The facilities at Francis Marion University and the acreage which comprise the campus exist to support the educational mission of the University. Requests for the use of facilities by students, faculty and staff which address academic and student life needs are given first priority. Other requests to use University space are given due consideration as they impact the educational mission and resources of the University.
This policy is intended to facilitate the fair allocation and efficient use of facilities at Francis Marion University and to provide for the uniform and consistent administration of facility usage. This policy applies to the temporary use of specific facilities on the Francis Marion University campus that are made available for meetings, activities, and events. The following procedures are used to coordinate the various needs for space and to prevent conflicting events.
Campus Space Coordinator – The Francis Marion University Campus Space Coordinator and the University Space Committee are responsible for scheduling the use of campus facilities. Requests for the use of campus facilities must be submitted to the Campus Space Coordinator who will schedule all space requests with the respective building coordinator.
Reservation Assignments – Francis Marion University facilities are reserved in the order in which requests are received, with the consideration being given to the size of the group, type of set up needed, and space availability. The University reserves the right to assign and, if necessary, reassign facilities to assure the maximum and most appropriate utilization of University facilities.
University Groups – Recognized University groups, units/offices, and registered student organizations.
Non-University Groups – Groups other than recognized University Groups that are legally separate from the University, even though some of the members or participants may be University personnel, alumni, or students. Includes non-University non-profit or for-profit groups.
University Employees or Current Students – Individual University employees or current students not part of a registered student organization.
Jointly-Sponsored Events – Events & Conferences scheduled by University groups, units/offices, and registered student organizations that jointly sponsor with a non-University group (non-profit or for-profit). The University group shall be responsible for all aspects of the event or conference.
Event Scheduling – Reservation and use of University facilities is requested on a Facilities Reservation Request form, is scheduled through the Campus Space Coordinator, and must be approved by the University Space Committee. To initiate this process, contact the Space Coordinator at the Office of Financial Services in Stokes Administration Building, Room 107, telephone (843) 661-1133. Reservations for use of The Cottage must be made to the FMU Foundation Office (843) 661-1380. Reservation of the Performing Art Center must be made to the PAC Office at (843) 661-1720.
University Groups – University Groups may schedule events up to 12 months in advance. University Groups may schedule a major event up to two years in advance. A major event is defined as a conference or similar activity requiring multiple rooms and where a commitment for facilities is required more than one year in advance. Student organizations may schedule events during the current semester.
Non-University Groups – Non-University Groups may schedule an event up to 60 days in advance.
University Employees or Current Students – Individual University employees or current students not part of a registered student organization may schedule an event up to 60 days in advance.
Summer Camps/Programs – Please contact the Coordinator of the University Center at (843) 661-1189 concerning Summer Camps/Programs.
- Check Availability – Contact the Campus Space Coordinator in the Office of Financial Services in Room 107, Stokes Administration Building or at 843-661-1133 to determine if space is available. A tentative hold may be placed on a space until confirmed by a Facilities Reservation Request Form and by a deposit, if one is required. If a second group requests the same space, the Campus Space Coordinator will ask the first group to complete the reservation or the space will be released.
- Complete & Return a Facilities Reservation Request form – This form can be obtained from the Office of Financial Services.
For student organizations, a Facilities Reservation Requests must be signed by the advisor of the student organization before being submitted. Events scheduled by student organizations should also be coordinated through and may require the signature of the Coordinator of Student Life.
- Request Catering and Additional Services If Needed – Contact Dining Services if appropriate for the event (see Catering for Events section and Requesting Additional Services section below for additional information). University Groups must have authorized signature approvals and billing information as appropriate on forms for all services including facilities, catering, and additional services.
- Receive Approval Notification – Space use is not approved until notification is received from the Space Coordinator.
Timing – Space should be requested and forms should be filed at least two weeks in advance for routine events and earlier for large events or those requiring special preparation.
