Policy on the Booking, Use, and Cancellation of Bookings in University Space

Category: Administration and Operations

Approval: Vice-Principals’ Operations Committee

Responsibility: Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration)

Date initially approved: October 10, 2017

Date of last revision: May 27, 2019

Related Procedure: Procedure for the Booking, Use, and Cancellation of Bookings in University Space


Event Assessment Team (EAT):  Chaired by the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) or designate this group has responsibility for reviewing space booking requests that might be in contravention of the Policy.   Other members include: the Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration) or designate, the Vice-Principal (University Relations) or designate, the Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs or designate, the Executive Director of Risk and Safety Services, the Chief of Staff of the Office of the Principal or designate, University Legal Counsel, the Director of Campus Security and Emergency Services (CSES) or designate, the Director of Environmental Health and Safety or designate and, as required and appropriate, faculty, student, and/or staff advisory representatives

Designated Space Administrator: Any individual in a unit that has primary or initial responsibility for booking space.

Purpose/Reason for Policy:

The purpose of the policy, and the associated procedures is to establish the responsibility of those who manage bookings of university space for various purposes, the circumstances under which such bookings may be prohibited, and the authority of those who may cancel bookings.

Scope of this Policy:

This policy and its associated procedures apply to all staff, faculty, students, organizations, and visitors, including individuals and organizations external to Queen’s, requesting use of university space for a meeting, event, gathering, or another similar purpose.

The policy and procedures apply to the Fall, Winter, and Summer terms, and to all locations at which the university assumes responsibility for owned or rented space within Canada, including both main and west campuses in Kingston, and satellite academic and administrative offices in downtown Kingston and across Canada.

It is recognized that the university has other policies in place that pertain to acceptable conduct, including the Student Code of Conduct and Workplace Harassment and Discrimination Policy. This policy complements other such policies and does not supersede or restrict the application of them, of collective agreements, or applicable laws, including municipal by-laws.

Policy Statement:

The university is committed to providing an environment conducive to academic freedom, freedom of enquiry, free expression, and open dialogue and debate. It acknowledges that events at Queen’s provide opportunities for all of these things.  The exercise of free expression is subject to the limitations outlined in the Free Expression at Queen’ University policy.  The university is also committed to providing and maintaining a safe campus environment.

All space is university space, regardless of the type of space (lecture theatre, classroom, conference room, lounge, lobby, athletics fields, offices, outdoor structures or open space, etc.) or the unit/individual with initial or primary responsibility for booking the space (Faculty, School, academic or administrative department, student government, student society, etc.). The university reserves the right to control access to its property and the use of its space and facilities at all times by the requirements of this Policy and its associated procedures.

Any use of university space must abide by principles that reflect Queen’s purpose, mission, and values as outlined in various university documents such as the university’s Strategic Framework, the Senate Report on Principles and Priorities, and the Senate Statement on Freedom to Read.

All event organizers (internal and external) when seeking a space booking for their event, must disclose in the booking request to the Designated Space Administrator the following information, in addition to any other information required by Designated Space Administrator:

  • The purpose of the event;
  • The title or topic of the event and the title and topic of all presentations (if any) to be made at the event;
  • Whether the event will involve a speaker(s) and if so the name and affiliation (if any) of the speaker(s);
  • Whether the event will be photographed, live-streamed, or video or audio recorded;
  • The anticipated number of attendees; and
  • Any known or anticipated risks or security needs for the event.

Organizations not affiliated with or approved by Queen’s University who use university space for non-academic events or services must clearly state in their communications, materials and promotional materials that they are solely representing their interests and expressing their own opinions, not those of Queen’s University.

