Event Planning Resources

Use the Student Unions Event Management System

Visit the Event Management System (EMS) to Browse by Location.

About Event Management System

The Event Management System (EMS) is to be used for reserving rooms in the William Pitt Union (WPU), O’Hara Student Center (OSC), Campus Recreation facilities, Schenley Quad, Towers Patio and tabling, and other designated academic buildings during evening hours. The room reservation system provides an online means for reserving and viewing student organizations’ and Student Affairs’ room reservations across campus. Authorized users can submit requests for room reservations to be reviewed by Student Unions staff.

How to Create an EMS Account

Complete the EMS quiz and apply for an account! 

Here’s how: 

You must be an officer in a SORC recognized student organization or Pitt Oakland campus staff or faculty. 

View our EMS training Powerpoint and complete the quiz at the end of the tutorial. You must complete the quiz for your account to be activated. 

Your quiz results will automatically be sent to us. If you do not take the quiz we won’t know you applied for an account. 

You must also apply for an account at ems.williampittunion.pitt.edu 

Be sure to use your Pitt username (e.g. abc123, no @pitt.edu needed) and current Pitt password. Alias usernames should not be used. 

New users will be notified via e-mail when their account has been activated. Typically, accounts are activated within 3-4 business days but can take up to 1-2 weeks during peak times of the semester. 

What If My Account is Pending or Inactive?

If your account is inactive or pending, DO NOT apply for another account! Email ems-help@pitt.edu and we can re-activate your current account. 

Membership in Multiple Organizations

Student groups are eligible to have 2 members with EMS access per organization. 

If you are an officer in multiple organizations, you can have access to reserve on behalf of more than one organization. Email ems-help@pitt.edu with the student organization names and your positions within each club. 

How to Use the EMS

Once your account has been activated, you can begin reserving space at ems.williampittunion.pitt.edu. EMS is most user-friendly when using a computer rather than a mobile device and either Microsoft Edge or Mozilla Firefox.

For help with the new EMS interface please watch these videos

Reserving Space Not in EMS

Looking for space not found in EMS? All SORC recognized student organizations and university departments are eligible to reserve space in other University buildings. Review the current listing of buildings and spaces available around campus for reservation.

Reservation Timeline 


Fall Requests 

Spring Requests 

Summer Requests 

Official University Requests 




Student Affairs & Formula Groups 

First Monday in April 

Second Monday in September 

First Monday in February 

Student Organizations 

Second Monday in April 

Third Monday in September 

First Monday in February 

Academic & Administrative Units 

First Monday in May 

First Monday in October 

First Monday in February 

Recreation and Athletic Space are on a different schedule than the WPU reservation timeline. Any questions pertaining to Campus Recreation space, please contact Robert McCarl at rdm102@pitt.edu. 

Reservation Booking Rules

Multipurpose Rooms, Outdoor Spaces

21 days in advance

Meeting Rooms, Dance Studio, & Cathedral of Learning and David Lawrence classrooms (for student organizations only, evenings and weekends)

7 days in advance

Information Tables

4 days in advance

Once your event is approved, please work with your designated William Pitt Union or O’Hara Student Center contact for any questions or concerns. 

Room Diagramming Software: Social Tables

The Reservations Office is excited to roll out Social Tables as our new platform for room setup diagrams as of August 1, 2023. This new system allows us to create the most accurate setups for your event, with everything to scale!  

Social Tables is a cloud-based, to-scale diagramming software that the Reservations Office uses to create setup diagrams for multipurpose room events. Generally our staff will create a diagram for you, share it with you, and make any requested updates. We will share a link with you that will prompt you to register for an account. You’ll be able to view the diagram and let us know if you approve of the setup. See detailed instructions on how to create an account.

When requesting a room, be sure to include your personal setup and tear-down time. Facilities reserved time is not for personal use and you will not have access to the room during this time. Room setups should be finalized no later than 2 weeks before an event. 

Room Setups 

When requesting a room, be sure to include your personal setup and tear-down time. Facilities reserved time is not for personal use and you will not have access to the room during this time. 


Default Facilities Reserved Time

Multipurpose Rooms, Outdoor Spaces & Nordy’s Place

2 hours

Meeting Rooms & Dance Studio

30 minutes

Blank and Maximum Capacity Diagrams 

Student Unions Capacity Summary Chart

William Pitt Union Maximum Capacities

O'Hara Student Center Maximum Capacities

Quad, Towers, and Cathedral Lawn

Pitt Sports Dome

Frequently Used Terms 

Indoor Tables 

Indoor tables on the lower level of the WPU (Schenley Café) available for marketing organizations and upcoming programs.  Indoor tables are also available in Towers lobby.

