Student Center

Student Center

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Comprised of the University Student Center, District House, Outdoor Spaces, and the Mount Vernon Campus, the Student Center offers a variety of spaces for students to hold events.  From student organization chapter meetings to guest lectures, performances, late night parties and everything in between, we are here to help you find the perfect space for your event.  You can also find dining options and an array of spaces to hang out and meet up with your classmates and friends.

For assistance, contact the Student Center team.

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As we head into the final days of the spring semester, we are sharing important information regarding campus space use.

To ensure all students are able to study and prepare for finals, Kogan Plaza and University Yard will have adjusted availability for activities. Consistent with our practice this past fall, these locations are unavailable for events, programming, and unplanned activities effective May 2 through May 12. In addition, from May 13 through May 19, outdoor spaces will be reserved for Commencement-related activities only.

Due to the proximity of these areas to many study spaces and classrooms, these locations are designated 24-hour quiet areas. No planned or unplanned activities or amplified noise (including amplification by handheld devices) will be permitted. Making any excessive noise either inside or outside a building remains prohibited under the Code of Student Conduct at all times. Excessive noise includes but is not limited to shouting, pounding objects or surfaces, or playing music or other electronics at a loud volume in a manner that disturbs others.

During this period, any individuals or student groups organizing social activities, demonstrations or other events may use Potomac Square or another reservable and available space. Normal activities for Kogan Plaza and University Yard will resume effective May 20.

For questions on this guidance, please contact the Division for Student Affairs at [email protected].

