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Room Reservation and Use Policy

The Events Management office is here to assist you with reserving space and planning an event at Swarthmore College.  The purpose of the venue use policy is to: Establish guidelines for reserving facilities at Swarthmore College, including priority, scheduling procedures, approval process, support service coordination, and associated fees, when, if and as applicable; Ensure that the primary purpose of utilizing facilities at Swarthmore College is to fulfill the mission of the College, principally academic classes, educational and department-sponsored events, and student activities; Ensure that reservations are consistently applied with the rules and regulations of the College, and all relevant local, state, and federal laws are strictly followed. This use policy applies to all College facilities, grounds and playing fields as applicable. External organizations interested in hosting events on campus should visit the Rental Opportunities for Events and Summer Programs.

The following College policies and procedures impact events on campus. Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the below information as you plan your event.

Alcohol at Events on Campus | Canceling or Changing a Reservation | Catering, Food, and Beverage | Classes and Exams | College Calendar | Film/Movie Permits | Green Events | Minors | Parking | PetsPhotography/Videography | Political Activities and Campaigns on CampusPosting Flyers / Advertising on Campus | Priority Scheduling | Room/Venue Reservations | Room/Venue-specific Policies | Set-Up | Smoke-Free Campus | Swat Central Approvers

Alcohol at Events on Campus

Swarthmore College is committed to supporting the health, welfare, and safety of all our faculty, staff, and students, and to providing a safe and healthy environment for all members of our community. All persons while in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are subject to the Pennsylvania Liquor and Penal Code. In all campus and Inn events, the alcohol must be used in accordance with the College’s Policy. 

Faculty and Staff

Alcohol may only be served at your event upon agreeing to comply with the laws and rules outlined below.  The event organizer (on-site contact) must submit the Alcohol Registration and Agreement Form for Faculty and Staff  to the Events Management office. This policy and form apply to all events organized by faculty or staff that occur on campus.  If you have a recurring event such as a monthly gathering, you may fill out one form per semester for these events.  Requests must be submitted at least one week prior to event date.  


An alcohol permit is required for any event in a campus social space with alcohol present with more than ten students in attendance (more details can be found in the student handbook. There are several specific regulations that are required when hosting a campus social event with alcohol that are confirmed and accepted by completing this alcohol permit request

Purchasing Alcohol for a Campus Event

Alcohol must be purchased in accordance with all Pennsylvania State laws.

  • The event host must obtain and deliver the alcohol to the respective location on the event date. 

  • The College cannot bear any responsibility for any damage or loss to the alcohol shipment or storage prior/post to the event.

  • It is illegal for drivers under 21 years of age to transport alcohol. Out-of-state purchases of alcohol intended for consumption at an on-campus event are prohibited.

  • Alcohol and other delivered items must be removed immediately after the event. 

  • At no time shall alcohol be sold in any form during your event. 

Serving Alcohol at a Campus Event

Alcohol must be served in accordance with all Pennsylvania State laws.

  • The sale and service of alcoholic beverages at Swarthmore College is subject to compliance with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.  
  • It is against the law to charge admission to an event at which alcohol is being served (or to sell alcoholic beverages) without a liquor license. The College does not have a liquor license.
  • If you are serving alcohol at your event, food/snacks and non-alcoholic beverages should be available.
  • No more than two types of hard alcohol may be provided and must be provided in single-shot drinks only. Shots or multiple-shot beverages are prohibited.
  • All guests are required to be able to provide a valid ID showing an age over 21 to be served.  No one under the age of 21 should be served alcohol. 
  • Faculty and Staff are required to hire or assign a RAMP certified bartender(s) for gatherings serving alcohol when serving students, parents or outside guests are invited.  
    • A minimum of 1 bartender per 75 guests or less is required for gatherings where wine or beer is served.  
    • A minimum of 1 bartender per 50 guests or less is required for gatherings where liquor is served.  
    • Bartenders must be RAMP or TIPS certified.

      • External bartenders should provide liquor liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage of at least $1,000,000 to the event host.

        • When a bartender without a liquor license is selected, the host should provide liquor liability coverage. Employees may request a Certificate of Insurance (COI) from the office of finance and administration.

