Reserving Space

The Registrar, Event and Classroom Management (ECM), and Wilson Commons Student Activities (WCSA) work together to coordinate the reservation process. Reservations are granted to departments and recognized student organizations, not individual students.  

Student organizations can request rooms, within building hours, which are available in Virtual EMS for regular or weekly meetings. Reservations outside of building hours are possible for one-time events, with advisor approval. 

For more information on using Virtual EMS, see the visual tutorial on our Welcome to Virtual-EMS guide.

Reservations can be requested in the following locations:

  • Classrooms in academic buildings, including  computer classrooms
  • Wilson Commons
  • Douglass Commons
  • Spurrier
  • O’Brien Hall
  • Genesee Hall
  • Rettner Atrium
  • Strong Auditorium
  • Some outdoor locations

Contacts for other locations on campus (including the River Campus Libraries, Goergen Athletic Center, and Interfaith Chapel) are available on the ECM reservations page. 

Reservation Contacts

WCSA manages requests for student organizations. Student organizations submit requests through Virtual EMS. Questions about account set-up and reservation processes for student organizations should be directed to 

To update your Student Organization's Reservation Contact: submit a Virtual EMS Contact Change Request.

Reservation Priorities and Policies

Academic courses, University events, and Community Weekends receive priority. Individual spaces on campus might have other priorities or policies assigned to that particular space. Different activities might have particular guidelines as well.  

Available Spaces

ECM has a list of classrooms, computer rooms, and event spaces (outdoor locations are at the bottom of the page) that you can reserve. You can also plan to meet in the spaces listed below.        

Frederick Douglass Commons

Community Kitchen—During the advance reservation request process, the Burgett Intercultural Center and Language Center have first priority for kitchen use. An individual who has successfully completed the kitchen training must be present if the reservation involves using the kitchen as a cooking space. The room can also be reserved for meetings. 

Community Room—The Burgett Intercultural Center and Language Center have first priority for this space. An event or meeting might be relocated to a similar location if there is an urgent community concern that arises and space for a dialogue hosted by the Burgett Intercultural Center is needed. 

Meditation and Prayer Room—Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., the Meditation and Prayer Room is open for individual prayer and meditation use. Outside of these hours, reservations can be placed for activities appropriate for a meditation room. Shoes are not allowed in this room and the shoe cubbies should be used for storage. This room should not be used as a study room. Food/drink is prohibited. 

Third Floor Public Lounge—This space features comfortable, moveable seating as well as an electric fireplace. This is for general use and is not available for reservation. 

Wilson Commons

After University events and Community Weekends, student organizations receive first priority in Wilson Commons. Ongoing academic courses will not be scheduled in Wilson Commons. 

Hirst Lounge—This space has comfortable couches and chairs along one side with round tables and dining chairs throughout the space. The chairs and tables can be removed by an ECM team member if prior arrangements have been made. Those individuals using the information tables at the front of the space can be “bumped” to the tables on the first floor if there is a large event in the space. 

Starbucks—This space features comfortable couches and is inside the Starbucks dining center. It is not available for reservation, but events do take place in the space. 

Starbucks Lounge—This space is on the third floor. It features comfortable couches and small tables, as well as tall tables with dining chairs. The lounge is not available for reservation. 

O Brien

Dance Studio—First priority in the O’Brien Dance Studio during business hours (9 a.m.–5 p.m.) goes to music and dance courses. First priority for evening hours is reservations for SA-recognized groups. All other requests are addressed in order of receipt. Walk-up reservations are welcome when the spaces are not previously reserved. 

Music Room—This room is prioritized on a first-come, first-served basis. Features include a flat panel display (A/V equipment), upright piano, whiteboard, moveable tables and chairs. 

Conference Room—This room is prioritized on a first-come, first-served basis. Features include a flat panel display (A/V equipment), whiteboard, moveable tables and chairs. 

Jackson Court Fireplace—This space is an outdoor location outside of O’Brien Hall. In order to use the fireplace, organizations must have a fire-trained individual who is present for the duration of the reservation. Supplies can be picked up from the O’Brien Front Desk when an appropriate reservation is made. 


Dance Studio—Priority is for the Program of Dance and Movement. Fridays and Saturdays, the next priority is for performance events with approval from the Program of Dance and Movement. All other requests are addressed in order of receipt. All use of the Spurrier Dance Studio must adhere to regulations set forth by the Program of Dance and Movement, and access is only permitted with a signed contract on file indicating agreement to these regulations.  

Gym—Varsity athletics have top priority, then club sports, then all other requests in the order they are received. The gym is only available for University community use. Reservations from outside entities will not be accepted. 

Den—During the advance reservation process, first preference is given to Greek organizations (fraternities and sororities); second to the Program of Dance and Movement; and third to all other requests. Following the advance reservation period, requests will be processed in the order they are received. 

