Cohon Center Policies
Cohon University Center policies are established by the Jared L. Cohon University Center management team in consultation with the center's advisory board. The management team includes representatives from Cohon University Center administration, Dining Services, Retail Services, security, Athletics, University Advancement, and the Office of Student Leadership, Involvement, and Civic Engagement. The advisory board consists of representatives from the Carnegie Mellon University community, including students, faculty, and staff.
Groups using a Cohon Center room or space must use a preferred campus caterer, or pay the non-preferred vendor fee for set up and clean up. See below.
For smaller or more casual special events or meetings, you could also consider catering via any of dining's on campus vendors.
For events with 25 guests or fewer, there is no non-preferred vendor fee. You may order "drop off items" such as pizza, Chinese food, or sandwiches. The food vendor must come to the Information Desk upon arrival at the Cohon Center. Someone from your group must meet the vendor at the Information Desk for food pick-up or to lead them to your meeting room.
For events with more than 25 guests, there is a set-up and clean-up fee if a non-preferred vendor is used:
- $85 fee for events with 26-150 guests
- $110 fee for events with 150-250 guests
- $220 fee for events with more than 250 guests
Alcohol for events must be provided and served by Carnegie Mellon Catering.
Patrons may not substitute the lock assigned to them for personal locks.
Patrons are responsible for the condition of their lockers and will be held responsible for any damage done and all costs associated with the repair of their lockers.
Neither Carnegie Mellon University nor the Jared L. Cohon University Center is liable for loss or damage of property.
Patrons must clean out lockers by the last day of final exams during the semester in which the locker is rented.
All property left in lockers after the last day of final exams will be removed and discarded.
Dogs, cats, and other animals
Except as noted below, all dogs, cats, and other pets are prohibited from the premises of the Cohon University Center.
Service animals are permitted in the Cohon University Center. Emotional support animals are permitted in Cohon University Center with written approval from the Office of Disability Resources. However, Emotional Support Animals may be permitted temporary access to the Cohon University Center, pending approval by the Office of Disability Resources. Service animals and emotional support animals may be prohibited from accessing certain environments where the presence of an animal presents a health or safety risk (e.g. swimming in the pool; food preparation areas, etc.).
Additional information for students regarding policies on pets, service animals and emotional support animals is available in the Student Handbook (The Word).
An event sponsor who wishes to have alcohol served at an event in the building must be approved as a social host by the University Police and must file a Social Event Registration. This is the case for all events in the Cohon Center, regardless of whether students will be in attendance. Per university policy, such events may only take place in private areas where an assurance can be made that alcohol is only available to individuals 21 years of age or older. In all cases when alcohol is available at a social event, the host of that event must ensure that all alcohol use is legal and responsible.
An approved social host wishing to charge guests a fee in exchange for alcohol served at their event may do so only if that event is catered by University Catering and is consistent with the privileges that their Pennsylvania liquor license affords. An approved social host wishing to have alcohol served without charge to guests may do so through any University-preferred caterer. Under no circumstances will individuals be allowed to directly provide or serve alcohol for a social event in the building.
The sponsor of any social event with alcohol in the building will be responsible for the cost of staffing Carnegie Mellon police personnel. Such staffing will be arranged by the Cohon Center Scheduling Office. No security will be required for events with fewer than 25 persons in attendance unless the nature or location of the event warrants special attention. A security officer will be ordered by the Cohon Center Scheduling Office for events at which alcohol will be served with an expected attendance of over 25 people. Multiple officers may be required for events with over 100 people expected.
Audiovisual and Other Equipment
Arrangements for audiovisual equipment to be used in the Cohon Center should be made through the Media Technology Services (MediaTech). This office provides audiovisual equipment for the Cohon Center and is responsible for the fees and policies. Request services via the MediaTech request form.
- There will be a fee charged to the event sponsor for this equipment. There is an additional fee for orders placed within 24 hours before the event.
- Equipment not in the inventory of the Cohon Center should be requested at least 10 business days prior to the event.
- Any equipment not available through MediaTech that is brought into the Cohon Center by the event sponsor must be approved by the Cohon Center Scheduling Office.
Student organizations that wish to use special sound or lighting for large events may contact AB Tech. The AB Tech website lists services available and includes directions for requests.
See Catering Policy.
For groups preparing their own food, please refer to the Food Safety Policy.
Cleanup and Maintenance
Events requiring significant additional attention will be arranged by the Cohon Center at the expense of the event sponsor—for example, events with a limited time for physical setups or large-scale events. All decorations, including helium balloons, must be removed immediately following an event. Failure to do so may result in charges to the event sponsor.
The Cohon Center Scheduling Office has the authority to limit attendance at events with the potential to exceed the capacity of the reserved space. Also, additional Cohon Center staff or security may be required at the cost of the event sponsor.
