Student Activities and Extracurricular Activities

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.

A. Registration of undergraduate activities

Any undergraduate organization that conducts meetings periodically or sponsors activities on the campus of Yale University, that provides a service, or that raises funds within the University for charitable purposes must submit an online application for registration or register with the Yale College Dean’s Office each year. Registration is an annual requirement. Once approved, an organization’s registration remains valid until September 15 in the following academic year. (For additional details, see Undergraduate Organizations, section D, “Registration of undergraduate organizations.”)

B. Use of the Yale name and trademarks

The Yale name and marks associated with the University are protected by trademark law. Any use by undergraduates of the Yale name or these trademarks in the title or caption of a publication or an organization or the like, on any promotional materials, or on any item or product to be manufactured, distributed, or sold by an individual or an organization, must be approved by the secretary of the University or the secretary’s duly authorized agents, and under such restrictions and explanations as they may impose or require. 

C. 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. (See Undergraduate Organizations, section J, Use of University facilities. See also Social Functions, Campus Housing and University Facilities, especially section I, Maintenance of dormitory rooms and campus areas.)

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.

D. 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, Camille Lizarribar, 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 twenty-four hours in advance of a weekday event and forty-eight hours in advance of a weekend event.

E. Events in the residential colleges

The Council of Heads of College has issued the following guidelines concerning the use of general access areas 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.

  2. 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.

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

  4. All student events held in the residential colleges or college annexes where alcoholic beverages are served must comply fully with the policies set forth in Social Functions and Alcoholic Beverages.

F. 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 Fire Code Compliance, 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 be assumed to 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, crew, cast, 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 cast, crew, 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.

G. Events off campus

Events sponsored by Yale students or Yale organizations (registered and unregistered) must comply with the Undergraduate Regulations. Events with an expected attendance of 50 or more people must be registered with the Yale College Dean’s Office. See Social Functions, section N, Social functions off campus.

H. 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 freshmen during the fall term. Freshmen 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 freshmen during the fall term and a freshman may not make a formal request to join a fraternity or sorority during the fall term. Fraternities and sororities may not exert pressure on freshmen 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 freshmen may participate in them during the fall term: events that are not limited to freshmen 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.

I. Accounting procedures

Each registered undergraduate organization is fully responsible for its own finances. These responsibilities include the submission of original receipts, invoices, purchase orders, other proofs of purchase, and account reconciliation. The balance of unused funds must be returned to the original award source within three weeks of the date of the event.

J. Solicitation and sales in residential colleges and other buildings

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:

  1. 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").

  2. Nothing may be attached to any wall.

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

  4. Groups may use one table that they provide.

  5. No unattended tables are permitted.

  6. Groups must clean up after themselves.

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

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

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

  10. 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. Posters and publicity

The University has made available appropriate space for postering and expects students to use this space and to respect the inviolability of other University property. Other forms of publicity, such as banners, may not be hung on college or University gates or on the exterior of University buildings. Posters may not exceed a size of 11 by 14 inches. Their use must be confined to regular bulletin boards, kiosks, and display cases provided for that purpose. Postering elsewhere is prohibited. Only one of each poster may be placed on the same bulletin board. Organizations advertising an event must provide contact information on their poster. Postings in the residential colleges must have the approval of the respective heads of colleges’ offices. Posters must be removed after the event they announce has taken place, and they may not be posted for a period exceeding two weeks. 

Students may use chalk on walkways to advertise events, but those markings must be on areas that are open to the sky and the weather. Walkways cannot be marked under roof 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.

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.

Violation of these regulations may result in an organization’s loss of official recognition and consequent loss of funding opportunities.

Students or organizations may also be charged for any necessary repairs to damaged University property resulting from improperly posted notices.

L. Insurance

The University carries a general liability insurance policy covering most registered student organizations. See the Office of Enterprise Risk Management website for more information. Registered undergraduate organizations not covered by this insurance may be required to maintain their liability insurance naming Yale University as additional insured. Detailed information about insurance coverage and requirements can be found in the “Undergraduate Organizations” section of this publication.