Simmons College Student Organization Manual


Section 1: Your Student Organization

Organization Benefits and Responsibilities

Your Constitution

Common Duties of the Executive Board


Recruiting New Members

Year at a Glance

Organization Reactivation

Organization Transition Overview

Section 2: Organization Policies


Bake Sale and Information Table

Calendaring Policy

Charity Drives

Email Communications

Executive Board Eligibility

Hazing Policy

Judicial Cabinet

Movie Policy

Off-Campus Trips & Events

Offices and Keys

Parking Policy

Political Speakers

Raffles and Drawings

Revenue Producing Projects


Use of Facilities and Services

Planning an Event

Steps to Plan an Event (Propose, Plan, Publicize, Perform, Perfect)

Tips for Successful Events

Securing a Space for Your Event

Technology and Media at Your Events

Providing Food At Your Event

Hiring Public Safety for an Event

Using Simmons Facilities

Scheduling the President or Provost

Hiring Entertainers or Speakers

Party and Special Event Policy


Organization Resources


Additional Resources

Offices to Know


The success of an organization most often depends upon six elements:

  1. Clearly defined roles and responsibilities of officers.
  2. Support and involvement of a faculty or staff advisor.
  3. Clear and consistent communication among group members
  4. A shared vision and goals for the organization
  5. Regular and productive meetings.
  6. Member accountability to the tasks assigned or volunteered.

As the leader of an organization, do your utmost to ensure that the above conditions are met.  It will allow you to enjoy your position while taking challenges in stride.  

Student organizations should be familiar with the policies as outlined in this guide as well as the policies and procedures outlined in the student handbook.

The Office of Student Leadership and Activities

Mission Statement

In alignment with the core values of Simmons College, the mission of the Office of Student Leadership and Activities is to serve as a student advocate across the College, to contribute to a vibrant campus environment, and to foster the development of competent, aware, and self-sufficient citizens. Students develop a genuine understanding of themselves and their potential to make a lasting contribution to society through their co-curricular experience.  Leadership education, active involvement, and purposeful programming enhance students’ retention and success at Simmons College.


To be an efficient and effective office that provides support to students, helps students get involved and engaged with their community, develops competent and confident student leaders, and serves as an asset to the Student Life Division and Simmons College.


Susan Chudd, Director of Student Leadership and Activities, 617-521-2421,

Tia Miller, Assistant Director of Student Leadership and Activities, 617-521-2424,

Corey Zohlman, Program Coordinator, Office of Student Leadership and Activities, 617-521-2423,

One of the roles of the Office of Student Leadership and Activities is to support student organizations and organization leaders. If you have any questions or concerns about running your organization, the policies and procedures outlined in this document, or how you can become a stronger leader, contact a member of the staff and we will be happy to work with you.  Each organization has a designated OSLA Consultant (OC) who will work specifically with your organization for more in-depth questions or issues, but ANY member of the staff can be used as a resource.

Student Government Association

Your Student Organization

Organization Benefits and Responsibilities

Student Organizations are those officially recognized by SGA and can therefore request funds from the Student Activities Fee through the Student Finance Board (SFB), reserve rooms through Conferences, have an official Simmons email address, and other benefits.

Recognized Organizations receive the following benefits:

Recognized Organizations are responsible for:

Your Constitution

Your constitution should be seen as a working document to help you run your organization.  Constitutions should include all of the information below, and should be reviewed and updated yearly.  The SGA Judicial cabinet conducts a constitutional review annually for all organizations during the Fall Semester.

Article I. Name of Organization

Article II. Mission Statement

Article III. Membership

Article IV. Executive Board

(Please note that leadership titles do not have to be President, Treasurer, and Secretary.  Titles can be different as long as has similar roles as the positions stated above. )

Article VI. Committees

Article VII. Rules for Order

        Do you need a quorum or majority vote?

Article VIII. Amendments to the Constitution

Article IX: By-laws

Common Duties of the Executive Board

Student organizations elect their own officers according to their constitutions.  These leaders must comply with College policies in order to hold office as these guidelines ensure students maintain good academic standing while holding office.  

Every student organization must have a President, Vice President, Treasurer, and SGA Representative.  The following are the typical responsibilities of those positions, which should be clearly defined in your constitution.


