Social Event Registration

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Social Event Registration Procedures

Guiding Philosophy

SMU has implemented the following Social Event Registration Procedures out of a desire to educate, assist, and support our students as they plan responsible social events.  The process is designed to guide student organizations toward more successful events through our risk management guidelines, partner establishment program, and rewarding responsible organizations with additional opportunities through the Social Event Registration Committee (SERC) Point System.  The Department of Student Development and Programs (SDAP) is responsible for oversight of the Social Event Registration Program.

Events That Require Registration

An event held off-campus, in a fraternity or sorority house or in a university-owned student residence needs to be registered through this process if any of the following apply:

  • an observer would associate the event with a student organization/chapter;
  • an individual representing a student organization/chapter authorizes, sponsors, supports, or endorses the event in any way;
  • the event is discussed and/or voted on in an organization/chapter meeting;
  • the event is funded in whole or part by the organization or its representatives.

Exception - Events where a professional Student Affairs Advisor is present do not need to register through this process.  (Examples: Senate Retreat, LEAD Conference, LeaderShape D/FW, etc.)

Education & Training Requirements

Prior to any social events being registered by an organization, the organization must participate in semester training created by the Social Event Registration committee during the seconde week of school.  No organization will be able to register any events until the training has been completed by the following officers; President, Vice President, event planner (social chair), risk manager (if applicable).

At the start of each semester each organization must meet with the social event registration committee at their designated meeting time. This meeting is to take place when the organization is turning in their first event registration paperwork for that particular semester.

SERC Point System 

(Click here to see Current Standings)

Once an organization reaches a certain level of points and has attended the social event registration training, that organization qualifies to register specified types of events as detailed below.  However, any restrictions placed on an organization through its National Office, Governing Council, or the University Conduct Process take precedence over an organization's SERC Point Level. 

An organization will loose the specified amount of points it takes to host an event every time they register said event (i.e. an event hosted on Friday at 6pm is worth 5 points, the group looses those 5 points at the conclusion of the event).

  • 0 Points - An organization without any SERC Points may register and/or hold on-campus or off-campus events where alcoholic beverages are not available for consumption or purchase.
  • 5 Points - An organization that has earned and currently holds a minimum of five SERC Points is eligible to be considered for registration of off-campus events where alcoholic beverages will be available for consumption or purchase to be held between Fridays at 3:00 PM and Sundays at 5:00 PM in accordance with the SERC Calendar Policy.
  • 10 Points - An organization that has earned and currently holds a minimum of ten SERC Points is eligible to be considered for registration of off-campus events where alcoholic beverages will be available for consumption or purchase to be held between Fridays at 3:00 PM and Sundays at 5:00 PM as well as a maximum of 2 events per semester where alcoholic beverages will be available for consumption or purchase to be held on other days or times in accordance with the SERC Calendar Policy.
  • 15 Points - An organization that has earned and currently holds a minimum of fifteen SERC Points may register trips or social experiences involving overnight stays which include events where alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase or consumption.  The specific events involving alcoholic beverages must still comply with all other event policies. This can only occur in the Spring Semester.

How to Earn Points

SERC Points can be earned as follows:

Having an average grade point average (including all members of your organization) at or above 3.000 for the previous semester 
2 Points
Having had no infractions to the Social Event Registration Procedure, as an organization, during the previous semester 1 Point
Registering and hosting an event on-campus open to the SMU community. 1 Point
Holding and participating in a hands on community service project where 80% of the membership of the organization is in attendance 3 Points
Holding an educational program presented by an approved authority where 80% of the membership of the organization is in attendance 2 Points

SERC Points cannot be earned for activities required of an organization by the chartering process or designated as a requirement of the group's official relationship with SMU such as by the Greek Relationship Statement, the Campus Ministry Council, or the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards.

*Fraternities & Sororities must submit the on-line Philanthropy & Service Form or Education Report Form available on the FSL website in order to receive points for these items for SERC.

