Facilities Use Policy
Date Enacted or Revised: Revised June 2015; September 2019; March 2020; March 15, 2022; March 8, 2023
Part 1: Definitions
- A campus facility, also referred to as a venue, is any indoor or outdoor space, which is operated, managed, and maintained by McNeese State University staff, where an event can be held; off-campus venues are not operated by McNeese but may require resources to be provided by the University. Campus facilities are not just limited to rooms; they can also be industry-modeled areas designed for hands-on training.
- Utilization refers to how a campus facility is being used and by whom.
- An event, also known as a special event, is any activity, occasion, reception, performance, special meal, conference, training, meeting, or any combination thereof that does not appear in a published class schedule. Appointments are excluded. All events, activities, and meetings (excluding classes) must be scheduled using the Facilities Use System which is accessed online through the MyMcNeese portal. An event may take place at a venue off-campus as well.
- A venue coordinator is a designated faculty or staff member who is assigned the task of keeping a schedule of classes and activities happening in a campus facility. Facilities like, but not limited to, auditoria, gymnasia, theaters, model plants, clinics, etc., can have greater utilization beyond curricular instruction and may require more data collection than current event management software can offer. In certain situations, data may have to be secured to protect confidentiality.
- An event coordinator or organizer is the person in charge of originating, organizing, and producing an event. As a rule, the event coordinator is acting on behalf of an organization and is the primary point of contact. There are several types of organizations defined for the purposes of this policy:
- A student group (a club, fraternity, sorority, etc., officially recognized by the Office of Student Services and bound by the Student Organizations Handbook).
- A University college, division, department, or office (made up of active University employees).
- Booster groups (groups that exist for the sole purpose of advancing a McNeese program directly through fundraising).
- Corporate camps (active University employees who run an independent operation during the summer for athletic skills development; because these campers are potential students, this collaboration allows for McNeese to serve an additional audience in the community).
- External groups (businesses, civic organizations, corporations, and other entities that do not fit into any of the types of organizations above, regardless of past and present relationships with the University).
- An individual student at McNeese State University or a group of students who have not obtained official recognition from the Office of Student Services.
Part 2: General
- Campus facilities exist to provide spaces where the University’s primary mission can be fulfilled. Any activity occurring in a campus facility must be an appropriate use of that facility. At all times, McNeese State University maintains the right:
- to scrutinize all utilization of space;
- to determine what constitutes appropriate use according to content-and-viewpoint-neutral criteria;
- to deny use if there is no logical link to the University’s educational mission;
- to assess a use fee and/or other charges for services and equipment according to content-and-viewpoint-neutral criteria; and
- to retroactively assess use fees for special events which purported to be something completely different in the original description and which necessitate further planning and coordination on the part of the University.
- Campus facilities are assigned to the organizational units within the University. These in turn can be further assigned to individual employees. These assignments do not imply ownership of the campus facility assigned. Ownership is titled with the state of Louisiana.
- Employees and organizational units are responsible for the facilities assigned to them—to use them effectively, efficiently, and respectfully. This responsibility does not allow them to lease facilities or make modifications to facilities without the expressed approval of the University president or the president’s designee.
- Willful damage or alteration to a campus facility by an assignee will result in the assignee bearing the cost for all repairs.
- All maintenance and repair work, renovations, alterations, demolitions, etc., must be administered by the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations.
- Normal hours of business operation are from 7:30 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. through 11:30 a.m. Friday (except for holidays and University closure days). These hours also serve as hours during which members of the public may visit the campus to transact business in University offices that are staffed to handle interaction with the public. Class instruction times and athletic practice schedules may vary each day of the week and may take place during and outside of normal hours of business operation, including weekends.
- The campus is deemed closed to the public after normal hours of business operation or when buildings are locked unless an event or function is sanctioned by the University and approved in writing by the president or his designee. All such events or functions must comply with the Special Events section of this policy (see below).
