Safety and Security

Safety and Security

3.0 - Event organizer responsibility

The event sponsor is responsible for the safety, security, and actions of their event guests/participants. UVA requires event hosts to follow the policies listed within this document.

The event sponsor is also responsible for ensuring the completion of all relevant forms related to the event. This includes, but is not limited to , a Certificate of Insurance, forms related to the Office of Youth Protection, Amplified Sound, Security (through the University Police Department or RMS), Alcohol, and State inspections, among others.

Event sponsors may be responsible for the costs incurred by the University to support event safety/security, as well as for clean-up/maintenance needed due to the actions of guests/participants. Additional information related to Damages may be found in the Section 2.4.

3.1 - Building access

3.1.1 - During business hours

Event Management staff are responsible for securing UVA assets in Student Affairs Facilities and regulating when and how guests and tenants may access the buildings in conjunction with UVA Police.

Guests desiring to access Event Management facilities may do so during posted building hours. All individuals must vacate the facilities at the close of operating hours. Hours are posted at building entrances as well as online at

Only Event Management staff are allowed to be in the Event Management facilities outside normal business hours. For approval to be in Event Management facilities outside normal working hours see Section 3.1.2.

Event sponsors may work with Event Management to arrange for vendor access. Vendor set-up time must be included in the reservation. Vendors requesting access outside of reserved event set up time may be accommodated but may result in additional fees to the sponsor.

Access to exterior doors will be issued only to authorized University staff whose responsibilities may require them to access Event Management spaces during non-operational hours.

3.1.2 - After business hours

Outside normal hours access to Student Affairs spaces is defined as entry into any building before or after normal business hours for the current semester. Current business hours are posted on the Event Management website home page.

If there is a reasonable business purpose, UVA staff and students can be granted permission for after-hours access. Requests can be sent to the Facility Operations Manager. All those with access agree to the following rules and expectations:

  • Entry doors may NOT be left ajar
  • Do not allow others into the facility without explicit permission from Student Affairs professional staff to be there
  • Those approved to be in the building outside normal hours should limit their presence to their assigned workspace

Events which take place outside normal business hours

Event organizers may need to begin or end their event outside of building hours. During the reservation process, event organizers must work with, and get permission from, Event Management to have an event after business hours. An after-hours fee may apply to events which take place outside normal hours, more information can be found in Fee Schedule in Section 2.9.2.

Events which take place after midnight require security to be hired by the event sponsor. See Section 3.9 for additional information.

Note events outside of normal business hours are dependent on the availability of Event Management staff to be onsite for the entire duration of the event. If Event Management cannot accommodate the requested hours, the request will be denied.

3.2 - Crowd control, egress, and safety planning

The safety of all participants and guests within an event space is ultimately the responsibility of the event sponsor. Prior to the event, it is essential to consider how many individuals will occupy the event space, what process will be used to check people in, and how people will leave, including when an evacuation is necessary.

When planning, and on the event date, make sure to consider the event setup/egress, capacity of the space, and ways to keep guests aligned with policy.


Event setups completed by Event Management ensure that required paths of egress are present within event and meeting spaces. Do not relocate or add furniture without consulting with Event Management. If you are setting up your own event furniture, you must ensure that a clear path exists at least 44” wide to all exits.

Event Capacity

Meeting spaces have maximum capacities posted for each type of event setup. Capacities were determined in conjunction with University Environmental Health & Safety. In the event of a custom set-up, clients will be informed by Event Management of the maximum capacity for the event. Attendance at any event may not exceed the maximum capacity for that event's setup. In the event that capacity is reached, Event Management staff will direct the event sponsor to address the situation in a timely manner. If the event organizer fails to address the issue, the UVA Police Department and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety will be contacted to address the issue and could potentially end the event.

Crowd Control

Any person exhibiting behavior that compromises their safety, the safety of others, or the security of the facility will be asked to stop immediately and may be asked to leave Event Management facilities. If event sponsors are concerned about crowd control, or if Event Management/UVA requires crowd control, hiring security may be needed. See section 3.9 for additional information.

Right to Monitor

UVA staff reserves the right to monitor activities taking place within all meeting and event spaces to ensure they are in compliance with applicable rules and policies. Blocking peepholes, windows, or meeting room entrances is prohibited and may lead to loss of reservation privileges.