Outdoor Tables 

Outdoor tables at William Pitt Union including Gallagher Plaza, Forbes Patio, and Bigelow Lawns as well as at Schenley Quad available for marketing organizations and upcoming programs

Multipurpose Room 

Any room that the set up can be changed and adapted to fit your needs.
*Assembly Room, Kurtzman Room, Ballroom, Lower Lounge, Dining Room A & B, 548, 630, Nordy's Place, OSC Ballroom & Dining Room

Meeting Room 

Any room that must be used as found. Usually set lecture or conference style.*Kimbo Conference Room, Dining Room C, 310, 527, 538, 539, 540, 542, 822, 837, 909, 918, Nordy's Lounge, and OSC 114

Web Process Templates 

The list of rooms you are eligible to reserve. The rooms are grouped together under templates which can be found under the My Reservations Templates once you are logged in to EMS. Student groups have different permissions than departments and can reserve more space on campus. For example, student groups can reserve University Classrooms in the evenings and weekends while departments are unable to do so.

University Classrooms 

Student groups can request classrooms in the Cathedral of Learning and David Lawrence after 9pm Mondays through Thursdays, 4pm on Fridays, and 10am – 10pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Student groups are not permitted to rearrange or remove classroom furniture. All requests for audiovisual equipment are handled by Classroom Services.

For additional locations or times that the Student Unions Reservations office does not reserve, please contact the Registrar Room Scheduling Office at https://www.registrar.pitt.edu/facultystaff/classroom-scheduling.

User Defined Fields 

The questions asked to you in EMS in order to collect as much information about your event as possible.

Student Unions Policies & Procedures Handbook

The Student Unions’ Policies & Procedures Handbook serves as a one-stop resource for policies/guidelines/procedures for event planning in the Student Unions and some other spaces found within the Events Management System (EMS). All event hosts are expected to know and follow the guidelines in this handbook. The Unions’ Reservations Offices may require you to reference this document before confirming your reservation request. 

This handbook is fully reviewed and updated each summer, but there may be updates that need to be amended during the school year. Good practice is to review this handbook before each major event. The first page of the handbook indicates the date of which the handbook was most recently updated. 

View Handbook

Advertising & Marketing 

Student Affairs and Academic Departments

Student Unions Event Contact Information 

Once your event is approved, please work with your designated William Pitt Union or O’Hara Student Center contact for any questions or concerns. 

Administrative/Academic Department Events


Student Affairs Events

Cecile Garfunkel (ceg116@pitt.edu)

Student Organization & Nordy’s Place Events

Will Westley (wkw7@pitt.edu)

Special Events Amber Greenbaum (amg536@pitt.edu)

Event Production


EMS Activation and Troubleshooting


Quad Banner Hanging


Recreation and Athletic Space


Student Unions Pricing

Maintenance and Staff Costs 


Hourly Rate 
































Pitt Police



Security Guard



**All overtime requests require a 4-hour minimum. 
**All prices are subject to change. 

**Management will determine whether Pitt Police or a Security Guard will be needed. 
**Sundays will be subject to double overtime. 

Student Organization Costs 

Room rentals and Technical Services are free for student groups. For any questions regarding Event Production, email satech@pitt.edu or call 412-648-7821. 

Student Affairs and Academic Group Costs 

Room rentals and furniture setups are free. Find event production costs.

Non-Pitt Affiliated Group Costs 

For non-Pitt affiliated groups, event hosts will be charged a fee for room rentals. Room rental costs vary (See prices below). Any multipurpose room rental will include a furniture setup at no additional cost. Find event production costs.

Room Rental Costs 

To extend the building's hours by either opening early or closing late is a $50/Hour fee by one-hour increments. 
This does not include the cost of technical services. Find event production costs.


Meeting Room/Dance Studio Rentals

Multipurpose Room/Outdoor Event Rentals

Tabling Rentals

Division of Student Affairs & Formula Groups




SORC Recognized Student Organizations




Academic & Administrative University Units




Non-Pitt Entities



$50/Hour Per Table; $25/Hour for Non-Profit Orgs

Event Planning FAQ