UW Oshkosh Special Event Management Protocol
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is host to thousands of events that bring together students, staff, community members and other unaffiliated guests. Some of these events are, by their very nature, of a higher risk to the University, event staff, and/or the attendees, requiring additional early planning and cooperation with multiple campus departments. These special events may include—but are not limited to—any of the following criteria:
- Expected attendance of 250 people or more, including event staff
- Events that start or extend past 10 pm
- Amplified sound
- Entertainers and speakers who may have any of the following elements:
- direct audience participation
- may be considered controversial
- fire or pyrotechnics
- and/or contain other elements that may be considered higher risk
- Contracted/unaffiliated vendors or equipment rental
- Negative experience during a past event
- Attendees under age 18 (minors) or other vulnerable populations
- Not sponsored by the University
- Event planner is not a current UW Oshkosh employee
- Other event(s) scheduled during the planned date/time that lower the University’s and/or planner’s ability to properly manage the event
- Other factors that may make the event considered high risk
This protocol is designed to help clarify the special event process, roles, and requirements for the special event to be sponsored by the University and/or approved to occur on any land, building, or other space owned or leased by the University.
Special Event: An event required to follow this protocol due to one or more of the elements involved, such as those listed above
Event Coordinator: The main planner of the event who is the person responsible for ensuring compliance to policies and protocols before, during, and after the event
Event Monitor: Event staff assisting the event coordinator with event compliance, security, and management
Event Security: UW Oshkosh Police Department personnel (students, police officers, and other personnel) who are assigned or requested to be in attendance at an event
Space Scheduler: The UW Oshkosh employee who has the responsibility for scheduling spaces in and around buildings controlled by the University
Risk and Safety Team: UW Oshkosh Police Department’s Emergency and Risk Managers or designee(s)
Building Representative: A building/venue manager of the event location (or a designated staff representative)
Pre-Event Meeting: A meeting organized and held by the Space Scheduler with guidance from the Risk and Safety team
Day-of-Event Briefing Meeting: An event operations meeting held immediately prior to the start of the event if requested by the Risk and Safety Team
Alcohol Authorization Permit: The UW Oshkosh Alcohol Policy requires this approval to be obtained from the Risk and Safety Team through the Alcohol Authorization Permit Request process if alcohol is requested to be present at the event
Special Event Planning Timeline
Six Weeks Prior
- Reservation requests should be completed a minimum of six weeks prior to the event start NOTE: Reservations will not be considered final until a pre-event planning meeting has been completed, required documents have been signed and submitted to the reservation coordinator, and any other applicable event requirements have been met.
- Contact the UW Oshkosh Human Resources to initiate the volunteer hiring process and criminal background checks if required.
- City staff must be contacted if the event includes city property or services.
Four Weeks Prior
A pre-event meeting must be held at least four weeks prior to the first special event start date unless approved by the Risk and Safety team to move forward without one. Representatives at this meeting shall include:
- Event Coordinator
- Advisor if the Event Coordinator is a student organization
- Space Scheduler or designee
- Risk and Safety Team or designee(s)
- Additional representatives from the event sponsor(s) may be requested to provide event details on any outside vendors/performers contracted for service
- Additional University employees may be necessary to address specific event needs (Facilities Management, Information Technology, Food Service, Building Representative)
Two Weeks Prior
All approvals must be obtained at least two weeks prior to the event. The approvals must include all University staff (and city staff if applicable) involved in the event planning process:
- Space Scheduler
- Risk and Safety Team
- Additional University departments involved (Facilities, Information Technology, etc.)
- City staff if event will use city property and/or services
- Alcohol Authorization Permit if alcohol will be present
A day-of-event briefing meeting is held if requested by the Risk and Safety Team. Event Coordinator(s), Event Monitors, Building Representatives, and Event Security (if applicable) review event timeline, guidelines/expectations, and complete a walk-through of the space where the event will be held highlighting emergency exits, fire extinguishers, and the pre-event condition of the space. The event cannot take place until the Event Coordinator (including Faculty/Staff Advisor when applicable) has checked-in with the designated Building Representative.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Event Coordinator, as the main point of contact and liaison for the event, must actively communicate and work with the Space Scheduler, the Risk and Safety Team, Building Representatives as necessary, and other contacts as identified by the Space Scheduler to share information, plan, and coordinate event functions throughout the event timeline. The Event Coordinator must be easily identifiable by wearing apparel or other insignia that makes them stand out to attendees. This could include a name tag, t-shirt, lanyard, or other measure identified in the planning process with the Space Scheduler.
