Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Event and Facility Policies

Our Mission

The University of Tennessee Student Union partners with students to provide services and an intentional use of space to promote community, student learning and development, as well as a sense of belonging.

To meet the diverse needs of our campus community and to maximize use, policies have been developed. The policies outlined in this document:

  • Apply to the Student Union facility and associated outdoor spaces,
  • Assist in keeping facility and associated spaces in ideal condition,
  • Facilitate the most effective use of facility and associated spaces, and
  • Intend to provide consistent management of space.

Usage of University property is subject to all University rules, policies, and procedures, including the University Space Policy, and is subject to any relevant federal, state, and local laws.


The Director of the Student Union and staff will enforce the policies. The policies apply to all indoor and outdoor spaces associated with the Student Union. The Director (or designee) retains the discretion to reschedule, alter, end, remove, deny, or limit any event within an area covered by this policy.

In alignment with the Student Union mission to intentionally use space to promote campus community, the Student Union allocates reservable space according to the following policies:

The following activities may not be held in the Student Union:

  • Regular and recurring class meetings, extra class meetings, required project meetings, seminars, and/or individual course orientations.
  • Other recurring academic activities such as certificate and other credit bearing programs.

Reservation Types (Examples given are not all-inclusive.)

Level 1 

  • Campus wide impact events or annual events involving extensive complexity and/ or advanced planning.
  • May request space beyond current calendar year for up to five years in advance.
  • Requires pre-event meeting with Union staff.
  • UTPD may be asked to consult on event regarding safety and security.
  • Examples: New Student Orientation, Welcome Week, Homecoming, Student Government Association meetings, Faculty Senate meetings, Chancellor’s Honors Banquet, UT Conference events.

Level 2

  • Large complex events requiring advanced planning and audio-visual packages.
  • Events taking place in large spaces or outdoor areas. (Auditorium, ballroom, plaza).
  • May request space beyond current calendar year for one year in advance.
  • Requires pre-event meeting with Union staff.
  • UTPD may be asked to consult on event regarding safety and security.
  • Examples: theatrical / musical productions and rehearsals, pageants, concerts, performances, conferences, commencements, end of semester celebrations.

Level 3

  • Student Organization meetings and events.
  • Space requests for fall semesters start the
    • Tuesday following Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Space requests for spring and summer semesters start the
    • Spring/Summer: Tuesday following Labor Day
  • UTPD may be asked to consult on event regarding safety and security.

Level 4

  • Non-Student Organization meetings and events.
  • Meetings and events between the hours of 8:00 A.M and 4:30 P.M, may be reserved up to an academic year in advance
  • Meetings and events beginning or ending after 5:00 P.M. during fall and spring semesters may begin requesting space
    • For fall semester: Tuesday following Labor Day
    • For spring: Tuesday following Martin Luther King Jr. Day
    • Catered events by VolCatering occurring after 4:30 P.M. may request an exemption to this policy.

  • The group initiating the reservation is the party responsible for the event, also known as event sponsor.
  • If charges are incurred, the event sponsor is responsible for the timely payment.

UTK’s Office of Campus Event Services and UTK’s Student Union are not authorized under Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. § 1720-01-12.07(4) to enter contracts for the rental of UTK Properties to Non-Affiliated Persons whose proposed activities on UTK Property are not Authorized Events. All Non-University-Initiated Events must be sponsored by an Authorized Event Organizer. The event sponsor must be identified as the sponsor responsible for the event.

The responsible sponsoring party requesting event space through the Office of Campus Event Services must plan the event and be present at the event. A sponsor may not “front” for another organization for the purpose of securing a venue at no cost or reduced fees for a Non-University-Initiated Event. For example, a community group or for-profit entity may not utilize a registered student organization to reserve a venue unless the event is planned by the student organization and open to students. Authorized Event Organizers who violate this requirement may be barred from using UTK Property.

Student organizations and university departments that meet any of the criteria below will be charged the sponsored rate for space.

