updating Reservations:

  1. Everyone hosting events at Macalester agrees to adhere to policies set forth by the College and its staff along with local, state, and federal laws. Reserving space on campus is a privilege that can be revoked if campus policies are not followed.
  2. Space reservations for events in spaces that reservations manages must be made either through the EMS System or by completing the reservation request form. Please note that the following spaces on campus are reserved by individual departments. Please see their contact information below.
  3. Events will be supported based on the information that is provided in the reservation request. We cannot provide additional support and services the day of the event for items the event organizer forgot, omitted, or did not anticipate. Please take this into account when submitting your request and make sure the submission is clear and complete.
  4. Students may not make reservations on campus without student organization sponsorship except for Library group study rooms. Students who are members of a chartered student organization may make reservations on behalf of their org.
  5. All approved reservations will be accompanied by a PDF confirmation outlining the event details as communicated to Reservations. A request is not complete without this confirmation and events should not be advertised or planned for until the confirmation has been received. It is the responsibility of the event organizer to review the confirmation and communicate any changes needed by emailing [email protected].

Reservation Planning Timelines:

  1. Reservations that do not require any added service (custodial, furniture sets, AV support, food, etc.) can be made on the day of need.
  2. Reservations requiring services (custodial, furniture sets, AV support, catering, etc.) must be made a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the event date. This means the reservation must be entered into EMS or the fully complete request form must be received by Campus Reservations no less than 14 days prior to the event date. Incomplete forms and EMS submissions will not be accepted.
    • Note: It is necessary for us to have prior notice in order to plan for appropriate personnel and physical resources to be available. Much of the furniture and AV setup and teardown work is done on overtime and union rules mandate that the work is posted with adequate time for the full staff to have an opportunity to bid for it.
  3. Reservations for events that will be open to the public must be made a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the event date, whether or not any support or services are needed. 
  4. Reservations for events that feature “controversial,” “well known,” “famous,” “infamous,” or “political” guest(s) must be made a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the event date, whether or not any support or services are needed. This allows notification to be made to administration, communications, and public safety and for campus visitor protocols to be communicated and followed.
  5. Reservations that require services and have an anticipated attendance of 100 or more people must be made a minimum of 4 weeks prior to the event date. Additional notice is appreciated and may be necessary to ensure personnel and physical resources are available.
  6. Reservations for academic and administrative department events during the academic year may be made up to 12 months in advance. Reservations for chartered student organization events may be made up to 9 months in advance. Reservations for summer conferences may be made more than 12 months in advance.

Requirements and Approvals:

  1. Reservations for events that serve alcohol, fundraise, have large attendance, are outdoors, or show films require the event organizer to meet additional requirements or submit forms for approval. It is the responsibility of the event organizer to ensure requirements are met and approvals are received.
  2. Large events and events that include the public may require the hiring of an off-duty police officer to be present during the event, at the discretion of the Director of Public Safety.
  3. Reservations for events that serve alcohol are subject to review and approval. These events must comply with the following campus rules and guidelines associated with serving alcohol on campus. 
    • All Macalester community members are required to follow the campus drug and alcohol policies as found in the Student Handbook and the Staff and Faculty Handbook.
    • Any event with alcohol present requires a completed Alcohol Approval Request Form submitted to the Reservations Office for approval no later than 3 weeks prior to the event. This policy includes when wine and/or beer are served at a reception or dinner.
    • Minnesota law and Macalester policy prohibit open containers on public rights-of-ways (i.e., streets, sidewalks, public areas in buildings, etc.).  Alcohol must be contained in a designated serving and consumption area. Bon Appetit or a third party vendor with appropriate licensure and insurance may serve wine and/or beer at a function in these spaces. For outdoor events, the serving area must be contained within a fenced-in or controlled area.
    • Only beer and/or wine may be served on campus without prior approval.
    • Student Activity Fee money may not be used to purchase alcohol.
    • Attendees are not allowed to bring any alcohol to an event.
    • Only official College-sponsored events designated by the Office of Student Affairs or Special Events may advertise the presence of alcohol.
    • Attendance at campus events where alcohol is being served is limited to Macalester community members or their invited guests.
    • Event organizers must provide snacks and adequate amounts of non-alcoholic beverages when alcohol is being served.
    • The college does not accept sponsorship of campus events by the alcohol beverage industry.
    • Events may require additional Public Safety officers present at the determination of the Director of Public Safety. Cost for the officers is the responsibility of the sponsoring Macalester department or recognized student organization. Officers are scheduled for a minimum of four hours at a cost of $40/hour.
      • To arrange an additional public safety officer for your event – please contact [email protected]
    • At least one Macalester faculty or staff member is required to attend an event where alcohol is being served for the duration of the event.
    • The distribution of alcohol will cease no later than 12:30 a.m.
    • A group sponsoring an event with alcohol accepts financial responsibility for any costs associated with extra clean up or repairs due to behavior of guests.
    • State law prohibits serving alcohol to those under the age of 21. If any of your invitees/attendees are expected to be under 21 years of age, servers must card anyone under 30 years of age.
    • State law prohibits serving alcohol to anyone already intoxicated.
    • It is the responsibility of the event organizers to ensure underage attendees are not served alcohol and require noncompliant guests to leave the event.
    • It is the responsibility of the event organizers to address intoxicated guests and assist in their safe departure from the event. Macalester Public Safety can be called to assist if needed, even if an officer is not specifically scheduled for the event. 
    • Macalester staff/faculty/students are not permitted to check ID’s for the purpose of alcohol consumption.
  4. All Student Organizations wishing to sponsor a fundraising event must submit a Fundraising Request Form at least 14 calendar days in advance for approval.
    • Student Orgs that wish to receive monetary donations or products from corporate sponsors will need additional approval from the Development Office.
    • No alcoholic beverages may be served, possessed, or consumed at any fundraising activity.
    • No funds will be contributed to any outside agency or entity unless:
      • The organization is able to provide proof of their status as a Non-Profit Organization AND the college has received a copy of their W-9 form.
      • The organization is able to accept fees in U.S. Dollars, via check, credit card, or wire transfer.
  5. Public or semi-public showing of films without written permission or license is prohibited on campus. Organizations and individuals desiring to show video tapes or films must secure permission from the holder of the copyright. Generally, this means that films must be rented from companies who hold the rights.
  6. Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. As such, Macalester, as a nonprofit entity, is prohibited from providing fiscal support to, or participating in political campaign activity on behalf of, politicians, campaigns, or political parties.  Underwriting any political event puts the college’s non-profit tax status in jeopardy.  Accordingly, the College cannot reduce or waive rental fees, provide services without charge, or otherwise provide aid or assistance that has a financial benefit without charging full price for the services.
    • Political event rentals cannot occur on campus without approval from the college’s administration. Once approved, the entity renting the space will be required to enter into a rental agreement with the college, provide proof of insurance, and pay full fees for space rental and any additional services they receive.
    • Anytime a politician (local, state, federal, or foreign) is going to be a guest at an event on campus (rental or sponsored), the college will need to assess whether the event is considered a campaign event. These event requests should be referred to Sara Suelflow, Chief of Staff for the President, for assessment before anything is agreed to or planned. 
    • A student organization may invite a candidate for political office (or surrogate) to participate in event this fall if the following conditions are met:
      • You notify and and meet with a member of the OSLE staff BEFORE confirming or advertising the event.
      • The event is only open to current Macalester students.
      • The event is not promoted in any way by the candidate (or surrogate).
      • The student organization does not promote the event externally in any way.
      • Internal promotion of the event includes a disclaimer stating that views of the candidate/speaker do not reflect the views or positions of Macalester College and do not indicate endorsement of the candidate/speaker.
      • These guidelines are in place for any candidate who has applied to run for elected office, regardless of timing of an upcoming election, as if a candidate is running, it’s reasonable to assume they would be speaking in the interest of campaigning for office.

