Legal language can be hard to interpret which is why it’s important to let your advisor and the Student Activities staff review any contracts before you agree to them. Most speakers, performers, facility rentals, and catering services will probably ask you to put your agreement in writing, and voila, you have a contract. Remember that these are legally binding once you’ve signed the dotted line.
Regardless of the format, most contracts are going to have standard components that are meant to protect each of the parties involved. Here’s what you’ll usually find:
One of the most important things to remember is that student organizations are NOT employees or designated representatives of the university, meaning, you can’t commit the university to a contractual agreement. Some third parties have a hard time understanding this, so we ask that you make it clear for them by including this statement somewhere in your contract: “(Name of Organization) is a recognized student organization at Texas A&M and cannot represent the university or contractually obligate the university to any agreement.”
Because of the legal obligations associated with contracts, the university requires organizations to have their contracts reviewed before committing to the terms of the agreement. Contracts can take up to 4-6 weeks for a proper review given all the eyes that look at it (trust us, it’s for your own protection), so get a copy to Student Activities as soon as you’ve ironed out all the details with your vendor. And remember, do not sign your contract before it has been reviewed and approved by Texas A&M.