Vice President



SGA Representative


Each organization is requiired to have a faculty or staff advisor who the organization selects and who will serve as a resource, mentor, and guide for student organizations. Once an advisor has been selected, officers should meet with him or her to discuss roles and responsibilities of both the advisor and the officers because the most important aspect of the advisor relationship is mutual agreement about the role he or she will play in the organization.  

Advisors should be included in the following discussions:


Will the advisor attend all organizational meetings?  Will he or she meet with the executive board? the officers separately?  Does the advisor have a vote?  


Should the advisor assist in planning by suggesting programs and events, or provide input only when asked?  Should the advisor be expected to know campus policies and procedures and find resources in event planning?  


Should the advisor be expected to help with programming or when members fail to complete tasks delegated to them?  Should the advisor attend all programs?


Should the advisor help solve problems in the group or mediate personality conflicts? Should advisors point out potential conflicts or let the group learn by waiting for a member to spot trouble?


Should advisors train officers in their roles or give feedback about leadership?  

Administrative Duties:

Should the advisor maintain records for the group?  Is the advisor expected to provide administrative support for the group?  

Recruiting New Members

Actively recruiting members every year means that your student organization will continue for future years.

Why students join organizations

Ways to Recruit New Members

Don’t Just Recruit: Retain

Year at a Glance

We encourage you to think about your organization’s year starting the previous year, in March, when groups hold elections for the following academic year.

March: Elections and Transition

April: Closing out your organization’s year

June-August: Summer

September: Starting the Year

November/December: Evaluation of the Fall and Planning for Spring

Organization Reactivation

All student organizations must complete organization reactivation prior to requesting funds, reserving space through conferences, and being recognized as an official student organization by SGA. This process is done on OrgSync.

Organizational reactivation includes, but is not limited to the following steps:

Organization Transition Overview

Transitioning officers prepares new officers for their position and responsibilities, it will also allow for an opportunity to review all pending projects, explain all policies and procedures, exchange important information and tips about positions, and give outgoing officers a sense of closure.  Be sure to update OSLA and SGA about new officers by updating your official roster on OrgSync.

In order for a successful transition, this discussion should take place early to mid-spring semester in order to establish who is leaving, run elections and to transition the new officers. Transitioning new officers before the end of the year is extremely important to ensure that they have the resources and knowledge to successfully adapt and maintain the position held. The following are some suggestions to help ensure a successful transition.  More information about transitioning your organization can be found online (’

Topics to Discuss

Steps to Transition Officers

Organization Policies


All events where alcohol is served must have prior approval from OSLA and Public Safety.  Events involving alcohol will be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis. Typically, only senior class events and Dix Scholars events are the only events on campus that will be allowed alcohol. 

Bake Sale and Information Table

Bake Sale/OSLA Table

Information Table

Booking the Tables

Calendaring Policy

In an effort to ensure that activities fees are being used fairly and to provide a rich college experience, organizations are encouraged to make sure their events do not conflict with each other. If events do conflict, they must not overlap by more than 2/3rds.  (Exemptions to this rule are “drop-in” events such as tablings or blood drives).

Charity Drives

To host a charity drive on campus (e.g. canned goods, clothing), you must submit an application to the Scott/Ross Center for Community Service on their website at least two weeks before the proposed drive begins.  As part of the application, you will need to explain:

Organizations holding a drive on campus agree that:

Email Communications

All official student organizations have an official Simmons email address. Organizations should refrain from using or forwarding their organization email to external non-Simmons email addresses (e.g., as this is not secure and does not ensure continuous access to your organizations’ email information.

 Each organization is responsible for checking their Simmons email as SGA and OSLA send important information via email.  Starting in 2013, all organizations accounts will be delegated to specific individuals rather than being stand-alone accounts. We have chosen to handle group email accounts in this manner due primarily to security concerns and to bring our process in-line with industry best practices. With a group account that has a single shared password, there is a higher chance of the password being compromised, as the password is usually written down and shared between multiple users. Additionally, if a group account were to be compromised, the password would need to be reset, which requires that everyone who accesses the account be informed of the password change, which could potentially impact access to the account for some people. In addition to increased security for group accounts, there is also the added convenience of only having your own password to remember.

Event Follow-Up Forms

Executive Board Eligibility

Student organizations elect their own officers according to their constitutions.  These leaders must comply with College policies in order to hold office as these guidelines ensure students maintain good academic standing while holding office.  