- Campus facilities serve primarily the educational mission of the University and are open to students and employees during normal hours of business operation. Guests of students and employees are welcome by invitation; however, students and employees hosting guests are responsible for the behavior of their guests at all times. Individuals who are not affiliated with McNeese may attend campus functions to which the public has been invited and may visit campus facilities to conduct necessary business during normal operating hours. No person—whether student, employee, guest, or member of the public—may engage in conduct that interferes with the educational mission of the University or violates any University policy.
- The University reserves the right to restrict access to any facility for reasons appropriate to the intended use of the facility or for reasons related to the function, personnel, or equipment therein. For example, residence halls may be restricted to use by residents, residents’ guests, and housing-related employees; classrooms and laboratories may be restricted to use by students and faculty registered for respective classes or conducting approved laboratory research; access to rooms housing sophisticated equipment or fragile items may be restricted to those with appropriate knowledge and permission to operate or handle such equipment or items; entry to rooms containing financial instruments, employee information, student records, or confidential information may be limited to those with special authorization to enter. The preceding examples are intended for purposes of illustration only and should not be construed as limiting the University’s right to restrict access to facilities to ensure the orderly functioning of University operations.
- At any time or for any reason, to maintain campus order and safety, the University president or the president’s designee may remove programs and occupants from a campus facility and reassign them to different areas on campus.
- At any time to maintain campus order and safety, the University president or the president’s designee may close some or all campus facilities. Reasons for closure may include but are not limited to their normal business operation hours each day; renovations, repairs, utility disruptions, etc.; localized severe weather, environmental hazards, and/or safety concerns; and preparation for a hurricane or severe weather event. During a closure, no one is permitted inside the closed area(s) unless special arrangements are made with the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations or University Police.
- Campus facilities are strictly governed by all applicable Louisiana Revised Statutes; building and fire safety codes; policies of the Board of Regents, University of Louisiana System, and NCAA (where applicable); and internal policies of McNeese State University.
- All campus facilities are subject to the University’s Tobacco Use Policy and Alcohol and Other Drug Policy.
- Revised statutes in the Louisiana Constitution (see Article 7, Section 14(A)) prohibit the use of public facilities for private or personal gain without the assessment of a use fee. Free use for personal gain is against state law.
- Booster groups, corporate camps, and external groups must provide a certificate of commercial general liability insurance and must sign an indemnification agreement prior to their events.
- Any service contractor engaged by an organizer must provide a certificate of commercial general liability insurance and sign an indemnification agreement prior to the associated event. See “Insurance Requirements” at http://www.mcneese.edu/facilities/insurance for scope of coverage.
Part 3: Academic and Academic Support Functions
- Activities that include instruction, research, public service, academic support, student services, institutional support, operation and maintenance of facilities, and auxiliary programs are mission-critical programs funded by tuition and fees and state and federal appropriations. These activities have the first and highest priorities.
- Activities other than scheduled academic classes will be considered special events or rentals.
Part 4: Management of Special Events
Section A: Special Events in University Facilities
- McNeese State University realizes the importance of its role in the community and the audiences it serves. When available, the University may provide facilities and resources to McNeese students and employees and to the community to further educational, cultural, and recreational initiatives through events held on campus.
- The University and the event coordinator must work together to minimize any adverse impacts to the daily functions of the University that the special event might impose.
- The event coordinator shall be responsible for the security and behavior of children present at any event, including the establishment and utilization of procedures for checking-in, checking-out, and monitoring the transportation and other activities of children throughout the course of the event.
- In managing the University’s risk, the University president or the president’s designee may cancel any special event for any reason and with little notice. Typical situations include utility disruptions, inclement weather, environmental or safety hazards, or some other unforeseen situation. These are situations that we cannot predict and over which we have no control when they occur.
- McNeese State University is not responsible for any loss of revenue sustained by the organizer in the case of a cancellation by the University. The organizer must purchase, and bear the cost of specialized event insurance with coverage for loss of revenue if loss of revenue is a concern.