Event sponsors are responsible for ensuring that no damage occurs to facilities of the Cohon Center during the course of an event. Damaged facilities or equipment will be repaired at the expense of the event sponsor.
All event sponsors wishing to drop off materials must coordinate their deliveries through the Cohon Center Scheduling Office. Deliveries not approved in advance may be denied.
Parking arrangements are the responsibility of the sponsor. Guest parking can be arranged through Parking and Transportation Services by calling (412) 268-2052 or visiting the Parking and Transportation Services website. Guests are subject to all parking regulations. It is the responsibility of the event sponsor, department, or individual who arranges for visitor parking to make the parking rules and regulations known to visitors. Any parking tickets issued to sponsors, performers, or participants are their sole responsibility.
All equipment and supplies furnished by the event sponsor must be removed from the space no later than the end time of the reservation. Costs incurred for removal of materials will be charged to the event sponsor. Carnegie Mellon University and the Jared L. Cohon University Center assume no responsibility for damage to or loss of equipment and materials left in the Cohon Center. Equipment may not be left in any Cohon Center location without prior approval from the Cohon Center Scheduling Office. The event sponsor assumes full responsibility for any equipment or materials brought into or left in the Cohon Center.
The Cohon Center Scheduling Office, in conjunction with University Police, will have authority to determine the security needs for a particular event. The Cohon Center Scheduling Office will make arrangements for the provision of security with University Police. All costs for such security will be the responsibility of the event sponsor and will be included in the invoice generated by the Scheduling Office. The charge for a Police Officer is $61 per hour with a four-hour minimum. The charge for a Security Officer is $45 per hour with a four-hour minimum.
Tickets for events may be sold at the Cohon Center Information Desk. Read and follow our Ticket Sales Policy for more information.
All student organizations planning an event that involves preparing, cooking, and/or serving food in Cohon Center reserved spaces must follow these steps at least two days in advance of the event:
- When you reserve your event on the online reservation system (25Live), indicate in the notes that your event will have food that will be prepared, cooked, and/or served by members of the organization. Events preparing perishable food on site may be no more than 3 hours in duration.
- You must complete a food safety quiz 48 hours in advance of the event. You must sign in with your Andrew ID before taking the quiz. You will receive results immediately upon completion. You will need to use the ADA Food Safety Information [.pptx] created by Health Services to complete the quiz.
- All members of your organization who will be preparing, cooking, and/or serving food must take the quiz. The certification for each individual will last for one academic year.
- The event organizer must submit the Food Event Registration Form. The form must be approved by the University Center scheduling office before the event will be allowed to occur.
- Once all members who are handling food at the event have passed the quiz, the event organizer must print an event certificate to be presented at the event. You must return to the quiz page and select Create an Event at least 72 hours before the event.
- The certificate must list the Andrew IDs of all individuals who will be handling food at the event and must also be presented when requesting your table at the Information Desk.
- If an event is held by individuals or organizations that have not received a certificate of completion or are not following proper food safety guidelines, the event will not be allowed to continue.
- After two violations, an organization will not be allowed to hold food events in Cohon Center reserved spaces for the remainder of the academic year.
Lost and found
The Cohon Center Information Desk maintains a lost and found for the campus. The following policy will be adhered to regarding items turned into the lost and found.
All items turned in will be labeled with the date on which it was turned in. The items are stored in a closet behind the Information Desk.
Items will be held in lost and found for no longer than 30 days.
- ID cards and credit cards will be shredded and discarded
- Cell phones will be recycled
- Any money turned in will be absorbed into the Jared L. Cohon University Center account
- Personal items such as clothing and bags will be donated to charity
- All other items that cannot be donated will be discarded
- Any items deemed to be worth more than $50 will be recorded in a notebook and locked in the safe, where it can be accessed only by Cohon Center staff.
- These items can only be returned if a staff member is available to open the safe.
- Patrons must present identification before these items will be returned.
Posting (printed materials, signage, and decorations)
Organizations hosting events in the Cohon Center are not permitted to tape decorations to any surface in the building. Organizations may request sign stands from the Information Desk for decorations and may hang banners and decorations using string where appropriate.
Directional signage is not permitted to be taped anywhere inside or outside the Cohon Center, including on doors and in stairwells. The Cohon Center will provide sign stands to direct patrons to events in the building. The center also has a limited number of plastic sandwich boards that organizations may borrow to place signage outside the building.
The center maintains two display cases available to organizations for advertising. These may be reserved for a maximum of two weeks through our online scheduling system (login required). Display cases are 57" x 45".
- Banner must advertise a university-related event.