Hazing Policy

Imposition of, or participation in, any form of initiation or membership requirement that involves hazing is unacceptable conduct. An individual who hazes or participates in an event at which hazing is involved will have their College status reviewed. Massachusetts law makes hazing a very serious criminal offense.

The following are some examples of hazing divided into three categories: subtle, harassment, and violent. It is impossible to list all possible hazing behaviors because many are context-specific. While this is not an all-inclusive list, it provides some common examples of hazing traditions.


Behaviors that emphasize a power imbalance between new members/rookies and other members of the group or team. Termed “subtle hazing” because these types of hazing are often taken-for-granted or accepted as “harmless” or meaningless. Subtle hazing typically involves activities or attitudes that breach reasonable standards of mutual respect and place new members/rookies on the receiving end of ridicule, embarrassment, and/or humiliation tactics. New members/rookies often feel the need to endure subtle hazing to feel like part of the group or team.

Some Examples:


Behaviors that cause emotional anguish or physical discomfort in order to feel like part of the group. Harassment hazing confuses, frustrates, and causes undue stress for new members.

Some Examples:


Behaviors that have the potential to cause physical and/or emotional, or psychological harm.

Some Examples:

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269: Hazing; organizing or participating; hazing     defined

Section 17: Definition; Penalty: Whoever is a principal organizer or participant in the crime of hazing, as defined herein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment.

The term "hazing" as used in this section and in sections eighteen and nineteen, shall mean any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor,      beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section to the contrary, consent shall not be available as a defense to any prosecution under this action.

Section 18: Reporting Hazing Offenses; Penalty for Failure to Report Violation: Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing as defined in section seventeen and is at the scene of such crime shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. Whoever fails to report such crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.

Section 19: Notice to Schools and Colleges; Annual Reports; Adoption of Disciplinary Policy: Each institution of secondary education and each public and private institution of post secondary education shall issue to every student group, student team or student organization which is part of such institution or is recognized by the institution or permitted by the institution to use its name or facilities or is known by the institution to exist as an unaffiliated student group, student team or student organization, a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen; provided, however, that an institution's compliance with this section's requirements that an institution issue copies of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations shall not constitute evidence of the institution's recognition or endorsement of said unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations.

Each such group, team, or organization shall distribute a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to each of its members, plebes, pledges or applicants for membership. It shall be the duty of each such group, team or organization, acting through its designated officer, to deliver annually, to the institution an attested acknowledgment stating that such group, team or organization has received a copy of this section and said sections seventeen and eighteen, that each of its members, plebes, pledges or applicants has received a copy of sections seventeen and eighteen, and that such group, team or organization understands and agrees to comply with the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.

Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post secondary education shall, at least annually, before or at the start of enrollment, deliver to each person who enrolls as a full-time student in such institution a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.

Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post secondary education shall file, at least annually, a report with the regents of higher education and in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education, certifying that such institution has complied with its responsibilities to inform student groups, teams or organizations and to notify each full time student enrolled by it of the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen and also certifying that said institution has adopted a disciplinary policy with regard to the organizers and participants of hazing, and that such policy has been set forth with appropriate emphasis in the student handbook or similar means of communicating the institution's policies to its students. The board of regents and in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education shall promulgate regulations governing the content and frequency of such reports, and shall forthwith report to the attorney general any such institution that fails to make such report.

Judicial Cabinet

The Judicial Cabinet, or “J-Cab”, is the judicial branch of the Student Government Association.  Student organizations might go before the Judicial Cabinet for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to:

Meetings are held as needed with a minimum of two meetings per semester with the dates set by the first month of the semester. Special meetings may be held at the discretion of the Student Affairs Officer to meet the needs of the Student Body and SGA.

J-Cab is chaired by the Student Affairs officer and is comprised of one representative from each of the permanent organizations recognized by the SGA constitution (article v, section ii)

Movie Policy

Student Organizations may not sponsor a public showing of a film or videotape without obtaining the necessary public performance license from a film/video distributor.   Purchased or rented cassettes and discs from retail stores and video clubs do not confer a public performance right.

The Office of Student Leadership and Activities cannot and will not authorize an expense, reimburse personal funds or allow groups to publicize for events that break this or any other law.

Obtain a public performance license by renting a film or tape through a licensed film distributor. Examples of distributors include Films Inc., Swank Motion Pictures, and New Yorker Films.