SERC Points will be deducted as follows:

For every event held   The number of points needed to host the event
Penalty for submitting a request for event registration after the required seven business days in advance of the event date 1 Point per day late
Penalty for violation of Social Event Procedure Up to 5 Points per event
Penalty for failure to register an event
Points are reset to 0

Point levels for each organization will be reset to zero at the beginning of each academic year.

 

Registration Process (Events with Alcohol)*

  • Group must have appropriate points for event being registered (see SERC Point System for further detail)
  • An organization may not register more than 2 events with alcohol in a 7 day period.
  • Events where alcohol may be purchased or consumed may not last more than six hours and must end no later than 2 AM.
  • At any event where alcohol may be purchased or consumed, food (not consisting solely of salty snacks) and non-alcoholic beverages must be readily available.
  • Complete the Social Event Registration Form and submit the form to the Fraternity & Sorority Life Office (HTSC Suite 318), no later than 12:00 noon the Thursday of the week prior to your event.
    •  When providing bus transportation, each bus should have two event monitors
    • Events must have one event monitor for every fifty guests (not including transportation monitors).
    • Event monitors must be TIPS trained prior to serving in this capacity. 
    • Event monitors must be full and active members of the organization.  Any student still in a new member education period, as designated by the organization, is not considered a full and active member and therefore cannot serve as an event monitor.
  • Guest List: due with the Social Event Registration Form
  • Event Monitors Form due with the Social Event Registration Form
  • The following information must also be submitted with the Social Event Registration Form if the Venue is NOT a partner establishment.
    • Venue Certificate of Insurance
    • Venue Liquor License
    • Venue Floor Plan
    • Venue Security Addendum (must be signed by employee of venue with their business card attached)
    • Copy of Contract with Venue
*Please note for events that take place out of town the committee may request additional documentation including but not limited to hotel information and more detailed travel information.

 

Registration Process (Events on Campus/Fraternity or Sorority House or On-Campus Residence)

  • Complete the Social Event Registration Form and submit the form to the Fraternity & Sorority Life Office (HTSC Suite 318) no later than 12:00 the Thursday before your event date.

Calendar Policy

Events may not be scheduled during the following times:

  • Reading Days/Final Exam Period
  • While classes are not in session
  • During certain university events as determined by the Social Event Registration Committee (commencement, etc.)
  • Exceptions to the above will be rare and considered individually.  Requests for exceptions should be submitted in advance to allow time for discussion with the Social Event Registration Committee.
  • Events where alcohol may be purchased or consumed may be scheduled between Fridays at 3 PM and Sundays at 5 PM between the first and last days of classes of each term.  An organization may not register more than 2 events with alcohol in a 7 day period.
  • An organization that has reached the appropriate SERC Point Level can request to hold an event where alcohol may be purchased or consumed during times other than those between Fridays at 3 PM and Sundays at 5 PM.
  • The organization must maintain the necessary point level through the actual event, or the event registration will be revoked.
  • Regardless of point level, no organization may hold more than two events outside of the designated weekend times where alcohol may be purchased or consumed during any given semester.
  • No more than two events where alcohol may be purchased or consumed will be registered campus-wide on any specific date outside of the Friday at 3 PM to Sunday at 5 PM time frame.
  • In the event that more than the maximum number of registration requests for a given date are received in the same week for consideration by the committee, organizations registering their first such event will receive priority.
  • If priority by previous activity still results in a pool of more than the maximum number of registration requests for a given date, a random lottery system will be used to determine the two events considered for that date.

Attendance Policy

  • Attendance over the capacity of the venue is not allowed.
  • Attendance at events where alcohol may be purchased or consumed is limited to 400 people unless the organization's risk management policy designates a more restrictive attendance policy. If two or more organizations are co-hosting an event, the guest list is limited to 1 guest per member of each organization or 400 which ever is larger. 
  • A guest list for the event must be turned in to the SDAP Office at the time the event is registered.  The guest list must also indicate which attendees are members.  Any modifications to the guest list must be approved by the organization president and must be submitted to the SDAP office prior to the event.