Events in the Smith University Center – Should also be coordinated with the Coordinator of the University Center at 843-661-1189.
Extraordinary Events – Requests for events which require extraordinary University services and use of facilities may be referred to senior administration by the Campus Space Coordinator for evaluation.
Opening and Closing of Facilities – After hours and on weekends, Campus Police may open facilities based on the Facilities Reservation Request. To preclude a space being left unattended, no facility will be opened until a member of the requesting group is on hand to assume responsibility for the area. The individual and/or group is financially liable for any and all damages to University equipment, facilities, and grounds as duly determined by the University.
Catering for Events
Dining Services Provider – Catering for events can be arranged through the contracted University Dining Services provider by calling the Catering Manager at 843-661-1262 to coordinate menus and services after the appropriate facility has been scheduled. Outside individuals or groups are not allowed to bring in food.
University Departments and Registered Student Groups requesting catering should complete and submit the Entertainment Expense Documentation Form. This Form can be printed online and then completed and submitted in paper form.
All Other Individuals or Groups requesting catering should contact the Catering Manager at 843-661-1262.
- The Entertainment Expense Documentation Form may be obtained from the Office of Financial Services (843-661-1133) or from Dining Services (843-661-1260).
- Each form should be completed and submitted to the Dining Services Office or the Office of Financial Services at least three working days prior to the event.
- Forms cannot be processed unless a Facilities Reservation Request form has been approved by the Space Committee.
- The Individual or Group will receive notification of approval or disapproval from the Director of Dining Services.
- A guaranteed guest count should be provided at least 48 hours prior to the event.
Requesting Additional Services
If a particular meeting or event requires services other than the opening and closing of facilities or the provision of existing seating and lighting, please complete the Campus Event Services Request form.
The Campus Event Services Request Form
- This form can be obtained from the Office of Financial Services at 843-661-1133.
- The Campus Event Service Request form should be submitted for approval to the Office of Financial Services or the Director of Facilities Services at the same time campus space is reserved. Form should be submitted at least three weeks in advance. Requests for major events should be coordinated with the Director of Facilities Services as far in advance as possible.
- This form is not approved until notification is received from the Director of Facilities Services in the Office of Facilities Management.
To coordinate set-up services, please contact the Director of Facilities Services at 843-661-1108. In the absence of the Director of Facilities Services, please contact the Superintendent of Custodial Services at 843-661-1103.
Audio Visual Equipment and Services Provided by the University (UNIVERSITY PERSONNEL ONLY) – request by calling the Office of Instructional Technology and Electronic Media Services at 843-661-1250.
Charges for Lighting or Sound Personnel – Individuals or groups needing use of University lighting and/or sound systems will be charged for authorized FMU personnel to run these systems.
Outside Audio-Visual Equipment
- Individuals or groups are allowed to bring in audio visual equipment but Francis Marion University will not provide storage for and assumes no liability for outside equipment.
- Sound amplification equipment may not be used in any areas other than in the assigned facilities for scheduled events.
- Sound volume must be closely coordinated as not to disrupt or interfere with University operations, events, or classes.
- Individuals or groups should be sensitive to the nature of lyric content when amplified music or other audio-visual media is played in venues open to the public.
- Advance coordination will be required if equipment needs to be tied into house power (i.e. cannot simply be plugged into a normal wall outlet) so that a qualified FMU electrician can supervise safe connection.
Potential Additional Fire, Police, and Security Requirements
- Francis Marion University Campus Police Department (FMUPD) reserves the right to require fire, police or other security personnel for events at Francis Marion University. The need shall be determined based on the time, place, and type of event, anticipated crowd and any extraordinary requests from the requesting parties.
- Law enforcement personnel may also be provided at the request of the sponsoring group.
- Events requiring security coverage will not be permitted if adequate security is unavailable.
- To allow sufficient security for the event, law enforcement personnel must be coordinated in advance with the Francis Marion University Campus Police Department.
