Lehigh University
Lehigh University

You are here

Student Organization and Group Activity Policies

This page includes information on student organization and group activity policies for Student Senate recognized student organizations as well as other recognized organizations at Lehigh University. If you have questions about a specific policy please contact the Office of Student Engagement at instuact@lehigh.edu or 610-758-6670. 

FAQ Pairs: 

Campus Facility Reservations

Many of the spaces on campus are reserved through the Campus Calendar which you can access by going to the Lehigh Homepage and selecting the Campus Facility Reservation link The link can be found on the Inside Lehigh homepage on the left side under the Resources heading below the Campus Portal log-in.

Once you are in the Campus Calendar, you will have the option to click on any of the tabs along the top of the page.  Click on the Instructions tab to access more detailed instructions to navigate through the site.

Locations

  • To check availability, select the proper filter and the date you interested in (please keep in mind that there may be other requests pending.)

  • If the location is available, click on the location and time.

  • If the location is unavailable, choose another date, time, or location.

  • For specific room features and details, click on the location name.

  • Reservation time reflects actual event time only (this does not include the operations set up/take down time.

My Requests

  • If you are not already logged in, the system will prompt you to log in

  • To log into the system, you will need to use your Lehigh username and password.

Scheduling Offices

  • Classroom requests:  For general questions, or to cancel an event request which was sent to the Registrar’s Office (Classroom Requests), please use inrgs@lehigh.edu.

  • Conference Services requests:  For general questions, email inocs@lehigh.edu.  To cancel an event request which was sent to Conference Services, please email, inocs@lehigh.edu.

  • Rauch Business Center requests:  For general questions or to cancel an event request, please use inrgs@lehigh.edu, or call 610-758-3201.

  • Lamberton requests:  For general questions, call 610-758-0028, or email inucr@lehigh.edu.  To make changes to a confirmed event or to cancel an event, send an email to inucr@lehigh.edu.

  • Student Center requests:  For general questions, call 610-758-4163.  To make changes to a confirmed event or to cancel an event scheduled through Student Center Facilities, please send an email to inucr@lehigh.edu.

Club Recognition

The Lehigh University Student Senate serves as the primary governing body that recognizes clubs and organizations. Benefits of being a Student Senate recognized organization include:

  • Access to resources in the SOuRCe

  • A group page on LINC

  • A booth at the fall and spring club expos

  • Campus Events Advisory Group (CEAG)

  • Event guidance and organizational support from Student Engagement staff

  • Student Senate's funding (annual funding and the co-sponsorship fund)

In order to be recognized by the Lehigh University Student Senate, clubs must have the following:

  1. A distinct and unique purpose that will in some way further the Lehigh community.

  2. A plan detailing the specific long and short term goals of the club or organization for its involvement and perpetuation on campus.

  3. Completed all requirements of the petition process as stated in the Club and Organization Recognition and Registration Packet.  Information on the complete registration packet can be found on the Office of Student Engagement website.

  4. An Executive Board consisting of at least a President and Treasurer who qualify as two (2) different undergraduate students.

  5. An Advisor who is a full-time member of the faculty or staff of Lehigh University.

The Student Senate may not recognize a club for any of the following reasons:  if the club is not in compliance with Lehigh University policies, if it is not open to all students on campus, or if there is already a club on campus that encompasses the purpose of the inquiring club.

For information on:

  • Student Senate recognized organizations, please contact the Office of Student Engagement at x86670 or instuact@lehigh.edu

  • Social fraternities and sororities, please contact the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs at x84157 or infrasor@lehigh.edu

  • Sports clubs, please contact the Club Sports Office at x81703

  • Religious and faith based groups, please contact the Chaplains Office at x83877

  • Alumni groups, please contact the Alumni Association at x83135

For general questions, please contact the Office of Student Engagement at x86670 or instuact@lehigh.edu

Contest Guidelines - Guidelines for Game Tournaments

The guidelines listed below are to be followed by all recognized student groups requesting to host an event in a Lehigh University facility.  The University reserves the right to amend or modify the guidelines without notification.

Fees or Buy-Ins

  • A fee cannot be charged to participate in the event.

  • Buy-ins are not permitted!  Money cannot be exchanged in order to participate.

Donations

  • Sponsoring group may accept, but not require, donations in the name of a specific charity. If donations are being taken, the sponsoring group should advertise what charity will receive the proceeds.

