Event Planning Resources

Planning events at CU can be complicated without the proper understanding of the various aspects you need to consider. In addition, depending on your event, you may need to work with a number of different CU departments, offices or vendors. The resources below will help guide you through those processes. For off-campus products or services you can check out the OCA SORC Vendor Database — a collection of businesses student organizations have used in the past. We'll continue adding new vendors as we interact with them!


  • Request Campus Space

    Visit http://events.cua.edu to reserve most campus rooms and outdoor areas as well as CU vans*. For more information or assistance with reserving space on campus, please contact Conference Services at 202-319-5294.

    *Only certified University drivers are permitted to drive the CU vans. In addition, student organizations must complete the appropriate trip forms before using one of the vans. For more information, visit the forms page.
  • Request Pryzbyla Center Lobby Tables

    Registered student organizations may reserve a table in the Pryz lobby by requesting a table at least 3 business days prior to the first date requested on events.cua.edu using the 25Live system.

    For more information and the complete Tabling Space Guidelines please visit http://pryzbyla.cua.edu/service-and-sales/tables.cfm.
  • Presenter Approval Process (Presentations/Speaker Policy)

    The Office of Campus Activities (OCA) is responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the Presentations Policy, as it applies to presentations proposed by registered student organizations.

    The Director of Campus Activities (or designee) will consider requests from registered student organizations to invite performers and/or speakers (individuals or groups) to campus. Requests should be submitted through the Student Organization Presenter Request Form a minimum of two weeks before your event. Since each request is considered individually, it may take up to a week before you receive a response. It is important that organizations do not invite speakers/performers to campus until the request has been approved.

    If your organization is looking for someone to present on a particular topic but you don't have anyone in mind, the Office of Alumni Relations may be able to help! Contact us at oca-sos@cua.edu for assistance with identifying possible alumni speakers.
  • Screening Films on Campus

    For any official student organization event involving a film screening, the student organization must purchase the rights to screen the film on campus. If you are a student organization requesting funds for a movie screening, please ask OCA for a quote of the movie you have in mind along with the size of the audience you expect before requesting money for other parts of the event from the Treasury Board.

    The Office of Campus Activities frequently works with Swank Motion Pictures or Criterion Pictures USA to procure rights to films being screened on campus. The Office of Campus Activities staff can assist student organizations with contacting our representatives. You can submit our quote request form on the Nest here.

    Films deemed morally offensive by the USCCB will not be permitted to be screened on campus. Movie ratings determined by the Catholic News Service and USCCB can be found here.
  • Program Board Equipment Request

    The student organization, Program Board, has some larger equipment that is available for all student organizations to use free of charge. If you are interested in a Fender sound system, microphones, a hand truck, or any of the equipment used to set up Movies on the Mall, please fill out this form on The Nest

    All questions can be directed to Program Board's Vice President of Administration at cua-programboard@cua.edu.
  • Popcorn Machine Reservations

    The Office of Campus Activities (OCA) has a popcorn machine that is available for use by student organizations for free. Our office will provide the machine, popcorn, oil, and all other supplies necessary to have popcorn at your event. Your organization will be responsible for proper use and cleaning of the machine for your reservation period. OCA also reserves the right to require your organization to provide additional popcorn, bags, oil, etc. if we deem your request to be too large for our existing budget to manage. For any questions related to the use of the Popcorn Machine please contact the Student Organization Services team at oca-sos@cua.edu. To request use of the popcorn machine please complete our Popcorn Machine Request Form.
  • Event Supplies (plates, napkins, cutlery, etc.)

    As a joint effort between OCA and the SGA Treasury Board, OCA is happy to announce a new resource for all student orgs to take advantage of -- free event supplies!
    We have amassed a collection of bowls, plates, napkins, cups, cutlery, straws, serving utensils, etc. that are now available to be used for your events at no additional cost. This benefits your org as you will no longer need to purchase these items yourselves using your organization's funds, and you can save on storage space by not needing to store extra supplies.
    • Need supplies for your event? Stop by OCA anytime during business hours to grab whatever supplies you may need, and simply return what you do not use back to OCA!
    • Have extra event supplies? We urge you help keep our resources replenished by donating any extra supplies that you may receive from food deliveries/catering orders. This cuts down on waste, and saves you storage space!
    • Planning on using supplies that are themed to your event? No problem! This resource pool should cover all of your general event needs, but if you wish to purchase themed event supplies (e.g. Halloween-themed plates, Christmas-themed napkins, etc.) you can still do so, and you may present to Treasury Board to receive funding for those items.
  • Online Storefront (Event Registration, Item Sales, etc.)

