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Dining and Community Commons Room Usage Policy

General Dining and Community Commons Use PoliciesDining Center Event LocationsSharples Commons Event Locations

General Dining and Community Commons Use Policies

Space Reservations in Swat Central

Requests for space in the Dining and Community Common (DCC) must be submitted via Swat Central. Reservations are not officially confirmed until the requester has received a confirmation.  

Event Set-up

Most spaces in the DCC must keep their setups as-is. Set-up requests must be received no later than two weeks before the scheduled event date. All set-ups must observe fire code and ADA accessibility and will require approval from the Office of Student Engagement ( and/or Events Management ( If approved, set-up requests may incur a fee (of approximately $1,000) due to the labor required to move lounge furniture.


This is not an Alcohol Registered Event (A.R.E) reservable space for students, student events, or student organizations. Only faculty and staff members may request to serve alcohol in any space within the Dining and Community Commons. Requests to serve alcohol will be considered case-by-case and must be approved by Events Management ( Faculty and staff members must follow the policies and procedures for serving alcohol.


Balloons, glitter, and confetti are prohibited. You must contact the Office of Student Engagement ( and/or Events Management ( for approval of any materials to be used for decoration. Painters' tape is the only permissible adhesive to hang decorations. Any other tape, tacks, nails, glue, Command Strips, or other sticky and pull tabs are prohibited.  

Open Flames

For your safety and the safety of your guests, open flames are not permitted anywhere in the Dining and Community Commons building.


All groups using the facility are responsible for the proper use of their reserved space, including any furnishings and equipment. All groups are required to return the space to its original condition before departing their reserved room. The space should be free of all trash and event materials.

Dances and Parties

All students and student organizations must receive approval from the Office of Student Engagement  ( to sponsor or cosponsor a “dance, party, event.”

Events Using Amplified Sound 

Activities with amplified sound must be approved by the Office of Student Engagement ( and Events Management (, and may only take place in select spaces within the facility.  Amplified sound includes the use of microphones, additional speakers, and/or other sound-increasing equipment needed for an event or activity. Examples of events using amplified sound include but are not limited to bands, concerts, DJs, speaking events, spoken word, etc. The use of bullhorns is not permitted.  

Organizers must agree to the following:

  • Understand that events with amplifying sound may only be scheduled in the Dining Center main room, on first floor tables (tabling), and in the Sharples Commons East Lounge.
  • The sound level during gatherings must not disrupt other gatherings or exceed comfortable levels as decided by the Office of Student Engagement and Events Management.  Hosts and participants may be asked to lower the volume or stop activities deemed as disruptive. 
  • Events with a full band performing may require a sound technician and/or electrician and/or renting of outside sound equipment and may incur additional fees. Groups must make arrangements at least three weeks in advance:

Catering/Food and Beverage

Please see the Swarthmore Catering Policy for information about serving food and beverages at campus events.

Dining Center Event Locations

Please note: If you would like to use a Dining Center space during meal hours, you and your guests will be required to swipe/pay or use a department charge for a meal upon entry.

Swarthmore Dining Teaching Kitchen (Dining Center 201) 

Part of the College’s Dining Center, the teaching kitchen is a demonstration space designed for our community members to engage in the many aspects of food and wellness by developing cooking skills and exploring nutrition. The Teaching Kitchen is an ideal space to host:

  • Registered student organization with a mission of nutrition and food safety,
  • Student cooking demonstration (in coordination with a staff or faculty advisor) 
  • Faculty and staff cooking demonstrations,
  • Swarthmore Dining, catering, or related vendor cooking demonstrations to help introduce and expand the College’s dining program offerings
  • Critical skill-building and food-safety classes, including knife-safety 

As a demonstration space, the Teaching Kitchen is not a full kitchen facility, and equipment may not be used to prepare or cook food for gatherings. To request an alternative space to prepare food, visit Swat Central.   

Reserving the Teaching Kitchen

The Teaching Kitchen is available for reservation at the following times during the academic year:

  • Monday–Friday, 4–7 p.m., including setup and cleanup, during the academic semester only. The schedule for each reservation will be as follows: 
    • 4 p.m., setup
    • 5 p.m., demo 
    • 6 p.m., clean-up 

Once you have completed the prerequisite steps, below, reservation requests should be made using the Request for Use of Swarthmore Dining Teaching Kitchen form. The Teaching Kitchen will be available as a meeting space when it is not being held for demonstrations.  Reservations for meetings can be requested through Swat Central.

Prerequisites for Using the Teaching Kitchen

In order to reserve the Teaching Kitchen, you must first take the following steps prior to your event:

  1. Complete the request form.
  2. Complete the Teaching Kitchen training, offered by Swarthmore Dining, which includes guidelines on:
    • How to use the equipment in the Teaching Kitchen
    • Knife Safety
    • Food Safety
    • Proper Cleaning chemicals and procedures
  3. Indicate that you agree and acknowledge the Teaching Kitchen policies and procedures on the request form.  

