University Student Commons & Activities

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Planning Your Event


Virginia Commonwealth University venues are not limited to any specific catering company. You may use any registered and licensed food service provider (caterer) to serve or provide food and beverages for the event. (Please note, VCU is a Pepsi campus and no Coca Cola products are allowed in any of our venues.) All food and beverages must be prepared in a licensed kitchen by a caterer, restaurant, or store. No “homemade” food items are allowed, including a wedding cake. There are no exceptions.

Events may NOT be self-catered. Your event may have full service catering or delivery only catering.

  • Full service catering is where the food and beverage are served and a catering staff member is present throughout the event.
  • Delivery only catering is when a licensed caterer delivers the food and no catering staff member is present throughout the event.

The following guidelines must be met in order to serve alcohol at your event:

  • An Alcohol Authorization Agreement form must be completed and signed by the appropriate university official no later than 30 days prior to the event date. This agreement may be obtained through the Event and Meeting Services Office.
  • A valid Virginia ABC license is required for the event. A copy of the license must be provided to the Event and Meeting Services Office not later than 30 days prior to the event date.
  • A Virginia Commonwealth University Police Officer must be present during any event on campus where alcohol is being served.
  • Alcohol beverage service will end no later than 10:00 p.m.
Décor, Lighting, and Sound

Decorations (flowers, centerpieces, extra lighting, etc.) may be used in each venue space in accordance with Virginia Commonwealth University guidelines:

  • No nails, tape, glue, glitter, staples, etc. are allowed to be used on the walls, doors, floors, windows or anywhere else onsite.
  • No aerosol type spray paint on the windows, walls, floors or other building surfaces.
  • No open flame candles (except Sternoes for catering purposes.)
  • No rice, confetti, or birdseed in or around the building.
  • No bubbles or fog machines are allowed inside the building.

Staff members will be on-site to ensure all house lights are turned on/off for your event. If additional lighting, or sound equipment, are brought in by vendor, only those vendors will be allowed to handle that equipment. Student Commons’ staff are not able to assist with outside equipment or décor.

House speakers will be available for slightly amplified sound (microphone and light background music.) Additional speakers and equipment should be brought in for more amplified sound needs such as dance music.

Colored lighting and spot lighting are available for an additional fee and must be pre-ordered at least 30 days prior to the event. (Day-of requests for specialty lighting cannot be accommodated.)

Custom Event Diagrams

Unlike many other venues, the Event and Meeting Services Office has the ability to provide you with a custom diagram showing exactly how your event will be setup. The diagrams are true to scale and allow you to see exactly how your furniture will be setup in your venue. This not only helps eliminate the stress of worrying how everything will fit inside your venue, but it also provides you with a visual guide that you can provide to your florist and caterer. The diagrams can also include seating charts and table numbers to help you stay organized.