Community Kitchen

Wilson Commons Student Activities (WCSA) offers a unique opportunity to student organizations and University departments to host cooking and food-based events in the Community Kitchen in Douglass Commons (Room 406).

The space features a:

  • Gas cooktop
  • Oven
  • Warming Drawer
  • Refrigerator and freezer
  • Microwave
  • Commercial grade dishwasher
  • Two sinks (one for hand washing only)
  • Collection of cooking supplies and equipment
  • Digital display for hooking up personal devices

With seating for 24, and conveniently located across from the Douglass Community Room, the space is the ideal location for hosting events and programs. For more information on the Community Kitchen read the  Community Kitchen Policy on the Frederick Douglass Commons page.

Using the Community Kitchen

The Community Kitchen is primarily to be used for hosting small gatherings of University students, staff, and/or faculty only. However, student organizations and departments can host events that are open to the public following approval from both the University Sanitarian and the Assistant Director of Student Life Operations. 

The kitchen is equipped with a wide variety of utensils and equipment that are free to use during a reservation. You can view a full list of equipment here.

Reserving the Community Kitchen

You must be a University department or student organization in order to reserve the Community Kitchen. All reservations are done through  Virtual EMS. If you are a University department and do not know who your Virtual EMS contact is, please contact  ECM. If you are a student organization and do not know who your Virtual EMS contact is, please contact 

Upcoming Trainings

The Community Kitchen Training Sign Up form has a full list of training dates and times. Please make sure you click submit after selecting a session so we can plan on your attendance. Sessions may be canceled if no one signs up.


Used the kitchen and have feedback? Email Wilson Commons Student Activities.

Community Kitchen Policy

Hosting organizations using the Community Kitchen must adhere to all policies outlined below. Violation of any of the below policies may result in losing the ability to reserve the space and revocation of approved user status. Exceptions to this policy may be made at the discretion of Wilson Commons Student Activities using the  exception form.

