Use of College Facilities for External Events

Summary: 

Amends the current policy in response to the recent review of events procedures by SUNY Internal Audit Department. Such changes reflect consolidation of all College facilities rentals in one area, adding procedures for make-up/rescheduled games and adding procedures that tie the level of review & approval by the Permit Committee to New York State's requirements for bidding contracts.

Policy document: 

Body: 

1.0 PURPOSE and SCOPE 

It is the policy of the State University of New York College at Old Westbury (College) to establish guidelines for the use of its facilities and space by persons or organizations external to the College. This procedure provides guidance for approving, recording, scheduling, pricing, rescheduling and canceling an external event. For procedures related to an internal event sponsored by a student, faculty / staff member or College-affiliated organization, refer to the College’s Procedure B-01. 

2.0 RESPONSIBILITIES 

2.1 Personnel within the Office of Facilities Rentals (Facilities Rentals) are responsible for processing external requests for the use of College facilities. This office is responsible for administering proposed events to be held in a facility and for issuing all external event permits. 

2.2 Facilities Rentals personnel are responsible for: 

  1. determining the availability and appropriateness of the requested room, facility or area. 
  2. assisting the External Party in preparation of the Permit Request application. 
  3. presenting the Permit Request to the Permit Committee for approval. 
  4. scheduling the event in the College’s calendar system. e. informing Bursar of appropriate accounts to deposit revenue. 

2.3 The Office of the Bursar (Bursar’s Office) is responsible for: 

  1. recording and depositing checks from External Parties. 
  2. periodically providing supporting information on External Party payments to the Facilities Rentals Office and the Permit Committee. 
  3. reconciling monthly rental income received with the Facilities Rentals Office records. 

2.4 The Permit Committee is a College Committee chaired by the Assistant to the President for Administration. It has oversight responsibility for external events and is also responsible for: 

  1. providing preliminary approval of the event and the use of facilities. 
  2. identifying College-wide resource requirements for the event. 
  3. maintaining a current list of hourly rates for employees, room rates and equipment charges. 
  4. determining the cost and price for the event. e. recommending the event to the President for approval. 

2.5 The Facilities Rentals Coordinator, is a manager within the Office of Facilities Rentals responsible for assisting External Parties seeking to hold an event on campus by communicating with such parties, expediting the event request through the Permit Committee, scheduling the event, preparing the permit, contacting and working with departmental personnel to ensure that the requested facility, supplies and materials will be available for the event, and administering steps necessary to carry out a successful event. The Facilities Rentals Coordinator is also responsible for the recording and reporting of external event revenues and verifying that the Permittee has the appropriate insurance in effect and the permit is signed and forwarded to authorizing personnel and NYS agencies as appropriate. 

2.6 The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for supervising the Office of Facilities Rentals and the Bursar’s Office, and for the final review and signing of the permit before it is sent to the External Party. 

2.7 The President has final approval for the event and must be consulted if concerns arise regarding the propriety of an event. 

3.0 DEFINITIONS 

3.1 Facility - a College-controlled (owned or leased) land, structure, building, equipment or furniture. It can be any of the following: a room (Maguire Theatre, Recital Hall), an office, a classroom (conference, teleconferencing or presentation room), a building (Student Union, Clark Center) or an area or portion thereof (Trainor Field, the pool, soccer or baseball fields) on the College’s Campus. 

3.2 External Event - an affair, activity or organized gathering held on the College campus and paid for by an External Party. Information, presentations or demonstrations to sell a product or service to the College community are also considered to be External Events. 

3.3 External Party - the person or organization unrelated to the College that requests the use of a Facility for the purpose of holding an event on campus. 

3.4 Installment Plan - a method in which the External Party is allowed to make scheduled payments for an event over an extended period. An Installment Plan must be requested by the External party and is generally used when the event’s cost is significant or when the event is held over multiple dates during the year. 

3.5 A Permit is a revocable legal instrument issued in the name of SUNY (on behalf of the College), to an External Party. It contains the price, terms and conditions for which an External Party is “permitted” to use a Facility. 

