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 University Events in coordination with other University offices.

Click here for more information about the GMU's Space Utilization and Scheduling Policy

The use of amplified sound is generally prohibited in outdoor spaces located adjacent to classrooms, libraries or residence halls, and should not interfere with the academic and strategic goals of the University.

Amplified sound is typically permitted only during the following time periods:

  • Sunday to Thursday: 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Friday to Saturday: 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

During relevant events, decibel levels for amplified sound shall not exceed 65 dB.

Click here for more information about GMU's Amplified Sound Policy

Cash receipts or payment acceptance must be properly accounted for per this policy.

Click here for more information about the GMU's Cash Handling Policy

Animals may not be brought into any campus building unless applicable exceptions apply.

Click here for more information about the GMU's Animal Control Policy

Anticipated Weather Event: When severe weather (e.g. snow, hurricane, or extreme heat) is anticipated, the decisions to delay opening or close the university must be made by 5:00 a.m. when possible to facilitate public notification.

Mid-Day Weather Event: When possible and safety permits, modifications to class schedules and university operations will be coordinated with the academic schedule.

Click here for more information about the GMU's Inclement Weather Policy

Review this policy for details regarding providing food and/or beverages to Mason faculty, staff, students or their guests at university expense.

Click here for more information about the GMU's travel, meals, and entertainment expenditures policy

The procedures and guidelines listed below apply to all organizations and/or individuals that intend to provide food and/or beverages or any related services to Mason faculty, staff, students or their guests at an event on George Mason property.
  • APPROVED CATERER: A caterer that delivers food to the campus (excludes Pizza delivery and similar delivery services), and will be issued a PO for payment. The caterer will be on the Approved Caterer List at the time of the order.
  • AUTHORIZED VENDOR: A vendor that will be providing or preparing food for pick up by the event organizer typically a grocery store operation, pizza delivery or similar service are classified as an Authorized Vendor. The Authorized Vendor will be paid via the Procurement Card.
Approved Caterers / Authorized Vendors
  • An Approved Caterer/Authorized Vendor must be used for all events. Using an Approved Caterer/Authorized Vendor for events at Mason is important to ensure the health and safety of all event participants. The list of approved caterers is available online at Approved Caterers. If your preferred caterer is not an Approved Caterer, they must complete the Approved Caterer Process prior to catering your event. (Please note this process can take up to two weeks).
  • If the food is not fully prepared by the Approved Caterer/Authorized Vendor from start to finish (stored, prepped, cooked) then one must follow the procedures outlined in EVENTS NOT USING APPROVED CATERER/AUTHORIZED VENDORS. An example is if raw products “groceries type items” were obtained from an Authorized Vendor but were not prepared by the Vendor. For instance, raw chicken was purchased from an Authorized Vendor for organizers to cook. This would NOT be acceptable.
Exceptions: Internal Organizations and Departments: Events Not Using Approved/Authorized Vendors
Events with food that has NOT been prepared from start to finish by an Approved/Authorized Vendor must follow the following guidelines.
  • An 8.5” x 11” (or larger) sign must be placed on all tables and areas where an event participant will receive food. The sign must be easily read and state “This food is not provided by a George Mason approved caterer. Consume at your own risk”.
Click here for more information on Approved Caterers.
“Potluck” style food provided by staff is allowed for meetings/lunches/birthdays, etc. when only departmental staff is attending. Meetings that include staff from other departments must use the approved catering procedures. “Potluck” style food provided by registered student organization members is allowed when a Registered Student Organization has a finite list of members and only their members are attending. Meetings that include people not on the Registered Student Organization membership list must use the approved catering procedures. Potlucks are required to follow guidelines for Events Not Using Approved Catering. Individuals of the Organization/Department providing food not from an Approved Caterer/Authorized Vendor can be held personally liable for the safety of the food provided and may be sued in the court of law.
Grilling / Cooking on Campus
Organizations and/or Individuals that adhere to the procedures stated below are allowed to conduct outdoor grilling in approved locations. All public use grills installed on campus are for personal use only. Any grill or other cooking appliance that is not for personal use must be approved by the Environmental, Health and Safety Office.
  • Charcoal is the only fuel source that is approved to be used in outdoor grills; compressed natural gas or propane grills are prohibited, except for commercial purposes as deemed necessary by EHS‐Fire Safety.
  • Grills must be at least 20 feet from any building, or structure (which includes tents, umbrellas, or amusement devices), and should not be near the air intake vents on a building.
  • A minimum of one (1) five pound ABC fire extinguisher must be within 10 feet of each grill. Extinguishers can be loaned from EHS‐Fire Safety.
  • Grills must never be left unattended when hot.
  • Grills must be maintained as per the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Ashes must be completely cooled before being disposed.
  • Ashes must be disposed of in a metal trash can or container. Ashes may not be placed cool or hot in any plastic container or trash receptacle, including dumpsters.
Bake Sales / Fundraising / Donations
Food being distributed as part of fundraising activities such as bake sales need to follow the following guidelines:
  • All food distributed must be commercially produced.
  • Beverages provided in bulk serving containers are allowed if they are procured from Sodexo Catering.
  • Products and services may not conflict with the University’s exclusive contracts which include: Sodexo Food Services, Coke Vending Company and Canteen Vending Company.