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Our Venues


Venue Policies

How to Book Space
  • All event requests need to be submitted through the online reservation system. Phone requests cannot be accepted.
  • Requests should include as much detail about the event and facility needs as possible.
  • Incomplete online requests cannot be accepted.
  • Events will not be able to be booked as a recurring event in the system.
  • Online request forms with acronyms and abbreviations cannot be accepted.
  • Submitting an online request for a space does not guarantee event or space approval.
  • Meeting and Major event spaces in the Student Center and large outdoor spaces are limited to registered student organizations and GW departments.
  • Individual students are able to reserve spaces in the B levels of District House, the Ground level of the Student Center, and on the Mount Vernon Campus. 
  • Only current members may book on behalf of their student organization. The individual reserving the space will be considered the Event Host. The Event Host will serve as the primary contact and should be equipped to provide basic information about the event purpose and facility needs.
  • Student organizations will only be allowed up to three Foggy Bottom major space bookings per month. (Ballrooms, Betts Theatre, Amphitheater, USC 309, Outdoor Spaces)
  • After 5pm reservations in meeting rooms are limited to two bookings a week per Student Organization.
  • Study rooms will have a max reservation time of two hours.
  • Meeting rooms will have a max reservation time of eight hours. 
Booking Window
  • Reservations must be made at least 30 days in advance for outdoor spaces.  
  • Reservations must be made at least 14 days in advance for the Student Center and Mount Vernon Campus major spaces.  
  • Reservations must be made at least 3 business days in advance for Student Center and Mount Vernon Campus meeting rooms as well as Tabling, Banner, and Flag spaces.
  • Reservations for District House, Mitchell Theater, and Shenkman Community Room can be made instantly, given that the spaces are available.
  • Reservations for ground floor and fifth floor study & meeting space in the Student Center can be made instantly up to 2 weeks in advance, in a single two-hour increment per day.
Booking Confirmation
  • For Student Center meeting rooms, District House B level spaces, Table, Study and Mount Vernon meeting rooms, reservation requests will be automatically confirmed. The Confirmation report will be sent to the Event Host’s GW email. 
  • For Major spaces in the Student Center, Outdoor spaces, and Major spaces on the Mount Vernon campus, booking requests will be reviewed within three business days. When approved, the Event Host will be sent a Booking Confirmation via email which confirms the event.
Student Organization Events
  • A student organization event located in the Student Center, outdoor space, District House, Mitchell Theater, or Mount Vernon Campus event spaces is a meeting, event, or series of meetings or events planned, executed, and managed solely by the registered student organization and which benefit the reputation of the organization and/or GW.
  • Student organizations will incur other applicable fees for facility-related support depending on the nature of the event. Any and all applicable fees will be the responsibility of the student organization. GWPD, Grounds, labor, translations services, 3rd party vendors, damage, excessive trash, etc.
  • If a non-GW organization/company/entity initiates the request or is involved in the planning/execution of the event, this is considered a Sponsored event.  See Sponsored Events for more details.
Sponsored Events
  • A sponsored event located in any of the Student Center venues is a meeting, event, or series of meetings or events brought to campus by a GW student organization (on behalf of or in conjunction with) a non-GW organization, contracted directly with GW, and coordinated by a recognized student organization. When recognized student organizations host external (non-GW) organizations (regardless of profit, non-profit, or faculty/staff association with academic societies) for an event, space rental fees will apply.
  • If you are hosting an external organization, it should be related to the mission of your student organization. You are choosing to host the event in accordance with the role(s) you have within an existing GW organization. Responsibility for the event lies with your organization as the GW sponsor.
  • The student organization (or the non-GW organization, if paying) will incur other applicable fees for facility-related support depending on the nature of the event.
  • Sponsored events will be assigned to a member of the Student Center team, who will contact the student organization four weeks prior to the event date.
  • Sponsored events working with a non-GW client shall deliver a certificate of insurance as proof that client has in force insurance, which shall not be less than one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) combined single limit liability.
  • If the non-GW organization plans to pay event-related fees and defaults on payment, the responsibility of payment falls to the sponsoring GW organization.
COVID-19 Policy
  • Visitors to Student Center spaces are required to follow the university's COVID-19 guidelines.
  • Potluck events: Potluck events are permitted for internal GW events, where all attendees are GW students, staff, or faculty. 
  • Bake sales: All bake sale items must be individually wrapped.  Masks must be worn when selling bake sale items, even if the bake sale takes place outdoors.
  • Please reference the Student Organization COVID-19 Policies document for a full list of policies.
  • Please consult the university's COVID-19 website for more information regarding COVID-19 policies.
Policies, Terms and Conditions
  • An officer of the student organization needs to be present at all times during the event.
  • All reservation time frames should take into account the time required for rehearsal, client set-up/break down, catering arrival and cleanup, etc.
  • The Student Center Team reserves the right to relocate events to specific rooms based on the planned activity and how the space will be used.
  • If the information provided in the original event request changes, Student Center Team has the right to reevaluate the event to add rental fees.
  • Uses; Premises: The GW organization shall only use the licensed space for the event, during the date and time period specified in the Booking Confirmation. GW organization agrees that licensed space is sufficient for its purposes. GW organization acknowledges and agrees that representatives of the Student Center Team shall have unrestricted access to the licensed space at all times.
  • Assignment: The GW organization shall not assign, sublease or transfer space to other organizations or departments without Student Center Team’s express written approval.
  • Housekeeping Fee: Should reserved space not be returned in the manner in which it was received (i.e. the room should be in its original state, without damage and/or additional materials such as decorations, extreme amounts of papers, food or beverage, or mess/damage caused by food or beverage, etc.) a housekeeping surcharge may apply.
  • Smoking Restrictions: In compliance with the “Smoke-Free GW” policy, smoking is not permitted within any university owned and managed buildings as well as on university owned outdoor spaces. This includes any public space that abuts buildings in the Foggy Bottom campus that are used for academic, athletic, recreational, residential, and administrative purposes.
Equipment, Furnishings, Storage, Personal Property
  • GW organization shall return the venue and all furnishings and equipment at the end of the event in the same condition as they were received. Failure to do so may result in a housekeeping fee. 
  • Organizations must clean up and remove any and all garbage from the spaces and deposit it in the provided receptacles. 
  • For events in the Student Center and Mount Vernon major spaces as well as outdoor spaces, GW organization shall not make any alterations to the furnishings, equipment or licensed space. 
  • For events in Student Center meeting rooms, Mount Vernon meeting rooms, District House, Mitchell Theater, or Shenkman Community Room, student organizations are responsible for setting up the room to fit their needs and restoring the space back to its original state after the event. 
  • Organization assumes all risks of loss or damage to the furnishings, equipment, or licensed space from any cause during the event. Any additional costs associated with equipment and furnishings, such as excessive cleaning costs, will be added to the Confirmation Report.
  • The GW organization shall not be entitled to store items of personal property within the licensed space unless an exception is applied for in writing and granted by the Student Center Team in writing. If GW organization is permitted to store items, GW shall not be liable for loss of or damage to such stored items. GW shall have no liability for any loss or damage to any personal property of the GW organization or any attendee at the event.
Single Use Plastics

The university has committed to eliminating all single-use plastics at GW.  This commitment includes all non-essential, non-compostable, single-use plastics with available alternatives. Eliminating single-use plastics on campus will require individual and collective action.  The purpose of this policy is to set the expectations for the GW community, including student organizations,  in order to meet this commitment. 

Resources for further information: 
GW Single-Use Plastics Elimination Guide
GW Green Event and Catering Guide
GW Green Office Network

Decorations & Signs

Only painters tape may be used to hang anything to any walls. The use of glitter, confetti, sand, or the like is strictly prohibited and will result in Housekeeping charges. Open flames are not permitted unless contained within a Sterno-style buffet burner or a glass container.

