Event Resources

Event Planning Resources

Policies & Procedures

The Handbook serves as a one-stop resource for policies/guidelines/procedures for event planning in the Student Unions and 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.

To access the Handbook, click on the following hyperlink:  Student Unions’ Policies and Procedures Handbook


Maintenance and Staff Costs
Trade Hourly Rate Overtime
Carpenter $46.77/hr $70.15/hr
Custodian $26.78/hr $40.17/hr
Electrician $69.11/hr $103.67/hr
Engineer $48.91/hr $73.37/hr
Grounds $29.64/hr $44.46/hr
Laborer $51.65/hr $77.33/hr
Painter $61.71/hr -
Plumber $67.83/hr -
Sheetmetal $45.72/hr -
Steamfitter $72.12/hr -
Pitt Police $63.91/hr $62.64/hr
Security Guard $32.19/hr $31.77/hr

**All overtime requests require a 4-hour minimum.
**All prices are subject to change.
**Management will determine whether Pitt Police of 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. Please include any Technical Services requests in your EMS reservation. For any questions regarding Technical Services, email satech@pitt.edu or call 412-648-7821.

Student Affairs and Academic Group Costs

Room rentals and furniture setups are free. Technical Services costs can be found here.

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. Technical Services costs can be found here.

Room Rental Costs
Meeting Room/Dance Studio Rentals Multipurpose Room/Outdoor Event Rentals Tabling Rentals
Division of Student Affairs & Formula Groups FREE FREE FREE
SORC Recognized Student Organizations FREE FREE FREE
Academic & Administrative University Units FREE FREE FREE
Non-Pitt Entities $50/Hour $100/Hour $50/Hour Per Table
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. To review technical service requests costs, click here

Advertising & Marketing


Student Government Board Marketing Resources

  • Student Events Calendar
  • Student Affairs TV screens
  • My.Pitt Homepage Announcements
  • Social Media
  • WPTS Services

Upcoming events bulletin boards on the lower level of William Pitt Union. Students may turn in three copies of fliers to be hung at building management’s discretion.

Student Affairs and Academic Departments:

Student Affairs Marketing and Communications

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 Departments &  Student Organization Events in WPU wmpittun@pitt.edu
Student Affairs Events & Nordy’s Place Katy Tufts (katytufts@pitt.edu)
O’Hara Student Center Events John Hoehn (ohara@pitt.edu)
All Technical Services for WPU & OSC Mike Tulak (satech@pitt.edu)
EMS Activation and Troubleshooting ems-help@pitt.edu
WPU 630 (CCLD) drj27@pitt.edu
Quad Banner Hanging carly.ramer@pitt.edu
Recreation and Athletic Space hje2@pitt.edu


General Questions

When can I reserve space for next semester?

What is the difference between “reserved time” and “event time”?

Reserved time is when the room is blocked in EMS and includes time for the building staff to set up your furniture. Event time is when you have access to the room. Please include personal set up and tear down time in your “event time”.

What does a “tentative” event mean?

An event that is in tentative status is an event that is currently on hold until the event host completes any additional tasks the reservation office needs. Reasons for an event to be tentative may be, but not limited to: completing a food form, completing a contract form, providing additional details to the reservations office, or submitting a room diagram.

Where do I submit my event contract or contract waiver for review?

The Student Organization Resource Center (SORC) on the 8th floor of the William Pitt Union can help student groups with contracting all types of services. Visit their office or the contract’s page of the SORC website at https://www.studentaffairs.pitt.edu/sorc/funding/contracts/
Academic Departments and the Division of Student Affairs should refer to their department’s Dean for all contract inquiries.

How do I request a table?

You can request a table on our event reservation website, EMS. Once logged in, under the Reservations tab you should see options for Tabling. Contact ems-help@pitt.edu if you do not see these options.

How do I request a Banner?
  • Banner space must be reserved in EMS for the duration of the hanging. Space can be reserved for up to 14 days.
  • Banner hanging costs approx. $250
  • Banners must be provided by event sponsor with appropriate dimensions and include grommets in all four corners
    • Fifth Avenue side of building
      • Dimensions: 12 ft long x 3 ft wide
  • Banners should be dropped off to the William Pitt Union information desk a minimum of one day before hanging
  • Banner hanging should be coordinated by the event host and building management. Contact katytufts@pitt.edu to coordinate the date of hanging and tear down.
  • Banners in the Quad can be reserved through Residence Life. Email Carly Ramer at reslife@pitt.edu to discuss this process.



I didn’t make a reservation and wish to use a room today, how do I go about requesting it?

Room requests should be made in advance through EMS. However, you can come to the information desk to make a last minute request for one of our open rooms. Day of requests are only open to student organizations.

I need additional furniture for my upcoming event, how do I go about requesting it?

You can edit the furniture on EMS or you can contact the Reservations Office. Room set-ups are due 2 weeks before the event date.

What happens if the day of the event I do not like the way the room is set-up?

You can come to the information desk to speak to the Reservations Office or the Manager on Duty. Late requests for furniture changes are not guaranteed.

What is the max capacity of “X” room?