Mason facilities are intended primarily for the use of its students, faculty, and employees in their efforts to advance the educational mission of the university. No use shall be permitted that is unlawful, threatens the safety of the Mason community, or is inconsistent with the mission of the university. In maintaining a safe campus, in which its students, faculty, and employees can advance the educational mission of Mason without disruption, the university may establish constitutionally permissible time, place and manner restrictions on the use of its facilities and property (e.g., registration requirements, times when use is permitted, limitations on amplified sound). Visit this site for more information.

Click here for more information about the GMU's First Amendment Policy

event procedures and guidelines

Events that may disrupt Student Centers’ normal operations and/or are considered high profile should be brought to the attention of the Associate and/or Assistant Director(s) of Event Services. Additional information regarding the event and event impact, walk throughs, logistics, staffing and event review meetings may be required.

While maintaining a safe campus in which its students, faculty, and employees can advance the educational mission of Mason without disruption, the University may establish constitutionally permissible time, place and manner restrictions on the use of its facilities and property. Activities that require a space reservation must be scheduled through the University’s centralized scheduling system (25Live) and must adhere to all University Policies including Policies 1103, 1109, 1110, 1112, 1140, and other applicable policies and procedures (many of which are listed below). Activities in which all items are fully contained to the person(s) does not normally require a space reservation. Outdoor events/activities restrictions include, but not limited to:
  • Blocking access to and egress from any university facility, building and controlled space is prohibited.
  • Blocking vehicular or foot traffic on roadways, fire lanes, and walkways is prohibited.
  • Use of loudspeakers, bullhorns, and other amplification devices are prohibited except as permitted under University Policy 1128: Use of Amplified Sound in Outdoor Spaces.
  • Activities involving the use of tables, chairs, display carts, booths, tents, free standing displays, or any other furnishings and/or structures on University Property require a space reservation. The space reservation must be scheduled using the University’s centralized scheduling system and the activity is subject to University Policy 1103: Space Utilization and Scheduling, and University Policy 1110: Vending Sales and Solicitation.
  • Postings, writings, markings, banners, images, symbols or signs of any kind may not be placed on or affixed to the outside of buildings, doors, windows, walls, posts, trees, plants, trash or recycling containers, newsstands, vehicles, or any other campus physical features except as permitted in University Policy 1109: Poster Posting, and University Policy 1112: Outside Banner (and/or other Materials).

Click here to view the full Outdoor Space Use Guideline.

Click here to view the Outdoor Temporary Display/Structure Guideline.

Click here to view building diagrams for the outdoor space locations.

Amplified Sound is typically not permitted in indoor public spaces during business hours (M-F 8am-5pm).

Once your event details are in place, you’ll want to get the word out about your event. Be careful not to advertise before your services are confirmed, and always double check the details, like the time and location of your event. Visit our page (click below) to find out about the promotional opportunities available through Student Centers, such as kiosks, flyers, and MasonAds. You can also have your event listed on the Today@Mason calendar by contacting University Events (click below).

