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The university community including student leaders and staff have worked together for many years to create operating policies and procedures for creating successful and student organization events. Continuing this practice in February 2000 student leaders met with staff to review current policies and procedures to develop clear and consistent policies to hold campus events. Research from other Michigan campuses and information from GVSU events was reviewed. This new policy reflects a variety of changes from the previous dance policy. Upon implementation of these changes a periodic review will be conducted to identify further clarifications or changes.

All registered student organizations sponsoring any event on campus that can be considered a dance event or a music concert event that will likely include dancing are included in this policy. Events held indoors in campus buildings or outdoors on campus are included.   All events regardless of admission charge or event times are included in this policy. Events held off-campus by registered student organizations are encouraged to plan safe events and use suggested operating procedures for their events although are not specifically required to implement all the requirements of this policy.

All events covered by this policy require prior approval from the Director of Student Life. A “Student Organization Dance/Music Concert Event Contract” must be completed two weeks prior to the event date.

Dances and music concert events sponsored by registered student organizations may be held in the Kirkhof Center (capacity 400), the Fieldhouse Arena (capacity varies based on set up), or the Fieldhouse Lobby (capacity 250). Dance events are not permitted in the Cook-Dewitt Center, Commons Building, and the Kleiner Commons. Special exceptions for dance marathon events may be approved on a case by case basis when approved by the Director of Student Life.


Kirkhof Center:
All dance and music concert events held in the Kirkhof Center are required to have Campus Police coverage for the event. The cost for police coverage and student building manager staff will be supported by the Kirkhof Center Operating budget for one event per organization each academic year. The cost of police coverage and student building manager staff for subsequent events will be charged back to the sponsoring organization. 

Outdoor Events:
All dance and music concert events held outdoors are required to have Campus Police coverage for the event. The cost of police coverage and student security will be charged back to the sponsoring organization. Depending on a variety of factors, additional fencing or other security measures may be required of the sponsoring organization.

These events will be reviewed individually by the Director of Student Life to determine what staffing is required. Rain site plans and security lighting needs will be reviewed. Outdoor events require staffing that will secure the perimeter of the event area to insure all guests are abiding by student code policies.

Fieldhouse Complex:
All dance and music concert events held in the Fieldhouse complex are required to have Campus Police coverage for the event. The cost of police coverage and student building supervisor (SBS) staff will be charged back to the sponsoring organization.

It is recommended that student organizations select advisors who will be supportive of organization events and to participate and supervise the planning and implementation of these events. Although the organization advisor is no longer required by policy to attend the event it is highly recommended that the advisor attend the event and work with the organization’s leadership to conduct a successful event.

The use of metal detectors is no longer specifically required by this policy. However, it is a security measure that is recommended for student organizations to use at their events. Student organization leaders should give serious consideration to the security needs for their event and the potential issues that can be impacted by the use of metal detectors. Past practice has been to use metal detectors for events that expect non-student guests. The Student building manager staff who has been trained to use this equipment will conduct the operation of the metal detectors. Assistance will be provided as directed by Campus Police. Additional security measures may be required for major concert events or outdoor events. Director of Public Safety and the Director of Student Life will determine these requirements.

Student organizations may sponsor events to go past normal building hours on Friday or Saturday evenings. Effective with this policy the end time for events has been extended to 2:00 AM for indoor events. Outdoor events are required to end by 12:00 AM. For indoor events the entrance doors will be closed at 12:00am and no additional guests will be admitted after this time. Room lights will be turned on at 5 minutes prior to the end of the event. The organization is required to completely clear the building within 15 minutes of the end of the event.

The GVSU Student Organization Dance/Music Concert Contract must be completed and submitted to the Director of Student Life at least two weeks (10 working days) before the date of the event. Only the organization’s registered advisor may sign the form. Advance planning for all events is the key to success. Coordination with building staffing and Campus Police staffing require advance scheduling of staff.

Note: All paperwork is the responsibility of the organization. Failure to have Dance/Music Concert Contract completed on time will result in the cancellation of the event.                                                

Note: Organizations may initially schedule one dance/music concert event per year for Friday and Saturday nights during the Kirkhof Center space allocation lottery.   Availability of the facilities may be reduced by events scheduled for the following morning due to necessary set up time required. Testing and conferences will have priority for this space. The Kirkhof Scheduling Coordinator will determine adequate turn around time for these spaces.