- If a police presence is required, please complete the FMUPD Special Event/Request for Police Officers form. This form:
- Must be completed by the individual or group requesting the services.
- Can be obtained from the FMU Campus Police Department, the Office of Financial Services, or the Office of Student Affairs.
- For student organizations, must be signed by the organization’s advisor.
- Is completed along with the other forms relevant to the space being requested.
- Must be turned in to Campus Police at least 2 weeks in advance of the event.
- All Special Event requirements outlined in the Student Handbook must be complied with including additional requirements when hosting large events.
- The individual or group sponsoring the event is responsible for all applicable security charges.
- Campus Police can be contacted by calling 843-661-1109.
Rental Rate Categories
The following categories shall be used in determining the rental rates for Francis Marion University facilities:
University Groups – Events scheduled by University groups, units/offices, and registered student organizations whose primary audience is Francis Marion University students, faculty or staff with no admission charge or other solicitation of funds (i.e. donations) associated with the event are exempt from room rental charges with the exception of state, regional and or/national conferences coordinated by the University group on behalf or in collaboration with an external, non-University group (see Jointly-sponsored events). University groups holding fund-raising events where admission is charged must contribute an agreed-upon fee for facilities.
Non-University Groups – Events scheduled by all non-University non-profit or for-profit groups are subject to standard room rental charges.
University Employees or Current Students – Events scheduled by individual University employees or current students not part of a student organization (see University Groups paragraph noted above) are subject to standard room rental charges.
Jointly-Sponsored Events – Events & Conferences scheduled by University groups, units/offices, and registered student organizations that jointly sponsor with a non-University group (non-profit or for-profit) are subject to standard room rental charges. The University group shall be responsible for all aspects of the event or conference.
Facilities and Additional Charges
The University reserves the right to require a payment on facilities charges.
Cauthen Educational Media Center
Lowrimore Auditorium – Capacity 201
Ervin Dining Hall
4hr event + 2 hr setup + 1hr breakdown
Hendrick Dining Room
Main Dining Room
Full day event
Hendrick Dining Room
Main Dining Room
Leatherman Science Facility
Lee Nursing Building
Thomason Auditorium and Lobby
McNair Science Building
Chapman Auditorium – Capacity 246-478
$500 plus Auditorium Coordinator
$300 plus Building Worker, Security, and Special Services
University Center (Indoor) Pool and Outdoor Pool
University Center (Indoor) Pool
$75 per hour
$75 per hour
Pool Reservations – Indoor and outdoor pool reservations must include a two-hour minimum rental and are subject to the availability of lifeguards and locker rooms. The Outdoor Pool may be reserved by officially recognized student organizations one night per week (usually Monday) for a two-hour period at $75 per hour. Additional lifeguard is $20 per hour and may be required depending upon the size and age of participants.
Indoor and Outdoor Pool Policies & Procedures are available from the University’s Office of Student Affairs.
Charges may be incurred for facilities usage as well as separate day(s) needed for set-up and clean-up. Additional charges may also be incurred including set-up costs, extending beyond approved reserve times, fees for personnel for lighting, sound, security (Campus Police), custodial services, etc., or other additional costs not noted.
Individuals or groups may be charged for damages to University furnishings, equipment, facilities, or landscaping as well as missing University property (extension cords for example), or cleaning costs due to trash or materials left behind. If the event is catered by the University’s Dining Services provider, Dining Services is responsible for disposing of all garbage/trash.
Payment Due Date – If a facilities charge and/or charges for additional services are assessed, payment in full is due within two (2) weeks of invoice date. A late charge will be applied for delinquent payments.
Cancellation Procedures & Charges
Cancellation of an event should be made by calling 843-661-1133 Monday through Friday. If necessary to cancel during the weekend, due to the proximity to the event date, please call Campus Police at 843-661-1109.
University groups must report cancellation of an event at least 48 hours prior to the event.