Regardless of the academic or administrative unit with responsibility for booking a space, and regardless of the type of space being booked, any proposed event that falls into one or more of the categories below must be referred by the Designated Space Administrator to the Event Assessment Team (EAT) for review:

  • Events that might reasonably be expected to interfere with the orderly operations of the university;
  • Events that might impact the university’s ability to maintain a safe campus environment;
  • Events where the risk of injury to a person or damage to property are reasonably foreseeable;
  • Events where violations of the limitations outlined in the Free Expression at Queen’s University policy are reasonably foreseeable.
  • Academic events or services (such as exam preparation, tutorial activities, etc.) provided by organizations not affiliated with or approved by Queen’s University; and
  • Events that contravene existing Board of Trustees, Senate, or other university policies.

Subject to an application, the EAT will make a final decision regarding whether the event will be permitted to take place; and, if permitted, the EAT will determine what, if any, conditions the requester must meet before the event is allowed to proceed.  Conditions could include a requirement that the requester assumes responsibility for additional costs that the university may incur as a result of the event (e.g. additional security staff, damages, etc.) and a requirement for the requester to provide a deposit to the university for such costs as determined by the university.

Where an event has been declined based on the policy or its accompanying procedure, the requester will not be permitted to submit a subsequent space booking request for the same or a similar event to any unit or society with initial or primary responsibility for booking space. If such a request is submitted, the Event Assessment Team must be notified, and the requester will be restricted from using any campus space for six months (units internal to Queen’s), or 12 months (organizations external to Queen’s) from the date the subsequent space request becomes known to the EAT.


Event Services, Parking, the Office of the University Registrar, Athletics and Recreation, the Alma Mater Society, the Society of Graduate and Professional Students, and any additional academic or administrative units, or student societies, and any other unit that books space on campus:

> Responsibility to communicate the policy to any individuals or groups requesting the use of university space and to apply the Policy to booking decisions.

> Responsibility to refuse bookings that are in contravention of the policy.

> Responsibility to immediately notify CSES if there is uncertainty regarding the permissibility of a requested booking and its compliance with the policy before booking such an event.

Campus Security and Emergency Services:

> Responsibility to notify the Risk and Safety Services Office when contacted by a Designated Space Administrator if uncertain of the permissibility of a requested booking.

> Responsibility to attend on scene at an event that may be in contravention of the Policy, and to notify the Risk and Safety Services Office when such a situation presents itself.

> Authority to end an event in progress where it is reasonably anticipated that there may be acts of aggression, including abusive and/or threatening behaviour, whether by organizers, participants, invited, or uninvited persons, and/or events that may results in injury to a person or damage to property or otherwise falls into one or more of the previously listed prohibited events categories.

Risk and Safety Services Office:

> Responsibility to convene the Event Assessment Team in a timely fashion to evaluate specific

risks posed to the university by a proposed event that may be in contravention of the Policy.

 > Responsibility to communicate a final decision regarding a request to book university space to the requester, once considered by the EAT, whether approved or denied and to communicate any applicable conditions to be imposed on the event in question.

Event Assessment Team (EAT):

 > Responsibility to meet as requested by the Risk and Safety Services Office and to evaluate proposed space bookings against the Policy, the specific risks potentially posed to the university, and to determine the conditions to impose on such space bookings which may include the requester incurring responsibility for the costs of such things as security required for the event, damages, etc., and may require the requester to provide a deposit as stipulated by the university.

Office of the Provost:

 > Authority to cancel an event, regardless of any previous approval, that in their view is a prohibited event.

Office of the Principal:

>Authority to review requests for reconsideration of decisions by the Office of the Provost to cancel an event; and, decisions by the EAT to prohibit an event.

Contact Officer: Executive Director, Risk and Safety Services

Date for Next Review: October 2022

Related Policies, Procedures and Guidelines

Strategic Framework

Senate Report on Principles and Priorities

Senate Statement on Freedom to Read

Free Expression at Queen’s University

Student Code of Conduct

Senate Harassment/Discrimination Complaints Policy and Procedure

Interim Workplace Harassment and Discrimination Policy

Film Policy

Policies Superseded by This Policy: n/a