  • The name of the designated charity must be submitted in advance and verification of payment to the designated charity must be submitted to the Student Center Facilities Center Reservation Desk or Student Engagement within 30 days following the event.

Prizes

  • All prizes must be awarded based solely on skill, talent, or knowledge.  Prizes cannot be monetary. Gift cards are acceptable.

  • Money donated for a designated charity may not be used to purchase prizes.

  • An accurate record must be kept of all donations and verified to match money donated to the designated charity.

  • Alcohol, tobacco or any illegal substance cannot be offered as prizes.

  • Prizes to be given away cannot be offensive in any way.

  • Prizes must be donated or purchased from a University account.  All groups will be required to submit a list of prizes for approval.  The list must be submitted at least one week in advance to the office of Student Center Facilities or Student Engagement.

  • The event cannot be advertised off-campus.  Advertising on-campus cannot be done until approval for the event has been given.

  • If money is being collected, Event/Police security may be required and will be up to the discretion of Lehigh Police.

For further information contact the Student Center Facilities Reservation Desk at x84163 or incur@lehigh.edu, or Student Engagement at x86670 or instuact@lehigh.edu.

Contract Signing Guidelines

Any time a recognized student club or organization wishes to enter into a contractual agreement with a non-Lehigh entity, the organization must contact the Office of Student Engagement at x86670 or instuact@lehigh.edu.  A representative from this office will work with your group to ensure the agreement is following Lehigh University contract and liability protocol.  At no point should the student organization or any of its representatives sign an agreement or contract unless directed by the Office of Student Engagement.

Copyright Policy - Showing movies on campus

By law, as well as by intent, the pre-recorded videocassettes and DVDs which are available in stores throughout the United States are for home use only, unless you have a license to show them elsewhere.  Rentals or purchases of the home videocassettes and DVDs do not carry with them licenses for non-home showings.  You must have a separate license that specifically authorizes them for non-home viewing before you can legally engage in non-home showings as described in the Federal Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17 of the United States Code.

Copyright Public Performance Rights Basic Guidelines for Campus Groups states:

It is illegal to conduct a public viewing of a video program, VHS, DVD, etc. without first obtaining the necessary license for the program.  Without obtaining a license, the public viewing becomes a copyright infringement.  Violators can be prosecuted and held liable for any fines, penalties, court costs, and legal fees which can amount to more than $50,000 in fines per infringement.

  • Section 106:  The Copyright Act grants to the copyright owner the exclusive right, among other, “To perform the copyrighted work publicly.”

  • Section 101:  Home videocassettes/DVDs may be shown without a license, in the home of “a normal circle of family and its social acquaintances” because such showings are not “public.”

  • Section 110.1:  Home videocassettes and DVD may be shown, without a license, in certain narrowly defined “face-to-face teaching activities.”

  • A public performance license must be obtained when using a videotape program in any public or private location where the audience extends beyond the scope of a single family and close friends.  Ownership of an individual VHS, DVD, etc. does not give one the right to show it in a public place; it is for home use only.

  • There are no distinctions between profit and non-profit groups.

  • You are not permitted to rent from a local vendor (i.e. Red Box, 48 Hours, etc.) or online sources (i.e. Netflix, etc.) to show the VHS, DVD, etc. in a public area. 

  • Copyright laws apply whether admission is charged or not.

  • The following are examples of public screenings and are illegal unless the public performance rights have been obtained:

  1. Residence Hall lounges
  2. Dining areas
  3. Student Center spaces
  4. Common areas and rooms
  5. Academic spaces, if not determined to be exempt based on educational broadcasting

Fundraising and Solicitation Guidelines

Sales/Fundraising including Student Center Facility Locations

  • Sales and fundraisers may take place in designated sales areas on Lehigh University’s campus.

  • Reservation Information:

    1. A reservation request must be submitted at least three days prior to the first request date.  Information on how to make a reservation is available on the Student Center Facilities website.

    2. Once the request has been received, it will be reviewed for approval. 

    3. After an event has been approved, an email confirmation will be sent to the requestor.

    4. One table will be provided with two chairs, unless otherwise requested.  We ask that the members of your group stay behind the table.

    5. Solicitation of building patrons in the hallways or public areas is not permitted.

  • Door-to-door solicitation for profit in residence halls in prohibited.

  • Charitable fundraisers in residence halls will be approved on a case by case basis by the Assistant Dean of Students for Residence Life.

  • All fundraiser efforts must provide either a service or a product to the donor.  All funds above expenses must be given to a designated charity, club or organization.