- To schedule an event, the event coordinator must submit a Facilities Use Request, which can be accessed online through the MyMcNeese portal.
- The information provided in the request must be given in good faith; to the best of the event coordinator’s knowledge, the information given must be truthful and thorough. The event coordinator must be available to answer questions for the review process if the information provided is insufficient. The review process takes time. Delays in providing information lengthen the amount of review time and delay a response.
- An event coordinator may be charged retroactively for changes made at the last minute or due to insufficient planning.
- Cancellation fees for custodial service and security personnel may be charged for a last-minute cancellation. Fees will vary according to the amount of preparation already made and if any setup has been completed.
- The request should be made at least three weeks prior to the event or before the expected start date for publicity for the event, whichever comes first.
- The three-week period can be altered due to extenuating circumstances; poor planning is not considered an extenuating circumstance. The director of marketing and communications has decision-making authority in these circumstances to enforce or to alter the three-week period.
- An event coordinator must have an approved request prior to starting any publicity or advertising. The Office of Marketing and Communication must approve all publicity and advertising (printed materials especially).
- Events with no approval will be shut down and the organization will be sanctioned. Event coordinators may still be charged fees retroactively, even if the event did not happen as planned.
- Formally scheduled events and scheduled classes will always override incidental meetings that were not formally scheduled.
- Special events may require payment of a facility use fee. The use fee grants use of a campus facility to an organizer for the special event (including setup and take down) and is waived or reduced only under certain circumstances. See the use fee schedule located at www.mcneese.edu/facilities for venue pricing. Rates cannot be reset or negotiated by the venue coordinators.
The main test for determining whether the use fee is assessed comes from Article 7, Section 14(A) of the Louisiana Constitution, which prohibits the use of public facilities for private or personal gain without the assessment of a use fee.
Table 1: How Facilities Use Fees are Implemented
Find your organization type in the left column, then move across and find the scenario that fits.
|For this type of organization…||Use fee is assessed if…||Use fee is not assessed if…|
|Student Group (must comply with the Student Organizations Handbook)||The special event generates revenue but not all the revenue is deposited into a University account (i.e., some portion of the revenue becomes a personal monetary gain).||The special event generates no revenue; or|
|The special event generates revenue, and all revenue is deposited into a University account; or|
|The special event is a fundraiser for a bona fide charity, and all proceeds are received by the charity.|
|College, Division, Department, or Office||The special event generates revenue but not all the revenue is deposited into a University account (i.e., some portion of the revenue becomes a personal monetary gain).||The special event is in support of an academic program or the University’s mission and generates no revenue; or|
|The special event supports an academic program or the University’s mission and generates revenue, but all revenue is deposited into a University account.|
|Booster Groups||Not all the revenue generated is deposited into an account specifically setup for the program (i.e., some portion of the revenue becomes a personal monetary gain).||All revenue generated is deposited into an account specifically set up for the program.|
|Corporate Camps||This type of group exists for employees who are supplementing personal income while using campus facilities.||The use fee is never waived for this type of group.|
|External Groups||Non-public entities that customarily rent venues for their events; this group catches all others who do not fit into any of the four groups above.||The group is a federal or state agency which needs to disseminate information or aid in times of crisis; or|
|The University through its president enters into a collaborative agreement and provides one or multiple venues as part of its agreement (rare).|
- The Facilities Use Committee is responsible for setting these guidelines and updating them periodically. Any disputes regarding the use fee will be settled by the University president or the president’s designee.
- Only the president of the University can waive or reduce a use fee. Permission must be sought for each occurrence.
- All other fees (security, custodial, equipment, etc.) may still be assessed. Read further for information about these fees.
- Employment, enrollment, or other relationship with the University cannot be used to waive use fees and/or other charges associated with an event.
- Hosting an external group, likewise, cannot be used to waive the use fee and/or other charges associated with an event. The host is simply a McNeese organizational unit (student or staff) that acts as the liaison between the University and an external group, usually making University resources available to the external group and providing some resources for the event. The host is also responsible for directing the external group to the Office of Marketing and Communications so that a request is properly submitted on behalf of an external organizer.
