Administrative Policies

AD02 Non-University Groups Using University Facilities

Policy Status: 


Subject Matter Expert: 

Barb Ettaro, 814-863-1030,

Policy Steward: 

Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff


  • Purpose
  • General
  • Priority
  • Aims and Purposes
  • Non-Commercial Activities
  • Fund Raising
  • Use of the University Name
  • Provision of Food
  • Posting of Material
  • Financial Activities
  • Payment or Expenses Incurred
  • Physical Safety and General Welfare
  • Procedure For Requesting Approval
  • Speeches, Rallies, and Demonstrations
  • Further Information
  • Cross References

    The purpose of this policy is to define the responsibilities and limitations of the University in responding to requests for use of facilities not related to an educational program of the University. The intent of the policy is to ensure optimum use of resources and develop and maintain good public relations with organized groups wishing to use these resources. This policy does not apply to The Nittany Lion Inn, The Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel, or the Bryce Jordan Center.

    Accommodations in residence halls are available only for students and Continuing Education participants and, as required, for participants in University-sponsored programs. (See Policy AD03.) Any exceptions to this statement must be approved by the Associate Vice President for Auxiliary and Business Services. Specific facilities may be subject to additional policies.


    Use of University facilities by non-University groups such as organized civic, cultural, service, religious, and industrial organizations, public school groups, and college and university groups with memberships not restricted to Penn State students, faculty, and staff may be approved subject to the guidelines established by this policy and other appropriate University regulations.

    This policy does not apply to registered student organizations at any location of the University.


    University use of all facilities shall have absolute preemptive priority over all non-University groups. The University reserves the right to cancel, postpone, or alter arrangements for any event if necessary.


    The use of facilities must be for purposes which do not conflict with the general aims and purposes of University regulations or local, state and federal laws. Approval to use facilities does not necessarily imply approval of the aims and purposes of the sponsoring organization nor the event being planned.


    The use of the facility must be for noncommercial purposes. (See Policy AD27.)


    Except as set forth below, the use of facilities shall not have as its purpose the raising of funds for activities or causes unrelated to the University.

    If any fund raising activity takes place, a detailed plan for the designation of funds must be specifically approved by the appropriate budget executive at the respective University location. No funds can be distributed to any organization or individual other than a tax-exempt organization.

    At the University Park campus:

    1. The use of facilities for fund raising shall be limited to those facilities which have approved rental rates (e.g., golf courses, indoor tennis courts, ice skating rink, etc.).

    2. Other recreational facilities intended for academic instruction, intramural or intercollegiate athletic programs, or individual recreational programs, will not be used for fund raising purposes.

    3. Fund raising activities must be conducted in conjunction with, or co-sponsored by, an organized student group, University college, department or administrative unit. Co-sponsorship must be by a bona fide parallel-interest organization with equal participation in the planning and implementation of the activity.

    At Non-University Park Locations:

    1. Approved use of facilities by non-University groups for the purposes of fund raising may or may not be restricted to co-sponsorship by an authorized University group.


    Any use of the name of the University, other than to indicate the location of the event, must be approved in advance by the University through the Office of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business/Treasurer (per Policy AD07).


    The provision of food and beverages by other than the authorized University agent operating or contracting for food and beverage services is specifically prohibited. (Refer to Policy AD26.)


    Individuals and groups may post commercial and noncommercial announcements on the University's general purpose bulletin boards. As appropriate, related noncommercial announcements may be posted on specific purpose bulletin boards. (General purpose boards and specific purpose boards will be specifically labeled.)

    Except as permitted herein, no poster, handbill, or any form of announcement or statement can be placed on, attached to, or written on any structure or natural feature of the campus such as doors, buildings, windows, the surface of walkways, roads, fountains, posts, waste receptacles, trees or stakes, or posted on motor vehicles.


    Information must be provided in advance to the University concerning any financial activities or transactions planned by the non-University group during its use of the facility.


    The group will reimburse the University for identifiable increments to the University's operating or overhead expenses imposed by the use of the facility. In addition, the University may charge a fee for the use of its facilities provided that all provisions of Policy FN27 are met.


    The group using the facilities must agree to take precautions to assure the physical safety of participants and University property, and to release the University from any liability in conjunction with the use of the facility. A University Release and Indemnification Agreement must be used for this purpose. (See the applicable instructions in GURU.) University Release and Indemnification Agreement forms are available in the Department of Community Relations, Office of Strategic Communications at University Park. At all other locations, they are available in the office of the campus executive officer or dean/provost.