Event Coordinator responsibilities include:
- Ensuring all required steps have been taken and all approvals have been received within the timeline listed above, including submitting all required documents and approvals to the Space Scheduler
- Enforcing all planning and safety aspects outlined in the pre-event planning process
- Understanding needs and communicating delivery, load-in, following University policies, and any potential safety issues surrounding contracted/vendor services
- Supporting the role of the Event Monitors while walking through the event
- Enforcing identified safety measures
- Approaching behavioral concerns, contacting Event Security if the safety of attendees is threatened
- Reporting any facility or equipment concerns to the Building Representative
- Attending the event in its entirety until all participants have left the venue following the event and clean-up is completed as requested by the Space Scheduler
NOTE: If the Event Coordinator (including University Faculty/Staff Advisor) leaves the event early, the event will be terminated immediately
Event Monitors support the Event Coordinator with event management, carrying out University and Event Coordinator expectations to ensure a safe event. There should be five Event Monitors from the sponsoring group in attendance at the event for the first 100 attendees and two for each additional 100 attendees anticipated (this may exclude collegiate sporting events). At least one monitor must always be present at the entrance to the event. Event Monitors must be easily identifiable by wearing apparel or other insignia approved by the Space Scheduler that makes them stand out to attendees.
Event Monitor responsibilities may include but are not limited to:
- Ensuring all requirements discussed at pre-event meetings are enforced during setup, through and after the event
- Checking identification of attendees entering an event
- Documenting/registering guests
- Collecting tickets/admission for the event (NOTE: requires criminal background check if money handling is involved)
- Preventing restricted/prohibited items from entering the event venue including a bag check if requested during the pre-event meeting
- Frequently walk through the space, approaching behaviors that are inappropriate or in conflict with the purpose of the event
- Reporting any facility, equipment, or behavioral concerns that threaten the safety of the attendees, the facility, or equipment to the Event Coordinator
- Assuring the smooth exit of all attendees from the facility and the immediate premises
- Event clean-up is completed as requested by the Space Scheduler
With the guidance of this protocol, the Space Scheduler is the main liaison between the Event Coordinator and other University staff that need to be involved during the planning process.
The Space Scheduler is responsible for:
- Receiving, reviewing and overseeing reservation requests for events
- Determining which events meet the criteria for the pre-event process with the guidance provided in this protocol and assistance of the Risk and Safety Team
- Coordinating and running the pre-event meeting with the appropriate attendees
- Documenting the outcome of the pre-event meeting and communicating with the Event Coordinator(s) on details and timeline for completion
- Communicating with other applicable University departments to clarify any requested event details and ensure all approvals have been obtained before finalizing reservation
- Organizing a post-event meeting with Event Coordinator and any appropriate University staff if an event is found to be out of compliance with University policies and/or procedures or the event has other negative outcomes that require further discussion after the event
The Building Representative may be required to be onsite for the event if determined necessary at or following a pre-event meeting. The Building Representative has the authority, in consultation with the Risk and Safety Team and Event Coordinators(s), to end or cancel an event if the event is unsafe and if pre-determined requirements are not being met.
Building Representatives responsibilities may include:
- Running through the day-of-event briefing meeting with the event staff
- Being on site during the event to assist with the flow of attendees into and out of the event
- Ensuring all specified safety guidelines and requirements determined at the pre-event meeting are upheld
Risk and Safety Team
The Risk and Safety Team communicates risk and safety elements and requirements with the Space Scheduler and Event Coordinator throughout the event process. They will identify areas of concern and ways to minimize safety issues.
If outside security is necessary due to the size/function of the event, the UW Oshkosh Police Department must coordinate these additional resources with Event Coordinator. Event Coordinators may not hire or contract with security companies to provide security at events held on UW Oshkosh lands or in UW Oshkosh owned, leased or controlled buildings.