All other individuals or groups must report cancellation of an event at least seven business days prior to the event or forfeit the deposit if one had been required.
Failure to report cancellation in a timely manner may result in a charge of up to $50 or more.
If an individual or group cancels an event, the individual or group will be held responsible for all charges incurred as a result of any commitments made to facilitate the event.
Guidelines & Rules
The individual or group sponsoring an event is held accountable for the actions of the participants throughout the Francis Marion University campus.
Observance of Rules and Policies
Individuals or groups using Francis Marion University facilities shall assume full responsibility for adherence to University policies as well as all local, state and federal laws regarding the use of facilities. This includes but is not limited to policies stated on the University’s website including the Code of Student Conduct as well as other University policies located in the Rights and Responsibilities section of the Student Handbook.
Denial of Use of Facilities
Violation of any section of this policy may result in subject individuals or group(s) being denied the privilege of continued or future use of Francis Marion University facilities. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Campus Space Coordinator within five working days of the issue being appealed. The appeals statement must contain grounds for the appeal and include all information presented for appeal. Decisions will be communicated to all parties within ten business days.
Supervision of Minors
Groups with participants under the age of 18 must provide adequate adult supervision.
The possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages on the Francis Marion University campus is strictly prohibited except where permitted by established University policy. The University will enforce federal, state, and local laws, as well as its own alcohol and drug policies. The purpose of the Alcohol and Other Drug Policy Summary located in the Rights and Responsibilities section of the Student Handbook (as well as policies contained in the FMU Faculty Handbook, and the FMU Staff Handbook) is to address those areas wherein the consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages is permissible and to establish under what conditions such consumption and/or possession is permitted.
All State, Federal, and local laws will be strictly enforced. The possession of stimulants, depressants, narcotics, hallucinatory drugs, drug paraphernalia, and/or other agents having potential for mental or physical harm (except when these agents have been prescribed by a physician) is prohibited. Likewise, the selling, exchanging, and giving away of such drugs to any person not intended to possess them is prohibited. Prescribed medications should remain in the original marked containers.
Francis Marion University facilities are designated as tobacco-free.
Possession and/or use of any weapons or simulated weapons including, but not limited to, firearms, BB/pellet/air guns, blow guns, paint ball guns, sling shots or other projectile weapons; hatchets, knives or other edged weapons; bows/arrows, explosives, fireworks, chemical components expelled by compressed gases (i.e. OC or pepper spray); impact weapons (i.e., nun chucks, slap jacks, or other martial arts type weapons); electrical shock devices (i.e. stun guns or Taser type weapons); dangerous/noxious chemical mixtures, incendiary devices, propelled missiles or other dangerous substances is prohibited and may be illegal.
Advertising an event prior to event confirmation is prohibited and may result in denial of the request to use Francis Marion University facilities. All advertising for fund raising activities sponsored by University groups must prominently display the name of the sponsoring department or student organization.
Disclaimer Requirement for Printed Materials
Non-University individuals or groups may be asked to include the following statement in any printed materials related to a scheduled event: “Use of Francis Marion University facilities does not imply University sponsorship.”
Sales and Solicitations
Some sales or solicitations are permitted at Francis Marion University, but only as part of the legitimate fund raising activities of a student organization or University group. Requests for approval of any form of solicitation must be made in writing to the Dean of Students Office no later than seven business days preceding the proposed date of the activity. Following content approval by the Dean of Students Office; the appropriate space must be reserved. Sales and Solicitations must abide by the: “Solicitation Policy” in the Rights & Responsibilities section of the Student Handbook. Also, see the “Solicitation on Campus by Student Organizations” in the Student Services section of the Student Handbook.
All items and procedures for sale must comply with South Carolina law. All of the profits generated by a sale or solicitation conducted at Francis Marion University must be used for the activities of the sponsoring student organization, University group, or their publicly stated cause, e.g., a charitable organization. A fundraiser request form must be approved by the Office of Student Affairs prior to the event and a financial report must be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs after the fundraiser.