Student organization sponsored events are not generally open to the public. Dance party events that invite students from other schools will be permitted to have non-student guests under the following conditions. All participants must be either current Grand Valley State University students or registered guests of either a GVSU student or the sponsoring organization. Grand Valley students must present a current validated GVSU student identification card to be considered a GVSU student and gain entrance to the event. 

Non-student guests must be at least 18 years of age and have a picture ID that proves their age (a state driver’s license, state identification card, or an official validated college identification card or a validated college ID that does not indicate age will be considered adequate for admission). 

Occasionally some special events may be expecting to have specific invited underage guests at the event. Advance notice and approval is required from the Director of Student Life.   Invited underage guests may be permitted to enter when an organization member assumes responsibility for the guest at the registration table. This exception does not grant permission for access to uninvited guests who are underage. 

In regards to music concert events, these entrance requirements will not be in effect for major concert events at the Fieldhouse Arena. In addition, student organization sponsored music concert events that are promoted to the on-campus community and that are outdoor events that do not charge admission will be exempt from these entrance requirements

Each GVSU student is eligible to host a maximum of two non-student guests. Each non-student is required to complete a guest registration form and maintain a copy with them throughout the duration of the event. GVSU students accept responsibility for the actions of their invited guest. The sponsoring organization may invite and admit non-students as guests of the organization. The organization’s representative must approve each non-student guest of the organization. The organization’s representative and the organization accept responsibility for the actions of their invited guests. Non-student guests must be invited and have an established relationship to the organization.

A Kirkhof Center Event Staff member and an organization representative will form a team to check for appropriate identification at the door to determine whether an individual is eligible for admittance. The decision for admission is the responsibility of the sponsoring organization. The dance party is a private event sponsored by the student organization, and they have the responsibility to determine who they want to have at their event. Non-students must be official registered guests of either a Grand Valley Student or of the sponsoring organization. The organization representative is responsible for making sure the guest presents proper ID and that the Non-Student Guest Registration form is filled out completely and correctly. Non-Student Guests must keep their registration form on their person while at the event and produce it asked by building staff or Campus Police.

Any loose articles that may prove to be hazardous to guests at any time (e.g., canes, umbrellas, lighters, knives, pepper spray, etc.) will not be allowed in the building while a dance is in progress. Upon arrival, such items must be given to the Kirkhof Center Event Staff or the police officers, which will then secure the item in the Office of Student Life until the guest’s departure from the building. 

Dances are private events sponsored by student organizations. These events are not open to the general public and must not be publicized to the general public. All promotional materials for dance parties should be directed towards Grand Valley State University students and their invited guests. Advance publicity for every dance party must include the following information:

  • Grand Valley State University students and their invited guests only.
  • Proper identification is required for entry (Current validated GVSU ID).
  • Invited non-student guests must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid state driver’s license, state identification card, or validated college picture ID.
  • Entry requirements are strictly enforced.
  • Sponsor reserves the right to refuse admission.
  • No entry after 12:00am.

Due to the past problems associated with larger crowds on the dance floor, individuals or organizations wishing to “step” must do so with the approval of the sponsoring organization at a specified time. Individuals not adhering to this policy may be removed from the event without a refund.

The student organization sponsoring the dance is required to have at least six staff members present at all times. This should include the president or Event Coordinator who has signed the Dance/Music Concert Contract. A listing of organization members who are the hosting the event will be included on the Dance/Music Concert Contract.

The six individuals (including the Event Coordinator) that will be working the first shift of the night (9:00 – 10:00 p.m.) must arrive a minimum of 30 minutes prior to the start of the event so that any last minute problems, concerns, setups, or needs can resolved before the event begins. Organization members should arrive in plenty of time to assist anyone that will be delivering items to the facility (such as a DJ or band that will be setting up their equipment). Please notify the Event Staff of the expected arrival time of these services so that access to the facility can be arranged for them.