Teaching Kitchen Policies and Procedures

These guidelines must be followed when using the Teaching Kitchen as a kitchen facility:

  • Room Setup
    • The teaching kitchen furniture is set as-is.  Furniture may not be added or removed.
    • Seating is available for 30 people maximum plus instructor.
  • Acquiring food and beverages for demonstration
    • The Teaching Kitchen is stocked with kitchen staples [doc]. Groups are responsible for purchasing their own ingredients and ensuring items are stored properly and maintain proper food-safe temperatures.
    • Groups are also responsible for coordinating when items will arrive and any storage needs with Swarthmore Dining.
    • Please be aware that Swarthmore Dining does NOT have ingredients available for purchase.
  • Additional Equipment
    • The Teaching Kitchen is equipped with the following cooking equipment [doc] and kitchen staples [doc]. Items will be locked and can not be accessed without making arrangements.
    • Any other cooking and serving equipment not already available in the kitchen must be requested from Swarthmore Dining with advanced notice. Personal equipment and utensils may not be used.
  • Post-event clean-up
    • Swarthmore Dining will create a clean-up checklist specific to your event.
    • Specifics on proper space clean-up will be covered in the required Teaching Kitchen training. 
    • Swarthmore Dining will make available a cart that can be rolled into the elevator and into the pot cleaning area to remove any items that are not part of the Teaching Kitchen.

Dining Center Meeting Rooms 206, 207, 208 & 209

DCC 206, 207, 208 & 209 are highly desirable spaces to reserve in the Dining Center. For this reason, we set parameters for reserving so space can be used by students, staff and faculty:

  • Requests for meeting space may be submitted via Swat Central and will only be available during the Dining Center hours of operation.
  • One meeting room maximum can only be reserved by a department (this includes classes within an academic department) team or student or staff group for two meal periods in any one week.
  • DCC meeting rooms can be reserved for only one semester at a time.  Year-long requests will not be accepted.
    • Fall Semester Request can be submitted on or after August 15, and Spring Semester on or after January 1 
  • Private Dining/Meetings Room use during breakfast service.
    • The rooms will remain locked between 7 - 10 a.m.
    • Organizers with a room confirmation should contact the front checker station for access.
  • It is your responsibility to return the room in the order in which you found it. This includes chairs, tables, and the removal of trash and service ware.  Failure to do so may result in your group being unable to reserve these locations in the future.
  • Swarthmore Dining reserves the right to use any location in the Dining Center when necessary.  We will give as much advance notice as possible if your event needs to be moved.

Dining Center 150 (South Dining Room)

  • An estimated minimum of 50 guests are required to reserve this space.
  • Priority will be given to centers, departments, and registered student organizations.
  • Reservations during meal periods will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Reservation requests must be sent 14 days in advance.
  • Reservations for this space require food/catering requests provided by Swarthmore Dining or College Catering and must be arranged 14 days prior to the event date.  
  • Gatherings without food will not be approved for this space. 

Sharples Commons Event Locations

First Floor Tabling 

  • Two tables are available to faculty, staff, and students for use on a daily basis. 
  • Tabling reservations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis in Swat Central.
  • An organization may only reserve one table at a time for no longer than one (1) meal period during any given day.
  • Groups without a confirmed reservation may be asked to leave. 
  • Priority will be given to registered student organizations interested in information distribution.
  • A student, staff,or faculty representative must be present at the table during the tabling reservation time.
  • Tables may not be reserved by external groups, on behalf of external groups/vendors, or to conduct non-College business as stated by the Colleges no solicitation policy and the Student Code of Conduct.  
  • All items must fit on top of or under the table. The distribution of materials is only permitted from behind the table. Individuals may not stand in doorways or hallways to distribute flyers, brochures, or other items.
  • Music is permitted but must be kept at a minimum level so as not to interfere with other activities. 

Sharples Commons 167 Huddle Room and Conference Room 168

  • These conference rooms are limited to student use only. Reservations are required.
  • Locations are set up as-is.

Sharples Commons Work Area 165 and Game Alcove 259

  • These locations are open to all students. Reservations are not required.
  • Students may contact the Commons desk attendant for access to supplies.

Sharples Commons East Lounge 173S
Reservations will be available starting May 31, 2024

  • This lounge is semi-private and available for community-wide enjoyment and leisure.
  • Private events may occur between Thursday evening - Saturday evening with approval by Events Management ( and the Office of Student Engagement (
  • Public events may occur from Monday through Thursday, with approval by Events Management ( and the Office of Student Engagement ( Requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Public events are considered:
    • Open activities that can coexist with general activities in the lounge.
    • A campus-wide initiative that is open to all campus community members.
  • Requests must be sent at least 14 days in advance.
  • A minimum of 80 guests are required to reserve this space.
  • This space is intended to be used as is. Any large-scale requests to rearrange or remove furniture will result in the need for additional levels of approval and associated charges of approximately $1000.00 to hire movers.
  • The lounge may not be reserved during new student orientation, senior week, Commencement celebrations, reading days, or finals.

Sharples Commons 163, 164, Piano Lounge 250S, 250, 254 Huddle Room, and 255 Screening Room

  • These locations are available to faculty, staff, and students. Reservations are required.
  • Locations are set up as-is.

Last updated on Jan. 19, 2024.  The Office of Student Engagement and/or Events Management reserve the right to change the policy at any time, with or without notice.