Since 1976, federal copyright legislation has made it illegal to sponsor a public showing without a performance license. Many sponsors assume this regulation concerns admission fees or “for-profit” showings, but this regulation remains the same regardless of whether the sponsor charges admission to the film. The regulation is concerned with where the film or video is to be shown. U.S. Code clearly states “even performances in semi-public places such as clubs, lodges, factories, summer camps, and schools (including residence halls) are public performances and subject to copyright control.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What defines a public performance?

Title 17, Section 101 of U.S. code states that showing a work publicly means “to perform or display it at a place open to public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a      normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered.”  Showing a movie in a residential living space lobby, lounge or hallway would be considered a public performance and requires a license to be legal.  

How can I show a movie/TV show legally?

Can I show a movie legally in the lounge of my residence hall? Isn’t it part of our home?

A student’s living space is defined as the space behind their locked door and does not include common areas such as a lounge. Organizations may not show movies in their residence hall ounge.

Can I show a movie/TV show if it is for an educational purpose?

To qualify for an educational exemption you must meet all of the following requirements.

How can I advertise my program without breaking copyright laws?

You may advertise your program within your campus community.  Because you are covered by a legal license you can advertise freely the name of the movie, the studio and the stars. Pictures of movie scenes are permitted though any picture used must include the studio copyright (example ©Warner Bros.)

What are the consequences of copyright infringement?

They include job loss, disciplinary actions, $250,000 fine, imprisonment, and an unpleasant conversation with your college dean or president.  Swank Motion Pictures, Inc., (2005) Film & Video Copyright Infringement. from

Off-Campus Trips & Events

All undergraduate student organizations representing Simmons off campus on a trip, conference, competition, etc. must meet with a professional staff member of OSLA to review OSLA expectations and protocol at least 3 weeks prior to the trip. A student trip leader will be determined at that meeting. Failure to attend this meeting will result in the cancellation of the trip.

Offices and Keys

Misuse of or damage to an organization office may result in financial charges against the organization or the organization losing the right to use the space. Organizations are responsible for contacting the Simmons College Call Center (617-521-1000 or to report any problems with the physical office space.

Parking Policy

Organizations who need parking for vendors, performers, or guests must request parking through OSLA. More information coming soon!


  1. Large Orders (5+): 3 weeks in advance
  2. Small Orders (1-4): 1 week in advance
  1. OSLA or the Parking office, at their discretion, may deny a free voucher request and replace this request with discounted vouchers.

Political Speakers

This document details Campaign Finance and Election Law Issues for Universities. It was compiled through the joint efforts of the General Counsel’s Office and the OSLA and must be abided by or else Simmons and its students may endure serious ramifications.

Key Principles

 Political Speakers: Frequently Asked Questions 

Question: May students use funds provided by Simmons to bring a political candidate's staff-member to campus to speak?

Answer:         Yes, but only if the staff-member is paid personally and directly.  A payment to the campaign could be construed as a contribution meant to support the candidate, which is prohibited.  See 26 United States Code §501(c)(3)

Question:  May students groups contribute to a political candidate or party with funds raised on their own? (What if the contribution is made with a Simmons-issued check drawn from the account of the student group?)

Answer:        No. A group that raises and aggregates money for campaign contributions would likely be considered a Political Action Committee and must register as such.  The collective student contribution described above would violate that registration requirement, as well as the requirement that all contributions be attributed to the individual who made them.  See 970 Code of Massachusetts Regulations §1.07. See also Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 55 §10.

Question: May students use money they have raised on their own to contribute to a political party but not a specific candidate?

Answer:         No.  For the same reasons described above.  See 970 Code of Massachusetts Regulations §1.07.

Question: May students request funds from Simmons to cover the cost of attending a political caucus or campaign rally/conference?

Answer:         Yes, but only if the funds are used to pay for legitimate and documented costs of attending the event (i.e. travel, lodging, or food), and the event served an educational purpose (e.g., suggested by a professor as a method of observing the political process).  See 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3).

Question: May political candidates use Simmons facilities for speaking engagements?

Answer:        Yes.  The law allows "ordinary hospitality," meaning the provision of the same refreshments for the candidate and the audience that would be extended to a non-political speaker.  However, the law also requires that "equal access" be granted to other candidates if they request it.  Equal access does not mean access to the same event or platform, or even access at the same time as the initial speaker.  It means a similar opportunity to speak in a similar setting.  See Advisory Opinion, 90-02, Interpretive Bulletin 91-01.