3.3 - Disruptive audience members 

The University, as a marketplace of ideas, believes that event sponsors have the right to share speakers and ideas that may at times be controversial. If event organizers believe that their event may have disruptive audience members (individuals who interrupt the event via protest or unruly behavior), it is crucial to plan in consultation with the University. For the safety of the University community, restrictions or requirements may be imposed on event organizers and attendees, including requiring security (see Section 3.9 for additional information).

Please plan in consultation with Event Management if there are concerns about disruption.

It is also recommended that the following statement be read by a representative of the host group from the stage at the outset of the program:

 I am _________________ (name and title), a representative of ___________________. Any attendees who wish to disrupt our invited speaker or hinder the ability of other attendees to see or hear our invited speaker should, per University officials, re-locate to the Monroe Plaza just outside of this building. Under University of Virginia policy, no person may disrupt a permitted speaker or hinder the ability of other attendees to hear or see a speaker. If you choose to disrupt our invited speaker or hinder the ability of other attendees to see or hear our invited speaker, University officials in attendance will assess and remove a disruptive attendee in accordance with university policy when appropriate.

University Response

Should there be a disruption, University officials either in attendance, or after being informed by the host group, will ask the disruptive individuals to stop. University officials will offer to assist with relocation to a nearby site (Monroe Plaza) where they may continue to exercise their speech rights in a manner that does not hinder the ability of others to see, hear, and/or engage with the speaker.

 If a protestor does not comply with the request to stop or relocate to the nearby location, a University official will formally direct them to cease and desist or leave the premises immediately.

 If the disruption continues, University officials will seek assistance from law enforcement.

3.4 - Emergency procedures

In the event of an emergency, all guests are to follow the directions of Event Management staff and University emergency personnel. During a fire alarm, all persons in Event Management spaces must exit the building quickly and orderly through the nearest exit and proceed to a safe distance as directed by UVA staff and emergency personnel.

Individuals or organizations which fail to leave during an evacuation may face referral to the University Judiciary Committee or local law enforcement in addition to potentially losing Event Management reservation privileges.

3.5 - Inflatables/amusements

Past events have had inflatable attractions or large interactive games provided by a third-party contractor. These amusements have proven to be a safety risk. As such, the University Office of Risk Management has outlined the following requirements.

Request Form and COI

Student organizations must complete the Equipment Request Form no later than two weeks prior to their event. As part of that request, the student organization must attain from their vendor a Certificate of Insurance (COI) which names the “Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia” as additionally insured.

The following are not permitted:

  • Bounce houses (inflatables which are solely for the purpose of jumping around)
  • Any amusement (inflatable, game, attraction) where participants shoot at each other, hit each other with objects, or have the potential to collide with each other
  • Amusements or activities which target a specific individual (dunk tanks, pie throwing, etc.) EXCEPT if the individual targeted is a faculty or staff member of the University. Students are not permitted to be the target.

Qualified Staffing

All amusements other than individual ball tossing inflatables or games (soccer, basketball, etc.) must have at least 1 employee of the contracted vendor present to staff/monitor each amusement (1 per inflatable) for the duration of the event.

3.6 - Minors (individuals under 18)

Event organizers are required to register any covered event which is for minors (individuals under 18 years of age) with the Office of Youth Protection.

A covered program may include an academic, athletic, or recreational activity offered to minor participants, such as summer camps, sports camps, academic camps, theater camps, music camps, workshops, conferences, competitions, mentoring, shadowing, group experiential learning opportunities, and other enrichment programs. Covered programs may be residential (overnight) or non-residential (day programs) and may also include an organized program conducted by a third party that takes place on University property.

There are many types of youth programs. Please contact the Office of Youth Protection at [email protected] to determine if your program/activity is considered a covered program and to begin the registration process if necessary.

Additionally, events with minors are required to acquire Event Liability Insurance, naming “The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia” as additionally insured. A certificate of insurance (COI) must be provided to, and approved by, the Office of Risk Management prior to the event.