Transportation Policy

  • Buses provided for an off campus event must be from a licensed transportation company.  (Organizations should make sure the bus company is properly insured.)
  • Buses may start taking passengers to an event one half hour prior to event start time.  Buses may return from the event continuously.
  • If transportation is provided to the event, no guests will be allowed to enter the venue other than those who arrive by the provided transportation.
  • Buses must load and unload from the commuter lot on University near the catholic center.
  • Each bus should have two event monitors that are in addition to event monitors for the venue.

Event Monitors

  • When providing transportation, each vehicle should have two event monitors.
  • Events must have one event monitor for every fifty guests (not including transportation monitors).
  • Event monitors must be TIPS trained prior to serving in this capacity.  Sessions of Training in Intervention Procedures can be arranged through the Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, located on the 2nd Floor of Memorial Health Center.
  • Event monitors must be full and active members of the organization.  Any student still in a new member education period, as designated by the organization, is not considered a full and active member and therefore cannot serve as an event monitor.

Security Policy

Organizations will need to provide security guards to assist in loading buses.  The number of security guards should be equal to the number of buses, plus one.
Security officers are responsible for the following:

 

  • Verifying ID and guest lists and marking those guests under 21
  • Monitoring to ensure that no individuals are allowed who have been drinking excessively or that no individuals under 21 are or have been drinking.
No one may board provided transportation vehicles without having been checked by a security officer and receiving a wristband.

 

Partner Establishment Policy
  • The Partner Establishment Program was created to facilitate a smoother registration process for SMU Student Organizations.
  • All Partner Establishments have already provided SMU with necessary documentation, including evidence of insurance and copies of liquor licenses, if applicable.  They have also already agreed to provide an environment that complies with all security requirements.  Therefore, no additional documentation regarding the venue is required when registration is requested for an event planned at a Partner Establishment.
  • Venues designated as "Partner Establishments" will be listed on the Partner Establishment Website.
  • As designated in the section labeled "Distribution of Event Information," the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and the Dallas Police Department will be provided with a list of SMU Partner Establishments at the beginning of each semester.  However, neither agency will be provided with information regarding specific events as long as they are held at Partner Establishments.

Non-Partner Establishment Policy

If an organization wishes to hold an event at a venue other than those designated as Partner Establishments, that request for registration will be fully considered by the Social Event Registration Committee, as long as the sponsoring organization is able to supply all required documentation at the time of the registration request.
The following must be provided for any venue not designated as a Partner Establishment:

 

  • Evidence of current continuous Insurance
  • Copy of Valid Liquor License (If alcohol is available for purchase or consumption at any part of the venue.)
  • Written statement of the following:
    • Compliance with all fire standards and applicable ordinances
    • Agreement that, if transportation is provided to the event, no guests will be allowed to enter the venue other than those who arrive by the provided transportation
  • Floor plan of venue designating the location that will be closed to outside guests during the event.
  • A written plan for security to be provided during the event, whether provided directly by management of the venue or through a separate licensed security company, including methods used for ID Verification.

In order to ensure the venue is compliant with state alcohol policies, as designated in the section labeled "Distribution of Event Information," the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and the Dallas Police Department will be provided with the specific date, time and location of any event registered at a non-partner establishment, although they will not receive the identity of the organization sponsoring the event.

