Student Activities & Events

Image: Photos of the diverse SF State Student community getting involved in various activities such as joining organizations and participating in the SF State Greek Life. Also pictured is the Student Involvement and Career Center Logo.

Event Planning Policies and Procedures

San Francisco State University is a community of over 30,000 students from diverse backgrounds. Student organizations coordinate and provide an array of events and programs for the campus. The following information and policies are provided to assist student organizations with successful event coordination and implementation.


All programs and services provided by recognized student organizations are required to be accessible to people with disabilities. Recognized student organizations need to communicate/work with potential students with disabilities on how to request reasonable accommodations so that they may have equal access.

  • It’s best for each student group to identify a member who will be the point of contact for making inquiries about the accessibility of a given meeting, event, activity, etc.
  • The group member identified does not need to know how to address each and every inquiry independently. Their role is to follow up on the inquiry in a timely manner and consult with an appropriate resource. Possibly a SAE staff member, but likely the Disability Programs and Resource Center (DPRC). I.E., the location of accessible bathrooms, OR request for sign language interpreting. In that case they group member should be in touch with the DPRC.
  • Student organizations must include an accessibility statement on all communications announcing a meeting or other event. An example is as follows: "[Student organization] welcomes persons with disabilities and can make reasonable accommodations upon request. If you need reasonable accommodations for this event, please contact [person in your organization at xxx-xxx-xxxx or] by [date-15 working days before event]."
  • An example of a request that the identified group member could handle independently might be to provide electronic copies of presentation materials. Most of these formats are commonly used by all students regardless of disability status.
  • An example of a request that the identified group member would likely need to consult an appropriate resource would be a request for sign language, Braille, large print or captioned media (e.g. VHS tapes, DVDs, laserdiscs, podcasts, etc.) Requests for presentation materials in an accessible format such as electronic copies of presentation materials (stored on CD, flash drive or emailed in advance), Braille, or large print (18 pt. font) or captioned media need to be appropriately addressed. Allow at least two weeks advanced notice to generate Braille or large print materials, and captioned media. Feel free to consult with the DPRC at 415.3382472 on what to do about making your materials accessible to participants with disabilities.
  • For any group or organization event, please ensure that your event is accessible by contacting The Disability Programs and Resource Center to consult with them on how to inspect your site for adequate physical access such as ramps, wheelchair accessible bathrooms, podia, etc. before you book the facility.
  • Staff in the DPRC are available for consultation on providing access to people with disabilities. Contact them at 415/338-82472 or

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Student organizations may not advertise their event until: approval is given by SAE and the room reservation is confirmed. For publicity resources, please visit the publicity page on the SAE web site.

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Alcohol service is not permitted at student organization sponsored events on the SF State campus or any related properties. Furthermore, student organizations should not serve alcohol at events off campus. However, if students choose to attend events where alcohol may be present, visit here for safety tips.

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Campaigning for candidates who are running for city, state or federal political office, whether in person or on leaflet, is prohibited as a part of any classroom activity or other academic program. Time shall not be provided to representatives of any political candidate during regularly scheduled classes or under other circumstances where access to students is made possible by their attendance of regular academic functions.

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Cash Handling

If your organization is handling cash at your event, please follow these guidelines:

  • Use a secured or locking cashbox.
  • Always have at least two responsible individuals handling cash.
  • Count and deposit money immediately following the event.
  • If you are expecting larger sum of cash, contact University Police Department to discuss possible security needs (415/338-7200).

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  • Student organizations cannot enter a contract using SF State’s name and/or representing the University.
  • Before signing any contract, be sure you have read all its previsions and understand what you and the other party are agreeing too. Your signature on an agreement, even if signed on behalf of a student organization, means that you as an individual could be held personally liable for any legal or financial issues that may arise.
  • Seek advice from SAE if you are unsure about any term or condition in the agreement.
  • Make sure the event is approved and facility reserved prior to signing a contract.
  • Do not commit yourself or your organization to an arrangement until the agreement is in writing. (Verbal agreements can be legally binding.)
  • Be sure any attachments, exhibits, appendices, etc., mentioned in the contract are attached to the document you sign.
  • Do not pay for services or products before they are received.
  • Do not pay by cash or personal check.

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All media in the SF State library including Hollywood features, foreign features, instructional programs and other similar titles may be used only in authorized SF State courses with the instructor present or by individual students and faculty members in viewing booths for regularly-scheduled class requirements. Media may not be copied by the staff of the University or “publicly performed” on the SF State campus outside of a class, even though they are owned by the University. The copyright law requires a separate license agreement to be obtained before libraries, student organziations, residence halls, and other campus groups may use these materials during non-classroom activities or events, regardless of whether admission is free or paid.

