Programming Information


Sometimes the term "honorarium" is used when compensating a speaker or performer. With GVSU student organization events, an honorarium is considered a small gift or token of appreciation to a non-member (not a student, faculty, or staff person) who has provided a service to the group (speech, performance, workshop facilitation, etc.). GVSU student organization honoraria are NOT monetary. Any monetary compensation (including gas mileage) should be included in a Professional Services Contract.
An honorarium gift could include:

  • University shirt or other printed item (coffee mug, pen set, etc.) from the University Bookstore. (not to exceed $25) 
    Consult with your campus advisor or the Office of Student Life for other honorarium ideas. 

Movies & TV shows

Video tapes and DVDs that are available for purchase, rented from many commercial establishments, or checked out of the library are for home viewing purposes only. This means they can only be viewed in your private living spaces. For campus purposes, that means your residence hall room/suite. (For home purposes, it means anywhere in your private residence). Same rules apply for movies/television shows that are video taped at home on VCR's.

Therefore anytime a group shows a movie in any context, the group must purchase the public viewing rights* (copyright) for that particular showing. Copyright purchase for film currently runs in the range of $300-$600 per showing for popular titles from major movie distributors. Independent films could cost less but must be negotiated with the holder of the copyright for those particular films. Grand Valley State University works with several distributors on a regular basis to deliver the film programming that we view as a part of specific faculty programs.

There is an exception to the public performance fees for colleges and universities. This exception is only in the case of face-to-face classroom instruction ** by a faculty member. The faculty member may show the film/movie outside the normal class period (at night for example), however, it is only for those students who are registered for the class.

Contact the Office of Student Life (331-2345) for more information on this policy.

Probate Shows

A public performance, dance, or display by members of an organization to introduce themselves to the larger community. Usually takes place after members’ intake or new member orientation period to signify their initiation. Many organizations utilize probate shows to present new members to the campus community. The Office of Student Life has established the following guidelines to ensure the success of this type of program:

  • All organizations that have selective membership must indicate this on their profile on LakerLink. Please note that fraternities and sororities must follow guidelines established in the Greek Manual.
  • Probate shows must be hosted on campus in a location reserved with Event Services.
  • Probate Shows must conclude no later than 11:30 p.m.
  • All organizations hosting probate shows must submit approval from their respective national office.
  • A faculty/staff advisor must be present at the show.
  • All shows must respect the new members, members, alumni, other organizations, and the university.
  • No hazing prior to, during, or after the show is permitted. Hazing is not permitted AT ANY TIME by the university or the State of Michigan.

Working with Agents/Campus Performers

If a student organization solicits the services of an agency, vendor, speaker, or entertainer and a contract is required for confirmation, any and all negotiations must be handled by a professional staff member in the Office of Student Life. Students may not make offers or sign contracts on behalf of the University.

Professional Services Contracts for on-campus events must be signed by a professional staff member in the Office of Student Life. The contract will be between the vendor/performer and the University on behalf of the RSO. The RSO must prove the financial and other means to honor the contract before it will be signed. Students will be held personally liable for any contracts they personally request or sign without authorization from the University. A misconduct review hearing may be requested for any RSO engaging in unauthorized contracts.

Agent Do's and Don'ts



Represent GVSU in a positive manner

Do not make an offer

Ask for date availability and give the venue size

Do not ask for a contract

Keep a log of calls (date, time, notes)

Do not tell the agent your budget amount

Talk about block booking

Do not provide personal contact information to the agent. Instead, provide the Office of Student Life number or your GVSU email address

Ask about the "going rate"

Do not be scared. Agents are our partners in putting on great events on campus

Leave advisor's / OSL contact name as contact

Do not lose sight that the agent is doing his/her job

Inform your advisors and/or OSL contact that you have contacted an agent

Do not be afraid to tell the agent no. If the act or the details are not fitting into your vision, politely decline

Contracting Do's and Don'ts



Have several dates in mind (your first choice may not be available)

Do not make an offer

Make it clear than an authorized GVSU representative must make an offer

Do not ask for a contract

Keep your advisor informed

Do not tell the agent your budget amount

Ask a lot of questions

Do not agree to anything that is considered "unreasonable" in what the university should provide

Do your research


Ask for a contact name and number


Page last modified May 15, 2023