Distribution of Literature, Petition Drives, Surveys and Similar Activities
These activities must be conducted only from a reserved location, in accordance with the University Literature Distribution Policy (see the Rights & Responsibilities section of the Student Handbook), and with the approval of the Office of Student Affairs.
No pets are allowed with the exception of service animals (animals that are individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities).
Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Property
Francis Marion University is not responsible for any lost, stolen or damaged property belonging to users of the facilities.
Damages, Missing Items, or Trash
Individuals or groups are responsible for returning University facilities (including classrooms) to the original or better condition than prior to the event including the removal of trash, decorations, and materials. Damages, missing items, or trash may result in additional charges (see Facilities Charges section).
Decorations, Exhibits, and Displays
Decorating and posting limitations must be discussed with the Campus Space Coordinator at the time the event is scheduled. No tape, glue, tacks, Velcro, staples, pins, or nails are permitted on the walls, doors, floors, ceilings, glass, draperies, or woodwork of Francis Marion University facilities without approval of the respective building coordinator.
- Doorways, hallways, corridors, staircases and fire exits cannot be blocked or obstructed; all fire alarm pull stations, hydrants, and extinguishers must remain unobstructed and accessible by someone in a wheelchair.
- Light bulbs may not be placed where the heat from the bulbs might create a fire hazard.
- The use of candles or incense is not permitted.
- Table centerpieces must be non-flammable or constructed of fire resistant materials.
- Special effects equipment, such as smoke, fog and fire machines, sparklers, etc., is not permitted without approval of the Director of Campus Police at 843-661-1109.
- The use of glitter, rice, or similar materials in decorations and activities is not permitted.
- Decorations, exhibits, displays, and directional signs must be removed immediately following the event or activity, unless the respective building coordinator has approved other arrangements.
- The University (or it’s designated vendor) is not responsible for the loss of any materials, displays, gifts, favors or other items left in a building or on the grounds.
- Any special needs for decorations, exhibits, and displays beyond the scope of this policy must be approved by Francis Marion University.
Liabilities and Limitations
Francis Marion University, its respective officers, employees, agents, and assigns explicitly disclaim any and all liability, damage, injury, or death resulting from the use of its facilities by University or non-University individuals or groups, regardless of whether or not such liability, damage, injury, or death arises, in whole or in part, from the negligence of Francis Marion University, its Board of Trustees, its respective officers, employees, agents, and assigns.
Further, University or non-University individuals or groups, their officers, employees, agents, or assigns shall hold harmless and indemnify Francis Marion University, its Board of Trustees, its respective officers, employees, agents, and assigns from any and all liability, damage, injury, or death resulting from the use of its facilities, regardless of whether or not such liability, damage, injury, or death arises, in whole or in part, from the negligence of Francis Marion University, its respective officers, employees, agents, and assigns.
For a medical emergency, to report a fire, or to summon Campus Police:
- Dial 843-661-1109 from an off-campus or cell phone
- Dial 1109 from a campus phone
- Use one of the Emergency Call Boxes or access telephones on campus. These devices provide 24 hour access to Campus Police.
- Go directly to the Campus Police Office located in the Campus Police/Facilities Management Building, 4802 Patriot Drive. The building is normally open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Units
Automated External Defibrillator (AED) units are available in several buildings on campus but should be used only by persons trained in the use of this equipment.
Emergency Siren System
An emergency siren system has been added to the campus to notify the campus community of emergencies that might threaten the health and safety of the FMU community. In the event of a natural or man-made emergency the siren system may be activated to advise what action should be taken.
In the event of a fire or as a result of fire alarm activation, all persons in the facility will evacuate the building. Everyone will remain outside the building until the area is cleared by Campus Police or responding fire department personnel.
POLICY AMENDED: March 2017