NIU Events & Conference Services Policy


Northern Illinois University reserves the right to deny reservations for events that are not considered appropriately aligned with the university’s mission and policies.

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  • External Groups: Events & Conference Services must receive written notice of cancellations within five (5) business days for meeting room reservations and thirty (30) calendar days for ballrooms and auditoriums. Sponsoring organizations are responsible for payment. Meeting rooms cancelled fewer than five (5) business days before the event will be charged 50% of the room rental fee while reservations cancelled with less than three (3) business days’ notice will be charged in full. Ballrooms and auditoriums cancelled fewer than thirty (30) days prior to the event will be charged 50% of the rental fee while reservations cancelled with less than fifteen (15) days’ notice will be charged in full.
  • Internal Groups: Organizations/departments needing to cancel an event for any reason must cancel at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the event or the organization/department will be charged staffing fees and related event preparation costs for the event at the discretion of the venue. Any costs incurred by NIU prior to the cancellation that are a direct result of the event will be the responsibility of the organization/department.
  • Termination of the specified agreement may occur if NIU is unable to perform its obligations under the agreement for any reason beyond its control, including but not limited to, facility and/or weather emergency, power outage, accident, riot, strikes/labor disputes, epidemic, acts of war, terrorism, or other act of God. In such circumstances, the university shall not be liable for loss of profits or consequential damages.
  • Sponsoring organizations are responsible for supervision of all participants. Damages caused by program participants are the responsibility of the sponsoring organizations. Sponsoring organizations utilizing university facilities are responsible for damage to rooms, common areas or furnishings, and the cost of repairing or replacing items.
  • Northern Illinois University is not responsible for damage, loss or theft of personal property. Persons believing personal property has been stolen or damaged should contact NIU Police & Public Safety.
  • Prior approval is required for amplified sound used outdoors. Approval will be granted only if the following conditions are met:
    • The event will not interfere with a previously scheduled event.
    • Noise levels will not exceed fifty (50) dBA (decibels) inside any classroom building while classes are in session.
    • The level of sound measured at fifty (50) feet from the source will not average more than ninety-five (95) dBA with sound peaks no more than one hundred (100) dBA.
    • The sound level does not measure more than seventy-five (75) dBA at the perimeter of campus.
    • The event cannot start before 8:00 A.M. on any day and must conclude by 10:00 P.M. Sunday through Thursday and 12:00 A.M. on Friday and Saturday evenings.
    • Campus officials including advisors, event organizers, and police can ask for the sound level to be lowered at any time regardless of whether the requirements are being met.
  • Amplified sound is prohibited when it disrupts NIU educational activities and university business.
  • All outdoor events by internal organizations/departments utilizing amplified sound must be registered and approved through Huskie Link.
  • No outdoor events involving amplified sound are permitted during Finals Week.
  • NIU values civility, collegiality, diversity and inclusiveness. We ask that music and other performances align with these values.  Please see Freedom of Expression Policy for limits to expression.
  • On weekdays between 8:00 A.M. and 4:30 P.M., complaints regarding outdoor amplified sound at student organization events should be directed to Student Involvement & Leadership Development. The Vice President for Administration & Finance should be contacted for non-student organization events. After hours, complaints should be directed to NIU Police & Public Safety.
  • Requests for exemption from, or adaptation of, the Amplified Sound Policy must be submitted to Events & Conference Services no less than three (3) weeks prior to the event. Departments and external organization requests for exemption must be submitted to the Vice President for Administration & Finance within the same time frame. The type of sound requested, the time of the event, and the proximity of the location to classrooms, residence halls, and other events will be taken into consideration when reviewing exemption requests.
  • Signs, banners, and decorations are allowed in the reserved room and entrance only. Permission must be granted from Events & Conference Services to place signs, banners, and decorations in hallways, entrances to buildings, floors, or ceilings.
  • Signs, banners, or decorations must not be attached to, or suspended from any doors, dividers, light fixtures, or windows.
  • Banners and ceiling-mounted signs are to be hung by NIU employees only.
  • Painters tape (blue) or removable poster mounts are the only acceptable fastening material to be used on walls.
  • Facility access for decorating and clean up must be approved by Events & Conference Services in advance for each event. Access to the room, other than agreed-upon times, will not be allowed.
  • Decorations for an event must not pose fire or other health or safety risks or damage university property.
  • Large decorations, props, and supplies must be removed immediately after the event by sponsoring organization, or a removal and/or storage fee may be assessed. University staff is not responsible for equipment or supplies left behind following an event.
  • If excessive cleaning is required in the facility following an event, a cleanup fee will be charged to the sponsoring organization.
  • The following items are prohibited:
    • Glitter
    • Confetti
    • Sequins
    • Tiny decorative materials which are difficult to clean up
  • Items which are regulated by fire codes or which may activate facility smoke detection systems require pre-approval by Events & Conference Services and Risk Management. Special requests to use these items must be made to Events & Conference Services at least two (2) weeks prior to the event. Upon approval, additional permits and fees may be required. Items requiring pre-approval include:
    • Wax candles
    • Incense
    • Fog machines
    • Pyrotechnics
    • Fire
    • Large containers of water
    • Fountains
    • Helium-filled balloons
Prior approval to serve and/or sell alcohol may be necessary. Sponsoring organizations, whether internal or external, should contact the Director of Risk Management or the Vice President for Administration and Finance to determine what steps may be necessary prior to the service or sale of alcohol.