Question: Is it permissible for students to pay an honorarium to a speaker who happens to be running for office but who will not be soliciting donations or  speaking about campaign issues?

Answer:  Yes. There is no violation of campaign finance law if the speaker is a candidate who has not yet been elected.  However, if the speaker is an elected or appointed government official, then care must be taken so that honoraria cannot be construed as a payment to reward or influence an elected or appointed person in connection with an official act.  A government official who holds an elected or appointed position that has the potential to affect the University on a pending matter (such as a government grant, permit or related legislation) should not be paid an honorarium during the time.

Raffles and Drawings


Raffles may be held by recognized student organizations as long as they meet the following guidelines established by the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission (

Massachusetts General Laws CHAPTER 271: Section 7A
Raffles and bazaars; conducted by certain organizations in City of Boston.
Section 7A.  In this section the following words shall have the following meanings:
 “Raffle”, an arrangement for raising money by the sale of tickets, certain among which, as determined by chance after the sale, entitle the holders to prizes.“Bazaar”, a place maintained by the sponsoring organization for disposal by means of chance of one or both of the following types of prizes: (1) merchandise, of any value, (2) cash awards, not to exceed twenty-five dollars each.

If you want to hold a raffle:


Student organizations may also have drawings. A drawing is different that a raffle, in that a “chance” (i.e. an opportunity to win a prize) is received when a purchase is made. For example, if an organization offered a chance to win a gift-card with every purchase of a T-shirt, and the winner of the gift-card was selected from among all T-shirt buyers, it would be considered a drawing. On the other hand, if a chance to win the gift-card was purchased in and of itself, and the winner was selected from among all chance purchasers, it would be considered a raffle. Drawings are a hassle-free alternative to raffles, and a great way to raise funds.

Revenue Producing Projects

All activities involving the collection of money by student groups are defined as revenue-producing projects such as the selling of printed materials, student-produced goods, student provided services, the selling of tickets and/or charging admission to public activities or events, the soliciting of voluntary contributions, and the selling of other goods and services.

SGA Senator Attendance and Duties

The following information is taken from the SGA constitution.

Section III.     Duties of SGA Senators include to:

1. Sign and adhere to the written pledge at the beginning of each academic semester (see appendix)

2.  Solicit student opinions on Senate issues from members of their respective organizations

3.  Attend all meetings of their respective organizations as required by their constitution

4.  Serve as the liaison between the student organization and/or constituency and the Senate

5.  Keep written records of significant Senate activities to report to respective organizations

6.  Disperse SGA meeting minutes to their organization at their regular organizational meetings

7. Within the first two meetings of the academic year, the Senate will elect a Senate President. The Vice President will host this election

Section V.    Attendance

1.  All Senators are required to attend all meetings of the Student Senate

2.  Any organization that is absent for more than three meetings during the semester, without the express approval of the SGA President will be reviewed by Judicial Cabinet. A warning will be issued after the second absence.

3. A late arrival or an early departure will counted as half of an unexcused absence, without the express approval of the SGA President

4. Attendance is treated cumulatively for the entire semester, for every Student Organization’s Senator and Judicial Cabinet Representative

 Section VI.    Powers of the Senate

1. The Senate will approve the distribution of all funds originating from the Student Activities fee, as recommended by the Student Finance Officer and the Student Finance Board

2. The Senate may, if it is found that an existing organization does not continue to fulfill its purpose as stated in its request for recognition, place that organization under review by Judicial Cabinet

3. The Senate may pass, with a majority, legislation on matters regarding student organizations

4. The Senate may pass, with a majority, resolutions regarding any all-college or undergraduate office or service

5. The Senate will also serve as a forum regarding any all-college or undergraduate policy changes to administration


Use of Facilities and Services

Any recognized student organization that wants to hold a meeting or event must reserve function space through Conferences according to the following guidelines:

Planning an Event

Steps to Plan an Event (Propose, Plan, Publicize, Perform, Perfect)

Step 1: PROPOSE an idea. Decide what type of event you’d like to have:

Step 2: PLAN your event. Arrange all of the logistics.  

Step 3: PUBLICIZE your event. Make sure you have attendees!