- Banner must be made of vinyl (no paper, plastic, or cardboard).
- Banner must have grommets at the top in order to attach to railings with zip ties.
- There are two spaces to hang banners: space #1 is 10' x 9', and space #2 is 6' x 9'.
- Banner time limit is two weeks.
There are several locations available for the placement of posters, including above the water fountains in the elevator lobby on every floor and along the north entrance hallway facing Forbes Avenue. Use only tacks when posting flyers to bulletin boards (no staples or tape).
Controlled boards are maintained by Cohon Center staff and are available for students or organizations to place posters on, with permission.
Posting is prohibited in the following areas: walls, doors, columns, piers, pylons, floors, ceilings, windows, furniture, and fixtures (including light fixtures, vents, pipes, radiators, water fountains, soap dispensers, toilets, urinals, sinks, bathroom partitions, etc.). Posters laid anywhere in the center, including on tables and banisters, will be treated as litter and thrown away. Table tents are permitted, as long as the article can stand on its own.
- Active posters may not be posted in duplicate on a single board.
- Posters may not be posted over active posters.
- Posters may not exceed 11" x 17".
- The main information on the poster must be in English.
Posting on controlled boards
The Cohon Center maintains bulletin boards to advertise campus events. In order to have a flyer posted to these boards, organizations are required to provide at least three posters to the Information Desk. Two of the posters will be posted on the controlled boards located on the east wall of Kirr Commons and to the left of the Career and Professional Development Center on the lower level. The remaining poster is kept on record and is used to update events information.
- Posters must advertise an event hosted and/or sponsored by a recognized student organization or administrative department.
- Posters may not exceed 11" x 17".
- The event title, date, and time must be listed in English.
- The event must occur on one day only; it cannot repeat or include multiple dates.
- The event must take place on campus or at a recognized off-campus location such as Soldiers and Sailors Hall.
- The event must be open to the entire campus community.
- The poster may not advertise the consumption of alcohol.
- The images and text must be of a tasteful quality.
The building supervisor is responsible for approving your poster. If the poster fails the requirement for posting or is deemed inappropriate for posting on the controlled boards, the poster will not be posted and may be returned or discarded. All approved posters will be stamped with the date of its approval.
If the poster is approved, a building supervisor will post it as his or her work schedule permits.
Removal of Posters
Any Cohon Center building supervisor or staff member has the right to remove posters from any bulletin board in the building.
Violation of Policy
Any violation of this policy may result in fines levied against an individual or organization. This policy may be amended or revised as deemed necessary by Cohon Center staff.
Who may reserve space
Reservations may be requested by any member of the campus community (student, faculty member, or staff member) on behalf of a recognized student organization or an academic or administrative department.
External organizations whose primary purpose is education or community service may request the use of space in the Jared L. Cohon University Center by contacting the Scheduling Office. Outside organizations will be charged a fee for the use of the space.
Vendors seeking to use table space within or outside the Cohon Center should also contact the Scheduling Office. Vendors will be charged a fee for each day of table rental.
Reservation policy and procedures
Requests for the use of space will be accepted and confirmed up to one year in advance.
Recreation facilities are available for special reservation on a limited basis due to regularly scheduled fitness classes, intramurals, and recreational programs.
Priority access for reservations is given to regular Carnegie Mellon University and/or Cohon Center functions based on the university calendar (Orientation, Homecoming, Carnival, etc.). All other requests will be accepted in the order in which they are received.
How to submit a request
When submitting a request, the following information is required:
- Your name
- Name and type of event
- Telephone number
- E-mail address
- Date of event
- Number of people attending
- Actual event time
- Brief description and purpose of the event
For Carnegie Mellon University faculty, staff, and or student individual use of the recreational facilities, such as racquetball and squash courts, reserve on the court reservations website.
Types of events
- University event: An event organized by, financially supported by, and intended for members of the Carnegie Mellon University community. If this organization is a student organization, then it must be recognized by the Committee on Student Organizations.
- Approved university-sponsored event: An event sponsored by a Carnegie Mellon University department involving an organization that is outside the university community. This event should provide and educational or community service opportunity.
Deadlines for submitting reservation requests
Please note that submitting a request for a space, either via e-mail or on the online reservation system, does not guarantee you that space. You must receive a confirmation e-mail from the Scheduling Office before your reservation is confirmed.
- Standard meeting rooms should be requested at least two full business days prior to the date of the event or meeting. Please note, however, that such a two-day notice may not allow you to make sufficient arrangements for special meeting services and setups. To ensure availability of services, information should be received 10 business days prior to an event.
- Requests for use of McConomy Auditorium, Rangos Ballroom, or the Connan Room should be received at least seven business days prior to the date of the event. Please note, however, that such notice may not allow you to make sufficent arrangements for special services and setups. To ensure availability of services, information should be received 10 business days prior to an event.
