Version 1 Effective Date: 05/14/2019
Office of Budget and Finance
Outdoor Facility Usage Policy for Authorized Events
Purpose, Scope, and Intent:
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s (“UTK’s”) property is dedicated exclusively to the advancement of UTK’s principal missions of teaching, research, and service, pursuant to which UTK, as the preeminent research-based land-grant university in the State of Tennessee, strives to move forward the frontiers of human knowledge; enrich and elevate the citizens of the State of Tennessee; embody the spirit of excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, creative activity, outreach, and engagement attained by the nation’s finest public research institutions; and assure a diverse and fully inclusive campus community. UTK regulates its property to preserve it for the advancement of these missions. At the same time, it is important for UTK to exercise sound fiscal management over its properties and manage them in the best interests of UTK and the State of Tennessee. For those reasons, UTK regulates the use of its property to focus on UTK’s missions of teaching, research, and service; to provide a safe campus environment free from disruption; in particular, to assure that use of UTK Property by NonAffiliated Persons does not impede student education, academic activities, research, scheduled events, UTK functions, residences, or the faculty/staff work environment; and to preserve the aesthetics of UTK’s grounds. This document is intended as a guide to the reservation policy for the use of outdoor spaces on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus. All usage and reservation of outdoor space must comply with the rule “Use of University Property, TUAPA 1720-01-02” Click Here. Usage of University property is subject to all University rules, policies, and procedures, including this University Space Policy, and is subject to any relevant federal, state, and local laws.
Inventory of Outdoor Spaces
Outdoor spaces on the UTK campus that are available for events and meetings must be reserved through the Office of Campus Event Services at least seven (7) business days prior to the event date; provided, however, that this requirement will not be applied in a way that prohibits spontaneous outdoor assemblies or outdoor distribution of literature in permitted locations except to the extent such an outdoor location has been reserved by an authorized user in advance. The most commonly used outdoor spaces have been identified below; however, the list may not be all-inclusive and is subject to change. In order to add or remove an outdoor space location to or from the list below, a proposal must be submitted to the University Space Committee for consideration and approval.
Outdoor Space Locations: (Click Here for Map of Spaces)
- Ayres North Plaza
- Ayres South Lawn
- Engineering Quad near Ferris Hall
- Gate 21 Plaza
- Staff Lot 9
- Blueberry Falls
- Student Union Plaza- East
- Haslam Plaza
- Greve Circle
- Pedestrian Mall
- Humanities Lawn- North
- Humanities Plaza- South
- Humanities Amphitheatre
- Humanities/Art & Architecture Quad
- College of Nursing Courtyard
- Circle Park
- Fiji Island
- Student Recreation Fields
- Presidential Courtyard
- Fred Brown Plaza
- Black Cultural Center
- Mountcastle Park
- Burchfiel Plaza- East
- Burchfiel Access Ramp
- Stokely Hall Court
- Claxton Courtyard
- Melrose Courtyard
- Mossman Plaza
- Sorority Village
- Henson Hall North Lawn
- HPER Plaza
- Natalie Haslam Music Center Front Lawn
- Orange & White Courtyard
- UT Gardens
The definition of an Authorized Event, for the purpose of this document, is an event that is organized by and scheduled through an Authorized Event Organizer (see below), that is properly sponsored if sponsorship is required (section Sponsorship Requirements), and that has a fully confirmed space reservation request from the Office of Campus Event Services. All University events are subject to the requirements of UT fiscal policy.
Authorized Event Organizers
The following five groups of authorized users are defined as “Authorized Event Organizers” and are responsible for scheduling reservations for Authorized Events through the Office of Campus Event Services.
- University registered student organizations
- University units, departments, and offices
- Members of the Board of Trustees
- Government officials acting in their official capacities
- Persons or entities invited by the University
Any person or entity who is not a UTK unit, student, registered student organization, or employee as defined by University Policy HR0105.
Types of Events
This document applies to the following types of events:
- University-Initiated Events. These are events that are initiated and organized by an Authorized Event Organizer. A University-Initiated Event is not considered an Authorized Event until it meets the criteria listed in (section authorized events above).
- Non-University-Initiated Events. These are all events that are not University-Initiated Events. A sponsor is required as explained in (section sponsorship requirements below). Once a sponsor is confirmed, the reservation process through the Office of Campus Event Services may commence. A Non-University-Initiated Event is not considered an Authorized Event until it meets the criteria listed in (section authorized events above).
- Unsponsored Events by Non-Affiliated Persons. The sponsorship requirements of (section sponsorship requirements below) do not apply to the activities of Non-Affiliated Persons as permitted by Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. § 1720-01-12.06 & -07(1)-(3), but the remainder of the requirements of these Guidelines remain applicable to such activities to the extent applicable.
All land, grounds, structures, facilities, and any other physical property owned, controlled, or operated by UTK.