Space Use and Services Offered:

  1. Only one venue or set of venues may be reserved for each event. Events held outdoors may also reserve a backup indoor space to use in the case of inclement weather. In these cases, the backup indoor space is reserved as-is with no additional set up, and a rain call must be communicated to Reservations 48 hours in advance of the event start time.
  2. Classrooms and conference rooms are reserved as-is: no equipment will be added or removed. They must be returned to the condition they were at the beginning of your reservation.
  3. Groups should consult with Reservations for set-up and equipment needs before making a reservation. Facilities and AV Services can provide standard furniture, projection, microphones, etc. and other needs or particularly large set-ups need to be contracted by outside vendors.
  4. Outdoor events have the following additional requirements:
    • Amplified music at outdoor events is subject to prior approval. Amplified music cannot be played while classes or exams are taking place. Reservations reserves the right to not allow amplified music if it will impact other events taking place in the vicinity. 
    • Per the City of St. Paul Noise Ordinance, no amplified music may be played after 8:00pm. 
    • Any audio/visual equipment requests for outdoor events should be made through the Digital Resource Center.
    • Available equipment for outdoor events is limited to plastic folding chairs, plastic folding tables, and a small multipurpose stage. Due to limited personnel resources in the Facilities Services Grounds department, chairs and tables will be delivered to the outdoor event location to be set up by the event organizer. Facilities Services reserves the right to not set up equipment that may become damaged by inclement weather.
  5. Macalester Special Events and Reservations reserve the right to close reservations for a portion or all of campus buildings and spaces during particularly high-traffic event dates (including but not limited to: orientation, commencement, and Reunion). These closures serve the purpose of conserving campus resources so these large events can be successful, and limiting conflicting events so that the entire Macalester community may participate if they desire.


  1. Bon Appétit has exclusive catering privileges for the following facilities:
    • Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center
    • Hill Ballroom in Kagin Commons
    • Leonard Center
  2. Groups may use off-campus caterers to provide catering services for meetings and events in all other campus spaces. 
    • Groups working with off-campus caterers or arranging for their own catering are responsible for ensuring that all food preparation safety standards are followed.
    • Groups are also responsible for all clean-up and trash/recycling removal and charges may be incurred for excess clean-up or facility damage (stains, broken equipment, etc.).


  1. Reservations that are made outside of the above stated timelines and without explicitly requesting needed services will not be supported. The event organizer is responsible in these cases for returning the space to the condition it was found in; including but not limited to: returning furniture to the standard room set, removing all trash, removing all food and food containers, cleaning up any food or drink spills on tables and carpets, turning off AV systems and lights, etc. If the room is left in a disordered condition and an unplanned custodial response is necessary, your department or organization will be charged a fee for the cleaning, a minimum of $100. 
  2. Event organizers who have made a reservation that requires services and/or support and subsequently cancel the event must notify the reservations office a minimum of 24 hours prior to the scheduled event time. This notice is necessary to allow personnel and other resources to be redeployed. Failure to provide notification will result in a minimum fee of $100 being charged to your department or organization.