Wilson Commons Student Activities

Event and Building Usage Policies

* Separate policies exist for Reservations, Parties, Posting, Tabling, Awareness Opportunities, and Banners. Please see those specific policies for details regarding those areas.

* If any of the policies listed below are violated, charges can be incurred.


  1. Events with food must use an approved caterer or follow the rules for food events on the Sanitarian’s website.
  2. All events with alcohol must use a caterer.
  3. If you are utilizing drop off catering service, the sponsoring organization is responsible for cleaning up and disposing of the garbage associated with the food event.
  4. If the garbage in a room is full after a food event, the sponsoring organization must notify the building manager.

Paint/Tye-Dye, and other potentially messy events

  1. Banner painting can only occur in Hirst Lounge. See the Banner Policies for details.
  2. If paint, tye-dye, glitter, or other potentially messy substances is being used during an event, the sponsoring organization is responsible for covering and protecting all tables, surfaces, and floors surrounding the event space. Sponsoring organizations can work with Event Support to provide plastic to cover event areas.
  3. Only water-based art supplies can be used during an event.
  4. All paint brushes and other equipment must be cleaned in a janitor’s closet sink. This can be accessed through the building manager. No cleaning of supplies can be done in bathroom sinks.
  5. If participants in an event will need to use the bathrooms to clean themselves up after an event (i.e. throwing cream pies, food sales, etc.), the sponsoring organization is responsible for providing the supplies for the participants to clean themselves off and checking the bathrooms after the event.
  6. If something does spill or make a mess, the sponsoring organization is responsible for contacting the building manager immediately.

Eating Competitions

  1. All participants must sign off on a physical liability release.
  2. MERT must be on site for the event.
  3. The sponsoring organization is responsible for all clean-up.

Physical Activity (novelties, etc.)

  1. All participants must sign off on a physical liability release.
  2. MERT must be notified of the event.


  1. All decorations and balloons must be removed by the sponsoring organization after an event.
  2. Helium balloons cannot be given away as part of a program and must be tethered as decorations.  See Event Planning for more information. 
  3. No decorations can be affixed to painted surfaces.
  4. All helium tanks must be chained to a cart the entire time they are in Wilson Commons.
  5. If a sponsoring organization is blowing up balloons using a helium tank on their own, this must take place in a space with a low ceiling (i.e. a conference room, Ruth Merrill Center, etc.)
  6. If the event has balloons suspended with magnets in the May Room, the sponsoring organization must work with Event Support and/or the company who is hanging the balloons to arrange for removal of the magnets in a timely manner.


  1. The building manager and/or Event Support will determine the appropriate volume level for events.
  2. WRUR can provide DJ service for an event, but cannot provide additional amplification for events beyond a single announcer microphone.
  3. Event Support is the preferred vendor for sound in the building. If you would like to use an alternative company, Event Support will give you guidance on the process (i.e. insurance, etc.), recommended alternatives, and will give final approval for use of an alternative company.

Access to Wilson Commons

  1. To unload and load supplies for events in Wilson Commons, the designated location is the loading dock off of Library Road. Please put on your hazard lights while at the dock.
  2. Vehicles cannot remain at the loading dock during events and must be relocated.

Furniture in Spaces

  1. Furniture in conference rooms cannot be moved without working with Event Support.
  2. If the furniture in a lounge space (Havens Lounge, Bridge Lounge, Starbucks Lounge, 5th floor Lounge) is moved, it must be returned to its original location by the sponsoring organization.
  3. In Hirst Lounge, the only furniture that can moved by a sponsoring organization are the three information tables in the front of the space. These tables cannot be dragged and must be picked up to be moved and the returned to their original locations. No other furniture can be moved without working with Event Support.
  4. No furniture can be placed in fire egress areas and cannot be used to totally block off a space. Temporary decorations (i.e. streamers) can be used to create a barrier for an event space.

Event Support Set-Up

  1. When Event Support is setting up a room for an event, please respect their need for the space.
  2. The piano in the May Room cannot be played while Event Support is working.

Afterhours Usage

During normal building hours, there are no fees for a Building Manager.  Events that fall outside of normal business hours can be arranged through the Wilson Commons Reservation Coordinator at least 8 days ahead of time.  There is an hourly fee of $20 an hour for student organizations and $30 an hour for university departments and external clients.  Minimum charge of one hour will always be assessed for afterhours events.  

Red Cart Usage

Red Cart

To borrow the Red Cart, you must:

  1. Be a member of a registered student group or a staff member in the Office of the Dean of Students.
  2. Use the Red Cart for the purposes of that group.
  3. Leave your ID card and phone number with the Common Connection.
  4. Return the cart within three hours unless prior arrangements have been made with Event Support.

 Please note:

  •  If the cart is returned damaged, a damage fee may be assessed.
  •  If the cart is not returned, there is a $300 replacement cost.
  •  While we make every effort to accommodate requests, the cart is not reserveable and is available on a first-come first-serve basis. There are certain times where the cart may not be available for use.
  •  Event Support may call to reclaim a cart currently in use. 

If you have any questions regarding these policies, please contact the Director of Wilson Commons.


There are four pianos located in Wilson Commons – Gowen Room, May Room, Havens Lounge, and WC 503.  The Gowen Room, May Room, and Havens Lounge pianos can be used if the room is not reserved for an event or meeting.  The pianos may not be used while Event Support is setting up for an event.  No drinks are allowed on the pianos.  If there is an issue with a piano, please report it to the Common Connection.


Phone: (585) 275-9390
Fax: (585) 273-5306
Email: wcsa@rochester.edu

Mailing Address:
201 Wilson Commons
University of Rochester
PO Box 270281
Rochester, NY 14627


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