  • Partnership: Through partnership or collaboration, the university department or student organization is providing an external organization shared access to space. Partnerships provide a service for, or enhance, the mission of UTK.
  • Revenue Generation: The event generates revenue for a university department or external organization
  • Participation: The event audience consists primarily of Non-UTK students, faculty, staff and guests.

Space rental includes setup/breakdown, tables, chairs, and any AV systems permanently installed in the space. Supplemental service fees may still apply.

Fee structures for Non-University Events by Non-Affiliated Persons and Sponsored Events may be found here.

Fulfillment of last-minute changes and requests is based on time, staff availability, and resources.

  • Fulfillment of late space requests may occur if an appropriate room and/or staffing is available.
  • Set-up changes / requests and tech services may not be available.

  • Space reservations are booked with a standard period for event set up.
  • Additional set up time may be allocated based on the scope and complexity of the event.
  • If interested in requesting additional set up time, please direct inquiries to the Student Union Event Services staff who will schedule a pre-event meeting.

Audio-visual (AV) and sound are included in all meeting and event space; however, AV and sound must be requested at the same time as the space request. In order to ensure the space is completely set prior to meeting or event.

  • Student Union staff are responsible for setting and the powering on and off of all equipment.
  • Event sponsor is responsible for damage to equipment.
  • Ethernet port activation must be requested to the Student Union a minimum of 10 business days in advance.
  • Webcasting and other services via OIT must be coordinated with the Student Union. A notice of 10 business days must be given to the Student Union.
  • Last minute changes/requests for tech services may not be available.
  • The Student Union has HDMI adapters for many laptops which are available upon request. The requestor must provide a UT id to check out an adapter.

Cancellations must be submitted to sueventservices@utk.edu. The below advanced notice must be given, or the reservation will be considered a no-show.

  • Saturday, Sunday, and Monday meetings and events: 12:00 p.m. (noon) Friday
  • Tuesday–Friday meetings and events: 12:00 p.m. (noon) the day before

A no-show is documented for any meeting or event when the group fails to show within the specified start times below.

  • within the first 20 minutes of a meeting or event scheduled for two hours or less
  • within the first 45 minutes of a meeting or event scheduled for more than two hours

Repeated no-shows may result in a revocation of privileges. The Student Union Director (or designee) will review appeals.

  • First offense: Warning email sent to Event Sponsor.
  • Second offense: Warning email sent to Event Sponsor. Probation for remainder of semester. (While on probation, reserving group may continue to use space, however, the next no show will result in cancellation of remainder of reservations.)
  • Third offense: All remaining reservations cancelled and the Event Sponsor will be placed on probation for the following (non-summer) semester.

Requests for space prior to the facility opening time or extends beyond the closing time of the Student Union will be assessed overtime fees. Requests for extended hours must be made 10 business days prior to the event and are dependent upon staff availability.

  • Student Organizations
    • $25.00 / hour with prior approval
    • $50.00 / hour without prior approval
  • Departments
    • $50.00 / hour with prior approval
    • $100.00 / hour without prior approval

  • Aramark’s Vol Dining is the exclusive caterer for the Student Union. To place an order, visit https://dining.utk.edu/catering/menu/or call 865-974-2406.
  • All alcohol related requests must be requested through Aramark.

  • Union Plaza: Amplified sound is not permitted during class times (8:00 a.m-4:30 p.m.) due to proximity to Haslam College of Business and Stokely Management classrooms.
  • Airwalls in Ballroom, 262, and 362 are not soundproof. As such there are limitations on sound that are dependent upon other occurring events.
    • Ballroom: sound levels may not exceed 62.2db unless permission is granted in writing from Student Union Event services

All collection box requests must be approved by the Student Union Event Services office.