Contract Services

The GW Organization shall not use any non-university service providers for the event without first receiving Student Center Team’s approval. Some vendors must be booked through the Student Center Team.

  • External Caterer: the GW Organization may use a catering service of their choice, subject to Student Center Team’s prior approval.  
  • A copy of the following documents must be provided prior to the event date;
    • Executed food/beverage/catering contract 
    • The outside contractor’s business license 
    • The outside contractor’s certificate of liability insurance. 
  • The time needed for catering set-up and breakdown must fall within the event time.
  • No food/beverage is permitted in the Betts Theatre, Mitchell Theater and District B132 (Dance Studio).
  • All organizations must clean up after themselves when utilizing the spaces; this includes disposing of all trash in designated receptacles.
  • If sterno is used a fire extinguisher must be close by and a designated person must be present to watch the set up. 
  • Propane can only be used in outdoor locations. Caterers using propane for cooking will need to have a 10 lb ABC fire extinguisher at each cooking appliance using propane and the cooking appliance must be at least 10 ft from any building.
  • If a group leaves the space with garbage, they may be charged for housekeeping fees. 
  • All catering and food and beverages policies outlined in the Student Organization Handbook must be followed. 
  • Alcohol. Alcohol is permitted in the Student Center venues, with the exception of the venues listed above that do not allow food and beverage. Events with alcohol must follow all policies outlined in the Student Organization Handbook. GWPD may be required to be present. A copy of the following documents must be provided prior to the event date;
    • Executed food/beverage/catering contract 
    • The outside contractor’s business license 
    • The outside contractor’s certificate of liability insurance.
    • DC ABRA-issued liquor license
University Media

The university may photograph the event for use by the university in university sponsored media and communications.

Outdoor Space Event Policies
  • Student organizations may not place overnight structures on Kogan Plaza
  • Student organizations will only be allowed up to three Foggy Bottom outdoor space bookings per month
  • During the academic year, amplified sound will be permitted starting no earlier than 9am and until 9pm on Sunday - Thursday and 10pm on Friday and Saturday. 
  • Amplified sound must be no louder than 60db A measured 1 meter from the source.
  • Outdoor sound will not be permitted during university designated reading days through exam periods.
  • All Student Center A/V equipment used outdoors requires the use of a technician.
  • Outdoor Movies
    • Outdoor movies are not permitted to be shown if the rating is R, MA, or beyond.
    • You must purchase the rights to whatever film is being shown to a public audience outside or inside. More information regarding contracting can be found in the Student Organization Handbook.
    • Outdoor movies may only occur between March 21st and October 31st.
    • Weather call must be made by noon the business day prior to the event.
    • The outdoor inflatable screen cannot be set up if the weather forecast has rain at a 40% chance or above and/or a wind rate of 20mph or above.
  • Grounds labor is required for all food related and/or excessive disposal needs after 4 p.m. on weekdays and anytime during weekends and holidays.
  • Your assigned Student Center team member will work with you in securing these services if needed, as these services all have labor costs associated with them.  Costs are per staff person with a four-hour minimum, and events may require the need for more than one staff person.
Event Modification

Major Space , Outdoor Space, Sponsored Events

  • Contact the Student Center team member assigned to your event to request or change event set-up and/or audiovisual elements.
  • Requests or changes to space, date or time to any reservation should be made by an active member on the student organization roster online through an Event Modification Form at least three (3) business days prior to the event; otherwise, there is no guarantee the request can be accommodated. Phone requests cannot be accepted.
  • Modification requests are subject to approval.

Student Center Meeting Space, District House, Mitchell Theater, and Shenkman Community Room:

  • Requests or changes to any reservation should be made by an active member on the student organization roster online through an Event Modification Form at least three (3) business days prior to the event; otherwise, there is no guarantee the request can be accommodated. Phone requests cannot be accepted.
  • Modification requests are subject to approval.
Event Cancellation and No-Show Policy
  • To view your reserved spaces or to Cancel an event please log into your Event Portal and click My Events in the top navigation bar. Please submit cancellation requests at least 3 business days prior to your event. 
  • The cancellation policy for sponsored events is outlined in the sponsored contract.
  • Weather call for events in outdoor space is to be made by 10:00 a.m. the business day before the event. For events on a Monday, call time is by 10:00 a.m. the previous Friday. Any calls made after this time, with grounds labor requested, will be charged the full amount for the service. All events need to make a weather call/reconfirm. If GW Organization cancels a reservation due to weather concerns and the University is still open, cancellation fees will be charged.  Last minute cancellations prevent other organizations from reserving space.
External Events

External (non-GW) organizations can submit space reservation requests through the External Client Request Form


Event Forms & Signage