The goal of these proactive risk management guidelines is to ensure that student organizations plan and host events where everyone involved has a safe and fun experience. Risk management is the process of advising organizations of the potential and perceived risks involved in their activities, as well as supervising organization activities and taking corrective actions and proactive steps to minimize accidental injury and/or loss. The basic guidelines to proper pre-event planning are located in the Event Planning section of the Student Organization Manual.
A successful event planner will complete the following steps:
- Comprehensively assess all physical, reputation, emotional, financial, and facilities risks associated with the event or activity;
- Realistically assess all risks, considering the probability of occurrence and the severity of potential consequences, in line with the Event Planning Matrix (linked on the bottom of this page);
- Comprehensively explore and examine actions that can be taken to mitigate each risk;
- Select the most appropriate mitigating action(s) for each risk;
- Develop thorough contingency and crisis response plans in case of emergencies;
- Consult with relevant "campus experts" and resources in the planning of the event;
- Effectively communicate risk management plans to other constituents of the organization and/or event;
- Implement the event according to the pre-established risk management plans; and
- Document and evaluate the efficacy of the risk management plans for future reference.
The first step to successful event planning is a comprehensive assessment of the risk involved in the event or activity. Student organizations must consider risks in the following five categories:
Physical risks involve harm or injuries to the physical body. Examples for student organization events might include injuries from physical activity, inclement weather, equipment or materials, food-related illnesses, alcohol consumption, dangerous travel conditions, medical emergencies, etc.
Reputation risks apply to the reputation of the individual officers and members present, the reputation of the student organization, and the reputation of the university as a whole. Examples of reputation risks might include poor conduct or behavior at an event, a negative representation of the group, or hazing of members.
Emotional risks pertain to the thoughts and feelings of the organization's members, participants or attendees, and any other constituents of the event or activity. Examples might include hazing of members, lack of accessibility to the event, discrimination against constituents, controversy or disruption of the campus, averse reactions of participants, sensitive subject matter, and the strain of planning the event.
Financial risks involve both the budget for the specific event and the overall financial health of the student organization. Examples might include a lack of cost reduction where possible, poor budgeting, failing to meet fundraising goals, etc.
Facilities risks include both the safety of the facilities used for your members/participants and the maintenance of the facilities used by your members/participants. Examples might include a lack of proper set-up or clean-up for the event, safety and security issues at your location, a lack of familiarity with the facilities and location, or the disruption of university facilities.
Event Planning Forms
The Department of Student Activities offers the service of event planning reviews, in which your organization submits a Pre-Event Planning Form through the StuAct Online system, and a member of the Student Organization Development & Administration team responds with relevant information and suggestions. In some cases, your organization may be required to submit the Pre-Event Planning Form; including but not limited to:
- Events requiring insurance
- Events for which your organization is seeking resources from Student Activities (e.g. Risk Initiative Funding)
- Events for which your organization is seeking use of facilities or resources from a university department
The form also suggested for any event outside the scope of your experience. The StuAct Online system will maintain your form in the system for future leaders of the organization to reference, so be sure to fill it out completely and add assessment information after your event!
To submit a Pre-Event Planning Form to the Department of Student Activities, please sign in to StuAct Online and locate the form link under "Resources & Links" on your organization's homepage. You can also directly access the Event Planning Form at http://studentactivities.tamu.edu/online/forms/preeventplanning/index. This form should be electronically submitted at least ten (10) business days in advance of your event to ensure a complete review. Although, in some cases, you may need to submit your form prior to that deadline to ensure securing of resources from or compliance with various departments.
Riverside Campus Reservations (Riverside Chapel)
Recognized student organizations may reserve Riverside Chapel for organization use only, free of charge. A floorplan of this facility can be found here: Riverside Chapel Floorplan. Chairs and Tables are available for use at the facility. Please contact (979) 862-2842 with any questions about using Riverside campus facilities and reservations.
To schedule use of the Riverside Campus Chapel, follow the directions below:
- Recognized Student Organizations as well as Officers reserving the venue for this event must be in good standing with the University.
- Check the Riverside Chapel Calendar for availability.
- Complete a Pre Event Planning Form with information about your event and organization.
- Follow the Riverside Chapel online scheduling reservation system on the TAMU Office of Facilities website.
- Contact Bob Rudder at (979) 845-2281 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions regarding Riverside Campus gate access.
Note: Alcohol is not allowed at the Riverside Campus Chapel.
Use the links on the right sidebar to view information on events involving alcohol, crisis management and contingency plans, and numerous specific events or activities. Please also visit the following sections of the Student Organization Manual for specific information about:
- Laws and university policies pertaining to student organization events
- Marketing your event
- Camps & Enrichment Programs for minors
- Food at open events
- Insurance for events
- Emergency response plans
- Forms associated with event planning
- Additional resources about scheduling and safety for your event