Palmer Commons

Palmer Commons




Dances and parties, which take place in University facilities, are an important part of campus life because they offer the opportunity for members of the University community to socialize, discover, and celebrate together. Sponsoring organization members, organization advisors, and University staff share in the responsibility to ensure that these activities are well planned, enjoyable, safe, and reflective of the tradition of excellence associated with the University of Michigan. Any person, behavior, or action should reflect our community values.

It is expected that all parties involved will give thoughtful attention to proper event planning and agree to take all necessary steps before, during, and after an event to ensure its success. Failure to comply with specific provisions as outlined in this policy may result in sanctions for the sponsoring organization, such as organizational discipline, financial repayment of damages, and suspended use of specific University facilities.


An event is considered to be a dance/party if it includes all of the following:

  • the use of music (i.e. DJ, band, Ipod, computer) and an open area for active, non-seated attendees,
  • expected attendance of more than 125, with at least 2/3 of the attendees being U-M students,
  • scheduled ending time for the event is later than 11:00 p.m.

Events, such as presentations, performances, dinners and receptions do not generally fall under this policy. Professional judgment on the part of the respective University Unions facility director or Trotter Multicultural Center manager may, in some circumstances, require that certain aspects of this policy be applied to other types of events. Campus Police, MUTO, and other event costs will not be subsidized by DSA funds in these instances. If an event is expected to attract over 600 attendees, the University reserves the right to implement special requirements or conditions not specifically outlined in this policy.


This policy does not supersede other University policies, Regents' Ordinances, and/or local, state, and federal laws. This policy complies with all U-M nondiscrimination policies.

The University reserves the right and responsibility to control access to, and use of, its property. Requests from a sponsoring organization may be modified or denied for several reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Fire capacity
  • Limitation upon the sponsoring organization as a result of University sanctions.
  • Conflicts or potential conflicts with other scheduled areas, other programs, or ongoing business.


  • Dance/Party events may be held on Fridays and Saturdays during fall and winter semesters.
  • Dance/Party events may not be held on Study or Exam days.
  • Dance/Party events may not be scheduled on home football game weekends unless specifically approved by the facility management in consultation with Campus Police.
  • Dance/Party events may not be scheduled on certain special event or tradition weekends.
  • Dance/Party events must be scheduled by the sponsoring organization no less than 28 days prior to the proposed date of the event.
  • Sponsoring organizations must ensure that volume levels do not infringe upon other events and must abide by the Facilities Use Policy.

Applicable Facilities

This policy applies to the University Unions facilities, including the Michigan Union, the Michigan League, and Pierpont Commons, as well as the Trotter Multicultural Center.

Eligible Users

Dance/Party events may only be scheduled by sponsored and voluntary student organizations, as officially recognized by the University through the Center for Campus Involvement.


U-M Community

All U-M students, faculty, staff, and alumni are eligible to attend dances and parties.

Invited Guests

Admittance of non-University of Michigan community members to dances/parties is at the discretion of the sponsoring organization. There may be situations in which the University will restrict the attendance of an event (e.g. Welcome Week is for U-M affiliates only). If non-U of M affiliated guests will be present, a typed guest list alphabetized by last name in an Excel spreadsheet, must be e-mailed to the Dance/Party Program Advisor by 3 pm on the Friday of your event weekend. Sponsoring organizations are responsible for the conduct of their members and guests during the event, helping to ensure a safe exit, and until such time that facility staff, in consultation with Campus Police, deem the event complete and the crowd has dispersed from agreed upon areas immediately surrounding the event location. Sponsoring organizations must abide by the hosting facility’s access policies.

University of Michigan Alumni

In general, while University of Michigan alumni are allowed to attend dance/party events, they do not count towards the required 2/3 attendance by UM students.


Student Event Coordinator

At the time of scheduling, the sponsoring organization must designate an authorized signer on the Student Organization Accounts Service (SOAS) account(s) to serve as the Student Event Coordinator. Throughout the event planning process, the Student Event Coordinator will serve as the primary liaison between the sponsoring organization, the facility management, the Michigan Union Ticket Office (MUTO), Campus Police, and any other associated advising departments.

Student Event Hosts

In keeping with the need for shared responsibility for a successful event, host roles will include, but are not limited to, assisting in the entry and exit of attendees and monitoring the corridors and halls in the immediate vicinity of the event room and ticketing location. Host roles will be decided upon by the organization and the Dance/Party Program Advisor. A schedule of host duties will be turned into the Dance/Party Program Advisor at the Kick-off meeting or earlier. The number of hosts will be determined by the Dance/Party Advisor, dependent on the facility, event timeline, capacity and previous history of the event. In the event of any disruptive or inappropriate behavior, Student Event Hosts will address minor issues and will take the initiative to inform facility management and Campus Police of behavior that may escalate.

Dance/Party Program Advisor

The Program Advisor’s role is to advise student organizations in the planning and successful implementation of their major dances and parties, work with the students to coordinate all aspects of the event from beginning to end, and be a dependable resource for them.

Faculty/Staff Advisor

A Faculty/Staff Advisor may be required at dance/party events with greater than 300 attendees and all organizational events with disciplinary sanctions within the past academic year. Events with alcohol are required to have Faculty/Staff Advisor(s). The advisor’s presence provides additional support and perspective. Faculty/Staff Advisor(s) must be present at the Pre Event Meeting, or a separate meeting with the Dance/Party Program Advisor. Faculty/Staff Advisors must stay for the entire event.

Planning Meeting

In order to ensure a successful event, the Student Event Coordinator will participate in a Planning Meeting. The Planning Meeting will be an opportunity for the Dance/Party Program Advisor to meet with the Student Event Coordinator to review a planning checklist that includes all the necessary information to plan a successful event, such as roles of individuals, ticketing information, Campus Police information, catering, and room set up.