4.0 PROCEDURE 

4.1 REQUESTING THE USE OF A FACILITY Upon receipt of an inquiry about a proposed event, Facilities Rentals personnel will forward a “Request for Facilities Use” form (Exhibit 1) to the External Party requesting the following information: 

  1. name of the organization or organizer. 
  2. type of organization (non-profit/educational/government/corporate). 
  3. nature of the function to be held. 
  4. requested facility, number of attendees, dates and times. 
  5. special requirements such as parking or audio/visual equipment. 

4.2 PRELIMINARY RECORDING (BOOKING) OF THE EVENT 

The External Party will submit a signed and completed Request for Facilities Use form to the College. Facilities Rentals personnel will check the availability and appropriateness of the facility and date(s) by viewing the Calendar System screens and: 

  1. advise the External Party of availability or alternate date, time or facility if the facility is in use at the time requested by the External Party. 
  2. enter the information into the Calendar System and forward the signed Permit Request to the Permit Committee for review and preliminary approval if no conflict exists. 

4.3 PRICING AND APPROVALS The Permit Committee is scheduled to meet weekly to review Request for Facilities Use forms for events and use of facilities. To assist the Permit Committee in their deliberations: 

  1. Facilities Rentals or other College personnel will present the Request for Facilities Use forms and any additional information relating to the External Party. 
  2. Facilities Rentals personnel will bring a Calendar System Schedule of events for the ensuing two weeks (or other period as deemed appropriate). 

4.4 The Permit Committee reviews the merits and practicality of the proposed event and performs the following tasks: 

  1. discusses potentially conflicting events or concerns with upcoming internal & external events. 
  2. identifies College-wide resource requirements (facilities, supplies, and staff). 
  3. recommends or rejects the Request for Facilities Use Form. 

4.5 For events with revenue greater than $30,000 or those whose scope has significantly changed, Facilities Rentals personnel will forward the Permit Committee’s recommendation to hold the event, along with supporting documents, to the President for final review and approval. Recurring events, with the same scope and External Party that have previously been approved by the President's Office need not be submitted again for approval. 

4.6 LETTER OF DEPOSIT 

  1. Once the event has been approved by the President, a “Facilities Rentals Letter of Deposit” (Exhibit 2) will be completed by Facilities Rentals personnel and sent to the External Party. This letter identifies the facility, date, time and requires the External party to remit 20% of the event price as a deposit within five (5) business days to secure the date and the facility. 
  2. The deposit is non-refundable unless the College refuses to execute the contract, or if otherwise deemed appropriate by the College. (See Section 4.11 for Cancellation procedures). 
  3. On an exception basis, a deposit may be reasonably adjusted or made in installments at the discretion of the Assistant to the President for Administration or the Chief Financial Officer or designee. At no time will the deposit be reduced to less than 50% of the original deposit amount. 
  4. When the Bursar receives a deposit, a copy of the check and the Letter of Deposit will be sent to Facilities Rentals personnel. e. Facilities Rentals personnel must take steps to ensure that the deposit is received by the deadline. If the deposit is not received on time, Facilities Rentals personnel should advise the External Party that the event will be canceled. When an event is cancelled, Facilities Rentals personnel will remove the event from the Calendar System and notify the External Party and the Permit Committee. 

4.7 PREPARING THE PERMIT 

  1. After obtaining confirmation that the deposit has been remitted, Facilities Rentals will prepare the Permit and forward it to the Chief Financial Officer for review and signature. 
  2. The Chief Financial Officer will review and return the signed permit to Facilities Rentals. 
  3. Facilities Rentals will send the Permit to the External Party with instructions to sign the document and return it to Facilities Rentals. 
  4. Facilities Rentals will also notify the appropriate departments once the Permit is signed and update the College Calendar System. 

4.8 PAYMENTS 

  1. If final payment (by cash, credit card, cashier check or money order) is not received within five (5) business days prior to the event, Facilities Rentals personnel must contact the External Party and advise them that the event may be canceled. 
  2. Facilities Rentals personnel must take appropriate steps to ensure that the event is canceled if the College has not received full payment in advance of the event unless there is an installment plan in effect. Notification of such cancellation will be made to the permit Committee Chair. (See Section 4.11 for Cancellation procedures.) 