The Office of Student Life will schedule a minimum of three event staff members and one staff supervisor to assist with event. Staff members will work security at the entrance area and others will rove through the building and dance. If high attendance is expected the Kirkhof Center event staff may be increased. Events held in the Fieldhouse Arena of in the outer arena lobby areas would be required to have adequate building staff to secure entrances and supervise the event. A specific Fieldhouse Student Building Supervisor (SBS) will be assigned to the event and coordinate the staffing for the event. When metal detectors are being used in the Fieldhouse complex


Organization Members (sponsor):
The general role of the sponsoring organization is to assist with entrance to the event by determining which eligible individuals they want to participate in their event. * The sponsoring organization is responsible for collecting admission and monitoring the environment throughout the night. The sponsor will assist in clearing the building at the end of the event. One individual will be appointed by the organization to be their official dance representative. This person will work closely with the dance staff and Campus Police to resolve any issues that may arise. The student organization Event Coordinator is responsible for completing the event evaluation at the end of the event.

Organization Advisor:
The general role of the sponsoring organization’s advisor is to work with the organization, event services staff, and Campus Police to insure that things run smoothly and to assist the organization if issues arise. If the advisor will not be attending the event, then the advisor should meet with the organization leadership to review plans for the event.

Event Services Staff: (Kirkhof Center & Fieldhouse)
The general role of the Event Services Staff is to assist with set up for the event, determine if people are eligible to participate in the event by checking ID’s, signing in guests, and operating the scanners. They are also responsible for monitoring the event by making themselves visible in a proactive way to promote a positive and safe environment. They will assist with clearing the building at the end of the event and will then secure the building. One Event Services staff member will be identified as the supervisor of the Event Services Staff and will be responsible for resolving issues that may arise and for completing an event evaluation at the end of the event.

*NOTE: A team approach using one Event Services staff member and one organization’s event coordinator may be used to determine if individuals are eligible to participate in the event by checking ID’s and signing in guests.

Campus Police: The general role of the Campus Police is to respond to any emergency situations. Usually, two police officers will be present at an event. Officers will monitor the entrance area to assist, if necessary, with individuals not admitted to the event. Generally, the location of the officers will be in the entrance area and in the event area.

Student Organization Dance & Music Concert Event Policy



A.      Specific responsibilities of the sponsoring organization:

  1. Appoint a dance representative and notify the Special Events Office.
  2. Submit completed Dance Contract to the Special Events Office two weeks prior to the event (10 working days).
  3. Submit completed Dance Staffing Schedule Form of organization members scheduled to work the dance to the dance staff supervisor 30 minutes prior to the start of the event.
  4. Organization’s dance representative must meet with the Student Life Office Dance Coordinator at least five days prior to the event.
  5. Two organization staff members will collect the admission charge at the entrance area.
  6. Two organization staff members will assist with checking ID’s and signing in guests at the registration table.
  7. Two organization staff members are responsible for monitoring the event in all areas, including the restrooms, for behavioral problems, alcohol, smoking, etc. Problems should be reported to the dance staff.
  8. Wear host nametags at all times when on duty during the event.
  9. Work with the your advisor, dance staff and supervisor, and Campus Police to resolve problems that may arise.
  10. “Float” through the facility and assist participants as needed.
  11. Assist the dance staff and police officers in clearing people out of the building once the event has ended. The organization members should be the last to leave the building.
  12. Organization’s dance representative must complete the event evaluation form immediately following the end of the event.

B. Specific responsibilities of the organization’s advisor:

  1. Review advisor responsibilities section of Dance Contract and complete the appropriate sections. This contact is due two weeks (10 working days) prior to the event.
  2. Review advisor responsibility checklist.
  3. Complete event evaluation for immediately following the end of the event.
  4. Review organization responsibilities with those working the event.
  5. Monitor organization staff members.
  6. Maintain high profile in main lobby entrance area.
  7. Assist with clearing the building at the end of the night.
  8. Assist organization in handling emergency situations.

C.     Specific responsibilities of Kirkhof Center Dance Staff Supervisor:

  1. Review paperwork submitted to Event Services Office.
  2. Meet advisor and review guidelines.
  3. Monitor dance staff and ensure proper coverage and performance.
  4. Review organization’s Dance Staffing Schedule Form with dance staff.
  5. Coordinate securing of facility and setup of security in entrance area.
  6. Check all fire exits and clear any violations.
  7. Work with organization staff members, advisor, and Campus Police to resolve any issues.
  8. Provide name badges for sponsoring organization staff members.
  9. Check to be sure the scanner and wands are operational and properly placed.
  10. Secure the entrance area at midnight.
  11. Secure scanner in storage following the event.
  12. Assist with clearing the building at the end of the night.
  13. Complete event evaluation form immediately following the end of the event.
  14. Make contact with organization’s dance representative following the event to review how things went. Schedule meeting with event sponsors, Dance Coordinator, and others, if needed, to evaluate event.