All materials in the library’s catalog—videotapes, videodiscs, DVDs and 16mm films of all subjects and categories— are available to SF State faculty for SF State use only. Copying of these materials or off-campus use at another institution, even in a classroom setting, may be a violation of SF State’s purchase agreement.

For more information on copyright law, please see

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Organizations working with off-campus sponsors of events must follow a number of University policies:

  • Student organizations must initiate, lead and make all event decisions. Student organizations cannot be used to gain access to University facilities by an off-campus organization.
  • Events must directly support the group’s mission.
  • Events must occur during the regular academic schedule.
  • All contracts and agreements must be in the name of the student organization.
  • The student organization must conduct all advertising and promotion.
  • Student organization representatives must be in attendance at the event.

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Event Planning/Approval

To assist in ensuring safe and successful event planning, the organization must keep in mind the following policies:

  • In order to do event planning a student organization must be currently registered with SAE or Club Sports.
  • All student organization sponsored events held in SF State facilities must be initiated, planned and implemented by SF State students.
  • Student organizations are required to submit an event application to SAE at least ten business days prior to the event. For major events, more time may be needed so please plan accordingly and notify SAE in a timely manner.
  • Events cannot be planned during finals period, including Dead Week (the week before final examinations).
  • Organizations are responsible for informing their faculty/staff advisor regarding meetings, programs and events.
  • Sponsoring student organizations are responsible for the conduct of their members, guests, speakers and performers.
  • The sponsoring student organization must be accessible throughout the entire event.
  • Other campus entities (i.e., Colleges, Departments, Classes, Faculty & Staff) are required to follow the SAE policies and procedures for all events on campus. In addition, other campus entities may also be required to obtain approval from the Office of Special Events and Conferences.
  • Rained out events may not be moved indoors to the Cesar Chavez Student Center (CCSC).
  • Cancelled, rained out and no show event(s) do not automatically guarantee an additional date.
  • Cancelled reservation date(s) automatically revert to the venue’s scheduling office.
  • Exchange of dates between student organizations and other campus entities is not allowed.

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All student organization events incorporating the use of fire require the approval of SAE (Student Activities and Events) and Risk Management. In addition, events utilizing candles require a drip catch and a fire extinguisher at the site of the event.

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The use of fireworks is illegal in San Francisco. Unless a pyrotechnician sets up the display and is present during the event, no fireworks will be permitted. Student organizations must obtain approval from SAE, the Department of Public Safety, Office of Risk Management and the Office of Environmental Health and Occupational Safety (EHOS).

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Facilities and Rooms

Organizations are permitted to reserve rooms in various facilities on campus. A brief list and description of rooms can be read on the Facilities page. Student organizations must obtain approval from either a combination of, or solely, Student Involvement, Cesar Chavez Student Center, Office of Risk Management, the Office of Environmental Health and Occupational Safety (EHOS), and the specific facilty/venue being requested.

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Student organizations hosting events that pose potential risks may be required to purchase insurance for such events. In some situations waivers may also be required. Potential risk situations include, but are not limited to large commercial events, such as concerts and fairs, events with off-campus guests and high risk physical activities.

The Office of Risk Management, at 415/338-2362, will assist you in obtaining event insurance after SAE event approval. SAE will send copies of the event application to the Office of Risk Management for review. Waivers are also available through Risk Management.

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Nudity/Indecent Exposure

The California Penal Code, Section 314 states: "Every person who willfully and lewdly, either: 1) Exposes his/her person, or the private parts thereof, in any public place where there are present other persons to be offended or annoyed thereby; or 2) Procures, counsels or assists any person so to expose himself/herself or take part in any model art exhibition or to make any other exhibition of himself/herself to public view of any number of persons, such as is offensive to decency, or is adapted to excite to vicious or lewd thoughts or acts, is guilty of a misdemeanor."

Any student organization engaging in acts of nudity or sponsoring an event with nudity involved may be forwarded to SOHP for review.

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Amplified Sound

Please see the Outdoor Events page for policies and procedures related to amplified sound.

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Summer and Winter Sessions

Due to reduced resources, the University does not approve student organization events during summer and winter sessions. However, student organizations may host regular meetings.

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Ticket Sales

If your organization is hosting an event with an admission or ticket sales charge, please follow these guidelines: admission charges must be stated on your event application when requesting approval and give consideration for rates you will charge SF State students vs. non-students.

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