STEP 4: PERFORM: Have the event

STEP 5: PERFECT: Assess, evaluate, and plan for next time

Tips for Successful Events

Securing a Space for Your Event

For more information, see:

Booking a Space

Work with the Conferences and Special Events Office to reserve space on campus keeping in mind that planning in advance allows your organization to reserve the space you need, especially popular rooms such as the Linda K. Paresky Conference Center (LKP), Alumnae Hall, and Kotzen Room.  

  1. Submit your space request the following ways:
  1. Online:
  2. Email:
  3. Call: (617) 521-2158
  4. Come by: MCB*E200
  1. After working through the details, Conferences & Special Events will send you an email confirming a tentative hold on your requested space. This reservation is pending and requires approval from your organization’s OSLA Consultant.
  2. The Simmons representative will reply to both you and Conferences & Special Events either approving or denying your event.
  3. If approved:
  1. And no setup is needed, the event is marked confirmed.
  2. And setup is needed, you will need to fill out the online setup request form whihc is automatically sent to Conferences. Read below for instructions and the link to the Event Setup Form.
  1. If denied:
  1. Representative will provide reason for denial in email.
  2. Conferences will automatically cancel reservation in R25.
  3. Student will need to follow up with the representative to resolve any issues.
  4. Once resolved, the event request will need to be resubmitted.

Spaces NOT booked by Conferences

Room Setup

If you need a particular furniture setup in you event space, please fill out the online Event Setup Form; this must be completed 5 business days before your event.

Requests for media (microphones, projection, etc.) must be made through Technology (x2222); requests for catering (linens, food, drinks, silverware, etc.) must be made through Catering (x2904).

Additional Notes

Technology and Media at Your Events

Work with Technology to book media equipment including wired and/or wireless microphones, support for powerpoint presentations, and more for your events. For certain events such as concerts and performers, you may need to arrange for outside event support, which may incur additional costs.  

Media in Alumnae Hall and Quadside

Media resources in Alumnae Hall and Quadside are under the purview of OSLA.  Trainings for this equipment will occur at set times during each semester, which a representative from your organization should attend if you anticipate using this media.  If no one is available, you can also hire an OSLA Event Assistant to work this media at your event.

Providing Food At Your Event

Catering Policy

It is expected student organizations will use Aramark Dining Services when providing food service for catered events at Simmons College. This is for the safety of those consuming food at events as well as a contractual obligation between Simmons and Aramark. Aramark is committed to working with you to make your event a success.

We recognize that it is useful to provide student organizations with some flexibility for special events or to keep your costs low. Any arrangements for food service under $200 at the College is permissible as long as they are items that do not require excessive food handling or are temperature sensitive.  All student organizations wishing to use external food under $200 must adhere to the following guidelines:

How to order food from Aramark

Cultural Catering Exemption Application Process

Some organizations are pre-approved to use external vendors once a year for cultural events. Pre-approved organizations must follow the process outlined below.

Pre-Approved organizations are:

Other organizations may apply to the Office of Student Leadership and Activities once a year provided that the use of the external vendor serves a cultural/educational purpose. (for example, pairing external cultural catering with watching a movie from that same culture). The organization making the request must complete and review the following information when applying for an exemption to be granted.

External Vendor Process

Pre-approved organizations or organizations whose petitions have been approved must follow the process outlined below. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the event and/or catering order.

  1. Inform the Office of Student Leadership and Activities at least 4 weeks in advance that there will be food at the event but that you’re looking to use an external caterer.
  2. The outside catering venue and order must be reviewed and approved by OSLA.  
  3. All permits, licenses and equipment necessary to operate the food service must be provided, including:
  1. Liability insurance for the service of food with Simmons College as one of the named insured.
  2. The organization making the request must provide a copy of a contract to OSLA and must be signed by the Dean for Student Life.  
  1. Once OSLA and the Dean for Student Life has reviewed the contract has approved it, inform Conferences when completing the setup paperwork as additional cleanup by UNNICO may be required since Aramark will not be cleaning up after the event.

Programming in Bartol

Organizations can work with the Bartol manager to plan events such as specializing the menu, tabling, or large-scale events like Winter Wonderland.  

Bartol BBQs

Organizations can work with the Bartol manager to host a BBQ in lieu of the typical Bartol meal.