      • Faculty and staff with RAMP certification.

        • Faculty and staff will need to register with the College that they are a trained bartender and show proof of certification at least one week prior to the event date for which they will be proving services.

        • Swarthmore College faculty and staff who are RAMP or TIPS certified will be covered under the College's insurance; no liquor liability coverage is needed.

    • In the limited circumstances detailed below, those planning certain gatherings with alcohol will be exempt from hiring or assigning a bartender.  When alcohol is served, it is important to provide snacks.  To be thoughtful, please remember that not all guests drink alcoholic beverages, therefore non-alcoholic beverages should be provided at all events where alcohol is also being served.  All hosts will still be required to complete the Alcohol Registration and Agreement Form and must receive approval from Events Management prior to the event date. All state laws and College policies must be followed.

      • Ceremonial Events: Hosts may be permitted to provide one portion per person of alcohol for ceremonial purposes (i.e., such as a champagne toast or the conclusion of a senior thesis, where a senior may be invited to celebrate.

      • Department/Center-only gatherings of faculty and staff: In department or center-only gatherings with 40 people or fewer, hosts may be permitted to provide one alcoholic drink per person per hour, if the function does not exceed two hours.  Faculty or staff from other departments, students, parents or outside guests may not attend such gatherings.

  • Alcoholic beverages are only allowed in the specific reserved and registered location.  

  • Alcohol may not be consumed in restrooms or parking lots and may only be served and consumed during hours listed in the room reservation

  • When a College event is held at a personal residence, the host is personally liable for liquor liability.  

For more information visit:

Canceling or Changing a Confirmed Reservation   

The College Energy Management (HVAC) system runs based on start and end time of space reservations made in Swat Central .  Please support the College's sustainability efforts by canceling or changing your event reservation if you decide not to use the space. Forward your location confirmation to with the words "cancel" or "change" a along with additional details as applicable.

Catering, Food, and Beverage

If you have hired a caterer to serve food and beverages at your event, please contact Events Management at least one week prior to event date to review needs pertaining to catering access, setup and clean up. For information on College Catering, please visit the Swarthmore College Catering web page to learn more about menus, pricing, and policies related to campus catering. 

Food Service Equipment and Waste Disposal

As part of campus-wide sustainability efforts, the College is committed to reducing its overall waste streams by increasing its capability for composting.  Organizers are highly encouraged to discuss compost options with their caterer and with the Events Management office to make appropriate arrangements. To learn more about sustainability at Swarthmore, visit or review the Green Events Guide .

Propane stoves and/or open flames—including candles and stovetop cooking flames—are not allowed in any college building. The use of candles must be completely enclosed in holders and approved by Events Management in advance. Sternos are permitted. Any cooking equipment that might cause smoke will not be permitted.  All outside caterers that plan to warm food must provide a fire extinguisher, at their expense, that is easily accessible during their event.

Any additional electrical equipment requirements (such as for electric stoves and warmers) must be pre-arranged with Events Management.

The caterer must bring in all equipment and supplies the day of the event and they must be removed at the conclusion of the event. Caterers are expected to clean all spills made by their staff or equipment.
Caterers must clear all tables and bag all trash after the event.  Trash cannot be placed in facility trash cans for removal by EVS. Caterers are expected to either remove the trash from the campus in their vehicle or place trash in the designated outdoor trash dumpster.  

Swarthmore College will not be responsible for any equipment lost or stolen. It is the responsibility of the host to ensure that all food and beverage waste trash is properly disposed of after the event.  


Class Assignments and Exams

Classes and exams take priority in classroom and lecture hall spaces. If a class or exam removes a location from your reservation, Events Management will help you relocate your event.  Please note, there is a higher probability that an event will get rescheduled during the Drop/Add Period.  For specific drop/add period dates, visit the Academic Calendar.

College Calendar Posting/Advertisement 

If you selected “Publish this event to the College Calendar” in Swat Central, your event information has been sent to the Communications Office. Once your space request is approver and the Communications office confirms your event, it will be posted on the Campus Calendar. For more information, contact  

Film/Movie Permits

Copyright compliance may require getting public performance rights (PPR) before showing your film. It is your responsibility to find out and if they are needed and to obtain them if necessary.  For more information on PPRs, visit the Swarthmore Libraries website.