    A copy of the completed University Release and Indemnification Agreement must be forwarded to

    The University reserves the right to require insurance coverage and may require the presence of University Safety personnel for any group requesting to use University facilities. (See Administrative Guideline ADG04.)


    Non-University groups wishing to use the University Park facilities (except the Bryce Jordan Center, The Nittany Lion Inn, The Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel, and University Park Airport) within the above policy (or policies AD01 and AD03), shall apply to Strategic Communications. After applications are reviewed by appropriate personnel, including those designated with management or assignment responsibility for specific areas, actions relative to the approval are issued through Department of Community Relations.

    NOTE: Prior to approval of requests for use of facilities at University Park, Strategic Communications shall check with The Nittany Lion Inn, The Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel, and the Bryce Jordan Center, to assure that approval for the use of specific facilities requested will not interfere with plans in progress by these entities for the use of those facilities. When approvals are granted, copies of such approvals shall be provided to The Nittany Lion Inn, The Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel, or the Bryce Jordan Center, as appropriate.

    Non-University groups wishing to use facilities at locations other than University Park within the above policy shall apply to the budget executive at the campus or facility. These applications are acted upon by the budget executive who is responsible for ascertaining the appropriateness of the request within the policy set forth above and for making the final decision concerning the request.

    Strategic Communications (at University Park), and the budget executive (at locations other than University Park), shall keep complete records of the authorized use of facilities by non-University groups. The records will include the name of the group, the purpose of the meeting, the meeting date, the approximate attendance, the cost reimbursement or fee, if any, and the University facilities used.


    For events involving non-University individuals and groups that primarily consist of a speech, rally, or demonstration, please see University Policy AD02A.


    For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of Strategic Communications.


    Other Policies in this manual should also be referenced, especially the following:

    AD01 - Policies and Procedures for Use of University Auditoriums

    AD02A - Supplemental Policy for Speeches, Rallies, and Demonstrations

    AD03 - Conducting Educational Programs Using the Name of The University

    AD07 - Use of University Name, Symbols and/or Graphic Devices

    AD18 - Possession, Use and Distribution of Alcoholic Beverages

    AD26 - Sale and Serving of Food and Beverages at University Locations

    AD27 - Commercial Sales Activities at University Locations

    AD51 - Use of Outdoor Areas for Expressive Activities

    ADG04 - Providing Emergency Medical Services at University Events at University Park

    FN27 - Establishinng and Billing Service Center User Rates

    Most recent changes:

    • October 18, 2022 - Added "University Park Airport" to the list of facility exceptions under the Procedure for Requesting Approval section.

    Revision History (and effective dates):

    • March 3, 2022 - Edited Physical Safety and General Welfare section to update that the completed agreements are no longer sent to Risk Management but should now be forwarded to 24, 2020 - Updated links from decommissioned policy AD15 to FN27.
    • April 20, 2018 - Editorial change to update links to the University Release and Indemnification Agreement instructions and form.November 10, 2017 - Added new section: Speeches, Rallies, and Demonstrations and link to Policy AD02A.

    • August 21, 2014 - Editorial changes. References to the Office of University Relations have been changed to the Office of Strategic Communications. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.

    • August 23, 2011 - Editorial change in PURPOSE section, second paragraph; Senior Associate Vice President for Finance and Business changed to Associate Vice President for Auxiliary and Business Services.
    • May 11, 2011 - References added for the Department of Community Relations in the PHYSICAL SAFETY AND GENERAL WELFARE and PROCEDURE FOR REQUESTING APPROVAL sections.
    • September 11, 2006 - Clarification of existing policy and practice in AIMS AND PURPOSES section.
    • June 1, 2005 - Editorial change to eliminate "General Forms Usage Guide" reference, and to add the correct links for the Indemnification Agreement form referenced in the policy.
    • August 31, 2001 - Editorial change: Added cross reference to Policy AD18.
    • April 26, 1999 - Changed wording in "Posting of Material" section to correspond with new policy AD51.
    • June 1, 1998- Added reference to Administrative Guideline ADG04, Providing Emergency Medical Services at University Events at University Park.
    • January 27, 1998 - The policy was revised to refer to the Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel and to also address the Commonwealth Colleges.
    • September 25, 1995 - Updated position titles; incorporated the Bryce Jordan Center.
    • October 17, 1994 - New policy.



    Date Approved: 

    October 17, 1994

    Date Published: 

    October 17, 1994

    Effective Date: 

    October 17, 1994