  • Advertising of any alcoholic beverages or gambling is prohibited.

  • Alcoholic beverages or gambling related items may not be offered as awards or prizes.

  • T-shirt sales:  Prior approval for the design must be given by the appropriate office within the Dean of Students prior to ordering or purchasing.

  • Raffles:  Pennsylvania state laws prohibit raffles to be held on campus.

  • Chinese and Silent Auctions are permitted as long as it is for a product.  A list of items available must be submitted to the Student Center Facilities Office or Student Engagement Office for approval.

  • The playing of music or video at the fundraising table must be approved in advance by the Student Center Facilities Office.

  • The burning of candles, incense or other materials is prohibited.

  • Posters or banners may be taped to the front, side(s), and/or top of the reserved table.  All items must be removed at the conclusion of each day.

  • The area must remain litter free.  Failure to clean up after an event will result in a minimum clean-up fee of $75.

  • Appropriate conduct at all times is required.  The University reserves the right to cancel any reservation if the University Guidelines are not followed.

  • All student vendors selling approved items on an independent basis must understand that they are selling at their own risk with no recourse from the University.  A fee per table space will also be collected.

  • All outside vendors soliciting goods in the University Center and/or Lamberton Hall must submit a Certificate of Insurance. This certificate must name the University as an additional insured, show evidence of Comprehensive General Liability coverage of at least $1,000,000 per occurrence. Both Premises and Products Liability coverage must be included and the certificate must contain at least a 30-day cancellation notice to the University. A service fee tied to percentage of sales plus a per table space fee will be collected.

Solicitations

Solicitations represent specific asks or requests for contributions in support of activities or programs.  Solicitations may result in gifts of both cash and non-cash items.  Monetary Donations are when an individual/company makes a monetary donation to a student organization.  Non-cash gifts may be received in the form of merchandise or services.  These are referred to as Gifts-in-Kind. Lehigh University will not accept monetary donations or Gifts-in-Kind related to alcohol, establishments where alcohol is sold, and/or gambling.  

When a donation occurs, please contact the Office of Student Engagement at x86670.  Student Engagement staff will work with the student organization to process the gift with the University Advancement Services Offices and issue a receipt (for IRS gift purposes) to the individual/company.  Since Advancement Services will be mailing a receipt of acknowledgement for the donation, full name of Donor, mailing address and pertinent contact information is required.  Please note, fundraisers that emphasize receiving goods and/or services for monies are not considered solicitations.

Please note that it is fine to accept an unsolicited gift from a donor.  However, if you wish to actively campaign for funds from sources outside the University, you must coordinate those efforts with the Office of Student Activities, who will work with the University Advancement Services Office.  If the organization fails to do so, the University may be unable to properly acknowledge any resulting donor gifts as tax-deductible contributions.

Participation of non-Lehigh Community Members in Events

Participation in events held by student organizations is generally limited to Lehigh students, faculty and staff. Permission may be granted to an organization that would like to hold an event where participants will be other than members of the Lehigh Community. This requires special steps be taken to insure the safety of all involved. Please see the Director of Student Engagement for instructions.

Political Activity

Lehigh University, as an institution of higher education, is committed to freedom of inquiry, the open exchange of ideas, and the open pursuit of knowledge.  While the University’s mission and aims are not political, involvement in the examination and rational debate of issues of public policy furthers the University’s educational mission and serves the public interest by encouraging the University community members’ civic engagement.  Furthermore, while members of the University community have a right, and in fact, an obligation as responsible citizens, to become informed participants in our nation’s democratic processes, it is important to know and adhere to legal requirements arising from the University’s tax exempt status.

As a non-profit institution of higher education that is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, the University is prohibited from “participating in, or intervening in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.” 

The Office of the General Counsel provides a “Guide for Ensuring Compliance with Lehigh’s Tax Exempt Status during Political Campaigns” on its website for use by all members of the campus community to ensure compliance with the University’s tax exempt status during political campaigns. The Office of Student Engagement has been designated to assist recognized student organizations in the planning of activities which contain a political focus. 

Posting Policy

Posting Notices

  • It is very important to plan your event well in advance and reserve any necessary space/facility needed for the event before you advertise.

  • Design your flyer/poster and make the appropriate number of copies for posting.

Where to post:

  • University Center:  Drop off two copies at the Main Desk, 1st Floor east.  The staff will review the notices and date/stamp the flyer before they are posted on the 2nd floor bulletin board across from the computer kiosks.