- The University has resources and equipment that can be used for special events (e.g., tables, chairs, etc.). However, when those resources are not available, it will be the responsibility of the organizer to provide those items and remove them when the event is finished.
- Most special events require security. Whether the use fee has been waived or not, charges for security personnel will still be assessed. See the rate schedule for security located at https://www.mcneese.edu/facilities/facilitiesuse/. The University Police chief or the chief’s designee will determine how many officers will be required and will arrange for additional security staffing when University Police has reached its capacity. Security fees will be assessed based only on content-and viewpoint-neutral guidelines.
- At the discretion of the University Police chief, security needs for an event may be outsourced to a University Police-approved security service. The organizer will be assessed these costs.
- The University’s current food service provider has the right of first refusal on all events held on campus that will include catering. Catering contractors cannot be approached and/or engaged until the University’s food service contractor has been contacted by the organizer and rejects the opportunity.
- The current food service provider holds the liquor license for the campus. Any alcoholic beverages served at events catered by the official food service provider or sold at any University events must be dispensed by the University’s food service provider.
- Donated alcohol can only be served at an open bar. State law prohibits donated alcohol from being sold.
- To ensure guests are of appropriate age and no one is over-served, the University’s food service provider must provide a trained bartender to serve the donated alcohol. If the University’s food service provider cannot accommodate the request, the event coordinator may be allowed to use an appropriately licensed person with the approval of the University’s official food service provider. If the University’s official food service provider cannot provide a bartender and does not approve the credentials of a proposed bartender, then no alcoholic beverages will be allowed during the event. At no time will alcohol be served in a self-serve setting.
- The University’s official food service provider will determine the appropriate personnel needed based on the number of expected guests. The current charge for a bartender is $25 per hour with a three-hour minimum.
- Additional charges may be assessed for mixers, garnishes, glassware, ice, and napkins.
- All donated products must be provided in original, unopened containers.
- Prior written approval from the University president is required before any event that includes selling or serving alcohol can be approved.
- Additional charges will be assessed to the organizer case-by-case for facility preparations beyond a regular setup. Each venue is different, and associated costs will vary depending on the level of University services provided.
- Sound and lighting services, as well as merchandise and food vendors, contracted by the organizer are considered third party sub-contractors; each service hired must submit proof of general liability insurance and sign an indemnification agreement with the University before entering the venue where the special event is to take place. See the addenda for detailed information about technology in specific venues. All third-party subcontractors must be approved before they can be hired.
- The University may assess any applicable fees and/or charges retroactively for special events which purported to be something completely different in their original request descriptions.
- Any fees and/or charges assessed by McNeese staff will be invoiced by the University’s Office of Administrative Accounting. Payment is due upon receipt of the invoice.
- If, after 30 days, the invoice remains unpaid, the account becomes delinquent, and a $50 late fee may be added. The late fee can be applied to each subsequent 30-day period that lapses.
- A delinquent account will preclude the organizer and/or group from any future use of campus facilities for special events.
- The needs of students and employees have priority; external groups will not receive a confirmed reservation until all other University functions have been scheduled.
- Curricular instruction has the priority in all teaching spaces.
- Student groups have priority for venues in the Student Union Complex.
- Student-athletes and athletic events have priority in all athletic venues.
- McNeese performing arts productions have priority in all performance areas in the Shearman Fine Arts Center.
- The organizer is financially responsible for all damage to the campus facility being used during the special event.
- Costs to repair damage will be assessed directly to the organizer if found to be at fault.
- The organizer is financially responsible for all keys temporarily issued to the event coordinator for the special event. The University’s Key Control Policy will be strictly followed and applied to any keys lost by the event coordinator/organizer.
