Important event planning policies and guidelines

UBC Policies

There are a number of important policies you should be aware of when organizing events on campus. These policies are meant to ensure the safety and comfort of all members of the UBC community.

Please familiarize yourself with the relevant policies. If you have any questions about any of the content, contact the listed contact person or office for support. 

UBC event planning policies



UBC Statement on Respectful Environment for Students, Faculty and Staff

UBC strives to foster a respectful, safe, and inclusive environment for all students, faculty, and staff. The Respectful Environment Statement articulates the expectations of all members of the UBC community in fostering this environment.
Student Code of Conduct  The Student Code of Conduct sets out the standards of conduct expected of students. It holds individuals and groups responsible for the consequences of their actions.
AMS Respectful Community & Workplace Policy

Affirms the commitment of the UBC Vancouver Alma Mater Society (AMS) to an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. 

This policy applied to all members of AMS clubs, resource groups, constituencies, and customers. 

Policy SC7: Discrimination and Harassment Aimed at preventing Discrimination and Harassment on grounds protected by the B.C. Human Rights Code, and to provide procedures for handling complaints, remedying situations, and imposing discipline when such discrimination or harassment does occur.
SC1: Health and Safety Articulates the University's objective of providing a safe, healthy and secure environment for all members of faculty and staff, students and visitors, and to delineate responsibility for achieving it.
Policy SC9: Serving and Consumption of Alcohol at University Events or on University Premises Establishes a process for the provision and consumption of alcohol at University facilities and at off-campus University events; and promotes the health and safety of faculty, staff, students, and visitors who attend University events where alcohol is served.
Policy UP9: Short-Term use of University Space Establishes responsibility and priorities for allocation and use of University Space at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan on a short-term basis.
Policy UP8: Posting of Notices, Posters and Signs

Regulations that apply to the posting of notices, posters, and signs in and around University facilities. 

Note - there are separate regulations for the AMS Student Nest and Students Housing Facilities.

AMS Policy on Alcohol Consumption

Commits the AMS to promoting responsible alcohol consumption, encouraging alternatives to consuming alcohol at licensed events, and developing procedures for alcohol training and running licensed events. Such procedures have been developed by the Student Administrative Commission (SAC) and applied to student clubs and constituencies.

SAC Vice Chairsacvc@ams.ubc.caSUB Room 238F

AMS SAC Policy Handbook

Handbook contains policies that apply to all student clubs and constituencies constituted under the AMS. These policies are developed, maintained, and enforced by the AMS.

SAC Vice Chairsacvc@ams.ubc.caSUB Room 238F

AMS Sponsorship Guidelines The AMS Sponsorship Guidelines set out the definition and expectations around sponsorship.

Events with speakers

The university is a place to explore issues of critical importance in our community and the world. With these complex issues come varying ideas, perspectives, and opinions. Engagement in these issues is encouraged in a university setting when it is rooted in a place of inquiry and respect. However, events that threaten the safety or security of a person or an identifiable group are not accepted on campus.

When organizing events with speakers or displays that touch on sensitive or controversial subject matters, the following guidelines for planning and facilitating such events serve to ensure that these events can take place respectfully and maintain the values of the UBC community. 

Event planning

  • Ensure that you and all members of your organizing team are willing and prepared to host and facilitate an event that will be accompanied with opposing views and potential dialogue and debate.
  • Set clear goals and intentions for your event and ensure that these goals are consistent with UBC’s Respectful Environment Statement and commitment to respectful dialogue.
  • As you select the speaker(s) for you event, do some research into their background and ensure that they are also committed to engaging in respectful dialogue.
  • Set clear expectations with the speaker(s) and ensure that you have a sense of what the speaker(s) plans to communicate and if that content fits with the intentions/ goals of the event.

Event promotion

If you believe that your event touches on a topic(s) that are controversial in nature, it is helpful to provide a generic statement on all advertising and promotion that acknowledges this and invites all members of the community to participate, even if they hold opposing views. A sample statement is provided below:

“The organizers of this event recognize that this is a sensitive topic and there are strongly held opposing views on the topic. We welcome all to attend and engage in a respectful dialogue.”

Welcome the entire community to attend the event, specifically if you are aware of other organizations or groups on campus that hold opposing view, consider:

  • Approaching them to partner with you on the event. It may be helpful and productive to do a panel with another speaker who holds an opposing view to engage in a respectful dialogue/ debate on the subject.
  • Inviting them to attend the event and participate in a respectful manner. If you invite community members with opposing views, make sure you let the speaker(s) know in advance. 

Event structure

  • Set the tone for your event from the onset – have an opening message that outlines the expectations of the organizers of attendees and participants in ensuring that the event remains respectful and inclusive. It may be helpful to project or post these expectations in the venue during the entire event so all participants can be reminded of them throughout.
  • Have a neutral moderator to facilitate the event.
  • Ensure that there are clearly marked exits and opportunities for participants to leave the event if they feel uncomfortable at any time and wish to exit the venue.
  • Think through your approach for handling questions to ensure that individuals of all views have an opportunity to speak and engage with the speaker(s).
  • At the end of the event, reiterate expectations of attendees and encourage them to continue dialogue in a positive and respectful manner.

Event safety

If you are hosting a controversial speaker, it is highly encouraged that you meet with Campus Security to review safety and make Campus Safety aware of the details of the event in case their assistance is required.