Advertising for Dance/Party events must be reviewed by the Dance/Party Program Advisor prior to distribution. Advertising an event prior to event confirmation is prohibited and may result in denial of the request to use facilities.

Pre-Event Meeting

The Pre-Event Meeting is an opportunity for representatives from MUTO, Campus Police, and the facility to meet with the Student Event Coordinator to finalize event details and review facility policies, Campus Police/security policies and MUTO ticketing policies. Major decisions about the event should have been made with the Dance Party Program Advisor prior to the Pre-Event Meeting so that this meeting can serve as a final review of all event details with all involved departments. Failure to attend a Pre-Event Meeting will result in penalties including cancellation of the event.

Kick-Off Meeting

Immediately prior to the start of the event, the Dance/Party Program Advisor will convene a Kick-Off Meeting with the Student Event Coordinator and Student Event Hosts of the sponsoring organization. This meeting is to review policy and confirm roles, expectations, and responsibilities of all parties involved. Also present will be representatives from MUTO, building management, and Campus Police/security. MUTO ticket sales and event entry cannot begin until this meeting is concluded.

Post-Event Meeting

The purpose of the Post-Event meeting is to review the planning process and resolve any issues that may have occurred. This meeting will be an opportunity for the Student Event Coordinator to ask questions and gather necessary information to help in the transition process for future Event Coordinators.

Capacity Controls

In order to ensure that attendance remains within safe and legal limits, the capacity of all events will be closely maintained by non-transferable identification (wristbands). Wristbands will be obtained from MUTO. All persons participating in an event must be identified by wearing a wristband. At the professional discretion of the Dance/Party Program Advisor, events may be allowed a rolling capacity.

Advance Sales (Ticketing)

  • All tickets to be sold and/or distributed for events will be provided by MUTO. A ticket set-up form must be completed and returned to MUTO no less than four (4) business days prior to the date the tickets will begin to be sold or distributed.
  • Organizations may request that MUTO sell or distribute tickets with special requirements (i.e. organization members only, U-M students only, etc.).
  • All financial proceeds from the sale of tickets will be deposited directly into the appropriate sponsoring organization's SOAS account.
  • Organizations may request that MUTO release some tickets to the Student Event Coordinator for advance sale. These tickets will be considered consignment tickets. Unsold consignment tickets must be submitted to MUTO by 3 pm on the Friday of your event weekend and any money received from sales should be submitted to Student Organization Account Services (SOAS) by that same time.
  • Failure to meet these requirements will result in the loss of those tickets for later sale during the event and may cause a delay of the event funds being transferred to the sponsoring organization’s SOAS account.
  • Complimentary admission for identified guests will be honored on the night of the event through a list submitted to the Dance/Party Program Advisor no later than 3 pm on the Friday of your event weekend.


In an effort to ensure the safety of all members of the University community and their guests, all events will have specific measures in place intended to maintain a secure, safe, comfortable, and enjoyable environment. All safety measures will be coordinated and provided by a combination of student event hosts, facility management, and assigned Campus Police personnel

Department of Public Safety

  • Campus Police officers will work in conjunction with event hosts and facility management to ensure compliance with event safety and security guidelines.
  • Campus Police will assign officers based on the ratio of one per 125 event attendees.  Campus Police may adjust the level of officers (up or down) according to information presented by the sponsoring organization or facility management, such as multiple activities at the same facility or a relevant past history.
  • The Division of Student Affairs will cover the entire cost of having Campus Police in attendance.  

*When appropriate Campus Police staffing is unavailable, please refer to Appendix A for procedures.


Requests for exceptions to any aspect of this policy must be submitted in writing to the Dance/Party Program Advisor at least 45 days prior to the event for review by the Exceptions Committee (Facility Directors). Requests will receive a written response within 10 business days.


Post-Event Meeting

If the sponsoring organization, the facility management, MUTO, and/or DPS believes a portion of this
policy has not been carried out or addressed appropriately, any involved party may request a Post-Event
Meeting (POEM). The purpose of a POEM is to resolve disputes and identify areas for future improvement.
A request for a POEM must occur within three business days following the event in question.


In the event the Post-Event Meeting (POEM) does not establish a mutually agreeable solution to issues, any party attending the POEM may request an appeal in writing to the Dean of Students within five business days of the POEM. The Dean of Student’s decision will be final. A written response will be available within 10 business days of the appeal.

These policies shall be reviewed as needed by a review committee and chair appointed by the Director of University Unions.

Reviewed and proposed by the 2010 Dance/Party and Access Checkpoints Policy Review Committee:

Eric Heilmeier, Co-Chair

Dance/Party Program Advisor, University Unions Arts & Programs

Nick Smith, Co-Chair

Assistant Director, University Unions Arts & Programs

Archana Bharadwag

Michigan Union Board of Representatives

Myron Bishop

NPHC Advisor

Ed Burnett

Facilities Coordinator, Trotter Multicultural Center

Heather Gray

Manager, Michigan Union Ticket Office

Shayaan Khanna

Michigan Union Board of Representatives

Merry Meyer

Facilities Coordinator, Pierpont Commons

Susan Pile

Director, Michigan Union and University Unions Arts & Programs

Mary Beth Seiler

Director, Greek Life

Sqt. Gene Weincouff

Department of Public Safety

Annie Whalen

Campus Events Manager, University Unions Event Services

Bob Yecke

Director, Michigan League, and Assistant Director, University Unions

2013 Updates Made By:

Kate Poisson

Student Involvement Advisor, Center for Campus Involvement