D.      Specific responsibilities of the Kirkhof Center Staff:

  1. Secure facility prior to the start of the event.
  2. Review policies and staffing plans prior to the event.
  3. Work with organization staff members to determine if individuals are eligible to enter the event by checking ID’s and signing in guests.
  4. Operate the scanner and wands at entrance area. Collect any items that are not allowed in the facility (lighters, canes, knives, umbrellas, pepper spray, etc.), secure them in the Office of Student Life during the event, and return them to guests upon their departure.
  5. “Float” throughout the facility (including bathrooms) and identify any problems such as behavioral problems, alcohol possession, smoking, etc.
  6. Post all directional and policy signs in standard locations.
  7. Maintain accurate count of the number of individuals in attendance.
  8. Work closely with event sponsors, advisor, and Campus Police in a “team approach.”
  9. Secure the entrance area at midnight.
  10. Assist with clearing the building at the end of the night.

E.      Specific responsibilities of the Campus Police Officers:

  1. Notify dance staff upon arrival.
  2. Meet and greet event sponsors, advisor, and dance staff.
  3. Monitor use of scanner and wands at entrance area.
  4. Handle behavioral problems as they arise.
  5. Identify unsafe situations and correct.
  6. Staffing location will be primarily at the entrance area and in the dance area. Other officers will make rounds through parking areas to monitor behavior.
  7. Assist the Kirkhof Center dance staff in enforcing university rules and regulations, and all federal, state, and local laws.
  8. The officers are in charge of handling emergency situations. They are in radio contact with other police authorities.
  9. Assist in clearing the building at the end of the night.
  10. Complete event evaluation form immediately following the end of the event.

Student Organization Dance & Music Concert Event Policy


Dances may be held in the Fieldhouse in several locations. Locations are determined based on expected attendance for the event and the availability of the space and other events scheduled in the Fieldhouse Complex. Generally, dances are held in the East end of the main arena or in the outer lobby areas of the arena. Dances may be held in either the upper or lower lobby areas. Dancing is not permitted on the main court which is the wood floor.

Fieldhouse Facility Supervisor - Student Building Manager Staffing: 
the student staff for Fieldhouse events will be include Student Building Supervisor staff from the Fieldhouse operations staff. A minimum of two supervisors is required for all events. One must be at the dance location throughout the time of the event to assist as needed.   When metal detectors are requested by the sponsoring organization additional staff from the Kirkhof Center Building Managers will run the metal detectors. 

Upper Arena Lobby: 
The upper lobby area has open space for dances. Entrances at the West End and into the central Fieldhouse complex must be secured. The balcony must be secured as well. The elevator should be monitored for access by guests.

Lower Arena Lobby: 
The lower lobby area has several entrance points that must be monitored for access to the space. Restroom facilities are located on this level.

East End of Main Arena: 
The East End provides a good location for larger dance parties. Curtains can be lowered to close the space down somewhat. Arena lighting will need to be adjusted from the back panel to reduce the number of nighttime security lights around the perimeter. Lighting levels should be discussed with building staff, event coordinator, and campus police. Student building staff must be able to bring the lighting system up in the event of an emergency. 

West End of Main Arena: 
At times the West End area may be used for dances often in conjunction with other stage and power requirements.

Recreation Center
the recreation center will not be available for dance type events due to the wood floor. Exceptions to this policy will require tarping the floor.

Secured Access to the building: 
due to the late hours of dance events the overall Fieldhouse complex may be secured and access to the dance will be from the circle drive entrance directly into the upper lobby area. When metal detectors are requested they will be located at the top of the stairs near the entry vestibule where guests enter the facility. The lower lobby area must be secured at all three entrance points to ensure security of the event.

Student Organization Dance & Music Concert Event Policy


Due to the wide variety of outdoor events each event will require a formal written plan for staffing arrangements for the event. Approval of a detailed staffing plan with the Director of Student Life is required.   Staffing should include student ushers, student security, advisors, student managers, campus police, administrative staff, and graduate assistants.