See our WPU Max Capacities Guide for information about room max capacities.

How do I cancel my reservation?

You can cancel your event through EMS or email the Reservations Office at wmpittun@pitt.edu.

How much does it cost to reserve space in WPU/OSC?
Meeting Room Rentals Multipurpose Room Rentals Other Spaces
Division of Student Affairs & Formula Groups FREE FREE FREE
SORC Recognized Student Organizations FREE FREE FREE
Academic & Administrative University Units FREE FREE FREE
Non-Pitt Entities $100/ 8 HOUR PERIOD $750/8 HOUR PERIOD $500/4 HOUR PERIOD
This does not include the cost of technical services. To review technical service requests costs, click here
If I’m a vendor, how can I reserve space?

a.Vendors must submit a Vendor Request Form and pay a fee. Once you submit the form, you will work directly with the WPU Reservations Office. (Form Coming Soon)

Can I add an additional room to my reservation?

If your event is less than 14 days away, you can make an additional reservation in EMS for another space. If you are within a 14 day window, check to make sure the room is available and contact wmpittun@pitt.edu to see if a last minute request can be made.

Can my event run past building hours?

If you would like to open the building early or stay past closing for a program, you will need to contact the Reservations Office at wmpittun@pitt.edu to make a formal request. Please note due to additional staffing there will be costs associated with this request.


When do I need to use release waivers?

If your event is deemed as being “high risk” for participants, a release waiver is required through SORC. Visit https://www.studentaffairs.pitt.edu/sorc/funding/contracts/ to access the release waivers and print copies for your participants to sign.

How can I collect money for an event or fundraiser?

There are several ways to collect money for an event or fundraiser.

The William Pitt Union Ticket Office provides cashboxes for departments or student organizations free of charge. Unless other arrangements are made, the cash box (alone or in conjunction with the ticket window) will contain $50 or $100 in small bills. To request a cashbox, submit a Cashbox Request Form.

The William Pitt Union Ticket Windows are available for student organizations to sell their tickets or take donations during their events. Organizations are required to staff the window with members of their organization. This service is available after 5 pm on weekdays and after 7 am on weekends.

The William Pitt Union Ticket Office can sell tickets Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm for departments or student organizations. All requests must be submitted online at the WPU Ticket Sales Request Form.

Do you provide tablecloths?

The student unions do not provide tablecloths. Campus Catering can provide tablecloths for your event, but there is a fee for the linens. Contact catering@bc.pitt.edu to request tablecloths and pricing.

Am I allowed to hang decorations at my event?

Event hosts are not allowed to hang or tape anything on the windows, pillars, walls, or doors. Table decorations are allowed.

Which rooms can I turn the lights off/ dim lights for an event?

The Assembly Room, Dining Room A, and Dining Room B are the only rooms that you can dim or turn the lights off for an event.

Events with Food

What are the types of food options for the unions?
  1. Pitt Catering Co. - Pitt Catering Co. is the approved caterer on campus and has the right to bid for your business. In order to see catering options go to https://dineoncampus.com/pitt/catering-guides for more details and contact catering@pc.pitt.edu for catering requests
  2. Catering Exemption – Campus Catering is the approved caterer on campus and has the right to bid for your business. In the event you would like to pursue a company outside of the university, a Catering Exemption must be completed. To learn more about catering exemptions, visit https://apps.fis.pitt.edu/cateringexemption
  3. Donated Food (from Food Services) - The Department of Housing, Food Services, and Panther Central proudly donate Pepsi Products and food items to the University of Pittsburgh community. They attempt to support student programs and University events that are open to the University of Pittsburgh’s student body. (Form Coming Soon)
  4. Snack Approval Form – if you are hosting a program in the WPU or OSC and would like to bring in snack-like items, visit the Snack Approval Form. Homemade food and potlucks are prohibited. Pizza, chips, pretzels, appetizer trays (veggie, fruit, dips), and items from a bakery are permitted.
Do I need to fill out a food form for an Info Table?

Yes, if you are handing out food at your table a snack approval form or catering exemption must be submitted and reviewed.

What if I can’t afford campus catering?

We encourage groups to call Campus Catering to work with an event coordinator to see if there are alternative campus catering options for your budget. Sometimes Campus Catering can donate foods to lower the cost. If Campus Catering does not meet your needs you can submit a catering exemption form for an outside caterer.

How can I host an event with cultural food?

You can submit a catering exemption form online. Catering exemptions are due 21 days before your event date. We would also recommend calling Campus Catering and speaking to an event coordinator to see additional cultural options.

How many tables do I need for food?

If you ordered through Pitt Catering Co., their contract will specify how many tables you need for food. Please indicate that number to the reservations office. If you are not working with Catering, the Reservations Office can provide a recommendation.

Why can’t I bring food into the Cathedral classrooms?

The Cathedral of Learning is an academic building and custodial staff are not provided to service the rooms for meetings and events.

If I buy it from Giant Eagle does it count as a snack?

