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RSO Event Guidelines

  • Research shows that engagement is important to the overall success and retention of students. 
  • Engaging in student organizations is one way to find that community and belonging.  Involved students enrich their learning in deeper ways, are offered opportunities to practice the information and skills they are learning in class, find community, have more opportunities for individual growth and identity development, and begin to build relationships and social capital. 
  • Getting involved and engaging in outside the classroom activities increases student retention, improves student satisfaction with the college experience, strengthens staff-student relationships, improves career development and readiness, improves personal efficacy and self-awareness, facilitates cultural and racial understanding, offers opportunities to grow interpersonal communication and leadership skills, and increases the affinity towards the University of Maryland.
  • Student organizations have an important role to play in providing opportunities for students to connect and deepen friendships, deepen engagement with the university, as well as to engage in experiential learning.

Meetings vs. Events

To help student organizations differentiate between a meeting and an event, for purposes of these guidelines, please use the following definitions:

  • A meeting is a gathering of organization members with the goal of addressing matters related to the business of the organization, typically occurring on some on-going and predictable schedule, e.g. weekly or monthly basis, and generally does not require additional support beyond a physical space (if in person) and/or technical support (if virtual).
  • An event is an activity that an organization sponsors that could serve a variety of purposes, e.g. entertainment, educational, celebratory, as it pertains to an audience, usually occurs as a special occasion and not on an on-going basis, and may require additional services or support, e.g. consultation with the Office of Risk Management, Office of Facilities Management, ticketing services, etc. 

Benefits of Event Registration

  • Provide registered student organizations with access to the necessary support and resources to coordinate safe, and successful on-campus activities with minimal risk.
    • Offices include the Student Organization Resource Center, Stamp Events and Guest Services and other venue management offices, as well as other services such as University of Maryland Police Department, and Fire Marshal.
  • Provide registered student organizations with a tool to manage many aspects of the event planning process. 
  • Provide registered student organizations with a tool to market and promote on the TerpLink Calendar which can serve as a central location for students and campus.

Event Registration and Approval

  • Student organizations must register all meetings, events, and activities (whether in-person or virtual) through TerpLink. See here (Start on slide 15) how to access. 
  • Student organization in-person events and meetings must be reviewed and approved by the Student Organization Resource Center (SORC) staff and/or an Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs.
  • Student organization advisors will receive notice of a pending event and will be encouraged to work with their group’s planning and execution of the event.
  • Students and/or registered student groups who fail to get approval may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.
  • SORC may modify these expectations at any time and will provide notice in the event such modifications are made. Student organizations must keep apprised of changes to the expectations, and abide by them.

Location of In-Person Meetings and Events

All in-person meetings and events must be held in a reservable space

  • INDOOR reservable spaces include:
    • Adele H. Stamp Student Union
    • TerpZone and/or TerpZone Activities Room
    • Student Involvement Suite
    • Memorial Chapel
    • Riggs Alumni Center
    • Academic Buildings
    • The Clarice
    • Reckord Armory Gym
  • OUTDOOR Reservable spaces include:
    • McKeldin Mall
    • Hornbake Plaza
    • Nyumburu Amphitheater 
    • Artificial Turf Fields (aka Xfinity Field)
    • Chapel Fields
    • Engineering Field
    • Fraternity Row Fields
    • La Plata Beach


  • A very limited number of academic classrooms are available for reservation by student organizations through eCalendar. Access to classrooms is very limited to specific buildings and rooms. The average room seating capacity is 40.
  • Faculty/staff advisors should not make reservations in general purpose classrooms on behalf of their student organizations. Reservations made by a UMD staff or faculty member, regardless if an advisor is doing so on behalf of a student organization, are considered a departmental event and no longer a student organization event, and may require different guidance, and also become the responsibility of the faculty/staff advisor.

Size/Capacity/Large Events Gatherings

  • Facility managers and identified building safety officers will determine specific space occupancy, in accordance with current State and County regulations and in consultation with the Office of the Fire Marshal. 

Crowd Management

  • Facility managers will hold the student organization accountable for compliance and will work with student organizations to comply with guidelines.  Facility managers are authorized to close an event when procedures are not followed.


  • Student organizations are responsible for providing appropriate supplies for all student organization members and/or volunteers working the event. Although not required, student organizations may want to provide hand sanitizer at their events. 


  • Where possible, events that could benefit from ticketing will use University Ticketing. 
    • All ticketed events occurring in STAMP must use the services offered through the STAMP Ticket Office. Please see information on ticket services here.

Campus Advertising and Chalking Policies

  • Every semester, a new set of student leaders tries to market their programs and organizations in unique ways - we get it.  We wanted to reinforce the need to follow a few prescriptive guidelines as you reach out to the campus.  Please review the complete advertising policy here.

Virtual Meetings, Events, Activities

  • Student organizations may create virtual programming as alternatives or as a complement to in-person events, meetings and programs.

Technology to Support Virtual Meetings, Events, and Activities

  • Student organizations can receive support from STAMP IT on the best technology to use for activities online as a way to connect students. Additional costs may be applicable for their services. 


  • If your organization is interested in fundraising, please see the following policies.

Concerts and Major Events

  • To ensure that the promotion of entertainment related events are produced in a safe and fiscally responsible manner, policies and procedures are required for the production and management of large scale concerts and entertainment events on campus. Policies and procedures can be found here.


