Party Planning


Decide as a group what type of event you want. Determine the cost, location and if the event will be open or closed. These decisions are best made by the entire group as opposed to one or two select individuals.

Have a Event Plan

This contains the details regarding how you will manage the event. It also will serve as a record to help future events hosts plan their events.

Pick a Date

Confirm with the University Calendar that your event does not conflict with holidays, major campus events or another event in or near the party site.

Create a Budget

Include both income and expenses, as well as the costs of advertising, the facility (deposit, rental and cleaning), entertainment, security services, decorations, food and beverages, contingency (damages, lost deposit, etc.).

Create a Timeline

Set firm deadlines for your planning such as reserving space, completing paperwork and putting up flyers.

Find a Location – SEORF

Use the resource list included at the end of this brochure to help you find a location for your event. Be sure to promptly complete all paperwork required to reserve that space. Paperwork required is the Special Event Occupancy Request Form (SEORF), or the Solicitation Permit, and/or other special forms needed by a particular location e.g. the chapel.

Create a Theme

Themes can really add to the excitement of the event. This helps determine the types of music, food, games, and activities you might choose. If you are planning a event with a cultural theme, it is important that it be respectful of that culture.


Decorations should reflect your theme. All decorations used shall be made from a nonflammable material, or shall be treated and maintained in a flame-retardant condition. Exits, exit lights, fire alarm sending stations, smoke detectors, sprinklers and fire extinguishers shall not be concealed, in whole or in part, by any decorative material. Any decorations or construction, especially if they alter entrances and exits, are not permitted unless approved by the Campus Fire Marshal. Flammable materials such as hay, paper panels, sheets, tree branches and green foliage shall not be used as decorations unless properly treated with a flame retardant material and approved by the Campus Fire Marshal. Do not cut tree or palm branches or other foliage without prior permission! Unless approved (Environmental Health & Safety), the use of tiki torches and fog machines are specifically prohibited. If the event will be held at a campus residence and extensive decorations are being used, please contact the Housing Supervisor for that location two weeks prior to the event to review your decoration plan. This will help ensure safety to all attendees and prevent damage to the facilities.


If you advertise your event, please remember that alcohol is not permitted. List all entrance requirements so that attendees know what to expect before they come to your event. All off-campus advertising must get Office of Student Engagement approval before being printed.


Wristbands may be used to identify individuals. They can be used to identify those who have, for instance, signed a waiver before using some equipment (e.g. inflatable’s). This can help the risk assumed by the party hosts.

For more information about the waiver please contact the Office of Student Engagement (936)261-1340.


Notify your nearby neighbors (Community Assistants and neighboring residences and surrounding houses) about any planned events.

Serve Food

Good food can make your event great! Please check with Sodexo Campus Services (936)261-1770, and EHS (936)261-1745 for advice.

Comply with Laws and Regulations

Every organization member and guest is assumed to be aware of all applicable University, local, state and federal laws and regulations.

Injuries and Emergencies

For minor injuries, immediately take the individual to the Owens/Franklin Health Center. If the injury appears to be more serious, such as neck or back injuries, immediately call 911.


You are expected to comply with the noise restrictions. For indoor events, operate at the accepted levels and be sensitive as to where the sound is being played. For instance, music in the lobby of the MSC should not interfere with the daily operations of the area.

If you are planning an outdoor event, take extra care so that your noise does not disturb normal operations in the surrounding offices. Times during which such activities take place and may disrupt normal business operations will be restricted by the Office of Student Engagement (936)261-1340.



Make sure you have an adequate crew for clean-up. (Plan for greater numbers than you need.) Clean the areas inside and outside the party area immediately after it is over. Poor housekeeping conditions may result in a citation, and the organization/party may be charged for extra clean up outside the normal operations of the facility. Charges will be incurred for additional custodial service needed to restore cleanliness.

Contact the Grounds Department (936)261-9711 for extra trash receptacles when you have an outdoor event, e.g. Hump Day. Overtime charges may be incurred if the service is requested after normal business hours (8:00am-5:00pm). Smart scheduling will help in avoiding this.

Check for Facility Damages

Do a walk-through of the party area prior to, and immediately after the event (both inside and outside) and note any possible damages. If the facility is not yours, notify your advisor and the Facility Manager, to assess the damage, and come to a mutual agreement. Please resolve the matter within 48 hours of the event. Failure to do so may result in additional damage charges and penalties to the offending party.

Injuries and Emergencies

If injuries occur, inform your advisor immediately, and report it to the appropriate University entity. Make the necessary call, as determined by the nature of the emergency.

Evaluate and Revise Your Event Plan

After the party, do an evaluation of your event and make any notes on changes you wish to incorporate in planning future events. Document and pass on the information to future social chairs or others in the organization leadership. This will help your organization grow in its programming capacity.