Green Events

Events Management and the Green Advisors have developed a Green Events Guide to assist with hosting a “green” event.  Events Management supports and encourages sustainable events and programs on campus with the assistance of our partners in the Office of Sustainability Office and Environmental Services (EVS).  The College’s Climate Action Plan ​sets ambitious but actionable goals, including carbon neutrality by 2035. Our Zero Waste plan commits us to diverting 80 percent of our waste from trash to recycling and compost by 2022.   


Non-Swarthmore College minors participate in College-sponsored programs, activities and services and are present on campus for a variety of acceptable reasons, but their presence and participation at campus events must be authorized and monitored closely in accordance with the guidelines provided by the College’s Office of General Counsel.

Parking for Public Events

For public events where outside guests will be coming to campus, please forward your confirmation to Public Safety at, with the expected number of vehicles to arrive for your event(s).  For more information about parking, visit Public Safety’s website. 

Pet Policy

As a general policy, the College does not permit pets to be in the public areas of College buildings (research and service animals excepted). Please see Chapter 15 of the Employee Handbook on the Human Resources for the complete pet policy.

Photography and Videography/Filming on Campus

Photography and videography may not interfere with the educational or administrative functions of the College.  While on campus, vehicles may not block Clothier Circle or Rose Garden Circle, fire lanes or entrances. Large party busses, trolleys or limousines are not permitted on campus and must park in the West Field House Lane Parking.  Groups must be mindful of the plantings on campus, do not step in flower beds, and leave the area in the same condition it was when you arrived. 

Commercial and Media

Permission from the Communications Office is required for all photo, film, and/or video shooting or live streaming on the Swarthmore campus by external vendors or members of the media. The Communications Office may consider granting approval to those who wish to film or photograph on the campus, provided such photography does not interfere with the educational or administrative functions of the institution. For more detailed information photographing, filming, or live-streaming an event at the College, please visit the Filming & Media Policies section of the Communications Office’s website.


Permission from Events Management is required for all photography/filming on the Swarthmore campus by private individuals/groups for personal use. Interested parties must complete the Photography Permit request form.  External groups will be required to pay a fee in addition to completing the permit request. If the application is approved and any applicable payment is received, we will send the official permit.

Political Activities and Campaigns on Campus

Guidelines are provided by the College's Office of General Counsel.

Posting Flyers / Advertising on Campus

Swarthmore College faculty, staff and students may advertise events, services or products on campus only if it is associated directly with Swarthmore College. Faculty, staff, and students may not advertise on behalf of external organizations.  Authorized posters and flyers may be posted on public bulletin boards with push pins or whiteboards with magnets.  Paper advertisements should not be taped on doors, walls, windows, or pillars. Groups should remove their posting after the event date. 
Unauthorized advertisements will be removed.

Priority Scheduling

The primary purpose of the facilities at Swarthmore College is to support and accommodate the mission of the College. Priority scheduling is given to academic classes (scheduled by the Registrar) including midterms and finals, educational and department-sponsored events, activities sponsored for the Swarthmore student body, and traditional College events such as New Student Orientation, Community Gathering, Cooper Series events, Garnet and Family Weekend, Alumni Weekend, and Commencement exercises.

For Swarthmore organizations hosting events, it is recommended that you check the calendar on Swat Central and contact Events Management at or 610-328-8355 to discuss potential dates for your event, in order to avoid competing with another campus-wide event.

External groups may reserve space on campus when the College is open and only during academic break periods.  All reservations must be coordinated through the Events Management office. Dates vary year to year, and the College may change and/or add to these periods at any time. Official break periods for the year can be found on the Academic Calendar as well as the Holiday Schedule.