  • Reservation Process
    • All recognized University departments and student organizations on CCC can reserve and use the Community Kitchen.
    • Community Kitchen events cannot be advertised directly to the general public.
    • The Community Kitchen is an event space and is not to be used for personal lunches or as a break room. Personal food cannot be stored in the Kitchen’s refrigerator.
    • The Community Kitchen is a closed space. To gain access for an event or drop-off, individuals can contact the building manager.
      • Building managers will only open the space for confirmed reservations with an approved user present and scheduled drop-offs.
    • The Community Kitchen can be reserved through Virtual EMS using your department or student organization’s Virtual EMS contact.
      • Departments must reserve the Kitchen at least 8 days in advance.
      • Student organizations must reserve the Kitchen at least 14 days in advance and must submit an activity registration through CCC.
    • Departments and student organizations within the College of Arts Sciences & Engineering may reserve the Kitchen at no cost. Other schools may incur a rental fee to use the space.
  • Community Kitchen Training
    • One or more members of the hosting organization must complete Community Kitchen Training to become an approved kitchen user prior to their reservation’s approval.
      • We recommend that multiple individuals complete the training and be listed on the reservation.
    • An approved kitchen user must be present at all times during the reservation (including any setup, cleanup, or prep time), even if the reservation does not involve cooking food.
    • The status of approved kitchen user is effective for one year.
    • Users wishing to renew their status must attend a kitchen training (in person or online) and complete the associated quiz by the end of the month or their status expires (ex: If a user was trained in April, 2023, they must complete a new training session by the end of April, 2024).
    • Approved users must be a current University of Rochester faculty/staff/student.
    • The assistant director of student life operations, as well as Wilson Commons Student Activities, reserve the right to revoke any individual’s approved kitchen user status at any time.
  • Drop-off Procedures
    • If food or equipment needs to be dropped off before an event, individuals must coordinate with the  assistant director of student life operations. This information must be included in the initial reservation request.
    • Food ingredients must be purchased and brought directly to the Community Kitchen. Food is not to be stored in other areas of campus, such as residence halls or other departments, and cannot be stored off campus prior to the event.
    • Food stored in the Community Kitchen must be properly labeled with the date of the upcoming event and the organization hosting the event. Labeling materials are provided in the Community Kitchen.
  • Food Safety Policies
    • Anyone cooking or preparing food is required to wear the provided disposable gloves.
    • Food that is prepared in the Community Kitchen must be served in the Community Kitchen. The only exception to this rule is the Community Room (Douglass 407).
    • The Community Kitchen  cannotbe used for:
      • Catering events in other spaces
      • Cooking food that will be served outside of the kitchen
      • Bake sales
      • Events that charge admission
    • The Community Kitchen  canbe used as a sanitary food preparation space to prepare food that does not involve cooking.
    • All food brought into the Community Kitchen must come from a New York State-licensed food vendor. Food that does not come from a licensed vendor, including home grown items or community gardens, is not permitted.
    • No alcohol is allowed within the space for cooking or consuming. The only exception to this policy is events catered by Mel Catering where Mel Catering is providing the alcohol.
    • Any leftover food must be clearly labeled with the current date and name of the organization. Leftovers must be removed from the Kitchen the same day as the reservation.
    • The Kitchen includes a shared dry storage cupboard, designated for leftover non-perishables (spices, sugar, flour, oil, etc.). Items placed in the shared dry storage must be properly sealed and labeled with the date of opening. Items in this cupboard can be used by any organization using the Community Kitchen, but availability is not guaranteed.
  • Equipment Use and Safety
    • Reservations wishing to bring in outside equipment must indicate so in the reservation request. All outside equipment must be approved by the assistant director of student life operations prior to the reservation.
    • There is no power to the center island and reservations are prohibited from draping cords to the island. No extension cords or power strips are allowed in the space. Wired appliances can only be used on the back counter or tables.
    • Grease is not allowed to be poured down the Kitchen drains. There is a labeled grease jar for reservations to pour leftover grease into.
      • If a reservation has more grease than what fits in the grease jar they must call the building manager for assistance.
    • There are two sinks in the space. The larger sink may be used for washing and cleaning food and equipment. The smaller sink is designated for hand washing only and cannot be used for any other purpose.
    • Anyone using a knife in the Kitchen must wear a cut safe glove.
      • Plastic gloves must be worn underneath and over top the cut-safe gloves to ensure they are kept clean.
    • Knives, pots, and pans must be hand washed and not run through the dishwasher.
    • Knives must be washed and dried by hand and put away immediately.
    • Anytime the stovetop is in use the hood fans must be on.
    • To avoid cross contamination the cutting board color coded system must be followed at all times.
    • Furniture in the space cannot be rearranged or moved.
      • The Douglass Community Room must be reserved in addition to the Community Kitchen if a reservation needs to have movable furniture or a more flexible space.
    • A first aid kit is available in the Kitchen for any minor injuries, however, all incidents and injuries must be reported to the building manager. In the event of a serious burn or injury Public Safety must be called in addition to the building manager.
    • Closed toe shoes must be worn at all times and reservations need to be mindful of individuals with loose clothing.
  • Checkout Procedures
    • All reservations are responsible for leaving the Community Kitchen as clean, or cleaner, than when they checked in. 
      • Cleaning supplies are provided.
    • Every reservation is required to check out with a building manager.
    • Prior to checking out with a building manager:
      • All equipment must be washed, dried, and put away.
      • Counters and tables must be wiped down.
      • The floor must be swept.
      • The trash bins removed from the center island.
    • The building manager will complete a cleaning checklist with the reservation’s approved kitchen user. If the Kitchen is found to be insufficiently cleaned the reservation will be asked to finish cleaning.
    • If a reservation fails to check out with a building manager or does not properly clean the kitchen, the hosting organization will be subject to a $300 cleaning fee and may lose the privilege to use the kitchen in the future. The approved user for the event may also lose their approved user status.
    • Every reservation, regardless of whether or not cooking is occurring within the space, is required to fill out a cleaning checklist with the building manager.