Events at ISU

Student organizations, departments/units, and third party entities who plan to hold events on campus must submit event requests through the University Event Authorization system. This authorization is a collaborative process designed to: 1) improve event planning and coordination, 2) ensure compliance with university policies and procedures, and 3) enhance security and safety of the ISU community and visitors to campus.

Which events require authorization?

Student organizations

Events or activities open to the public and/or students outside of the club's membership


Events or activities open to more just current ISU faculty, staff or students

Third parties (non-ISU organizations)

All events or gatherings on the ISU campus

Events that involve any of the following must be submitted for authorization and may involve additional approvals:

  • Animals*

  • Alcohol service, sampling, or sales*

  • Fireworks, pyrotechnics, sky-tracker lights and laser or flame effect displays*

  • Food giveaways, sales, or service

  • Non-university vendors

  • Raffles or gambling

  • Temporary structures/tents

  • Youth (participants/guests under the age of 18 who are not ISU students)

*See below for additional information and procedures.


For all non-academic activities or events involving the use of live animals on campus, an Animal Use Request must be submitted and approved by the Non-Academic Use of Animals Committee. This request is not for use by academic or research programs, which are subject to approval through the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

Organizations wishing to offer a petting zoo should note the ISU Petting Zoo Requirements.

Animal Use Request


Alcohol service, sampling, or sales (submit at least 30 days before event)

Cash bars require planning several weeks in advance. The caterer must apply for a five-day license through the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, and must go before an Ames City Council meeting for license approval (second and fourth Tuesdays of each month). The Alcoholic Beverages Division also requests applications 45 days in advance of the event. The only exception is ISU Dining, as they are already appropriately licensed for cash bars on ISU property.  Please carefully review the Alcohol, Drugs, and Other Intoxicants policy before submitting a request.

Alcohol use - student organizations

  • In accordance with the Alcohol Use – Students and Student Organizations and Alcohol, Drugs, and Other Intoxicants policies, alcohol service and consumption is generally prohibited at student organization events. 
  • Student organizations affiliated with the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Engagement (SFE) are required to comply with SFE policies and procedures regarding their events. 
  • Graduate student organizations are permitted to host events with alcohol with appropriate oversight and review.
  • Under special circumstances and procedures, departments who affiliate with student organizations may manage a departmental event with alcohol in conjunction with a student organization event as long as the alcohol service is managed directly by the ISU department. 

Request for Alcohol Use


Fireworks, pyrotechnics, and flame effects (submit six weeks before the event)

The use of fireworks, pyrotechnics, sky-tracker lights and laser or flame effect displays is prohibited in the city of Ames except when done in accordance with a permit authorized by the City Council. For displays on ISU property, please review the Fireworks, Pyrotechnics, and Flame Effects policy and submit an event request through the University Event Authorization system.




Submit an Event

Food Service at Events

Food/Beverage Vendor Information
Food Sales or Service
SafeFood 101


Student Organization Events:
Memorial Union Student Engagement

Other Events:
Kurt Beyer