Activities and Events

Social functions such as meetings, dances, parties, and conferences are a valuable part of student life. To make a positive contribution, however, they must be conducted with consideration for others. This entails, in addition to the requirements set forth below, keeping the sound level within reasonable limits and leaving the area used neat and clean. Violation of these regulations by individuals or student organizations may result in disciplinary action by the head of a student’s college or by the Yale College Executive Committee.

A. Organized social functions

Social functions are considered organized if they are financed, even in part, by funds administered by the Undergraduate Organizations Funding Committee (UOFC) or the University, even if they are off-campus, or if they are held in generally accessible areas like common rooms, lounges, dining halls, courtyards, or entryways of residential colleges and the Old Campus, or other University buildings or common areas.

B. Responsibility of hosts

For each organized or private social function in a residential college, in a college annex, or on the Old Campus that requires the approval of the head of college, a host or sponsoring organization must be designated to the head of college in advance. That individual or organization assumes responsibility for the orderly conduct and prompt conclusion of the event, as well as for cleaning the area used and returning furnishings to their proper places. In addition, the host or sponsoring organization will be liable for any expenses arising from damage to University premises or property or injuries to people. If alcoholic beverages are to be served, the host, who must be of legal drinking age, assumes responsibility for adherence to the state law that prohibits the service of alcoholic beverages to persons under the age of twenty-one or to anyone who is intoxicated (CT General Statute, Section 30-89a). If at a private function on campus the number of participants unexpectedly exceeds fifty, the host must reduce the number of guests or end the function.

For events using University funds that are hosted off-campus, the Yale College Dean's office must be notified in advance.  

All hosts must ensure their events meet accessibility requirements. 

C. Service of alcoholic beverages

Any service of alcoholic beverages at a social function, whether organized or private, must be in full compliance with the laws of the State of Connecticut and the Yale College regulations on alcohol. Heads of college, deans, dining hall personnel, security personnel, and the Yale Police Department are authorized to request a student’s identification card in order to confirm that they are of legal drinking age.

D. Events in the residential colleges

  1. Events may take place in a general access area of a residential college only if advance permission has been granted by the head of college. Approval of the head of college must be obtained no later than four days in advance of any organized social function anywhere in a college or in its annexes or in an affiliated entry on the Old Campus. Students must submit event requests through the Yale Connect portal, where the appropriate administrative reviewers may be notified if necessary. 

  2. If alcoholic beverages will be served, approval must be obtained at least one week prior to the event.

  3. If a college dining hall is to be used, permission must also be obtained in advance from the dining hall manager.

  4. Private social functions in students’ rooms in the residential colleges, in the college annexes, and on the Old Campus at which more than twenty participants are expected require advance approval by the head of college. These private social functions may not make use of the general access areas listed in section D.1, above, and may not have more than fifty participants at any one time.

  5. Permission may be granted at the discretion of the head of college for functions or activities sponsored by student organizations that are registered with the Yale College Dean's Office or by student groups that are associated with the particular college. Any out-of-pocket expenses, as for special janitorial or security services, shall be borne by the sponsoring group.

  6. Permission to hold private functions in the residential colleges will not be granted to individuals or groups not affiliated with Yale University.

E. Hours

All social functions, organized or private, that take place on University property must end no later than 11 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday nights and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. With the head of college's approval, a college social committee may each term sponsor one organized function that extends until 2 a.m. on a Friday or Saturday night.

F. Use of University facilities

If an undergraduate individual, group, or organization wishes to use University space or property for a meeting, lecture, or other activity, the appropriate administrative office in charge of that facility or space must approve the request, including the Yale Police Department, the Office of the Fire Marshal, the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, and the Office of Risk Management. Registered student organizations must request the use of these spaces through their organization's Yale Connect portal, where the appropriate administrative reviewers may be notified if necessary. 

Advance notice. Since there is a heavy demand on University facilities, requests should be submitted as soon as possible and, always, at least two weeks in advance of the event. Requests for complex and/or larger events should be submitted at least two months in advance in order to ensure adequate time for the Yale College Dean's Office, the Office of the University Registrar, and other reviewers to respond.

Police services. The person or organization sponsoring an event or conference that includes guests from outside the Yale community must notify the Yale Police Department at least two weeks prior to the event. The chief of the Yale Police Department, or their designee, will determine whether police services are needed and the number of police officers appropriate for the event. The person or organization sponsoring the event will be financially responsible for police services.

Classrooms. For the use of classrooms and certain auditoriums, undergraduate organizations will ordinarily not be charged a room fee when no admission charge is made, but there may be fees for specific services, e.g., media services, extra janitorial service, and the like. Reservation information is available online through the Office of the University Registrar at classrooms.yale.edu and reservations for classrooms spaces should be submitted through Yale Connect.