  • The Student Union can accommodate up to two organizations or departments who can each place one collection box at an appropriate location in the Student Union.
  • Appropriate locations include immediate adjacency to the Information Desk, VolShop lobby, Center for Student Engagement common area.
  • The Student Union cannot allow competing collection boxes (i.e. two sponsors collecting books will not be approved for the same time period).
  • Each box must be clearly labeled as belonging to the sponsoring organization or department and the non-profit receiving the items.
  • These boxes may stay for a maximum of two weeks and must be emptied regularly by a member of the sponsoring organization or department.
  • Donation boxes will be stored within the Student Union on home football game days.
  • Any materials remaining after two weeks will be taken to UT Surplus and the sponsoring organization will lose collection box privileges for the remainder of the academic year.

  • Tabling space is reserved through events.utk.edu or by emailing sueventservices@utk.edu.
  • There are 11 tabling locations available in the Student Union.
  • A map of tabling locations may be found here.
  • Each tabling location is 6’ depth X 8’ width.
  • Organizations and departments upon arrival for their reservation, need to check in at the Information Desk to have Student Union staff set their table.
  • Union reserves right to limit volume and/or discontinue table sound.
  • Organizations and departments may not wander from the reserved space and/ or actively solicit within walkways or in areas which would hinder ingress/egress / ADA compliancy.
  • In the event of rain or other inclement weather, tabling locations are allocated at the discretion of the Union staff.
  • Due to limited hallway space outside meeting and event spaces, the Student Union will place registration and check-in tables as close to requested space as possible without hindering ingress/egress / ADA compliancy.
  • Violation of the policy may result in cancellation or denial of future tabling requests.

  • Both commercial and noncommercial solicitations are prohibited in nonpublic areas of the university.
  • Solicitations and sales in public areas of the university are restricted to invitees, registered organizations, and faculty, staff, and students of the university and are subject to reasonable restrictions as to time, place, and manner.
  • As it pertains to student organizations, “solicitation” is defined as the seeking of funds or support by a registered student organization from sources other than its members, including the procurement of supplies and other forms of support and the selling and distribution of items, materials, or products and services.
  • Please note that bake sales are not permitted in the Union.
  • Information on solicitation, information distribution, and associated university and state policies area available on the Center for Student Engagement website under Solicitation and Event Requests.

Storage in the Student Union is extremely limited.

  • The Student Union retains the right to limit stored items and does not guarantee available storage space.
  • The Student Union will not be held responsible for any damage, theft, or loss of items left in stored facilities.
  • The Student Union must be notified in advance of planned deliveries that may or may not require storage.
  • Pick-up of stored items must occur no later than one business day after event.  Any items left will be disposed at the end of the courtesy business day.

[/collapse}

  • Event sponsor may request off-campus rental equipment, deliveries, and floral arrangements.
  • Event sponsors are responsible for arranging deliveries and removal of all deliveries and floral arrangements.
  • Seven (7) business day notice to the Student Union is required.
  • All delivery and pick-up times must be coordinated through the Events Services office.
  • The Student Union has the right to refuse deliveries of rental equipment if said delivery was not coordinated through the Event Services office.
  • Storage and delivery policies also apply to off-campus rental equipment and floral arrangements.
  • The Student Union Event staff can arrange for rental equipment and deliveries on behalf of the Event Sponsor via university agreements with off-campus vendors.
  • All rental fees will be charged back to the Event Sponsor via invoice.
  • The Student Union has partnered with Random Acts of Flowers and can assist, if notified of intent by Event Sponsor, in arranging the donation/pick-up of floral arrangements.

  • The Federal Copyright Act states anyone wishing to show a film or other copyrighted material must first obtain a public performance license agreement.
  • Owning a copy of the material, renting the material, or streaming the material is considered as a violation of the Act.
  • The Center for Student Engagement can assist in obtaining copyright permissions for Event Sponsors wishing to show copyrighted material.
  • All Event Sponsors must submit the license to Event Services seven business days prior to the event.

  • Posting of any item on Student Union painted surfaces, doors, or windows is prohibited.
  • Hand billing in the facility is prohibited.
  • Items posted or distributed in violation of this policy will be removed, and the individual posting / distributing them will be assessed any costs of removal or repair of damage.

There are a variety of signage options for events.

