Event Policies

The primary use of WPI event space is to support the activities of WPI faculty, staff, students and alumni. However, we also welcome events held by external groups whose missions are aligned with the strategic goals of WPI, and as space and support services permit. The booking of external events at WPI is a source of revenue and pricing of such events will include a room rental fee and all out of pocket expenses. Pricing is reviewed annually, is set by the Events Office, and approved by University leadership. To make your request for space, please select and complete the appropriate .pdf below and submit to @wpi.edu. Requests will be responded to within two days.

Meeting Space Request Forms

Use this form to request space for social events such as weddings, rehearsal dinners, showers, anniversaries or photo shoots.

Use this form to request space for corporate events.

Events & Academic Schedulers

The Events Office reserves the right to make changes to your reservation in extreme need, and will assist you with finding a suitable replacement location for your event/meeting.

Custodial Services & Events Support

Custodial hours are from 5:00am to 11:00pm Monday through Friday. During these hours, the WPI community will not incur additional costs for setup and breakdown of meetings and seminars for groups under 50 people. Programs for groups over 50 people may incur setup charges in addition to rental charges. Events, meetings, seminars and conferences held outside the hours noted above will incur an additional charge for custodial services. Please contact the Events Office for applicable charges. Groups using the same venue back to back requiring separate setups will share in the total cost of setup and breakdown and any additional cleaning charges. If you find that you need to move furniture around in a room, we ask that you to return the room to its original setup. If the room is not returned to its original condition, a reset charge will be billed.

Food

Chartwells is the contracted food service provider for the WPI Community and must be used for all functions where food and beverages are served. For a complete list of catering policies, and to order food for a campus event, please go to the Catertrax system.

Potluck

Potluck meals are not permitted on Campus.

Regulations for Alcohol Service in WPI Facilities

WPI has adopted the following policy relating to the responsible use of beer and wine service for functions on the WPI campus.

  1. Events must comply with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Worcester ordinances and WPI policies regarding the service of alcohol.
  2. Any event requesting beer/wine service must be approved by the Events Office.
  3. Events requiring beer/wine service and a one-day license must make a request with the Events Office 90 days prior to the event. Events held in venues other than the Rubin Campus Center, Higgins House, and Goat's Head, require a 1-day liquor license.
    A license fee will apply. (The City of Worcester requires that a license be issued at least 30 days prior to an event.)
  4. Beer/wine service is available on campus after 4:00PM weekdays and after 12:00PM (noon) on weekends.
  5. Chartwells Dining Services is the only approved provider of beer/wine service for WPI events. No individual person or group may provide or donate alcohol for any event.
  6. Certain events with alcohol may require a campus police officer(s) depending on specific event details including total number of guests, location and event type.
  7. Kegs, beer balls, bulk containers, or any other common sources of alcohol are not permitted on WPI owned, operated, or affiliated property at any time.
  8. Applicable fees for the service of alcohol will be charged to the event sponsor including but not limited to Campus Police, Facilities (custodial services), bartender service, wait-staff service and license fees.
  9. Proper identification must be furnished upon request by all guests who appear to be under the age of 21 years.
  10. WPI accepts no responsibility through the adoption of this policy for the behavior of guests at functions. This responsibility rests solely with the sponsoring group or individual. WPI, through the Events Office and Chartwells Dining Services, reserves the right to schedule and manage each function in the best interest of all parties.

Students in residence halls must adhere to the Residence Hall Alcohol Regulations. See Residence Hall Living at WPI brochure

Movies for Public Showing

For more information, visit the Student Activities Office's page on Policies and Guidelines Governing Campus Activities and Programs.

The current U.S. Copyright Act classifies viewing of movies into two categories (in addition to classroom use): Private home showings for members of a family and a limited number of guests; and Public performances at which anyone may attend or at which the audience is not a family. Public performances have been defined to include "semi-public" places such as clubs, lodges, factories, summer camps, fraternities, residence hall lounges, and schools. The above categorization holds whether or not admission is charged.

For each of the categories above - private showings and public performance - there is a different copyright royalty fee structure and contract which the renting agency signs. Generally, home use viewing carries a much lower royalty fee due to a supposed limited number of viewers. For this reason, local stores who rent videotapes "For Home Use Only" can rent DVDs at a much lower fee than standard public performance movie rental companies offer. (For the same reason, "movie channel" cable TV service cannot be installed in campus centers or residence halls without an extremely high monthly charge.) Royalty fees for public performance films are based on a larger number of people viewing the show - and thus the rates are higher.

When the WPI Social Committee brings current movies to campus, whether they be film or on DVD, it is paying the higher public performance royalty fees. Any student organization planning to show video movies as entertainment, whether to its members or to the "general public", should make sure that the appropriate royalty fees are being paid. Outright purchase of a pre-recorded DVD does not grant the tape owner the right to a public performance of that tape. Permission must be obtained - and usually a royalty fee paid - to the holder of the copyright.

Any willful infringement of the copyright "for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain" is a federal crime. The first offense (i.e., the first showing) is punishable by up to one year in jail, or a $25,000 fine, or both. The second and each subsequent offense is punishable by up to two years in jail or a $50,000 fine, or both. Even innocent or inadvertent infringes are subject to substantial civil penalties.

Gambling (Raffles and Fundraiser's)

For more information, visit the Student Activities Office's page on Raffles and Fundraisers.

Any event, activity, or program which charges a price for participating and involves a chance to win, or awards prizes, constitutes a raffle. A raffle is considered to be a gambling activity in Massachusetts and therefore falls under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission (MSLC)

The WPI Student Activities Office (SAO) maintains an annual raffle permit which allows student organizations to hold raffles for the benefit of the organization or other charitable causes.

The procedure to conduct a raffle is as follows:

  1. An organization wishing to hold a raffle must complete a raffle request form available online.
  2. If the request is approved, the student organization may proceed in printing tickets and advertising the raffle.
  3. Upon completion of a raffle, the organization must complete a MSLC Raffle and/or Bazaar Tax Return (available in the SAO). The completed form (with a check for applicable taxes) must be returned to the SAO within seven (7) days. Organizations failing to file a tax return will not be permitted to hold future raffles.
  4. Organizations must also submit the names and addresses of all winners of $25 or more to the SAO for use with the annual report to the MSLC. This list is required when you submit the MSLC Tax Return noted above.
  5. When the proceeds exceed $1,000 (after the price of the ticket is subtracted) the payer must withhold tax monies at the rate of 20%, even if the prize is other than cash. Gambling winnings are treated as payments by employer to employee for federal withholding tax purposes.