UTK’s Office of Campus Event Services and UTK’s Student Union are not authorized under Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. § 1720-01-12.07(4) to enter into contracts for the rental of UTK Properties to Non-Affiliated
Persons whose proposed activities on UTK Property are not Authorized Events. Except as provided by Tenn. Comp. Regs. 1720-01-12.06 & 07(1)-(3), all Non-University-Initiated Events must be sponsored by an Authorized Event Organizer. The event sponsor must be identified as the sponsor responsible for the event.
The responsible sponsoring party requesting event space through the Office of Campus Event Services must plan the event and be present at the event. A sponsor may not “front” for another organization for the purpose of securing a venue at no cost or reduced fees for a Non-University-Initiated Event. For example, a community group or for-profit entity may not utilize a registered student organization to reserve a venue unless the event is planned by the student organization and open to students.
Authorized Event Organizers who violate this requirement may be barred from using UTK Property.
Requesting a Space
Reservation requests should be submitted through the Office of Campus Event Services at least 7 business days prior to your meeting or event. Requests submitted less than 7 business days prior may be denied on the basis of insufficient notice. This requirement is in place to ensure that the availability of University resources is sufficient to support the event request. This requirement will not be applied in a way that prohibits spontaneous outdoor assemblies or outdoor distribution of literature in permitted locations except to the extent such an outdoor location has been reserved by an authorized user in advance.
Once an outdoor space request has been approved, a confirmation email is sent to the requestor. Please remember the reservation is not final and your event location should not be publicized until this confirmation is received from the Office of Campus Event Services.
Responsibilities of Users
Once an event ends, the space used for the event must be left in the same (or better) condition as when the event began. If clean-up or repairs are needed following an event, the user will be assessed supplementary charges to recover the cost of clean-up or repairs. Users whose events repeatedly incur these supplementary charges may be prohibited from using UTK Property and/or may be subject to additional charges.
A schedule of the rental fees associated with the use of outdoor spaces for events is published by the Campus Events Office at (events.utk.edu). This schedule is subject to change.
University Initiated Events
It is the University’s intent that no rental charges will apply to use of the University’s outdoor spaces for University-Initiated Events initiated and organized by an Authorized Event Organizer.
- Cost-recovery charges associated with specific staffing requirements, specific set-up and breakdown requirements, or specific equipment needs are limited to those approved by the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration or his/her designee.
- Supplementary charges may apply as per (Section responsibilities of users above) and in compliance with Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-7-2405(a)(15) and state and federal law.
Non-University Initiated Events
- For non-University events in outdoor spaces, rental fees vary by location. A schedule of these rental fees is published by the Campus Events Office at (Click Here). This schedule is subject to change.
- Cost-recovery charges associated with specific staffing requirements, specific set-up and breakdown requirements, or specific equipment needs are limited to those approved by the Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration or his/her designee.
- Supplementary charges may apply as per (section Responsibilities of Users) and in compliance with Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-7-2405(a)(15) and state and federal law.
Non-University-Initiated Events must be scheduled through rental contracts entered into by the Office of Campus Events Services or the Student Union that contain standard terms and conditions.
When rental and/or event support fees apply to a Non-University-Initiated event, a deposit of 25% of the estimated rental fees and estimated supplementary or event support charges must be paid to secure the space reservation.
Payment in full must be made at least ten (10) business days prior to the event, unless the Office of Campus Event Services has made an exception. Failure to meet requirements may result in cancellation of the event.
Users must cancel reservations for outdoor space they plan to not utilize. Penalty fees for failing to cancel a reservation in a timely manner will be specified in the event contract for Non-University Initiated Events. Authorized Event Organizers may forfeit their reservation privileges and/or may be subject to additional charges if they do not cancel their reservation in a timely manner.
The user, not the University, is responsible for securing equipment for the event. The user must specify, through the reservation process, any equipment needs and/or any special arrangements provided by the Facilities Services Department. All equipment and services are subject to applicable fees and charges.
The use of tents, if handled inappropriately, can be very damaging to campus outdoor spaces. This damage can be caused by both installation as well as sun and water blockage. The following restrictions are in place to prevent damage.
- Tent stakes to stabilize a tent are prohibited.
- Tents may be set up the day prior to the event between 9am and 5pm and must be removed by 10am the day after the event. However, the user must ask to secure these pre and post setup and removal times.
- Events requiring a tent for more than 2 days will need to make special arrangements with the Facilities Services Department by contacting Landscape Services at 865-974-6076.
Food is permissible in the outdoor spaces, but during and after the event, the space must not be damaged by any food preparations. Also, all recyclables, compostable, and landfill waste must be Version 1 Effective Date: 05/14/2019
collected and disposed of in the proper fashion and removed from the site at the conclusion of the event.
Aramark is the preferred campus caterer and their contact number is 865-974-4111 or (Click Here).
University-Initiated Events and Non-University-Initiated Events may utilize outside licensed caterers. However, the following locations are exclusive to Aramark for events that request catering: Student Union, UT Culinary Institute and Creamery, and all areas adjacent to dining locations.
These guidelines must be followed at all events:
- Cookers and grills must have proper protection underneath to ensure there is no damage to grass or stains on pavements or concrete.
- All grease or other hot liquids must be transported off campus and properly disposed in accordance with state and local guidelines.