Music Room—Reservations are based on the order in which they are received. This is a newly developed location. In the event that difficulties arise due to high demand for the space, priority may be revisited. 

Fraternity Quad

If there are five or more events scheduled on the Fraternity Quad, the Event Registration Committee may require public safety officers to be present. 

If one or more additional officers are needed the additional cost will be split equally among all groups hosting events. Factors that will be considered in adding the additional officers would include: 

  • How many events have alcohol 
  • How many are open to parties 
  • How the events have been advertised 
  • How many events are registered off-campus 
  • If it is a holiday or other milestone in the calendar where there has typically been more potential for highrisk behavior (i.e. beginning or end of semester)

Same Day Reservations

A same day reservation should only be used for last minute or emergency meetings on the day needed during scheduled building hours.  Services (AV or tech support) will not be available or provided.  Room usage rules still apply.

Meeting or conference rooms in the following student life spaces are available for same day reservations*:

  • Wilson Commons
  • Douglass Commons
  • Genesee Hall
  • Spurrier
  • O’Brien Hall

All other meetings (i.e. reoccurring meetings, executive board, event planning, general interest meetings, etc.) should follow our standard reservations process. 

* Some exceptions apply, please see restrictions below

Who can request a same day reservation

Only executive board members currently listed on an SA recognized organization’s CCC page or staff members of the University of Rochester may request a same day reservation.

How do I make a same day reservation

Student organizations must make same day reservations in-person at the following locations:

  • Wilson Commons/Douglass Commons – Common Connection in Wilson Commons
  • Spurrier/Genesee Hall – Building manager desk in Genesee Hall or Spurrier
  • O’Brien – O’Brien service desk

What are the restrictions

Although same day reservations can be made in most rooms throughout student life spaces the following locations cannot accommodate these requests:

  • Community Kitchen
  • Feldman Ballroom
  • Spurrier Dance Studio
  • Hartnett Art Gallery
  • Rocky’s Sub Shop & Lounge
  • Academic Buildings

Organizations or departments found to be consistently requesting same day reservations will be contacted by the Reservation Coordinator.


Many organizations schedule weekly recurring rehearsals in Wilson Commons. WCSA has a policy of six hours per organization per week for rehearsal time. This is to ensure all dance organizations have equal opportunity to submit reservations in the limited number of rehearsal spaces.

An email will be sent out to all dance organizations and committees outlining a two-week period when Virtual EMS is open for the primary six-hour reservation period. After that two-week period has ended and each organization has received a confirmation email for their primary six-hour reservation submission, Virtual EMS will open for dance organizations and committees to submit requests for additional rehearsal reservations. Rehearsal reservation requests over 10 hours per week must submit an exception form.

Recurring rehearsal reservations scheduled in performance venues may be “bumped” for a special event or performance. WCSA attempts to avoid this circumstance, and when possible an alternate location will be scheduled. The contact person for the rehearsal reservation will be notified via email. Rehearsal reservations will not be “bumped” if the reservation is within two weeks of the organization’s show.

For shows in Strong Auditorium, organizations can schedule a dress rehearsal and technology meeting with ECM prior to the show.

Study Hours

For a course-related student request, the student must bring the request to their instructor/academic department. If the department wishes to grant the request, the department will then reserve the room through Virtual EMS.

Student organizations are able to submit reservation requests for study hours. A member of the organization, acting as the responsible party, must be present for the duration of your reservation. You can reserve up to eight hours of study hours per week and four hours per day. Some building have additional limitations:

  • Frederick Douglass Commons and Genesee Hall—Weekly study reservations sponsored by a student organization can be scheduled for up to three hours per week. There are no extended study hour blocks during reading period and final exams.
  • Wilson Commons—There are no study hours permitted in Wilson Commons.

You are responsible for the space during your reservation and any damage incurred during your reservation is your organization’s responsibility. Study hours can be moved or canceled for special events and the contact person will be notified via email. Study hours will not be processed until after the first full week of classes.

Weekly Religious Services

For any weekly meetings, chapel-advised organizations are encouraged to first seek meeting space in the Interfaith Chapel. In order to request recurring meeting space on campus, chapel-advised organizations must show that the chapel does not have availability for that meeting time. All organizations are welcome to schedule meetings in classroom locations.

Non-University Entities

If an organization is making a reservation for, or co-sponsoring an event with, a non-University entity, the organization must be present for the duration of the reservation. Standard student organization/department pricing may not apply. For any student organization in this situation, please consult with your organization’s advisor. 

If you represent a non-University entity or a scout troop, please contact Event and Classroom Management to talk about booking space on campus. 

Credit card vendors are not permitted to table in Wilson Commons. All vendor contracts are made at the discretion of WCSA.