  • Residence Halls:  The Office of Residence Life oversees the posting of flyers/posters in the residence halls. To learn how to post notices in the residence halls please refer to the Office of Residence Life website.

  • Greek Houses:  The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs oversees the posting of flyers/posters in the fraternity and sorority house. To learn how to post notices in the fraternity and sorority house please refer to the Office of Residence Life website.

  • Outdoor bulletin boards:  You are permitted to post on outdoor bulletin boards.  After your event is over, please remove your notice.

  • Other buildings:  you will need to check with each individual department for their posting policies.

Where not to post

  • Stairwell doors and stairwells:  Stairwells serve as the emergency escape routes out of a building.  Stairwells must remain as free from combustible materials as possible.

  • Trees:  Staples and nails damage our trees.

  • Exterior of buildings, outdoor furniture, steps, outdoor walls and fencing:  The Brickman crew removes any new postings on a daily basis as they pick up trash throughout the campus.

Other types of advertising

  • The Lehigh Events Calendar: The events calendar offers a comprehensive listing of Lehigh events, including lectures, conferences, performing arts, exhibitions, athletics, cultural and entertainment activities and more. Learn more about the calendar and how to submit an event.

  • Digital Information Boards (DIBS): DIBs is the Student Center Facilities digital sign system that displays digital images, campus events, cable television, along with Lehigh news feeds on multiple plasma and LCD screens throughout the Student Center Facilities buildings. DIBs can display both still images as well as video.  Information on DIBs can be found on the Student Center Facilities website

  • Lehigh Community Bulletin Board: The Lehigh Community Bulletin Board (formerly the Daily News Digest) is a way for members of the Lehigh community to keep other community members informed of Lehigh events and activities. Learn how to post an announcement.

  • Lehigh University Buses: Advertise to a captive audience on a bus that runs five days a week. To learn more visit Transportation and Parking Services

Programming during RCS or Finals

All functions and/or events must be scheduled on or before the last day of class. No programming will be permitted during RCS or finals.

Student Organization Accounts

Each Student Senate recognized club and organization will have access to a University account for all financial transactions that need to be made. Funds provided by Student Senate as well as any monies raised by the organization need to be deposited into this account. At no time should a club or organization open or maintain a non-Lehigh account. This includes, but is not limited to checking, savings or investment accounts with a bank or investment firm. For further information on your club or organizations account please contact the Office of Student Engagement at x86670 or instuact@lehigh.edu.  

Student Organization Events with Alcohol

Pilot Program

In January 2015, Student Affairs received requests from constituents across campus to consider piloting changes to the Lehigh University social policy as it pertains to undergraduate and graduate students and student organizations.  In considering goals regarding health and safety, diversity and inclusion, and creating a vibrant community life on campus for students, we believe that this pilot program will provide Lehigh with the opportunity to try out and evaluate some social policy changes that could have positive outcomes for Lehigh students and life.

The pilot will run through the end of the Spring 2016 semester. Each semester, the Student Engagement Office in consultation with the Campus Events Advisory Group (which includes representatives from General Counsel, Risk Management, LUPD, Student Activities, Conference Services, etc.) will recommend to the Vice Provost for Student Affairs a select number of proposed events by student organizations that could occur on campus with alcohol.

In this pilot phase, we will specifically focus on recognized graduate and undergraduate student organizations, and will also consider in a limited quantity, events proposed by recognized multicultural Greek organizations and recognized non-residential Fraternities (as these are the groups who currently do not have the ability to hold any events on campus with alcohol).

After each individual event and at the end of this pilot period, we will collectively review the events held to determine if our goals related to 1) encouraging on-campus social life; 2) offering safe events where alcohol can be consumed legally and in moderation; and 3) increasing students’ perception of equity across different types of student groups on campus were achieved and to evaluate how the events went from both a student and an administrative perspective. At the end of the Spring 2016 semester, we will utilize this evaluative information to propose next steps around this topic for student groups in the future.

In conclusion, it is extremely important to note that as we continue to talk with student leaders across campus, many share the view of the administration that in order to encourage social life to occur on Lehigh’s campus, it is a partnership that requires BOTH changes in administrative policy and also changes in the way students choose to engage in high-risk drinking behaviors.  Enhancing the Lehigh social life is a collective community effort and requires that students take responsibility for their actions, demonstrate mature decision-making with regard to the use of alcohol, and show a willingness to take care of one another and intervene with their peers as necessary to promote healthy, safe campus climate.  We are committed to continuing to offer educational training modules such as AlcoholEDU, TIPS, Red Watchband, peer-led alcohol awareness workshops, etc. to ensure that students are equipped with the information and tools needed to assist in this effort.