- Some venue coordinators require additional rules and regulations for their venues due to technology or special equipment. (Most of these venues are auditoria or other large assembly spaces where entertainment can be presented.) The purpose is to manage risk and avoid misuse of equipment and bodily injury. These addenda must be reviewed and approved by the Facilities Use Committee; once approved, they are considered part of this policy as if herein contained. See Part 6 below for further explanation.
- Booster groups, corporate camps, and external groups must provide a certificate of commercial general liability insurance and must sign an indemnification agreement prior to their events.
Section B: Special Events at an Off-Campus Venue
- To further its educational, cultural, and recreational initiatives beyond its campus, McNeese will occasionally ask to use facilities in other communities. In these instances, the University becomes the external user at the host facility and must adhere to the host’s policies and procedures for use of space.
- An event request is still required because the University may have to provide resources and personnel at the off-campus facility for the event. The University may also need to ensure that the activity is insured by the Office of Risk Management. University personnel who are organizing the off-campus event must work with its host to minimize any adverse impacts to the daily functions at the host’s facility that the special event might impose.
- Although the event is scheduled to occur off-campus, the event coordinator shall be responsible for the security and behavior of children present at any event, including the establishment and utilization of procedures for checking-in, checking-out, and monitoring the transportation and other activities of children throughout the course of the event.
Section C: Request Process
- To make a request, log on to your MyMcNeese Portal account.
- Click on the Facilities Use Request link.
- Answer all questions fully and as specifically as you can. A lack of information may result in extra charges being assessed.
- Print or download a copy for yourself.
- Submit the request. DO NOT proceed any further until you receive a response.
- Any changes after submission may further delay a response.
- The request will be moved electronically through the approval process. You may be contacted to clarify or provide additional information.
- You will be notified of the decision after the request has been reviewed. If approved, confirmation will be sent back to you.
Part 5: Leases/Rentals
Section A: Leases of Space in Immovable Property
- University of Louisiana System Policy FP-VI.IV.-1a establishes the general guidelines and procedures for leases (among other immovables) at its campuses. Dependent on the action involved, additional approval from the Board of Regents, the Division of Administration (Office of Contractual Review, Office of Facilities Planning and Control, Office of State Purchasing), the Department of Natural Resources, and the House and Senate Natural Resources Committees may also be required. The administrative procedures for review, evaluation, and approval contained therein are hereby made a part of this policy to the same extent as if incorporated herein in full.
- All long-term leases for space (other than at the SEED Center) are executed and managed by the University president or the president’s designee.
- SEED Center leases are a part of the business development and economic incubator program for Southwest Louisiana. Rules and regulations set by the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance apply only to the SEED Center program.
- Contracted services for the University (housing, food service, and custodial) all require lease of space according to the terms of their individual contracts. These contracts are managed by the University president or the president’s designee.
- Lessees are financially responsible for all damage to the campus facility being used for the lease.
Part 6: Addenda to the Policy
- The Facilities Use Policy is a static document; the statements within are meant to define and set a uniform policy that governs the whole University. However, a few facilities require more specific policies and procedures regarding their use. Each special case facility has its own document providing additional policies and procedures. An addendum may not contradict the University’s Facilities Use Policy. The additional rules and procedures outlined in an addendum must be articulated well so that management and operation decisions are always consistent and fair.
- Each addendum must provide all additional rules for use, a restatement of the fee structure specific to it with additional information for long-term use and how that may change the use fee if certain criteria are met, a list of said criteria, a list of all possible charges that may be assessed, and which charges are always assessed each time a facility is used. Most importantly, the addendum must be clear about what services are provided with the facility and what will be the responsibility of the user. Services brought in by the user will need prior approval of the University before the facility can be used.
- Addenda will be strictly enforced.
- Please see Additional Charges for more information.
List of Building Coordinators/Venue Coordinators
McNeese State University Student Organizations Handbook
McNeese State University Tobacco Use Policy
McNeese State University Alcohol and Other Drug Policy
University of Louisiana System Policy FP-VI.IV.-1a Immovable Property and Associated Guidelines