Room/Venue Reservations

Submitting a room/venue request does not guarantee that your reservation will be confirmed. Once your reservation request is approved by the appropriate scheduling authority, you will receive a confirmation notice. Please do not advertise your event until you have received a final booking confirmation. Room requests may be placed through Swat Central no less than two business days prior to the event date and 180 days in advance.  If you need to reserve a location in less than two business days or beyond 180 days, please contact Events Management at or 610-328-8355. 

Most room/venue requests are confirmed within two business days (excluding Weekends and Holidays) for events within the current semester.  Please note that there are periods in the year when there may be a high volume of requests and processing may be delayed. If you entered a request and have not received a response within a week, please contact Events Management at or 610-328-8355 to ensure that your request went through properly. 

For academic seminar rooms not in Swat Central, please contact the administrative assistant for the department: 

Room/Venue Set-up Requirements

Set-up requirements are due 2 business days prior to your scheduled event. Events without detailed setup instructions two business days prior to the event will be assigned a setup by Events Management office.  

If you have setup needs, please include the details when you are completing your reservation request through Swat Central.  Specify pre and post event times along with your event time in the “Date and Time” section and make furniture requests in the “Resources” section with the “Setup Crew: See Notes” resource. Please note, there are locations such as classrooms where furniture can not be removed or rearranges.  For locations marked “AS-IS” in Swat Central, please contact us at for more information.

In general, classroom furniture is set as-is and will not be rearranged. If you move furniture, it is your responsibility to return the room as you found it. If you have questions about locations marked “AS-IS,” please contact

Room /Venue-Specific Policies and Information

Certain locations on campus have specific policies or guidelines pertaining to their specific use. The Events Management team does not manage these spaces. Questions should be directed to the relevant department or office. Please refer to the linked list below for more information. 

The Dining and Community Commons (DCC) also has specific use policies and is managed collaboratively between Events Management, the Office of Student Engagement, and Swarthmore Dining. The DCC Room Usage Policy, which includes policies for spaces within the Dining Center and Sharples Commons, can be found here.

Venues with Specific Policies

Athletic Spaces

Intercultural Center

Lang Concert Hall


  • Contact the Events Office for tables and chairs setups in the Cinema or lobby 
  • Contact LPAC for linens for panel tables.
    • Note:  Linens for food and beverage should be provided by the host or caterer.

Upper Tarble, Clothier Hall

Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall

Smoke-Free Campus Policy

The Smoking Policy prohibits smoking in all indoor public spaces throughout the campus,including classrooms, laboratories, libraries, lounges, hallways, and stairwells. There can be no smoking in any areas of Parrish Hall and in all areas of buildings in which circulated air is used for heating and cooling. For the College’s complete smoking policy, please see Chapter 15 of the Employee Handbook, on the Human Resources website

Swat Central Approver Requirements

The Registrar and Events Management have the overall responsibility for the assignment of space on campus.  In addition, departments that manage specialized spaces are delegated the authority to approve space use requests. Such facilities include: athletic, performance, libraries, labs and studio spaces.  The Registrar and Events Management will maintain priority scheduling of all spaces on campus, with priority given to classes, study spaces and other reservations that support the College's academic mission.

Given the importance of the management of space on the campus, most spaces will be managed by Events Management. Any assigned approver's space is still under the purview of Events management on behalf of the College.  To become an assigned approver for a room or space you will need to justify the need to manage the reservations of a room or space.  Your explanation will be reviewed for approval or denial by Events Management and your Vice President.  Once approved, you must complete Swat Central Approver training before your status is updated in in the Swat Central system from “Staff” to “Approver.”  To arrange a date for training, contact Events Management at

Expectations for Approvers

  • All gatherings are entered into Swat Central
    • Gatherings should be entered as accurately and consistently as possible.  Scheduling large blocks of time to monopolize a space is not permissible, e.g. Monday-Friday 9-5 p.m. for general office use.
  • Check Swat Central task list daily for updates to requests
  • Respond to requests within two business days
  • Send reservation confirmations and include relevant space usage policy information in those emails
    • Events Management can assist with creating a template for your confirmations
  • Notify relevant campus partners when approving a last-minute request such as Facilities for heating or air conditioning, OneCard, Public Safety, etc.

For departments and centers unable to manage room approver tasks, Events management will assume responsibility for that location.