4.9 INSTALLMENT PLAN PROCEDURES 

  1. If the External Party requests to make payments via an Installment Plan, the Facilities Rentals Coordinator is authorized to establish such a plan and that requires the cost of the event to be paid in full before the event is held. 
  2. Facilities Rentals personnel must ensure that the event does not continue if an Installment Plan is used and the installment amount has not been paid as scheduled. 
  3. Facilities Rentals must ensure that the payment schedule for the Installment Plan is included in the Permit sent to the External Party. 

4.10 ADMINISTRATIVE FEE 

An administrative fee will be charged on the gross rental amount for each event to defray costs of preparing and issuing the permit. Such amount is subject to change and is based on economic conditions. 

4.11 DISCOUNTS & REDUCTIONS 

  1. Events with total estimated costs of less than $1,000 will normally not be granted discounts. Upon rare occasions, it may be necessary and beneficial to the College to grant a discount on an event after the Permit Committee has established its price. In those rare instances, the Facilities Rentals Coordinator can negotiate discounts up to 15% ($1,000 maximum) with the requesting External Party. The Permit Committee Chair or the Chief Financial Officer is authorized to negotiate up to another 15% discount for the event. Any discount beyond 30% of the Permit Committee-established price must be brought back to the Committee for further deliberation and then forwarded through the normal approval process. 
  2. There may be times after an event has been scheduled where a reduction in price is necessary due to the weather, a scheduling error or some unforeseen development. When this occurs, the Facilities Rentals Coordinator can reduce the event’s price up to 15% ($1,000 maximum). Any reduction beyond those limits must be brought to the Assistant to the President for Administration or the CFO and the Permit Committee for approval. 
  3. The Facilities Rentals Coordinator must maintain a record justifying each reduction and the amount in the Permit files. 

4.12 CANCELLATION 

  1. An External Party may cancel an event without consequence at anytime before a deposit is received by the College. Cancellation by the External Party after receipt of a deposit results in forfeiture of the deposit. 
  2. Cancellation by the External Party after a permit has been signed (or payment made) results in forfeiture of the monies paid for the permit. 
  3. The College may cancel an event for cause if it is determined not to be in the best interest of the College. It may also cancel events for reasons out of its control, such as an act of God or for security reasons. In those rare instances, the Chair of the Permit Committee will send a letter to the External Party notifying them of the cancellation. 
  4. The College will reimburse as appropriate, give credit or reschedule the event with the External Party if the College cancels the event. e. All such events should be presented for informational purposes in the weekly Permit Committee meeting. 

4.13 RESCHEDULED/MAKE-UP EVENTS

The Facilities Rentals Coordinator, based on the circumstances that caused the cancellation, will, on a case-by-case basis, consider rescheduling a new date and time if ample lead time is available. 

  1. If the missed game or event was caused by the External Party’s actions, it is the External Party’s responsibility to contact the Facilities Rentals Office in advance of the scheduled start of the event to request a new date. 
  2. Facilities Rentals will review the External Party’s request, determine if the new date is available by viewing the Calendar System and notify the External Party accordingly. 
  3. If the event can be rescheduled, Facilities Rentals will change the event date in the Calendar System and notify all College departments involved with the event of the change. 
  4. The External Party will be responsible for any and all additional costs. The payment of any additional cost will be made before the rescheduled date.
  5. The Facilities Rentals Coordinator will amend the Permit to reflect any change and present to the External Party for signature and return. The Facilities Rentals Coordinator will also notify the Permit Committee of the change. 

5.0 REFERENCES 

The following authoritative documents were used in the preparation of this policy: 

  1. SUNY’s Administrative Policy Section 008 ”Use of University Facilities by NonCommercial Organizations.” 
  2. College at Old Westbury’s Procedure B-01, “Use of College Facilities for Internal Events.” 

6.0 APPROVALS 

This policy was reviewed by the College’s Permit Committee, the Assistant to the President for Administration, the Chief Financial Officer and the Executive Vice President prior to approval by the President.