Office Space. Undergraduate organizations wishing to secure an office or storage space on campus must petition Yale College's Office of Student Organizations by writing to student.organizations@yale.edu. Space is extremely limited, and requests will be considered by the only when an organization presents strong evidence of the need for it. Organizations that have been in existence within the University for less than two full academic years will ordinarily not be considered eligible for the use of an office. The privilege to use an office is granted for only one academic year, but permission may be renewed from year to year by the assistant dean of student affairs, Hannah Peck.

Theatrical elements. Organizers of events and activities using theatrical elements (e.g., scenery, lighting, staging, seating risers, props, and costumes), whether on or off campus, must consult in advance with Undergraduate Production and comply with regulations for such activities.

G. Outdoor events on campus

Students who wish to conduct an outdoor activity, performance, or event on Yale property must secure permission in advance from the Office of the President for an event on Cross Campus or Hewitt Quadrangle (Beinecke Plaza) or from the dean of student affairs for an event on the Old Campus or other outdoor spaces. Any activity conducted in these spaces should reflect respect for University property and the rights of others. Application for the use of these spaces must be made at least one week in advance of an event.

H. Admission charges

Admission charges may be levied for organized social functions only in the event of substantial entertainment costs and never to cover the purchase of alcoholic beverages. No admission charge or any other fee may be levied for private social functions on or off campus.

I. Posters, Chalking, and publicity

Posters must be confined to the bulletin boards, kiosks, display cases, and other spaces that Yale College has specifically designated for postering. Chalking must be confined to walkways open to the weather. Other forms of non-electronic publicity on campus grounds or buildings at Yale College are prohibited. The following regulations apply to postering and chalking on Yale College:  

  1. Posters may not exceed 14 by 17 inches. Only one copy of each poster may be placed on the same bulletin board.  
  2. Posters for an event must provide the name of the event, its date, time, and location, the name of its sponsoring organization, and the email address or phone number of its organizers.
  3.  Graduate or professional schools and residential colleges may impose additional requirements or exceptions. Before posting in a particular Yale building, the applicable poster policy should be reviewed.
  4. Only authorized staff members may remove posters from bulletin boards and other designated spaces. Posters will be removed once a week. Posters improperly placed in other locations (interior or exterior walls, doors, signs, trees, utility polls, etc.) or that otherwise do not comply with this policy will be subject to immediate removal. 
  5. The removal, defacing, destroying, or postering over of existing posters is prohibited.
  6. Students may use chalk on walkways to advertise events, but those markings are permitted only to the extent they are temporary. Chalking must be on areas that are open to the sky and the weather. Walkways cannot be marked under overhangs, archways, or other covered areas. Chalk may not be applied to walls or other vertical surfaces. Chalk notices must be limited in size to 4 by 4 feet, and not more than one chalk announcement for a single event may be visible from any single point. Only water-soluble chalk may be used.  Spray chalk is strictly prohibited.
  7. Glue, staples and tape of any variety (e.g., Scotch tape, masking tape, duct tape) are damaging and may not be used on any Yale property. Thumbtacks or pushpins should be used on bulletin boards but may not be used on any interior or exterior woodwork. 
  8. All notices of events, including those on social media, may contain no advertising of the availability of alcoholic beverages.

Violation of these regulations may result in an organization’s loss of official recognition and consequent loss of funding opportunitiesViolations may also subject individuals to discipline under other university or school regulationsStudents or organizations may also be charged for the costs of removing improperly posted materials and repairing any damaged property. 

J. Solicitation and sales

Solicitation and sales in University buildings is limited to two general areas: Commons Dining Hall and the residential college common rooms. Solicitation in the post office and other campus buildings is not allowed. Door-to-door solicitation and sales in the residences are not permitted.

Undergraduate organizations wishing to solicit or sell tickets and/or merchandise in the residential colleges must secure permission from the Office of the Council of Heads of College at least twenty-four hours in advance. Solicitation and sales for commercial purposes, except those by Associated Student Agencies, is prohibited.

Certain kinds of solicitation and sales in Commons Dining Hall and in residential college common rooms are permitted, among them the following:

  1. to seek contributions for charitable or religious purposes;

  2. to obtain signatures for petitions on matters of concern to Yale students;

  3. to distribute questionnaires of a noncommercial nature;

  4. to sell tickets of admission to benefit performances of plays or musicals held on University property;

  5. to sell regularly issued student publications.

    Registered student organizations may sell items and solicit funds in the rotunda outside Woolsey Hall, but they must remember that the hallways outside Commons and Woolsey Hall are a war memorial, and the area must be treated with respect. The following rules apply:

  6. Sales and solicitations are allowed only in the round rotunda area, not in the halls leading to Commons Dining Hall or Hewitt Quadrangle ("Beinecke Plaza").