You must have authorization to show a film/movie in a space that is not a private residence/home. Your organization is responsible for paying the appropriate licensing fees if you are showing a movie that is not in your residence or home. The cost varies by film, but you can expect to pay between $300 to $900 per film. It is ILLEGAL to show films in a public setting (i.e. Stamp, etc.) without the proper licensing rights. It is best to allow for a 30 day lead time to acquire authorization.

The Federal Copyright Act specifies that copyrighted materials like movies can be used publicly if properly licensed. However, neither the rental nor purchase of a movie carries the right to exhibit it outside of one’s home. 

Policies and procedures can be found here.

What exactly is a public performance?

  • A public performance is the exhibition of a movie that is shown outside of someone’s home. 

Do I need a license to show a movie for educational purposes? This activity is covered under the “Face-to-Face Teaching Exemption,” right?

  • It depends. Under the "Face-to-Face Teaching Exemption," copyrighted movies may be shown in a college or university setting without copyright permission only if all criteria are met:
    • A teacher or instructor is present, engaged in face-to-face teaching activities.
    • The institution must be an accredited, nonprofit educational institution.
    • The showing takes place in a classroom setting with only the enrolled students attending.
    • The movie is used as an essential part of the core, required curriculum being taught. (The instructor should be able to show how the use of the motion picture contributes to the overall required course study and syllabus.)
    • The movie being used is a legitimate copy, not taped from a legitimate copy or taped from TV.
    • This means the "Face-to-Face Teaching Exemption" does not apply outside the nonprofit, in-person, classroom teaching environment. It doesn't apply to movies shown online – even if they’re part of course-related activities and websites. It also doesn't apply to interactions that are not in-person - even simultaneous distance learning interactions. It doesn't apply at for-profit educational institutions either. For specific requirements, please reference The Copyright Act of 1976, Public Law No. 94-553, 90 stat 2541: Title 17; Section 110(i), or consult your copyright attorney.

Who can provide me with the proper licensing?

  • If you need assistance, the Stamp can help you obtain the licensing if you are showing a movie in its facility. If you have obtained authorization on your own, you must provide proof of the authorization to your Event Services Coordinator prior to your event. For assistance email, or talk with your Event Service Coordinator.

Do we need a license even if we don’t charge admission? What if someone owns the movie

  • Yes. 
  • A license is required for all public performances regardless of whether admission is charged. The rental, purchase, lending or download of a movie does not provide the right to exhibit it publicly outside the home unless the screening is properly licensed.

Who’s responsible if a film is shown without a license?

  • The management of the venue or premises where the movie is shown bears the ultimate responsibility and consequences of copyright infringement. However, anyone involved with the public performance of copyrighted material could be implicated.

If I purchased a license to show a movie, can I show that movie whenever I want

  • Unfortunately, no.
  • Licenses are valid for a specific, designated time frame. There are no annual licenses available to colleges and universities.

A small group is having an informal gathering in our facility. Do we still need a license?

  • Yes. 
  • A license needs to be obtained regardless of the number of people attending the screening if the movie is being shown outside the home.

What if I want to sell tickets?

  • If you are selling tickets for admission to a film event, you are required to either pay a percentage of your profits from the event or pay a flat rate to the distributor of the film. Often distributors charge a flat rate of at least $350 or 40% of your profits, whichever is greater. Your cost will depend on how much your event makes.

What if I created a movie and own the rights?

  • You do not need a license.

The information above is from Swank Motion Pictures, Inc. a company that provides licenses for public viewing. 


  • In order to ensure a safe social environment for student organizations and their guests this policy details the responsibility of student organization leaders in the planning of party/social events.  A party/social event is defined as a social gathering open to UMD and Non-UMD guests in which a  DJ or live entertainment will be the primary entertainment and the majority of attendees will not be seated.  Policies can be found here.
  • Student organizations hosting parties are responsible for guests following the Health Safety Guidelines referenced in this document. 

Demonstrations and Leafleting

  • The University of Maryland supports the right of individual students, faculty, staff and student organizations to  demonstrate and leaflet, provided such activities do not disrupt normal activities or infringe upon the rights of  others. Policies can be found here.

General Guidelines

  • Activities undertaken by a student organization are not sponsored or approved by the University. Registration as a student organization does not create a contractual relationship between the University and the Student Organization or a property right or legal expectancy on the part of the organization. 
  • The Code of Student Conduct applies to student organization off-campus activity (University of Maryland Code of Student Conduct, Jurisdiction 9 (c). 
  • If a student organization is planning an event at an off-campus location, please make sure to research and follow the applicable policies and procedures of that location relevant to your event. For example, if a student organization is planning an outing to a local park, a reservation may be required for the use of the location for your activity/event. Please be sure to acquire the necessary approvals from the appropriate agency(ies) prior to the activity/event taking place. 
  • Prior to and during activities, the student organization should consider and implement strategies to reduce the risk of injury or loss. Feel free to contact the UMD Risk Management Office at for guidance.
  • University resources for the purposes of off-campus activities may include, but not limited to, funding from the Student Government Association or Graduate Student Government, a University department or office, or the use of University Motorpool or Department of Transportation Services.

Off -Campus Events Not Using University Resources

  • If a student organization or any of its  members enter into an agreement or contract on behalf of the student organization for the use of an off-campus location/venue, be aware that that the student organization and/or the individuals that are a party to the agreement/contract are fully liable for complying with the terms of the agreement/contract, including but not limited to associated costs.  The Student Legal Aid Office is available for consultation regarding contractual agreements ( 
  • If a student organization members are using personal vehicles to travel to and/or from an off-campus location, please be aware that the vehicle owners are fully liable for all activity that takes place while traveling. This includes traffic violations and accidents that may occur. 
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