Click here to view Student Centers advertising opportunities.

Click here to view TODAY@Mason Instructions.

Heating and Cooling in Student Centers buildings is regulated and monitored by Facilities Services. The acceptable temperature range established by the University is between 69 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • If a reading falls outside of this range, a Student Centers staff member will contact Facilities to report the current temperature and request the system to check that it is operating properly.
  • If a client desires the temperature set outside that range, a work order should be submitted to Facilities in advance of the event date.

The following information is the standard procedures for Student Centers when the University makes notifications regarding closures and delays related to weather. During these times services may be limited or cancelled.

Click here to view our inclement weather page.

In the instance of inclement weather, please follow Mason Alerts or visit www.gmu.edu for the most up to date information related to closures and delayed openings.

Access to venues prior to or after regularly scheduled building hours requires special approval. Requests should be communicated to the event scheduler as early as possible in the planning process. Your request is not approved until written confirmation is received.

There are special fees for opening and closing the facilities/venues beyond regular building hours for organizations. Confirmed requests for early opening and/or late closing are subject to the following fees:

  • $150 for the 1st hour (or partial hour) PLUS $40 for each additional half hour (or increment thereof).

Click here to view our standard building hours.

Student Centers reserves the right to deny a setup change requested less than 24 hours prior to the event, as most events are set up one day in advance of your reservation date.

If a client requires a major setup change (different than what was confirmed in 25Live) after the room is already set up, the client may incur the following fee(s):

  • $100 for each large meeting space.
  • $50 for each small meeting space.

Changes will only be made if time and resources allow.

Student Centers reserves the right to deny a setup change requested less than 24 hours prior to the event, as most events are set up one day in advance of your reservation date.

Clients will also be charged a major setup change fee if they remove furniture or resources from spaces that they have not reserved for use at their own event/location.

Only Student Centers staff should move, arrange, setup or strike event furniture and equipment.

Any damages to the space or excessive cleaning/rearrangement required post-event will result in a damage and/or cleanup fee comparable to the damage done. Clients are reminded to leave the space as they found it.

Events in venues managed by Student Centers Event Services must be cancelled at least one business day in advance of the event start time in order to avoid a fee. Events cancelled with less than one business days’ notice will incur a late cancellation fee of:

  • $75 for each large meeting space.
  • $25 for each small meeting space.

If the group is a no-show* the following fees will be assessed:

  • $100 for each large meeting space.
  • $50 for each small meeting space.

Events clearly labeled as “Rain Location” in 25Live will not be charged any fees if the client ends up not needing the rain location site. This will not be considered a no-show.

If you reserve several spaces for your event and do not use any one of your assigned spaces, you will be charged a no-show fee for each space not utilized during your event. Be sure to release any spaces you will not need at least one business day in advance of your event start time in order to avoid a fee.

*An event is considered a no-show if event staff visits the space 3+ times during the event reservation time and finds no one in the space. If you only plan on using your reserved location for a small portion of the scheduled time, be sure to update your reservation to reflect the shortened time and notify event staff that you are present for your event.

Event Services will send out invoices for all support services at the end of each month for final review before billing.

On approximately the 10th of the following month Event Services will perform Journal Voucher Charge Backs for clients utilizing a University Organization Code for payment.

If an Organization is paying by check, all checks must be made out to George Mason University.

Event Services has three different billing rates (Internal, External, Jointly Organized). Rates are based primarily on method of payment:

  • UNIV ORG CODE: For University entities paying by a University Organization Code the rate will be based on the 25Live classification of the event.
  • CHECK/CREDIT CARD: For services being paid for by other means (check or credit card) the rate will be billed as External.
  • FOUNDATION ACCOUNT: Checks from Foundation Accounts will be classified the same as if paying with University Organization Code.
  • STUDENT ORG ACCOUNT: Student Organizations are not permitted to make payment via check but may instead deposit their check directly into their organization account prior to the charge back being assessed.
 1st hour or partial hourEach additional half-hour or increment thereof
Early Open / Late Close$150 $40
Multi-Purpose Event Space Meeting Room or Fixed Event Space
Setup Change Fee $100$50
Late Cancellation$75$25
*Additional fees may apply for equipment and labor if not cancelled prior to event date and time
Damage/ Excessive Cleanup Charges based on actual cost of resulting:

Repair or replacement of equipment

Repairs to facilities or finishes

Cleaning supplies and labor hours

To be determined by the Associate Director of Event Services

General Guidelines for Space Use

Helium balloons are not allowed in the Johnson Center; however they are allowed in SUB I and The Hub.