  7. Nothing may be attached to any wall.

  8. No live or recorded music of any sort is allowed at any time.

  9. Groups may use one table that they provide.

  10. No unattended tables are permitted.

  11. Groups must clean up after themselves.

  12. All money collected through sales and solicitations must be for nonprofit organizations.

  13. Any merchandise featuring Yale marks must be approved by the Office of the Secretary.

  14. No single group may sell or solicit for more than five days in any 30-day period.

  15. Groups that violate any of these rules will not be allowed to use this space in the future for solicitation or sales.

No undergraduate may undertake to represent any commercial interest or to operate any business on the campus without securing prior permission from the assistant dean of student affairs, Hannah Peck.

Only student businesses operating in conjunction with the Associated Student Agencies will be considered for space on campus or charging privileges with Student Financial Services. The Agencies are formally recognized and sanctioned by the University officers and trustees. Control is maintained through the Associated Student Agencies Council, which consists of representatives of the faculty, administration, and student body.

All undergraduates interested in employment with existing Agencies or in organizing new enterprises are encouraged to contact the business manager of the Associated Student Agencies at 246 Church Street.

K. Tailgating

Rules governing tailgating may be found at https://yalecollege.yale.edu/policies-procedures/yaleharvard-tailgating-policies.

The regulations in this section apply to all Yale undergraduates. Additional regulations particularly relevant to registered undergraduate organizations appear in Undergraduate Organizations. Other regulations pertaining to social functions, whether sponsored by registered undergraduate organizations or by other students or student organizations in Yale College, appear in Social Functions.

L. Student productions

All performance events produced by undergraduates on the Yale campus must abide by the Undergraduate Production Regulations. Performance events include undergraduate dramatic, musical, dance, operatic, and comedy productions as well as many other undergraduate presentations and events performed before an audience. Note that all University spaces fall under the jurisdiction of Yale Office of the Fire Marshal, Yale Environmental Health and Safety, and the department that owns or manages the space (e.g., head of college’s office or Chaplain’s Office). Individual venues may be covered by specific safety polices; in the event of conflicting policies, the most stringent will apply.

Production elements not conforming to the Undergraduate Production Regulations may be cut from a production. Failure to observe these regulations may be grounds for stopping an event. Serious or repeated violations of these regulations will be referred to the Yale College Dean’s Office for possible disciplinary action.

All students involved in undergraduate production share responsibility for the safety of the production team, audience, and performance space. All participants should be familiar with the relevant regulations and observe them during all phases of the production process; should direct any questions or concerns to the appropriate adviser, to the Undergraduate Production staff, and to other relevant University officials; and should consistently apply good judgment and common sense.

The use of drugs or alcohol in any theater by the production team or audience is strictly forbidden and may be grounds for individual expulsion from the theater and/or immediate termination of the production’s use of the theater.

No use of prop weapons or stage combat of any kind is allowed, in rehearsal or performance, without the express written permission of Undergraduate Production. Requests for the use of stage combat must be submitted to UP by the CPA deadline at the beginning of the semester in which the production will occur. Requests for the use of prop weapons must be made to the UP Technical Director of the specific production at least six weeks prior to the first performance date. Additional regulations may be found in the Prop Weapon and Stage Combat Policy.

M. Fraternity and sorority rush

Many organizations conduct special activities to introduce new members to their groups. Any initiation activities for new members must comply with hazing laws of the State of Connecticut. Fraternities and sororities may not hold rush activities for first-year students during the fall term. First-year students may not attend rush events during their first term of enrollment at Yale. Fraternities and sororities may not extend a formal or informal offer of membership to a first-year student during the fall term and a first-year student may not make a formal request to join a fraternity or sorority during the fall term. Fraternities and sororities may not exert pressure on first-year students during the fall term to join a fraternity or sorority during the spring term.

Fraternities and sororities at Yale generally have the following characteristics: their primary purpose is social, they are single-sex, admission is selective, admission is not based on specific skills or talents (e.g., singing ability), they are typically affiliated with and pay dues to national organizations, they have a name with Greek letters, they own or rent space off campus for meetings and events, it is not permissible to be a member of more than one such organization, it is not permissible to switch membership from one such organization to another. This list is not exhaustive and not all of these characteristics apply to all fraternities and sororities. The Yale College Dean’s Office reserves the right to determine whether a group qualifies as a fraternity or sorority.

Rush activities are defined as events hosted by fraternities and sororities (or representatives of those organizations) at which individuals are targeted for solicitation of membership. Rush activities occur during a period of time when events are held by fraternities and sororities for the express purpose of selecting new members, and they are exclusive to individuals who are both eligible for and interested in gaining membership to a fraternity or sorority. The following activities are not considered to be rush events, and first-year students may participate in them during the fall term: events that are not limited to first-year and upperclass members of a single fraternity or sorority, events sponsored by non-Greek organizations or more than one Greek organization, and events that are primarily religious or philanthropic in nature.