Serving of Alcoholic Beverages at On-campus Events

The following are the requirements for events with alcoholic beverages to occur on campus:

  • All graduate and undergraduate student organizations wishing to hold an event with alcohol must submit an event planning form and meet with the Campus Event Advisory Group (CEAG) to discuss the event and receive recommendations from the various participating departments that must be implemented. The event planning form submission and CEAG meeting must take place a minimum of six weeks prior to the proposed event date.;

  • The sponsoring student organization will need to fill out a Student Organization Alcohol Service Request Form. Note that the sponsoring student organization is required to read and follow the alcohol guidelines on this form. In addition, the completed form must be submitted at least two weeks in advance of the proposed event date.;

  • Once the event has the approval of the CEAG, it will be forwarded to the Vice Provost of Student Affairs for final approval;

  • Events may be held Thursday – Saturday nights on campus;

  • The locations on campus designated to hold these events are the University Center spaces, Wood Dining Room, Lamberton Hall, and Zoellner Arts Center. Depending on the location requested by the student group, the appropriate staff from those areas will be included in the CEAG meeting to discuss the venue requirements with the group;

  • If a group requests to use Wood Dining room, they are required to secure transportation for students to and from the event;

  • Only wine and beer will be served at any event hosted by a student group. No hard alcohol of any kind should be present at one of these events;

  • Hours for events to be held must remain within the current guidelines provided by Conference Services within their contracts;

  • A reasonable amount of food and alternative beverages must be provided at any event in which alcohol is served.  The appropriate quantity and type needed will be determined by Sodexo in conjunction with the CEAG (typically a standard of 1 alcoholic drink per legal age person, per hour of the event will be applied);

  • There must be Event Staff members present at each student event with alcohol regardless of the size of the event. At the discretion of LUPD, police presence may also be required.  The number of Event Staff and number of police officers needed will be at the sole discretion of LUPD;

  • A determination will be made by LUPD, in conjunction with others on the CEAG, as to whether a designated area must be set up in which students can consume alcohol or whether alcohol may be present in the entire event space (with students displaying visible wristbands signifying they are of legal age).  The LUPD will also determine at what location and in what manner students will be carded for the event;

  • Student organizations may propose events that are run as “cash bar” events or events that are run as regular catering events.  Sodexo has sole discretion in setting minimum guarantees on “cash bar” sales and/or on per head or per event catering charges for alcohol.

  • If an event is requested to include a “cash bar”, this event must be proposed 60 days in advance (unless it is in Zoellner Arts Center) because these events also require Sodexo to get the approval of the PA Liquor Control Board.

  • While student organizations can solicit funding from outside sources to supplement the funding for their events, “Lehigh After Dark” funding will NOT be available to groups wishing to hold an event with alcohol regardless of the day/time of the event.

  • Once a group’s event has been approved, the organization will be responsible for designating one member of the event planning team who will be present at the actual event to schedule to attend a TIPS training session before the date of the event.

General Guidelines for Off-Campus Events Involving Alcohol

  • The event must be held at a third-party vendor that has a State of Pennsylvania Liquor License and is able to provide proof of liability insurance.  The responsibility of selling and serving alcoholic beverages shall be assumed by the vendor.  The vendor and/or licensed security agency shall be responsible for checking IDs.

  • All organization members that consume alcoholic beverages must be no less than 21 year of age.

  • Event needs to be approved by the Office of Student activities 30 days in advance.  All contractual agreements with the vendor and/or hosting facility must be approved by student Activities.  No student organization or member of the organization shall sign an agreement unless directed otherwise by the Office of Student Engagement.

  • Alcoholic beverages cannot be purchased with University or organizational funds.

  • Alcoholic beverages shall be served at a cash bar on a cash-per-drink basis.

  • Alternative non-alcoholic beverages must be available and hors d’oeuvres or other food must be served.

For information pertaining to on-campus events involving Fraternities and Sororities or the Tailgating policy, please refer to the Lehigh University Social Policy.

Student Organization Officers

The club or organization president must keep current club officers and advisor(s) information up to date on LINC and with the Student Organization Accounts Coordinator. This is necessary to keep you informed of changes in policy, notify you of deadlines, disseminate important information and to inform you of special events taking place in which you may have an interest.