3.7 - Open Flames/Pyrotechnics

Open flames, combustibles, and fireworks/pyrotechnics are not allowed within any space on grounds. Events which require these activities must first get permission from UVA Environmental Health and Safety – submit a request form on their website:

3.8 - Personal behavior

Behavior that violates UVA policy or federal, state or local law will not be tolerated and may result in prosecution and/or loss of privileges within Event Management spaces and referral to the University Judiciary Committee.

3.9 - Security/Police

Some events may require hiring the University Police Department and/or RMC for security. Events which take place after midnight, have alcohol (Section 4.1), are collecting money, or which are determined by the University to pose a safety or security risk are required to have security present.

Hiring Security

If an event is required to have security, or if the event organizer desires to have security, the organizing group or department must submit a Security Request Form. Forms must be submitted at least 14 days prior to the event. Submission of the request form does not guarantee security at your event.

If required, failure to obtain security one week prior to the event date will result in the event being cancelled.

The University Police Department reserves the right to determine how many officers are needed and for what length of time. Security must be hired for a minimum of three hours. Security will be provided beginning at least one-half hour before the event and end at least one-half hour after the event.

The Division of Student Affairs may have funding available to assist in covering the cost of Security for an event, however everything not covered by Student Affairs will be the responsibility of the event host. For additional information, please contact the Office of Student Engagement ([email protected]).

If an event with security confirmed is cancelled, the event sponsor must inform Event Management no less than three days prior to the event. If an event is cancelled as a result of weather within three days of the event, the organizer must contact the University Police Department directly. Failure to communicate cancellation may result in the organization being billed by the Police for the scheduled hours.

Preparing for security at your event

One week in advance, the event sponsor must provide a day-of point-of-contact for security and University staff to communicate with. The event organizer must also provide an event plan that includes but is not limited to: a clear run-of-show (start/end time), crowd control procedure/staffing, entrance plan (ID/bag check, staffing, etc.), and disbursement of crowd following the event.

3.10 - Strobe lights, smoke machines, and hazers

Strobe Lights

Strobe lights may cause health issues for certain individuals. Strobe lights are allowed in enclosed areas only. Clients using strobe lights must set them to flash no more than 5 flashes per second and must also post signage outside the event to inform guests a strobe light is in use.

Smoke Machines/Hazers

The use of smoke machines/hazers will set off fire alarms within Student Affairs spaces. Use of these devices inside any building on grounds is strictly prohibited.

3.11 - Transportation

The use of bicycles, scooters, golf carts, skateboards, unicycles, roller skates and roller blades, etc. is prohibited inside Student Affairs spaces. Bicycle racks are provided outside for securing property around grounds. Parking, riding, and movement of vehicles, wheeled or otherwise, is prohibited within Event Management facilities except those used for transporting individuals with disabilities or those operated by UVA staff with proper authorization..

3.12 - Use of outside equipment (AV, tents, stages, etc.)

If event organizers will be bringing any of the following into Event Management spaces for an event they must complete an Equipment Approval Form and/or a Temporary Structures Permit (shown as **) request at least 14 days prior to the event:

  • DJ Equipment
  • Event Lighting
  • Sound/PA System (See also Section 2.1)
  • Animals and Animal Enclosures (petting zoos, therapy dogs, etc.) (See also Section 2.2)
  • Inflatable Amusement** (See also Section 3.5)
  • Tent**
  • Staging**
  • Temporary structures**
  • Any other item which draws a significant amount of power (mechanical bull, full band with electrified instruments, etc.)

The University reserves the right to deny outside equipment and amusements. If approved, the University may wish to perform an inspection on the day of the event prior to the scheduled start time to ensure that it meets safety standards for grounds.

Staging and Tenting Requirements

If utilizing a third party stage or tent (anything not setup by the University) the following rules apply:

  • Equipment is to be setup correctly, according to manufacturer’s guidelines (legs fulling extended, platforms locked together, etc.)
  • Any stage 18” or higher, requires handrailing
  • Any transition area 12” or greater, between the platforms and/or ground requires a staircase.
  • Stage Skirting and tent canopy has proper flame retardant certificates in accordance with NFPA 701 - Documentation needs to be available for review by Fire Marshal if requested

3.13 - Weapons

No weapons of any kind (real or facsimile) are allowed in University buildings except by law enforcement officials authorized to possess them.