If you buy pre-packaged items that do not need to be re-heated or cooked than it may count as a snack. Homemade food and potlucks are prohibited. Pizza, chips, pretzels, veggie, fruit, and hummus trays, and items from a bakery are permitted. Giant Eagle prepared foods such as sandwiches, trays of chicken, potato salads, etc. are considered catering exemptions and will not be approved on a snack form.

Technical Services

How do I reserve technical services for an event in WPU/OSC?

On EMS, you can choose what audio/visual equipment you would like at the time of reservation. If you have already submitted your request, once it is confirmed, login to EMS and you can edit your reservation by clicking on “View My Requests”. To add technical services to a reservation, click on the event, then click on the green plus sign under “Services”.

How do I reserve technical services in a classroom?

The Unions’ Technical Services staff do not oversee the classrooms. Please reach out to Center for Teaching and Learning at 412-624-3335.

What equipment can Technical Services offer?

Projector, screen, laptop, audio cables, microphone (wireless, wired, or lapel), DVD deck. Visit Technical Services for pricing information.

Does your building have Wifi?

If you are a current Pitt student, faculty, or staff member you can connect to the Pitt WiFi. If you are not a member of the Pitt community, the event host must sponsor WiFi by contacting CSSD prior to the event date. CSSD can be reached at 412-624-4357.

Can’t I just plug in to the A/V equipment in the meeting rooms?

We recently upgraded the equipment on the 5th and 8th floors and they now require technical assistance. Please request technical services through satech@pitt.edu or in your EMS space request.

Specialty Events

I want to host a dance in the student unions, what do I need to do?

The first step is to make a reservation for the space you need in EMS at least 6 weeks in advance. From there the reservations office will contact you regarding your next steps. Please indicate your description

I am certified in CPR and want to teach a class in the WPU, what do I need to do?

In order to reserve space for a CPR training, you must be affiliated with a student organization or a university department and that affiliated group must be sponsoring the event. The Reservations office may require an instructor service agreement through SORC if applicable.

Can I have a food-eating contest?

No, food eating contests are prohibited.

Can I do a paint event or crafts?

Yes, please contact the Reservation Coordinator at wmpittun@pitt.edu to discuss logistics and clean up procedures.

Do you have a runway?

The William Pitt Union does have a runway for the Assembly Room. Please request a runway through your event description and set up type in EMS.

Do you have pipe and drape?

We do not supply pipe and drape. Randy Schmotzer in Facilities Management will assist with furniture and event rentals. He can be reached at 412-624-8809. There will be a charge for any rentals.

Can we do an overnight event?

We currently do not have any overnight events in the William Pitt Union. Please contact the Manager of the William Pitt Union or the Manager of the O’Hara Student Center with your event idea.
- WPU Reservations Office, 412-648-7810
- John Hoehn, OSC – 412-624-3438

What is your policy on showing movies or TV shows during an event?

Any organization or department wishing to show a movie or film in space controlled by the WPU or OSC Reservations Offices are required to purchase the appropriate licensing, regardless of admission fee. No room request will be approved until a copy of the license is received. The event host will need to provide the license for the movie, documentary, Ted Talk, or TV show to the Reservations Office via email at wmpittun@pitt.edu or ohara@pitt.edu at least 21 ahead of the event.

For more information on obtaining a license and cost, please contact one of the film distributers listed below:
1. Swank Motion Pictures Inc.: www.swank.com
2. Criterion: www.criterionpic.com

Any organization or department who fails to comply with this policy, and is found showing a movie or film without purchasing a performance license may have their event shut down immediately, and will have disciplinary actions in the form of a warning or strike from the Reservations Office.

The only films exempt from this policy are those acquired through the University of Pittsburgh’s Library System Kanopy, Netflix Educational one time screening of documentaries (only those titles specifically designated with “Grant of Permission for Educational Screenings”), or by selecting a movie in the public domain. Within Kanopy, only those titles labeled as having PPR come with screening rights.

What do I need to do if I would like to host a pie-throwing contest or fundraiser?

Pie throwing or “pie a student leader” events, can only happen on the 5th Avenue concrete walkway directly in front of the WPU.
- Student groups MUST use shaving cream in the pie tin- NOT whipped cream or pie filling.
- Participants in the pie-throwing are not permitted to use WPU restroom facilities to clean up.
- During warm months, a hose MUST be requested from the grounds crew through the WPU Reservations Office (wmpittun@pitt.edu) in order to clean up after the event. All shaving cream must be thoroughly hosed off the sidewalk. All trash must be picked up and placed in garbage bags during and after the event. The hose must be coiled neatly after the program concludes. Paper towels and garbage bags are recommended.

Can I host a bake sale?

A bake sale is defined as the sale of items that will not spoil in the absence of refrigeration. Items included in the bake sale must come from the pre-approved list of breads, brownies, cakes, cookies, covered/dipped apples, donuts, fudge, muffins, or pretzels.
Below are the guidelines for hosting a bake sale in the student unions:
- An itemized list of baked goods must be provided to WPU or OSC management at least five days before the program
- A cashbox request form must be filled out and approved at least five days prior to the program
- If applicable, items must disclose if they contain nut products or other allergens
- All items must be individually wrapped in a substance that allows the buyer to see the item prior to purchase