Tape and/or adhesive is not allowed on the floor in any event space.

Scotch tape, duct tape, thumbtacks, or any other strong adhesive is not allowed on any surface in the facilities.

The only adhesive allowed on walls, glass, dry erase boards, or easels is blue painter's tape.

No decorations, banners, or other materials are permitted to be hung from the ceiling in event spaces.

No glitter is allowed in any event space – the use of glitter will result in an automatic cleaning fee.

No postings are allowed outside of the reserved event space, including the doors leading into the event space, without prior approval from Student Centers.

The only animals allowed in the facilities are service animals.

Smoking, e-cigarettes, and vape pens are not allowed in the facilities.

Open flames are prohibited in the facilities including but not limited to candles and incense.

Please ensure that safety egress are maintained and fire exits are accessible at all times. Cords and cables should not be run across doorways or entry points.

Event and building patrons must follow all fire safety guidelines as outlined in the Campus Fire Safety Plan.


Painting is not allowed anywhere inside the Johnson Center, The Hub, SUB I, Research Hall, or Merten Hall including event spaces, meeting rooms and common areas or on any Student Centers indoor furnishings. Painting is permitted outdoors on grass areas with prior approval.

Paint, Dye, or Chalk Powder at Outdoor Events

Crafts and activities involving the usage of paints, dyes, or chalk powders are permitted only in outdoor event spaces. Where these materials are used at or near event furnishings, such as tables, chairs, or staging, these surfaces must be covered and protected from damages. Plastic tablecloths or other coverings can be secured using blue painters tape. At events where paints or chalk powders are used at or near the stage, the stage should be covered and protected as well. Damage or cleaning fees may be assessed as needed. Please let us know if you have any questions.

All materials must be cleaned up/removed completely when event ends.

Any damage to the space or need for excess cleaning caused by the client will be billed directly to their organization.

Groups must clean up and discard all catering residuals when using a caterer other than Sodexo.

Furniture or plants in public areas should not be moved to any other venue.

Client is not permitted to alter the space in any way – i.e. removing or relocating plants, art, or installations that are fixtures in the space.

Groups should not rearrange furniture in the venue. Ask for assistance from Student Centers Staff.

Client should not stand on furniture – including chairs and/or tables.

Client is responsible for obtaining all licenses and approvals in accordance of local, state and federal requirements, including but not limited to public performance rights and vendor sales licenses.

  • Johnson Center and The Hub venues may be scheduled until 11:00pm, and SUB I until 10pm.
  • The Hub Ballroom, Johnson Center Dewberry Hall, and JC Bistro, may be scheduled until 1am on Friday and Saturday without prior approval during Fall and Spring academic semesters. During other periods, special approval may be necessary.
  • Special approval is required for use of the JC Atrium, JC Lounges, and SUBI Patriots Lounge. However, all requests must be initiated with University Events.
  • Special approval is required for use of the JC North, South and East Plazas, Southside Plaza, and SUBI Quad. However, all requests must be initiated with University Events.
  • Public Space Dewberry Hall Lobby may be reserved as part of an event in Dewberry Hall and Dewberry Hall South.
  • Pre-function Hallway may be reserved as part of an event in Dewberry Hall or Dewberry Hall North.
  • Where time and space related approvals are needed, University Events will coordinate all requests.


Find resources to help you prepare for emergencies on campus.

Fire drills, fire prevention, and more from the Environmental Health and Safety Office.

Building Addresses and emergency assembly areas for the Fairfax campus.

Information to help you plan your event from University Events.

All available directories and room layouts for Student Centers buildings.

University space utilization procedures and guidelines manual.

Last Updated: October 2020