Digital media

\Print media (8.5 X 11 black frames / Easels)

  • Event Sponsors may utilize Student Union print media signage holders in the facility.
  • All print media must contain name of meeting or event sponsor and name of meeting or event
  • Event Sponsors are responsible for placing them prior to the event and removing them at the end of the event.
  • Easels are allowed in event spaces, next to registration or display tables and directly outside the door to event spaces.
  • Easels may not be in the line of pedestrian traffic, blocking a stairwell or egress path.
  • Student Union staff reserve the right to move any sign not in an approved location.
  • Table tents are only allowed in the dining areas and must be coordinated with Dining Services.

A-frames

  • Event sponsors are responsible for the cost of repairs to the facility; cleaning, repair or replacement of equipment in the event any damage is incurred.
  • Event sponsors are responsible for items that are stolen during an event.

For reasons of liability, safety, health and sanitation, no animals of any type are allowed in any University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus owned or leased buildings with the following exceptions:

  • Service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, for use by faculty, staff and students. The University of Tennessee Knoxville recognizes the ability of persons with documented disabilities to utilize service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 (ADA). Faculty or staff of UTK who require a service animal should consult with the Office of Equity and Diversity. Students who require a service animal should consult with the Office of Disability Services for accommodation. Service animals, including Human Animal Bond in Tennessee (HABIT) animals, are permitted only when they are working in appropriate locations or as a part of the evaluations process.
  • Approved research animals as used in accordance with the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
  • Animals used for undergraduate and graduate research and teaching or instructional purposes are allowed provided the animals have IACUC approval or the owner has a letter from a licensed Veterinarian attesting the animal is healthy and would pose no harm to the public. The letter from the Veterinarian should be available upon request.
  • Animals professionally trained for theatrical purposes and directly supervised by show personnel within a controlled environment.
  • Animals professionally trained for search and rescue activities or law enforcement.
  • Animals in official University approved parades on campus.
  • Official University mascots including opposing teams.
  • Emotional support animals in university housing that have been approved for students by the Office of Disability Services as a reasonable accommodation.

  • Due to safety concerns for members of the University community, the use of any wheeled or mechanical transportation in the Student Union is prohibited.
  • This prohibition includes but is not limited to, bicycles, hoverboards, skateboards, skates, or scooters.
  • Due to the risk of fire, hoverboards cannot be plugged into an electrical outlet inside the Student Union.
  • This policy does not affect devices used for the accommodation of a disability.

To maintain the cleanliness and longevity of the facility, there are limitations on decorations. Additionally, the University’s decoration policy is available at https://ehs.utk.edu/index.php/table-of-policies-plans-procedures-guides/decorations/)

  • All decorations need advanced approval by Student Union staff.
  • At end of event, the sponsoring group must remove all decorations.
  • Damage and clean-up fees applicable, as necessary.
  • Glitter and confetti are Use of either will incur a cleaning fee.
  • Shall not obstruct exit signs, the clear path to an exit, view of an exit, a fire alarm pull station or fire extinguisher.
  • Must be flame resistant or flame retardant.
  • Candles and open flame decorations are not permitted.
  • Props such as clay, modeling compound, glow sticks, paint, etc. that could damage fixtures should be used with caution.
  • Live or cut trees are prohibited for use inside buildings.
  • Artificial trees shall be labeled or identified as being flame retardant or flame resistant.
  • Artificial trees shall not impair the required width of any component (e.g. hallways) of egress.
  • No bubble, fog, or smoke machines.
  • No fountains or water machines.
  • No decorative materials may be attached to, be suspended from or cover any part of the ceiling including light fixtures.
  • Must not be attached to any window frames, walls, doors or doorframes by any method that damages the finish when removed. This would include nails, tacks, brads, staples, screws and adhesives.
  • Any decoration material which is normally considered flammable, such as batting, cloth, cotton, hay, stalks, straw, vines, leaves, trees, moss, corn stalks, crepe paper and similar materials must be of fire-resistant quality and should bear the seal of approval of the FM or UL.
  • Plastics, Styrofoam’s, and polyurethane foams cannot be used for decorations or furnishings.
  • Garland, lights, or other decorations shall not be wrapped around or attached to handrails.
  • Decorations should not cover any signs, including door numbers, exit signage, and similar postings.