Hiring Public Safety for an Event

The Simmons College Department of Public Safety assists organizations with safety and security arrangements. Student organizations hosting an event that requires a public safety detail will have to attend a meeting with a representative of OSLA and Public Safety at least 3 weeks prior to the event.

Events that may require public safety include:

Hiring Public Safety

Using Simmons Facilities

The Simmons College Call Center coordinates with the Facilities department and UNICCO. Organizations can contact the Call Center to place a work order to request that they move large or heavy pieces of equipment for student organizations events (e.g. have the popcorn machine moved).  

Scheduling the President or Provost

The President’s and Provot’s schedule is set a year in advance, so if your organization wishes her to be in attendances at your event, please plan in advance.  OSLA and the Dean for Student Life’s office work together to request her presence at organizations’ major, traditional events.  For other events, work with the Director of OSLA to request her attendance, but be aware that this is not guaranteed.

Once you know she will be attending your event, please fill out the Presidents Briefing Form, which will tell her information she needs to know and her responsibilities at the event 14 business days before event.  This form can be found on OSLA’s OrgSync Site.

Hiring Entertainers or Speakers

Do research when choosing entertainers and speakers for events. During this process, you may wish to consult with OSLA for recommendations.  

Here are some guidelines for discussing events with prospective entertainers:


Contracts must be turned in according to the following schedule in order to ensure sufficient time for the contracts to be reviewed by all parties (College Counsel, Dean’s Office, OSLA). Failure to follow these contract guidelines will result in cancellation of the event. If you are having trouble getting a contract from a vendor, let OSLA know ASAP so that we can work with you and the vendor.

When is a contract required?

Anytime you are paying someone to provide a service, including, but not limited to:

Important Notes:

Payment Terms

Additional Paperwork

If this is an artist or group who has not been paid by Simmons before, they need to submit the following forms either directly or by fax to Purchasing, being sure to tell OSLA when the paperwork has been submitted.

Party and Special Event Policy


Co-sponsorship is strongly encouraged and may be implemented by:

Organization Resources

Resource Room

The Office of Student Leadership and Activities has a large inventory of items used from past programs. This is a great way to maintain sustainable programming, save money and store resources. The items are available by signing them out. The closet has anything you can think of for your program. Inventory can be found here. Please visit the Office of Student Leadership and Activities (W-002) to sign out any of these items.

Resource Room Directory


Student Organizations are welcome to borrow the Karaoke Machine for their events. The office has 50+ different music cd's to choose from and are always adding to the collection.

Organizations are responsible for reserving these items in advance, and making any arrangements to have the items moved to and from the event location.


Student Organizations are welcome to borrow the Popcorn Machine for their events. Popcorn kits can be purchased through the office using your budget. Popcorn kits come in pack at the cost of $1.00. One kit makes enough for 15 people.

Organizations are responsible for reserving these items in advance, and making any arrangements to have the items moved to and from the event location.


Easels are available to be signed out from the office. Each organization can come to the office and sign out both poster board and easels. Signage Policies Include:

Poster Machine

Want to make your poster stand out by making it 500% times larger? Bring a black and white poster with limited graphics on it and it can be blown up at no charge to create a banner sized poster.

Banner Paper

OSLA has large banner paper and paints if you wish to make a handmade banner.

OSLA Resource Space

Located in MCB W-002, the Office of Student Leadership and Activities has a back office with 2 computers, table workspace and many other resources for your organization to meet and use during the hours of 9am to 6pm.


General Advertising Tips

Important Notes

Flyers and Posters: Posting Policies


Easels & large posters

Create a larger poster using the OSLA poster machine or poster-making supplies, check-out an OSLA easel, and advertise your event on a poster in the MCB and/or Fens Lobby. It is best to do this approximately one week prior to an event for a final advertising push.

Please note the posting signage policy:

Sidewalk chalk Policy

All groups or students who wish to use sidewalk chalk to advertise or decorate for any purpose must adhere to the following guidelines:

Visix Digital Signage

The Digital Signage posts advertisements on the LCD screens in various locations around campus. To submit a message:

Napkin Inserts (Table Tents)

Stand-alone table tents are not permitted on Simmons dining tables.  However, organizations can work with Aramark to advertise using the napkin holder displays in Bartol, the Fens, and Common grounds.

Create a insert using the dimensions 4.5” High by 6.5” Wide

Colleges of the Fenway

Additional Ideas for Advertising

Additional Resources

Offices to Know