    The University has a system that we use called "Ticket Spice" (we no longer use eventbrite) that allows for us to have a managed system with unlimited customizable storefronts. Your organization can work with the Office of Campus Activities to create a custom page for any number of uses. Some exmple uses might include:

    • Event Registration beyond the capabilities of the Nest RSVP function (more complex questions needed to be asked, cost involved, etc.)
    • Selling items like t-shirts or sweatshirts in advance online

    A site can be setup in as little as minutes and you will have the ability to customize the site yourself by adding images, setting up the questions you want asked, etc. 

    If you'd like to get a site setup for any needs, please email PJ Connolly at 68connolly@cua.edu to schedule a meeting to learn more about this resource.

  • Food at Campus Events

    There are a few ways to provide food at your on campus events. You will want to consider the size and scope of your event, as well as your budget, when deciding what type of food and how you will provide food at your event. 

    • Chartwells Carved & Crafted Catering
      • There are drop-off (contactless) or full service options.
        • If you are having a small and casual event, drop-off is a great option because it is more cost effective. 
        • If you want food served at your event you should choose full-service. 
      • You have 2 options for setting up a Catering Order with Dining Services:
        1. Placing an Order through their online system Catertrax.
          • After completing your entire order be sure to select "Internal Account" as your payment method and enter the following:
            • Account - 1111
            • Fund - 11
            • Deptid - 111111
            • Program - 1111
            • Sub-Class - 11111
            • Department/Organization Name - Your student organization name
            • 25Live Reservation # - Enter the reservation number
          • Once you've completed the order, wait for final invoice from Dining Services and then follow the steps on the Finance Guide for submitting Dining Services Catering 
        2. Placing an Order directly with the Dining Services Catering Director, Mohammad Bawab.
          • Andy will work with you to build out your invoice the way you want it and will provide a final invoice which you can use to submit by following the steps on the Finance Guide for submitting Dining Services Catering
      • For assistance with using Catertrax, check out this great training video
    • Reserving a p-card to buy food at a grocery store
    • Reserving a p-card to order pizza
    • Putting in a purchase request to order food from a restaurant
      • Take a look at ezCater for vendors that easily deliver and work with our tax exemption (you just have to check a box!).
    • Food trucks 
      • You will need to begin the booking process for food trucks via this Google Form at least 3 weeks before your event date.
      • Additional fees may be associated with sourcing food trucks.
      • See the section below for more information.
  • Food Trucks

    In collaboration with Chartwells, OCA is happy to help you bring food trucks to campus for your event. A minimum of three weeks before your event, please fill out this Google Form to request your desired food trucks. Once this form is submitted, OCA will send the information to Chartwells and they will reach out to you about booking the food trucks.

    There are a few things to consider when booking food trucks:

    • Additional fees may be associated with sourcing food trucks.
    • How many people are coming to the event and how many food trucks do I want to bring to campus?
    • How are we paying the food trucks? Some examples:
      1. There are only 50 people attending the event and we are paying for all the food.
      2. We are giving the first 50 event attendees a voucher for free food. Anyone else who comes to the event can pay for food themselves. 
      3. We are giving 100 event attendees $5 vouchers to put towards a food purchase. 
    • Where is my event located? Where would I like to park the food trucks? 
      • It will be important to let your ECS contact know that you are bringing food trucks. 
    • Have I considered dietary restrictions? Do any of my desired food trucks have vegan, gluten free, dairy free, etc. options? 

    If you have any questions about this process, please email cua-activities@cua.edu and we will be happy to help. 


  • Green Events

    The Office of Campus Activities and Office of Sustainability encourage you to consider
    making your event a green event. Green events focus on minimizing waste and reducing
    our environmental footprint in an effort to contribute to the University’s sustainability
    goals. Any event, no matter how small or large, can be green. Consider how your food and
    drink options, decorations, location, marketing, giveaways, and other event materials can
    be adjusted to reduce your event’s waste, environmental footprint, and expenses. Review
    the Green Events Guide for detailed guidelines.
  • Waste Sorting

    During and after your event, make sure that all waste is sorted into the proper waste bins.
    Food waste should go in the green compost bins. If compost bins are not available, food
    waste should go in the trash. Recyclables, including cardboard, paper, metal, and glass,
    should go in the blue recycling bins. All other waste, and any waste you are unsure about,
    should go in the trash bins.

    Food and Drinks

    • All food scraps (vegetables, fruits, breads, meats, dairy): Compost
    • Dirty paper or plastic plates: Trash
    • Greasy pizza boxes: Trash
    • Plastic silverware: Trash
    • Snack and candy wrappers: Trash
    • Water or soda bottles: Recycling
    • Balloons: Trash
    • Decorations with glitter or foil: Trash
    • Empty pens or markers: Trash
    • Flyers and handouts: Recycling
    • Nametags: Stickers go in trash, paper go in recycling, plastic go in recycling
    • Paper decorations or posters: Recycling
    • Tablecloths: Plastic go in trash, cloth should be stored and reused
    • Tape: Trash
    Review the Catholic University Waste Sorting Game for additional guidance.