- All patrons and event organizers must clean up after the event and properly dispose of trash and recyclable items.
The dispensing and consumption of alcohol must be in accordance with the campus alcohol policy. Although these guidelines are written for the campus community, other authorized users and visitors must comply with the policy as well.
The outdoor spaces do not have designated bathrooms. The user should make arrangements through the office coordinating the outdoor space reservation to have Facilities Services open a building for bathroom access. There may be a charge associated with bathroom access. The other option is to arrange to have portable units delivered to the site. Please note, these units must be removed at the conclusion of the event.
Parking, at times, is extremely limited based on the location, date, and time of the event. All arrangements for parking must be made through Parking and Transit Services, 865-974-6031. (Click Here for Parking Map)
Noise restrictions may be in effect at certain times and in certain locations. Amplified sound for any event at any time must be approved by the Office of Campus Event Services to ensure the noise level is compatible with and does not unreasonably interfere with or disrupt other campus activities. The Office of Campus Event Services or UTPD reserves the right to require the event sponsors to reduce the volume at any event.
Other Usage Guidelines
At the conclusion of an outdoor event, the event space shall be left in the same condition as it was before the event. All events must comply with the following guidelines:
- Keep all motor vehicles, of all sizes, off of sidewalks, malls, or grounds.
- Make sure sidewalks are not obstructed and ensure ADA accessible ramps and sidewalks are never blocked.
- Do not drive on grass or in landscaped areas.
- Do not pour or place anything in fountains or water features.
- No excavation, fires, or construction without special permission from Facilities Services.
- Remove all litter/debris from the site.
An additional fee may be assessed if cleaning or repairs are warranted after the event.
Change of Location/Right of Refusal
The Office of Campus Event Services reserves the right to not approve an event or to cancel a reservation in the event there is a facility, health, or safety issue that requires appropriate action. Such decisions will not be made based on the viewpoint of speech and/or the identity of the presenter(s). The Office of Campus Event Services reserves the right to make necessary changes in location as needed to accommodate the needs of the campus. Every effort will be initiated to provide ample notice of any changes.
The Office of Campus Event Services reserves the right to cancel or postpone any outdoor event if weather conditions jeopardize the safety or security of faculty, staff, students, guests, or equipment. Fees may still apply even if the event is cancelled.
The University of Tennessee Police Department (UTPD) will be notified of all events scheduled through the Office of Campus Event Services. UTPD and the Office of Campus Event Services shall determine if the event requires any security staffing needs. This may include police, emergency management, or other certified staffing requirements. To the extent permitted by Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-7-2405(a)(15) and state and federal law, the event sponsor/organizer is responsible to pay the cost associated with providing security and other appropriate event staffing.
For Non-University-Initiated Events, the Licensee shall provide policies of insurance issued by companies authorized to do business in the State of Tennessee. Licensee shall also provide a Certificate of Insurance (COI) naming the University of Tennessee as an additional insured under the policies in the following amounts: Minimum policy limits of $300,000 per person and $1 million per occurrence, the term of such coverage to coincide with the dates of this agreement, including load-in and load-out. (The COI should be provided to the Office of Campus Event Services as part of the Licensee’s event request record no later than 10 business days prior to the event start date).
The University is self-insured under the provisions of the Tennessee Claims Commission Act, T.C.A. Sections 9-8-301, et. seq., which provides for a limited waiver of the State’s sovereign immunity in specified cases, up to $300,000 per claimant and $1,000,000 per occurrence. Any liability of the University for damages, losses, or costs, arising out of or related to acts performed by the University under a contract is governed by the provisions of said Act.
Reservation of Rights Clause
The University Space Committee representing the UTK campus reserves the right to make any final decisions on all matters not covered by the policies outlined above, as well as the right to change, alter, and/or rearrange parts or all of these policies at any time.
- The sponsorship requirements of this Policy do not apply to events that have either a fully confirmed space reservation request or the organizer of which has received a draft contract before September 12, 2019.
- The sponsorship requirements of this Policy do not apply to the use of UTK Property by governmental entities, such as the City of Knoxville, and UTK may make UTK Property available to governmental entities at an agreed rate or without compensation.
- The sponsorship requirements of this Policy do not apply to the rental of UT Gardens for wedding and civil union ceremonies, birthday parties, anniversary parties, gardening events, and athletic contests such as organized runs, walks, and bicycle rides.
This Policy is intended to be applied consistently with and in compliance with all applicable laws and policies, including the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Article I Section 19 to the Tennessee Constitution, Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. § 1720-01-02 (Regulation on Use of University Property) and § 1720-01-12 (Regulation on Use of University Property by Non-Affiliated Persons for Free Expression Activities), Board Policy BT0010 (Policy Affirming Principles of Free Speech for Students and Faculty), and Tenn. Code Ann. 49-7-2401 et seq. (the Tennessee Campus Free Speech Protection Act). No decisions made in applying the terms of this Policy should be made on the basis of the viewpoint of any person who wishes to engage in free expression activities. Any questions about the applicability of these laws or the proper interpretation of this Policy should be addressed to the Office of the General Counsel.