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Major Events Policy for Student Organizations


Student organizations hold events in various venues at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. These events are designed to promote interest in an organization, a cause, or to promote interaction among the University’s diverse community. The Carolina Union Office of Event Services is charged with advising student organizations on planning and developing the most successful and safe event possible.

These guidelines shall be implemented in conjunction with the following policies:

• UNC-CH Facilities Use Policy

UNC Alcohol Policy


A Major Event is defined as lectures, entertainment engagements, concerts, or conferences held in University spaces subject to the Major Events Policy where any of the following applies:

  • Expected attendance exceeds 500 outdoor, 1000 indoor
  • The event is open to the public or staged outdoors
  • The event is sponsored by more than one student organization

The Office of Event Services reserves the right to make exceptions.

Reservation Process

  • All reservation requests from student organizations must be made by current organization members designated to make reservations on behalf of the organization through the Office of Event Services. 
  • Student organizations that request a reservation for a Major Event will be required to complete the Event Reservation request.  Requests must be submitted at a minimum of 45 days prior to the event.
  • All relevant signatures on the Event Status Report must be obtained and returned to the Office of Event Services at least 30 days prior to the event.  If this deadline is not met, the event will be cancelled.

Spaces and events reservable include, but are not limited to:

  • Bell Tower and Historic Quad: McCorkle and Polk Place
    • Please note – The Old Well IS NOT a reservable space.
    • Capacities vary by location
  • Campus Recreation: Hooker and Ehringhaus Fields, Fetzer Gym.
    • Hooker Field capacity (per field)- approximately 2000-3000
    • Ehringhaus Field capacity- 4000
    • Fetzer Gym Capacity- 1000
  • Carmichael Auditorium
    • Capacity- 6300
  • Housing:  Carmichael Multi-Purpose Room (MPR) and Outdoor Spaces
    • Carmichael MPR (requires security) capacity - 80
    • Outdoor capacities vary by location but can generally accommodate 100-200
  • Carolina Dining:  Rams Head Plaza
    • Capacity- approximately 250
  • 5K, Charity Run/Walk, Fun Run, etc.:
  • Student and Academic Services Buildings Courtyard(SASB)
    • Capacity- 300

Outdoor reservations do not guarantee access to indoor facilities.  Please refer to the capacities section of the Carolina Union Event Services Reservation and Facilities Use Policies for all Carolina Union venues and General Purpose Classrooms.

Venue and Crowd Management

State and Local laws

  • All student organizations are required to comply with local, state and federal laws inclusive of North Carolina. Violations of these policies will be handled through the campus judicial system, the North Carolina state judicial system, or both. The University’s name may not be used in a manner that represents or suggests University sponsorship of the event.

University Alcohol Policy

  • All student organizations must abide by the University Alcohol Policy.
  • Event sponsors may not advertise social events that indicate that alcoholic beverages are free, are sold, or are all-you-can-drink for the price of admission or that otherwise appear to encourage the consumption of alcohol. Violations of this nature committed on campus may be handled through the University's judicial system

University Smoking Ban

  • As of Jan 1, 2008 smoking is prohibited within 100 feet of any University building or structure. It is the sponsoring group’s responsibility to ensure that this regulation is followed. Please advise all outside groups and visitors of this policy.

Crowd Management and Security

  • All Major Events in controlled access venues must use wristbands or tickets to track the number of individuals entering the venue. Tickets and wristbands must be provided by the Carolina Union Box Office.
  • The Office of Event Services will determine if Carolina Union Guest Services Staff is required.
  • After reviewing the request, the Office of Event Services will contact the UNC-CH Police and, at the discretion of UNC-CH Police, officers may be assigned to work events. The sponsoring group will be responsible for any fees or charges assessed by the UNC-CH Police Department.
  • Security officers may not be outsourced by student organizations. DPS may bring in outside resources if deemed necessary (e.g., Chapel Hill Police, Orange Sheriff’s Office or Show Pros).
  • If it is determined that the presence of the UNC-CH Police Department is necessary for an event, then the UNC-CH Police Department reserves the right to cancel an event if they are unable to staff the event or if they do not approve of the nature of the event.


  • Forty-five days before the event, contracts must be reviewed by the Office of Event Services and the appropriate legal office before they are signed. Upon review of the contract by the appropriate legal office and the Carolina Union, the event may be given approval by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or designee. Contracts negotiated by student organizations must be reviewed by Student Legal Services. Contracts that involve the University, departments, or outside groups must be reviewed by University Legal Counsel.


  • Sale or distribution of food is subject to the Carolina Union Food and Beverage Policy.  Student organizations are permitted to serve food and beverages by any licensed restaurant or caterer. The sponsoring organization must provide the Office of Event Services with a catering license upon request.

Open Flame Devices

  • No open flame devices are to be used for ceremonies, theatrical performances, and the like, without approval from the Environment, Health and Safety Office.

Special Food Services Devices

  • Portable cooking devices not flue connected are to be used only with prior approval from the Environment, Health and Safety Office. Candles may be used on tables for services if securely supported on substantial noncombustible bases located in such a way as to avoid a danger of ignition of combustible materials. Candle flames must be enclosed and be 1 inch below their enclosure.


  • The North Carolina Fire Prevention Code requires tents, canopies and other membrane structures to be evaluated for fire and life safety and a permit issued prior to the event.  For all State-owned property the North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI) is responsible for that evaluation and granting of a permit.  For tents less than 200 square feet this permit is not necessary. However, no tents or canopies can be secured by stakes or anything driven into the ground. Tents must be secured by use of sandbags or water barrels.


  • Sales are subject to the UNC-CH Facilities Use Policy and the Carolina Union Sales and Income Policies, IV-L.  Sales and solicitation permits may be obtained in the Office of Event Services (see Sales Permit Request Form, VI-D).

Amplified Sound Policy

  • Amplified sound is subject to the Amplified Sound Policy. Amplified sound is permitted on Fridays between the hours of 5pm-10pm, Saturday from 8am-10pm and Sunday from 8am-7pm. The Office of Event Services will determine and monitor sound levels.
  • Outdoor events are subject to the noise provision of the Town of Chapel Hill Code of Ordinances (Chapter 11, Article III).


  • Publicity cannot begin until all contracts are signed. Student organizations organizing an event are responsible for meeting with Carolina Union Marketing and Design. Taping, nailing and affixing flyers to any surface or building is prohibited.

Tables, Chairs, and Trash Cans

  • For events outside of the Union, tables, chairs and trash cans must be acquired from University Housekeeping at cost. Requests must be made at least two weeks in advance. Requests may be made over the phone at 962-3456 or online at
  • Housekeeping will deliver tables, chairs, or trash cans on the day you request them. The group is responsible for set-up and break down of any equipment. All trash must be removed and disposed of properly. Charges may apply if cans are not emptied.
  • Housekeeping services are available by request at a standard hourly rate. Student organizations are responsible for any charges.

Cleanup of Events

  • After the event, student organizations are responsible for cleaning the facilities and surrounding areas. In the event this responsibility is not met, student organizations will be charged and billed for damages and labor.

Speaker Events

  • Speaker events are subject to speaker policy.
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