The following must be implemented if the camp/conference or event is expected to result in the presence of minors on NIU property:

  • No NIU employee or agent may be alone with a minor at any time.
  • A program by which a parent/legal guardian of the minor may be notified in the event of a medical emergency – if the sponsoring organization has this information, additional efforts are not necessary;
  • There must be adequate supervision of minors. All activities involving minors must be supervised by at least two or more persons, including staff, parents or legal guardians at all times.  Some of the factors to consider in determining “adequate supervision” are:
    • The number of and age of minor participants;
    • The activity(ies) involved;
    • The type of housing (if applicable); and
    • The age and experience of the supervising adults.
  • If a minor discloses any type of assault or abuse (at any time previously or during the camp/conference/event), or an NIU employee or agent has reason to believe that the minor has been subject to assault or abuse, the NIU employee or agent, MUST:
    • Contact the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services at 1-800-25-ABUSE (1-800-252-2873) to make a report as a Mandatory Reporter;
    • Notify their immediate supervisor; and
    • If an active situation (e., the alleged assault or abuse just occurred), contact the police at 911 or 815-753-1212.

User, at User’s sole cost and expense, will insure its activities and the activities of its employees, agents, and any individuals working on behalf of User in connection with this Agreement and obtain, keep in force, and maintain insurance as follows:

  1. Comprehensive or commercial general liability insurance, including bodily injury, third party property damage, and contractual liability, with minimum limits as follows:
    1. Each Occurrence - $1,000,000
    2. Products/Completed Operations Aggregate - $2,000,000
    3. Personal and Advertising Injury - $1,000,000
    4. General Aggregate  - $2,000,000
  2. Business automobile liability insurance for owned, non-owned, or hired automobiles with a combined single limit no less than $1,000,000 per occurrence for autos used in connection with this Agreement.
  3. Workers’ compensation and employer’s liability insurance in a form covering User’s full liability under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, as amended from time to time, with limits of $500,000 per occurrence.
  4. Umbrella liability insurance with limits of $5,000,000; can be used in combination with other policies to meet requirements above.

Where permitted by policy terms and conditions, the Board of Trustees of Northern Illinois University (“Board”) shall be named an additional insured with respect to the aforementioned insurance policies, and said policies shall include a waiver of subrogation in favor of the Board.  All policies shall be written with carriers acceptable to the university and shall apply on a primary and non-contributory basis with respect to policies held by university.

A certificate of insurance evidencing all coverages required herein shall be delivered to university no later than thirty (30) days prior to the Event commencement date or immediately upon request.  University shall be notified of any material change in coverage or cancellation of a policy at least thirty (30) days in advance of the change.  Any such change or cancellation may result in University’s termination of this Agreement.  Should the Event extend beyond the dates of coverage reflected on the certificate, a new certificate shall immediately be produced upon execution of the new policy and provided to university by or on behalf of User.

The coverage required by this Agreement shall in no way limit User’s liability.  If User maintains higher limits than the minimums shown here, university requires and shall be entitled to coverage for the higher limits maintained by User.

If applicable, any entities performing work on behalf of User and in connection with this Agreement, including subcontractors, partners, affiliates, or the like, shall maintain insurance which meets the requirements in this section.  Should a third party not be able to meet these requirements, User shall assume liability for any difference in coverage requirements, with the exception of workers’ compensation and employer’s liability, as such are required of any entity performing work in connection with this Agreement.   

Student Organizations

For NIU Student Sponsoring Organizations, insurance requirements shall be determined on a case-by-case basis. Please note that the above requirements will not be waived for external student groups, including but not limited to fraternal organizations and organizations not recognized by the NIU Student Association.