- Late requests for event space (less than two business days' notice) may result in a $25 fee, in addition to any standard room and equipment rental rates, assessed to the organization if the request is granted.
No transfer of reservations
An event sponsor may not transfer a reservation to another organization, nor may space reserved for an approved program be used for another purpose.
Requesting meeting services and setups
To ensure availability of services, the Cohon Center Scheduling Office should be notified of specific setup and use requirements as soon as possible. The Scheduling Office may not be able to accommodate requests for special equipment and setups if such requests are received less than 10 business days prior to an event.
Event sponsor responsibilities
Each reserved event must have a designated event sponsor, who must maintain responsibility for the actions of all persons using the Cohon Center's facilities as part of their event. Event sponsors must ensure that their event conforms to all Cohon Center Policies.
Frequency of reservations
An organization may reserve McConomy Auditorium, Rangos Ballroom, or the Connan Room a maximum of once a week — on Sundays through Thursdays — for meetings or events. An organization may reserve McConomy Auditorium or Rangos Ballroom no more than three weekend days — Fridays and Saturdays — each semester.
Exceptions are granted on a case-by-case basis — for example, for a large-scale event drawing a wide spectrum of students or for repeat performances.
Fees for use of facilities
- University events may use meeting facilities at no cost. Fees will be incurred for audio/visual equipment, equipment rental, security, and other services (as well as for any substantial deviation from standard room setup).
- Approved university-sponsored events may use meeting facilities for a fee. There are additional charges for audio-visual equipment, rental equipment, security, and other services (as well as for any substantial deviation from standard room setup).
Payment of fees and deadlines
If fees are applicable, a 50 percent deposit is required 10 days after receipt of confirmation. The balance will be invoiced immediately following the event and is due upon receipt. If the event is canceled 10 or more business days prior to the event, then half of the deposit will be refunded.
A fee may be charged to an organization that is not present for a reservation if that organization has failed to notify the Cohon Center Scheduling Office of a cancellation within the appropriate time frame:
- For larger event spaces, cancellations must be made at least seven business days prior to the event.
- For smaller meeting spaces, cancellations must be made at least three business days prior to the event.
- In the case of a last-minute request, cancellations must be made within 24 hours of the request.
Right to adjust reservations
The Cohon Center Scheduling Office reserves the right to determine the appropriate use of the spaces within the building. An event may be relocated or denied Cohon Center space at the discretion of the Cohon Center Scheduling Office.
Scheduling of classes
Bicycles and skateboards
- Table reservations should be made through our online scheduling system (login required) at least two business days before the event. Cancellations should be made by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org at least two business days before the event in order to avoid penalty charges.
- Indoor tables are called UC-Wean Commons 1-6. Outdoor tables are called UC-Outside Table 1-4. If you reserve indoor tables, you must set up inside the Cohon Center and the center staff will set up your table for you. If you reserve an outdoor table, you must carry the table outside yourself and return it to the Information Desk when you are finished. You must provide your ID as collateral for the table. You cannot switch your table assignment from indoor to outdoor and vice versa when you arrive for your reservation.
- You may reserve EITHER an indoor table or an outdoor table on a given day, not BOTH. Keep in mind that you are taking a chance with the weather if you choose an outdoor table.
- A table reservation includes one 6-foot table and a maximum of four chairs.
- An organization may reserve a table no more than three days per week; however, tables sometimes become available at the last minute due to cancellations. Stop by the Information Desk after 11 a.m. on the day of your tabling event to check on availability.
- If your group is 30 minutes late to pick up your table, we reserve the right to give away your table to another group.
- Groups are not permitted to tape anything to any vertical surface in the Cohon University Center. You may, however, tape to your table.
- You may have a sign stand for your sign if you have an indoor table, but not if you have an outdoor table, as we do not permit sign stands to be taken outside.
- Tables for the fall and spring semesters may be reserved on or after August 1.
Vendors and vending space
Table space for distribution and sales by university and/or outside vendors is available for use in designated public spaces in the Cohon University Center and adjacent patios. All persons using table space must remain within the designated area.
Vendors that are granted space will be treated as guests of the university and expected to adhere to all applicable university and Jared L. Cohon University Center policies and procedures. The event sponsor or vendor is responsible for compliance with all laws and regulations of the City of Pittsburgh and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania regarding all items sold. All materials distributed within the Cohon Center or at adjacent public spaces must meet the standards specified in the Student Handbook.
Student organizations interested in sponsoring an outside vendor should contact the Office of Student Activities for more information. No alcoholic beverages or tobacco products may be distributed in any common area within or adjacent to the Cohon Center.