 

Distribution of Event Information

All files associated with the Social Event Registration Procedure are maintained by the Department of Student Development and Programs.  Although copies of registration requests are made available to members of the Social Event Registration Committee during regular meetings. A weekly summary document is distributed electronically to SMU Officials who have been determined to have an official interest in the information:

 

  • Names of organizations holding events
  • Dates and times of registered events
  • Locations of registered events

This document is used for internal purposes only and will not be distributed to any outside individuals or organizations.
Although the full summary document as distributed internally will not be shared, certain information will be shared with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) and the Dallas Police Department (DPD) as follows:

 

  • At the beginning of each academic semester, TABC and DPD will each receive a list of establishments who are considered to be in a social event partnership with the university for the upcoming semester. 
  • After the list of partner establishments is distributed, no detailed information regarding individual events will be distributed to TABC and DPD.
  • The university has no reliable method for determining what other establishments will be hosting registered events.  Therefore, prior to each upcoming weekend, SMU will provide TABC and DPD with the dates, times, and locations of all registered events not being held at partner establishments

Southern Methodist University is proud to have a long-standing relationship with area law enforcement agencies and considers these partnership to be in the best interest of the safety and security of our students.  SMU appreciates the efforts of area law enforcement agencies to help provide safe and secure environments for registered events.

 

Consequences for Failure to Comply

Any organization failing to properly register their event or follow the procedure will have the opportunity to meet with the Social Event Registration Committee to determine whether a violation of the Social Event Registration Procedure has occurred.  The Social Event Registration Committee can then decide to alter an organization's ability to register social events through deduction of points in accordance with the SERC Point System or to refer the organization, or individuals associated with the organization, to the University Conduct Process.  The president of any organization accused of failing to properly register an event or follow the procedure can request to have the matter heard through the formal University Conduct Process in place of the more informal SERC Process.
If an organization is currently on conduct status (probation, deferred suspension, suspension) and fails to register an event, the organization will automatically be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.
Any organization choosing to be referred or who is referred by SERC to the University Conduct Process could be subject to sanctions under Section III of the University Conduct Review Process.

 

Appeal Process

If an organization is not satisfied with the decision of the Social Event Registration Committee, the president of the organization may request an Appeal Meeting.  Requests for Appeal will only be heard in accordance with the following guidelines:

 

  • All appeals must be submitted in writing to the Social Event Registration Committee within 24 hours after the notice of the committee's decision has been sent to the organization's representative.
  • Appeals will be heard by the Executive Director of Student Development and Programs.
  • Appointments for appeals will be arranged through the Administrative Assistant for Student Development & Programs.
  • In the absence of the Executive Director, appeals will be heard by their designee.

This appeal process only applies to decisions made by the Social Event Registration Committee.  If an organization is not satisfied with any official decision rendered through the University Conduct Process, appeal requests must be made in accordance with the notice received from the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.  Once a matter has been referred to the University Conduct Process through any means, the Coordinator of Social Event Registration will not be able to accept any requests or correspondence regarding appeal.

 

Social Event Registration Committee

The Social Event Registration Committee meets every Thursday during the Fall and Spring Semesters at 2:00 PM in the Student Development and Programs Office, HTSC Suite #323.
The Social Event Registration Committee is comprised of the following:

 

  • Representative from Student Activities & Multicultural Student Affairs
  • Representative from Student Conduct & Community Standards
  • Representative from Fraternity & Sorority Life
  • Representative from Residence Life & Student Housing
  • Representative from University Police Department
  • Representative from the SMU Student Body

Representatives from offices are appointed by their respective departments.  Student Body Representatives are nominated by the current Student Body President.  In the event that individual members of the committee are unable to attend a scheduled meeting, the departmental administrator or Student Body President should make every reasonable effort to designate a trained replacement representative in that member's place.  For this reason, groups represented on the committee should always send representatives to SERC Training in addition to the primary representatives.

The Social Event Registration Committee will discuss every proposed event as submitted.  Groups that have followed the guidelines as outlined in this document, taken necessary security precautions, and developed a plan for serving any alcoholic beverages appropriately should generally expect to have their events registered by a consensus agreement of the committee.  If an event is not fully in compliance with these expectations, the members of the committee consider it their duty to guide the organization toward making necessary adjustments so the event can be registered.
An event held without being registered will cause the organization to lose all current SERC Points, and organizations with repeated offenses will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.