Student Union Art Gallery

The Student Union Art Gallery is dedicated to the enrichment of the cultural and intellectual life at the University of Tennessee. As a patron of the arts, the University is committed to the presentation and exhibition of the highest quality of art that will stimulate students, faculty, staff, and visitors to think and to learn about the art of diverse times, places, and peoples. We also seek to preserve and promote Tennessee art.

  • Reviews the landscape of artists and exhibits active on the University of Tennessee campus, in the eastern Tennessee region, and throughout the country in order to advise the Student Union Administration and the University.
  • Advice consists of recommended artistic mediums to exhibit, themes and topics to address, and names of potential artists or travelling exhibits.
  • Student Union Director may also seek advice from the Student Union Art Gallery Advisory Committee concerning their esthetic judgment of artistic excellence and merit, as well as the appropriateness of displaying the artwork in the public areas of the Student Union.

  • Student Chairperson for the Campus Events Board Arts and Culture Committee,
  • Three student members of the Campus Events Board Arts and Culture Committee,
  • Graduate Assistant Advisor to the Campus Events Board Arts and Culture Committee.

  • Final decisions are made by the Student Union Director in consultation with the Assistant Director for the Student Union, who oversees the Student Union Art Gallery, and the Director for the Center for Student Engagement.

  • Assistant Director will coordinate with the artist/sponsor to agree on specific dates, terms, promotion, and agreement of artwork/exhibit to be displayed.
  • Assistant Director will retain control of the artwork for the duration of the exhibit, and, absent the permission of the Assistant Director, the artist/sponsor will not be able to retrieve the artwork until exhibit has ended.

  • The Student Union Art Gallery may be used to promote University related marketing/special events related exhibitions and programs at the discretion of the Union Director.

  • The Student Union Art Gallery does not provide any printed promotional materials
  • This includes mailers, post cards, brochures, programs, etc.
  • Services for promotional materials are available at UCopy located next to the Art Gallery.

Student Union Loading Dock

  • The loading dock operational hours are Monday-Friday: 7:30am-5:30pm.
  • Access to loading dock is limited to authorized University vehicles and commercial deliveries.
  • The main gate is always closed and is staffed for entry Monday – Friday from 7:30A.M. – 5:30 P.M.
  • Student Union staff will be responsible for granting access and operation of the gate controls during regular business hours.
  • All deliveries, guests, and vendors must check in with the dock staff to gain access.
  • Prior arrangements are required for staffing and access outside of normal operational hours.

  • Primary loading and unloading should occur in one of the five bays on the north and south docks. (reference on map)
  • Additional areas for loading and unloading will be designated by Student Union staff.
  • Vehicles may not be left for extended periods without prior arrangement and are limited to space available and expected traffic volume.

  • Proper addressing will prevent delays in shipments (See Appendix A).
  • The Student Union must be notified of any incoming materials for large events and conferences.
  • A log will be kept of all incoming shipments.
  • All deliveries, except those for food service areas and VolShop, will be received and logged by Student Union staff.
  • Once logged, all received shipments will be organized on the receiving room shelves and prepared for delivery.

  • The Student Union will only be responsible for large or bulk out-going shipments following events, fairs, and conferences.
  • Smaller, office or departmental shipments should be arranged through Campus Mail Services: 865-974-5408.

  • Because access to the loading dock is limited to authorized University vehicles and commercial deliveries, vehicle parking is strictly prohibited in the loading dock.
  • Authorized golf carts may only park in the designated locations. (reference on map)
  • Arrangements for extended parking at other locations may be arranged through Parking Services

Contact Name

Department/Event/Conference

c/o Dock Manager

Student Union

1502 Cumberland Avenue

Knoxville, TN 37996