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 and rewarding responsible organizations with additional opportunities through the Social Event Registration Committee (SERC) Point System. The Student Life Office 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, etc.)
- The possession, sale, use or consumption of alcoholic beverages, during an organization event, must be in compliance with any and all applicable laws of the state, province, county, city, and institution of higher education, and must comply with the Third Party Vendor Guidelines.
- No Alcoholic beverages may be purchased through or with organization funds. Organization members or guests cannot coordinate in the name of or on behalf of the organization any purchase of alcohol.
- The purchase or use of a bulk quantity or common source(s) of alcoholic beverage, for example kegs or cases, is prohibited.
- Organizations must utilize a Third Party vendor and cash bar where individuals purchase their own drinks.
- Events with alcohol are limited to six hours in length and must end no later than 2AM.
- Non-alcoholic beverages (water, soda, juice) and non-salty snacks must be made available free of charge for all guests. (Light sandwiches, dips, meats, cheeses, pizza.) In choosing food, avoid salty items like chips and popcorn, solid foods that are high in protein do more than satisfy the appetite – they help reduce the effects of alcohol.
- Appoint Event Monitors who oversees the event to make sure all attending are well behaved, agree not to consume alcohol that day and act as sober hosts who agree to make sure the event starts and ends on time. Event Monitors should be Intervention Prevention trained. (Recommended is 1 Event Monitor for every 50 guests and 2 per bus if transportation is provided.)
- No organization may co-sponsor an event with an alcohol distributor or bar/tavern (bar/tavern defined as an establishment generating more than half of annual gross sales from alcohol) at which alcohol is given away, sold, or otherwise provided to those present. This includes any event held in, at, or on the property of a bar/tavern as defined above for purposes of fundraising. However, an organization may rent or use a room or area in a bar/tavern as defined above for a closed event held within the provisions of this policy, including the use of a Third Party Vendor and guest list. An event at which alcohol is present may be conducted or co-sponsored with a charitable organization if the event is held within the provision of this policy.
- No organization may co-sponsor, co-finance, attend, or participate in a function at which alcohol is purchased by any of the host organizations.
- Group must have appropriate points for event being registered for Thursday night events, and Away Weekends in the Spring Semester (see SERC Point System for further detail).
- An organization may not register more than 2 events with alcohol in a 7-day period.
- An organization must complete the Social Event Registration Form through Orgs@SMU, no later than 12:00 noon the Thursday of the week prior to your event.
- Attendance over the capacity of the venue is not allowed.
- OPEN PARTIES, meaning those with unrestricted access by non-members of the spnsoring organization, without specific invitation, where alcohol is present, are not allowed.
- The organization may invite up to two (2) guests per member/associate member in attendance unless the national organization has a more restrictive policy.
- The chapter must utilize the guest list for entering/exiting the event.
- Groups whose membership is below 30 people are allowed to have up to 400 people in attendance including current membership.
- Guest Lists are due no later than 12 noon the Thursday of the week prior to your event.
- The following information must also be submitted with the Social Event Registration Form:
- Liquor License
- Floor Plan
- Venue Certificate of Insurance
- Venue Safety 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 online form no later than 12:00 noon the Thursday of the week prior to your event.
- Prior to the event student planner/s of the event will meet with a Student Affairs staff member to go over the risk assessment forms and plans for the registered event.
- Representatives from offices within Student Affairs will be selected to meet with student groups who submit event information. Staff members will meet with group/s to ensure that they have followed the guidelines as outlined in this document, taken necessary security precautions and developed a plan for serving any alcoholic beverages appropriately.
- If the event is not fully in compliance with these expectations, the staff member will walk through best practices and/or the organization's own national policies to help encourage the organization to plan a safe event.
- 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 may not schedule an event during the first weekend of classes in the fall semester.
- The organization must maintain the necessary point level through the actual event, or the event registration will be revoked.
- 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 is received in the same week for consideration, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Each bus should have two event monitors that are in addition to event monitors for the venue.
- Buses must load and unload from the Commuter Lot on University Blvd near the Catholic Student Center - see map below for bus route & parking restrictions.
- 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 Intervention Prevention trained prior to serving in this capacity. Training sessions can be arranged through the SMU Health Center, temporarily located in Perkins Hall.
- 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.
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.
SERC Point System
(Click here to see Current Standings)
Once an organization reaches a certain level of points 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 lose the specified amount of points it takes to host an event every time they register said event (i.e. an event hosted on Thursday at 6 pm 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 between Fridays at 3:00 PM and Sundays at 5:00 PM where alcoholic beverages are not available for consumption or purchase.
- 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 on Thursday evenings. in accordance with the SERC Calendar Policy. A maximum of 2 events per organization per semester during this time frame may be registered.
- 15 Points - An organization that has earned and currently holds a minimum of fifteen SERC Points is eligible to be considered for registration of trips or social experiences involving overnight stays which include events where alcoholic beverages will be available for consumption or purchase. The specific events involving alcoholic beverages must still compply with all other event policies. This can only occur in the Spring Semester and must bein accordance with the SERC Calendar Policy.
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
|Registering and hosting an event on-campus open to the SMU community, that is actively advertised on campus.
|Holding and participating in a hands-on community service project where 50% of the membership of the organization is in attendance
|Holding an educational program presented by an approved authority where 75% of the membership of the organization is in attendance
|Attending a university-wide event where 50% of your organization is in attendance (i.e. athletic events, heritage month events, speakers, etc.)
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.
*Point levels for each organization will be reset to zero at the beginning of each academic year.
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
An organization must provide all required documentation at the time of the registration request.
- Evidence of current continuous Insurance
- Written statement of the following:
- 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
- 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 Student Life Office. Copies of the event materials and registration requests are made available to members of the Social Event Registration Committee during the educational meetings with the organization’s event organizer. A weekly summary document is distributed electronically to SMU Administrators 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
Southern Methodist University is proud to have a long-standing relationship with area law enforcement agencies and considers these partnerships 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 V of the University Conduct Review 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 Life.
- Appointments for appeals will be arranged through the Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director of Student Life.
- 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 is comprised of the following:
- Representative from Student Activities
- Representative from Student Conduct & Community Standards
- Representative from Residence Life & Student Housing
- Representative from University Police Department
- Representative from the Greek community
- Representative from Multicultural Student Affairs
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.
Last update - 3 September 2015