The responsibility of police personnel at events will be discussed and outlined during the pre-event meeting and when event plans are finalized. Police personnel requirements will be determined based on a combination of several factors including but not limited to:
- Where the event is held
- The time frame of the event
- Event history
- Expected attendance
- The type of event
The Event Coordinator can request the assignment of police personnel at their event whether it’s required or not. This request will be fulfilled based on availability and could require a fee to cover the cost of the assigned personnel. If an event requires additional police personnel, this may also require a fee to cover the assigned police personnel. If additional services like a bag check process or metal detection are required, the UW Oshkosh Police Department will coordinate with the Event Coordinator to meet these requirements.
Special Event Planning Considerations
Admission Requirements – Admission to events may require UW Oshkosh or government issued ID if a check-in/registration table is established. Restrictions for minors may be implemented during the pre-event meeting and posted within the event venue.
Entry/Re-entry and Restricted Items – Entry and re-entry of guests and restricted items will be determined at the pre-event meeting. Building representatives reserve the right to require wristbands or other methods to identify those admitted to the event/venue. Carry-ins, such as outside food or beverages, coats, large bags, etc. may be restricted. In accordance with State and local laws, illegal drugs and weapons are not permitted at any event held on University lands or University owned, leased or controlled buildings. Building representatives and event personnel are not responsible for lost or stolen items.
Capacity – The capacity for any space/room must be enforced. Event sponsors are responsible for tracking admission and capacity to ensure that fire code regulations are properly followed.
Event Signage and Communications – Event sponsors must communicate to guests prior to arrival and provide signage at the entrances to event locations with information about restrictions on items that are restricted from entering the venue. These communications/signs must discuss information about ID requirements, expectations concerning re-entry, attendee entry, weapons, alcohol, carry-ins, etc.
Guests – Guests attending University sponsored events may be required to present a valid government-issued ID and be accompanied by a UW Oshkosh affiliated student, faculty, or staff member who will check the guest in with them and then assume responsibility for the guest while they are in attendance.
Alcohol – If alcohol service is planned at the event, the University Alcohol Policy must be adhered to with the expectation that an alcohol permit is approved for and provided to the Event Coordinator. All alcohol permits are reviewed, vetted, and approved by the University Risk & Safety Team and UW Oshkosh Police Department. Proper approval must be given for alcohol to be present at events.
Monitored Entry Location or Locations – Events identified with a higher risk may be required to have a monitored entrance setup. This is where guests present a ticket or proof of registration and are checked into the event through one or several entry locations while all other entry locations are secured and can only be used as an exit or during emergency situations and are monitored by event personnel. Monitored Entry requirements will be determined during a pre-event meeting.
Bag Check Area – Events held in spaces where guests cannot freely enter the venue, historically have or plan to have more than 1,000 attendees, or events that are identified to have a higher risk, must have a bag check process implemented at monitored entry locations and the bag check process must be overseen by UW Oshkosh Police Department personnel or staff overseeing this area must have been trained by UW Oshkosh Police Department personnel. Bag Check Area requirements will be determined during a pre-event meeting.
Special Event Accountability
Any organization, group or person that hosts an event in violation of these expectations will be considered non-compliant and will be required to complete a post-event review meeting. The organization, group or person who hosted the event or the event representatives who attended the pre-event meeting and any others necessary personnel must attend this meeting.
Post Event Meeting
The post event meeting will discuss non-compliance with this protocol, any issues that were present at the event and whether the event can take place in the future. Attendees will discuss whether a plan can be put in place to make future events a success. Continued non-compliance may result in a restriction of future space reservations for the organization.
Individual attendees who violate or are responsible for a guest who violates University policy or local, state, or federal laws may be held accountable to both civil authorities and to the University for these infractions through standard judicial processes.
This protocol is maintained by the UW Oshkosh Risk and Safety Team. Any exceptions to the protocols listed here must be granted by the Vice Chancellor (or their designee) who oversees an area planning an event. Unaffiliated organizations seeking an exception must request the exception during a pre-event meeting and the approval of those exceptions will be made by the UW Oshkosh Risk and Safety Team. The University reserves the right to cancel or delay any events due to lack of compliance during planning, safety concerns leading up to or during the event, the lack of personnel to appropriately manage the event and for other considerations that could affect the safety of our community members.